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Live from the Section VI girls lacrosse championships: Frontier beats Lancaster in A; Lake Shore wins B, Amherst takes C (with video & team photos)

The view from the press box at All High, which will host the boys championships as well on Wednesday. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)


Hello from All High Stadium in Buffalo for the Section VI girls lacrosse championships. Class B gets us started with Lake Shore and Hamburg; Class C follows with six-time defending champion Amherst trying for a three-game season sweep of East Aurora at 5:30; at 8 p.m. six-time defending champion Lancaster takes on Frontier in the Class A showdown.

Great venue for all sports -- and it's a wonderful weather day for the action. Should be a great two days here as the boys championship tripleheader is tomorrow. 

Class B

3:43 p.m. Lake Shore is off to a quick start, as Lauren Scanlan has three goals and the Eagles have a 4-1 lead with 20:13 left in the first half.

3:45 p.m. Another Scanlan goal, off a nice feed from Vivian Curry, makes it a 5-1 lead for Lake Shore.

3:49 p.m. Two quick goals from Hamburg cut it to 5-3, but another Scanlan goal on a breakaway makes it 6-3 Lake Shore with 16:04 left in the first half.

4:01 p.m. Timeout on the field with 11:01 left in the first half -- the players left their sticks in their places on the turf; ostensibly it is a water-break timeout mandated by officials. It is certainly a hot one here. Lake Shore has teh ball and its 6-3 lead.

4:03 p.m. A great feed from Curry from the right side, a great catch by Scanlan cutting down the middle, and she scores her sixth goal as Lake Shore goes up, 7-3, with 10:08 left in the first half.

4:05 p.m. Solo rush from the right side of the cage for Hamburg's Amanda Obenshain -- her second of the game -- make it 7-4 with 8:59 left in first.

4:07 p.m. Lake Shore answers that with a Curry goal inside to make it 8-4 with 7:56 left in the first half.

4:12 p.m. Obenshain takes a very nice feed from Taylor Wolff on the left doorstep of the cage and she scores to make it 8-5 with 4:08 left in the first half. That came just after a nice save by Lake Shore goalie Kachine Lay.

4:13 p.m. A draw control win and another goal by Obenshain, who made a few dodges in front of the cage before scoring and we're at 8-6 Lake Shore with 3:38 left in the first.

4:18 p.m. Big goal late for Lake Shore, who had been pressuring Hamburg but goalie Lauren Courteau came up with four nice saves in the final two minutes. Shelby Stevens then came up with a big steal of a Hamburg clear; she passed to Scanlan, who found a slashing Alie Jimerson for a nice catch and score for a 9-6 lead with 11.4 left.  

4:22 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Lake Shore leads Hamburg, 9-6.

Obenshain went down with an injury with 5.2 seconds left and was writhing on the field for a few moments before trotting off the field.

Lake Shore seems to be overpowering with Scanlan playing a big part of draw controls and the offense, but Hamburg continues to keep hanging around. 

4:38 p.m. Curry comes back with her third goal to answer one by Obenshain; Lake Shore leads, 10-7, with 22:08 left. 

4:42 p.m. Curry on a clear breakway from midfield -- she sprints to the cage and fires an overhead shot under the crossbar to make it 11-7; 30 seconds later Scanlan makes a great catch of a feed, then whirls in front of the cage to score for a 12-7 lead with 19:45 to go in the game.

4:44 p.m. Obenshian up the middle after a penalty and Hamburg pulls within 12-8 with 18:23 left.

4:45 p.m. Official-mandated water break with 18:18 left in the game and Lake Shore up, 12-8.

4:54 p.m. Hamburg got a great goal from Megan Mikolajek, who went coast-to-coast after a steal deep in the Hamburg end. ... but Curry scores two straight to push the Lake Shore lead to 14-9 with 14:18 left.

4:58 p.m. Lake Shore scores again as Scanlan fires it in for her eighth goal -- the lead is now 15-9 with 11:57 left and Hamburg takes a timeout.

5:03 p.m. Obenshain scores her seventh goal in front to make it a 15-10 lead for Lake Shore with 9:21 left.

5:04 p.m. Curry comes right back -- a familiar theme there for Lake Shore. She goes to the goal, has her shot stopped but she scoops up the rebound and fires it in for a 16-10 lead with 8:55 left. 

5:08 p.m. Officials timeout for a water break with 6:22 left.

