Panama Assistant Coach Is Accustomed To Final Four Trips
TROY — Mel Swanson may have coached the final girls basketball game of his historic career last month at Sherman, but his legacy will likely live on for years in the Southern Tier.
One example is Kristin Rowan.
The Panama assistant coach has now been head coach Jeff Angeletti’s right-hand woman for all three of the Panthers’ New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D Final Four runs.
Trips east are nothing new for Rowan.
As Swanson’s assistant with the Wildcats, Rowan helped coach the team for seven years. Sherman’s most successful season during that run was a 39-36 loss to Coleman Catholic in the 2009 championship game. The Wildcats also won Section VI championships in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013 before eventual defeats in the Far West Regionals those years.
Rowan’s first taste of the state Final Four was with the 2001 Wildcats as a player when they lost to Odessa-Montour, 37-33, in the title game.
Other girls championship results from the weekend were as follows:
In Class AA, Section VIII Baldwin defeated Ossining, 73-45, behind 22 points from Aziah Hudson and 14 points from Jenna Annecchiarico. Andra Espinoza-Hunter led Ossining with 19 points.
In Class A, Jamesville-DeWitt beat Section V Pittsford-Mendon, 48-46, behind 11 points from Julia Kelner and 10 points from Meg Hair. Caroline Cullinan led Pittsford-Mendon with 17 points.
In Class B, Seton Catholic beat Irvington, 86-67, behind 26 points from Hannah Strawn, 22 points from Lexus Levy and 18 points from Ava McCann. Lindsay Halpin scored 24 and Olivia Valdes had 20 for Irvington.
In Class C, Port Jefferson’s Jillian Colucci made a layup as time expired to beat Watkins Glen, 65-63. Courtney Lewis led Port Jefferson with 23 points while Samantha Ayotte had 12 and Corinne Scannell had 11. Amanda Pike led Watkins Glen with 16 points and Emilia Bond had 14.
Two local referees officiated the girls tournament at the Edward F. McDonough Sports Complex on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College this weekend.
Sherman’s own Ray Spacht, a 20-year veteran official, worked his first Final Four. On Friday, Spacht worked the Class AA semifinal between Section I Ossining and Section V Our Lady of Mercy. On Sunday, Spacht worked the final game of the tournament when he officiated the Class C final between Section XI Port Jefferson and Section IV Watkins Glen. In fact, Spacht was stationed on the baseline underneath the basket with a close-up view of Colucci’s game-winning bucket for the Royals.
Cattaraugus County official Dave Kahm of Olean also worked a pair of games in Troy. A 21-year veteran, Kahm opened with the Class A semifinal between Section III Jamesville-DeWitt and Section VIII Elmont Memorial on Friday before officiating the Class B final between Section IV Seton Catholic and Section I Irvington on Saturday evening.
Officials are chosen based on merit and recommended by their respective section chairman. In most instances, two officials from each section are used at the state Final Fours, but they are not permitted to officiate games involving teams from their home sections.
Boys championship results in Binghamton were as follows:
Section I Mount Vernon won the Class AA title, 59-48, over Section V Fairport; Section V Irondequoit beat Section I Our Lady of Lourdes, 54-43, in Class A; Section III Westhill defeated Section X Canton, 80-62, in Class B; Section IV Moravia defeated Section II Lake George, 54-39, in Class C; and Section VII Moriah downed Section IV Newfield, 61-52, in Class D.