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Timon lacrosse suffers first loss at Irondequoit

Bishop Timon-St. Jude, undefeated through nine games of a very tough lacrosse schedule, have another challenge awaiting Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers head to Irondequoit, the defending Section V (Rochester area) Class B champion, for an 11 a.m. game. Irondequoit is 5-2 with its only two losses very close ones to top teams in Section V Class A power Pittsford (9-0) by two goals and Massachusetts' Duxbury by three. 

Timon, which boasts Division I-bound players like defenseman Brian Sullivan (North Carolina), goalie Dave Scarcello (Marist) and midfielder Sam Connors (Canisius), will take on a team that is loaded with Division I talent like Drew Colohan (Virginia), Colby Wehber (Canisius) and junior Nick Doktor (who basketball fans may remember from the Eagles' AA regional loss to Jamestown).  

"They've got tons of athletes, but they're smart, too," said Timon coach Mike Burke. "They really know how to play."

Timon (see its schedule here) already has victories over teams from three different states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, California) as well as Aquinas of Section V. The Tigers have games remaining with Ontario's Hill Academy (postponed from this week to May 5), McQuaid of Section V as well as a highly anticipated game at Orchard Park on May 20.

I'll have more boys lacrosse in Tuesday's Scholastic Spotlight.

* * *

Update: Timon falls, 13-7, at Irondequoit for the Tigers' first loss of the season. Standout defenseman Brian Sullivan with two goals for the Tigers.

No great shame for Timon (9-1) whatsoever. While Timon has talent, it doesn't have great depth, while Irondequoit does.

On a sidenote, it seems like Section V is playing at another level than Section VI these days, with OP suffering its two losses to Section V teams and Timon and Hamburg's only losses coming to neighbors down the Thruway. 

---Keith McShea
(www.twitter.com/keithmcsheabn)

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

Live chat April 27: Rainy days, soggy fields, packed-in seasons on the diamonds, all-state hoops and Twitter talk

We're back from vacation today and we'll get our chat on tonight at 9. I'll have to catch up on things I missed over the past week or so, but Mother Nature has dampened the start of the spring season so much I think it'll be fairly easy to get up to speed. 

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.

* * *  

* * *

Our last chat was on April 13, which focused largely on the All-Western New York basketball team.

Previous chats from this winter season: April 6 (post Niagara PAL/ACE game), March 30 (post-Federation), March 23 (post-Final Four), March 16 (pre-Final Four), 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 (post-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
(www.twitter.com/keithmcsheabn)

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

All-state boys hoops team announced: I-Prep's Holland is C Player of the Year

The all-state basketball teams have been announced by the New York State Sportswriters Association, and the major news is that Chris Holland of International Prep at Grover Cleveland has been named the Class C Player of the Year.

Holland was a first teamer on this year's All-Western New York team after leading I-Prep to the Yale Cup II title, the Class C state semifinals as well as a season-long stay atop The Buffalo News small school poll.

The top Western New York players receiving all-state honors: 

Class AA (12 teams selected): Third-teamer Jaysean Paige of Jamestown (a junior and The News Player of the Year), followed by fifth-teamer Darin Butts of Jamestown, sixth-teamer Marcus Feagin of Niagara Falls, followed by ninth-teamer JJ Harrington of Lancaster and 10th-teamer Tyler Funk of Clarence.

Class A (12 teams selected): Second-teamer Tremmell Fisher of East, third-teamer Aaron Nevins of Canisius, fourth-teamers Connor Rehbaum of St. Joe's, Gordon Lyons of Canisius and Phil Stasiak of Williamsville South, fifth-teamer Blair Estarfaa of Maryvale, followed by eighth-teamers Kevin O'Connell of Williamsville South and Maurice Miles of Hutch-Tech.

Class B (10 teams selected): Fifth-teamers Rohn Pierce of Newfane and Vinny Bomasuto of Dunkirk, sixth-teamer Dondre Alexander of Lackawanna, seventh-teamers Christian Cheatom of Lackawanna and Brennan Moxham of Wilson and Dustin Schauman of Cassadaga Valley.

Class C (eight teams selected): In addition to Holland, there is second-teamer Davon Alexander of OTC Middle College, third-teamer Dazmon Knight of Tapestry Charter, fourth-teamer Michael Bova of Westfield, fifth-teamer Jordan Farrant of Holland (a junior) as well as seventh-teamer Kadeem Hillman of I-Prep and eighth-teamer Brian Tobola of Portville.

Class D (six teams selected): Fourth-teamer Nick Lenart of Panama (a junior), followed by fifth-teamer Brendon Bentham of Pine Valley and sixth-teamers Cliff Bailey of Clymer and Jayson Zipp of Forestville.

