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Live from the Section VI semifinals: Cass. Valley, Lackawanna, Newfane win

Greeting from Buffalo State, where the Class B-2 semifinal between Charter School of Applied Technology (14-5) and Cassadaga Valley is underway. Later on, the Class B-1 semifinals will tip off, starting with unbeaten and top seed Dunkirk (19-0) against No. 5 Lackawanna (11-8). The nightcap feature No. 3 Tonawanda (16-3) against No. 2 Newfane (15-4).

Class B-2 semifinal: Cassadaga Valley vs. CSAT

First quarter: Dustin Schauman was the difference as he scored eight points to push Cass Valley to a 17-14 lead.

Halftime: Cass Valley 31, CSAT 28. The pace of the game was uptempo, but that seemed to be to CV's advantage. CSAT managed to keep it close with a good finish to the second quarter.

Third quarter: Cass Valley 46, CSAT 36.CV took advantage of some turnovers and better offensive execution to build a double-digit margin. CSAT is fighting an uphill battle. Every time it closes the gap, CV finds a way to extend the lead again.

Final: Cass Valley 57, CSAT 49. The fourth quarter was much like the entire game. Every time CSAT made a charge, CV came up with big plays to extend its lead. Schauman led four players in double figures with 15 points. Robert Glover added 12 points, including five in the final minute to put the game away.

The Cougars advance to the final against the winner Tuesday's game between No. 1 Wilson (15-4) and No. 5 Cleveland Hill (12-7).

Class B-1 semifinal: Lackawanna vs. Dunkirk

First quarter: Lackawanna 9, Dunkirk 8. Dunkirk fell behind 7-0 and looked very tight early. The Marauders aren't used to playing on such a big stage against this level of competition. It didn't help their cause that top scorer Vinny Bomasuto picked up three fouls in the first five minutes of the game.

Halftime: Lackawanna 21, Dunkirk 18. The Steelers led the entire first half, overcoming a height disadvantage with superior quickness. Christian Cheatom was effective slicing inside for layups and short jumpers. However, the Marauders had to go into the break feeling good with Bomasuto missing almost the entire first half with foul trouble.

Third quarter: Lackawanna 36, Dunkirk 30. Bomasuto finally gets in the scorebook with a layup with 54 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to one. But Cheatom scores the last five points of the quarter as Dunkirk struggles to keep him out of the lane.

Final score: Lackawanna 48, Dunkirk 39. Cheatom was clearly the best player on the floor, scoring 19 points and imposing his will on the defensive end. Bomasuto, who poured in 47 points during a 40-point win over Buffalo Arts (how many came with the game out of hand?), finished with only nine. The Steelers move on to their first sectional final since 2007.

Class B-1 semifinal: Newfane vs. Tonawanda

First quarter: Newfane 17, Tonawanda 6. It was the Dan Hambruch show as he scored 13 points to give Newfane a big advantage early.

Halftime: Newfane 31, Tonawanda 18. It was beginning to look like a blowout when Newfane built a 24-6 lead. But Tonawanda got more aggressive on defense and forced turnovers during a 10-0 run. It would be the last time this game was competitive.

Third quarter: Newfane 45, Tonawanda 25. Newfane took the game over with effort. It got more loose balls and battled under the basket for offensive rebounds that were converted into baskets. It will take a monumental effort for Tonawanda to get back in this one.

Final score: Newfane 63, Tonawanda 38. Hambruch scored 25 while Rohn Pierce had 16. Clayton Hess led Tonawanda with 14.

Here's the game story for the night.

And here's a poll on the first confirmed matchup for Saturday:

---Allen Wilson

Championship Week tips off with polls today, hoops tonight

Championship Week tips off tonight.

Review the day-by-day schedule (the class-by-class version is here) and vote in the polls. 

Today (Monday)

A treat of a tripleheader tips us off at Buffalo State.

