Hello from Buffalo State for tonight's highly anticipated Class AA semifinal doubleheader.
In the first game, No. 1 large school Niagara Falls takes on No. 7 McKinley at 6 p.m. That's followed by the scheduled 7:45 p.m. matchup of No. 2 Jamestown and No. 9 Lancaster.
We'll have separate "live" blogs on each game.
And the postgame show:
The second semifinal:
[NOTE: I believe I owe an apology for my opining about a three-second call on Lancaster; I thought only one foot needed to be out of the lane to avoid the call but an emailer has whistled me on it and says both feet have to be out. My bad (chest tap).]
A highlight (I didn't have the iPhone rolling during Paige's great first quarter:
The postgame show:
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The winners will play at 8:15 p.m. Saturday here at Buffalo State in the AA final.
The box scores for both games will be up at our scoreboard page as soon as possible.
After the games, let us know what you thought of the action -- and the finals matchup -- in the comments section.
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The first game was obviously a downer in that the showdown fizzled and the second half saw some less-than-pretty basketball. Falls played great defense early, which I think set a tone -- it was going to be tough for McKinley to score, and it seemed like things just got worse when the Macks missed several easy ones.
Only until late in the game did the lid seem to come off the basket for the Macks. Marcus Feagin, Jeff Street and Jermaine Crumpton did a very nice job on McKinley leaders John Black (six points) and Antonio Avery (seven).
Jaysean Paige had a great start with those four first-quarter three pointers, then he kept scoring consistently to end up with 42. Jamestown coach Ben Drake had a great quote about how he wouldn't have thought Paige had that many -- he just does it consistently, sometimes quietly, sometimes spectacularly.
Lancaster again played Jamestown tough, but the Red Raiders just have too much, they are just a better team.
I'm trying to think back to the last time someone had a 40-point game at Buffalo State. Randolph's Ashton Brown had 47 in the Class C final two years ago, but that was at Jamestown Community College. I recall Finney (the one that shouldn't be in Class D) getting a major individual performance in winning a D regional here -- but I just looked it up and that was Andy Marchand's 24 points on seven threes against Clymer. Looks like I'll be hitting the history books. If you remember outstanding individual performances at Buffalo State, let me know of them in the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: Prep Talk Nation has helped jog my memory -- Micole Parker of City Honors had 40 in the C-1 final in their 2003 state championship season, while I believe Dewan Stroud went for 40 for Seneca in a classic overtime game against Lackawanna in 2002 or 2003. More to come ...
Here's my story for Friday's paper.
taggedBasketball | Jamestown | Lancaster | McKinley | Niagara Falls | Poll | Video