A busy day in high school hoops today. I'm going to check out East at McKinley, which has a 5:30 p.m. scheduled start, hopefully followed by St. Mary's at Canisius, which starts at 6:30 -- although that might be cutting it close, especially with the roads getting snowier.
At halftime, McKinley has a 21-19 lead on East in a super-packed gym. I had to bang on the door outside for a few minutes before someone let me in.
6:48 p.m. McKinley up, 29-24, with 5:05 left in the third quarter. The Macks had jumped to a 29-21 lead before East got a free throw and a basket off a turnover.
6:53 p.m. Timeout McKinley after East's fullcourt pressure caused some confusion. McKinley leads, 32-24, with 3:49 left in third.
6:57 p.m. Antonio Avery for McKinley gets out in transition after a turnover and gets up to finish while being fouled -- and the Macks home crowd gets LOUD. He misses the free throw so McKinley's lead is 34-24 with just over three minutes left in the third.
7 p.m. Timeout East with two minutes left in the third. Jasen Oden has hit back-to-back three-pointers to bring the Panthers to within 34-30. FUN game.
7:11 p.m. I was about two seconds from getting the iPhone out for a powerful two-handed hammer dunk by Avery, who got out in transition and just powered through the lane for a jam that got the bleachers going nuts. At the end of the third quarter, McKinley leads East, 41-36. Kicking myself that I missed that. Tremendous highlight. The sound in here is tremendous, and it went off the charts after the Avery dunk. McKinley went bouncing to the sideline into their huddle at the close of the quarter.
7:19 p.m. Both teams are in the bonus so it has become a free throw game very early in the fourth. Tremmell Fisher goes to the line for East with 6:14 left and hits two to cut the McKinley lead to 45-41.
John Black, who had 13 of his 15 in the second half, hooks one in here:
7:27 p.m. McKinley's lead is 52-47 with 3:04 left with Damone Canty just having fouled out for McKinley.
7:28 p.m. McKinley coach Zaire Dorsey calls a timeout with East pressuring a McKinley inbound under the basket. Avery just answered an East basket on the previous possession to put the Macks up, 54-49, with 2:21 left.
7:30 p.m. East calls a timeout after a slick play by Avery -- the inbounds pass went down the left sideline and he didn't see it at first, but he got to it and found Rutledge for a layup and a 56-49 lead with 2:11 left in the game.
7:36 p.m. McKinley will win - another transition basket by Rutledge has McKinley up seven with 18.8 seconds left.
7:37 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: McKinley 61, East 56.
I'm going to get some work done and I'll be back with whereever I'm headed next :-).
8:49 p.m. Sorry for the delay but it is a SLOW-go out there on the snowy roads. If you're out or have to head out, be careful and take it slow.
With the Canisius-St. Mary's game starting at 6:30 and the Yale Cup game going so long -- and with me sticking around for interviews and stats -- AND with the roads being so bad, Canisius wasn't an option by the time I was leaving McKinley. It seems that it wasn't much of a contest as the Crusaders posted a big win.
I spend about 40 minutes driving to Williamsville East -- not the greatest idea. I got a call from a fellow hoop head that the game was over when he walked in at 8:40 or so. Timon won big.
You can check out all of tonight's action at our full-page of box scores.
Right now I'm sitting in a parking lot at Hopkins and Klein (I was so close to East!) updating the game report on McKinley with quotes. I'll add some video here as soon as I can.
9:17 p.m. My game report is complete -- just check it out at the full page of box scores I just linked above. I'm heading home and will post some video highlights and interviews (now I'm reallllly frustrated I missed getting Avery's dunk on video -- since I only got to one game). I feel kind of defeated that I only got to one, but Mother Nature crossed me up. We'll get to plenty this season.