Hello once again from Buffalo State, and a big apology. We had some power problems here at the start, but should be good to go now.
We're in the second quarter of the first Section VI Class A-2 semifinal between No. 3-seed Bennett and No. 2 Kenmore East. It's Big Wednesday in the high school basketball world, as colleague Keith McShea coined it earlier today. Keith is at Canisius covering the Manhattan Cup, while Tyler Dunne is down in Jamestown, covering the Class C semis. We've got all the bases covered tonight.
We'll be live the rest of the night, so stick with us.
4:36 left in the second quarter: A pair of free throws by William Vanoy has given Bennett a 23-9 lead.
3:05 left:A 7-0 run by East has cut the score to 23-16. Dante Bono has five of those points for the Bulldogs.
1:00 left: P.J. Blanch put on a sick dribbling display there for Ken East, drawing a reaching foul, but he missed the front end of a 1-and-1, so East still trails, 31-18.
Halftime: Bennett 32, Kenmore East 22. A nice drive and layup by Bono brought the half to a close.
First-half notes: Both teams are led by a few select scorers. For Bennett, William Vanoy has 11, Mckenzie Brown has 8, Forest Richardson leads with 12 and Kevin Johnson has 1. Dante Bono leads the Bulldogs with 10, while John Alessandra has 8. P.J. Blanch has 2, as does Jakai Daniels.
6:47 left: Eden Asipi cleans up a miss and puts it back and the Bulldogs are making a game of it with the first four points of the quarter.
5:32 left:Bennett gets the next four to get its lead back up to 10, with buckets by, who else, Vanoy and Richardson. It's 36-26.
4:44 left: The pace has slowed a bit with fouls on both ends. After Bono went 1 of 2 for East, Vanoy hit a pair for the Tigers, who lead, 38-27.
2:58 left:Steal and bucket in transition for Derrick Turner gives the Bulldogs a 40-29 lead and frustrates East, which thought Bono got fouled underneath. He probably did, but no call.
2:43 left: Bono hits a three after a nice set play to beat a 2-3 zone. Bennett's up 40-32.
1:24 left: Bono is trying to shoot the Bulldogs back into it. He hits a deep three from the right wing to make it 42-35.
End of third quarter: Bennett 42, Kenmore East 37. This is as close East has been since almost the tip.
6:02 left: Bulldogs are getting a huge lift from Alessandra, who has five points this quarter -- the only points scored -- to tie the game. He just completed a traditional three-point play after a strong drive to the basket. Bennett has called timeout.
5:23 left: Bulldogs call timeout to maintain possession with it still tied at 42. Important because East has just two timeouts left now.
4:51 left: Back-to-back turnovers by East has led to five points by Bennett. A transition layup by Richardson and a three-pointer by Derrick Turner. Huge momentum changer. Bennett leads, 47-42.
Stoppage in play with 4:05 left after a collision between Bono and Vanoy resulted in a cut above the eye of the Bennett player. He's being attended to by the trainers on the Bennett bench.
3:05 left: Derrick Turner with his second huge three-pointer of the final quarter to give Bennett an eight-point lead, 50-42.
1:47 left: Bono with a transition layup to cut it to six, 50-44.
1:07 left: Full timeout by East, which has one left. The Bulldogs trail, 52-44, after Richardson hit a layup for Bennett after the Tigers broke the press.
:29.1 seconds left: Bono can SHOOT. He hits two silly-deep threes to pull East within four, 54-50. Timeout by Bennett.
:11.5 left: Bono fouls out, a huge blow to East's chances. Vanoy goes to the line and makes 1 of 2 to put Bennett up five.
Final: Bennett 57, Kenmore East 50. Off for interviews.
Bennett coach Randy Rakowski
Bennett senior Forest Richardson
We're back for the second game, with the starters.
Will South: Stasiak-Licata-O'Connell-Hansen-Adams
3:52 left: Timeout, H-T, after losing an 8-2 lead. Engineers now trail, 9-8, after a reverse layup by Erik Hansen of South.
2:50 left: Stasiak to the line. He hits 1 of 2 and it's tied at 10.
2:22 left: Stasiak for a three to put the Billies ahead, 13-10.
End of first quarter: South leads, 18-12. Stasiak hit another three for the Billies. Updates will probably be limited for the next hour or so while I write a story for our print edition.
7:19 left: Hansen with a great tip-in off a Stasiak missed three. Hansen was fouled on the play, as well, but missed the free throw. It's 20-12, Billies.
6:11 left: Full timeout by H-T coach David Rappl. His team trails, 22-15.
4:01 left: Joe Licata fouled on a three-pointer for South, but he misses 2 of 3. South is up, 25-19.
Halftime: Will South leads, 27-25.
Scoring update: Hutch-Tech -- Andrew Strugg has 4, Marcus Nelson's got 9, Nelson Clark with 4, Maurice Miles has 2, Denzell Washington has 2, as do John Cherry and Tim Whitehead.
Will South -- Aaron Adams has 5, Joe Licata 1, Dan Schaus 4, Phil Stasiak's got 7, Kevin O'Connell with 6, and Erik Hansen with 4.
4:39 left: Stop me if you've heard this before: a three-pointer for Joe Licata. His first of the game gives the Billies a 34-27 lead.
:48.8 seconds left: Consecutive baskets in transition, one by Miles and one by Nelson, has given Hutch-Tech a 40-36 lead.
Note: Bennett is on a 13-0 run.
:22.5 left: Stasiak stops the run with a free throw, making it 42-37.
End of third quarter: Hutch-Tech leads, 45-37. Engineers ended the third quarter on a 16-1 run.
4:34 left: Will South senior Aaron Adams gets good position inside and finishes the layup to pull the Billies within two, 47-45. Adams is a 6-foot-4 senior.
:21.7 seconds left: Will South has completed the comeback and looks like it will advance. Phil Stasiak had the play of the game, a driving layup on which he was fouled with :55.2 seconds left. Stasiak hit the free throw to give the Billies a 56-52 lead.
:13.8 left: A desperation three-pointer is off the mark for the Engineers, and South is going to advance. Schaus is at the line for the Billies. He hits them both and it's 61-52.
Final: South 61, Hutch-Tech 52. Final score doesn't indicate just how close the game was. Back later after interviews with some audio.
Here's a couple postgame interviews from the winning side:
Billies coach Al Monaco
Billies senior Phil Stasiak
And finally, a poll on Saturday's game:
taggedBasketball | Bennett | Hutch-Tech | Kenmore East | Williamsville South