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Live from AA quarterfinals: NT beats Sweet Home, 62-52; Clarence knocks off Niagara Falls

In a few hours, the Section VI final fours in boys basketball will be set for Buffalo State and Jamestown Community College. Here we go.

I'm here at North Tonawanda for the marquee game of the quarterfinals, the Class AA matchup of perennial power Sweet Home and the Lumberjacks, who have had an outstanding year as co-champs of the Niagara Frontier League. This was one of nine games postponed from yesterday by snow.

I'll have updates throughout the game. So sit tight and get familiar with your refresh button.

1:53 p.m. Sweet Home has gotten my toes tapping with its pregame clap-and-chant deal. Trademark stuff for the Panthers. I like it, especially in a game like this in which they are in an opposing team's gym. Of course, the sound and fury has to signify something, so they have to bring it in the game, and they usually do.

With that being said, my pick is right in line with my poll. I think NT will be able to come through and get to Buffalo State.

2:09 p.m. Great pace, as expected. Two Darrik Bloomfield free throws give NT a 15-9 lead with 3:25 to go in the first quarter.

2:11 p.m. First timeout of the game is by Sweet Home coach Paul Schintzius. NT still leads, 15-9; 2:59 left in the first.

UPDATES: We have a report that Wilson has a 14-7 lead with 3:17 left in the first. ... Niagara Falls and Clarence tied at 9-9 five minutes in.

2:17 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, North Tonawanda has a 19-17 lead on Sweet Home.

Sweet Home caused some turnovers late in the quarter to close the gap while Keron Briggs has been fantastic scoring for the Panthers.

UPDATE: Wilson up, 23-13, after one quarter.

2:22 p.m. Both coach Schintzius and NT coach Erik O'Bryan are hollering at the officials. O'Bryan is fired up after supposedly a Sweet Home player "smacked him in the face!" I didn't see the play so I'm not sure which players he was talking about.

UPDATE: Falls up, 15-11, after one quarter.

2:31 p.m. Things getting heated after a foul by D.J. Nettles on Dan Montesanti. Officials with long talks to both coaches in an effort to get teams to settle down.

2:34 p.m. We are at halftime and North Tonawanda leads Sweet Home, 35-29.

The great energy in this game is nearing a boil-over point. On the final play of the first half, NT's Dan  Montesanti got knocked to the court and he got up and was infuriated, yelling at the Sweet Home side and being restrained by teammates.

2:38 p.m. Sweet Home is out of the lockerroom with 5:45 left counting down. Briggs is loudly yelling to his teammates. "Let's do what we came here to do!"

UPDATE: Clarence 29, Falls 28 at halftime. Whoa.

2:40 p.m. I just watched my iPhone video and Montesanti has a right to be upset. He got hit in the mouth on a cheap shot by Nettles while players were heading back up the court after a Sweet Home basket; it was a drive by Briggs in the final seconds.

2:42 p.m. NT just came out of the locker room.

UPDATE: 10-2 run by Wilson gives them a 38-34 halftime lead over City Honors.

2:44 p.m. We're back to action.

Considering the pace of the first half, things have to settle down here in the second.

2:54 p.m. Sweet Home calls a timeout with 1:24 left in the third quarter. NT leads, 45-40.

2:56 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, NT leads Sweet Home, 51-40.

3:01 p.m. NT calls a timeout holding a 55-44 lead with 6:33 left.

3:06 p.m. Sweet Home cuts the lead to 55-50 and NT calls a timeout with 5:02 left. A technical against the Sweet Home bench goes for naught when Davis misses two free throws.

3:13 p.m. Sweet Home calls a timeout after two Briggs free throws cut the lead to 60-52 with 1:24 left. 

UPDATES: City Honors up six after three; Clarence also up six after three.

3:17 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: North Tonawanda 62, Sweet Home 52. 

Sweet Home scorebook NT scorebook Off to do some interviews. I'll have updates ASAP.

3:51 p.m. Sorry. A lot going on here.

Report of a BIG win for Clarence at Niagara Falls, 68-66. WOW.

Report of a big comeback for Wilson, which comes back to beat City Honors, 63-58.

3:57 p.m. Man, do I wish I could have been two places at once today. Tremendous win for Clarence. Wow.

* * *

5:47 p.m. Back at the office, just got off the phone with Clarence coach Todd Banaszak. Just to make it official: Clarence wins, 68-66. 

Other scores reported to us:
A-2: 3-Lafayette 77, 6-Albion 59
B-1: 1-Olean 71, 8-Dunkirk 24
B-1: 5-Grover Cleveland 76, 4-Medina 59
C: 2-Cassadaga Valley 53, 7-Maritime Charter 38

At this point we are missing reports/box scores from Hutch-Tech/Starpoint in A-1, City Honors/Wilson in B-2 (I know the score has been reported below) and Hinsdale/Maple Grove in D.

6:15 p.m. A-1: 4-Hutch Tech 51, 5-Starpoint 33. We're down to needing two box scores. 

6:24 p.m. Wilson's 64-58 win has been called in. Waiting on Maple Grove game, we know that they won, just don't have the box.

9:44 p.m. Maple Grove's final was 60-28; it got called in a little while ago.

10:38 p.m. The scoreboard is up and the latest episode of PrepTalkTV is right above this post.

* * *

If you were at one of the quarterfinals today, let us know how the game went and what you thought of the action.

---Keith McShea


Basketball | North Tonawanda | Sweet Home
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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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