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I-Prep/Grover, OTC Middle College meet tonight; city games postponed to next week

For some reason it was not on our schedule, but an important note: the matchup between top city schools International Prep at Grover Cleveland and OTC Middle College is tonight at 6:45 at Erie Community College's city campus.


* All other Buffalo Public Schools boys (Yale Cup) and girls (Canisius Cup) games have been moved from this week. Games scheduled for Tuesday are to be played Monday, Jan. 31; games scheduled for Thursday are to be played Monday, Feb. 7. According to Buffalo Public Schools athletic director Aubrey Lloyd, the move was made due to Regents exams being held in several gyms.

* Saturday's St. Joe's at Canisius game is scheduled for 5 p.m., following the freshman (2 p.m.) and JV (3:30) games.

* Tonight's Orchard Park at Lancaster game has been moved to Wednesday at 6:30.

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

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

---Keith McShea

ECIC meet absence upsets OP wrestling coach

When Orchard Park did not close its school on Friday because of the weather, members of its wrestling team had every reason to believe they'd be competing that afternoon at the ECIC Championships.

It didn't happen.

After-school activities were canceled leaving the Quakers, along with wrestlers from seven other schools in the ECIC, feeling wronged.

The ECIC Wrestling Tournament went on with 19 teams leaving OP, Hamburg, West Seneca East, West Seneca West, East Aurora, Frontier, Springville and Holland out of the competition. The two-day event was scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Clarence, with weigh-ins starting at 2 p.m. on Friday.

Orchard Park had been preparing all week for the competition, only to be told about an hour before they were supposed to leave that the only bus that would be available were the ones taking students home.

Orchard Park co-coach Bruce Pryce is one of many feeling left out in the cold.

"They made the kids stay in school until the end of the day, and then we weren't allowed to transport ourselves or take a bus to the meet," he said. "For them to decide to go ahead without us .‚.‚. we didn't even go to watch."

Pryce said he hopes the ECIC committee looked at every possible scenario before deciding to move forward. "I hope they looked at all the options because they disappointed a lot of wrestlers," he said. "It seems like we weren't contacted to get our opinion on it, and the people on site made the decision for us that we couldn't compete. It takes a big event off our schedule, and I hope they really did the best they could before deciding they couldn't include us in the tournament in anyway."

Among those who didn't get a chance to compete for an ECIC I title was Frontier's Rocco Russo, not only the top seed in the tournament, but the No. 1 seed in WNY. Also staying home was the No. 1 seed at 215, Josh O'Connor of West Seneca West. A pair of No. 2 seeds: Danny Graham of West Seneca East at 96 and Collin Gleason of Frontier at 119 were no-shows. At 121, four of the top eight seeds weren't there and at 145 the Nos. 2, 3 and 5 seeds didn't make it.

"When I looked at the teams that weren't able to wrestle, I felt bad," said Pryce. "The worst part is preparing all week, and then after school, an hour before you're supposed to leave, being told you're not going."

---Mary Jo Monnin

Video: Bennett's upset of McKinley highlights PrepTalkTV

PrepTalkTV was there for Bennett's big upset of McKinley as well as rivalry wins for Maryvale and JFK and it looks ahead to another week filled with good matchups:

Check out more details on the game in our Friday Night Live post, which includes another video of the great game-finishing dunk from a different angle.

And let me apologize to Kenmore West, whose win streak is eight. I shorted them a win when I mentioned their game against Niagara Falls next Thursday. My bad (chest tap).

* * *

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

---Keith McShea

Friday Night Live with PrepTalkTV: Bennett knocks off No. 5 McKinley; Maryvale wins big at Depew (with video)

PrepTalkTV returns tonight on what is a very busy night in hoops.

We'll be making stops at various games -- myself and video reporter Lauren Mariacher were planning to finish the night at Jamestown at Williamsville North, but with its postponement we're reconfiguring our game plan.

Here's our video preview as we get our evening started:

You can check out tonight's extensive lineup -- and the postponements -- at our basketball scoreboard, which we continue to upgrade. When "summary" is listed as part of tonight's schedule, click on that to get a mini-preview of that game. As tonight's scores get updated, clicking "summary" will get you the box score and in some cases a recap of the game -- you can check out that feature on last night's (Thursday's) games.

5:55 p.m. Our first stop is at Bennett High as the Tigers host No. 5 large school McKinley, and it's off to a great start for the home team. Bennett jumped to leads of 15-1 and 17-2 and lead 21-10 in the final minute of the first quarter.

