Four teams alive in the Manhattan Cup, but there will only be two in a few hours. We're live at Canisius College for the semifinals.
6:04 p.m. Canisius and St. Mary's have tipped off.
Prediction time: If there is going to be an upset in these playoffs, it's going to be in this game.
6:11 p.m. St. Mary's coach Dan Gill calls the first timeout of the game with 3:11 left in the first quarter. Canisius has scored six straight points to go up, 11-4. C.J. Coatsworth in the post, Blair Helton in transition and Aaron Nevins on a nice up-and-under hanging drive.
6:17 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Canisius leads St. Mary's, 20-12. St. Mary's bench got a little louder as the Lancers made a nice run to get within 13-9 before Canisius answered back to close the quarter, 7-3.
6:24 p.m. St. Mary's having all sorts of problems with Canisius full court pressure. Even when they break free and attack it, the Lancers are missing those hurried shots. Nevins just finished a fabulous slicing drive for a 30-14 lead with about five minutes left in the second.
6:32 p.m. I haven't had a chance for an update because there haven't been any timeouts. And for the life of me I don't know why St. Mary's didn't call a timeout.
At HALFTIME, the score is Canisius 46, St. Mary's 16. This is not fun to watch.
Canisius had a 20-12 lead entering the second quarter. It was 24-14. Canisius then went on a 9-0 run to take a 33-14 lead. Somewhere in there I expected a timeout but one never came, not for the entire quarter. The quarter ended up, 26-4.
And yes, I'm a little perturbed that a game I thought was going to be good, a game I thought might be an upset, is going down like this. Shows you how much I know :-)
OK. Now that I've vented a bit, Canisius is playing OUTSTANDING. They are playing terrific man-to-man defense. They have absolutely set the tone and have taken over the court. Reminds me of McKinley last year against Sweet Home. The Crusaders came into this game on an absolute mission. St. Mary's is not being nearly strong enough with the ball. And just too many turnovers.
On offense, there is no answer for Aaron Nevins, who is doing some slice-and-dice drives and also hit a three. Helton is having an off-night shooting and he outscored St. Mary's in the second quarter, 8-4.
6:42 p.m. The second half has started.
6:57 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Canisius leads St. Mary's, 62-36.
6:59 p.m. St. Mary's calls a timeout in the first minute of the fourth quarter trailing, 62-38.
7:05 p.m. St. Mary's calls a timeout with 4:00 left in the game -- two straight baskets by sophomore Nathan Meyers has cut the Canisius lead to 64-47.
Scorebooks are at right.
We're way ahead of schedule for our second game. Canisius will take on that winner at 6 p.m. Sunday.
St. Mary's will head to the Catholic Class B state championship game in March; one game away from the state Federation championship in Glens Falls. The Lancers will play on March 13 at either Niagara University (if the Manhattan Cup winner wins a state Catholic semifinal on Long Island) or Fordham University (if the Manhattan Cup winner loses in the semifinal).
The countdown clock has started with 40 minutes, so if you're in the area and you want to see a great game -- which I guarantee will be better than this one -- then head downtown to Canisius College.
7:55 p.m. OK. Had some technical difficulties during PrepTalkTV's interview session and now my head is spinning a little. Gotta get my game face on. Gotta deadline to meet.
8:04 p.m. We have our first timeout, and it is called by Nichols with 3:00 left in the first quarter. Timon has taken a 12-6 lead; it is double- and triple-teaming Will Regan in the post and they are looking smooth on offense.
I passed Timon's Tiger in the hallway before he was coming out for pregame warmups. I'm not kidding, the Tiger did some stretching and got loose on the court just like the basketball Tigers did. Great stuff.
8:12 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Timon has a 19-16 lead over Nichols.
The arena is still buzzing from a full-court, overhand shot by Timon's Kyle Kobis that banged off the backboard and stunningly went in. The Timon crowd went nuts. The officials huddled and signaled a three-pointer. If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have believed it. Wow. And yes, Lauren Mariacher got it and you'll see it on PrepTalkTV. And yes, it was good. Wow. Have never seen a shot like that go in before. Awesome.
8:18 p.m. Timon calls a timeout with 5:21 left in the second and Nichols having taken a 21-19 lead on Andy MacKinnon's second three-pointer of the night.
8:27 p.m. At HALFTIME of one of the best games I'll see all year, Nichols leads Timon, 35-27. This is a physical game, with Chris Kane doing some big-time bumping with Regan, just one of many battles going on. Stan Wier struggled early on, but hit two three-pointers in a 9-0 run to end the half for Nichols. Regan added a three-pointer as well, then had a steal of a long pass which he turned into an assist on a Wier three.
8:38 p.m. We're back with second half action.
8:40 p.m. Great start by Nichols and Timon calls a timeout with 7:12 left in the third quarter trailing, 41-27. Wier went across the lane on a drive, MacKinnon added a free throw and Ron Canestro swished a deep three-pointer from the right side.
8:51 p.m. Nichols calls a timeout with 2:02 left in the third and holding a 49-38 lead.
8:56 p.m. We are at the end of the third quarter and Nichols leads, 53-40. Very nice defense by Nichols in the third. On the first play of the fourth, Stan Wier picks up his fourth foul.
9:02 p.m. Nichols moving the ball well, playing good 'D,' Canestro hits a three off transition and it gives Nichols a 63-47 lead wih 4:41 left in the game -- timeout, Vikings.
9:05 p.m. Timon takes a timeout with Mike Scarcello banged up after a fall to the court. Nichols still up, 63-47, with 4:04 left.
9:15 p.m. Nichols up, 74-49, with 1:22 left. Starters are out.
9:18 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Nichols 76, Bishop Timon-St. Jude 50.
Nichols vs. Canisius at 6 p.m. Sunday back here at Canisius College.
Nice job by Timon fans giving their squad an ovation as they leave the court for the final time.
Lot of work and not a lot of time for me. More info later.
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10:18 p.m. WOW. Check out video of Kobis' full-court shot.
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I did a separate post on the shot (and our video shot of it).
I got an email from a member of Prep Talk Nation who said he sent the link to a buddy who works at ESPN. I know Lauren sent it up the chain of command here, but this is pretty new ground for us so I'm not sure if we sent it out far and wide. :-)
I'm going to study up on what action I'll be taking in tomorrow before our chat here at 10 p.m.