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Live from the Pastor-Cooper Tournament: close win for Will North girls, big wins for Nichols, OP boys

The courtside view at the Pastor-Cooper Tournament. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)We're live at the 24th annual Pastor-Cooper Memorial High School Basketball Tournament at Daemen College.

 6:45 p.m. Got here just in time for a great finish as the Williamsville North girls came up with some nice clutch plays in the last few minutes to beat Grand Island, 55-52.

North junior Corrin Genovese scored 18 points, including two three-pointers, to earn MVP honors.

Named to the all-tournament team were Grand Island sophomore Kallie Banker and senior Kristin Wegrzyn. North sophomore Nikki Attea, Sarah Pawlak of Sacred Heart and Brianna Smith of Nichols.

This year's MVP of the Pastor-Cooper (Corrin Genovese) with the 1999 winner (coach Clare Crowley). (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)After the game, Genovese told me that coach Clare Crowley had won the award when she was in high school. That's what you call a great lead for my story. Crowley won it for Mount Mercy in 1999. 

It was cool to hear Crowley talk about how important the tournament was to her -- I think the tournament is one of the fine traditions of Western New York high school sports.

7:25 p.m. After the first quarter of the Al Pastor Division Championship, Orchard Park leads a struggling-from-the-field Medina, 11-5. 

7:46 p.m. At halftime, OP leads Medina, 19-18.

More importantly at halftime, Medina's Blade Garlow won the 14th annual Chicken Wing-Eating Contest. Very entertaining stuff, as always. But now I'm quite hungry. I could go for some yummy (and tournament-sponsoring) Santora's pizza or wings. No time to eat, plus wing-fingers aren't good for the keyboard.

Tournament director David Cooper with wing-eating contest winner Blade Garlow. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) Garlow won with 11 wings eaten, beating out a spirited field that included GI junior basketball player Brooke DeMarco (eight wings). DeMarco had a great cheering section going thanks to her teammates. Great stuff.

 A report from illustrious Prep Talk Nation blogger centercourt, who just arrived here from the Lockport Tournament: St. Joe's loses the lead late and drops its opener to Middle College.

8:07 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Orchard Park has a 40-24 lead on Medina. OP got three-pointers from Dan Nesci and Joe Lombardo while Pat Kugler (sorry, I had brother Robert here originally) had two follow baskets inside to complete the 21-6 quarter for OP. The Quakers are playing aggressive defense, hitting the floor for loose balls and moving the ball well on offense. Medina doesn't seem in sync and has been limited to solo drives. OP also doing a good job rebounding.

8:14 p.m. OP's lead is 45-26 with 5:36 left. Very impressive game from OP. Senior Troy Nowak has had a couple of nice layups while being fouled; Joe Lombardo had two nice hustle steals for the Quakers, one of which set up one of Nowak's layups.

8:24 p.m. It's a final in the boys' Al Pastor Division: Orchard Park beats Medina, 53-33.

9:07 p.m. Nichols is putting on a display here in the first quarter of the Jerry Cooper Division final. The Vikings lead St. Mary's, 33-9, in what should be a scary performance for the rest of Western New York. Lot of basketball to play here, but Nichols' pressure defense and it's wealth of options on offense look like they will be extremely tough to handle all season long.

9:24 p.m. Nichols still looks fantastic. The Vikings are up, 52-18, at halftime. A superb half was punctuated by a pretty fast break in which a touchdown pass from deep in the Nichols end by Andy MacKinnon hit senior Dieter Clauss, who then turned and dished it back to an oncoming Will Regan, who threw it down for a two-handed dunk. Super stuff.

9:52 p.m. Nichols leads, 70-33, after three quarters. I gotta write a story for first edition.

10:08 p.m. We have a final score in the Jerry Cooper Division: Nichols 81, St. Mary's 46.

Siobhan Hanley of Nichols (left) accepts the sportsmanship award. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)A final note on another entertaining championship night at the Pastor-Cooper -- the tournament in recent years has begun a scholar-athlete sportsmanship award, and this year's winner was Nichols senior Siobhan Hanley (pictured). She accepted the award after the girls championship game.

---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 |