After Bennett won at Riverside on Wednesday, I thought this would be a good one -- but I didn't expect the Tigers to go rout city in the first quarter. Impressive.

Bennett's huddle is a happy one after a very nice first quarter. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) 5:59 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Bennett leads McKinley, 23-12.

Great job by the Tigers with some excellent transition baskets, an ability to not get caught up in the McKinley pressure, and a great job getting back on defense to nullify Mack fast breaks. McKinley got tougher on the defensive end and it some shots to at least find its footing and dig into the lead.

6:07 p.m. Bennett with a 32-21 lead after a three-pointer by starting guard Derrick Turner.

6:12 p.m. Bennett is getting a nice push in the second quarter -- another three by Turner bumps the lead to 41-26 with 1:51 left in the second and Bennett coach Randy Rakowski calls a timeout.

6:20 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Bennett has a 42-33 lead on McKinley. Big three-pointer in the final minute by the Macks' Jermaine Canty -- which followed a Bennett turnover caused by McKinley's backcourt pressure -- to get the lead under 10 at the break.

6:35 p.m. Bennett coach Rakowski calls a timeout with 4:59 left in the third and the Tigers holding a 52-39 lead. Bennett went back up by as many as 15 (50-35) in the quarter, a great start to the second half for them when it looked as if McKinley was ready to really dig out of its hole.

6:40 p.m.Forest Richardson, who had 10 for Bennett at halftime, has put on a couple of very nice moves here in the third, including a great pass to set up a layup by big man Derrick Quarles -- who scored while being fouled -- to give Bennett a 54-39 lead. Right now it is Bennett, 58-41, with 3:03 left in the third and McKinley coach Zaire Dorsey having called for the timeout.

Bennett looks really good. Very composed yet explosive on offense. Hard-working on defense. Good balance in the lineup with bigs and good guard play.

On the other hand, this is not the McKinley team we've seen all season. They don't seem to have the same defensive intensity and they've made some poor decisions on offense. Bennett has definitely had a lot to do with that -- they've set the pace for the game, they've been the aggressors.

6:48 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Bennett leads McKinley, 60-47. Still a chance for the Macks to make it more of a game, but the Tigers have been tough -- very impressive third quarter for the hosts. Let's see if they can close the Macks out and get a second big win in a row.

A big play in the third had Bennett's Jahad Wiley block a fast-break dunk attempt by Antonio Avery -- Wiley was rightly called for a foul on the play but the crowd loved it and his team loved it, good symbolic not-in-our-house play, and it was nearly clean. Big play. Avery would make one of two free throws with 2:01 left in the third to make it a 58-42 Bennett lead then.

6:57 p.m. Entertaining start to the quarter with Bennett still answering every comeback attempt. Tigers lead, 66-57, with McKinley having just called a timeout with 3:33 left in the game.

7:05 p.m. We've got a great finish. The Macks have pulled within 69-65 with 1:30 to go and Bennett's Richardson going to the line.

7:09 p.m. McKinley timeout with 1:14 left and Bennett up, 71-65, thanks to a fast-break basket by Wiley that brought the house down.

7:11 p.m. McKinley timeout with :59 left and Bennett up, 71-67, with the ball.

7:15 p.m. Bennett up, 73-67, going to the line with 43 seconds left.

7:16 p.m. Bennett up, 73-67, going to the line with 18 seconds left.

7:17 p.m. One of two at line. Bennett, 74-67, with 12.4 seconds left and the ball. Bennett fans starting to celebrate -- LOUDly.

7:09 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Bennett 76, McKinley 67. Exclamation point was a McKenzie Brown DUNK in the final seconds. WOW.

We're hitting the road -- but what a game here. We'll have the box score up in moments and more details as the night goes on.

Here are the final seconds of Bennett's win over McKinley, including Brown's finishing dunk (there will be more on our PrepTalkTV episode):

8:32 p.m. First chance to update with the postgame interviews and writing at Bennett and a trip out to Depew: It is HALFTIME and visiting Maryvale leads, 28-23.

Report from video reporter Lauren Mariacher: JFK wins at Cleveland Hill, 50-44. Big ECIC IV win there for the Bears.

8:52 p.m. Great quarter for Maryvale, which now leads, 52-36. Flyers got a little bit of everything while Depew struggled to score.

