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Hoop notes (and links) from the cutting room floor

A lot went into our boys basketball preview a few weeks back, but there was plenty left on the cutting room/gym floor. We managed to sweep it up and put it together here -- some dates that stand out on the schedule, some notes that fell through the cracks, and some observations that could really only end up in blogville.

Here goes:

Some schedule notes for those who have bought their 2010 planners already (the entire day-by-day schedule is here):

Tue. Jan. 5 MMA openers include Nichols at St. Joe's; NO Medina at Akron, 7 p.m.
Wed. Jan 6 Yale Cup opens
Fri. Jan 8 I Orchard Park at Jamestown; III Amherst at Maryvale father vs. son
Sun. Jan. 9 MMA Nichols at St. Mary's, 2 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 15 NO Wilson at Medina
Sat. Jan. 16 MLK Classic at ECC-City
Tue. Jan. 19 I Jamestown at Wmsv. North
Sun. Jan. 24 MMA St. Mary's at St. Joe's, 3:30 p.m.
Mon. Jan 25 MMA Nichols at Canisius, 6:30 p.m.
Tue. Jan. 26 NL Grover Cleveland at Lackawanna, 7 p.m.; NO Akron at Wilson 7
Fri. Jan. 29 IV Lackawanna at Alden; NO Akron at Medina 7
Sun. Jan 31 MMA Canisius at St. Joe's, 4 p.m.
Wed. Feb. 3 NL V-Bishop Kearney at Canisius, 6:30 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 5 MMA St. Joe's at Nichols
Tue. Feb. 9 NO Medina at Wilson
Thu. Feb. 11 MMA Canisius at St. Mary's
Fri. Feb. 12 I Jamestown at Orchard Park; III Maryvale at Amherst father-son Part Two
Sun. Feb. 14 MMA St. Joe's at Canisius, 4 p.m.
Wed. Feb. 17 MMA Canisius at Nichols
Thu. Feb. 18 NL Maple Grove at North Tonawanda, 6 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 19 Yale Cup finales including Middle College at East, Grover at McKinley and Riverside at Hutch-Tech; NL Lackawanna at Orchard Park, 7 p.m.
There are plenty more, I'm sure -- these popped up on a preliminary walkthrough.

* * *

The Kensys are double-teaming ECIC III.

There's another coach Kensy on the sidelines as Chris, son of Maryvale 25th-year coach Mark, takes over at Amherst this year. Friday, Jan. 8 has the son coaching at the father. It's like Return of the Jedi.

* * *

Orchard Park has 15 players on its roster with four under 6 feet. OP linemen Robert (6-3, 235) and Pat Kugler (6-3, 235) are in the rotation as is senior football playmaker Dan Nesci (6-1, 195). Senior Joe Lombardo (6-0, 175) made plays at the Al Pastor, where senior Troy Nowak (6-2, 165) was the MVP.

* * *

We think we have a roster high with 17 at Amherst. Riverside has 15 on its roster.

* * *

The assistants to Chris Kensy at Maryvale look real familiar: former Maryvale teammate Dan Harris and former St. Francis standout athlete Kyle Illg.

* * *

Speaking of familiar names, both coaching Kensys and Maryvale JV coach Ryan Mohr are holding the third annual Maryvale Alumni Basketball Game on Monday, Dec. 28 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event benefits the America Cancer Society; over the last two games, $10,000 has been raised. Maryvale alumni can contact Chris Kensy at ckensy@amherst.k12.ny.us; the registration deadline is Dec. 18.

* * *

When Sweet Home beat North Tonawanda on the basketball court, seven Panthers and five Lumberjacks who were on their school's state championship football teams were on the rosters. Several times D.J. Nettles and Darrik Bloomfield plucked balls out of the air and you were tempted to say, "interception!"

* * *

Lackawanna goes small (junior Dondre Alexander is 5-5) (he of the 51 points in his first two games and only one three-pointer) ... and big (Damoni Hall 6-6 senior, also Darius Huggins 6-5 senior.)

* * *

Speaking of difference makers who played when they were in eighth grade (like Alexander), Williamsville North has a starter in eighth-grade, 6-foot, 150-pound guard Sterling Taplin. He's already started learning on the job (and turning heads while doing it), and there was plenty of minutes available after the Spartans graduated all five starters and its first two subs.

