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Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016: Southold basketball coach Phil Reed dies

   Leading off today: Southold boys basketball coach Phil Reed died Tuesday just hours after a season-making victory, The Suffolk Times reported. He was 59.

   Reed, who was in his fourth varsity season at the Class C school, coached the First Settlers to a 68-63 victory Monday vs. defending NYSPHSAA Class D champion Bridgehampton. It was a 47-point turnaround from the teams' s earlier meeting, which Bridgehampton won 91-49.

   Suffolk County Police responded to an emergency medical call on the Long Island Expressway in Medford but did not confirm details because the case is not criminal in nature, the paper reported.

   "People here are devastated," Southold Superintendent David Gamberg told the paper. "Coach Reed made an incredible impact on virtually everyone that he came in contact with -- the students that he coached, the staff here in the district, the administration.

   "It's really incredible."

   Before taking over the varsity, Reed ran the JC team for seven seasons. He was previously an assistant coach with the McGann-Mercy varsity football team and was scheduled to coach the Southold/Greenport varsity softball team in the spring.

   "He was so good at making the kids feel good and keeping everybody together," said Joe Read, who coached football at Mercy with Reed. "We always used to say you only learn character when you're not winning. He had a strong character."

   Southold has three regular-season basketball games remaining. Gamberg said the district is still sorting out how to proceed.

   Cal-Mum names replacement: Caledonia-Mumford's school board has approved the hiring of Bill Donegan as its new football coach.

   Donegan played for the Red Raiders under Bill McAlee and Mike Monacelli. He was the longtime head coach at Honeoye Falls-Lima and worked there most recently as an assistant.

   John Walther was 27-15 in five reasons before resigning in November.

   Cal-Mum is combining with Byron-Bergen in football beginning in the 2016 season.

   Join forces or fold? The Westfield/Brocton football program has made an inquiry to Fredonia administrators to determine if there's interest in combining forces, The Observer reported.

   Superintendent Paul DiFonzo confirmed the development during Tuesday's school board meeting. DiFonzo said both programs are hindered by low participation numbers.

   "The other alternative, really, if we don't decide to combine is to end the football program," he said. "I know there are a number of questions, but it really boils down to do we want to continue to offer football to our students?"

   AD Scot Stutzman said Fredonia is projecting approximately 18 varsity and 36 junior-varsity candidates next fall.

   DiFonzo told the board he needs a decision on the merger by the next meeting, since Section 6 officials are currently solidifying the schedule for games. The board will hold a community forum Monday to hear from the public on

what they would like to see happen.

   On his way to 3K? Lance Stephenson graduated from Abraham Lincoln with a state-record 2,946 points in 2009, the same year Greenport's Ryan Creighton set the NYSPHSAA career mark of 2,799 points.

   Earlier this week, The Times union profiled the player who could very well be on his way to surpassing both marks. Glens Falls freshman guard Joe Girard III is approaching 1,000 career points in his second season as a varsity starter.

   He dropped 27 points on Broadalbin-Perth on Friday despite a near-constant double-team hounding him.

   "He is extremely scary, especially being he is only a freshman," Broadalbin-Perth Tucker Gifford told the paper. "What he is doing is amazing. ... Thinking ahead to the idea that we still have three more years against (Girard) is a brutal thought. He is going to break a lot of records."

   If the name is familiar, it should be. Girard's father scored a combined 2,179 points at St. Mary's in Glens Falls and then Shenendehowa.

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