9:04 p.m. Maryvale's lead has reached 58-40 early in the fourth.

9:07 p.m. Maryvale coach Mark Kensy calls a timeout with 4:01 left and the Flyers up, 62-44.

A mini-breakdown of that third quarter for Maryvale: Shane Mullen and Ty Buczkowski hit threes, Andrew Luckey went 4-for-4 from the line and Blair Estarfaa had three baskets for six points.

9:19 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Maryvale 70, Depew 46.

Off to get interviews and stats and to do some PrepTalkTV work.

Be sure to check out our basketball scoreboard for all of tonight's action.

Here's tonight's roundup.

---Keith McShea

Will North-Jamestown boys hoops among games postponed

We got a call to the office that the ECIC I showdown between Jamestown and Williamsville North has been postponed due to weather and Jamestown having to do its usual long traveling. No reschedule date as of yet.

Also, tonight's St. Mary's at St. Francis game has been postponed to Sunday at 3 p.m.; the St. Joe's at Archbishop Walsh game has been postponed to Feb. 2.

Check out our basketball scoreboard through the evening for any other postponements and updates on tonight's action. 

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

---Keith McShea

Live chat Jan. 19: Looking ahead to playoff brackets & PrepTalkTV games (like J'town at Will North Friday) and a look back at WNY's all-time best

Our third chat of 2011 gets going tonight at 9:30.

In case you are wondering how the winter season is flying by, it is exactly one month until 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. 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: Jamestown, Kenmore West win big (with video)

Hello from Kenmore West, my first stop of at least two tonight. West is hosting Kenmore East in their first rivalry game, with the girls to follow at 7 p.m.

Decent West crown on hand to see the home team do the Blue Devil (pictured on wall at right) proud. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) I'm definitely ending up at Clarence at Jamestown (7:30 p.m. start) but I might try and squeeze in a visit to Cheektowaga, which is hosting Depew in a 6:30 p.m. start. I think I want to be at Clarence for the beginning of that one, so I might just head there.

6:49 p.m. The boys game started at 5:30 p.m., but as I said last week, the only good reason to be late for a basketball game is if you're coming from another one (weekly pickup ball).

I walked in with West up, 57-42, heading into the fourth quarter. I kind of wished it was a closer game, but I'm sure the home folks disagree. :-) It will be good to get a first look at Ken West, whose most notable game was a close loss at Niagara Falls that certainly turned some heads.

West now has a 67-52 lead with about four minutes left.

6:56 p.m. A lot of free throws since I've been here -- and some threes. Donte Bono just hit his second of the quarter for East to cut the West lead to 67-56 with just over two minutes to go.

6:59 p.m. P.J. Blanch gets fouled on an aggressive drive to basket and hits two free throws to cut the lead to 67-58 with 1:58 left.

7:01 p.m. Blanch goes down in great pain with 55.6 seconds left and East calls a timeout still trailing by 67-58.

7:04 p.m. Just got a picture of Martin Bailey hitting the first of what would be two free throws. West added another for a 70-58 lead with less than 30 seconds left.

7:05 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Kenmore West 71, Kenmore East 58.

Seventh win in a row for the Blue Devils. Nice job by West -- I can see how they could cause teams problems. They played very composed and smart with a lead from what I watched. Four players in double figures plus 6-foot-4, 230-pound sophomore Quinton Campbell grabbing 14 rebounds.

7:15 p.m. Going to input the box score for the Web and then hit the road. I'll probably head right to Clarence.

Here's Ken West coach Michael Meetze on the win and his team's season.

8:09 p.m. I'm telling you, the ride to Clarence is longggg. I've made tons of trips here over the last year with the school's success in soccer, softball, lacrosse, football and hoops. For some reason, when you think about heading to Clarence you think it's close, when it's really not. These are things this Prep Talk-er has to think about when planning coverage.

We took advantage of the time, however. I was able to upload the Meetze video above during the trip -- don't worry, we were safe: we did it during the many red lights on Sheridan Drive from the Town of Tonawanda to Clarence.

Hello from what the locals call the Devils' Den, where Jamestown has a 18-16 lead after one quarter and renowned DJ Dominic Taverna is doing his thing on the PA.

Jamestown during a timeout with a quality student section on hand for Clarence in the background. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) Most notable is that Jaysean Paige, the junior who seems to be scoring 30-something each night, did not start and did not play the entire quarter. 

8:10 p.m. Paige takes the shooting shirt off and is in for the start of the second quarter.

