Hello from One News Plaza. I'll be heading to the Middle College at Riverside 5:30 p.m. game, followed by a trip to South Buffalo for Nichols at Bishop Timon-St. Jude, which tips at 7:30 p.m.
I thought I might be able to catch the 4:15 p.m. game of Burgard at Seneca, but there was some work to do, including the news that Nichols will play Jamesville-Dewitt next week.
5:32 p.m. We're off to Riverside.
5:54 p.m. Get a good parking spot (not easy at Riverside), walk into the Riverside gym and Middle College has a 9-5 lead a few minutes in. The Riverside gym has been refurbished since last year and the changes are subtle but very nice -- there is now seating on the side of the court opposite the scorer's table in additon to the cool balcony seating seen at several city gyms. The bleachers -- and the new wall padding -- is all Riverside purple.
6:03 p.m. Middle College calls a timeout after taking a 19-9 lead on a fast break. There is 1:32 left in the first quarter.
6:07 p.m. Davon Alexander hits a three-pointer (that we have on video) just before the buzzer and Middle College takes a 23-11 lead after the first quarter.
6:30 p.m. We are at halftime and Middle College leads Riverside, 43-24. Not the greatest game, a little sloppy with MC taking advantage of turnovers and having too much firepower for the Frontiers.
6:42 p.m. Justin Stokes threw down a dunk for Middle College early in the third, but we were uploading video instead of shooting it. Arghh. In a related story, the Alexander three has been posted above.
Riverside's lead is now 47-24 after a Stokes fast-break basket with just over five minutes left in the third. We have a strong feeling we'll be leaving this game early to get a good spot at Timon.
6:53 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, things haven't changed -- Middle College leads Riverside, 56-30.
We're packing up and heading to Timon.
7:23 p.m. Arrive at Timon with the JV game still going on; updating here from the iPhone. I'm in the same seat -- first seat, second row, across from visiting bench -- that I watched the Canisius OT win here. Trying to figure out if i should move to the balcony where there is a table to work at. Love the view here, though.
7:58 p.m. The view on the balcony is pretty good, too, and I definitely need the work space. We've got the laptop out, some great Timon folks helped get our extension cord plugged in, and we're set. That was only after I got up to the balcony only to realize I left my wireless card in my car. There were three minutes on the clock counting down when I sprinted to the car, retrieved it and made it back in time for the tipoff. Workout for the day done.
On the court, Timon has a 17-9 lead with 2:19 left in the first quarter. Kyle Kobis has hit three three-pointers.
Bad news for Timon just now as Dut Dour went down to the floor, then hopped off the court with some sort of leg problem.
8:05 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Timon leads, 19-11.
In the last two minutes, Will Regan just stole the ball at midcourt, had a high dribble that Timon fans wanted called for a travel -- and they really wanted it after Regan threw down a dunk with one hand. Fun stuff. And I got it with the iPhone. Whew.
8:14 p.m. With 2:48 left in the second quarter, Nichols calls a timeout as it is trailing, 31-24.
8:17 p.m. Timon calls a timeout with 58.7 seconds left and a 35-26 lead.
8:22 p.m. We are at halftime and Timon leads Nichols, 35-26.
8:26 p.m. Quality halftime entertainment going on here; the Timon PA guy has a wireless mike and is running a raffle and shooting contest.
When he's announcing, he's one of Timon's biggest fans and telling the officials that they may have missed something (I'm thinking he'll be heard on some of the highlights -- not that there's anything wrong with that). When he does that, the mike is switched off -- but one of these days the hollering will get caught on the big mike, right? That will be a fun game to be at.
8:39 p.m. Nichols calls a timeout with 2:58 left in the third quarter. Timon with some nice energy recently and it has a 44-30 lead.
8:42 p.m. Another Nichols timeout with Timon now up, 48-30, with 1:37 left. Combination of good shooting, hustle and steals getting the Tigers up big.
8:47 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Timon has a 50-36 lead.
8:50 p.m. Timon calls a timeout after a dose of Regan to start the fourth: Jumper, block, dunk and Timon's lead is down to 50-40 with 7:17 left.
8:55 p.m. With 4:21 left in the game, Regan scores in the lane and Nichols calls a timeout trailing, 54-46. Regan has been terrific in the fourth. Had an assist on a basket since my last update.
Let's go to the video:
The first clip below has Regan rebounding, dribbling and finding Dieter Clauss, who makes a very nice baseline drive to make it a 50-44 game. The second starts with a Regan block, is followed by two typically gritty Timon baskets (Kyle Mackowiak followed by Mike Scarcello), then a Regan hoop inside.
8:58 p.m. Timon calls a timeout with 3:11 left and Nichols having cut the lead to 54-48. Stan Wier had a layup that just wouldn't go down right before the timeout.
