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Congratulations Section 4 soccer

John Moriello's NYSSWA blog
Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009: Cuffe fourth at Foot Locker Nationals
   Leading off today: Cornwall's Aisling Cuffe placed fourth in the girls race yesterday at the Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals in San Diego.

   Cuffe, who was 12th a year ago, finished in 17:21.4. Senior Megan Goethals of Rochester (Mich.) High outleaned Chelsey Sveinsson of Dallas (Texas) Greenhill High at the finish to win the race. Both were timed in 17:07 over five kilometers in the closest race in 31-year history of the event.

   Junior Colleen Schmidt of Holy Trinity was 27th in 18:18, and sophomore Lauren Mullins of Johnson City placed 32nd in 18:30.

   Lukas Verzbicas of Carl Sandburg High in Orland Hills, Ill., became the first sophomore to win the boys race, finishing in 15:08 to easily outpace the field. Verzbicas took the lead near the midway point and pulled away to a 15-second margin at the tape.

   Ward Melville senior Quinn Raseman was 19th in 15:45.

   Keep an eye on this: PSAL power Abraham Lincoln surrendered a late lead and saw its 30-game home winning streak against league competition end yesterday with an 83-81 setback to Paul Robeson on Jamel Noel’s layup just ahead of the buzzer.

   Moments later, the parents of star guard Shaquille Stokes, a transfer from St. Patrick's in New Jersey last year, had a spat with Railsplitters coach Dwayne "Tiny" Morton over their son’s benching in crunch time, The New York Post reported. The junior, who scored 33 points, was benched with just under 2:00 to play.

   "People need to show (my son) respect, like we show them,” said Chervantes Stokes, the player's mother. "We’ve moved once and we’ll move again."

   Lincoln held a 70-63 lead with 4:20 remaining in the fourth quarter.

   Fallsburg guard arrested: Sophomore David Perkins, a major reason Fallsburg is off to a 2-0 start in boys basketball after going 0-20 last season, was arraigned Thursday on charges including one count of second-degree murder, The Times Herald-Record reported.

   Perkins, a 16-year-old point guard, averaged 9.5 points in Fallsburg's first two games.

   He is charged with the murder count, first-degree robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon stemming from a June 23 incident, the paper reported.

   "The guys are working hard in practice," coach Pete Dworetsky said, "and looking forward to playing Sullivan West on Monday. Other than that, I really don't have much to say about what happened."

   Rolling right along: Taran Buie hasn't skipped a beat in his new surroundings.

   Buie was a second-team all-state guard for Bishop Maginn last basketball season as a junior but transferred to State College, Pa., High over the summer, just down the street from Penn State, where he'll play next year.

   He posted 24 points, 12 rebounds and five assists Friday in a 66-36 victory over Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter to open the season. The Little Lions were missing two starters and three others whose football season has not ended yet.

   Buie made three 3-pointers and scored 13 points during a 22-1 run bridging the third and fourth quarters in front of a crowd that included Penn State star Talor

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  • Battle, his half-brother.

       Girls basketball notes: Jennifer O'Neill put up 26 points, but No. 6 St. Michael's Academy (4-1) fell to Long Beach (Calif.) Poly 69-47 in Honolulu in a Iolani Classic final between squads ranked nationally by USA Today.

       St. Francis Prep senior point guard Joanna Verouhis will have knee surgery and miss the remainder of the season after helping the Terriers to a 4-0 start. She missed all of last season with a torn ACL that required surgery.

       There was a 65-0 game in Minnesota girls action last week as Moose Lake-Willow River blanked Wrenshall. Three players scored in double-figures for ML-WR, which led 40-0 at halftime against an opponent that qualified for the 2008 state tournament.

       Turner Gill to Kansas: The college football news out of Kansas last night was good for Turner Gill, but it certainly puts the University of Buffalo at the crossroads.

       Gill, 47, was selected to replace embattled Jayhawks coach Mark Mangino. The fact that his four-year record with the Bulls was just 20-30 does not do justice to what his effect was. UB football was a train wreck before Gill arrived, and he delivered a bowl berth in just his third season.

       His successor in Buffalo will inherit a much stronger program that Gill was handed there, but there are big challenges on the horizon. For starters, UB did not reap a significant recruiting windfall from last year's winning record and bowl appearance because some recruits were scared off by hearing Gill's name mentioned as a candidate for several of last season's coaching vacancies.

       The Bulls have seven early commitments thus far, and two of them are regarded as a notch better than anyone to have entered the program during the Gill era. But that goes by the wayside if running back James Potts of Delray Beach, Fla., and QB Rudy Johnson of Owings Mills, Md., back out.

       This morning's Buffalo News story lists UB assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Danny Barrett as one of five possible candidates to take over.

       Conventional wisdom says UB has until Christmas Day or so to get a replacement on board. That would leave almost six weeks until letter of intent day, plenty of time to firm up the current class and woo new recruits.

       A steal for Toledo: I only saw David Fluellen play once, but it was enough to convince me that he could play major-college football. So my initial reaction is that he may be setting his sights too low by giving an oral commitment to the University of Toledo. reported the development late last week. The 6-foot, 200-pound senior rushed for 1,638 yards and 19 TDs in nine games for Lockport this fall. He finished his career with 4,274 yards and 50 TDs. reported that Fluellen's only other offer was from the University of Buffalo, with Toledo having entered the picture in October. It's unknown if the Gill-to-Kansas speculation that started shortly after Mangino's ouster was a factor.

       By the way, Harrison kicker John Molloy is the only current N.Y. senior committed to Buffalo.

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