8:12 p.m. Paige with a sweet three from the left side, nice and easy and a swish for a 23-16 lead for the Red Raiders.

8:16 p.m. David Hill hits a three for Clarence to cut it to 23-19 with about 4:30 left in the second quarter.

8:17 p.m. Paige with a nice bounce-pass assist underneath to Darin Butts for a 25-19 Jamestown lead with under 3:30 left in second.

8:18 p.m. Paige with a very nice pullup; again, nice and easy. Tyler Funk answers inside to make it 27-23. Funk blocks Paige on the other end, but the official says there was body involved and calls a foul I didn't see. Paige hits 1 of 2; 28-23 Jamestown with 2:33 left in second.

8:20 p.m. David Hill with a nice drive down the right side, answered by a Butts fast-break in which he was totally unguarded on the breakout. Hill with a nice dribble-fake and hanging jumper; but again, no one guards Butts and he scores a fast-break finger roll for a 32-26 lead. 

Steven Hughes hits two at the line. 32-28 Jamestown; again, answered promptly by a Jamestown fast break. Mike Rademacher from Vince Taverna on a nice penetration and dish with a minute left for Clarence (34-31 Jamestown). Nice layup by 40 on a well-done play for Jamestown.

Butts called for a reach-in which the Jamestown fans don't like with 10.4 seconds left, sending 22 to the line but he misses the front end of teh one-and-one. Jamestown runs a nice inbounds play in the final seconds. 

8:24 p.m. At halftime, Jamestown leads at Clarence, 36-31.

8:36 p.m. Jamestown's lead is 41-31 as it has started the half with Paige scoring two baskets, the second of which he turned into a three-point play.

8:37 p.m. Tommy Campion with a great reverse layup to prompt a Clarence timeout with 6:29 left in the third quarter. Jamestown leads, 45-33. Steven Hughes had Clarence's previous basket; Paige answered in transition.

8:39 p.m. Funk with a very good-looking turnaround jumper; 45-35 Jamestown under 6:15.

8:40 p.m. Butts with a nice shake and score; Rademacher answers with a putback; 47-37 Jamestown. Offensive foul on Jamestown with 5:04 left in third.

8:42 p.m. Chris Carlson scores inside to make it 49-38 Jamestown with 4:34 left in the third, prompting another timeout from Clarence coach Todd Banaszak.

8:44 p.m. Three-pointer for Adam Cecchini rolls around and in; 52-38 Jamestown with about four left in third. David Hill hits two free throws with 3:49 left; 52-40. Tommy Campion hits a jumper almost immediately after; Jamestown, 54-40.

8:50 p.m. Showtime for Jamestown. Back-to-back dunks by Butts and then Paige. Paige's dunk came off a behind-the-back fast-break pass from Butts and made the score 62-42 with 1:08 left. A technical was called on Paige but I'm not sure why.

8:53 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Jamestown leads at Clarence, 62-47.

Back in a few minutes.

9:14 p.m. OK, that was more than a few. I was shooting video and I've updated our Web basketball scoreboard with details on the Kenmore West win. 

Jamestown has maintained its big lead and is closing in on a win.

Some highlights from the fourth quarter:

9:15 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Jamestown 79, Clarence 67.

More details, highlights and interviews to come, and check that link above to the scoreboard for the box score and a recap for this game.

The postgame show:

* * *

Some thoughts after a look over our scoreboard: Nice win for Cheektowaga over Depew tonight in that game I wanted to check out. ... Eyebrow-raising score is West Seneca West with a low score but a big win as it defeats Lancaster. The Redskins continue to show some inconsistency -- the last time out they won at Clarence to complete a season sweep, and they played Jamestown super-tough down there, but they've also had a big loss to Depew. ... How about triple digits in the Niagara-Orleans League as Newfane outruns and outguns CSAT, 102-80. Wowww. ... Maryvale has no trouble with an East Aurora team that beat Cheektowaga last week in a 19-point win. ... Erik O'Bryan and Niagara-Wheatfield win in O'Bryan's return to his old school at North Tonawanda. ... Portville with a nice home win over Salamanca by four. 

---Keith McShea

How The News voted: After the MLK Classic

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 fourth polls were published today in the Scholastic Spotlight. Here's a link to our previous How The News voted posts: last week (Jan. 11, for the first poll of the new year), Dec. 21 (holiday edition) and Dec. 14 (first polls).