The 5:30 p.m. opener is a Class B-2 semifinal featuring the Charter School of Applied Technologies making its first appearance at Buffalo State as it takes on CCAA II champion Cassadaga Valley. CSAT, located in the Town of Tonawanda, has shown an ability to put points on the board during a season in which it finished third behind Niagara-Orleans co-champions and top small schools Wilson and Newfane, and it is also coming off an impressive quarterfinal victory over City Honors. Cassadaga Valley rolled to the semis with a 65-37 rout of Fredonia.

That game is followed by the two B-1 semifinals, both of which are very intriguing. At 7 p.m., Western New York's only undefeated team, CCAA I champion Dunkirk, takes on Lackawanna. Senior leader Vinny Bomasuto had 47 points as Dunkirk routed Buffalo Arts by 40 to improve to 19-0 on the season and make their first trip to Buffalo State in recent memory. Lackawanna had lineup struggles early in the season but have won 8 of its last 9.

At 8:30, two league champions face off as ECIC IV's Tonawanda meets Newfane, the co-champion of the Niagara-Orleans League. Newfane has been in the top 10 all year behind a veteran team that includes Rohn Pierce operating in the middle. Tonawanda won its first league title since 1958 behind a balanced team led by scorers Jesse Lalka and Clayton Hess.  

Tuesday 

While the Class D semifinals are held at Jamestown Community College, there's another tripleheader at Buffalo State.

The tip off is the other half of the B-2 bracket, as Cleveland Hill takes on top-seeded Wilson at 5:30. Cleveland Hill has several players back from a team that lost to Akron in last year's B-2 title game, and it made it back to Buffalo State with an impressive road win at Salamanca. Wilson, led by senior guard Brennan Moxham, has been a favorite in this class all year but is arrives at Buffalo State without the energy and inside play of senior forward Tyler Truesdell, who suffered a knee injury late in the regular season. 

Then it's time for the A-2 semifinals, starting with a 7 p.m. meeting between two very familiar faces at Buffalo State: Olean and East. Olean moved up to Class A this year and started the season slow with a very young team, but it still has a chance to win a fifth straight sectional title. The Huskies have won four consecutive overall Class B championships. East is the Yale Cup Division I champion and the defending Class A-2 champion, having shown great balance behind Tremmell Fisher, Andre Jackson, Jasen Oden, Chris Boyd and Dominique House.

Cheektowaga returns to Buffalo State after losing in last year's semifinals -- they take on a team that ousted ECIC III champion Maryvale in the quarterfinals, Riverside. Cheektowaga finished second behind Maryvale in ECIC III.

Wednesday

Perhaps the busiest and most meaningful weekday of Championship Week in the last decade.

The Manhattan Cup championship pits Canisius and St. Joe's at 6 p.m. at Canisius College. Both split their meetings this year on the other team's floor, with St. Joe's winning at Canisius, 67-57, on Jan. 29, and Canisius winning at St. Joe's, 82-78, in the final week of the regular season (Feb. 15). Both teams routed their way into the final.

 

 

At Buffalo State, the A-1 doubleheader starts at 6 p.m. with top 10 large school Bennett, which owns two wins over AA semifinalist McKinley, taking on upstart Kenmore East -- perhaps the biggest surprise semifinalist after winning at Williamsville East in the quarterfinals. Top-seeded Williamsville South has been expected to be in this spot all season, and they'll take on Hutch-Tech at 7:45 p.m. Defending overall A champion South is led by senior football/basketball standouts Phil Stasiak, Kevin O'Connell and Joe Licata, who is two three-pointers away from breaking the all-time state record. Tech has had an impressive second half of the season behind senior all-around threat Maurice Miles and a cast of contributors.

The final four at Jamestown Community College has been more anticipated than the one at Buffalo State as the top 10 small schools square off. At 6 p.m., a balanced Maple Grove team takes on a deep Tapestry Charter squad led by top scorer Dazmon Knight. At 7:45 p.m., OTC Middle College will attempt to avoid a three-game season sweep by top-seeded and No. 1 small school International Prep at Grover Cleveland at 7:45. I-Prep beat OTC twice in Yale Cup Division II play, but the second win came in overtime. 

