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Monday Evening Live: East wins at Riverside, 67-52 (with video)

Hello from Ontario Street for a Yale Cup showdown originally scheduled for last week as East visits Riverside.

6:02 p.m. Riverside has gone on a nice run in the second quarter to take a 26-16 lead with 2:33 left in the second quarter.

Photo East had led, 13-10, after one.

It is an odd environment here -- odd in that it is quite quiet for a Yale Cup game, especially one at Riverside. It seems like there are no students in the balcony above my head -- that section is usually jammed and jamming all game. The pace of the first quarter (I walked in three minutes in at 5:40 p.m.) was quite slow, and the half has been more methodical than run-and-gun.

6:06 p.m. Nice block by Mike Leonard for Riverside, leading to a fast-break basket by Justice Feggans in which an in advertent moving screen my another player heading to the basket cleared the way; 28-16 Riverside under a minute.

6:07 p.m. Deon Artis with a sweeeet block of Jasen Oden, coming across the baseline to swat away what looked like an open layup. Oden hit one of two free throws shortly beforehand; 28-17 Riverside with :28 left in the second quarter, timeout Riverside.

6:10 p.m. Oden misses two, Fisher gets teh rebound of the second free throw and scores -- very nice play -- to bring it to 28-19 in the final seconds. Oden stole the inbounds pass and was fouled just before the horn and will go to the line with no time on the clock; misses the first, makes second.

6:11 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Riverside leads East, 28-20.

Best line of the day so far belongs to Riverside assistant coach R.J. Killinger. His dad, coach Ron, was screaming at the top of his lungs at a player after a missed free throw: "RELAX! RELAX!"

R.J. Killinger summed up the ironic situation, "Man, you're screaming, 'Relax."

6:21 p.m. Feggans with a nice fast-break follow for Riverside for a 30-20 lead to open the half.

Lamont Little of Riverside hit with a technical foul with 7:08 left in the third. Chris Boyd to the line and he hits two for a 30-22 game and East keeps possession.

6:27 p.m. A few computer problems. Ugh. East on a good mini-run to come within 32-27 and prompt a Riverside timeout with with 6:02 left in the third.

6:28 p.m. Turnover Riverside. Big rebound Mark Anderson for Riverside and he's fouled with 5:36 left in the third.

Gilbert Herrera misses a three for Riverside; turnover Riverside.

6:29 p.m. East coach Starling Bryant calls for a 30-second timeout with 5:18 left in the third and Riverside leading, 32-27.

6:30 p.m. East misses twice, another rebound by Anderson.

Anderson off a nice pass, scores on the baseline; 34-27 Riverside. Mike Leonard with a big block. East turnover. Riverside miss, foul.

6:33 p.m. Dominique House scores down low for East; Chris Boyd with a steal and he's fouled going in for a layup with 3:37 left in the third; makes first, misses second, 34-30 Riverside.

Raqib Hassan scores on the baseline and is fouled, misses the free throw.

House with a putback; Riverside, 36-32. Artis misses jumper. East the beneficiary of a faulty charge call on Riverside. Jason McDaniel on a putback; followed by a Herrera driving bank shot; Riverside, 38-34.

Feggans with a big follow on the baseline; Riverside, 40-34, under two minutes.

6:38 p.m. Two straight baskets by Boyd, followed by House taking a pass from Boyd in the lane for a layup to tie it up at 40-40.

Some confusion in the final minute thanks to the Riverside shot clock operator getting out of her seat to try and get Riverside fans to answer East fans making noise. Sigh.

6:40 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Riverside and East are tied at 40-40.

6:44 p.m. House again with a putback on opening possession; East, 42-40. Riverside miss, keeps ball, Artis with a tap-in follow; 42-42. 

Fisher drives to the right and banks it in; 44-42. Under 6:45.

Forced shot by Riverside on the baseline. Boyd scores on a nice pass from Jason McDaniel.

Missed shot by Riverside turns into a fast break and Andre Jackson lays it in for a 48-42 lead for East, prompting a timeout by Riverside with 5:29 left. Nice start to the quarter for East, scoring off of misses by Riverside, which has not been in sync on offense.

6:49 p.m. Feggans with a follow for Riverside; 48-44 just over five minutes left.

East miss on a nice play that doesn't go down for McDaniel, then a foul; East miss; misses by both. 

6:52 p.m. Boyd with a layup, 50-44 East; McDaniel blocks Deon Artis. Artis fouls Boyd, fifth foul for Artis, that's big. Boyd hits first, hits second, East leads, 52-44, with 3:42 left.

6:53 p.m. East forces Riverside turnover. Jackson from Fisher on a nice drive and dish, 54-44.

Steal and fast break by Boyd, 56-44. Herrera baseline bank shot, 56-46. East travel, 2:30 to go.

6:55 p.m. Herrera fouled, misses both. House goes to the basket and is fouled with 2:04 left. Makes both; 58-46.

