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Live from the AA state final: I-Mount Vernon 62, Jamestown 51

Hello from Glens Falls Civic Center for the Class AA state championship game, a rare stop for Section VI but one it makes today with Jamestown.

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 on our AD-FREE blog, but PLEASE be mindful that I won't be able to answer every question while I'm live blogging this game. Thanks very much.

I may start the blog earlier than the 3:15 p.m. tipoff since I'm here courtside for the A final between Section III (Syracuse area) champion Jamesville-Dewitt and Harborfields of Long Island.

Both of today's finals are being televised live by Time Warner Cable SportsNet.

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

The box score will be up at our scoreboard page as soon as possible.

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Check out my take, interviews and photographs in our PrepTalkTV episode compiled by photographer Mark Mulville and producer Lauren Mariacher.

Many of the same cool photos by Mulville are included in a photo gallery.

* * *

Just a tremendous season for Jamestown. When you consider that they are just the 10th Section VI program to make the championship game in the state's largest class (and just the second from outside the city of Niagara Falls), that gives you some good perspective of the level the Red Raiders reached. 

They were overmatched against Mount Vernon, but they sure started the game like they weren't. Actually, they had some looks at some threes that didn't go down, and they had that foul trouble with Butts and Paige, so maybe they could have hung in there longer -- but this Mount Vernon team is one that lives up to that program's reputation. Just so deep, so talented and just too much for Jamestown. Hines is an elite player and showed that both days.

Jaysean Paige certainly left an impression on Glens Falls with his fearlessness in taking on high-level opponents and his often-spectacular scoring. Butts was tremendous in handling the ball against Albany CBA in the semifinal. Senior Joey Campion was a warrior, notably against Mount Vernon and its pressure; he played like he was relishing the challenge, throwing his body around, taking (and making) big shots, showing leadership on the floor.

That's it for now. Quite a season. It's been a blast as always.

Next up is analyzing All-Western New York matters and straightening out a final poll. Our All-WNY issue will appear in early to mid-April.

---Keith McShea

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

Live from the AA state semifinals: Jamestown 61, II-Albany CBA 56 (OT) (with video)

Hello from Glens Falls Civic Center for the state final four and what could be the last game in the Western New York boys basketball game.

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 every question 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.

Check out Mark Mulville's photo gallery here.

* * *

Here's the play of the game, an alley-oop pass from Adam Cecchini (sorry he's screened by the officials on the left side) to Jaysean Paige, who comes in from the right side to give Jamestown a 52-48 lead with about three minutes left in overtime:

 

Chris Carlson's tip-in made it 54-50 with about two minutes left:

 

Just after Paige fouled out, Butts finished a drive to put Jamestown up, 56-51, with just under a minute to play:

 

After a Joey Campion free throw, that's it:

 

Here's Jamestown's defense on Albany CBA's final possession of regulation:

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Jamestown's opponent in Sunday's 3:15 p.m. championship game is Mount Vernon, which beat Half Hollow Hills West, 69-65. co-Mr. Basketball and West Virginia-bound Jabarie Hinds (6-1) had 10 points for the Knights while 5-9 senior Khalid Samuels had 16 and 6-3 junior Randy Stephens had 12.

Hills West's Tavon Sledge had 18 in what was an extremely entertaining, big-time basketball game. Watching the pace and the talent level of the second semifinal, one wonders if Jamestown will have enough to make it a game. However, that's when it's a good time to consider that Albany CBA won the state title last year by beating a better Half Hollow Hills West team.

After an epic win, Jamestown faces an epic opponent worthy of a state championship game. Mount Vernon has won eight state championships and can move to the top of the state's all-time title list with a win Sunday. Mount Vernon is tied with Bridgehampton with eight titles. Mount Vernon's last trip to the state final four was 2008; its last titles came in 2006 (over Niagara Falls) and 2007.

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9:03 p.m. The Class D state champion is New York Mills, who beat Coleman Catholic -- both teams were here last year and lost to state champion Maple Grove.

Friends Academy beat Syracuse Academy of Science, 46-44, in the Class C final. Friends beat I-Prep in Friday's semifinal. I-Prep's Chris Holland was named to the Class C all-tournament team.

That's one title for the public schools, one for privates and the rubber match is next in Class B as Potsdam takes on Burke Catholic.

The three smallest classifications in the state have private schools in their champoinship games. Ree-dic-u-lus.

10:46 p.m. Burke Catholic beats Potsdam, 62-52. I did some guest live-blogging for the Post Star's awesome Web site for the tournament. Very well-played game by Burke, who had a great start and seemed to take Potsdam out of its game. Potsdam put on a nice comeback but Burke responded well down the stretch.