Thursday

One of the most anticipated final fours comes in Class AA, as season-long top 10 school McKinley, coming off an impressive rout at Williamsville North in the quarterfinals, takes on No. 1 large school Niagara Falls at 6 p.m. The buzz at Buffalo State has been at its best in recent years when top Falls teams have squared off against some of the city's best (including Bennett in the early 2000s and Riverside in the middle of the decade).

 

 

The second game is another third meeting between league rivals as Lancaster meets Jamestown at 7:45. Lancaster gave a full-strength Jamestown its toughest tests by far in ECIC I play, losing by a combined 12 points (70-66 on Jan. 4 at Jamestown and 69-61 on Feb. 4 at Lancaster). The Red Raiders feature a powerful one-two combination in Jaysean Paige and Darin Butts whle JJ Harrington leads Lancaster in the middle. 

 

 

Friday and Saturday

JCC hosts the Class D (6 p.m.) and C (7:45) finals on Friday while Buffalo State hosts five championships on Saturday (B-2 noon, B-1 1:45, A-2 3:30 in the first session; A-1 6:30 and AA 8:15 in the evening session).

Sunday

The Manhattan Cup winner takes on a downstate team in the state Catholic semifinals at noon at Canisius College.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Live from the Federation Hockey Large School final

We're here at HSBC Arena for the Fed Large School playoff final, which will start about 1:15 minutes later than planned. We'll give you updates of Williamsville North vs. Frontier as we go. Got to file for first edition.

First period

9:15 p.m.: Puck is dropped

10:24 left: David Powers scores to get the Spartans fans a reason to cheer. Will North leads, 1-0.

5:05 left: Nick DeSimone drives to the net and one-touches a pass from Adam Hepp into the top corner. Will North leads, 2-0.

End of first: Will North has 2-0 lead and with a goalie in Parker Gahagen who holds the state record for career shutouts (16) between the pipes, that could be all the Spartans need but Southtowns schools have a knack for being scrappy. Nice, briskly played period. We writers on deadline love that.

Second period

9:49 p.m.: The puck is dropped.

10:16 left: Jake Rosen scores off give-and-go play for another North goal. North is pretty much in control here, buzzing around Frontier zone. Will North leads, 3-0.

8:33: Scott Sims scores off a rush down right wing, cuts across the front of net and beats the helpless Frontier netminder. Will North leads, 4-0.

End of 2nd: North leads 4-0.

Third period

10:27 p.m.: The puck has been dropped.

10:06 left: Jeff McAndrews denied in tight to prevent North from adding to its lead.

8:42: Sims scores unassisted for his second of the game. North leads, 5-0.

2:16: Jon Haynes scores on the power play to make it a six-pack of goals. North leads, 6-0.

End of third: It's over. North wins its second straight title.

---Miguel Rodriguez

Live from Federation Hockey Small School Final

OK. Busy, busy, busy. Second Fed game between Kenmore East-Williamsville East has begun. Long post-game show following the Catholics means we're really behind.

First period

8:57 left: Dan Giliforte scores for Ken East off assists by Andy Robinson and Don Battista. Ken East leads, 1-0.

End of 1st: Ken East leads 1-0. Playing catchup, so I can't tell you much more. Sorry. We'll pick it up in the second period.

Second period

7:30 p.m.: The puck is dropped.

14:41 left: That was fast. Williamsville East ties the game as Mike Sarcinelli flips in a rebound past Mike Davern. Assist given to Marc Bezbatchenko but it looked like Billy Gaffney took the initial shot from the point that was stopped. Either way it's tied. Tied, 1-1.

12:04: Matt Territo snaps a wrist shot from the right circle through a mild screen to give Williamsville East another goal. Will East leads, 2-1.

