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Monday, March 21. 2016: Another Federation championship for SIA girls

   Leading off today: Staten Island Academy won its second straight girls Federation basketball championship by defeating Jamesville-DeWitt 68-65 in Sunday's Class A final in Albany.

   The Tigers, who captured the 2015 Class B championship, stormed back from a 16-point deficit in the second half. Junior Clare Mitchell had a game-high 21 points and senior Corinn Baggs had 18.

   Freshman guard Emily LaPointe (11 points) tied the game at 61 with a 3-pointer and then put SIA ahead to stay with another 3-pointer 30 seconds later. Her rebound and bucket then extended the margin to 66-61.

   "I've always been nervous to shoot because I haven't really made 3-pointers this season, but I kind of just felt it and went with my instincts and shot it," LaPointe told The Advance. "And my teammates said to keep giving me the ball, because I was hot."

    • Olean's perfect season ended with a 49-45 loss to six-time champion Collegiate in the boys Class B title game. The Dutchmen took the lead for good late in the first half and held the Huskies to 31 percent shooting.

   Mike Schmidt's 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter pulled the Huskies within 40-39, but Collegiate did just well enough from the free-throw line -- 5-for-10 -- down the stretch to maintain its advantage.

   Tournament MVP Everett Witt led Collegiate with 20 points. Davis Franks added 10 points.

    • East Harlem Pride beat Livonia 53-49 for the girls Class B championship to cap a 26-0 season.

   Center Daisha Davis scored 16 points on 8-for-16 shooting to lead a trio of East Harlem Pride players in double figures. Nyasha Howard also had 16 points and Tanei Rivero 15.

   Livonia senior Molly Stewart had a game-high 23 points.

   Saturday's finals: Rasheem Dunn scored 21 points and Shamorie Ponds added 16 as PSAL champ Thomas Jefferson survived a late Aquinas rally to win 72-65 and earn the school's first Federation boys Class AA title Saturday.

   Aquinas struggled throughout the first half and trailed 37-24 entering the final 16 minutes. Ponds committed two fouls 10 seconds apart and went to the bench, allowing the Little Irish to chip away. Earnest Edwards' steal and layup midway through the fourth quarter cut the deficit to 61-57 before Jefferson regrouped.

   "We had to keep our composure. Me being a senior and being the point guard and the captain of the team, I had to get my team together," Dunn, a St. Francis (N.Y.) commit, told MSG Varsity. "I know they was on a run and I felt like we had to keep composure."

   Dunn dribbled around the baseline and hit a floating basket with 3:08 left in regulation to push Jefferson up by seven points. Aquinas never pulled within less than four points the rest of the way.

   Junior forward Jalen Pickett scored a team-high 21 points for Aquinas.

    • Freshman Aubrey Griffin methodically lifted Ossining out of a 19-point first-quarter hole and carried Ossining past Long Island Lutheran 64-54 in Class AA for its first girls Federation championship.

   Griffin finished with 22 points in a game marked by foul trouble for both teams, including Shadeen Samuels of the Pride picking up her fourth with 2:37 left in the first half. But LuHi scored 26 points in the first quarter and then just 28 more for the remainder of the contest.


  • 2016 NYSPHSAA boys basketball brackets
  • 2016 NYSPHSAA girls basketball brackets
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  •    Ossining tied the game with :53 left in the third quarter. Samuels returned in the fourth to help the Pride take control by scoring 13 of her 17 points.

       "This means a lot, especially because it's the first time," Griffin said. "We won for the seniors and coach, but hopefully we can do it again."

        • In the boys Class A final, Albany Academy defeated Elmont 67-51 behind junior center Hameir Wright's 28 points and 12 rebounds.

       The Cadets limited Elmont to 34.6 percent shooting and held a 37-18 advantage in rebounding.

       Elmont twice grabbed leads early in the third quarter, but Wright responded by making consecutive 3-pointers for a 33-29 lead.

       "That was big. He can stretch defenses," Academy senior guard Nick Fruscio told The Times Union. "The college coaches know that he can do that and we know he can do that."

       A near-tragedy: The Indiana boys high school basketball team that narrowly avoided tragedy in a rollover bus accident Saturday afternoon en route to a playoff game will play that state semifinal contest Wednesday.

       Administrators from Griffith High, whose team bus was involved in accident that injured 21 students and six adults, and Marion agreed to move the Class 3A game, the Indianapolis Star reported.

       Griffith coach Gary Hayes said two of his top seven players were hurt badly enough that their status for Wednesday's game in Lafayette, Ind., is in doubt.

       The accident occurred when a driver spilled a drink on herself and sideswiped the bus. The bus turned over into a ditch on I-65 near DeMotte.

       This is the second year in a row that Griffith has been in an odd situation in March. Last year, the team had its season cut short by the IHSAA after an on-court fight against Hammond. A court overturned the penalty, however, and Griffith made a run all the way to the state finals.

       "After what happened last year and now this?" Hayes said. "Impossible."

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