---Keith McShea

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

Grand Island girls fall to Peekskill

Peekskill was the better girls basketball team on this day, but the Grand Island faithful is entitled to a few “what ifs.” GI lost to Peekskill, 41-34, in the Class A New York State semifinals played on Friday in Troy.

Without doubt the biggest “what if” is Kallie Banker’s three-point shot that was waved off by a game official who ruled the 30-second shot clock had expired. Granted, GI had its share of clock management issues dealing with Peekskill’s press, but this one was close to say the least.

Grand Island was trailing, 32-27, when Banker got free at the top of the circle and let one fly. Swish. But the official who was closest to the play, waved it off. The call gave coach Jenepher Banker, who had picked up a technical the quarter before, another reason to question the refs.

"All I could hear was the whistle, but it was already through the bottom of the net. And that was a crucial basket,” she said.

Peekskill’s Jazmin Garcia scored the game’s next points and GI would get no closer.

“Oh yeah, that was in the basket” said Kallie, who fouled out with 22 seconds left. “They didn’t seem to like us very much.”

* * *

Here's our PrepTalkTV coverage from Friday.

-- Mary Jo Monnin

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.

* * *

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 ...

* * *

Here's our PrepTalkTV coverage from Friday.

---Keith McShea

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

Girls state hoops - Grand Island falls to Peekskill, 41-34

Game over: Grand Island's bid for a state title and undefeated season ends in state semifinals,  41-34.

End of three - Peekskill up, 27-21. Danielle Wegrzyn answers Peekskill run with back-to-back threes. GI coach Jenepher Banker picks up a T after her daughter, Kallie, is called for traveling up top.

Bee Gees music at halftime - nice job organizers!

Grand Island scores seven points in the first quarter and four in the second, and they're still very much in it. Peekskill leads, 16-11, at the half. Peekskill press take Vikings out of their offensive rhythm. GI's had two shot clock violations and had to rush many more shots. GI leading scorer Kallie Banker is 0-6 from the floor and has two points on a steal.

Peekskill leads, 12-7, after the first quarter. Red Devils pressing the ball full court and falling back into a man. GI better have its legs today.

Grand Island - the only team from Section VI to reach the state semis, tips off at Hudson Valley CC.

Research material: Link-by-link to Glens Falls

My research on the Class AA and C boys basketball final fours for my preview story in Friday's paper took me quite a few places.

Here's the link-by-link rundown: 

Overall:

* the New York State Sportswriters Association, which includes the state polls, brackets, past champions and more. 

nysbasketball.net is a fine resource of schedules and year-by-year account of championship games as well as a link to the Glens Falls site for travelers. Notably, this site no longer includes the same kind of useful information on next weekend's Federation tournament -- ostensibly due to the tournament moving from Glens Falls to Albany. I didn't find a similar site currently up regarding the Fed tournament -- a small but significant example of how Glens Falls deserves to host both tournaments because of the way the city, community and local media (notably The Post-Star) treat them as major events. 

* Speaking of the Post-Star, poststar.com will have a ton of information about the tournament leading up to and throughout the weekend. It will have extensive previews on each class, something that is a must-buy for those going to the arena on Friday -- actually, there is usually a table inside staffed by Post-Star workers where they give the paper away for free. 

Class AA

* Albany CBA's schedule on MaxPreps.

* Albany's Times-Union has a feature on sharpshooting junior Joe Krong.

* I didn't do an incredible amount of research on this one, but the google search page for "Galal Cancer," the Brothers' senior standout headed to Cornell, includes a ton of info.

* The Times-Union on the Brothers' close call against Albany High in the Section II final.

* The Times-Union on the Brothers' NOT close call in the regional rout of Henninger.

* The Journal News on Mount Vernon's return to the final four.

* The Journal News has a cool capsule on the other semifinal of Vernon vs. Half Hollow Hills West.

Note: HHH West's game stories on newsday.com are not available to nonsubscribers.

* Here's an apparent site trying to compete: the Long Island Report has a, umm.., report on HHH West's Long Island overtime title win, in which Tavon Sledge scored 42 points.

Class C

* I-Prep's web page has outstanding info about the team, including coaching bios and stats. 

Note: Friends Academy's game stories on newsday.com are not available to nonsubscribers.

But the site's stats page is.

* Friends Academy's MaxPreps page.

* The Friends Academy site tells you plenty about the private school and its athletic page has a photo slide show. At the bottom are links to brief wrapups about the team's recent wins, including a short story on the regional win which identifies one of the players' hometowns. Public schools don't have to worry about that sort of thing :-).

* Speaking of the public/private thing, here's my blog on my take on Friends Academy competing in Class C when their soccer team was about to play Holland in the 2009 state semifinals. I recall getting a very nasty email from Strong Island after that one. 

