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Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016: Girard scores 37 to lift Glens Falls boys

   Leading off today: Joe Girard III started his night 0-for-8 and scoreless in the first quarter and finished the game with 37 points as Glens Falls beat Schalmont 69-55 in the Section 2 boys Class B basketball tournament semifinals.

   "When it comes down to the end, I like to hit the big shots," Girard told The Daily Gazette. "I tried to do that."

   Girard said he was playing for his grandfather, Joe Girard Sr., who died Friday. The elder Girard was a longtime and popular coach at St. Mary's of Glens Falls and a member of the sectional basketball tournament committee.

   "I know my grandfather was with me," Girard said. "He just had a different seat."

   Girard made six 3-pointers, including three during a 9-3 run to break a 48-48 tie. He assisted on a Conor Schliff layup that gave the Indians a 61-53 lead with 1:10 left, and went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line from there.

   Glens Falls' opponent in the final will be Hudson, which upset top-seeded Mekeel Christian 56-54 on freshman Justin Oliveras' basket with :06 to go.

   Mike Alert had given Hudson a 54-51 lead with a basket with :54 left, but a 3-pointer from Mekeel's Scott Voelker tied it with a 3-pointer with :39 remaining.

   More boys basketball: In the Section 5 upset of the night, Simeon Heard (21 points) made two free throws with :02.5 left to lift C.G. Finney past Genesee Valley 55-54.

   In Section 6, Middle Early College averted disaster and rallied past Randolph 57-47 in the Class C-2 semifinals. Middle Early College trailed 24-17 at halftime.

   Fred Foster led the Kats with 21 points and 16 rebounds.

   Girls basketball: After suffering two regular-season losses to Bethlehem, Columbia earned revenge in the form of a 58-43 win on the Eagles' home court to reach the Section 2 Class AA semifinals.

   Selena Lott led the Blue Devils with 24 points and freshman Grace Heeps added 16, including four 3-pointers.

   "We've had a lot of big wins across the season, but this one definitely feels the best," coach Sean McGraw told The Record.

   State ski meet, Day 1: Aidan Cohane of Windham-Ashland-Jewett was dominating Monday in winning the boys slalom title at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association ski championships at Whiteface Mountain.

   Cohane's two-run time of 1:26.38 easily outdistanced runner-up Joe Vasile (1:30.26) of Webster.

   The girls championship went to Saratoga's Sarah Coombs in 1:31.68.

   In nordic action, Scott Schultz of Lake Placid won the boys 10.5-kilometer race in 27:52.5, and the girls title went to Jackie Garso of Saranac Lake with a time of 23:42.7 for 7.5 kilometers. Garso finished more than two minutes ahead of the field.

   Football news: Poly Prep in Brooklyn has promoted defensive coordinator Kevin Fountaine to head football coach.

   Fountaine, a former police officer, worked as an assistant football coach at his alma mater Nazareth from 1985-94 and as that school's head coach from 1995-98. He worked in the NFL Junior Player Development program and High School Player Development programs from 1999-2006.

   By the way, star offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson, a first-team all-state selection in Class AA for Poly Prep as a junior, has cut his list to five college suitors. Michigan is believed to hold a lead over Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Ohio State.

   Several recruiting services have Wilson rated as one of the country's top 25 juniors at any position.


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

  •    A new look on the mats: Section 2 athletes will be sporting new and unique singlets at this weekend's state wrestling champion- ships in Albany.

       Friends of Section II Wrestling purchased the uniforms for 41 wrestlers who qualified for the tournament at the Times Union Center. The singlets show off images of Saratoga Race Course and downtown Albany on the front and the State Capital building and the Adirondacks on the back.

    Section 2 singlet

       They're a dramatic departure from the traditional solid-color uniforms typically worn at the meet. The color-coded scheme helps fans quickly spot competitors from specific sections of the state as they compete.

       A brackets note: If you look at the top of this column of type, you'll see we've flipped over to "winter playoff mode" this week with links to various postseason data, which will be added to in the coming days.

       If you've perused the NYSPHSAA boys basketball brackets, you may have noticed a small change to the schedule for the first day of semifinals at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

       As in past tournaments, the Class D, C and then B semifinals open the festivities on Friday. However, the previous format organized the games into a pair of tripleheaders that split the Class C games into the last contest of the morning session and the first game of the evening session.

       Beginning next month, the Class D and C games will be played as a morning quadrupleheader and the Class B contests will be an evening doubleheader.

       The change is friendly to the Class C participants and their fans. The winning team can stick around to scout the second game, and participants in that second game can watch the first half of the Class C opener before heading to the locker room to get ready.

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