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GADLEY FINDS A HOOPS HOME AT HOFSTRA

Chris Gadley said he made up his mind on where he'd be attending college on his visit to Hofstra.

"When I got there," he said, "I just knew."

Gadley, the 6-foot-7 senior basketball center at Amherst, verbally committed last week to the university in Hempstead, L.I., and will sign a letter of intent during the early signing period (Nov. 10-17).

Gadley used the word "comfortable" several times to describe his feelings for the school, and there are several reasons. There's the presence of former Turner-Carroll standout Loren Stokes, named the Pride's MVP after a freshman season that included Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie team honors. Gadley clicked with the other players as well as head coach Tom Pecora and assistant Tom Parrotta (who first met Gadley at Hutch-Tech assistant Fajri Ansari's Camp Achieve at Buffalo State). And Gadley has several relatives who live downstate.

The fourth-team All-Western New York selection picked Hofstra over St. Bonaventure and Ohio University, while South Florida and Virginia Tech were also very interested. Gadley also was recruited by Division I giants such as Illinois, Kansas and Pittsburgh but narrowed his campus visits to Ohio, St. Bonaventure and Hofstra.

"I'm not trying to get to some big school to sit the bench," said Gadley, who averaged 18 points, 12.5 rebounds and six blocks as the Tigers shared the ECIC II title and advanced to the Class A-1 final.

Gadley's recruiting stock went through the gym roof after excellent performances at AAU tournaments with the G.C. Ballers. That led to him getting a deluge of mail from Division I colleges and earned him an invite to the renowned ABCD camp.

"Playing AAU was extremely helpful," he said. "(The recruiting) was crazy at first. (Making a decision now) has taken a lot off me. It wasn't like I was in a rush. I just felt right at Hofstra."

In other basketball news:

* Niagara Falls is ranked 48th in the nation in Studentsports.com's preseason poll, and Paul Harris was named the nation's No. 20 member of the Class of 2005 in the Sporting News' high school basketball preview. With Falls opening practice Monday, coach and Athletics Director Dan Bazzani has yet to comment on Harris' status. Harris was arrested Sept. 23 and charged with assault after a fight with his girlfriend.

* Niagara Falls senior guard Robert Garrison, being recruited by several Division I schools, has decided not to sign during the early period after visits to Boston University, Lehigh and Binghamton.

* It's almost a year later, but score another big win for last year's Catholic Class B state champion, St. Mary's. Former Lancer Jason Pawlikowski, a first-team All-Catholic League A pick, has earned a walk-on spot at St. Bonaventure.

* With practices starting soon, tournaments won't be too far behind. This year's ECIC-Monsignor Martin Challenge will be hosted at St. Mary's new gym Dec. 16-18 and will feature matchups such as Lackawanna-St. Joe's and Maryvale-Canisius. The Buffalo Shootout run by Buffalo Public Schools Athletics Director Dave Thomas will move to Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 17 and has Lackawanna facing Hutch-Tech, Canisius playing the Falls and St. Joe's taking on Lockport.

No tennis changeover

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association's central committee voted down a proposal Monday to flip-flop the boys and girls tennis seasons. The proposal had the boys season moving from the spring to the fall, and vice versa, in a supposed effort to increase participation numbers statewide.

Section VI coaches vehemently opposed the move, claiming it would drastically reduce the number of boys tennis programs because they would have to compete for athletes with several other sports offered in the fall.

"It's really good news for us, and we're really excited about it," said Anne Smith, Section VI girls tennis chairwoman and a former coach at Southwestern. "The proposition was defeated, 12-10 (each of the state's 11 sections has two votes; essentially the vote was six sections to five). That's the end of that for a while. The committee (to change seasons) has been dissolved.

"The advocates for tennis proved our point strongly: that the switch wasn't going to do what it was intended to do. And it would have hurt boys tennis."

Around the halls

Adrienne Kina of ECIC League A girls swimming champion East Aurora was the only swimmer to take first in two individual events (100- and 50-yard freestyle) and help two relays to victory at the ECIC championships Saturday. . . . The North Collins boys soccer team, led by Brandon Wilczynski (29 goals), Chris Bley (20) and Kyle Hoffman (17), is seeking its 14th sectional title in the last 21 years. The Eagles (15-2) host Ellicottville in Saturday's 2 p.m. Class D semifinal.

e-mail: kmcshea@buffnews.com

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