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Live from the C state semifinals: VIII-Friends Academy 53, I-Prep/Grover 48 (OT)

Hello from Glens Falls Civic Center for the state final four. Always great to be here.

All my typing is to keep an account of the game which I use to help me write my story. Feel free to monitor the game and even comment, but PLEASE be mindful that I won't be able to answer a ton of questions while I'm live blogging this game. Thanks very much.

Afterwards, feel free to add your comments on the post.

The box scores for all games will be up at our scoreboard page as soon as possible.

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9:42 p.m. All finished here after writing my story for Saturday's paper and doing some PrepTalkTV work with photographer Mark Mulville. Look for my story and a video tomorrow.

It was a disappointing end for I-Prep -- all of the threes being fired up but not many going in, and the failure to get Kadeem Hillman involved until late in the game. It's a little odd to have this limit of disappointment in a game that went to overtime, because obviously it was close. There are just a lot of what-ifs and you never like to a seem having its season end when it is not playing its best.

Credit to Friends for their play. Just good team basketball and execution.

A semifinal matchup that many are looking forward to is Saturday's bright-and-early 9 a.m. tipoff for the day in Class A as four-time defending state public school champion Jamesville-Dewitt of Section III (Syracuse area) takes on Section V (Rochester area) champion Aquinas, which beat East last week, also owns victories over St. Joe's and Canisius and suffered its lone loss to Niagara Falls in its second game of the season. J-D is the team that Nichols beat last year to win the state Federation championship.

There are two local representatives in the officiating crew here at Glens Falls. Derek Hill of Hamburg is on hand (not sure which game he has worked or will work) while Grand Island's Steve Lukavich is on the court right now for Friday's final game, the Class B semifinal between Section III (Syracuse area) Westhill and Section IX's Burke Catholic.

Speaking of private schools, there are six of them among the 20 which advanced to Glens Falls: Albany CBA in AA, Aquinas in A, Burke Catholic in B, Friends Academy in C and Coleman Catholic and Charles Finney in D.

Nothing new here, but I really don't think private schools should be allowed to compete in classes lower than B in the NYSPHSAA. They don't compete in the Federation in those classes for a reason, so I don't think they should be competing against the smallest districts in the state in the NYSPHSAA tournaments.

The Class D thing drives me nuts. It's a perversion of what is supposed to be a championship among the smallest schools in the state. Small schools are limited to whoever happens to be in their small district -- private schools are not. Enrollment is irrelevant with private schools. Some of the biggest basketball powers from downstate have enrollments that would be far, far below Class AA.

It blows my mind that the home sections which include these schools -- or, more specifically, the other public schools in those sections -- don't have a problem with how they are classified. Maybe they do and we just don't know. I have to wonder what other Section IX schools think of Burke as a B and Coleman as a D. I was wondering the same thing about Friends from Nassau County as a C, but in that section (VIII), there's a good reason why no one squawks about it -- there are no other schools in Class C in Section VIII, period.

Obviously I live and work in Western New York, where Section VI doesn't allow private schools in, so that does frame my mindset. However, there are good reasons why that is the way in Section VI, and with the Federation such a terrific model for determining champions, it is unfortunate that the inconsistencies in the way sections classify their private schools lead to a corruption of the NYSPHSAA tournament.

And speaking of private schools and Albany CBA, Jamestown meets the Brothers at 12:30 p.m. I'll be on hand with a live blog for that one.  Until then ...

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Here's our PrepTalkTV coverage from Friday.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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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 | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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