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Tuesday Night Live: Video of Middle College surviving Lafayette's wacky gym

A little experiment -- we're seeing how a post from the iPhone goes ...

(Blogger's note: we updated the post later with photos and videos and cleaned it up, but the experiment was successful -- we can blog right from the iPhone.)

That is not an illusion. That is the three-point line, ending at the out-of-bounds line. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

6:42 p.m. I'm at Lafayette, where the host Mighty Violets lead No. 2 small school Middle College, 36-34, at halftime.

Lafayette's results, schedule and the Yale Cup standings are among many words on the walls. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)Lafayette's skinny gym is a serious home court advantage -- I'll have photos and videos showing how much.

Opposing teams hate the gym, and it's really not basketball that's being played, but I can't help but like the charm and quirks of the place. In addition to the wacko dimensions of the gym, the walls have been painted by coach Karl Maggiore with tributes to Lafayette greats and with sayings to help motivate the Mighty Violets. I did a story on the gym a few years ago when Lafayette had one of its best teams (which lost to Depew in double-overtime in one of the greatest sectional games I've ever seen). The Lafayette gym story is one of the most enjoyable stories I've ever done at The News.

Back to the game -- it's close, and I expected that. Since Middle College is a young program, this was their first trip to Lafayette. And the Mighty Violets are a good team which owns a victory over St. Mary's -- it's only loss was at Lew-Port very early on, and Lew-Port is doing just fine in the Niagara Frontier League. 

At halftime, a witnessed a nice little scene -- Middle College coach Randy Rich and Davon Alexander talked with official Dave Hoch at midcourt. Alexander had just been hit with a technical foul by Hoch and coach and player were apologetic and were talking it over with Hoch, who fully explained why Alexander got T-ed up.

While I'm at it, Hoch has been in this gym before, and he's doing a great job here -- two good teams in a claustrophobic gym can lead to emotions getting out of control, but he and his partner have the game well in control.

I'm going to probably stay here before heading to Timon for its game with Canisius.

7 p.m. Middle College has a 49-45 lead after the third quarter. I might not have updates for a while because I'll be doing video.

Here's some of that video:

Alexander finds Darale Young for a nice short jumper and a 53-47 Middle College lead.

Justin Stokes with a steal and a layup as Middle College takes control of the fourth quarter, leading, 56-50.

Stokes scores while being fouled to put Middle College up, 57-53, with 3:06 left.

Young goes two-for-two to give Middle College the three-point advantage it would win the game by.

7:29 p.m. Middle College played good defense with Lafayette needing a three-pointer -- the Violets don't get up a good shot and the Kats hold on for a 61-58 victory.

Young (23 points), Alexander (20) and Stokes (18) accounted for all of the scoring.

Middle College was super-impressive to me in the fourth quarter with the discipline they played with and with their defense. Like I mentioned earlier, this gym has a tendency to lead to out-of-control games -- turnovers are almost automatic when you consider how slender the gym is how little room there is to manuever. The Kats did something I'm not sure I've seen much in the big games at Lafayette -- they maintained a deliberate pace (with Young doing a great job controlling it), and played tough defense that slowed Lafayette's ability to get the ball in positions to score. Just a very impressive win for the Kats.

After all, when the Kats walked into the place, Young turned to coach Rich and said, "Where's the real gym?" Rich, to his credit, did what many Yale Cup coaches have done in the past and held practices leading up to the Lafayette game on a court with rows of chairs set up where the Lafayette sidelines are.

On to Timon.

8:01 p.m. Arrive at Timon and see Canisius has 19-12 lead after one quarter. Canisius is looking very good and now has a 34-18 lead with three minutes left in the second. A couple members of Prep Talk Nation are here and they're impressed with Canisius, while they say Timon has missed a bunch of free throws.

8:10 p.m. At halftime Canisius has a very impressive 43-23 lead. Blair Helton has 20 points, it was just announced. He had a ton in the second quarter. Crusaders putting forth a complete effort.

I'm surprised at the margin for sure; I think Timon might be feeling the bright lights for the first time - it's the Tigers' first big league game in a while, and there is a little pressure playing here at home before a near-full auditorium, featuring its rowdy fans -- nice job standing up the entire time. Hopefully the Tigers will find their form and make it more of a game.

8:35 p.m. Timon had better energy and hit some threes but Canisius still leads, 59-44, after the third.

8:49 p.m. Timon has it down to 66-56 with 3:18 left.

9:03 p.m. We are shockingly going to OT at 69-69!

9:18 p.m. Canisius wins by one at the OT buzzer on a driving layup by junior Aaron Nevins! Wow!

Canisius wins, 78-77. What a game.

Yes, I've got the winning basket on the iPhone and I'll post it ASAP.

Check out a separate post with several videos from the Canisius game, including Nevins' game-winner.

---Keith McShea

tagged

Basketball | Bishop Timon-St. Jude | Canisius | Lafayette | Middle College | Video
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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 | [email protected]

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