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Hills West has to forfeit win, no longer unbeaten

Suffolk High School Basketball Championship Game between

Suffolk High School Basketball Championship Game between Half Hollow Hills West and Harborfields HS. Emile Blackman of Hills West HS is defended by Harborfields HS's Matt Curry during his teams victory. Photo by Bob Mitchell Photo Credit: Photo by Bob Mitchell

A technicality has handed the nationally ranked and undefeated Half Hollow Hills West boys basketball team a forfeit loss, Newsday has learned.

Hills West athletic director Joe Pennacchio confirmed last night that he self-reported to Section XI executive director Ed Cinelli that Terry Harris, younger brother of Tobias and Tyler Harris, was ineligible for the game at Smithtown West on Feb. 12, won by the Colts, 80-52. "It was an administrative error dealing with selective classification," Pennacchio said.

In that game, Hills West used six JV players because of suspensions resulting from an on-court incident against Bellport on Feb. 8. Terry Harris was the only eighth-grader in the group and had to be re-classified in order to appear in a varsity contest. When it was discovered afterward that he had not been re-classified, Penacchio called Cinelli.

Hills West is now 22-1.

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