---Keith McShea

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

McShea on WECK's Officially Yours

Like most people involved in Western New York high school sports, Keith McShea is spring breaking on vacation this week -- but he'll appear tonight on Officially Yours on WECK (1230 AM) starting at 6:30 p.m. He and hosts Peter Calieri and Mark Simon are expected to discuss the All-Western New York basketball process along with other high school topics.

* * * 

You can listen to the appearance here.

Habeeb, Briggs go Division I

Two former All-Western New York basketball players are headed to Division I.

Former McKinley star Mansa Habeeb is headed to the University of Idaho while former Sweet Home standout Keron Briggs is headed to South Carolina State.

Habeeb, who was a first-team All-WNY pick in both 2008 and 2009, will join the Vandals of the Western Athletic Conference as a junior this fall after helping Southeastern Iowa Community College to this year's National Junior College Athletic Association national semifinals. He averaged 12.8 points on 51.3 percent shooting along with 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals for the Blackhawks (29-8).

Briggs, a second-team All-WNY selection last year who played at prep school Evelyn Mack Academy in Charlotte, N.C., this year (there is some very amatuer video of him in action that you can find by googling his name), will sign a letter of intent at the Delavan Grider Community Center next Wednesday. South Carolina State's Bulldogs compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Very good to see that two players that many people thought had Division I capabilities find their way there even though they took a longer road (time-wise, geography-wise, everything-wise). 

Many people asked me about this year's All-Western New York Class of 2011 not having Division I talent. That might be true right now, but players like Marcus Feagin of Niagara Falls (headed to Monroe Community College), Tyler Funk of Clarence (aiming to walk on at Canisius) and Aaron Nevins of Canisius (prep school is a possibility) could possibly end up taking the longer road to Division I.

That longer road is actually the more common one taken by Western New Yorkers to Division I basketball in recent years. Will Regan (Nichols to Virginia) and Jonny Flynn (Falls to Syracuse) are rarities in that they were super-early Division I committed recruits. Prep schoolers that went on to D-I include Paul Harris (Falls to Syracuse), Lazar Hayward (Traditional to Marquette), Jamal Webb (East to North Dakota) and Blake McLimans (Hamburg to Michigan). Walk-ons who have become great stories include Byron Mulkey (Niagara-Wheatfield) and Dave Barnett (East Aurora) at the University at Buffalo and Jake Houseknecht (Olean) at St. Bonaventure. 

* * * 

In other basketball signing news, Buffalo native and former Sweet Home player Reggie Burke received a scholarship to NAIA school College of Central Georgia. Burke moved after his sophomore year and played his last two seasons at Strawberry Crest High in Tampa, Fla. 

---Keith McShea

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

Prep Talk honored with state publishers award

Excuse the horn-tooting: The Prep Talk blog was the recipient of this year's Distinguished Online Blog award from the New York News Publishers Association. The competition was open to blogs of any kind. The award was for the over 175,000 circulation division, a category in which The News was honored 12 times and one in which The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal also competed.

A major part of the blog the past school year has been PrepTalkTV coverage during football and basketball season, which takes a talented staff of people to put together and who need to be mentioned while we have the horn out: video reporters/producers Lauren Mariacher and Joe Popiolkowski, photographers Mark Mulville, John Hickey and James P. McCoy and Web editor Geoff Nason.  

* * * 

I'm on vacation next week so there won't be a chat on Wednesday night.

However, I will be a guest on Officially Yours on WECK (1230 AM) starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening. I'll surely talk about the All-Western New York basketball process as well as how spring is springing along.  

---Keith McShea

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

Live chat April 13: All-WNY basketball in review, from first team to honorable mention

Our first chat since the publication of the All-Western New York basketball team happens tonight at 9.

I'll answer some emailed questions about the team and the selection process and I'll let you know who is on the "mythical fifth team" during what is one of the more interesting chats of the year. The final polls might be a topic as well.

As always, anything in the world of high school sports -- or our coverage of it -- is up for discussion. That certainly includes spring sports -- although Mother Nature doesn't seem to be a big fan today.

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.

* * *  

* * *

Previous chats from this winter season: last week (April 6 -- post Niagara PAL/ACE game), March 30 (post-Federation), March 23 (post-Final Four), March 16 (pre-Final Four), 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 (post-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

Video: PrepTalkTV goes behind the scenes at cover shoot for All-WNY issue (available only in print today)

Here's a great video from News Video Reporter Joe Popiolkowski which takes a behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoot for the cover of today's All-Western New York basketball issue:

The issue is a print-only exclusive today. In addition to the cool cover, it includes: 

* stories on the boys and girls Players of the Year;

* capsules on the players who made the first, second, third and fourth teams (the top 20) for both boys and girls; 

* the final polls which determine the four champions of the large and small school polls;

* all-star teams from all of Western New York's leagues.

All of the all-WNY information from Saturday's paper will be posted online on Sunday. 

