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Live from the MLK Classic: McKinley, Grover, East, Sweet Home win (with video highlights and interviews)

Hello from the four-day Martin Luther King Basketball Classic at Erie Community College's Flickinger Center downtown.

12:40 p.m. We walk in the door and McKinley has won the opening game of the day, beating St. Francis, 54-48. 

12:43 p.m. We're underway with St. Joe's and Grover Cleveland; my brain is saying St. Joe's is the pick but on a hunch I'm going Grover. I had St. Francis in the first game. I've got East and Middle College in the others.

12:55 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, St. Joe's leads Grover, 19-14.

1:11 p.m. We are at halftime and St. Joe's leads, 39-30. The Marauders are doing a great job beating Grover down the floor and making the right fast-break pass to get the easy layup.

1:21 p.m. The second half starts with a Connor Rehbaum basket and a 41-30 lead for St. Joe's.

1:26 p.m. So much for that hunch I had, which was one of those hunches where I think something is going to happen that's not supposed to happen. What am I talking about? St. Joe's leads Grover, 48-32, with 4:49 left in the third quarter.

1:31 p.m. Grover coach Earl Schunk calls a timeout with 2:46 left in the third quarter. St. Joe's just scored three more transition baskets for a 54-35 lead.

1:38 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, St. Joe's has run away with it and leads, 63-41. The Marauders added some great ball movement in the halfcourt on some recent possessions. They look good -- a good bounce-back from Thursday afternoon's home loss to Bishop Timon-St. Jude.

1:43 p.m. A deep three-pointer by Ricky Alejandro -- it seems like all of his are deep ones -- brings Grover to within 64-50 and St. Joe's coach Mark Simon calls a timeout with 6:14 left to play. With their three-point shooting, Grover can get a bunch of points in a hurry, but we'll see if the timeout cures a lull for St. Joe's (7-1 start to the quarter by Grover).

1:48 p.m. Grover has crawled back into it -- St. Joe's calls a timeout with 5:00 left in the game and its lead down to 64-54. Connor Rehbaum has left the game and looks to be leaving the premises with a gash on his left wrist that he suffered after a drive; I believe it came when he hit the wall. 

1:54 p.m. Wow. Grover has cut the lead to 64-61 with 2:51 left in the game.

Told you I had a hunch.

1:57 p.m. Grover now down, 66-63, with 1:48 left. James Maiarana of St. Joe's is now out with a cut and apparently will be taken to get stitches. Strange second half here.

2:01 p.m. Ricky Alejandro hits a three-pointer and St. Joe's lead is now 69-68 with 1:06 left in the game. Wow.

2:04 p.m. Grover steals it, Alejandro misses, a foul sends Jake Spitler to the line with 16.1 seconds left. He hits the first and Joe's calls a timeout with a 70-68 lead.

2:09 p.m. We are going to OVERTIME! Chris Holland hits a three-pointer at the buzzer. Wow. It's tied at 71-71. St. Joe's bench wanted a push-off but it was a good no-call.

2:19 p.m. Grover has a 81-78 lead in overtime and St. Joe's has called a timeout with 1:27 left. 

2:29 p.m. In a foul-throw filled overtime, Grover went up by as many as six twice. It called a timeout with an 86-82 lead and 10.6 seconds left and another free throw to come.

2:31 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE and a wow: Grover Cleveland 89, St. Joe's 82 in overtime.

2:52 p.m. The action has started in the third game, with East and Canisius tied at 7-7 in the first quarter.

I was running around doing interviews and then had to retrieve my iPhone USB cord out of my car -- we were running low on juice and I'd be dead without that. We'll try to get Holland's three-pointer highlight up here at halftime. 

3:01 p.m. After the first quarter, Canisius has a 13-11 lead on East.

3:20 p.m. At halftime, East has a 25-17 lead on Canisius. 

Trying to post the Holland three and it's taking a while. Sorry about that.

East is playing some nice defense, and they have executed well on offense. Tremmell Fisher, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound guard, has come up with countless loose balls. Domonique Jackson has done his usual omnipresent act, often times setting up teammates. Blair Helton and Aaron Nevins have had flashes but have not gotten to the basket and open for looks like they did at Timon on Tuesday. 

3:31 p.m. The second half has started.

3:38 p.m. East calls a timeout with 4:09 left in the third quarter owning a 31-25 lead. Blair Helton had the last basket for Canisius on a fast break. 

3:45 p.m. Canisius has taken a 35-33 lead over East after three quarters. Nevins hit a three-pointer to flip the lead in the final minute of the quarter. 

3:51 p.m. East calls a timeout with 5:32 left in the game, having just taken a 37-36 lead on a Dale Gray basket off a Fisher pass.

4 p.m. East coach Starling Bryant calls a timeout with 1:40 left in the game and East up, 46-43.

4:04 p.m. East calls a timeout with a 48-44 lead and 26.6 seconds to go.  

4:12 p.m. Holland video is up finally. Sorry for the delay. 

Canisius took two timeouts in a row to talk over their possession with 2.7 seconds left. They've got the ball under their own basket and East has a 49-47 lead. East just missed a free throw and the ball went out of bounds to Canisius. 

