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You make the call on the All-WNY 1980s basketball team

As part of a countdown to The News' selection of a 50th anniversary All-Western New York team, we're breaking it down by decade.

Just as we will do with the all-time team, we'll pick a top 20 for each decade, from the fourth team to the top five on the first team.

Be sure to check out posts discussing other eras (1960s, 1970s, 1990s and 2000s) as well as who should make the all-time All-WNY team.

Here's a breakdown of the All-WNY first teamers in the 1980s (the entire All-WNY list is here). Note: The Courier-Express and The Buffalo News picked separate teams until the Courier folded in 1982, and differing selections are listed.

1980-1981: Lester Rowe (Lafayette), Tony Kelly (Lackawanna), Ray Hall (McKinley), Adrian Mitchell (Emerson); Courier-Express-Rich Howse (Wmsv. East); Buffalo News-Mike Freeney (LaSalle).

1981-1982: James Clinton (South Park), Tony Kelly (Lackawanna), Curtis Aiken (Bennett), Gary Bossert (Kenmore West); CE-Rodney Jones (Grover Cleveland); BN-Jeff Zern (St. Francis).

1982-1983: Curtis Aiken (Bennett), Gary Bossert (Kenmore West), Ray Salters (South Park), Michael Ray Jackson (Riverside), Barry Fordham (Sweet Home).

1983-1984: Bryan Randall (Sweet Home), Jerry Kopydlowski (Sweet Home), Anthony Blackman (McKinley), Joe Etopio (LaSalle), Marvin Hemphill (Bennett).

1984-1985: Jeff Taggart (Lackawanna), Cliff Robinson (Riverside), Keith Robinson (Grover Cleveland), Willie Haynes (Lockport), Rick Wnuk (Canisius), Ron Torgalski (Nichols).

1985-1986: Keith Robinson (Grover Cleveland), Brian Brown (Emerson), Norm Echols (Sweet Home), Brendon McClain (South Park), Rick Torgalski (Nichols).

1986-1987: Christian Laettner (Nichols), Rick Torgalski (Nichols), Rod Page (Trott), John Thomas (Bennett), Nate Gainey (Traditional).

1987-1988: Christian Laettner (Nichols), Dan Cyralik (Wmsv. North), Eric Gore (LaSalle), Marcus Whitfield (Burgard), Trevor Ruffin (Bennett).

1988-1989: Marcus Whitfield (Burgard), Ritchie Campbell (Burgard), Lee Matthews (Buffalo Arts), E-Lon-E McCracken (LaSalle), Chris Buchholz (Frontier).

1989-1990: Ritchie Campbell (Burgard), Chris Sprigg (St. Joe's), Carlin Hartman (Grand Island), Duke Davis (LaSalle), Chris Williams (Traditional).

So who are the best of the 80s?  Who should be in the top 20? How about top five? And why? Let us know in the comments section below, or email

---Keith McShea


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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN |