Leading off today:
It wouldn't be a postseason in New York high school sports without an eligibility problem to muck things up. In this case, at least the problem was caught soon enough to re-seed and re-schedule the Section 3 boys Class B basketball tournament before the games began.
Syracuse Academy of Science was dropped from a No. 4 to a No. 7 seed Wednesday after Section 3 administrators ordered the Atoms to forfeit four victories, dropping their record to 9-10.
The section determined that ninth-grader Anthony Butera, who transferred from Syracuse Henninger on Nov. 30, had previously played four freshman contests at his old school and should have been subject to a more restrictive transfer rule.
"Basically it was a change of registration (schools) without a change in residency," Section 3 Executive Director John Rathbun told Syracuse.com, adding that SAS self-reported the issue.
Going out in style: I tried being serious once ... but everyone laughed at me. That helps explain why I'm in awe of Chris Mancuso's "retirement" announcement.
Mancuso played sparingly as a senior this season on the Bishop Grimes basketball team. His career's high water mark was scoring four points in his team's 71-30 victory last week over Altmar-Parish-Williamstown.
Here's the text of his retirement announcement on Instagram:
"Based on last nights groundbreaking performance (4 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists), I have decided to retire from the game of basketball. Despite having numerous college scholarship offers, my family and I have decided that it would be most appropriate for me to go out on top. My body can no longer take the rigor of playing more than 2 minutes a game. The fame that my recent success has brought is quite overwhelming and I wish to be seen as just a normal person again. I am eager to finish the year to the best of my waterboy abilities and do whatever I can to help my team come out on top. This decision will take effect at the conclusion of this season. Unfortunately, I will not be reaching my goal of 1,000 points seeing that I am 996 short of that mark. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my career."
"He's just great a kid," coach Bob McKenney said. "He made his first shot early in the game. The place just went crazy. Our photographer jumped up and broke her camera. He's a great kid and everybody loves him."
Reaching new heights: One of the cooler moments in track and field comes in those rare instances in one of the jumps when the building goes silent as the crowd focuses on an attempt at a record-setting mark.
There was some of that going on Wednesday in the Section 11 championships at Suffolk CC-Brentwood as junior Daniel Claxton from Smithtown East broke the meet record by clearing 6-10 in the high jump.
As Newsday reported, clearing 6-10 triggered a road from the crowd as it erased a mark set in 1991 by Pat McElroy of Shoreham-Wading River. That also made him the center of attention for three attempts at 6-11.
A hush fell over the arena and rhythmic clapping -- led by fellow competitors -- started ahead of each of his attempts. He missed all three shots at 6-11 but came away with the win. In fact, there were only two jumpers left when he joined the competition at 6-2, so he knew he'd clinch a sport in the state meet as soon as he made his initial height.
"It was a great feeling," Claxton told the paper. "Usually I like silence until the last jump. Then I love the support from the crowd. I use it as encouragement."