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Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016: Tournament dispute riles Sec. 5 baseball committee

   Leading off today: Section 5 baseball coordinator Bill Bowe and numerous members of his committee have resigned to protest a decision on the configuration of the postseason tournament, the Livingston County News reported Thursday.

   Bowe cited "philosophical differences with different administrative groups in the last year," in submitting his resignation to Section 5 Executive Director Ed Stores, the paper reported. At issue is the format of the Class B tournament.

   Bowe said he, his committee and the sport's league chairmen were overwhelmingly in favor of a single, 18-team tournament in the classification. The Section 5 policy for team sports calls for a single bracket for state classes of up to 17 teams but two brackets for between 18 and 34 teams in a class. The winners of those two brackets are sectional champions and then play off for a berth in the NYSPHSAA tournament.

   The sectional policy further states that a change to a tournament will be based on the recommendation of the sport coordinator and the approval of the section's Executive Committee.

   The rule is commonplace in multiple sports and sometimes results in a competitive imbalance. In girls basketball for instance, Wellsville is 17-3 and will be the only school in its nine-school Class B bracket this month over .500.

   Jim Burke, involved in Section 5 baseball for more than three decades, also resigned from the baseball committee.

   "I'm pretty much 'old school' and have a hard time in today's society where everyone gets a trophy," Burke told the paper. "Having nine-team brackets sure doesn't make for a good tournament. Something is wrong when you have teams four or five games under .500 getting a bye in the first round. ... I'm not saying I'm right, just stating my opinion. I guess it's time to move on and let the 'give everyone a trophy' folks take over."

   Finalists announced: Shenendehowa and Christ the King have two candidates apiece among the finalists for the top awards from the Basketball Coaches Association of New York.

   The five finalists for Miss Basketball, presented to the state's outstanding senior player, include Christ the King's Dominique Toussaint and Sydney Zambrotta. Toussaint has signed with Virginia and Zambrotta is headed to Louisville in the fall.

   Joining them as finalists are Shenendehowa's Carly Boland (Binghamton University), Bethlehem's Jenna Giacone (Dayton) and Penfield's Emma Guy (Boston College).

   Four boys have been selected as finalists for Mr. Basketball: Long Island Lutheran's Devonte Green (Indiana), Shenendehowa's Kevin Huerter (Maryland), Greece Athena's Anthony Lamb (Vermont) and Thomas Jefferson's Shamorie Ponds (St. John's).

   Voting on the finalists by current coaches who are BCANY members continues through next Thursday and accounts for 40 percent on the score. A selection team appointed by the BCANY Executive Committee casts the remainder of the votes.

   Winners will be announced in mid-March.

   The 2015 award recipients were Lauren "Boogie" Brozoski of Long Island Lutheran and Matt Ryan of Iona Prep.

   Showdown averted: Officials of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association and state's ice hockey officials associations worked Thursday to head off a boycott of one high school's remaining games this winter.

   Following what two referees termed a postgame "assault" by parents after a game between Howell and Manalapan on Sunday, suddenly there were no refs available for any of Howell's remaining games as game officials either removed their names or blocked off games on the Arbiter scheduling

tool, reported.

   Jack DuBois, assistant director of the NJSIAA, said the Freehold Regional Board of Education has guaranteed heightened security for Howell's next game. DuBois also said the board of education has barred the parents involved in the alleged altercation from attending any Howell hockey games.

   "Everything's been resolved," DuBois said. "The parties have reconciled the issues at this point."    Sunday's incident began after official Dave Brown gave a Howell player a minor penalty, then added a 10-minute misconduct when the player responded with an obscenity. Before the ensuing faceoff, a woman was screaming and banging on the glass, according to the second official, Sal Bianco Sr.

   Brown ejected the spectator and a second Howell player, believed to be the woman's son, was then assessed 10-minute and game misconducts for using obscene language, Bianco said.

   After the game, the referees were getting changed when a parent entered their locker room and began punching Brown, according to Bianco. Bianco said he restrained the parent until a second parent entered the room and grabbed both referees "by the throat."

   Police were called and both referees were taken to an area hospital in ambulances. The Howell Police Department is investigating the incident.

   Catching up: I somehow missed this, but Hampton Bays senior Alexis Fotopoulos went over 2,000 points for her girls basketball career back on Jan. 21. The sixth-year varsity player, who's headed to Adelphi in the fall, is Hampton Bays' career scoring leader.

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