 6:48: Will East fans chanting "He's a freshman!" and with good reason as goalie Tucker WEppner made a spectacular glove save, doing the splits to stop a rebound chance by Ken East's Steve Gentner during a power-play. Gentner led the Small Schools in scoring during the regular season with 18 goals and 36 points. Earlier in the period Weppner also stopped him during a 2-on-1 rush.

6:34: Andy Robinson hits the post on nice low shot stick side from right circle.

21.8: Big stop on Sarcinelli's blast by Ken East's Davern to keep it a one-goal game.

End of 2nd: Williamsville East leads 2-1. Nice action in that period by both teams.

Third period

8:07 p.m.: The puck is dropped.

12:30 left: Ken East goes on power play.

9:47: Not much offense in this period, although Will East will go on the power-play now as Colin Farrell goes to box for roughing after taking umbridge with a Flames player poking at his goalie after a stop.

8:05: Power play is over. Ken East's Davern made a few saves to keep it a one-goal deficit.

6:22: Davern makes fine right pad save on Matt Notaro and freezes (although, he looked behind to make sure it was under him) to deny Flames.

4:23: Hooking penalty to Will East's Sarcinelli. Power play for Ken East.

3:35: Ken East's Brad DeLand hits inside of post and during scramble in front Weppner does the snow-angel stop of rebound chance by Don Battista to keep it 2-1 game for Will East. That's the second post the Bulldogs have hit in this one.

1:57: Penalty against Ken East Eric Gardner for cross check. Timeout Will East before it goes on the power play.

15.1: What a defensive play by Will East's Matt Notaro as he deflects shot by seemingly wide-open Battista on a 2-on-1 over the glass. Faceoff to left of Flames net with Flames ahead by one.

End of 3rd: Williamsville East is now a first-time Federation playoff champion as it hangs on for the 2-1 triumph. Goalie Tucker Weppner was outstanding with several big saves and also received assists - twice from his best friend the goal post - and once there at the end from Notaro.

Got to run. Maybe dicey blogging last game with deadline for first edition so close but we'll give it the college try.

---Miguel Rodriguez

Live from the Federation Hockey Catholic Final

Greetings hockey fans.

The last of the club league championship games just wrapped up at 4 p.m. and was followed by the traditional awards presentations, which means the three Fed championship games will likely begin later than originally scheduled (4, 6 and 8 p.m.).

Can't tell you who won the first three club finals (but if I see Larry Ott, who's covering the first four of games I'll pass them on), however Hutch-Tech won the Explorer League title with a 5-1 triumph over Akron. Hutch-Tech is coached by my old youth hockey coach Dale Marrs.

St. Joe's enters Fed Catholic final as top seed and went 10-1-2 in league games during the regular season with the lone loss coming to Williamsville North. The Marauders are trying to win their first Fed title since 2008 - the last time the league's Catholic and Public Schools played each other in the playoffs before the Fed changed things up so that its league teams that win playoff titles advanced to states instead of the in-season state playoff qualification system it had used in the past.

St. Joe's is vying for its eighth Fed playoff title.

St. Francis returns to the title game after falling to Canisius last year, 4-0. St. Francis hasn't won a Fed title since 1999, but there's a huge asterisk that goes with that because that was before Frannies started fielding a prep-level team, which is considered the school's top team. The Fed team is considered the prep team's quasi farm team.

Still, Frannies went 10-3-1 in the league - losing to Bishop Timon, Small School finalist Williamsville East and last year's Small School champion Amherst. However, St. Joe's did beat Frannies, 4-1, during the season in a game used to determine seeding for the Catholic playoffs.

Frannies has won four Fed playoff titles.

It's is now 4:22 p.m., the teams have just finished warmups, we'll return in about 10-15 minutes for puck drop once they resurface the ice.

First period

4:45 p.m.: The puck has been dropped.

10:41 left: St. Francis holding its own. It has had the better of the play in the early going and had a glorious opportunity to take a 1-0 lead 14 seconds ago when a St. Joe's defenseman fell while chasing a loose puck in neutral zone but goalie Marc Mallare stoned Frannies' Richard Larkin on the breakaway with a nice sprawling blocker/stick save. That came seconds after Frannies goalie Robert Bloomfield stopped James Deakin on a 2-on-1, St. Joe's only good chance thus far.

