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Monday, Feb. 22, 2016: Brentwood stays in hunt for return to state tourney

   Leading off today: Mike Almonacy had 18 points and five assists, and Jamel Allen scored 17 points to go with 13 rebounds as Brentwood stayed on track in its big for a three-peat by beating Smithtown West 61-49 in the Section 11 boys Class AA basketball semifinals Sunday.

   Brentwood, ranked 10th in the state, is two victories away from its third straight Long Island championship and trip to the NYSPHSAA tournament.

   Almonacy made back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter to give Brentwood breathing room.

   "We've had to do a little more all year," Almonacy told Newsday. "We're the two-time Suffolk champs and we're all-Long Island players. We're captains and there's a lot of weight on our shoulders."

   The Indians face No. 23 Half Hollow Hills West on Tuesday for the sectional crown.

   "In spots, our defense was good," coach Anthony Jimenez said. "Be we haven't been consistent. To beat Hills West, we'll need clean possessions. We can't turn the ball over. The trip to the Final Four is never easy."

   Good news for Farrell: Senior swingman Joe Zieris will be back on the court when Monsignor Farrell opens the CHSAA playoffs Saturday, The Advance reported. Zieris missed the past three-plus games for Farrell, ranked sixth in the state in Class A, due to a knee injury.

   Farrell lost two of three games without Zieris, who is averaging 12.0 points a game.

   Following up: I mentioned in a recent blog that a girls basketball playoff game in Ohio ended with a final score of 108-1. Over the weekend, the athletic director from the losing school reportedly was fired.

   Gates Mills (Ohio) Gilmour Academy defeated Northeast Ohio College Prep in the first-round game. Multiple media reports this weekend said NEO AD Justin Shullick was relieved of his duties.

   Administrators released a statement after the game saying the school "is extremely proud of the comraderie and sportsmanship that our team displayed during and after the game."

   But a statement later last week revealed other concerns.

   "While we cannot discuss any personnel matters, we felt it was necessary to embark upon a different path regarding our athletic department," the statement said. "We are always seeking additional support that will enhance our athletic programming and offer opportunities for our scholars to be successful not only with their academics, but also with their athletic interests."


  • 2016 NYSPHSAA boys basketball brackets
  • 2016 NYSPHSAA girls basketball brackets
  • 2016 NYSPHSAA boys hockey brackets
  • 2016 N.Y. wrestling tournament brackets (PDF)

  •    Said Nadia Cuevas, the only senior on the 1-12 team: "I figured people would be upset about the negative publicity, but I had no idea it would cost him his job."

       Speaking of lopsided results: Mike Zacchio of The Journal News wrote over the weekend about ideas to reel in runaway scores in Section 1 girls basketball, though the reality is that there are few if any practical solutions.

       Much of the scene-setting in the story had to do with Ossining, which has been absolutely overpowering for the past half-dozen seasons and has won three straight NYSPHSAA Class AA championships. Ossining has taken criticism from time to time, but the reality is that the talent gap between the Pride and certain local schools is such that the Ossining JVs would score some 30-point wins against varsities.

       It's interesting reading, particularly some of the statistical data.

       Bottom line: There's never been much of an appetite for a mercy rule in basketball, nor is there an outcry at the moment calling for one.

       Sports merger vote coming: The Spencer-Van Etten School Board will vote Thursday on whether to merge sports teams with Candor for the fall season, the Ithaca Journal reported.

       A committee made up of residents, coaches and administrators from both towns has been studying the proposal and will bring its recommendation on Thursday.

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