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Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017: Pelham wins battle of top-ranked hockey teams

   Leading off today: Michael MacInnis redirected a shot from the point with 2:14 remaining and Ben Hurd scored into an empty net in the closing seconds to lift Pelham to a 4-2 win over Mamaroneck in a clash of the state's top-ranked boys hockey teams Monday.

   "I wasn't focused on the sound, but I'm sure it was loud when that puck went in," MacInnis said. "I'm probably going to remember this game for the rest of my life. It was huge."

   MacInnis was skating with the team's top line because Stefan Miklakos suffered a wrist injury early in the first period and was unable to return. "I crashed hard and I just happened to get my stick on it," he said of the go-ahead goal.

   Mamaroneck is ranked No. 1 in Division I and Pelham is top-rated in Division II according to the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   Mamaroneck, saddled with penalties in a scoreless first period, had fought back from two goals down to tie the game in the second period.

   "Mamaroneck has always been an amazing program and the fact that my seniors are going to graduate without ever losing to them is a pretty neat thing for them," Pelham coach Ed Witz told The Journal News.

   Girls hockey: Five-time defending Section 6 champion Kenmore/Grand Island upset top-seeded Williamsville 4-2 to advance to the sectional final on Wednesday against Frontier/Lancaster/Orchard Park.

   Senior Olivia Smith paced the winners with three goals and an assist. Seventh-grader Ellie Simmons stopped 40 of 42 shots, including everything in the third period when Kenmore/Grand Island was outshot 23-1.

   Williamsville had gone through the WNY Federation regular season with a 15-0-3 record. Kenmore/Grand Island was 8-10-0 and lost all three contests with Williamsville.

   "It was a huge win for us," coach Jeff Orlowski told The Buffalo News. "Nobody expected that one."

   Girls basketball: Korina Guerra scored 30 points for No. 10 Ursuline in a 78-74 victory over No. 13 Albertus Magnus in overtime as two Section 1 Class AA powers went head-to-head. Sonia Citron added 14 points and seven rebounds.

   Tess Lorenz paced Albertus Magnus with 21 points. All-state junior guard Dani LaRochelle (ankle)did not play for the Falcons.

    • Pittsford Mendon rallied from seven points down at the start of the fourth quarter to defeat Honeoye Falls-Lima 50-45 in Section 5 Class A regular-season action.

   Mendon is ranked second and HF-L 20th in the NYSSWA state rankings.

   Mackenzie Winn made five 3-pointers and scored 18 points for the Vikings to help offset 21 by HF-L's Taryn Wilson. Winn scored nine in the decisive fourth quarter.

   Boys basketball: Junior Mika Adams-Woods' driving layup with :02.8 seconds left gave Bishop Ludden a 55-53 victory on the road against Aquinas.

   Ludden is ranked ninth in the state in Class AA. The Gaelic Knights' only loss of the season came to Aquinas in December.

   Ludden rallied from a 17-4 first-period deficit with the help of Adams-Wood, who finished with 14 points. Ed Walser added 13.

   Leading scorer off team: Point guard and leading scorer Luke Hicks is no longer a member of the Shenendehowa boys basketball team, AD Chris Culnan confirmed to Section 2 media.

   Hicks, who helped the Plainsmen to a NYSPHSAA Class AA championship as a sophomore and into the semifinals last season, was not present for Friday's win over Troy, after which time was first to report the departure appeared to be permanent.

The school cited a violation of team rules at the time, but Culnan said Hicks was not kicked off the squad.

   The 6-foot-4 guard was averaging 20.6 points a game for the state's 22nd-ranked Class AA team. He was honorable mention all-state as a junior.

   "Luke has been a tremendous player for us," Culnan said in a statement. "We under- stand that there are some challenges he is dealing with right now. We don't see a situation where Luke will be returning to the team for the remainder of the season."

   Said coach Tony Dzikas: "I hope everything works out for him. I thought it was really big of him to come in and talk with us. He decided he didn't want to go on."

   Big leap: I missed it when it happened Jan. 28, but now it's time to give Daniel Claxton his props. The Smithtown East standout became the first U.S. high school high jumper this season to clear 7 feet.

   The defending state indoor champ reached the magic number at the Ocean Breeze Invitational on Staten Island. He's the first New York competitor to reach such rarefied air since James Blocker of August Martin in the PSAL in 2005.

   "When I got on the mat and realized that I had just done it, I screamed really loud. I was insanely happy," Claxton told Newsday. "A bunch of people were screaming they were happy for me. I got a lot of hugs and high-fives. It was definitely a magical moment."

   Claxton continued his impressive season by clearing 6-9 to win the Section 11 large-school championship last weekend.

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