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Wednesday, May 11, 2016: All-state player may sue over expulsion

   Leading off today: The families of two basketball players say they will sue the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo over the teens' expulsions from Lancaster St. Mary's last month.

   The school expelled senior Takal Molson and Cameron Dunning "under suspicious circumstances," according to a statement issues by the families, The Buffalo News reported. The families said the action was potentially damaging to the students' potential college options.

   Molson was selected first-team all-state in Class B this season by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   "We were never told by leadership, faculty or any staff at St. Marys as to why the boys were initially suspended and ultimately expelled," said Felicia Baker, Molson's mother. "No one communicated with us in any way, and we were never allowed to participate in any meetings on the matter despite our constant inquiries to the school."

   The diocese denied the families were not kept informed.

   "St. Mary's High School imposes discipline after a full and fair investigation with notification to students and family members," the diocesan said in its statement, adding it is prohibited by law from discussing the students' cases specifically.

   "If the students and their families are willing to provide the written consent required by federal law, we would be glad to discuss the matter in full, while continuing to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of any others involved in this matter," the statement said. "Otherwise, the facts surrounding this matter will be aired in a court of law."

   St. Mary's suspended them before the last two games of the playoffs leading to state championship tournaments, the family statement said.

   Section 3 lacrosse: Cazenovia scored twice in 26 seconds late in the game and goalkeeper Brenden Whalen made two key stops in the final minutes as the Lakers held off Baldwinsville 10-8, in a non-league boys game Tuesday.

   Baldwinsville is ranked 16th in Class A and Cazenovia fourth in Class C this week by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   Cazenovia responded to a three-goals-in-three-minutes flurry by the Bees with goals from Cole Willard and Thomas Bragg with under 4 minutes left. Whalen (eight saves) then came up with two of his biggest stops down the stretch.

   In other action, Class A No. 25 Fayetteville-Manlius rallied from five goals down at the half and defeated West Genesee 10-9 in overtime. Attacker Tyler Papa's fifth goal of the night was the winner.

   It was the second straight win in overtime for F-M. The Hornets downed Jamesville-DeWitt 12-11 Saturday.

   With the setback, West Genesee has lost seven games in a season for the first time in the 41-year tenure of Mike Messere, the winningest high school lacrosse coach in U.S. history.

   After doing additional research Monday, NYSSWA editor Neil Kerr has confirmed that this week was the first time ever that 15-time NYSPHSAA tournament champion West Genesee did not hold down a spot in the weekly lacrosse rankings, which started in 1977. You can browse the Wildcats' year-by-year record (which includes 956 wins) and final state rankings in our reference folder.

   Track and field: Carthage distance runner Sam Affolder set state and national records for a freshman while finishing second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Monday,

   Affolder ran in 9:38.0 at the Westhill Last Chance Warrior Steeple Challenge to place second to his brother Noah, whose 9:16.5 was the fastest time in the nation so far this season.

   Aidan Tooker of Saratoga set the previous state freshman record of 9:44.37 in 2013.

   Elsa Cole of Fillmore was the winner of the girls 2,000-meter steeplechase in 7:05.9.

   Coach approved: Mike Setzer has been approved by the school board as the new boys basketball coach at Greece Athena. Setzer, 39, coached the Trojans' JVs the past 12 years and replaces the retired Jim Johnson, who had a 428-221 record.

   "I'm taking over for a legend," Setzer told the Democrat and Chronicle. "Jimmy is the best around. There are a lot of great coaches in the area. The things that Jimmy has done, it's a tough act to follow. What I can say is that I'm very welcoming of the challenge."

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