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Monday, Jan. 30, 2017: LuHi dominates Loughlin in boys basketball showdown

   Leading off today: Donatas Kupsas scored 15 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to lead Long Island Lutheran to a 79-53 rout of Bishop Loughlin on Sunday in a matchup involving two of the state's top three Class AA boys basketball teams.

   Loughlin was ranked second and LuHi third in last week's New York State Sportswriters Association ratings.

   Brandon Jacobs contributed 13 points and 13 assists to the victory, and Essam Mostafa finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

   Another good win for TMLA: With both teams coming off tough games a day earlier, The Mary Louis Academy edged Western New York power Cardinal O'Hara 53-47 in what could be a preview of girls CHSAA state playoff action down the road.

   Cardinal O'Hara was ranked third and TMLA seventh in the most recent NYSSWA Class AA rankings. Mary Louis Academy has also defeated No. 2 Christ the King, No. 4 Ossining and No. 15 Baldwin in the past two weeks.

   Senior Danielle Patterson scored 17 points in the win and junior Jordan Nixon chipped in with 16. O'Hara senior Cori Dickson finished with 20 points, including a pair of 3-pointers that helped the Hawks to a 16-13 lead after the first quarter.

   Boys hockey: We get questions from time to time as to why the New York State Sportswriters Association does not include Long Island or downstate CHSAA teams in its weekly rankings. The obstacle -- as is the case with a couple of private schools in the world of Long Island basketball -- has been that those schools rarely play against NYSPHSAA or Western New York private schools, giving us almost no ability to measure comparative strength.

   We did get a rare intriguing matchup Sunday, with Pelham (top ranked in Division II by the NYSSWA) registering a 7-4 win over St. Anthony's, arguably the best of the downstate squads this season.

   Shorthanded goals by Gib Smith and Ben Hurd staked Pelham to a 2-0 lead in the first period    "It had to be very deflating for them, being so hyped to get a power play," Smith told The Journal News. "We love to do that, get the puck and use our speed. It's such a big momentum changer."

   St. Anthony's cut the lead in half early in the second period, but Hurd scored again in part of a seven-minute assault that increased the lead to 6-1.

   "We were really more interested in playing the game than getting a win or a loss," Pelham coach Ed Witz said after his team's 14th straight win. "They were a very good team, very fast, very skilled. We probably played the two best periods we've played all year."

   League will investigate: The Monsignor Martin Athletic Association is investigating what happened at St. Francis following Friday night's boys basketball game vs. Bishop Timon-St. Jude, interim Executive Director Pete Schneider told The Buffalo News.

   According to a report, a St. Francis fan appeared to taunt Timon players as they were walking off the court. No punches were thrown.

   Timon AD Charlie Comerford, who was at the game, said he believes the league is just trying to do its due diligence. "We've watched three or four videos and all of them show nothing happened." Comerford told the paper via text. "Both schools acted quickly and made sure nothing happened."

   Sobering story: Former college standout and NBA player Chris Herren will speak at Arlington High on Feb. 16, sharing his story of drug abuse and recovery to educate teens on the dangers of drug addiction.

   Herren, 41, who says he has been sober for eight years, played for the Denver Nuggets and the Boston Celtics in a career that started as a scholastic star and 1994 McDonald's All-American in Fall River, Mass.

   He was expelled from Boston College after failing multiple drug tests as a freshman and entered drug rehab while completing his college career at Fresno State for coach Jerry Tarkanian. He played 70 NBA games over two seasons and then several more years in Europe, China and U.S. minor leagues.

   The Arlington district will host a resource fair after Herren's presentation. The state health department reported in May that Dutchess County had New York's highest per-capita rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in counties with 20 or more fatalities from 2009-2013, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.

   Extra points: Section 3 will play its boys hockey championship games Feb. 25 at the War Memorial in Syracuse for the first time since 2009.

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