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Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016: Hilton star Yianni Diakomihalis out after elbow surgery

   Leading off today: The news beforehand was huge and the twist afterward was unusual.

   And, oh yeah, the dual meet in between was pretty good.

   Competing without four-time NYSPHSAA champion Yianni Diakomihalis (more about that in a moment), Hilton won the final seven bouts (more about that in a moment) walked away with a 39-31 victory over Penfield in Monroe County wrestling Wednesday.

   Hilton is top-ranked in the state according to the NYSSWA and Penfield is ranked ninth.

   The Cadets got pins from Mike Spallina (195 pounds), Lou DePrez (220), Nate Whybra (285), Ryan Burgos (106) and Greg Diakomihalis (113).

   Penfield closed the margin to 36-34 with a win in the 120-pound match to end the meet ... or so folks thought. With many spectators having already left, the officials reviewed the final bout and reversed the decision, giving the Cadets' Ryan Hinman a 13-9 win over Kyle Spaulding to change the meet's final score to 39-31.

   Overshadowing it all was the Democrat and Chronicle's report before the meet that Yianni Diakomihalis, the two-time World Cadet champion who'll attend Cornell next fall, is expected to miss at least five weeks after being diagnosed last week with a broken elbow that required surgery. A plate and four pins were inserted into his right arm.

   Diakomihalis, who is on a 210-match winning streak to push his career mark to 243-3, said doctors told him that a small fracture near his triceps may have a developed up to a year ago.

   "My elbow would have some pain but when you're wrestling, you are sore and don't think much of it," Diakomihalis told the paper.

   Milestone: Vestal's Tony Policare, the winningest wrestling coach in Section 4 history, earned his 500th dual-meet victory when the Golden Bears routed Ithaca 80-6.

   Policare started his varsity coaching career in 1973 at Elmira Notre Dame, moved over to Orchard Park after two seasons and is in his 29th year at Vestal.

   Vestal is 15-3 this season after a 25-0 mark a year ago.

   Boys basketball: Archbishop Stepinac junior Alan Griffin scored 12 of his 20 points in the first quarter of a 69-57 upset of Christ the King, ranked fourth in New York Class AA. Senior Jorden Means chipped in with 18 points and nine rebounds.

   Christ the King played without second-leading scorer Tyson Walker and 6-foot-11 sophomore Kofi Cockburn, the Royals' No. 3 scorer.

   Girls basketball: In Syracuse-area action between ranked Class B teams, No. 3 Bishop Ludden used a 16-7 fourth quarter run to defeat No. 21 Westhill 55-41. Danielle Rauch led the way with 20 points.

   It was just the second Ludden victory vs. Westhill in the schools' last 11 meetings.

   Norwich grad dies in crash: SUNY Geneseo freshman basketball player Savannah Williams died Tuesday from injuries sustained when her car collided with a tractor-trailer at the intersection of Route 63 and Court Street in Geneseo.

   "A preliminary investigation indicates (Williams) pulled off Court Street into the path of the tractor trailer," said Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty.

   Williams, 18, played high-school ball at Norwich.

   Awards deadline reminder: The deadline for nominations for Mr. Basketball and Miss Basketball, arguably the most prestigious award presented in any sport by a New York organization, is coming up Jan. 20.

   Varsity coaches as well as sports reporters in New York State can nominate seniors who meet the criteria (including good academic standing and character) that can be found on the Basketball Coaches Association of New York website along with the nomination form.

   BCANY members will select finalists in a vote ending Feb. 15, and the selection committee will pick winners by March 3.

   The 2016 award recipients were Kevin Huerter of Shenendehowa and Dominique Toussaint of Christ the King.

   Uh-oh: Building repairs at the Glens Falls Civic Center forced the Adirondack Thunder to cancel their ECHL home game Tuesday.

   While removing snow atop the arena early this week, workers noted deterioration of the low protective wall along the edge of the roof on the north side of the building, the team said. An engineer judged the actual arena structure to be sound, but the lobby will have to remain closed until temporary repairs are completed. A permanent repair is planned for the spring.

   A portion of a Civic Center exterior wall collapsed in 2015, forcing Section 2 to move several basketball playoff games. Although the New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys basketball final fours are moving to Binghamton this season, the federation tournament is stated for Glens Falls in March.

   Following up: We mentioned earlier this week that Kobe Lufkin of Argyle joined the list of 2,000-point career scorers in boys basketball -- but we (okay, I) missed the obvious.

   Joey Lufkin, who was the 2013 NYSSWA Class D player of the year, scored 2,146 points in his scholastic career, so we now have our first set of brothers in the 2,000 club.

   Jim and Adam Stockwell are the only father and son combination on the list.

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