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Friday, Oct. 13, 2016: McQuaid basketball star Stewart injured at U16 tryouts

   Leading off today: McQuaid star Isaiah Stewart, one of the country's most coveted basketball players in the Class of 2019, could miss his entire sophomore season while recovering from a back injury suffered last weekend.

   Stewart, selected to the seventh team of the state Class AA all-state team as a freshman, broke his tailbone during tryouts for the U.S. Under-16 team in Colorado Springs, Colo., and is scheduled surgery today, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.

   The 6-foot-8 forward fell awkwardly on a dunk attempt and landed on his back.

   "I heard a pop sound," Stewart said. "I just went for up a layup."

   Stewart said he's been told he's facing a three-month recuperation period, which would keep him off the court until at least mid-January.

   Stewart already holds a slew of scholarship offers from the likes of Florida, Syracuse, Tennessee and Wake Forest after averaging 18.5 points and 12.4 rebounds a game last winter.

   Whitman gearing up: Newsday notes that the Walt Whitman boys soccer team, the defending NYSPHSAA Class AA champion, has used 14 different starting lineups through 14 games. It's been a combination of injuries and coach John DiGiacomo's search for the right chemistry.

   The Wildcats might have the right mix as the playoffs approach. They defeated second-ranked and previously unbeaten Half Hollow Hills East 3-0 on Thursday.

   Anthony Palazzolo made his first start since an MCL injury in the opener and Kevin Herrera started for the first time since midway through last year, when he tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee. Each scored in the first half, and Herrera assisted on Kelvin Uceda Alfaro's goal in the 77th minute.

   "It's a big boost having these guys back," DiGiacomo said. "They helped us a lot."

   More boys soccer: Lyme, ranked 18th in the state in Class D, recorded quite the rally Thursday. Junior Slater Bushen, the leading scorer in Section 3, scored twice within four minutes in the first half after his team had fallen three goals down to Sackets Harbor, then connected with five minutes to play for a 4-3 win.

   Lyme's Trevor Weston had the equalizer eight minutes prior to Bushen's final goal.

   All three of Bushen's goals, which gave him 34 for the season, came off of corner kick-assists by Austin Sanford.

   Following up: Last weekend's football game between St. Joseph's and Bishop Timon-St. Jude, suspended midway through the second quarter due to a fight on the field, has been ruled a double forfeit by the Monsignor Martin Association.

   The MMA also announced players from both teams were being disciplined but did not divulge specifics, The Buffalo News reported. It did not reveal whether any coaches were disciplined.

   This weekend: As is tradition, Week 7 of the football season (i.e., the last block of regular-season contests for most of the state) is light on confrontations between ranked teams.

   The most interesting exception of the week is a Section 5 non-leaguer between undefeated schools more than 90 minutes apart as Batavia, ranked seventh in Class B, plays Clyde-Savannah, the second-ranked squad in Class D.

   Challenging week for coach: Nottingham boys soccer coach Andy Hazeltine missed Tuesday's game with Cicero-North Syracuse and has been out of work all week long to spend time at Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, where his 6-year-old son, Ocasio, has been since suffering a seizure last Saturday.

   But says the 31st-year coach was back football site

Thursday for senior night and the team's final regular-season match against Henninger. What he found this week was plenty of love and support for Ocasio, who was previously diagnosed with cancer.

   On Tuesday, C-NS players and coaches wore shirts with grey ribbons and brought along a sign that read "In the fight with Casi," the website reported. On Thursday, Henninger players and coach Scott Fiello wore shirts with "Love for Ocasio" printed on the backs. The shirts were the idea of Dale Johnson, a close friend of both coaches who works with many of the players on the two squads.

   Henninger defeated Nottingham 1-0 to avenge a 2-1 overtime loss earlier this season.

   "At the end of the day, this is just a game," Hazeltine said before the match. "My son's illness has given me a much different perspective. When this game is over - win, lose or draw - I'm still going back up to the hospital and spend the night with my son."

   Food for thought: I try not to spend much time thinking about ties. I seldom wear the types of ties that can complement a dress shirt and suit coat. And it might be even more rare for me to write about the sort of tie relating to athletic contests ending with the score all square.

   Nevertheless, Mike Dougherty at The Journal News recently took in a girls soccer game that ended in a tie and had some interesting and valid observations. You can read his column here.

   Coming up: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has an Executive Committee meeting scheduled for next week. At some point this weekend I'll summarize the key items on the agenda that are scheduled for votes.

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