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Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016: Cardozo coach's milestone on hold for now

   Leading off today: The result wasn't necessarily a surprise, but how it came about certainly was.

   John Bowne High took a 37-9 lead in the first half, extended its margin to 40 points in the third quarter and went on to a 99-79 rout of Cardozo, the state's 18th-ranked Class AA team, on Tuesday in PSAL boys basketball action.

   The significance -- aside from Bowne announcing itself as being worthy of consideration for a state ranking of its own down the road -- was that the outcome denied Cardozo coach Ron Naclerio, 59, an impressive career milestone. The loss denied (for the moment, anyway) Naclerio his 755th victory, which would give him the most wins of any public high school basketball coach in state history. Naclerio, who is in his 36th season as the head coach at Cardozo, is tied with East Hampton's Ed Petrie.

   Alejandro Vasquez scored 30 points and Christian Hinckson added 21 points for Bowne.

   "Today is something we can't change," Naclerio told the New York Daily News. "It's not about me. It's about my team. It's about tomorrow."

   Naclerio's next shot at the record will come Thursday at home vs. Springfield Gardens.

   More boys basketball: Matt Medeiros hit for 42 points and tied a school record with nine 3-pointers as Northstar Christian defeated Rochester Career Mentoring Charter School 113-91.

   Medeiros tied the school record for 3-pointers set by his brother Manny in 2010 in helping the Northstars, ranked fourth in the state in Class C, to a school-record 20 buckets from beyond the arc.

   Earlier this week: North Shore junior Gabby Zaffiro popped for 51 points Sunday before heading to the bench early in the fourth quarter of an 80-40 win over Summit Academy on Sunday to break her school single-game record of 41 and eclipse 1,500 points for her career.

   "It was a quiet 51," coach Keith Freund told Newsday. "She had 35 points in the first half, but I had no idea. There was so much ball movement and everyone was involved."

    • Union-Endicott bowler Tim Sladish rolled an 823 series Monday to come within two pins of a Southern Tier Athletic Conference record that has stood since the 2001-02 season. The junior had games of 278, 266 and 279.

   Remembering her roots: Breanna Stewart, who owns a spot on the Mount Rushmore of New York girls basketball for her stellar career at Cicero-North Syracuse and four great seasons at UConn, hasn't forgotten her roots.

   Stewart, 23, who is currently playing in China after completing her rookie season in the WNBA, has leveraged her endorsement deal with Nike to send a steady stream of gifts to current Northstars players through coach Eric Smith.

   The care packages have included uniforms, shoes and warmups.

   "It's Bre," Smith told "She still is Bre and never forgets her roots and is always trying to do things. And her biggest thing wasn't, what? It was, did the kids like it? That was her biggest concern and fears was that the kids wouldn't like it. That's just Bre."

   Smith said the generosity has spawned a discussion of how current players can pay it forward. C-NS player Morgan Siechen is part of a school group targeting a January game as a charity fundraiser.

   "We all can't give the way Bre can give but we can do little things that mean a lot to people," Smith said.

   On the subject of girls hoops: We posted the first New York State Sportswriters Association girls basketball rankings of the season on Tuesday. They can be found here.

   We're in a state of transition with the weekly process for compiling those ratings (the work is chiefly done by Ken Ricker and Shawn Dack) each week.

   While we're looking to hold on to as many regional advisers from recent seasons as possible, we're also aiming to broaden the scope of the input that helps develop the weekly reports. Doing so with the all-state nomination process the past two seasons has helped greatly in identifying deserving players.

   If you're a reporter, a sectional coordinator or otherwise closely connected to girls basketball, feel free to shoot me an email at each weekend by noon on Sunday to rank the top local teams in each class. I'll condense the info and pass it along to Ken and Shawn as they work on the next set of ratings.

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