4:43: Mallare has been quite sharp, turning aside several quality chances by Red Raiders. Made nice stop on tricky screen shot during Frannies power play on a Christian Matthews blast earlier. Also made two fine stops on Richard Larkin in the slot to keep it scoreless.
 

3:40: Bloomfield hasn't been as busy as his St. Joe's counterpart but when he's been tested, the shots have been some glorious chances. He saved Frannies bacon with a stop on Zachary Klapp off a turnover in the Red Raiders zone and then appeared to either get a piece of a rebound chance or forced Dimitrios Gogos to fire wide.

End of 1st: Tied 0-0. St. Francis has done fine job using its speed and tenacity to hem St. Joe's in its zone. When Marauders have had chances, they've come off Frannies turnovers.

TIme Warner Cable broadcast on jumbotron in arena reports the shots were 8-6 St. Joe's in that period even though St. Francis had more of the territorial edge.

Second period

5:16 p.m.: And we're off with another puck drop.

12:54 left: Eric Paradowski splits defense of Frannies and fires high and wide. Thus far St. Joe's has much more jump than it did in first period.

8:23: St. Joe's will go on the power play.

6:37: Good penalty kill by the Red Raiders. St. Joe's Robert Neff had a couple chances stopped by Bloomfield. St. Francis' Alexander Vacco nice work along wall near St. Joe's bench to take puck away from defenseman and clear it during the kill.

4:03: If St. Francis wins this thing, remember these two saves by Bloomfield. He denied Kyle Moslow point-blank range and then denied rebound follow-up during scramble by Gogos.

3:04: St. Joe's finally scores and it took a perfect shot off a 2-on-1 feed to do it. Tyler Mills fires it in under the bar off feed from Connor Hagner. St. Joe's leads, 1-0.

1:36: This qualifies as floodgates opening at this point. Kyle Moslow on doorstep stuffs it between Bloomfield's legs as it barely trickles over the goal line on the power play. Moslow received chance after initial pass from Gogos to Klapp in slot hit a Frannies defender with Klapp whacking it toward net and Moslow as other Frannies defenders reacted to the deflected puck. St. Joe's leads, 2-0.

End of 2nd: St. Joe's leads, 2-0. St. Joe's played like one would expect a top seed to play like in that period. They skated better, were more physical and generated more chances. Maybe they were nervous in the first period. Maybe they just needed to get punched a few times before waking up. Whatever, they're 15 minutes away from earning a shot at the state Catholic title next Sunday at Buffalo State.

Third period

5:52 p.m.: The puck has been dropped.

10:17: St. Francis buzzed around St. Joe's zone in first minute but couldn't bully a shot past Mallare. Red Raiders also misfired on a glorious 2-on-1 chance.

Meanwhile, here are scores from the other club games: Southtowns: Iroquois/Alden 6, St. Francis 5 (OT); WNY Club Small: Starpoint 3, Maryvale 2 (2 OT); WNY Club large: Lancaster 4, City Honors/O'Hara 1.

7:59: Frannies kills off St. Joe's power play.

5:55: Mallare makes fine stop on Kennedy Monaco to keep it 2-0 for St. Joe's. Some buzzing in the zone after the stop but that's about it. Good shift, no reward. It's hockey, that happens.

3:07: Monaco denied again on doorstep by Mallare off nice set up by Shawn Hanley.

:52: Timeout St. Francis with faceoff in St. Joe's zone. Frannies pulling goalie for extra skater in hopes of pulling out a miracle.

 End of 3rd: Mallare made nice stick save with 20 seconds left but that's it. Sticks and gloves all over ice in St. Joe's zone as celebration begins. St. Joe's wins it 2-0 to claim Federation's Catholic/Private/Monsignor Martin title and earn a bid in next Sunday's State Catholic title game at 3 p.m. at Buffalo State against a downstate foe.