But first, a reminder why there were no games (or school) on Monday and why Saturday's event is called the Martin Luther King Jr. Classic:


1. Niagara Falls (9-0) [last week: 1] -- Rolling right along.

2. Jamestown (8-2) [2] -- Rolling right along. No excuses for Erie County hoop fans not to see what's up: at Clarence tonight, at Will North Friday.

3. Williamsville South (8-1) [3] -- Rolling right ... you know the rest.

4. Canisius (10-4) [4] -- At their best, the Crusaders have been outstanding -- which is the adjective for their first half against I-Prep at MLK.

5. McKinley (7-0) [9] -- Tremendous week for Macks. Win over East, win at Riverside, win over Sweet Home at MLK.

6. Riverside (6-2) [6] -- We'll keep them here due to their win at St. Joe's.

7. St. Joe's (11-4) [8] -- Marauders had nearly as good a week as McKinley did, ended it with nearly as impressive a win as McKinley did, gets nearly as much of a bump in the poll as McKinley did.

8. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (9-1) [7] -- Tigers were leading entire fourth quarter ... but left the door open against St. Joe's by missing it's free throws and took their first loss of the season. On Tuesday, Tigers won in a rout at Williamsville East, which is a team some are voting for but I just can't see that right now.

9. Williamsville North (7-2) [5] -- On one hand a road loss at Frontier is not a big deal in a very competitive ECIC I. On the other hand, those games are ones teams have to win -- or else they'll slide in the polls. Just the way it is. I'm still a fan of North, I still like their game and I think they'll be in that ECIC I race for the long haul. But a road loss at an unranked team which has some losses in league has to knock out down a notch or two (or four).

10. East (5-3) [10] -- No shame losing what was largely a close one at McKinley.

Just getting boxed out: Lancaster, which owns a win over Frontier and completed a season sweep of Clarence Saturday evening.


1. International Prep at Grover Cleveland (6-3) [1] -- We've heard this before: The small schools are not in the same league as the large. However, these guys showed against Tapestry why they're certainly No. 1.

2. St. Mary's (7-6) [2] -- Will the Lancers take down one of the top 10 large schools from the Monsignor Martin Association? Last chance is next Tuesday hosting Timon.

3. Newfane (6-3) [3] --  The return trip to Wilson is 10 days away (next Friday night).

4. Maple Grove (7-1) [6] -- Gave them a bump mostly because ...

5. OTC Middle College (5-4) [9] -- ... I needed to bump up the Kats after watching them hang with St. Joe's despite Alexander going down in the first quarter. OTC lost to Olean in the IAABO; Maple Grove beat Olean; that was enough reason for me to slot 'em up this way.

6. Wilson (6-4) [4] -- See No. 3.

7. Tapestry Charter (9-2) [5] -- Shuffled them down a bit after seeing them in the surreal game at I-Prep, but the shuffle down is less about anything I saw in that game and more about Maple Grove and OTC getting their bumps.

8. Dunkirk (7-0) [7] -- Latest win by 34 at Falconer.

9. Cassadaga Valley (9-1) [NR] -- Earned a spot on this ballot with 59-55 victory at Portville.

10. Tonawanda (7-3) [10] -- ECIC IV is its most exciting in years -- maybe even more exciting with a wounded Lackawanna. JFK was next in line to join the huddle.

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

Video: PrepTalkTV wraps up the MLK Classic

Happy MLK weekend from PrepTalkTV:

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

---Keith McShea

Saturday Afternoon Live from the MLK Classic: Wins for Canisius, McKinley, St. Joe's, Lafayette

Hello from the very bright, very shiny and quite impressive new gym at City Honors -- my first visit to the school (umm, because they had no gym :-) ).

City Honors' shiny new gym hosts today's MLK Classic. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) Today is the annual MLK Classic, usually a good midseason barometer for the many top programs who are involved.

The four-game lineup is divided into two sessions: Lafayette faces Lackawanna at 11 a.m. followed by St. Joe's meeting OTC Middle College at 12:30 p.m.; in the second session, McKinley faces Sweet Home at 3 p.m. followed by a 4:30 p.m. matchup of the No. 1 small school in International Prep at Grover Cleveland against No. 4 large school Canisius.

11:20 a.m. After the first quarter of our first game, Lafayette has a 13-5 lead on Lackawanna. Both coaches have already reached vein-bulging level as Tim Foley slammed a clipboard after some poor play by his Steelers while Karl Maggiore got typically fired up at his Mighty Violets.

