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Wednesday, June 29, 2016: Player of the year Millea changes college plans

   Leading off today: Liz Millea, Cooperstown's two-time New York State Sportswriters Association Class C Player of the Year in girls basketball, has switched her college plans in the aftermath of a coaching change.

   Millea told The Cooperstown Crier that she will be playing basketball at LeMoyne College rather than Adelphi. LeMoyne is a Division II program in the Northeast 10 Conference along with Adelphi.

   Millea, who averaged 22.5 points a game as a senior, signed with Adelphi in November, but coach Heather Jacobs left after the season to take the head job at Wagner. Following the change, Millea asked for a release from her letter of intent.

   On May 20, Adelphi introduced Missy Traversi as its new head coach. She spent the previous two seasons as the coach at Division III Wheelock College in Boston. She had one season of Division I experience as an assistant at Harvard.

   "The old coach, I really liked her. I really liked her program," Millea told the paper. "The new coach, I just got a different feel for it, I guess. I just didn't think it would be the same situation for me."

   Morano retires: Tottenville girls basketball and softball coach Cathy Morano is calling it a career, The Advance reported Wednesday. Her departure from coaching coincides with her retirement as a physical education teacher.

   Morano was the basketball coach the last 28 years (376-259 overall record, 20 winning seasons) and coached softball for 14 seasons. Her softball teams were a stellar 283-14 in PSAL competition -- there was a 117-game regular-season winning streak -- with a record 10 city championships, including this spring.

   "It's the right time for me after being a teacher for 33 years overall," she told the paper. "I'm young enough where I can do something else if I want to or take time to enjoy myself and relax."

   Somers fills vacancy: Somers' school board gave approval to Marc Hattem as the new girls basketball coach on Monday. Hattem spent the past two seasons as the coach at Ardsley.

   Hattem replaces Kristi Dini, who was let go in April in a controversial move after leading the Tuskers to their best season in program history (19-3).

   "It's education and athletics, and at the end of the day it's about the students' success," Hattem told The Journal News. "Whatever is in the past is in the past. Moving forward, it's my job as a coach and as an educator is to make sure these student-athletes have the best possible experience."

   At Ardsley, Hattem was promoted from JV coach three games into the 2014-15 season and guided the team to 18 straight wins and a trip to the Section 1 finals.

   Recently appointed Ardsley AD Mike Ramponi, who coached the Nyack girls before leaving, told the paper he will not pursue Hattem's former post.

   Arlington almost set in football: Longtime assistant Michael Morano has been recommended for Arlington's vacant head coaching position in football. He's expected to be approved at a school board meeting by early next month.

   Morano worked as an assistant coach at Arlington for


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  • 15 years, the last nine under Dominick DeMatteo, who accepted a job at Nyack earlier this month.

       Change of plans: Rush-Henrietta junior Sammy Watson, fresh off making a qualifying time last weekend, has changed her mind and will run in the women's 800 meters this week during the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.

       There was already a plan for Watson to attend a Nike camp in Eugene during the trials.

       "It worked out where she was able to stay on the West Coast," Rush-Henrietta coach Mike DeMay told the Democrat and Chronicle. "The discussion was that the pressure is off. Not too many 16-year-olds have made it to the trials for track and field. Why not take the opportunity?"

       Interesting reading: Writing for Sports Illustrated this week, Pete Thamel dug down deep to help explain how top college basketball prospects have come to ditch the traditional scholastic experience to join "superteams" that have evolved in the era after the NCAA more or less shut down many dubious "diploma mills."

       Some of these new "schools" bring with them the old problems of accreditation, but the "superteams" are undeniably popular. According to Thamel, three of the top 15 players in the Class of 2017 are attending high schools that did not exist five years ago.

       Writes Thamel:

       "[N]ot every pop-up school is a diploma mill -- some offer legitimate educational programs, including online classes -- and the larger phenomenon is complicated. It's a product of years of changes in the basketball landscape: the increased influence of sneaker money, a paradigm shift of high school basketball programs resembling AAU teams and a transfer culture at every level of basketball."

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