If there’s an epic streak involved, it’s a good bet that the Owen D. Young boys basketball team is involved.
The latest episode took place Monday when Owen D. Young snapped a 96-game losing streak with a 54-50 victory against Oppenheim-Ephratah.
Oppenheim-Ephratah, of course, is the team that endured a 74-game losing streak before edging Owen D. Young 52-51 in December 1993.
If you go back to 1972, Owen D. Young put an end to the 104-game winning streak – still a New York state record -- by Belleville's Union Academy during the Jim Stockwell era.
Those were happier days for Owen D. Young. Now, first-year coach Don Van Valkenburgh is working to install a new system and pride at the school. After starting this season 0-9 to extend the state-record losing streak to 96 he may finally have something to build on.
Owen D, Young 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,” Athletic Director Cory Pike told The Observer-Dispatch.
The last victory had come in December 2004, a one-pointer over Sharon Springs. That team dropped its last nine contests, and the program then endured four straight winless seasons.
Girls basketball: Top-ranked Kingston loses
Center Stefanie Dolson scored 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting as Minisink Valley upset Kingston, ranked No. 1 in Class AA by the New York State Sportswriters Association, 57-50.
The 6-foot-5 senior also pulled down 26 rebounds for Minisink Valley (8-2), which has lost to the Tigers in the last three Section IX Class AA finals. Rachel Coffey had 18 points for Kingston (9-1).
Minisink Valley broke to a 10-0 lead but Kingston ended the half on a 12-1 run. Minisink went on a 16-3 run at the end of the game to rally for the win.
Boys basketball: A first for Niagara Falls
North Tonawanda pulled a 64-62 upset of No. 9 Niagara Falls in an overtime Class AA contest Tuesday as Aaron Davis scored nine of his 24 points in the extra session. Davis also finished with 12 rebounds. Darrik Bloomfield put up 18 points and 11 boards.
"It's the biggest win for North Tonawanda since I've been around and it's probably the biggest win for the school since 1969-70," Lumberjacks coach Erik O'Bryan told The Buffalo News.
It was only the fifth time Niagara Falls lost to a Western New York opponent -- and the first in the Niagara Frontier League -- since the merger of Niagara Falls High and LaSalle High in 2000.
* Newark raised its profile with a 62-51 victory Wednesday at defending NYSPHSAA Class B champion Bishop Kearney (now in Class A), which was playing its first home game of the season.
The Reds (7-1), who were led by Javon McCrea’s 21 points, went on a 20-10 run in the third quarter to break a 26-26 tie.
Roderick Gray led the Kings with 28 points in a game widely assumed before the season to be a preview of the Section V final.
Football: Coaches coming and going at a brisk pace
Carm DePoalo has been appointed football coach at Scotia-Glenville, and he faces at least as challenging a rebuilding process as the last job he took on.
"I'm excited about the opportunity," DePoalo told WXXA-TV in Albany. "I moved to Scotia and really love being involved in my community."
DePoalo went 5-4 and 8-2 in two seasons at Schenectady -- the school's first winning seasons since being formed by a 1992 merger -- and stepped down before the 2009 season.
Scotia-Glenville is coming off four consecutive one- or two-win seasons and is just 11-52 since a 5-4 mark in 2002. The team hasn't won more than six games in a season since going 8-2 in 1993.
* In another Section II development, Christian Brothers Academy named Joe Burke to replace Matt Gormley. Burke was offensive coordinator at Bishop Maginn last fall and previously was a head coach for five years at Albany High, where his 5-4 seasons in 2004-05 were the last winning records for that program.
CBA was 1-8 in 2009 and 5-22 in three seasons under Gormley.
* Former Syracuse University and National Football League standout Tim Green is a candidate for the vacant position at Skaneateles. AD Richard Pound did not identify the other candidates for the job John King relinquished after going 1-7 in his sixth season.
“There’s really nothing to discuss right now. I have to wait and let the process take its course and see how it turns out,” Green told The Post-Standard.
Green's son Troy transferred from Skaneateles last year to Baldwinsville, where he played quarterback for the junior varsity. Green still has a home in Skaneateles.
* Chris Urban has stepped down after directing Webster Schroeder to its first Section V championship in six years. He was 25-14 in five seasons.
"I feel like I've been around it since I entered high school since in 1983," Urban told the Democrat and Chronicle. "I'm only 40, but maybe it's time to do something else. I want to spend time with my dad and other family members, the people put on hold during the football season.”
* Former Oakfield-Alabama coach John Dowd has agreed to take on the challenge of trying to shape Spencerport into a competitor.
In six seasons at Oakfield-Alabama before stepping down last summer, his teams won 50 games; Spencerport, long considered a “soccer school,” was 1-7 last fall and has won just 36 games in 13 seasons since reviving the sport after 58 years.
More football: Large-school players of the year announced
Quarterback Pat McMahon and two-way standout D.J. Nettles, stalwarts on the Sweet Home team that defended its NYSPHSAA title this season, have been selected co-players of the year in Class A by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
McMahon threw for 297 yards and two TDs in the state final against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake to cap a 13-0 year as a first-year starter. He threw for 1,523 yards and 18 TDs as a senior. Nettles made 33 catches for 524 yards on offense and picked off eight passes (two for TDs) as a defensive back.
Class AA honors were split between by Holy Trinity running back Anthony Brunetti and Monroe-Woodbury quarterback Dan Scalo.
Brunetti rolled up 2,451 yards and 28 touchdowns on 330 carries this season to push his career totals to 5,418 yards and 60 scores, both school records. He earned the Thorp Award as Nassau County's best football player.
Scalo fought back from shoulder surgery the week after his junior season ended to guide Monroe-Woodbury to its sixth straight Section 9 Class AA title, accounting for 33 TDs and more than 2,700 yards of total offense.
* One of the more highly regarded juniors on the all-state team may not be back for an encore. Defensive end Robert Kugler, a second-team all-state pick in Class AA for Orchard Park is the son of Sean Kugler, who was one of the assistant coaches dismissed by the Buffalo Bills at the end of their season.
On Wednesday, Sean Kugler was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers as their new offensive line coach.
Odds and ends
* 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 in a 37-year career.
* Former Sodus coach and athletic director Ed LaRock died last week at the age of 69. LaRock, a 1958 Sodus graduate, was a longtime Section V baseball coordinator and also coached basketball at Sodus.
John Schiano, who has written about high school sports in western and central New York for more than 25 years, covers New York for MaxPreps. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.