We'll return for the second game.

---Miguel Rodriguez

More major D-I programs interested in St. Joe's QB Kelly

St. Joe's junior Chad Kelly said after Saturday night's Manhattan Cup semifinals that the number of Division I football scholarship offers he's received is still three -- Florida State, University at Buffalo and Western Michigan -- but he said several programs have contacted him recently, including Tennesee and Michigan State.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Live from the Manhattan Cup semifinals: Canisius, St. Joe's will meet again in final (with video interviews)

Hello from Canisius College for the Manhattan Cup semifinals. We'll do separate live blogs for each game below.

You can check our scoreboard with box scores of today's Section VI quarterfinals and we'll have the Manhattan Cup box scores there as soon as we can. Tonight's winners meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Canisius College.

Here's the postgame show from both games as Canisius and St. Joe's talk about their victories and their upcoming third meeting of the season.

Canisius talked about how defense keyed its win:

St. Joe's talked about how the Marauders rallied despite Reggie Agbeko going down in the opening seconds:

Here's my game story for Sunday's paper.

Stay tuned for what should be an exciting Championship Week, including a live blog from Wednesday's final.

For a look at the Section VI final fours and how those teams got there, check our video after Quarterfinal Friday.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Section VI has six wrestlers in state finals

Thanks to correspondent Paul Post, here are Section VI's six state finalists, including a Section VI showdown in Division II

Div. I state finalists:

Jim Kloc (145) of Iroquois vs. Matt Ross, Rocky Point (XI)

Irvin Buck (152) Niagara Falls vs. Kyle Wade, Islip (XI)

Adam Donner (215) Niagara Wheatfield vs. Warren Bosch, Kings Park (XI)

Div. II state finalists

Ben Haas, Salamanca (145) vs. Phil Czapla, East Aurora

Tony Lock, Pioneer (170) vs. Craig Scott, Palmyra-Macedon (V)

Video: PrepTalkTV reviews Quarterfinal Friday

Most agreed that McKinley at Williamsville North was the place to be for Quarterfinal Friday -- we show you what happened there and throughout Western New York.

Review the action -- thanks to PrepTalkTV video reporter/producer Joe Popiolkowski -- and get our breakdown of Championship Week at Buffalo State and Jamestown Community College:

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

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For more on Quarterfinal Friday, check out our Friday Night Live post which includes a running blog; as well as my game story on McKinley's win, our scoreboard with all the box scores, and our roundup with more details on the action.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Williamsville takes the first girls Fed hockey title

Northtown Center was rocking. The level of play was high. And the games did not disappoint.

With year one now complete, it’s safe to say that girls ice hockey can work here in Western New York. The WNY Girls Federation’s first-ever Final Four — with two cardiac semis and an entertaining final — was a big hit.

And moments after winning the title game, 6-0 over Orchard Park/Frontier, Williamsville coach Rick Hopkins was adamant to credit the league as a whole.

“There should be seven team names on that cup,” he said, referencing the championship cup his team brought home.

With some 500 fans watching, Williamsville scored three goals in the game’s first two minutes and never looked back. Shauna Clair scored two times as goalie Theresa Meosky made 15 saves. Orchard Park/Frontier pulled off the upset of the season, beating the Monsignor Martin Association in the semis, but Williamsville was clearly the dominant team Friday.

Cool scene afterward, too.

Williamsville — a conglomeration of three rival schools — celebrated throughout the building with their families. Maybe that’s the best proof that the league worked. Teams that compete against each other, including field hockey, came together for this experiment to work. After this week, the league appears sustainable with the potential to grow.

“I coached a lot of them in house league and travel,” Hopkins said. “When you have three schools involved, it takes some bonding.

“They were so excited back in June when it was announced that there would be a league. As excited as they are now, I think they were even more excited back when they realized they could earn a varsity letter in girls ice hockey.”

---Tyler Dunne

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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.

@KeithMcSheaBN | [email protected]

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