Edward Little, Greely sweep state basketball championships; Hermon wins elusive 1st title

first_imgELLSWORTH — The road to the Gold Ball came to a conclusion in Augusta, Bangor and Portland late last week, and two schools earned rare sweeps of the boys’ and girls’ championships in the state’s largest classes.Edward Little (15-7) posted a 50-49 Class AA girls’ win over Gorham (14-8) to end the Rams’ quest for a third straight championship Friday at Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena. On the boys’ side, the Red Eddies (18-4) outdueled Scarborough (17-5) 41-36 to complete a sweep of the large-school titles.Class A also saw a sweep as the Greely boys (22-0) and girls (20-2) both won state championships Thursday in Portland. The Rangers posted 47-46 and 53-38 victories over the Hampden Academy boys (20-2) and girls (19-3), respectively.Hermon (22-0) won the boys’ title for the first time Friday with a 55-34 win over Wells (15-7) in the Class B final at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. The Greenville boys (20-2) beat Woodland (18-4) 47-46 to claim the Class D title the following day at the Augusta Civic Center.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textThe Winslow girls (18-5) won their first title since 2005 with a 43-29 triumph over Lake Region (16-6) in Class B. Monmouth (21-1) repeated as girls’ champion in Class C with a 56-50 win over Houlton (21-1), and Southern Aroostook (20-2) topped defending state champion Vinalhaven (21-1) for the girls’ crown in Class D.last_img read more

Sideline Cancer’s 3rd-quarter run sinks Boeheim’s Army in TBT quarterfinals

first_img Published on July 11, 2020 at 6:26 pm Contact Thomas: tgshults@syr.edu | @ThomasShults5 Facebook Twitter Google+ The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.Sideline Cancer’s run began with just over two minutes to go in the third quarter. On a fastbreak, SC’s Jamel Artis drove down the lane and found Dion Wright on the right side of the basket. Wright collected the pass, spun to his right and shed a defender before finishing the uncontested layup to improve Sideline Cancer’s lead to 39-34.By the end of the third, the run had become 11-0 and extended to 24-2 before a layup from John Gillon. No. 22 Sideline Cancer turned a tie at halftime into a 14-point lead over No. 3 Boeheim’s Army and cruised to a 65-48 victory in The Basketball Tournament’s quarterfinals.While the teams combined to shoot 3-for-30 from 3 in the first half, Sideline Cancer found its rhythm in the second. Marcus Keene struggled, not scoring until late in the third quarter, but Maurice Creek led all scorers with 22 points. With the loss, Boeheim’s Army has now failed to make TBT’s semifinals in five of six tournaments.“They’ve been very heavily relying on (Keene),” Gillon said before the game. “But one point I made was we can’t let someone else kill us just because we take him out of the game.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGillon’s warning foreshadowed the result for Boeheim’s Army. After slowing down Sideline Cancer in the first half, Boeheim’s Army’s defensive strategy started to falter. With just over seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, down 50-34, Demetris Nichols turned the ball over, dropped his head and sighed heavily.A few possessions later, Donte Greene took a fade-away, contested 3-pointer from the corner, which bounced off the side of the rim. SC’s Remy Abell collected a pass before blazing past Eric Devendorf for an easy layup to continue Sideline Cancer’s game-deciding run.Before the matchup, Andrew White III said that Keene would struggle against the 2-3 zone. Unlike man-to-man, Keene couldn’t drive in the lane on one defender. However, when Boeheim’s Army switched to man defense, Sideline Cancer and Keene gained momentum.“If you go back and watch the film, every time I scored is when they went man-to-man in the second half,” Keene said. “The zone threw me off, I feel like it threw the whole team off.”As the second half continued, the bench for Boeheim’s Army became quieter and quieter, while Sideline Cancer head coach Charles Parker continued to scream encouragement.“Attack, attack, attack,” Parker yelled from the sideline.Four McGlynn scored two points and added four rebounds for Sideline Cancer in a quarterfinal win against Boeheim’s Army. Courtesy of Ben SolomonWhile both teams continued to struggle from 3, Sideline Cancer continued its second-half run with a rebounding advantage. Even without Diamond Stone — who missed the game because of injury — Sideline Cancer’s Eric Thompson finished with 18 rebounds and dominated on the glass from the beginning of the game.After winning the opening tip, Sideline Cancer strolled down the court before shooting a 3. After the shot fell short, Thompson, in between Greene and Malachi Richardson, collected the rebound and quickly laid the ball in for an early 2-0 lead.Greene’s struggles from 3 continued on offense. Shot after shot fell short, sometimes as an air-ball, while others barely scraped the rim. Greene finished 0-for-6 from 3 with just eight points.Only four players scored over eight points for Boeheim’s Army, and Devendorf led with 14 points on 6-for-16 shooting. After taking care of the ball against Men of Mackey, BA finished with 11 turnovers.With seven minutes and 20 seconds left in the second quarter, Gillon drove into the lane and began a Euro step. He lost control as he hopped from his right foot to his left with the ball over his head, and Richardson jumped for a contested layup minutes later. The ball spun off after rolling around the rim, and Sideline Cancer collected the rebound.As Sideline Cancer began its fastbreak, Will Rayman intercepted a lazy bounce pass. The Colgate graduate reversed the transition offense and attempted a contested layup of his own. But like Richardson and Gillon, Rayman couldn’t convert.By the third quarter’s midpoint, Sideline Cancer was in full control. Even Keene – the focal point of BA’s defense – was starting to find open looks. With a 2-3 zone in disarray in front of him, Keene hit a wide-open 3 from the wing to extend Sideline Cancer’s lead. And as those looks became more and more common in the fourth quarter, Boeheim’s Army inched toward its tournament exit.“We had our chances, we had our shots,” BA head coach Ryan Blackwell said. “We had another shot today and we just didn’t capitalize.”center_img Commentslast_img read more

