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Congratulations Section 4 soccer

John Moriello's NYSSWA blog
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010: Owen D. Young breaks 96-game losing streak
   Leading off today: From the department of irony comes this boys basketball tale:

   The Owen D. Young varsity team snapped a 96-game losing streak last night with a 54-50 victory against Oppenheim-Ephratah, a school that endured a 74-game losing streak before nipping ODY 16 seasons ago.

   The 96-game streak is believed to have set a state record for futility.

   ODY broke a 50-50 tie in the final minute as sophomore Kyle Werpechowski made both ends of a 1-and-1 and junior Nick Hrobuchak added a put-back bucket just before the buzzer. Hrobuchak finished with 16 points.

   "It was amazing. The whole place exploded, Owen D. Young AD Cory Pike told The Observer-Dispatch.

   Owen D. Young started the season with nine straight losses under first-year coach Don Van Valkenburgh and hadn't won since topping Sharon Springs 37-36 in December 2004 to improve to 2-7.

   Oppenheim-Ephratah broke its 74-game losing streak with a 52-51 victory over ODY in December 1993.

   Milestone: Little Falls rallied from deficits in the last two games to score a 25-7, 25-23, 25-20 girls volleyball victory over Ilion for coach Joe Loiacono's 400th triumph.

   Loiacono is in his 37th season running the girls program. He also coached the boys team until retiring from teaching in 2003.

   Scary tale from L.I.: Nick Ventiere, fifth-year varsity wrestler for East Islip nearly died last week following an accidental drug overdose, Newsday reported.

   Ventiere was rushed to a hospital after his mother found him unresponsive in bed Jan. 5, the newspaper reported.

   "It was surreal," said his father, Scott Ventiere. "They asked us to leave the emergency room and the priest went in to give our son his last rites. His body crashed due to a loss of oxygen and he flatlined. We lost him. I could see him through an opening in an emergency room curtain and I said what I thought was my final goodbye."

   Doctors revived the 17-year-old senior, and he is recuperating at home while authorities await lab tests on two pills he ingested. His parents spoke to reporters in the hope of raising awareness for other families.

   "If this could happen to us, it could happen to anyone," Scott Ventiere said. "The hospital personnel told us this is common; it happens every night. It's an epidemic."

   On Thursday, a doctor asked the 125-pound senior if he knew how many days he had been in the hospital, said Dawn Ventiere, his mother.

   "My son answered three days," she said. "And the doctor said, 'You are right. You've been here for three days and today could have been your funeral. You see all those people out there waiting to see you? They could have been lining up for your funeral.'"

   Olean standout injured: A potential girls basketball championship season at Olean, ranked 11th in Class B, is at risk following an injury to star player Rachel Bantelman.

   The University at Buffalo recruit suffered tore ligaments and cartilage in her right wrist last week during a 45-40 victory over Wayland-Cohocton at the Hilton tournament. She's expected to be out until at least late February and will learn this week whether she'll need surgery, The Buffalo News reported.

   With its three-year starter out, Olean dropped a 61-47 decision to Irondequoit in the tournament final Saturday.

   A rule's a rule, but ...: The rule broken when Watertown High allowed alumni to practice with its boys basketball team is violated much more often than it's reported, The Watertown Times reported.

   The school was placed on probation by the Frontier League recently after officials received an e-mail tip of the infraction that originated with a report in the newspaper.

   "I think it's the first violation we've given out for this," league Executive Director Robert Kowalick said. "But this has probably gone on. I think it's been pretty common for kids to come home from college and want to practice with their old team."

   Kowalick said he sent a reminder about the rule to all Frontier League schools Dec. 1, the same day the story about the ill-advised scrimmage appeared.

   "We're not going to go chasing people around," he said. "A lot of people will complain to us about someone doing something wrong, but it's an anonymous letter or a phone call. If you're going to complain about something, it's got to be in writing."

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