Hello from the final day of the regular season in high school boys basketball.
Undefeated Middle College is taking on East for the Yale Cup. Unfortunately we are in a different venue, the Grabiarz School off Military Road.
It's a cool coaching matchup in that Middle College's Randy Rich was a longtime assistant under East's Starling Bryant during Traditional's championship runs.
5:42 p.m. The first timeout of the game is called by East, which trails, 19-10, with 1:31 left in the first quarter. Middle College is getting out in transition with Justin Stokes and Darale Young putting up some very nice finishes.
5:45 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Middle College leads East, 24-15. Deon Robinson of East just nailed an off-balance NBA-range three-pointer at the buzzer; that answered Young swishing a three-pointer.
5:58 p.m. Middle College's Rich calls a timeout with 2:06 left in the second quarter. Stokes just swished an open three for a 35-27 lead.
6:01 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Middle College leads East, 39-30.
East made a nice run in the second to come within 35-30 after a three-pointer by Jasen Oden, who is into this game. Great intensity.
Stokes continues to be fantastic. He dished to Davon Alexander for a basket off a scramble, then made a tough catch-and-finish on a quick transition to supply the Kats with their halftime lead.
6:11 p.m. We're back and the second half has started. I took a picture of the Yale Cup, which is sitting courtside.
6:16 p.m. East takes a timeout with 5:15 left in the third, trailing, 48-37. Robinson started the half with a three-pointer, but a three by Young, a twisting basket by Stokes in the lane and a Mulhern inside hoop put Middle College up 11.
6:23 p.m. Middle College calls a timeout with 1:53 left in the third; it leads, 49-42. East keeps hanging around -- they had it at six (48-42) before a free throw by Kiante Jones.
6:28 p.m. We are at the end of the third quarter and Middle College leads, 53-44.
6:33 p.m. Middle College can taste it. Davon Alexander started the quarter on a sidelines inbound clapping his hands loud and hard; after a made basket he said "six more!" because there were six minutes left. A swished three-pointer by Young gave MC a 61-46 lead (its largest lead) and Stokes is heading to the line as East calls a timeout with 6:08 left in the game.
6:39 p.m. Young goes to the line with MC up, 62-51, with 4:14 left. Lot of free throws in the late going and Middle College hasn't made most of them.
6:41 p.m. Check that. Young hits two, then adds a sweet driving bank shot for a 66-51 lead. Robinson hits two and East calls timeout with 3:30 left and trailing, 66-53.
6:50 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Middle College 74, East 55.
Time for interviews and some work.
We'll be headed to Depew at Lancaster later tonight.
The game went off without a hitch. There was a significant police presence in the gym but they weren't needed at all.
As for ridiculous forecasts by irresponsible bloggers that there would be a chaotic scene in the parking lot, there's nothing even to say. It was a parking lot. People got out of their cars. People walked into the gym. It was a normal basketball game situation.
7:58 p.m. I'm in the rear section of the scorer's table, plugged in and able to get some work done while Lancaster and Depew go at it in a standing-in-the-gym-doorway-room-only crowd here at Lancaster. Great atmosphere here.
Depew took a 16-15 lead after one quarter on a just-inside-halfcourt, banked-in three-pointer by Depew standout senior guard Jake Maryniewski.
Right now Depew has a 23-22 lead heading under two minutes to go in the second quarter.
8:06 p.m. At halftime, Depew leads, 25-24. Depew is wearing baby-blue uniforms which are very snazzy. Fans of a certain struggling ACC school would call them Carolina blue.
8:34 p.m. With less than 6:15 left in the game, Lancaster leads Depew, 50-47.
8:45 p.m. Great game here -- Lancaster leads Depew, 59-57, with 2:26 left in the game, but Redskins standout J.J. Harrington has just fouled out. He's been a force inside and out, hitting at least one three that I've seen.
9:02 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Lancaster 66, Depew 62. Great win for the Redskins, who hit their free throws down the stretch to hold on.
Check out the video below, complete with Sean Bruso and Tony Caliguri doing the call for WXRL (1300 AM), including a game-ending interview with a certain Prep Talk guru.
11:02 p.m. OK. Yale Cup story written for the paper, box score sent in, PrepTalkTV blabbity-blah on-camera done, blabbity-blah off-camera done, and reporter/digital producer Lauren Mariacher and I are getting out in time so the gracious Lancaster staff can get their work done. They've been great.
I'll have more up soon. Just a lot to get done.
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Very impressive job by Middle College. Just too much for East, too much firepower, too much great ball movement to find that firepower.
Great win for Lancaster in what was a super environment to be in. I'm glad we were able to get out there.
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Here's the scoreboard from tonight.
Some nice take-some-momentum-into-the-postseason wins for Lackawanna (at Orchard Park), City Honors (over Burgard), McKinley (over Grover), Riverside (over Hutch-Tech), Niagara Catholic (over Lew-Port). Cardinal O'Hara beats Walsh to earn a trip to Canisius College on Sunday to face Nichols in the Manhattan Cup quarterfinals.
Speaking of, we'll have live updates throughout Sunday's Manhattan Cup games as well as a PrepTalkTV episode wrapping up the action and the semifinal matchups.
We'll be back here in a little more than a few hours from the Section VI boys basketball seedings meetings and we'll have official brackets online as soon as we can type them.
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Here's the PrepTalkTV episode that wraps up our travels.
taggedBasketball | East High | Middle College