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Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016: Floral Park's Hilaire cracks 2,000; LuHi boys win

   Leading off today: Floral Park senior Kaela Hilaire became the third Long Island basketball player to reach 2,000 career points this season when she poured in 44 points Wednesday to pace the Knights past Island Trees 76-64 in the Section 8 Class A quarterfinals.

   Hilaire, who played for Floral Park in junior high and Long Island Lutheran as a freshman, made it halfway to the 2K milestone early in her junior season.

   "Ever since I scored my 1,000th point, was thinking about 2,000," Hilaire told Newsday.

   The University of Albany recruit reached 2,000 midway through the second quarter and ended her night at 2,029. She's averaging 29.7 points a game this season.

   Hampton Bays' Alexis Fotopoulos reached 2,000 points in mid January, and Devonte Green of the Long Island Lutheran boys team is also over 2,000. A fourth New York player, Olivia Schmidt of Holland, reached the milestone last month.

   LuHi impresses: Long Island Lutheran, ranked seventh in the state in Class AA, rolled to a 77-61 win over No. 2 Wings Academy.

   LuHi held Wings 20 points below its scoring average.

   "We knew we'd have to come, show up and play," Crusaders coach John Buck told MSG Varsity. "At the start we were a little slow, but our guys sensed that they were going to challenge us. They're very scrappy, they fight for every loose ball, they press you and I think we stepped up to that challenge they presented."

   Donatas Kuspsas finished with a team-high 14 points and 12 rebounds.

   "Coach says, always, if I get the rebounds, we will win the games," Kuspas said. "So I always try to do my best to the rebound and then share the ball.'

   Big effort in win: Cooperstown's Tyler Bertram scored 31 of his 42 points after halftime Wednesday to lift the Hawkeyes to an 82-75 win in OTover Watertown Immaculate Heart in the Section 3 Class C tournament.

   "He just got in that zone where it was going in no matter what," Cooperstown coach Dave Bertram said of his son's performance.

   Bertram made five of his six 3-point field goals after halftime. He shot 9-for-10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, including three straight with 1.4 seconds left in regulation to tie the score at 71.

   Owen Kennedy made the first two baskets in the extra period to send Cooperstown to its eighth straight win.

   More boys hoops: East Rochester, ranked second in the state in Class C, blanked Letchworth 22-0 in the first quarter and went on to a 71-21 win in the Section 5 first round. The Bombers led 45-6 at halftime.

   Keith Butler paced ER with 23 points and six steals.

   Young golf star commits: Will Thomson turned the golf world on its head in 2014 by qualifying for the U.S. Amateur at the age of 13, making him the youngest ever to put that accomplishment on his resume.

   He made news again this week at the age of 15 by announcing that he had committed to the University of Texas.

   Thomson, ranked the No. 1 high school freshman in the country by Golfweek, is the latest in the Longhorns' amazing talent haul. Cole Hammer (No. 3 sophomore),

  
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Mason Nome (No. 3 freshman) and Scott Roden (No. 4 eighth-grader) have also made non-binding commitments to the school.

   "Ultimately, I chose Texas because I feel the overall program and environment will provide me with the best opportunity to grow both personally and as an athlete," Thomson




told Golfweek. "The University of Texas is a great school, Austin is a great city with a great golf legacy, and Coach (John) Fields and Coach (Jean-Paul) Hebert are committed to building strong teams that compete for national championships every year."

   Among the current Longhorns is former Pittsford star Gavin Hall. Thomson competed for Pittsford Mendon until his family relocated to Naples, Fla., last summer. He plans to compete in some summer events in the Rochester area each season.

   "Gavin has been a friend and a role model for several years," Thomson said.

    Thomson finished tied for eighth and then tied for 14th in his two appearances in the NYSPHSAA championships.

   ICYMI: I was a bit late posting a couple of blogs yesterday. The first included details of an eligibility ruling at Greece Arcadia that resulted in a pile of email rants landing in my in box. The other included the rundown of wrestlers awarded wildcard entries into the state wrestling tournament next week in Albany.


  
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