Lackawanna has had personnel issues all season and seems that is the case again today as senior guard Dondre Alexander is not in the starting lineup, nor is senior Christian Cheatom.

11:36 a.m. At halftime of our first game, Lafayette leads Lackawanna, 31-21. Extension cord set-up time for me.

11:40 a.m. OK. All set there. The extension cord and power strip from our trunk pays off again. Life as a high school reporter.

The game has been a little sloppy, which is to be expected a bit with Lackawanna's struggles with its lineup while Lafayette is used to playing in its slender gym which lends itself to a frenetic game. It also can help benefit the Violets -- they finished off several fast breaks in tight quarters near the rim that looked tough out here, but they would be the norm in Lafayette's gym, where the entire game is played in tight quarters (opposing coaches have long referred to it as a bowling alley).

11:54 a.m. Lafayette on an 8-0 run to take a 42-30 lead. Run included a fast-break behind-the-ball assist by big man Davon Ferguson.

12:01 p.m. That 8-2 run became a 13-0 run in what would be a 22-11 third quarter for Lafayette, which now leads, 53-32. The Violets forced several turnovers and kept scoring fast-break points.

12:10 p.m. Timeout Lackawanna with 3:56 left in the game and Lafayette up, 64-44.

12:19 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Lafayette 68, Lackawanna 56.

Interview time for us and we'll be back for the next game in a few minutes.

12:41 p.m. Introductions for St. Joe's and OTC Middle College are under way. St. Joe's is definitely the favorite in this one, especially coming off a very big win at Timon Thursday night.

12:48 p.m. Timeout St. Joe's early on as OTC is off to a very impressive start, leading 12-6, with just over four minutes left in the first quarter.

12:56 p.m. Middle College is up, 17-13, with 2.7 seconds left but the game is delayed for not a good reason for OTC. Senior standout Davon Alexander went down in serious pain and has been helped off the court after his right sneaker was removed. He's on the training table. Onlookers were hopeful that it was a cramp, but it didn't look that way when he went down. That would be a serious loss for OTC.

1 p.m. We are at the end of the first quarter with OTC Middle College leading St. Joe's, 17-13. The Kats leading at this point is certainly an eyebrow-raiser, although St. Joe's has shown that it can be inconsistent thus far this season. The Kats are playing very well also -- junior Khalid Brown has been very impressive with some high energy, two threes and some aggressive, quick drives to the basket.

Big man Reggie Agbeko had to sit after picking up two fouls in the first.

1:14 p.m. St. Joe's has a 32-29 lead with 1:24 left in the second quarter and it's another delay we don't want to see. St. Joe's junior Chad Kelly, the first-team All-Western New York football player, went down hard to the court in pain. His right sneaker was taken off and a trainer attended to him before he walked off the court on his own power. 

1:19 p.m. We are at halftime and St. Joe's is up, 37-32. Strong finish to the quarter by St. Joe's, a 5-1 spurt that gave the Marauders the five-point lead after a quarter in which the score was much closer throughout.

OTC continued to play very well, particularly when you consider that Alexander was out for the quarter. Great energy on both ends, great hustle on defense and nice decisions and passing on offense. I think perhaps St. Joe's did a little overestimating here -- I would too (I knocked OTC down in my poll after their over-the-break loss down in Olean) -- and were not ready for OTC's pressure. OTC has set the tone of the game with its pressure, but Joe's has been very good finishing many opportunities, including many by senior Connor Rehbaum. 

1:37 p.m. St. Joe's coach Mark Simon calls his second timeout in exactly a minute of game time with the Marauders leading, 43-38. Let's just say he's not pleased.

1:46 p.m. At the end of three quarters, St. Joe's leads OTC Middle College, 48-43.

Lots of action, lots of fun here. OTC playing very well and making this much more of a game than anticipated, again, especially when you consider Davon Alexander hasn't played since the first quarter due to an ankle injury.

1:50 p.m. Another injury timeout with 7:11 left as Khalid Brown wend down to the court with seemingly the same injury on the same spot on the court as the two previous occassions in this game. He's out of the game for now. Big blow to the Kats, who trail, 50-43.

1:52 p.m. Timeout by OTC Middle College coach Randall Rich with St. Joe's now up, 54-43, with 6:06 left in the game after the Marauders took advantage of some OTC turnovers.

