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Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017: Maine-Endwell girls win fourth straight in OT

   Leading off today: Stop me if you've heard this one before: Maine-Endwell's girls basketball team won in overtime on Friday.

   Kyesha Talerico (23 points) went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line in overtime to cap the Spartans' 50-45 win over host Union-Endicott in a Southern Tier Athletic Conference game. It was M-E's fourth straight overtime game -- and they've all been victories.

   "I can't believe they've done that," U-E coach Mike Howell told The Press & Sun-Bulletin. "They have to be dog-tired."

   On Wednesday, M-E defeated Corning 52-44; the previous Wednesday, the Spartans downed Binghamton, 64-51; and the streak started with a 72-64 win over Vestal in double overtime.

   Union-Endicott forced overtime when Kayli Lessler hit a 3-pointer from the right corner that made the score 43-43 with 10 seconds left in regulation.

    • Our Lady of Mercy routed Aquinas 71-33 in a game Section 5 observers were anticipating to be much closer. Katie Titus (20 points) and Travia Breedlove (19) produced double-doubles for the Monarchs, ranked 11th in the state in Class AA. Kayla Jackson scored 13 points for Aquinas, rated fifth in Class B.

   SNY Invitational: The title game of one the state's best in-season boys basketball tournaments will pit Christ the King against St. Raymond.

   With senior guard Jose Alvarado in foul trouble most of the night, junior guard Tyson Walker came through with 17 points and seven assists as Christ the King defeated Mount Vernon 60-55 in the semifinals. Sophomore center Kofi Cockburn also impressed for the Royals.

   "I am happy in two ways," Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello told the New York Daily News. "I am happy that we won and I am happy that next year's team is coming back."

   The Royals return to City College of New York on Saturday to play St. Raymond, a 64-63 winner over Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony. Darius Lee scored 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting and snared nine rebounds to support Isaiah Washington (23 points) in the victory over one of the most heralded programs in Northeast scholastic basketball history.

   "I have never wanted to win a game so badly," Lee said. "I have never played in a game like this before in my life, so I just wanted to come out and get my name out there."

   Added Washington: "This was a huge win for our team. A lot of guys stepped up tonight in a really good team win against a really good opponent."

   St. Raymond, ranked 11th in the State in Class AA, was coming off an 86-75 loss to Archbishop Molloy.

   Christ the King is ranked sixth this week and Mount Vernon 14th. (Full rankings here.)

   More boys basketball: Senior Rob Welch scored nine of his 23 points during the fourth quarter as St. Francis, ranked 12th in Class A, edged No. 22 Bishop Timon-St. Jude 69-62.

   The Frannies had lost 14 straight to their Southtowns rival.

    • A much-anticipated Section 2 Class D game ended up being a blowout. Second-ranked Fort Ann dominated No. 20 Argyle 88-58 as Tyler Mattison (35 and 14) and Garrett Bailey combined for 58 points and 28 rebounds.

   Argyle's Kobe Lufkin was limited to 16 points, 20 below his average. His freshman brother Peyton led the Scots with 20 points, including going 6-for-7 on 3-pointers.

    • Shenendehowa, ranked 18th in Class AA, saw its Suburban Council winning streak snapped at 53 games as Isaiah Moll piled up 13 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks for Colonie in a 61-52 victory on the road.

    • Austin Grunder scored 45 points and grabbed 25 points as No. 8 Trumansburg downed No. 13 Groton 70-52 in a contest between state-ranked Class C squads.

   Meeting recap: Pitchers for baseball teams in New York's largest governing body for high school sports are now officially on a pitch count following Friday's vote by the Executive Committee of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

   Pitch counts will be in place for varsity, junior varsity, freshman and modified-level play beginning this spring.

   "It's a good thing for baseball players in New York state," Ed Dopp, the state baseball coordinator, told The Daily Gazette. "It's a great first step in helping and protecting baseball players."

   Said Section 1 baseball co-chairman Phil DiRuocco: "It went as well as it possibly could have considering we didn't find this out until July of 2016 and we had to implement it for the 2017 season. The leadership of Ed Dopp and his assistant Al Roy was very important. From there, the Committee had their input, and considering all of that, I think we did a pretty good job."

   With action on a proposed statewide classification oversight committee for non-public and charter schools tabled, the baseball vote was the big news of the day to come out of the NYSPHSAA meeting.

   A few other key developments out of Troy:

    • Union-Endicott won out over Cicero-North Syracuse to most the West football semifinals the next two seasons. As expected following the football committee's meeting in November, Middletown was awarded the East semifinals.

    • Indoor track received approval to allow sections to qualify a second school in boys and girls relay races beginning in 2018.

    • Competitive cheerleading received the OK to use video replay to review safety and point reductions during the annual NYSPHSAA championships.

   Plea deal: Former West Genesee and SU football player Naesean Howard pleaded guilty Friday morning to stabbing two former Syracuse teammates.

   Howard, 21, will be sentenced Feb. 17 to 10 years in state prison with five years of post-release supervision as part of a plea agreement, reported. He was charged with first- and second-degree assault as well as a fourth-degree weapons charge following an incident last April in which former SU defensive backs Chauncey Scissum and Corey Winfield were repeatedly stabbed at an outdoor party on the university's south campus.

   The incident occurred eight days after Howard was informed his ill-fated Syracuse football career was over.

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