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Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016: Indian River girls forfeit three basketball wins

   Leading off today: It boggles the mind that stuff like this still happens, but it does.

   The Indian River girls basketball team self-reported to Section 3 and forfeited three wins from a 4-0 start after discovering it was using an ineligible transfer student, reported Tuesday.

   Coach Jim Whitley told the website that a reserve player who does not reside in the school district "tuitioned in" to Indian River this year. Since the unidentified player competed for another district last year, she should have been sitting out the 2016-17 season under New York State Public High School Athletic Association rules.

   The games affected were double-digit wins over Lowville, Canton and Watertown IHC.

   Whitley said he explained the situation to his players.

   "I have informed the team that the player had no idea of the rule and is by no means responsible for this situation," he said. "I reminded them that, in life, kids sometimes have to pay the consequences for adults mistakes. And this was a mistake that could happen to anyone, especially when dealing with hundreds of transfers."

   The Warriors got back on the right track Tuesday by beating Carthage 44-39. Junior point guard Paige Leonard piled up 20 points, 16 rebounds and eight steals.

   Opinion: I completely understand that Indian River's proximity to Fort Drum means the school routinely enrolls and loses children of servicemen in numbers that most school districts can't comprehend. But that's all the more reason that there has to be greater accountability within the district to make sure that all its proverbial ducks are kept in a row -- and that's for reasons that go beyond athletics.

   I'd be sympathetic if this situation involved a fifth-year senior, since there are cases in which kids literally transfer every year -- often in mid-semester -- due to their parents' new military assignments and one or more grades end up having to be repeated.

   But this should have been so easy to flag as a potential problem if for no other reason than the fact the girl resided outside the district and required additional paperwork just to register as a student.

   Boys basketball: I'm finally starting to get my bearings on winter sports, and this result jumped out at me:

   Down 46-42 in the final minute, Maryvale rallied to force overtime and went on to a 59-54 victory over defending NYSPHSAA Class B champion Olean.

   A 3-pointer by Mark Bailey started the Maryvale rally. Olean's Mike Schmidt (19 points) made a free throw but a basket by Ted York-Brown of the Flyers tied the game. In overtime, Olean jumped to a five-point lead but Bailey hit another three to tie it and Brown drove the lane to give the Flyers the lead. Another three by Brian Sullivan made it 55-51. A layup by York-Brown and two free throws by Ray Blackwell (26 points) closed it out.

   "We beat a very good team," Maryvale coach Mark Kensy told The Buffalo News. "As I told our team we have a pretty good squad, top to bottom. We're not big but we're feisty."

    • Terrance McBride went off for half a hundred in Bayard Rustin's 101-70 win over Norman Thomas in PSAL action. Besides the 50 points, McBride chipped in with seven rebounds.

   Game postponed: Edison Tech's scheduled game at Early College International in the Rochester City Athletic Conference was called off amid concerns of possible violence.


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  •    Carlos Cotto, athletic director for the Rochester City School District, said calls from "the community as a whole" regarding social media chatter indicated the safety of players and spectators could become an issue.

       "Without sufficient time to investigate, we decided to postpone the game," Cotto told the Democrat and Chronicle. "Safety is our most important thing."

       Departures: Kevin Devaney Jr. of News 12 Varsity tweeted out a couple of Section 1 football coaches' resignations. Rob Cappelli, whose 17-year tenure was the longest in school history, stepped down at Lakeland, and John Consorti of Briarcliff also retired. Consorti's 2002 team played in the 2002 NYSPHSAA finals in Syracuse.

       St. A's honor: Recent New York City Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Gus Alfieri received another accolade Monday when the court at St. Anthony's was dedicated in honor of the Friars' former coach.

       Alfieri produced a 328-106 coaching record while guiding St. Anthony's to two New York State CHSAA championships. Alfieri was also inducted into the school's hall of fame in June.

       Alfieri played at St. John's from 1956-59 under Joe Lapchick and went on to write a biography of the legendary coach.

       Coming Thursday: We'll post the all-state teams from the just-concluded girls soccer and girls cross country seasons.

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