* * *

CCAA III East MVP Jeff Engles, a 6-2 senior, is back for West Valley.

* * *

Lancaster returns 6-6 junior J.J. Harrington.

* * *

St. Mary's Rashaad Rogers sophomore guard is the brother of Lafayette's Toddre Rogers … the Violets won the brotherly rivalry at the Dunkirk Boys and Girls Club Tournament.

* * *

On North's roster, 10 of 13 players are 6-foot or over. On Grover Cleveland's roster, 10 of 12 players are 6-foot or under (the other two are 6-1 and 6-2).

* * *

Maryvale may have started 0-2, but their roster is one you'll probably be reading at Buffalo State: Andre Davis (6-4), Bryce Shepard (6-1), Blair Estarfaa (6-3).

* * *

JFK has only three seniors. Eight of the 14 Bears are 6 foot or taller.

* * *

Names to keep an eye on in the Niagara Frontier League: Kenmore West's Wade Josiah, Kenmore East's Dante Bono and Kevin Wagner, Lew-Port's Marc Morreale, Eddie Wilson, Devon Amado, Pat Sevenes and Alex Nowician.

Lew-Port won its own tournament with a win over Lafayette and gutted out a win at West on Friday night.

* * *

Lake Shore returns 6-8 senior Sean Bellomo and 6-2 senior Erik Marx, both of whom had excellent summers according to coach Dan Gerken.

* * *

Favorite roster note: Lake Shore's Ben Senior is a junior.

* * *

Above the crowd: Cassadaga Valley has two 6-5 seniors in Dylan Walsh and Jake Lancaster. Clarence's Tyler Funk is a 6-7 junior.

* * *

Depew has four seniors - including 5-9 point guard Jacob Maryniewski - and an eighth-grader in 6-footer Derek Sekuterski

* * *

Frontier has just four seniors and nobody taller than 6-3.

* * *

Tonawanda has a 6-8 junior in Sean Rogers and a 6-6 senior in Mike Tolsma.

* * *

Coaching notes: At Pioneer Jeff Haskell took over for Mike Haskell; Dave Gilson replaced Wayne Ginty at Lockport; Sil Dan went from Cardinal O'Hara to Park; Pat Cullinan is at Cheektowaga.

Williamsville North's head JV coach is Jeremy Konst, his twin (and former fellow Will East backcourt mate) Justin is his assistant.

* * *

Trivia answers to questions I wasn't asking: The Tapestry Charter School's nickname is the Thunderhawks, Modie Cox is listed as an assistant.

* * *

Middle College not only upgraded with Sean Mulhern moving into the starting lineup with his 6-5, 255-pound frame, junior Keante Jones returned to the starting lineup while 6-foot senior Adrein Worthy and 6-2 sophomore Cordell Torres put in "a great summer" according to coach Randy Rich.

* * *

Another roster favorite: Salamanca's Jackson John.

Coach Brian Koscielniak added in an e-mail just to make sure: "first name Jackson, last name John". The 6-1 sophomore can score (10.3 points per game as a freshman) as can 6-6 Matt Deboy, who averaged 9.6 points per game and 10.8 rebounds last year.

Plenty more height to go around with the Warriors: 6-5 junior Jon Winship; 6-5 sophomore Matt Harrison; 6-4 junior Eric Morton, 6-3 senior Tyler Wass.

* * *

From the links department:

Of course the basics are in the Section VI handbook.

Here's how Timon a few weekends ago at the McDowell Tournament in Erie, Pa.

Nichols is the first Western New York team to participate in what is probably the best year-in, year-out high school basketball event that is closest to WNY, the McDonald's Tournament hosted by Cathedral Prep and Erie, Pa., at Gannon University.

Here's a informative Web page featuring a press release detailing the tournament as well as a local TV report.

I'm normally the biggest Wikipedia fan, but this site on the McDonald's Tournament has a tremendous amount of information about the elite history of the event. 

Here's Cathedral Prep's schedule, which also includes a visit to Canisius.

Nichols is also participating in major national high school events -- and if you are a major national high school event, you have your own Web site. Check out the Primetime Shootout and the Beach Ball Classic.

Check out a neat Lake Shore site run by coach Dan Gerken as well as a nice Portville site.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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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 | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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