5:12 p.m. Hamburg cuts it to 16-11 with 5:56 left on Mikolajek's second goal. 

5:13 p.m. Hamburg back to within four as Obenshain scores her eighth goal to make it 16-12 with 4:23 left.

5:15 p.m. As has happened many times today, Lake Shore comes up with a big goal just when Hamburg is thinking of making a game out of it. Kiersten Kennedy scoops up a loose ball on a turnover by Hamburg, goes to the goal and her backhand shot trickles over the line to make it 17-12 with 3:21 left. 

5:18 p.m. Amanda Patrone scores on the doorstep for Hamburg to cut it to 17-13 with 2:30 left. Lake Shore's Melissa Haring was down on the play due to cramping. She remained down through an official timeout before walking to the bench.  

5:23 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Lake Shore 17, Hamburg 13. 

Lake Shore wins its first sectional title. Interview time for me.

Class B champion Lake Shore. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
And the Class B postgame show: 

Class C

6:04 p.m. The Class C game is underway and Amherst, expectedly, jumps on top of East Aurora on an Ivy Timlin goal less than two minutes in.

6:06 p.m. EA ties it up on a Addie Ohler goal with 21:32 left in the 25-minute half. 

6:12 p.m. Hmmmm. EA, which lost twice to Amherst during the regular season, gets another Ohler goal to take a 2-1 lead with 16:49 left.  

6:15 p.m. EA scores again, with Victoria Budzyn scoring after a foul call right in front. EA takes a surprising 3-1 lead and Amherst calls a timeout with 15:13 left in the first half.

6:24 p.m. Amherst gets one back as Alana Rockoff wheels around from the right side to the left and scores to make it 3-2; that's followed by an officials timeout for a water break with 10:20 left in the first half.

6:29 p.m. Moments after a big save by EA's Rachel Hallnan, Katie Daminski scooted coast-to-coast, accelerating nicely in the Amherst half before scoring to push the Blue Devil lead to 4-2 with 7:32 left in the first half. 

6:33 p.m. Alanna Rockoff scores 85 seconds after Sara Bischof and Amherst has tied it at 4-4 with 5:33 left in the first half; timeout EA.

6:38 p.m. Rockoff scores on a free shot in front -- moments after a yellow card was issued to an EA player after a collision -- to give Amherst its first lead of the game at 5-4 with 3:43 left in the first half.

6:40 p.m. Sophie Nieschur circles the cage, comes around the right side, waits a step against her defender and wheels and scores for a 6-4 lead. 

6:43 p.m. After a nice save by EA goalie Hallnan, a scramble results in Sara O'Brien left open in front of the cage and she converts a pass to make it 7-4 Amherst with 1:12 left in the half. 

6:46 p.m. At HALFTIME, Amherst leads East Aurora, 7-4. 

Nice surge by Amherst to score the last five goals of the half; the last three came after the yellow card was issued to EA. 

7:09 p.m. Amherst has kept rolling in the third quarter, scoring the first four goals to take an 11-4 lead with 18:42 left. I'm starting to write my story. Three games in one story and the Class A game is an 8 p.m. start, which puts us in a little deadline danger.

7:22 p.m. EA gets on the board but Amherst answers shortly thereafter as Ivy Timlin scores her fourth goal of the game to give the Tigers a 12-5 lead with 12:08 left.

7:26 p.m. A highlight goal from EA's Ohler, who goes coast to coast and finished it off by jumping to the left of the cage and shooting across her body to score at a very tough angle. Amherst's lead is 12-6 with 9:55 left.  

7:33 p.m. EA gets two quick ones to cut it to 12-8 with 4:11 left. After Ashley Friess scored, Nikki Schneider scored right off the draw control win to cut the lead to 12-8.

7:39 p.m. Myriah Magaris with a goal off a free position shot for Amherst to make it 13-8 in the final minute. 

7:40 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Amherst 13, East Aurora 8. 

Seventh straight title for the Tigers, first for coach Kristy Grossman who took over for Janet Battaglia this year. 

Class C champion Amherst. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

The Class C postgame show:

Class A

8:19 p.m. The Class A game has started with some great play -- by the goalies. Lancaster's Brooklyn Schilling and Frontier's Mia Wagner have exchanged saves on the first two trips by each team. Wagner then stopped two straight free position shots from near point-blank range. Whoa. 