6:57 p.m. Technical foul called on McDaniel; Feggans misses two. Steal by Riverside, Anderson fouled going in for layup by Fisher; 1:36 left. Misses first, makes second. 58-47. Riverside steal and layup by Anderson, 58-49. Foul on Herrera with 1:15 left on Andre Jackson, he goes to the line. Hits one for 59-49 lead.

East's Starling Bryant rightly called for a technical foul. Just too much jawing. Feggans misses both free throws on the technical. East calls a timeout, 1:15 left in the game, East leads, 59-49.

7:03 p.m. Boyd to the line, hits two; East, 61-49, with :59 left.

7:05 p.m. Andre Jackson steal, he's fouled with :51 left. Hits both; East, 63-49.

A Riverside player left the gym; officials say he has to be on the Riverside bench. He's back. It was Hasan.

Three-pointer by Willie Jefferson; timeout Riverside with :41 left and East up, 63-52.

7:08 p.m. Boyd fouled. Hits first, misses second. Riverside, 64-52. Riverside players laughing at fans trying to taunt Boyd at the line with one-liners.

Anderson to the line, misses both.

7:10 p.m. Fisher fouled hard; hits one. East, 65-52. House scores. East, 67-52.

7:11 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: East 67, Riverside 52.

Not the prettiest game, but a very good result for East. More to come. 

Postgame show:

East coach Bryant starts with an answer to my question about what was talked about at halftime before East turned the game around:

---Keith McShea

Saturday Evening Live: St. Joe's wins at Canisius, 67-57 (with video & audio)

Fans filled the gym, including the balcony overlooking the court -- and this is the end of the JV game. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

Hello from St. Joe's at Canisius. Not much else needs to be said. Place is packed. Line out the door.

"Tune in" below.

Before the start the highlight show, here's a flashback to last year's St. Joe's at Canisius game and Steve Moser's buzzer-beater at the end of regulation (Canisius won in OT, 69-67).

Highlight time:

Connor Rehbaum tips the inbounds, and Moser goes coast-to-coast to prompt a Canisius timeout -- along with a "We've got Mos-er" chant from the St. Joe's rowdies -- early in the fourth:

Here's a follow shot by Agbeko followed by a great break led by Moser as St. Joe's went up, 60-46.

The unofficial end -- St. Joe's trademark chant -- followed by the official end of the final horn:

And now the post-game show ...

And here's audio of Canisius coach Kyle Husband:

Here is the game story for Sunday's paper -- which you should still buy, of course :-) (especially with -- shameless plug alert -- Jerry Sullivan's look back at the Bills' first trip to the Super Bowl).

Also, here's the link to our scoreboard on a fairly busy Saturday for hoops.

Nice win for Cheektowaga, winning in triple-overtime at St. Francis -- check out that capsule for what Aswad Jones did in the OTs. Wild. ... The wild ride in ECIC I continues as Orchard Park wins at home against Frontier. ... An expected bounce-back for McKinley as the Macks hit triple-digits against Tapestry. ... West beats East in the battle of West Seneca; both squads are having pretty good seasons.

Let us know what you thought of the game by clicking the "comment" link above.

---Keith McShea

Video: Watch Wilson's win on PrepTalkTV

PrepTalkTV's road trip north to Wilson was more than worth it as the Lakemen topped Newfane in a jam-packed gym:

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You can find all of our videos easily by going to the video player and clicking "PrepTalkTV."

---Keith McShea

Friday Night Live with PrepTalkTV: Wilson beats Newfane, 49-44

Hello from wayyyyy up north at Wilson High's Richard J. Zipp Gymnasium, where the place is packed and the Internet connections are spotty. We're good for now and hopefully for the night and for the Lakemen's huge home game against Newfane, their Niagara-Orleans rival and fellow top 10 small school. Newfane is ranked third among small schools while Wilson is sixth.

6:43 p.m. We have a connection and are holding our breath that we'll have it for the night.

Our wireless card, whose name is the same as a track and field event, is not the strongest up north, I've been told. But it worked well enough to get video reporter Lauren Mariacher's PrepTalkTV pregame video up and we're doing fine right now. But there were some dicey moments pregame for this reporter, as the school's wireless signal wasn't working either. Sighhh. OK, on with the show.

6:49 p.m. Newfane has won the JV game. We have a between-games ceremony going on to honor Wilson scholar-athletes -- not a bad crowd to be honored in front of.

Prior to the ceremony, an announcement was made by principal Dan Johnson to the assembled crowd to "squeeze in -- just like in church. We're going to have to close the doors soon and we don't want to have anyone miss this classic game."

6:53 p.m. Newfane doing a loud chant in the hallway just as Wilson's team was gathered behind the scorer's table watching the ceremony. Should be a great night. Scoreboard clock is counting down from 15 minutes.

7:02 p.m. Newfane's "Blue Zone," one of the top student sections in Western New York, is on its collective feet in the bleacher to the left of the scorer's table, behind the Newfane bench.

I'm on the railing of the bleachers on the right side, a good spot for my trusty extension cord to power up the laptop. Thanks much to Wilson athletic director Jeff Roth for helping find a spot for me as well as for Lauren Mariacher, who has a desk at which to set up her PrepTalkTV shop in the right corner.

