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WARD-ADAMS' BAD NEWS

Starting point guard Jonathan Ward-Adams, probably the best player on the Long Island scholastic men's basketball team, is out of the Games with a badly sprained ankle suffered in Thursday's opener.

Ward-Adams, a Newsday second-team All-L.I. selection, was at the end of the bench, his ankle heavily wrapped. He told Newsday, "I'll probably get an MRI when I get home." Ward-Adams has committed to play at Navy, and will attend prep school next year.

He spent Friday cheering on his team, which knocked off NYC, 71-68, in overtime on Shamoy McIntosh's buzzer-beating trey. McIntosh broke through teammates who mobbed him to embrace Ward-Adams.

"He's a leader and such a positive kid," coach Rich Wrase said. "He was our best player and everyone knows it."

FORTUNATO'S FORTUNE

The most appreciative player on the L.I. scholastic women's lacrosse team after Friday morning's 17-5 victory over Adirondack that clinched a gold-medal appearance was Cortland Fortunato of Northport. You'd think it would've been her teammates because Fortunato scored six goals, including three in less than a minute that broke the game open in the first 10 minutes.

But the youngest player on the team, a rising sophomore, said: "I've learned so much just being around these girls. They're all such good role models."

Fortunato has found a role in L.I.'s powerful offense being the player teams forget about while concentrating on scorers such as Shannon Gilroy (Northport) and Mikaela Rix (Garden City), among others. "She makes great decisions for such a young player," coach Carol Rose (Northport) said. "And she's such a great finisher."

That was evident in Friday's next game, a 21-6 win for L.I. over Central, in which Fortunato again scored six goals.

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