Policies hamstring schools

first_imgSACRAMENTO – California policies that make it difficult to fire ineffective teachers and set tougher performance standards are among dozens of problems imperiling the state’s public school system, according to a landmark report aimed at overhauling education. The findings are among hundreds in the broadest report in years and paint a picture of a K-12 educational system that is failing the state’s children and needs top-to-bottom changes and billions of dollars in investment. The report – a series of 22 studies – recommends sweeping changes in school laws and structures including teacher training and new data tracking. And in one of its most politically charged proposals, the report recommends giving principals more power to spend money, run their schools and fire teachers they deem ineffective. “It may be that the power to dismiss teachers would allow the principal to exercise influence in the school even without dismissing teachers,” the study’s authors note. “And it is this increased influence and not the firing of substantial numbers of teachers that is particularly important for principals’ efficacy.” The report also found the state’s education finance system is flawed and haphazard, resulting in similar schools receiving different funding amounts. And it said the state needs to do a better job tracking educational data to measure student progress and track which reforms are effective. The report “Getting Down to Facts” was requested by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles, and Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland. Ultimately, the cost of following all its recommendations is estimated to range from an additional $23 billion to $32 billion a year for the basic achievement goals. The state spends about $66 billion a year on education. But its proposals for teachers may draw some of the most heat, as such issues have been long debated in districts including Los Angeles Unified, where powerful unions have blocked efforts to make principals too strong. While such moves wouldn’t likely cost the state much more, the idea is likely to face strong opposition from the state’s teachers unions. Schwarzenegger felt their power in 2005 when the California Teachers Association spent tens of millions of dollars to defeat his plan to reform the state’s tenure laws. That proposal would have extended by three years the period of time before teachers earn job security afforded by tenure. But the study released Wednesday found that California teachers earn tenure more quickly than their counterparts in most other states. Teachers opposed CTA President Barbara Kerr said the group would oppose efforts to make it easier to fire teachers. Under current law, teachers can be fired for no reason within their first two years of employment, but after that they earn tenure and a dismissal usually requires one or more hearings. “We proved (changing tenure protection) is not a good solution,” Kerr said. “Trying to deny a teacher a hearing is not a way to improve student learning. Let’s find some real ways.” Kerr added that the tenure-change proposal was based on a survey of principals. Had the authors surveyed teachers, “They would say the best way to improve schools is fire bad administrators.” Nuñez, a longtime ally of the state’s unions, indicated he might be willing to consider giving more power to principals. “I think I speak for my entire caucus when I say all of us believe firmly we need to do more to empower administrators to make smart decisions on teacher quality and make the right assessment in terms of making sure those teachers that are not doing a good job are being dealt with appropriately,” Nuñez said. In some schools and districts, it is so difficult to fire teachers that they are just shuffled from school to school, a process derisively called “The Dance of the Lemons.” When LAUSD Superintendent David Brewer III took the reins of the 708,000-student district in November, he said one of his first priorities would be to push for performance reviews of teachers and get ineffective teachers out of the classroom – ideas Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa echoed. Open to suggestions LAUSD general counsel Kevin Reed said the district is eager to study the report’s suggestions. The current two-year probationary period may be too short to ensure new teachers get appropriate guidance and counseling, Reed said. It takes about five years to fire a tenured teacher in a process that includes initiating termination and a variety of hearings. But more often than not, years into the process of firing a teacher a panel will order the district to allow the instructor back into the classroom. “The challenge here is not a criticism of the teachers; it’s a criticism of the process,” Reed said. About 200 teachers leave each year because of performance issues, he said. The district holds about three hearings a year in an effort to fire a teacher. United Teachers Los Angeles President A.J. Duffy said he’s open to discussing changes in the teacher evaluation system. But any negotiations would also need to include suggestions to ensure the teacher-evaluation system is meted out by effective principals. “I would have some suggestions that would take some of the evaluation away from incompetent principals who are not really out there evaluating teachers as teachers, but are out there giving teacher activists who speak up bad write-ups to get rid of them,” Duffy said. He emphasized that he is not protecting ineffective teachers. Bad teachers can and have been fired, he said, but administrators are not giving struggling teachers adequate guidance and assistance. Villaraigosa, who has tried unsuccessfully to take partial control over LAUSD, said the studies support his drive for school reform. “This report underscores Mayor Villaraigosa’s belief that nothing less than fundamental reform is needed to turn our schools around to give our children the education they need and deserve,” Villaraigosa spokeswoman Janelle Erickson said. The mayor also thinks teachers need higher salaries and more discretion over what they teach in the classroom, while principals need more authority over spending and decision-making at their schools, she said. Educating California The studies paint a sobering portrait of California’s K-12 educational system. Among the findings: California’s K-12 system needs significant governance and finance reforms. Substantial new financial investments are needed to meet the state’s student achievement goals. There is no coherent rationale for school funding formulas, which result in wide-ranging disparities among districts. Spending formulas are tied to arcane and complicated criteria established in the 1970s and are combined with a confusing mix of programs that do not address districts’ differences. Current finance and governance systems hinder local efforts to promote student achievement. Restrictions on allocation of local resources hinder administrators. Continual policy changes hamper planning and frustrate school and district staff. Teacher policies do not let state and local administrators make the best use of potential teachers. Teachers’ professional development requirements often don’t fit the skills and knowledge needed in the classroom. The pay scale structure makes it difficult to fill certain positions. Policies make it excessively difficult to dismiss weak teachers. Absence of a personnel evaluation processes hinders the ability to select, assign, promote and retain outstanding teachers. California lags in collecting information on students’ learning, teachers and resources.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more