7:12 p.m. We're about to tip off. Place is rocking following introductions.

7:16 p.m. We have our first timeout of the game, taken by Newfane coach Eric Klumpp as the Panthers trail, 7-1, with 5:45 left in the first quarter and Tyler Truesdell going to the line to try and convert a three-point play. He misses.

7:28 p.m. AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER, Wilson leads Newfane, 9-3. Some great early action here, Wilson with a super-strong start -- it had a 9-1 lead at one point. Truesdell has been big with his play and his energy.

7:33 p.m. Timeout Wilson with a player trapped after a defensive rebound. Lakemen continue to lead, 10-3, with 5:48 left in the second. Still very good defense from Wilson, as Newfane has not looked comfortable at all.

7:40 p.m. Timeout Wilson with 2:17 left in the second quarter and the Lakemen still holding a lead at 12-9. Rohn Pierce scored inside for Newfane and he hit two free throws to make it 10-7. Truesdell had a great strong baseline drive but Sean Seefeldt answered by hitting a drive while falling through the lane.

7:45 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Wilson leads Newfane, 18-13.

Junior Tyler Martin has been huge for Wilson with three three-pointers, including two threes in the final 1:30 of the second quarter, one of which came in the final seconds. Not the highest scoring game, but Wilson deserves its edge. It has played very good defense; on offense it failed to capitalize by wasting more than a few possessions with some unforced errors. Brennan Moxham's shooting was a little off in the first half, but I'd expect the Wilson senior leader to have a impactful second half.

Some halftime highlights thanks to Lauren Mariacher:

8:14 p.m. A fun third quarter here has become a back-and-forth affair, with Newfane up, 30-29, heading into the final minute. Panthers had a great start to the quarter, taking its first lead at 19-18.

8:19 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Wilson leads Newfane, 32-30. The pace has really picked up. Should be a great finish. Two free throws by Martin with 3.1 seconds left put Wilson ahead.

UPDATE from Sean Bruso, doing the game on radio: Lancaster 26, Williamsville 25 at halftime after North's Sterling Taplin spun out of a trap and hit a three at the buzzer.

8:30 p.m. Timeout Wilson with Truesdell trapped. Lakemen lead, 40-39, with 3:11 to go. Moxham just had a huge rebound and putback from the weak side to put Wilson in front.

8:32 p.m. Timeout Newfane with 2:53 left in the game after Moxham drew an offensive foul on Newfane. Maybe an iffy call, but I can say that Wilson has been owed some after seemingly getting hit a few times on their offensive end, so it's evening out -- just like it always tends to.

8:38 p.m. Whew what a finish. Wilson leads, 43-42, with 1:36 left in the game. Rohn Pierce just hit the first and missed the second. Truesdell has been huge on the boards.

8:40 p.m. Martin hits two huge free throws for a 45-42 lead for Wilson. Newfane calls a timeout with the ball and 52.3 seconds left.

8:42 p.m. Timeout Wilson. Newfane with a miss, jump ball to Newfane; 46.3 seconds left and still 45-42.

North leads at Lancaster, 41-39, after three, thanks to Bruso.

8:43 p.m. Sean Seefeldt with a tough fallaway jumper in the lane for Newfane, which calls a timeout with 35.5 seconds left, trailing, 45-44.

8:46 p.m. Martin super-clutch at the line. He hits two with 20.7 seconds left to put Wilson up, 47-44.

8:50 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Wilson beats Newfane, 49-44.

Newfane missed two shots at three-pointers in the final seconds and Martin hit two more free throws with one seconds left to finish it off. Great win for Wilson. Fans come on to the court and raise Martin up on their shoulders.

More to come.

9:10 p.m. Big win for Lancaster, which beats North, 67-58. Thanks to Sean Bruso for that update. The box score will be available at our scoreboard page, which can also accessed through the high school home page. I've just entered the Wilson-Newfane box.

Other notable wins tonight by Williamsville South, which took care of Williamsville East by 20; and by Maryvale and coach Mark Kensy, who is now 4-0 against son Chris, the coach at Amherst.

Now we're off to put together our full PrepTalkTV episode so look for that later tonight. It will include highlights and interviews from the Wilson-Newfane game, a rundown of other top games tonight as well as a day-by-day look at next week's major matchups.

Or catch it tomorrow before logging on to check in with the St. Joe's at Canisius game, set for 5 p.m. Saturday. If you're not at the game, I'll have updates during the contest as well as highlights and interviews later on.

Here are the finished products:

PrepTalkTV episode;

and the story for Saturday's paper.

---Keith McShea

Thursday Night Live: Niagara Falls wins in rout at Ken West, 69-49 (with video & audio)

Hello from Highland Parkway and Delaware Road as Kenmore West hosts Niagara Falls in a very highly anticipated matchup -- very highly anticipated since West played host Falls to a two-point game in mid-December.

Packed parking lot here -- which is probably the most contorted parking lot in Western New York high school sports. It's a rectangle, then it's a trapezoid, then you're in a corner looking for a spot like a mouse looking for cheese. Very exciting.

