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Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016: L.I. Lutheran posts another stunning rout

   Leading off today: Indiana-bound Devonte Green scored 21 of his 25 points in the first half as Long Island Lutheran pulled off a stunning, 96-60 rout of Cardozo in the Apparel Challenge boys basketball showcase Saturday.

   LuHi is ranked third and Cardozo fifth this week by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   LuHi, which also steamrolled No. 9 Queens H.S. of Teaching by a 96-64 margin this week, shot 72 percent in the first half, with Green making five 3-pointers, to race to a 52-24 lead vs. Cardozo.

   "The shots were going down," Coach John Buck told MSG Varsity. "I try to keep these guys pretty loose and confident, but focused. They're mature so I don't have to do a lot of monitoring."

   Charles Manning Jr. paced LuHi with 26 points.

   LuHi's next big showdown comes Friday with No. 11 Christ the King, which owns fives straight wins over the Crusaders -- including season-ending losses in the Federation tournament the past three years.

   "We're really good, but we're not great yet," Manning said.

   More Apparel Challenge: Thomas Jefferson turned up the defensive pressure in the final five seconds to cap a 68-65 win over Christ the King.

   Curtis Smith recorded a steal off an inbounds pass and hit one of two free throws to break a tie with :04.1 seconds left. Then St. John's recruit Shamorie Ponds hit two free throws with :02.7 left and came up with a steal off another inbounds pass.

   Boys and Girls pulled off a 47-45 upset of No. 7 Bishop Loughlin as senior guard Gianni Ford scored 22 points. The Kangaroos had a 13-1 run in the first quarter and lead 20-9 through eight minutes.

   Loughlin coach Ed Gonzalez benched his entire starting five midway through the second half. The Lions turned to their substitutes to push forward with a comeback attempt, pulling to within a point in the final minute.

   Alex Bay triumphs: Alexandria Bay won its first state regional title in girls ice hockey with a 3-2 win over Kenmore-Grand Island at Albany Academy.

   Islanders forward Kelly Bannister skated in from the left corner and beat Cara Klopp at the 3:50 mark of the third period for the game-winning goal and the game's only even-strength tally.

   Miranda Kolb pulled Alexandria Bay (15-1-1) into a 2-2 tie midway through the second period.

   Sub-four mile breaks record: Drew Hunter became the second American schoolboy ever to break four minutes in the indoor mile, eclipsing a record held by fellow Virginian Alan Webb.

   Hunter, a senior at Loudoun Valley High and a University of Oregon recruit, finished in seventh place in 3:58.25 against a field of college and professional runners Saturday at the 16th annual Armory Track Invitational. Chris O'Hare, the 2012 NCAA champion, won in 3:54.59.

   Hunter, whose parents briefly coached Webb in high school, crossed the finish line with his arms raised but had to wait a few seconds before the scoreboard revealed his record time. He took a victory lap, accepting congratulations from the other racers and posing several times for pictures with fans alongside the track.

   Webb became the first American high school runner to clock a sub-four indoor mile with a 3:59.86 in 2001 on the same track.

   Looking ahead: There's a woman's college basketball game Monday that should be of particular interest to New York fans. As Neil Kerr reminded me over the weekend, UConn vs. South Carolina features three players from our state who scored 2,000 career points in high school.

   Saniya Chong (Ossining, 2,988 points) and Breanna Stewart (Cicero-North Syracuse, 2367) play for the Huskies, and Bianca Cuevas (Nazareth, 2,135) plays for the Gamecocks.

   Odd situation: Louis Kail's night was over before it even started on Friday. (Double) technically, it started before it started and then it was over, if that makes any sense.

   The Harrison girls varsity basketball coach was ejected from coaching his game after being issued two bench technicals during the junior varsity game, The Journal News reported.

   The ejection triggered enforcement of the rule calling for an automatic one-game suspension, though I'd be hard-pressed to recall a coach being ejected and serving the penalty in the same three-hour window.

\    Kail said he was issued both technicals for questioning player safety after one Harrison player took an elbow to the face and another had her eye scratched.

   "I don't think a coach should ever be questioned for making sure of their players' safety," Kail told the paper from the Eastchester High School parking lot. "As coaches, our first job is to protect our players."

   Kail said he was hit with the second technical while walking out of the gym with his players to prepare for the varsity contest and that he did not realize it until his players brought it to his attention.

   Harrison won the varsity game 74-62.

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