Here is some archived information to hold you over until everything is posted: the boys all-time leading scorers; the girls all-time leading scorers; the list of every All-WNY boys first team and the list of every All-WNY girls team.

* * * 

I'll be a guest on the Sports Insiders program on WECK-AM (1230) on Saturday around 11:30 a.m. to talk about the issue. 

On Wednesday, April 13, we'll have our usual weekly chat -- and a review of the All-WNY teams will certainly be a hot topic. 

On Thursday, April 22, I'll be a guest of the Officially Yours program on WECK (6:30 p.m.) for an extended discussion about the process of selecting the team.

---Keith McShea

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

How The News voted: Final poll

Every week during the basketball season a panel of voters participates in The News' large and small school boys basketball polls. 

And every week we let you know, like the title says ... how The News voted.

The complete final polls will be published in our All-Western New York issue on Saturday (read all about it in the paper because it won't be posted online until Sunday), but we'll get the basketball rolling with a look at our ballot. 

Here are links to our previous How The News voted posts: last in-season poll (March 1)Feb. 22Feb. 15Feb. 8Feb. 1, Jan. 25, Jan. 18 (after the MLK Classic), Jan. 11 (first poll of 2011), Dec. 21 (holiday edition) and Dec. 14 (first polls). And here's this week's:

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Jamestown (20-4) [last poll: 2] -- Easy one here. Only 10th Section VI team to make the state championship game in the largest classification.

2. Canisius (20-8) [3] -- Crusaders did lose at home to Falls, but that was in December. They get the edge here -- for a spot which the next three teams can make a legitimate claim for -- for playing excellent team ball at a consistently high level at the end of the season and showing a killer instinct those big games (notably winning at St. Joe's -- where Falls lost in the same week -- and coming back to beat Joe's in the Manhattan Cup final). 

3. Niagara Falls (19-2) [1] -- They were up on Jamestown heading into the final minutes -- a popular place for teams that would lose to the Red Raiders the next two weeks. Canisius gets the edge for that killer closing instinct that wasn't there for Falls at St. Joe's and against Jamestown. 

4. East (18-5) [6] -- There might be some who say that East played Aquinas much tougher than Canisius or St. Joe's did, and well, that's because they did. I don't think it's so simply put because I think Aquinas slept on East a bit. Not many people really gave the Panthers a chance but they were warriors to the end; if Chris Boyd doesn't take a conk on the head against Aquinas, things could have gotten even more interesting. 

5. St. Joe's (21-6) [4] -- Season ultimately defined by the two losses to Canisius in the final 15 days.

6. Williamsville South (20-2) [5] -- Somewhat astonishing to put a team that lost only by four points at Jamestown and in double-overtime to East -- and an early December buzzer-beating win over Canisius -- in this spot. However, I had slid the Billies to No. 5 last time based on a seven-point home win over Iroquois in the quarters and the thought that the top four (Falls, Jamestown, Canisius, Joe's) were playing better down the stretch. South also settles in this spot after it had to come from behind in the final quarter at Buffalo State to beat two Yale Cup teams ranked below them (Hutch-Tech, Bennett). 

7. Bennett (15-6) [7] -- Talented Tigers went out against South and owned two regular season wins over ... 

8. McKinley (17-4) [8] -- ... the Macks, who followed a fine quarterfinal win at North by bowing out in a less-than-pretty game against Falls.

9. Hutch-Tech (12-8) [9] -- Engineers put a memorable scare into Will South before falling in the A2 semis. 

10. Riverside (14-8) [10] -- I had the Frontiers in this spot last time by a sliver over Lancaster and they stay theres. Riverside followed its win at Maryvale with a big win over another ECIC III toughie in Cheektowaga before falling to East. The Redskins weren't able to play Jamestown nearly as tough at Buffalo State (15-point loss) as it did during the regular season (losing by four on the road and eight at home).

In the bonus:

11. Lancaster (14-5) [11] -- See aforementioned sliver. 

12. Olean (15-5) [12] -- Played East tough and their youth keeps them a step below the aforementioned teams, but not by much at all.   

13. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (17-8) [13] -- Also would be a fun matchup against any team on this list up to No. 7. Tigers lost at South, lost three times to St. Joe's, lost twice to Canisius. 

14. Maryvale (16-3) [14] -- Still the winner of the top large school not playing at Buffalo State.

15. Cheektowaga (16-3) [15] -- Still tucked right behind ECIC III mate, still ever-so-slightly in front of a muddled mass which includes Frontier, Kenmore West, Kenmore East, Clarence, Williamsville East and Williamsville North, certainly not necessarily in that order. 

 

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. International Prep at Grover Cleveland (19-4) [1] -- Wire-to-wire in this spot, losing state semifinal in overtime to the eventual state champions.