7:12 p.m. Game time here was scheduled for 7:15, but things will start later after a very exciting finish to the JV game. Falls got a buzzer-beating bank-shot three-pointer from Zack Walker (might be the first time we've mentioned a JV player on the blog, but hey, it was a big shot) to tie the game at 48-48 and force overtime. Falls JV is up, 58-52, with 9.4 seconds left. Also notable is that Falls JV coach Carlos Bradberry was ejected just before the end of regulation and Falls head coach Sal Constantino took over the coaching duties. Falls had trailed by at least five in the final minute before getting in position to tie it at the buzzer.

7:19 p.m. Falls JV wins, 60-52.  Fifteen minutes counting down on the scoreboard clock.

7:33 p.m. Buzzer sounds. Pregame intros coming up.

Just a reminder to check out our scoreboard page, which includes short previews of some of tonight's (and every night's) top games, including this one.

Tip goes to Niagara Falls -- the big crowd is on the side of the camera. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) 7:38 p.m. We're underway.

7:39 p.m. Three-pointer by Ryan Grandits answered by great three-point play by Marcus Feagin. Martin Bailey drive for KW and 5-3 lead. Jordan Street with a great drive while being fouled. 5-5. Martin Bailey off to the races an a FAST fast break for a 7-5 lead.

Jaleo Wilkins gets a loose ball and swishes a short jumper. 7-7. Great pace to open this game.

7:42 p.m. Missed three by West tuns into  a break, a miss and a follow by Street. Falls, 9-7.

Feagin stelas an inbounds and scores on a layup; Falls, 11-7. Marcus Lobdell elevates on a strong drive to the basket and drops it in. Falls, 11-9, with 4:12 left in the first quarter. Lobdell is hurt and walks off on his own power with a limp.

Mike Wilcox drains a three after a kickout from Grandits; Wilkins with a short jumper. Falls, 13-12. Nice pass and Andrew Cosme shields off a defender to give West a 14-13 lead with less than three minutes left in first.

7:46 p.m. Marcus Feagin grabs a rebound and scores but he's called for an offensive foul that Falls fans don't like and I can see why. Falls causes a turnover and Ramir Burton, No. 11, scores for a 15-14 Falls lead.

7:48 p.m. Grandits goes to the hoop and is fouled, Falls fans don't like that one either and I can see why. I didn't see the contact. Less than two minutes to go. One for two at the line; 15-15.

7:49 p.m. Wilkins is fouled on a fast break after a very nice pass by Burton; 1:18 left.

7:50 p.m. Street fouled after grabbing two rebounds in a row -- he is a force inside; 1:08 left in first. First free throw good; second good; Falls, 17-15. 

7:51 p.m. Kenny Johnston scores on a floater for KW, Falls break ends with a nice basket by Crumpton. Falls thought they had a steal and were off and running but a whistle stops it. 

Bailey scores on a drive through the lane after the teams exchange turnovers. 19-19. Falls' Taijay Williams misses a three at the buzzer.

7:52 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Niagara Falls and Kenmore West are tied at 19-19.

7:54 p.m. Wilkins fouled and hits one of two; Falls, 20-19, with 7:24 left in second. Bailey scores on a strong drive in which he lands on Wilkins and gets the block call. Free throw is good; Ken West, 22-20, with 7:12 left in second. 

7:56 p.m. Feagin with a putback off a missed drive. Tied at 22-22. Burton gets bumped on a rebound but no foul is called; tieup goes to Falls.  

7:58 p.m. Grandits with a smooth, strong drive. Ken West, 24-22. Burton travels on other end. Ken West nearly turns it over, recovers, Bailey misses a three but 6-4 Quinton Campbell is fouled with 5:32 left. He hits two; West, 26-22. 

8 p.m. Feagin with a tough turnaround; 26-24. Street with a block; Falls with a miss. Lobdell grabs a rebound and scores on an easy layup for a 28-24 lead with about 4:30 left.

8:01 p.m. Lobdell drive is partially blocked by Crumpton; Crumpton hits a nice baseline soft shot; 28-26 Ken West. Grandits misses a pullup that was well challenged by Crumpton. Quick missed shots by Falls followed by a nice fast-break layup by Bailey.

8:02 p.m. Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino calls a timeout with 3:01 left in the second quarter and Kenmore West leading, 30-26.

8:03 p.m. Wilkins called for a travel that press row didn't see. Ken West miss, Falls fast-break miss. Andrew Cosme from Nick Hersey on a nice bounce entry pass for West, which takes a 32-26 lead under two minutes.

Feagin gets a nice entry pass in the lane from Street and is fouled on the floor with 1:48 left.

Wilkins gets a nice pass from Pascucci on the baseline and gets some contact but misses the shot.

8:05 p.m. Street scores off a nice Pascucci pass; 32-28. Wild miss by Ken West. Feagin makes a great cut in the lane and Pascucci hits him for a layup; 32-30 Kenmore West and KW coach Mike Meetze calls a timeout with 1:04 left in the second.

8:07 p.m. Grandits misses a deep three with the shot clock running down; Cosme draws a charge on Pascucci.

