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Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016: Canton skates past St. Lawrence

   Leading off today: Josh Huiatt tied the game 36 seconds into the third period, and Jack Finnerty scored the winning goal three minutes later as Canton defeated St. Lawrence 3-2 in a boys hockey game between state-ranked squads Monday.

   Cole Moore scored in the second period to pull the Golden Bears into a 1-1 tie.

   St. Lawrence was ranked first in Division 1 and Canton third in Division 2 in last week's New York State Sportswriters Association ratings.

   Mark Crump and Karl Pullano scored for St. Lawrence.

   Boys basketball showdown: Marcus Smithling scored 15 points to lead No. 4 Oriskany to a 58-50 victory over No. 5 New York Mills in a game between state-ranked Class D squads.

   Oriskany's Richard Phelps matched his season high with 13 points and Ryan Schmadel added 10 in his first game since setting the program's record for career points.

   Oriskany broke to a 22-10 lead in the first quarter.

   Terrance Nichols led New York Mills with 24 points.

   More boys hoops: Jeenathan Williams set a University Prep single-game record with 51 points to highlight a 97-70 victory over Syracuse Academy of Science in a non-leaguer in Rochester.

   Williams shot 20-for-26 from the field for the Griffins.

   By the way, don't be confused if you click the link to look at the boxscore and write-up. The paper erroneously reported the game was against Syracuse CBA.

   BEDS numbers are posted: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association's Executive Committee last week approved the enrollment numbers to be used to classify teams in the various sports next school year.

   You can examine the numbers in PDF format on the NYSPHSAA website.

   Others will probably scrutinize the info closer than I will this week but here are immediate takeaways after one look at the raw numbers:

    • Maine-Endwell, the state's football powerhouse of the decade, drops back down to Class B after a loss in the NYSPHSAA semifinals to Buffalo South Park broke its streak of state crowns at four.

    • I have no idea how or why Buffalo Bennett's enrollment is listed at 86, not even a third of what its BEDS number was a year ago. However, the team's stay in Class C football is presumably short-lived.

   Bennett was combined with Olmstead and Alternative Education High last year. Assuming (I know ...) there's no dramatic change downward in anyone's numbers on appeal, the growth at Olmstead and Alternative will easily push Bennett back into Class B if the trio remains united in 2016.

    •If basketball's class cutoffs remain unchanged, Olean will move up to Class A. Both the boys and girls teams are unbeaten this season. North Rose-Wolcott, unbeaten in boys hoops and ranked No. 3 in Class B this winter, will slip down to C.

    •S.S. Seward, with a pretty fair resume in multiple sports, drops down to Class D in the five-class sports other than girls volleyball -- again, presuming there are no adjustments to the class cutoffs.

   Following up: The Journal News reports last week's vote to change the NYSPHSAA baseball final fours to a two-day event beginning in 2017 was unanimous.

  
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   "We as a baseball committee have been discussing this for quite some time -- maybe as long as eight to 10 years," state baseball chairman Ed Dopp told the paper. "We went through some budget restrictions, and the NYSPHSAA stopped any expansion of tournaments. That delayed this proposal by quite a bit when we had these financial concerns. We didn't drop the concept; we just knew we had to delay it."

   Dopp said the two-day format will require "little-to-no addition costs." And the benefit of giving the semifinal winners a night's sleep before the final made the decision a no-brainer.

   "At that time of year, we're usually dealing with hot, hazy conditions, and we saw that there was an advantage for the teams that played the 10 a.m. semifinal. The teams that play at 1 p.m. had to turn around and play the championship right away."

   The tournament is headed to a Friday-Saturday format, making Sunday available as a rain date.

   Housekeeping: You may have noticed we switched up the elements of the top of the NewYorkSportswriters.org home page late Monday night and freshened up the look (and dimensions) of the graphics linking to sport-specific sites such as RoadToSyracuse.com.

   There will be occasional additional tweaks throughout the rest of the school year as a start to hopefully redesign this summer to make a larger percentage of our content friendlier for viewers on smart phones and tablets.


  
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