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Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017: Cheektowaga, Leman seniors reach 2,000 career points

   Leading off today: You know all those great mid-week notes I didn't have time or space for in Friday's blog? Well this morning ain't looking so good either, and here's why:

   2K times two: The list of New York players with 2,000 career points grew by two on Friday thanks to performances 350 or so miles apart.

   Dominick Welch stands at 2,010 for his career after scoring 29 points during Cheektowaga's 69-43 win over Lake Shore. Welch also finished with 14 rebounds and four steals.

   Meanwhile, senior guard Deondre Bourne of Leman Manhattan Prep in the AIS had 38 points and 14 rebounds en route to the 2K milestone while helping beat Arizona's Rancho Solano Prep 78-70 in double overtime.

   The full list of previous 2,000-point scorers in boys basketball can be found here.

   CHSAA nail-biter: Even the seemingly mundane CHSAA contests this season have been producing thrillers. The latest Friday when a not-much-better-than-.500 St. Raymond's rallied to an 85-84 win over visiting Bishop Loughlin, the state's sixth-ranked Class AA squad.

   Isaiah Washington and Omar Silverio each scored 29 points before a sold-out crowd that included NBA star Carmelo Anthony and New York Knicks teammate Brandon Jennings. Junior guard Markquis Nowell scored 33 for Loughlin.

   Silverio connected on seven 3-pointers in the game. Washington posted 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter for the Ravens, who overcame a 13-point first-half deficit.

   The game started more than an hour late due to a delay in the freshman game lid-lifter and was stopped for more than half an hour while St. Ray's guard Dallas Watson was attended to after hitting the floor hard during a second-quarter drive. He was taken by stretcher to a local hospital, where he was examined for a possible broken wrist.

   Players and coaches from both teams gathered at center court for a prayer after Watson was assisted from the court.

   "The win was for Dallas to be honest. He always pushes us in practice," Silverio told News 12 Varsity. "He tries to keep everybody up so today we came into the locker room and saying that we needed to do it for him and that's what we did in the third quarter."

   St. Ray's, heating up with five straight wins after a 3-5 start, edged Loughlin 74-72 in a tournament game last month in Florida.

   "We've been battle tested," Ravens coach Jorge Lopez said.

    • In other CHSAA action, No. 23 Archbishop Stepinac edged No. 16 Iona Prep 58-52 in the completion of the game suspended last week by a leaky gymnasium roof.

   More boys basketball: Tom Blackford's 500th coaching win will have to wait. Jeff Marsh scored six of this 14 points in overtime as Canastota edged Hamilton in overtime 61-58.

    • South Bronx Prep, which plays in the PSAL's 'B' division, has reached 100 points in a game eight times this season and five times in a row (110, 129, 121, 123, 120) heading into what should be a tough rematch Tuesday with Jane Addams Campus.

-    Senior Tilquan Rusker is averaging nearly a triple-double at 38.7 points, 10.2 rebounds and 9.7 assists.

   Speaking of scoring: UConn recruit Andra Espinoza-Hunter has gone off for 51, 52 and 53 points in her last three outings. The 53 came Friday as Ossining downed North Rockland 83-63.

   Hunter has gone for 40 or better eight times this season and is averaging 43.5 a game.

   Indoor track: Rush-Henrietta senior Sammy Watson broke the state record in the somewhat obscure (for New York, anyway) girls 500 meters on the opening day of the Virginia Showcase at Liberty University.

   Watson finished in 1:11.75 to break the mark of 2016 Olympian Natasha Hastings, who clocked 1:12 flat for A.P. Randolph in 2004. The legendary Diane Dixon held the state mark for 22 years before Hastings broke it.

   Watson will be back on the track Saturday afternoon for the 1,000 meters against Virginia scholastic distance stars Kate Murphy and Rachel McArthur.

   Barring a tactical start to the race, the winner could come in under the national record of 2:43.40 by Sarah Bowman in 2005. Murphy, who ran a blistering 9:14.12 for 3,000 meters lst weekend, and Watson took turns setting the U.S. junior-class record in the 1,000 last season.

   Boys hockey surprise: Defenseman Hugh White's second-period goal stood up as the game-winner to give No. 8 Syracuse a 3-2 victory over No. 2 West Genesee in a game between Section 3's state-ranked Division I teams.

   Jake Polacek made 30 saves in the win for Syracuse.

   It was West Genesee's first home loss to a Section 3 team since Feb. 4, 2015.

   Injury note: Warwick senior Ryan Ferro, the state Division I champion at 152 pounds last year and probably the favorite at 160 this season, is not competing at the Eastern States Classic this weekend because of an unspecified injury.

   Warwick coach Phil Szumlaski said Ferro was injured at the Shoreline tournament last weekend while improving to 19-0 but he is expected back on the mat against Valley Central on Wednesday.

   Fight fallout: The Kenmore East vs. Lockport boys basketball game did not get played last night, possibly related to an incident Tuesday.

   The Niagara Gazette reported a fight involving at least 50 people broke out after the game between Lockport and Niagara Falls. A second incident nearby included a report of gunshots, the paper reported, though Lockport Police Det. Capt. Brian Wentland said there were no reported injuries.

   Wentland said the fight broke out toward the end of the game in the Lockport High gym lobby and then spilled into the parking lot. A police officer deployed pepper spray to break up the altercation. Niagara County Sheriff's deputies and New York State Police also responded to the scene.

   Buffalo's seeks consistency: It's both hard to fathom and easy to believe (just look at the ongoing circus masquerading as a school board) that a uniform policy does not officially exist, but the Buffalo school district is talking about "retooling" academic standards to make sure the athletes are hitting the books, The Buffalo News reported.

   Board members told the paper there are standards -- but they are not codified in policy and aren't consistently enforced. Besides raising the issue of whether underperforming students should be competing for high school teams, lax policies could be contributing to students not qualifying to play in college even if they could qualify for athletic aid.

   The district also wants to upgrade athletic facilities to put them on par with suburban schools. Board members cite inferior playing fields and deficient locker rooms and equipment.

   "It's really the ultimate equity issue to me," said board member Larry Quinn. "This is about making it equal to someone who lives in the suburbs, or goes to a private school."

   District officials project a cost of about $7 million for possible upgrades.

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  • 1/17: Pushback intensifies against Sec. 6
  • 1/15: All-state football team (large schools)
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  • 1/8: All-state football team (small schools)
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