8:08 p.m. At HALFTIME, Kenmore West leads Niagara Falls, 32-30.

Just had a visit from Prep Talk Hall of Famer TML1000, who noted that West could be up even more if it were not for Falls' offensive rebounding, and that's true. I think a large part of the battle in taking on Falls is being able to play fearless against them, and West is certainly doing that. They are running with them, moving the ball well on offense, taking it to Falls repeatedly. Falls has shown flashes of why it is the No. 1 team by causing turnovers, finishing, and being a big presence inside on both ends -- but they have looked out of sync on offense at times. Some possessions are good, some possessions look out of sorts.

8:19 p.m. Second half has started; West ball.

Street blocks Grandits' shot in the lane and it turns into a Wilkins layup; tied, 32-32.

Campbell rebounds a miss that was altered by Street and is fouled by Street, his second, with 7:18 left in third. Campbell hits first, misses second; 33-32 West.

8:21 p.m. Misses on both ends. Williams with a floater in the lane for Falls, which takes a 34-33 lead.

Grandits missed three is rebounded by Street; Wilkins travels.

Bailey with a missed drive, Feagin with a fast-break DUNK for a 36-33 lead for Falls.

8:23 p.m. Meetze calls a timeout for Kenmore West with 5:29 left in the third.

8:24 p.m. Grandits gets his hands into Williams to steal the ball and he's fouled by Williams with 4:54 left in the third.

Turnover by West taken by Pascucci, who runs the break well and gives to Street, who scores while being fouled for a 38-33 lead with 4:35 left. Free throw is good; Falls leads, 39-33.

8:25 p.m. West turns it over in inbounds; Falls' lob to Feagin doesn't fall but he is fouled. KW timeout with 4:31 left in the third and Falls with the ball and a 39-33 lead.

8:27 p.m. Feagin hits first; misses second. Falls, 40-33. David Pascucci tries to draw a charge at midcourt and is rightly called for the block.

8:28 p.m. Grandits with a nice jumper after Falls plyed very good defense in West's halfcourt set; Falls, 40-35. West gives Feagin the three and he nails it. Big one. Falls, 43-35.

8:30 p.m. Williams scores on a burst down the left side; Falls, 45-35. Grandits draws a foul by getting his defender in the air and hits but misses the free throw. Falls, 45-37. Under three minutes left in third. 

8:31 p.m. Crumpton called for three seconds. Wilcox splits two defenders abut misses. Grandtis leads a break but Burton ends the possession with a strip

Feagin misses in close, gets rebounds, dribbles out, hits three under two minute; 48-37 Falls. Wilcox miss by West; Quinton scores inside; Falls, 48-39.

8:35 p.m. Bailey misses at the buzzer. 

At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Niagara Falls leads Kenmore West, 48-39.

Great third quarter for Falls, who played much better defense. Feagin's threes were very big. Might go to the iPhone to try for some highlights in fourth.

8:37 p.m. Crumpton on a drive and is called for a charge and Falls doesn't like it.

Street rebound, outlet, Williams layup: 50-39 Falls. Turnover Ken West.

8:38 p.m. Another travel on Falls.

8:39 p.m. Grandits scores for West, 50-41 Falls; another travel on Falls as the player is bumped by a defender.

8:40 p.m. Feagin makes a steal and is going in for a layup and he is wrapped up by Grandits, who is rightly called for an intentional foul. Feagin misses first, makes second, Falls gets ball back with 6:14 left in third, leading, 51-41.

8:41 p.m. Falls with another travel.

 Campbell gets inside for a rebound and he draws a foul on Street with 5:48 left in the game. Misses first, makes second; Falls, 51-42.

8:42 p.m. Campbell fouls Feagin on a rebound on other end; Feagin misses first, misses second.

Feagin draws charge foul on Bailey with 5:30 left.

8:44 p.m. Feagin with a follow, Lobdell with a nice fast-break finish; Falls, 53-44, under five minutes.

Williams with a steal and a layup; Falls, 55-44. Ken West miss, Falls ball with 4:24 left in game and we have a timeout by Kenmore West.

8:47 p.m. Williams with a three off an offensive rebound for Falls, 58-44; Grandits inside for Ken West, 58-46. Feagin called for an offensive foul that Falls didn't like.

Ken West miss, Feagin fouled and he's to the line for a one-and-one with 3:34 left. Miss.

8:49 p.m. Feagin in the open court nearly put down a 360-degree jam but was fouled; 3:02 left. Feagin misses first. Misses second.

8:50 p.m. Street inside for a 60-46 lead for Falls.

8:51 p.m. Pascucci to the line with 2:24 left after a foul on Ken West, I believe a technical foul was called on a player. Pascucci misses first, makes second; Falls, 61-46.

8:52 p.m. Another three by Feagin. Falls, 64-46.

Under two minutes and West has cleared its bench.

Three-pointer by Marquis Siner, steal and layup by Wilkins, Falls, 69-46.

Three-pointer by Johnston for West.

8:55 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Niagara Falls 69, Kenmore West 49.