With the shot clock running down, Kobis hits a huge three-pointer for Timon. That basket is answered by a Regan basket inside and Timon leads, 57-50.
9:02 p.m. Nichols calls a timeout with 1:36 left in the game and trailing, 57-50.
9:09 p.m. Some wild action here late. Nichols calls a timeout after an Andy MacKinnon drive with Timon leading, 60-54. Moments ago, Connor Vandegriff was called for a technical foul for swinging his elbows after a rebound, one of which caught a Timon player right in the head.
Vandegriff wasn't intentionally trying to hurt anyone, but he was definitely being a little overzealous with the elbow. The technical in addition to the foul call was a good one. The play raised the emotions of both sides for a bit but things calmed down quickly enough.
Mike Scarcello hit one free throw to put Timon up, 58-52, with 1:13 left. Timon kept possession, Nichols fouled quickly, and Chris Kane, on a one-and-one, clutch free throws to put TImon up, 60-52, with 1:09 left. Andy MacKinnon scored on a drive to make it 60-54 with 54 seconds to go.
After a missed free throw, Stan Wier hits a three-pointer to cut the lead to 60-57, after which Kobis is fouled with 42 seconds left.
Kobis polishes off a very nice game with the two free throws. Then Mike Scarcello gets the Timon fans fired up with a nice blocked shot.
On the ensuing inbounds play, Nichols is called for an offensive foul. It's a good call. Timon has a 62-57 lead with 31.4 seconds left.
Towards the end of the clip is where things get a little interesting. The officials have awarded the ball out of bounds to Timon near the spot of the foul.
However, at this point (the end of the clip), Mark Clifford, a longtime Timon assistant and also the longtime rules interpreter for the Western New York Basketball Officials Association, waves an official over and has a discussion with him.
Then the two officials have their own talk.
This is when Nichols head coach Greg Plumb and Clifford have a brief shouting match across the scorer's table area, which includes some finger pointing. Clifford says that it's a two-shot foul out of bounds. Plumb says "you're coaching ... that's not right." Clifford says, "Who cares? The call is the right call."
This is not an indictment of the two game officials, who I thought did a pretty good job in a big-time, physical, emotional game. I don' t know the rule book, but I'm sure the two-shot foul is the correct interpretation of the call.
But I understand why Plumb took issue with what happened. Play was about to continue until Clifford waved the official over. Is it fair that the rules interpreter pretty much halted the game to the advantage of the team he coaches for? Would he have done the same thing if it were to the advantage of Nichols? Is it fair to hard-working referees -- who do their best every night and in every gym -- that, if they happen to be in the same gym as Timon, the interpreter is ready to point out that they missed a ruling?
There's a name for these kind of situations, when it is only natural that these kind of questions get asked -- it's called a conflict of interest.
And now, back to our game: Timon did go to the line for a two-shot foul and Mike Scarcello made one free throw (63-57); Nichols missed a shot, fouled Dut Dour and he made one free throw (64-57) with 20.5 seconds left; Regan hits a three with about two seconds left.
9:17 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Bishop Timon-St. Jude 64, Nichols 60.
A seriously heated end of the game. Nichols fans irate at officials' calls, the technical and the heated discussion between the benches.
I'll have plenty more here as the night goes on.
Scorebooks are to the right, sorry about having to crane your neck some to read them.
Some reaction from Timon:
* * *
Tonight's scoreboard has been posted.
Things that jumped out at me:
* The margin of Grover's win over Buffalo Arts. Nice job by Arts.
* Solid win for Bennett over Hutch-Tech.
* Nice tough wins for ECIC III-ers Depew and Amherst.
* The NFL is crazy.
* Trevor Short with 35 of Akron's 47 points in four-point win over Newfane.
Unfortunately in some games the records of the teams aren't reported. If you don't see records, that's because we need both teams' records. We will not publish the records unless we have both. It's a simple thing that we need, a simple thing that teams can take care of, and it must be part of every team's report.
A final thought well after I was the last guy to leave Timon's Mel Palano Gym.
All things considered, it's not shocking that Timon, ranked sixth among large schools, wins at home against No. 1 Nichols. Nichols is without a major player in Canestro, and tonight showed that they are obviously a different team without him.
The "different" Nichols, and results like tonight (not to mention Timon's loss at St. Francis on Wednesday!), make for quite the Monsignor Martin schedule the rest of the way, and make for one crazy large school poll.
* * *
Here's the Saturday roundup.
* * *
Of course, if you caught a game tonight, tell us what you thought of the action, the players, the fans and atmosphere -- even the PA guy.
taggedBasketball | Bishop Timon-St. Jude | Middle College | Nichols | Riverside | Video