2. Cassadaga Valley (19-4) [NR] -- Do we get any credit for having the Cougars in our in-the-bonus rankings at No. 11 last time? Or maybe writing the following with it? "It could be a big week for the Cougars." As clear a No. 2 as I-prep is a No. 1. These guys could play some serious basketball, they played as a team, they played smart, and they played hard. Not a bad epitaph for a season.

3. Lackawanna (13-9) [5] -- The Steelers were tremendous at Buffalo State with impressive wins over Dunkirk and then Newfane before running into No. 2 Cougars. A very solid No. 3.

4. OTC Middle College (12-8) [8] -- If I-Prep is a wire-to-wire No. 1, then credit must be given to the Kats for not only taking the Presidents to the wire in a six-point C semifinal loss (it was tied at 61 with :47 left), but taking them to overtime in the regular season finale and losing by seven in their first meeting. Then there's the overwhelming quarterfinal win (68-41) over Holland, which, led by junior standout Jordan Farrant, was coming off a 10-point win at a good Salamanca team (the Warriors went 14-5 and handed Cassadaga Valley its last regular season loss). For us, a very clear No. 4. After this, not so clear.

5. St. Mary's (17-10) [6] -- After looking very good in erasing the loss at Walsh with a rout of the Eagles in the Manhattan Cup quarterfinals, they were overmatched in losses to Canisius and Salesian. They were packed in a tight zone with Newfane (beat them in OT) and Wilson (lost to them in OT) for much of the season, and we give them an edge here largely because ... 

6. Newfane (16-5) [3] -- ... I saw two very different Panther teams at Buffalo State. I thought the Blue Zone could have been celebrating a title after a dismantling of Tonawanda, instead the Panthers were dismantled by Lackawanna in the final. 

7. Tapestry Charter (17-4) [9] -- Wish I could have been in the gym for the comeback win over Maple Grove in the Red Dragons' postseason home-away-from-home, Jamestown Community College. Great first season for coach Schunk and the speedy Thunderhawks led by senior Dazmon Knight, but I think the teams above are more balanced. 

8. Wilson (16-5) [2] -- I had the Lakemen up high based on a second-time-around win over Newfane, but I always thought they might be on the edge of a poll precipice because they had to be a different team without Tyler Truesdell. They were. Very nice last-minute comeback against unranked Cleveland Hill in the semifinals before falling to Cassadaga Valley, but I see them clearly a step behind the above teams.

As you'll see in when the poll comes out, my fellow pollsters don't share my view of the Lakemen. I'd love to have a split-screen debate with them, PTI/Around The Horn style. Particularly vexing to me is how Newfane finished in relation to Wilson. The teams split super-close games, each winning at home. But that was before Truesdell was hurt. The advantage in a third meeting would have to go to Newfane.

9. Tonawanda (16-4) [4] -- Big drop for the Warriors, which is to be expected after a 63-38 loss to Newfane in the B-1 semifinals. Still, a terrific ECIC IV championship season for the team followed by a Tribe of fans -- including a late-season win at Lackawanna.

10. Dunkirk (19-1) [7] -- Another memorable season despite the not-so-memorable finish.

In the bonus: If the list were longer, the next teams on it would be Maple GrovePine Valley, Cleveland HillCSAT and Holland.

The I-told-you-so-department wanted me to mention that my late-season votes regarding Canisius, St. Joe's, Lackawanna and Dunkirk -- which were quite unpopular at the time -- were backed up by what went down in the playoffs. The big swing-and-a-miss for me was Cassadaga Valley -- but I wasn't alone there (the Cougars were unranked in previous poll with eight points).   

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below.

Or join me for our weekly chat on Wednesday night at 9, where we'll have plenty to talk about with the polls, the All-WNY selections and surely some spring sports, too (especially if that sunshine keeps on coming). 

---Keith McShea

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

All-WNY issue is print-only on Saturday

You're going to find out who made this year's All-Western New York basketball teams on Saturday -- and you're going to find out the old-fashioned way:

You're going to read about it in the newspaper.

Included in The Buffalo News' annual All-WNY edition to be published Saturday will be:

* another super-cool cover photo (last year's was taken at the Central Terminal);

* stories on the boys and girls Players of the Year;

* capsules on the players who made the first, second, third and fourth teams (the top 20) for both boys and girls; 

* the final polls which determine the four champions of the large and small school polls;

* all-star teams from all of Western New York's leagues.

All of the all-WNY information from Saturday's paper will be posted online on Sunday. 

* * * 

I'll be a guest on the Sports Insiders program on WECK-AM (1230) on Saturday around 11:30 a.m. to talk about the issue. 

On Wednesday, April 13, we'll have our usual weekly chat and a review of the All-WNY teams will certainly be a hot topic. 

On Thursday, April 22, I'll be a guest of the Officially Yours program on WECK (6:30 p.m.) for an extended discussion about the process of picking the team.

---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 | [email protected]

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