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Postgame show:

There might be some people who don't like what coach Constantino said, but it's true and I love it. Falls should be playing an independent schedule. It's one of the state's top programs. It should do what it needs to do to become the best it can be. That means playing an independent schedule, something I've been in favor of when Falls did it in the mid-2000s, including when it won the state Federation title in 2005 -- and something I think they should have been doing every season since.

His comments on the schedule became a significant part of my story in tomorrow's paper.

Here's Ken West coach Michael Meetze:

Some stuff that caught my eye on our scoreboard page: Tough one-point loss for West Seneca West, which nearly came up with a second straight big win in ECIC I against Frontier. ... As noted in the comments section on this post, Lackawanna seems to have Dondre Alexander and Christian Cheatom back as both went big in a win at Holland. ... Speaking of that interesting ECIC IV race, strong showing from Tonawanda tonight. ... Nice to see struggling Nichols hanging in there with St. Mary's. ... St. Joe's rolls along at St. Francis as it gets ready for Canisius on Saturday.

We're back at it tomorrow with a trip up to Wilson for the Niagara-Orleans showdown between the Lakemen and rival Newfane. On Saturday it's St. Joe's at Canisius at 5 p.m.

---Keith McShea

Live chat Jan. 26: Talking Section V & sectionals (especially AA's and C's), watching Jimmer and looking forward to three huge hoop days

Our fourth chat of 2011 gets going tonight at 9:30, six days from February and 25 days from Selection Saturday for the Section VI boys and girls basketball tournaments.

As always, anything in the world of high school sports -- or our coverage of it -- is up for discussion.

I promise I'll get to your question or comment in the chat -- but please be patient. It can get busy fielding all of the questions and I can only answer one at a time. And PLEASE don't enter your question/comment multiple times -- that only makes things crazier.

* * *

Here's a link to our previous chats from this winter season: last week (Jan. 19), Jan. 12, Jan. 5 (back from the break), Dec. 15 (from the Monsignor Martin-ECIC challenge), Dec. 9 (All-Western New York football discussion) and Dec.1.

You can check out the final live chat of the fall season -- as well as check out an archive of the 12 weekly discussions of the fall -- via our post of the Nov. 23 chat. For the super-chat-fan out there, this link takes you to the 2009-10 spring and winter archives.

As always, if you have a question but you won't be able to make the chat, post one in the comments section or email me and I'll do my best to address it.

---Keith McShea

Tuesday Evening Live: Timon wins big at St. Mary's (with video)

Hello from Laverack Road in Lancaster where St. Mary's hosts Bishop Timon-St. Jude in a nice Monsignor Martin meeting of a ranked small school in the No. 2 Lancers and the No. 7 large school Tigers.

Check out our basketball scoreboard through the evening -- and every evening -- for updates on all the action.

A behind-the-bench view. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) 7:51 p.m. Our computer is finally warmed up after we arrived at for the tip of the game, and the Tigers are warmed up as well.

After the first quater, Timon leads St. Mary's, 17-5. The Tigers did what they do -- hitting three straight three-pointers early on. Two straight by Jordan Williams followed by one from Kyle Kobis to give Timon an 11-2 lead just 3:13 into the game, prompting a timeout from an irate Dan Gill. The St. Mary's coach to his players: "What did we say?!?!!?!?" He was referring to Timon's ability to hit threes, but the Lancers were not defending Timon like they are a team that hits threes.

8:07 p.m. Timon's scoring slowed down in the second quarter for just a bit, but St. Mary's remained out of sync on offense. At halftime, Timon leads St. Mary's, 29-13.

Here's a Kyle Kobis drive from the second quarter:

That great start by Timon has allowed them to cruise -- St. Mary's just never snapped out of it after the slow start. The opportunity is there to get a few baskets to make it a game. St. Mary's big man Peter Notaro has been good on the boards and he's hustled on defense, but the Lancers haven't been able to get him the ball. He's a key because Timon is on the smaller size, thus the three-pointer is their main weapon. Kobis and Williams have also had some nice drives to the basket, while the Tigers have moved the ball around very well -- no surprise there.

8:25 p.m. Things have not slowed down. Timon with some nice plays in the opening minutes, including a three by Williams and two nice finishes by Ryan Dougherty. Timon leads, 44-17, with just under three minutes left in the second quarter.

Unfortunately an official requested security pay a visit to one fan who apparently was all over the refs. A police officer did come on the court and do that. 

8:33 p.m. After three quarters, Bishop Timon-St. Jude leads St. Mary's, 44-22. A lot of slamming of the bench, slamming of water bottles, and yelling in general from the extremely frustrated St. Mary's bench.

8:40 p.m. After a timeout by Timon, both teams score and St. Mary's calls a timeout with 4:05 left and Timon up, 48-30.

8:49 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Bishop Timon-St. Jude 54, St. Mary's 34.

The box score is at our basketball scoreboard.

A very nice win for Timon, particularly coming off a stretch in which it had lost three of its last four -- albeit all three to extremely good teams in St. Joe's (at home in OT) and road losses to Section V powers Batavia and Bishop Kearney.

