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Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016: F-M boys edge Bishop Grimes in two OTs

   Leading off today: We're serving up just a very brief blog today so that I can focus my energy on a couple of projects and make the humble home suitable for visitors tonight.

   Double-OT thriller: Ryan Salzberg scored all 12 of his points across after the end of regulation on Tuesday to help Fayetteville-Manlius defeat Bishop Grimes 65-64 in a double-overtime boys basketball game as part of the More Than A Game Tournament.

   Bishop Grimes is ranked 20th in the state in Class A this week by the New York State Sports Writers Association.

   With the Hornets trailing 55-52, Salzberg connected on a 3-pointer as time expired in the first overtime. The junior made a pair of free throws in the waning seconds of the second OT to seal the win.

   "He had been struggling, but I told him, 'Keep going, keep going,'" F-M coach Jason Dudzinski told "We live and die with Ryan, because he's a competitor."

   F-M advances to the championship game in its bracket Wednesday vs. Shaker, which was a 71-68 winner over Rochester's Bishop Kearney despite 29 points from University of Dayton recruit Nahziah Carter.

   Coaching great dies: Robert Ivory, who coached St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute runners to national prominence in the 1960s and '70s, died Saturday at the age of 86, The Buffalo News reported.

   The Canisius College graduate began coaching at St. Joe's in the mid-1960s and quickly built a distance-running powerhouse. From 1969-75, his runners won five regular-season titles in cross country and six consecutive All-Catholic championships. His 1971-72 team won the prestigious Eastern States Championship in the fall and pulled off a Penn Relays double in the DMR and two-mile relays in the spring, narrowly missing national records in each.

   After he left St. Joe's in 1975, he coached former Villanova star Dick Buerkle of Rochester to a world indoor mile record in 1978 and served as track and cross country coach at Canisius College.

   He was also a member of the inaugural class of the Niagara Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1998.

   "Bob Ivory was a legend as a coach and a person," said Canisius College President John Hurley, who was one of his runners at St. Joe's. "He was demanding and taught us how

to set goals and accomplish them. So many of Bob's athletes look back on their experiences and trace their success in life to things that Bob taught."

   Interesting, but ... : A report from a big-name institution has gained some limited media attention this month, but it's probably nothing to get too worked up about if for no other reason than its relatively tiny sample size.

   The study from the Mayo Clinic, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that football players from 1956 to 1970 did not have an increased risk of degenerative brain diseases compared with athletes in other varsity sports.

   The researchers reviewed all the yearbooks and rosters for Mayo High School and Rochester High School (now named John Marshall) in Rochester, Minn. Football players were compared with athletes who did not play football, including swimmers, basketball players and wrestlers. Using the medical records linkage system of the Rochester Epidemiology Project, each student was observed for about 40 years after high school.

   Among the 296 football players, the researchers found two cases of dementia, five cases of mild cognitive impairment, three instances of parkinsonism and 34 cases of head trauma. Among the 190 men studied who did not play football, the researches found One case of dementia, four of mild cognitive impairment, three of parkinsonism and 14 of head trauma.

   This research mirrors a previous Mayo Clinic study of high school athletes who played between 1946-56.

   "This study should not be interpreted as evidence that football-related head trauma is benign," the researchers wrote. "The literature on chronic traumatic encephalopathy in college and professional football players seems irrefutable, with reports of devastating outcomes. However, there may be a gradient of risk, with low potential in high school football players."

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