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Monday, March 1, 2016: Irvington, Halpin win duel with Woodlands

   Leading off today: The game within the game was as good as the game itself when Irvington and Woodlands stepped onto the court Monday for the girls Section 1 Class B basketball championship.

   Irvington won 77-68 to avenge a regular-season loss and advance to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament, but the running battle between Irvington junior Lindsay Halpin and Woodlands freshman Teisha Hyman is what made the contest at the Westchester County Center so memorable.

   Hyman, a career 1,000-point scorer through three varsity seasons, connected for 45 points and Halpin scored 42 en route to her second straight MVP award.

   "She hit some, I hit some, and my teammates just happened to hit the other ones," Halpin told The Journal News.

   Massena advances: Nate Bressard scored 2:23 into overtime, giving Massena a 3-2 victory over Canton in the Section 10 Division I hockey championship game Monday.

   The Red Raiders had gone 0-1-1 vs. Canton during the regular season but won when it mattered most to collect their fifth straight sectional title.

   Said Massena coach Mike Trimboli, "It's all about how you finish. That's what we tell these guys all year. It was a great battle, I take nothing away from Canton's effort."

   More hockey: The three Western New York hockey championship games were rematches of 2015 finals, and all three ended with wins for last year's runners-up.

   Kenmore East senior Trevor Pray recorded a natural hat trick and scored all of his team's goals in a 5-2 triumph over Williamsville East in the Section 6 Division II final. The five goals by one player in a sectional final is a record, The Buffalo News reported.

   Williamsville North downed four-time defending Division I champion Niagara-Wheatfield 1-0 behind 27 saves by Jake Zurat to make Adam Batz's first-period goal stand up.

   The Spartans had lost three times to Niagara-Wheatfield in the final during the Falcons' four-year title run.

   "It's been long overdue to say the least," coach Bob Rosen said. "Niagara-Wheatfield did a great job with doing little things that prevented us from getting some opportunities but I really loved how my team competed today on everything, how they stuck together as a team and we won this as a team."

   In the Monsignor Martin final, St. Joe's defeated Canisius 4-0 for its third championship in four seasons. Sophomore Daniel Mikolajczak made 15 saves for the shutout as the Marauders won their 20th straight game.

   St. Joe's broke a scoreless tie late in the second period on the power play.

   An estimated 5,000 attended the tripleheader at First Niagara Center.

   F-M picks up a prospect: Fayetteville-Manlius is picking up a three-star college football prospect courtesy of Syracuse University. reports that Eric Coley has not yet committed but he was offered by the Orange over the weekend when


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  • the football staff hosted several dozen prospects. Of course, it's not as if the new coaching staff had to worry about losing contact with Coley if they'd sent him home empty-handed -- his father is new Syracuse defensive line coach Vince Reynolds.

       "I got here, got checked in," Coley told "I was sitting in the team meeting room and one of the (graduate assistants) came and got me. He said coach (Dino) Babers wanted me. I went to his office and he said, 'I'm letting you know you have an offer but we want to see you this summer so we can see how you take our coaching.

       "He said it's not because my dad's a coach either. He said I earned it so I was real happy about that."

       The 6-foot-, 175-pound Coley landed on an all-area team in Kalamazoo last fall in Michigan while his father worked on the Western Michigan staff. Several MAC schools are recruiting him as an athlete on the defensive side of the ball.

       Kid's got a future: Shenendehowa pitcher Ian Anderson has an impressive resume and will attract plenty of attention from major-league scouts this spring during his senior season.

       Last month, Baseball America took a closer look at Anderson, laying out some of the reasons MLB clubs are going to be very willing to throw a seven-figure signing bonus his way next summer. In short, the respected publication says Anderson "projects."

       At 6-foot-3 and rail-thin, he has the body type the pros think will let him pack on some muscle. Being from the rust belt, he's likely to have more development upside than Texas and Florida prospects whose seasons are twice as long.

       Anderson played for Team USA following his junior year, and he also pitched at Perfect Game National and the East Coast Pro event attended by pro and college scouts.

       "It gave me a ton of confidence," he told the magazine. "Northeast guys want to know they can play with anyone. Northeast guys have shown again and again that they can do it."

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