Pollster and first-ballot Hall of Fame Prep Talk blogger Centercourt told me he wasn't going to this game tonight. His reasons turned out to be dead-on: He said that the disparity between the best large schools and the best small schools was so large, he didn't think it was going to be a game. He had also seen both teams before.

(Sidenote: Holey moley -- I think he said he was going to check out Niagara-Wheatfield at Maryvale, and if he did, he saw Blair Estarfaa score 42 for the Flyers. Check our scoreboard. Whoaaaaa).

I wanted to see St. Mary's tonight because their schedule heads toward League A teams the rest of the way, and I wanted to see Timon again after just seeing one full game. They were definitely impressive in the win, but I'm not sure I learned anything more to help figure out poll status and such. St. Mary's has certainly shown it can beat many top small schools. But I'll stick with my large school top 10 after tonight -- I think most of those teams are capable of the kind of win that Timon had here tonight (Canisius did just that, while St. Joe's won by five in early January).

And now the post-game show:

Coach Jim Palano must have left through the other door to the locker room, because he evaded me like Timon players evaded the defense tonight. Baddump-bump.

He did call in his game and you can find out more details in a recap on the game at our basketball scoreboard.

I'm back Wednesday night at 9:30 p.m. for our weekly live chat during what continues to be a fun week: Niagara Falls at Kenmore West on Thursday, Newfane at Wilson on Friday, St. Joe's at Canisius on Saturday.

---Keith McShea

How The News voted: February at table, ready to check in

Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school boys basketball polls.

And every week we let you know, like the title says ... how The News voted.

The fifth polls were published today in the Scholastic Spotlight with less than a month until the start of the Section VI boys basketball tournament (Feb. 21), and a week away from the start of February.

Here's a link to our previous How The News voted posts: last week (Jan. 18 after the MLK Classic), Jan. 11 (first poll of 2011), Dec. 21 (holiday edition) and Dec. 14 (first polls). And here's this week's:


1. Niagara Falls (11-0) [last week: 1] -- Thursday evening at Kenmore West.

2. Jamestown (9-2) [2] -- Rescheduling shuffle has Red Raiders at North on a day (Feb. 8) that I'm out of town (by design because there weren't any big games that day :-) ). DOH!

3. Williamsville South (10-1) [3] -- Coaches vs. Cancer week kicks of with their playing at Will East in what could be a nice matchup.

4. Canisius (10-5) [4] -- Some big games they look great in (Wilson Tournament), St. Mary's at home, I-Prep at MLK Classic, even the loss to South. Some other games, not so much: Fourth quarter against Falls, weekend trip to Aquinas (lost in a rout just like St. Joe's did). Can't wait for the 5 p.m. Saturday visit from St. Joe's.

5. Bennett (7-3) [NR] -- Too high? Maybe. Let this be a sign of how impressed I was with how they beat a team that I've been very impressed with (McKinley). A win at Riverside and handing the Macks their first loss are two very impressive results, a more impressive pair of wins than any owned by the other contenders for Nos. 5 through 10 in this poll -- especially recently.

This ballott definitely has a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately vibe. Bennett does have three losses, including one to East in the Yale Cup opener. However, as was mentioned by Tiger senior point guard William Vanoy on PrepTalkTV, they didn't have a full lineup early in the season. I checked Bennett's box score from that East game and there were three players who had key roles Friday who either didn't play or didn't score against East.

6. McKinley (8-1) [5] -- Like I said, I've been very impressed by the Macks, who have been balanced, composed, dangerous and have played together. They just got beat by a team that played with those four attributes as well.

7. St. Joe's (11-4) [7] -- The win at Timon is definitely good, but it's tough to tell where Timon fits in (see below), and the best large school results on the Marauders' schedule are: loss at home to Riverside, big loss to Aquinas, split with two good teams in Syracuse. Hmm, they do have a game on Saturday at the No. 4 large school. ...

8. Williamsville North (7-2) [9] -- North beat Batavia on a nuetral court, Timon lost at Batavia last weekend, so North gets bumped back up a spot.

9. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (10-3) [8] -- Tough to tell the Tigers' tale with a schedule that has been feast (lots of wins they should have won) or famine (they've lost their first three games of the year in their last four games, all to very good teams in St. Joe's, Batavia, Bishop Kearney).

10. Riverside (7-3) [6] -- Tempted to keep them ahead of Joe's, but that head-to-head win was in the second week of December. Another one of those what-have-you-done-for-me-lately deals.

Just getting boxed out: East, whose best win is over a depleted Bennett team. After that there is a dropoff to whoever would be next (Lancaster, Frontier, Kenmore West, Williamsville East, Cheektowaga, Maryvale, Clarence, not necessarily in that order).


1. International Prep at Grover Cleveland (9-3) [1] -- A solid No. 1 -- and that was before I saw some of their best ball of the season in beating OTC on Monday evening.

2. St. Mary's (8-6) [2] -- Will the Lancers take down one of the top 10 large schools from the Monsignor Martin Association? Coming off Sunday win over St. Francis, St. Mary's gets its first of two shots against Timon tonight.