8:26 p.m. After some more great defense, Sarah Lorusso sprints in alone on a fast break and scores to put Frontier up, 1-0, with 14:14 left in the first half -- that's 10 minutes-plus of scoreless play, and it was very good stuff, not what you would automatically think of a scoreless start. 

8:32 p.m. It is 2-0 Frontier as Ashley Bandt-Hunter loses the ball after a check, but then scoops it up and scoots to the goal to score on an overhand shot with 9:49 left in the first half. 

8:38 p.m. We definitely have a situation here. Frontier's Lorusso scores again to give Frontier a 3-0 lead over the seven-time defending champions with 6:10 left in the first half. Lancaster called a timeout after the goal.

8:43 p.m. BIG goal for Lancaster as Alexis Ruggiero, a freshman midfielder, scores on a free position shot with a bounce shot that is the first to get by Wagner. Lancaster cuts the Frontier lead to 3-1 with 3:01 left in the first.

8:45 p.m. A big draw control violation gives the ball to Lancaster, and they capitalize as Brittany Delano scores to make it 3-2 with 1:54 left in first. Great surge here late in the half by the Redskins.

8:50 p.m. Frontier with several chances deep in Lancaster territory in the final minute, but Schilling made two big saves, one on a free position shot and one on a bang-bang pass play, and another free position shot went wide. 

8:52 p.m. At HALFTIME, Frontier leads Lancaster, 3-2. 

The low score is not a surprise considering the team's two meetings this year. Lancaster won both by scores of 5-4 and 9-5.

9:18 p.m. Working on my story so updating when I can. 

Frontier made it 4-2 with 18:52 left on a transition play by Bandt-Hunter, who went coast to coast and fired it in after accelerating near the cage. The Falcons just made it 5-2 on another Bandt-Hunter goal with 12:22 left, prompting a Lancaster timeout. 

9:33 p.m. Timeout Frontier with 3:31 left to play. Teams have exchanged goals in the last 23 seconds with Frontier leading, 6-3. 

9:41 p.m. HUGE win for Frontier. 

We have a FINAL SCORE: Frontier 6, Lancaster 3. 

Lancaster's reign as Class A champions ends after six straight titles.

Here are the final seconds:

Frontier coach Tim Myslinski talks with the Falcons with the Section VI plaque resting near his feet. Sorry for no team picture, but I missed that because I was filing my first story on deadline. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

And the postgame show:

* * *

Stats and goal scorers are available at the scoreboard page.

My story on all three games is posted here.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

Free hoops coaching clinic Friday from BCANY

As I noted in today's Prep Talk column, there is a must-attend event for basketball coaches this Friday.

The Western New York Chapter of the Basketball Coaches Association of New York will hold its seventh annual WNY Spring Basketball Coaches clinic on Friday in The Sullivan Center at Medaille College.

The clinic is free to all coaches at all levels, including AAU coaches and non-BCANY members. Registration is at the door.

Coaches who will speak during the clinic are: Penn State-Behrend's Dave Niland (5:30 p.m.), Medaille women's coach Pete Lonergan (6:30), Le Moyne's Steve Evans (7:30), University at Buffalo's Reggie Witherspoon (8:30).

There will also be a coaches social following the clinic at Wellington Pub on Hertel Ave. For more information contact Pat Cauley (Hamburg) at pcauley@hamburgschools.org or Al Monaco (Williamsville South) at amonaco@williamsvillek12.org.

---Keith McShea
(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

Prep Talk with some time on 'Sully Live' video chat

Check out a new venture here at One News Plaza -- the live video chat. Today I was part of the debut of "Sully Live," an interactive video feature during Jerry Sullivan's weekly live chat. Some fun stuff which we'll likely see more of in the future, including for Prep Talk chats.

---Keith McShea
(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

Mount Mercy routs Holy Angels, 10-0, for Msgr. Martin softball title (with video)

Monsignor Martin champion Mount Mercy. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

Looks like I'll be ready to go in plenty of time for tonight's chat.

Mount Mercy won its first Monsignor Martin Association softball title since 2004 by making quick work of Holy Angels, winning a mercy rule-shortened, five-inning, 10-0 championship victory over Holy Angels at a very sunshine-y Sunshine Park in West Seneca.

Junior Alison Benz struck out seven in four innings of work and allowed just three hits.