4:14 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: East 49, Canisius 47. Helton had a good look of a very deep three-pointer that rolled around the rim and missed.

Yale Cup is 3-0 on the day with three wins over the Monsignor Martin Association. 

4:32 p.m. Introductions just complete for our fourth game of the day as Sweet Home takes on Middle College. Middle, an offshoot of ECC, is playing in its home gym. 

4:44 p.m. Sweet Home with a timeout in a first quarter it has to be pleased with, there is 2:50 left and the Panthers are up, 9-2. 

4:50 p.m. Middle College calls a timeout with 1:04 left in the first quarter -- K.J. Zinermon just nailed a three-pointer from the right side for a 14-4 Sweet Home lead. 

4:53 p.m. Great finish to the first quarter for Middle College, which forces a turnover, then Justin Stokes takes in a fast-break layup to cut the Sweet Home lead to 16-8 heading to the second. 

4:57 p.m. Sweet Home calls a timeout because Middle College has its home court pretty loud. The game is tied at 18-18 with 6:21 left in the second. Great series there for MC, which is NOT on the iPhone, and I'm not happy about it. Picked the wrong time to not do the video. Some great action from Stokes, Mulhern and Alexander. 

5:11 p.m. We are at halftime and Middle College has a 39-31 lead over Sweet Home. Nice job by the Kats coming back from the early deficit. They played good defense and got out in transition -- and shot a lot of free throws. That will happen when Sweet Home plays its aggressive defense.

The Panthers played that defense from the jump, and, as always, coach Paul Schintzius and assistant Al Parker, were jumping and clapping and yelling. That helped Sweet Home take ownership of the court in that first quarter.

When Stokes finished the quarter with that layup off the steal, I think that let Middle College relax a bit. First huge game for them in a while, first huge game on their home court in a while (ever?), first event-type game in front of a big crowd, and it seemed that the entire team and its bench were a bit tentative at the start. That certainly wasn't the case as they got deeper into the second quarter.

The great series that I missed with the iPhone was at the start of the quarter and included a Stokes steal -- he missed the layup but Mulhern was there to clean it up to make it 16-11; Mulhern stood up in the lane to stop at Sweet Home defender and sent a touchdown of an outlet pass to Stokes (16-13); after a Sweet Home basket; Alexander cleaned up a Young missed three (18-15); and Alexander hits a three-pointer for an 18-18 tie and the timeout.

5:21 p.m. We're starting the second half. 

5:27 p.m. Sweet Home battles back nicely to a 43-43 game with 3:39 left in the third. 

5:29 p.m. Sweet Home coach Schintzius calls a timeout with 2:52 left in the third with a layup by Young having given Middle College a 47-43 lead. 

5:36 p.m. We are at the end of the third quarter and Middle College leads Sweet Home, 52-50. 

5:40 p.m. Middle College calls a timeout as Alexander gets a loose ball in a tough scramble under the MC hoop. MC leads, 56-51, with 6:59 left. 

5:44 p.m. Sweet Home calls a timeout with 6:12 left; Middle College leads, 56-52.

5:49 p.m. Middle College calls a timeout after Stokes reels in a loose ball near the out-of-bounds line in front of the Middle College bench. MC leads, 57-56, with 4:32 left. 

6:09 p.m. Sweet Home goes on a nice finishing kick. Final score: Sweet Home 70, Middle College 63. More details and videos to come. 

* * *

7:10 p.m. At the home office after interviews, packing up and some computer issues starting up here.

Sweet Home and Middle College were tied at 57-57 with 4:29 left in the game, which is about when Mulhern fouled out, and the Panthers won the remainder of the game, 13-6. 

Denzel Kirkland scored off a turnover, Jordan Johnson hit a jumper in the lane, and Briggs scored in transition to give Sweet Home a 63-57 lead with 3:02 left and prompt a Middle College timeout. Johnson added another free throw lane jumper and the Panthers were up by eight (65-57) with less than two minutes to play.

Middle College cut it to three (65-62) on two Alexander free throws with 44.2 seconds left, but the Kats would get no closer. Briggs went 5 of 6 at the line in the final minute. 

* * *

I'm writing my story for the paper now but I'll be adding more videos and interviews.

* * *

I added some video quotes throughout the post ... here are some from Sweet Home ... 

* * *

Here are some more quotes below ...

St. Joe's coach Mark Simon: "Just speechless. We lost two to stitches, we had two on the road. Just speechless. ... They're good -- they're explosive, and Alejandro hit some big shots. Our depth just couldn't get it done."

Canisius coach Kyle Husband: "Not really our type of game this year [because it was low scoring]. We definitely didn't shoot the ball well but we didn't do anything to help ourselves either. We didn't really execute. We didn't really make the extra pass, which is something we've been doing. That's why we play these games, to get better and get challenged. I'm glad in that regard. Unfortunately, we talk about 'keep moving in the right direction, keep moving in the right direction,' and we didn't completely do that today."

---Keith McShea


Basketball | Canisius | East High | Grover Cleveland | St. Joe's
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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.

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