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Monday, March 7, 2016: Elmont blanks Harborfields in fourth, reaches Glens Falls

   Leading off today: Elmont is going to the state semifinals in Glens Falls for the first time courtesy of shut-down defense.

   The Spartans did not allow any points in the fourth quarter and defeated Harborfields 41-32 in the NYSPHSAA boys Class A basketball quarterfinals Sunday at LIU Post.

   "Defense wins championships," Jalen Burgess told MSG Varsity after finishing with a team-high 17 points. "We attacked the glass and attacked the rim and we knew we had that height advantage."

   Harborfields jumped out to a four-point lead in the third quarter on back-to-back baskets by Malcolm Wynter, at which point Burgess and the defense went to work. The senior forward hit three straight shots to put Elmont ahead for good with 37.3 seconds left in the quarter, and the Spartans held the Tornadoes scoreless over the final 11 minutes.

   In the Class AA quarterfinal, Baldwin survived a nine-minute scoring drought in the second half and downed Half Hollow Hills West 65-55.

   Junior Jared Rhoden hit a jumper with just over 2:00 to go, ending the scoring slump, then made the go-ahead shot 20 seconds later. Rhoden scored six of his 12 points in the fourth quarter.

   "I always keep my head high and my teammates always look to get me the ball," Rhoden told MSG Varsity. "As a leader I knew I had to step up and get shots and that's what I did."

   PSAL boys: The four highest seeds in the Class A tournament won quarterfinals Sunday. Three were decided by 10 points or less -- and the fourth west to overtime.

   John Bowne, ranked third in the state, fought off Brooklyn Law & Technology 77-66 in overtime behind 17 points and 13 rebounds from Kareem Reid, who also blocked seven shots. Christian Hinckson added 15 points and 12 rebounds.

   Seventh-ranked Telecommunication Arts & Technology beat Seward Park 65-59 as Devin Ballou scored 25 points.

   In the Class B quarterfinals, 14th-seeded Jane Addams beat No. 6 seed Maspeth 85-75 in OT.

   Girls basketball: Cardinal O'Hara overwhelmed Buffalo Sacred Heart 77-46 for the Monsignor Martin Association Class A championship. Senior forward Summer Hemphill finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five steals. Junior Anndea Zeigler added 17 points.

   Sacred Heart will play in the state CHSAA tournament's Class AA bracket and Sacred Heart gets the Class A berth.

   In the Class B final, Lancaster St. Mary's scored a 44-36 win over Nardin Academy. St. Mary's scored the game's first 10 points and senior Annie Hamilton led the team with 11 points.

   Bowling: Adam Zimmerman won his second straight individual title at the NYSPHSAA boys bowling championships, coasting to 63-pin margin over Greece Olympia's Adam Turner, the 2015 runner-up.

   Zimmerman, a senior at Section 11's Deer Park, finished with a total of 1,415 for six games in Cheektowaga and represented the winning section for the fourth straight year.

   Clarkstown's Brandon Smith rolled a 300 game in the morning block.

   Sachem eighth-grader Amanda Naujokas won the girls title with a 1,252 pinfall for six games to edge Haley Youker (1,249) of East Syracuse Minoa. Section 2 took the team


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

  • competition on Day 2, which brings together the top bowlers who did not qualify for Saturday's team event.

       Following up: Joe Staszewski of the Brooklyn Daily followed up on last week's story, writing a column about the dysfunctional Catholic High School Athletic Association tournament format in girls basketball.

       Staszewski asked, "Can't they all just get along?" And, of course, we know the answer is no. He suggests peace between the Hatfields and McCoys would be more realistic.

       At the heart of the matter is that the most recently adopted format continues to drop Brooklyn-Queens' weakest 'AA' teams down to Class A, where they are too strong for most of the competition. It's compounded by a rule now forcing Western New York's best team out of Class A, where it could indeed be competitive to 'AA,' where it likely can't withstand CHSAA foes, let alone what would be awaiting in the Federation tournament.

       Making matters worse, the CHSAA changes its rules seemingly every year -- and sometimes more often than that.

       "Let's make the rule -- whatever the rule is -- and abide by the rule," Nazareth coach Ron Kelley said.

       Ideally, the first step would be to bring the five boroughs' CHSAA schools together into one league instead of the current two, similar to what the boys do. Teams would be classified before the season and compete in that class through the playoffs, barring extenuating circumstances. Those champs can them come together with the Long Island and Western New York qualifiers to settle the matter of Federation berths.

       Care to help? We ended publication of the New York State Sportswriters Association newsletter in the summer of 2012. Most of the membership fee up until then went toward the 46-50 newsletters per year, but what was left after printing and postage helped defray other expenses.

       Now, online ads cover the expense of providing rankings, news and reference material to readers of and its related sites such as, which has allowed us to drop the membership fee.

       If you enjoy our content and feel inclined to help, we do maintain a page that allows contributions via PayPal transfers and encourage you to check it out.

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