* Here's the Section VIII playoff schedule -- the Class C boys basketball playoffs begin with the Long Island overall championship. In contrast, I-Prep earned byes to the quarterfinal round of the Section VI Class C playoffs, then won three times to win the section before winning a regional game to earn a trip to Glens Falls.

* Syracuse.com's Syracuse Academy of Science home page

* Some quality capsule info on Syracuse Science is in a regional preview capsule by the Ithaca Journal, including that the Atoms feature 6-foot-7 Turkish exchange student Ahmet Tunali.

* A cool story by Syracuse.com with some great background on Syracuse Science -- it was written last season as they got their program turned around. 

* Venerable state sportswriting guru and Post-Standard scribe Neil Kerr has a breakdown of Section III's teams in the state final four, topped off with Syracuse Science's key players, at Syracuse.com.

* The Section III home page for boys hoops has a link to the section's classifications -- Syracuse Science moved up to a C this year; it's enrollment number made the cut by just four students.

* The school page for Syracuse Science includes basic info and a cool-looking logo with their Atom mascot.

* Greenwich's school page for its team includes a nice roundup of stories on the team's success thus far. 

---Keith McShea

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

Live chat March 16: Lotsa All-WNY talk, mid-chat radio chat, hockey video, brothers & sisters, and now we're off to the final four

There are only four teams left playing basketball in Western New York (can you name them all?), but certainly plenty to talk about with three teams in the final four (which will win?), five eventful boys Far West Regionals and a big win for the Section VI girls, last week's release of the 10th annual Prep Talk Championship Week Awards, postseason award talk heating up, private/public talk heating up (just check the list of schools headed to the final fours, or this discussion on the other end of the Thruway), a hockey state championship brought back to WNY and spring right around the corner (in a minor miracle, my lawn became visible this last week). 

I'll be taking a timeout from the chat to be a guest on The Late Nick Mendola program on WECK-AM (1230) around 9:30 p.m. so we'll go from typeing-chatting to talking-chatting and then back again here to the chat. 

As always, anything in the world of high school sports -- or our coverage of it -- is up for discussion.

I promise I'll get to your question or comment in the chat -- but please be patient. It can get busy fielding all of the questions and I can only answer one at a time. And PLEASE don't enter your question/comment multiple times -- that only makes things more hectic.

* * * 

Here's a link where you can hear the mid-chat visit on WECK-AM's The Late Nick Mendola.

* * * 

* * *

Previous chats from this winter season: last week (March 9 -- pre-Far West Regionals), (March 2 -- after the Manhattan Cup and A-1 semifinals), Feb. 23 (prequarterfinal Wednesday), Feb. 17Feb. 9Feb. 2, Jan. 26, Jan. 19, Jan. 12, Jan. 5 (back from the break), Dec. 15 (from the Monsignor Martin-ECIC challenge), Dec. 9 (All-Western New York football discussion) and Dec.1.

You can check out the final live chat of the fall season -- as well as check out an archive of the 12 weekly discussions of the fall -- via our post of the Nov. 23 chat. For the super-chat-fan out there, this link takes you to the 2009-10 spring and winter archives.

As always, if you have a question but you won't be able to make the chat, post one in the comments section or email me and I'll do my best to address it.

---Keith McShea

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

Niagara PAL/ACE all-star games set for April 6

The Niagara PAL/ACE Showcase will be played on April 6 at Niagara Falls High School.

A freshman/sophomore game will be played at 6:15 with a junior/senior game to follow.

Tryouts for the games are April 4 at Niagara Falls: freshman/sophomores at 6 p.m. and junior/seniors at 7:15. All players must of played varsity basketball this past season.

Admission to the event is $5 with proceeds going to Niagara Police Athletic League. For more information contact Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino at 228-7916.

---Keith McShea

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

Will North hockey wins state title; Will East falls

A report from the state hockey championships in Utica from correspondent A.J. O'Hagen:

Williamsville North defeats Saratoga, 3-2, to win the Division I state championship. Brad Ferrel scores the game winner 2:30 into the third period. Parker Gahagen stopped 22 shots.

The Cazenovia Lakers defeated the Williamsville East Flames by the score of 6-2 in the Division II (small school) final. Mike Sarcinelli scored both goals for the Flames. Tucker Weppner stopped 28 shots for East.

Here's the story from Monday's newspaper.

Video: PrepTalkTV goes OT as Jamestown goes to final four

PrepTalkTV has the big plays from Jamestown's overtime thriller of a win over Irondequoit in the finale of the Far West Regionals at Rochester. Check out a team effort after a long day by video reporter/producer Lauren Mariacher, Allen Wilson and myself:

* * *

You can find all of our videos -- including highlight packages on the Manhattan Cup, all of Championship Saturday's Section VI finals and the double-overtime classic won by East in the A final -- by going to the video player and clicking "PrepTalkTV."

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschools     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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