3. Newfane (8-3) [3] --  Friday night marks Panthers' return trip to Wilson (and PrepTalkTV's first trip to the home of the Lakemen -- too bad the outstanding Wilson Boat House is closed for the season).

4. Maple Grove (10-1) [4] -- Red Dragons have won 11 in a row, with five games left -- all against teams they've routed already. The biggest challenge? Perhaps being patient while waiting to see what the Class C bracket will look like.

5. OTC Middle College (7-5) [5] -- A solid No. 5 before I saw them Monday night, when I was again impressed by the relentlessness. It will take a very good C team (like I-Prep) to fend them off.

6. Wilson (8-4) [6] -- See you Lakemen up north on Friday night. Make sure there is a parking spot for PrepTalkTV's satellite truck.

7. Dunkirk (10-0) [8] -- An undefeated team?!?!?! I neglected to realize last week that Dunkirk owned a win over Olean as well (like Maple Grove does) -- now the Marauders have two, with the latest in single digits (young Olean team is growing up). Why Maple Grove at 4 and Dunkirk three spots below? The small school poll is tough to gauge, the Southern Tier's tops are probably tougher to gauge, but it probably comes down to the fact that Maple Grove has been here before -- to borrow from political-speak, the Red Dragons have built up some serious poll capital.

8. Tapestry Charter (10-2) [7] -- Slide a spot again due to a bump to another team (Dunkirk).

9. Tonawanda (9-3) [10] -- Win over JFK still makes them the ECIC IV team to vote for.

10. Panama (11-2) [NR] -- Big win over Clymer to avenge en early-season loss. Panthers also, own win over CV, which was dropped from this spot after a loss at Silver Creek.

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below.

Or pepper me with questions during our weekly live chat at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

---Keith McShea

I-Prep wins small school city battle

After it was moved from Tuesday to tonight, I was able to get to just the second half of the big small school battle of the Yale Cup.

I saw International Prep at Grover Cleveland give a very impressive performance in a 79-72 win over host Occupational Training Center Middle Early College at Erie Community College's Flickinger Center (a lot of words in that sentence, a full-school-name edition :-) ).

I walked in with I-Prep up, 36-33 at the half, so I was pleased it was still a game. The Presidents took control with a 22-13 third quarter and then held off a relentless OTC team in the fourth.

I-Prep might have looked as good as I've seen them this year in the third. Good ball movement, good defense, good decisions. Chris Holland (25 points) did his thing as a distributor, three-point shooter and penetrator (not to mention a block or two and several rebounds on the other end). Kenny Pringle (21 points) was excellent in pushing the ball on drives and he hit two threes. Two patient possessions against a zone resulted in mini-baseline drives by Dartwon Brooks and Maurice Cheatom.

Kadeem Hillman (24 points), meanwhile, continues to be extremely impressive. The muscular, 6-5 senior has always had the ability to deliver powerful finishes (as I wrote after watching I-Prep's win over Tapestry), but this season he has worked at polishing what is rapidly becoming a devastating all-around game. He has developed a great touch around the basket, grabbing rebounds and banking in short jumpers, or posting up and hitting fadeaways. Twice while in the high post, he took an entry pass, turned and hit jumpers from the elbow -- shots with a nice arc and the soft touch he's displayed on those short putback shots he's been draining.

And just to remind everyone what those biceps can do with a basketball in transition: The fourth was highlighted by a Hillman dunk which was near-ridiculous. He caught up with a bouncing breakout pass that might have been out of reach for many big men -- reeled it in in the lane and took a couple of steps before delivering a major, two-handed rim-bender that left the crowd buzzing for several minutes. (I didn't have the iPhone cranking, but I believe YNN had a cameraman there -- it's worth checking out).

OTC was impressive in how they just came coming and coming -- that's how they played against St. Joe's despite losing two of their top players. All are healthy now, by the way, which is very good news for the Kats.

Actually, the Kats surged after Hillman's dunk. While most teams would have faded being down 11 points with 2:33 left and the other team having delivered a major blow like that, the Kats kept coming downcourt in waves and causing turnovers until they made it a 73-70 game with just under two minutes to play.

Hillman's 2-for-2 trip to the line started what would be a 6-of-8 free throw finish for I-Prep that helped them hold off OTC.

I-Prep certainly emphasizes its No. 1 standing in the small school poll with its victory while the relentlessness of OTC should keep them rated very high, I think.

Check out our basketball scoreboard for the box score as well as updates on all the action.

---Keith McShea

Jamestown-Will North games rescheduled

The highly anticipated ECIC I showdown of Jamestown at Williamsville North, which was postponed last Friday, has been rescheduled.

On Tuesday, Feb. 8, Jamestown will play at Will North at 7:30. Originally, Feb. 8 was the date of the Will North at Jamestown game; instead, Will North will head to Jamestown on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Coaches and/or athletic directors should notify The News ASAP if you have postponements. Call 849-4461 or email AND

Check out our basketball scoreboard through the evening -- and every evening -- for updates on all the action.

---Keith McShea

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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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