2:03 p.m. Losing its second top player has been too much for OTC to take. St. Joe's is now up, 69-46, with 1:36 left in the game.

2:07 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: St. Joe's 69, OTC Middle College 54.

More to come -- the next game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

3:05 p.m. The box scores and recaps for the first two games are updated at our basketball scoreboard page.

We're under way with McKinley-Sweet Home, which has made for high-energy, high-entertainment over the last few seasons -- including at the MLK two years ago.

3:18 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, McKinley leads Sweet Home, 16-11.

McKinley, ranked 10th to start the week but certainly headed much higher after wins over East and at Riverside this week, is certainly the favorite here. The deep and talented Macks are playing inspired, smart ball under coach Zaire Dorsey. Sweet Home, coached by first-year coach Scott Martin, has hung around by displaying the same kind of energy we're used to seeing the Panthers play with under former coach Paul Schintzius.

3:21 p.m. More high energy from Sweet Home, whose bench is very into the game as the Panthers have cut the McKinley lead to 18-16 with 6:50 left in the second.

3:31 p.m. Anthony Sanders with a follow basket to put McKinley up, 29-20, and prompt a timeout from Sweet Home with 3:18 left in the second quarter.

3:42 p.m. At halftime, McKinley leads Sweet Home, 36-23. An 11-3 run to end the quarter puts McKinley in control, including a basket by John Black off a pass from hustling reserve Bryant Cunningham, who got the ball and passed it to Black while seated on the floor.

Great coaching by Dorsey in the last minute of the half -- he called a timeout right after that Black basket, with 16.1 seconds left in the half and set up a press to try and get the ball back. It worked, as Sweet Home turned the ball over with an errant inbounds throw. The Macks didn't score, but still a nice keep-the-pressure-on move.

3:57 p.m. Great start of the third quarter for McKinley (6-0) and the opposite for Sweet Home, which calls a timeout with 5:09 left in the third with the Macks up, 42-23. The Macks continue to impress, all over the boards and on defense. Sweet Home has shot too quickly and has turned the ball over.

4:13 p.m. After three quarters, McKinley leads Sweet Home, 51-32. A nice finish to the quarter as Damone Canty scores a tough layup after taking a touchdown-like inbounds pass from Kelvin Henderson in the final seconds.

4:16 p.m. Timeout Sweet Home with 6:48 left having cut into the lead, 51-35.

4:27 p.m. McKinley has pushed its lead back up to 24 (65-41) with 2:13 left in the game. Just had a timeout here. The Macks' lead was cut to 14 (53-39) before they went on a 8-0 run, largely with transition baskets off misses or turnovers it forced.

A nice crowd is already on hand for what will be the final game of the day, Canisius vs. I-Prep at Grover.

4:36 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: McKinley 69, Sweet Home 46.

Some interviews for me and we'll be back with the MLK Classic finale in a bit.

5:36 p.m. My apologies about the hour delay. I had some PrepTalkTV duties to attend to, and I spend a lot of the first half updating our basketball scoreboard page.

We are at halftime of our finale and Canisius looks pretty great. The Crusaders lead I-Prep at Grover, 37-19.

Matt Hart has been great from the outside -- three three-pointers in a 25-12 first half for Canisius -- while Aaron Nevins has been very good on both ends.

5:45 p.m. I-Prep has cut it to 42-30 with just over three minutes left in the third.

5:50 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Canisius leads I-Prep, 47-32.

Canisius had a great close to the quarter after I-Prep threatened to really make it a game. Nevins scored on a backdoor cut off a Hart pass and Hart scored on a baseline drive in the final 1:30.

5:52 p.m. Quick and good timeout by I-Prep coach Shaunessy Ryan as his team trails, 50-32.

5:59 p.m. I-Prep's Ryan calls a timeout following two free throws by Chris Holland that make it a 59-43 Canisius lead.

6:05 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Canisius 72, I-Prep at Grover 52.

Box score will be online in just a bit, after interviews and such.

* * *

All box scores are at our basketball scoreboard page. Be sure to check back for our episode of PrepTalkTV and look for a story tomorrow in the paper and

Be sure to check that ECIC I game in the scoreboard as well -- huge win for Lancaster as it takes a season sweep of Clarence. Throw that in with Frontier's win over Will North last night and the ECIC I race is pretty ridiculous. Jamestown has two tough road tests coming up this week at Clarence Tuesday and at Will North Friday.

---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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