I'm starting here at One News Plaza, but the plan is to catch a little bit of Hutch-Tech's boys game against City Honors, and then head to Clarence for its girls-boys doubleheader against Orchard Park (girls at 6 p.m., boys to follow). Not a bad ECIC I doubleheader -- Clarence, which is having good basketball seasons in both boys and girls, is hosting the No. 1 girls large school and the No. 10 boys large school.
5:54 p.m. We're signing off and making the trip a few blocks away uptown to Hutch-Tech.
6:19 p.m. Hutch-Tech has an 18-16 lead with 6:24 left in the second quarter. I was there for the final minute of the first quarter and the first minute of the second, and the only basket scored made for a nice highlight -- a nice drive for Hutch-Tech.
I'm off to Clarence.
6:55 p.m. Arrive at Clarence where the host Red Devil girls are trying to hand top-ranked Orchard Park its first loss of the season. Clarence leads OP, 41-37, after three quarters.
OP standout senior Jaymie Druding is out for about three weeks with an leg injury, obviously a big loss for the Quakers. You can see her crutches near the bench.
Sidenote: A flying chest-bump to copy editor Geoff Nason, who changed the headline of this blog from Wednesday Night Live to Thursday Night Live. Whoops.
7:03 p.m. Some nice back-and-forth action and Clarence has a 47-44 lead with 4:31 left in the game.
7:18 p.m. Senior guard Val Nappo has hit six straight free throws and Clarence continues to lead, 55-51, with 21.3 seconds left.
OP junior Taylor Swiatek hits a huge three-pointer to bring the Quakers within one at 55-54.
7:23 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE from the girls game: Clarence 56, Orchard Park 54.
Scorebooks for each team are at the right.
The Clarence reaction, starting with coach Erin Roos:
Coach didn't say anything about cookies, though ...
8:01 p.m. After the first quarter of the boys game, Clarence has a 16-11 lead. Nice pace to the game.
8:03 p.m. Rant alert: I HATE scoreboards that, during timeouts, don't show the time left but instead show the time counting down in the timeout. Hate it. The game is tied at 19-19 at some point in the middle of the second quarter but I don't know how much time because I'm staring at 11 ... 10 .... 9 ... . Canisius and Clarence get D-merits for that. Do they still have D-merits?
8:08 p.m. Really nice game here, and Troy Nowak of OP seems to have a ton of points. OP takes a 26-24 lead and Clarence calls a timeout with 2:02 left in the second.
8:13 p.m. At halftime, OP leads Clarence, 26-24.
A funny moment of the first half. Some Orchard Park dudes and dudettes have made the trip (nice job by them), and when a Clarence player was at the free throw line, an OP player on the bench turned around to his OP people.
OP player on bench: "Hey, say something."
Buddy in bleachers, a little confused: "What do you want me to say?"
[Pause as Clarence player steps to the line]
Buddy in the bleachers: "AHAHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"
8:29 p.m. I've been checking in with the office about the girls game so I've missed some action but OP leads, 30-26, with less than five minutes left in the third.
8:32 p.m. OP coach Bob Rumschik calls a timeout with the Quakers, leading, 35-28, with 3:08 left in the third.
8:38 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, OP's lead is cut to 37-36 on a three-pointer in the final seconds from Clarence's Greg Lucsok.
8:43 p.m. OP calls a timeout with Clarence ahead, 40-39, with 5:52 left.
Hill's three-pointer puts Clarence up, 43-39, and DJ Dominic gets busy.
Nesci finishes off a nice hustle play with a three to put OP up, 44-43, and Nowak blocks a big man's shot on the other end.
8:49 p.m. A great finish of a tough fast-break drive by OP sophomore Matt McCormick gives the Quakers a 46-45 lead.
With 2:28 left, Rumschik calls a timeout.
8:54 p.m. After a McCormick three puts OP up three, Clarence calls a timeout trailing, 49-46, with 20.7 seconds left.
Late in regulation, DJ Dominic with a nice job, reminding the Clarence fans who are nearly spilling on to the court across the way that sportsmanship comes first in "the Devil's Den."
8:56 p.m. Clarence dribbles across halfcourt and calls another timeout with 15.5 seconds left.
8:58 p.m. Clarence's David Hill takes a DEEEEP three-pointer and swishes it in the final seconds; OP misses a desperation heave, and we're going to OVERTIME.
Jeesh. Unbelievable. Tied at 49-49.
Clarence scores the first basket of OT, but a 6-for-6 showing at the line by Nowak helps OP achieve a four-point lead they'll hold on to for much of the extra session.
Great job by Nowak, swishing all six in front of a loud bleacher of Clarence fans.
9:05 p.m. With 21.3 seconds left in overtime, OP has a 59-56 lead. Hill just hit a three-pointer. Great stuff.
9:08 p.m. Hill is called for a pushoff as he is trying to get space for himself, with the ball, to get off a three. Whoa. Clarence fans not happy.
My take on the call? I don't like games being decided by whistles in the final seconds unless they absolutely have to be (ask Jamestown fans about what I thought of a call in the final seconds of their sectional quarterfinal two years ago :-) ). So, yes, I see the player with his arm out, but I would have been fine with that being a no-call.
That's just my opinion, of course. Disclaimer: I don't like to bring officials' calls up for discussion often because it is ultimately part of the game. However, this was a big call in a big spot and I overheard two people talking about it after the game. It's certainly worthy of discussion. And, for better or worse, it is 2010 and I have iPhone video of it. So we might as well take a look at it and discuss it.
It's also strangely topical. The push-off was something St. Joe's supporters wanted when Chris Holland hit a three-pointer to send their game to overtime at the MLK Classic last Saturday. I liked the no-call (although I didn't have a great view of it across the court), saying, "you can't call a push-off there."
After the play, Nick Mahoney fouls out on quick foul and Rob Kugler will go to the foul line with four seconds left and OP up, 59-56.
9:12 p.m. Both free throws are missed; Clarence gets the rebound and calls timeout; it will have the ball under its own basket with 3.3 seconds left.
9:15 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Orchard Park 59, Clarence 56.
OP fouled Clarence at midcourt -- another subject that has been lively on the blogs recently because of the Grover-St. Joe's game, fouling with a three-point lead. Clarence missed the first shot and the clock expired.
Not a bad night here at Clarence, with No. 1 going down on the girls side and No. 10 surviving in overtime on the boys side.
Here's the reaction from OP:
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After gathering some quotes and sending some information to the office from my spot in the bleachers, I had a much different view of the gym.
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As for the discussion below regarding the PA at Clarence: To echo one Prep Talk Nation-er's take on it during the Jamestown-Clarence game as we were all exposed to it for the first time -- I'd rather we get an overdose of energy than a lack of it.
I gave DJ Dominic props after my trip last week to Clarence.
It is a bit j-j-j-j-jarring to hear the "D-D-D-D-Dav-id King-of-the-Hill!" call when you first hear it, but I must say I'm a fan. I'm also down with the beats that Dominic drops during the game. Yeah, I said it. The beats that he drops.
I've been there for two big games with big shots at the end, and the PA calls adds to the atmosphere (just listen to the call when Hill hit the three and the game went to OT tonight -- great stuff). It definitely helps when there is a bleacher full of Red Devil fans across the way and I think they're fans of the PA work along with the team. In the end, some quality school spirit at the games in Clarence.
With Clarence playing some top-notch basketball, I highly recommend that Clarence fans or hoop fans check out a game in, as DJ Dominic says, "the Devil's Den."
taggedBasketball | City Honors | Clarence | Hutch-Tech | Orchard Park | Video