Nicki Fitzgerald, a freshman, had a two-out, two-run triple to put Mount Mercy on top, 2-0, in the second. Her sister, junior Meghan Fitzgerald, had a two-run double during a five-run third. Mercy added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Mount Mercy got a nice defensive play to end the top of the second. With runners on second and third, Benz fielded a grounder by Anna Playfair and threw home to senior catcher Abby Campbell, who blocked the plate and tagged out a sliding Rachel Ziarnowski. 

"Show me the ball!" the home plate umpire hollered as he confirmed Campbell's block and tag.

Mercy went ahead in the bottom of the inning when Nicki Fitzgerald, the team's No. 9 hitter, pounded a deep shot to right that went for a triple to score Kayla Larson, who had walked, and Kaitlyn Murphy, who reached on an error.

Here's the triple: 

It was a big hit on what was already a special day for Nicki Fitzgerald. Upon reaching third base, she heard chants of "Happy Birthday!" from her dugout. She heard it a few more times when she came to the dugout after the inning.

Mount Mercy batted around the next two innings. The five-run third had Benz and Campbell single, and both came around on another big two-out hit by a Fitzgerald as Meghan blooped a double to center on a 2-2 count.

Here's the double:

Murphy smacked a double up the middle to score Meghan Fitzgerald for a 5-0 lead. Murphy scored on a single by Chelsie Crawford. Crawford would score on an error in the outfield.

Holy Angels starter Sarah Brown had some control problems in the fourth, walking five batters. Chelsea Cortade scored on a fielder's choice, Benz scored on an error and Larson scored on an RBI single by Meghan Fitzgerald.

Benz, who struck out the side in the third, faced only four batters in the fourth and fifth, both times stranding runners who had singled. Benz had two strikeouts in the fifth and got the final out on a groundout that she fielded and threw to Courtade at first. 

* * *

Here's the postgame show:

---Keith McShea
(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

Live chat (May 25): Who's going to be the best in the playoffs? For the spring season? For the 10-11 school year? (and some football)

We'll chat high school sports tonight around 9:45 -- after I report on this afternoon's Monsignor Martin softball championship game. Holy Angels and Mount Mercy meet at 4 at Sunshine Park in West Seneca.

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 previous chats this season: last week (May 18), May 11, May 4 and our first chat of the "spring" on April 27.

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

Previous chats from this past 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

Niagara Falls boys hoops in 2012 Primetime Shootout

The Niagara Falls boys basketball team is again ready for prime time.

The Wolverines will return to the Prime Time Shootout, an elite annual showcase which includes many of the nation's top teams and players, in February 2012.

Falls will play two games at Kean University. On Saturday, Feb. 11 the Wolverines are scheduled to play New Jersey power St. Benedict's at noon; Falls is also scheduled to play at noon on Sunday, Feb. 12 when it takes on Colts Neck of New Jersey.

Other teams playing that weekend include national powers St. Anthony's and St. Patrick's of New Jersey, Lincoln and Boys & Girls of New York City and Oak Hill Academy of Virginia.

"It's all about challenges and we certainly got one," said Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino, who was an assistant for Falls when the program made several trips to the Shootout in the mid-2000s. "We've built good relationship with the Primetime, and [Primetime director Jeff Hewitson] was good enough to bring us on board. I'm really excited and the kids are, too. I've been telling the kids that I've been trying to get us a game, and we got two. And we hit the jackpot [with the opponents]."

Constantino said the trip will benefit the team in several ways.

"Obviously we'll have very tough, competitive games to end the regular season and it can only help our playoff run. From an individual standpoint, our players are going to be seen by college coaches who would never have seen them otherwise. 

"And it's the experience of a lifetime. I still tell people about seeing Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard. With Oak Hill and St. Pat's there you would think there are going to be future NBA guys."

Constantino said he has let the district know that he won't be requesting additional funds for the trips and that his team will fund-raise to cover the costs.

"It's not fair to ask for money to go play basketball especailly with budgets the way they are now," he said. "We'll fund-raise the bus, hotel and meals -- between now and then we can do it. And our boosters have been really great helping us with what we're trying to do."

The Primetime games will constitute Falls' final two games of the season. With Falls limited to four nonleague games -- its Niagara Frontier League schedule takes up 14 of its 18 games -- these games lock up their schedule. Falls will tip off in two games during its Cataract Classic in early December against Bishop Timon-St. Jude (Dec. 9) and Rochester's Bishop Kearney (Dec. 10). 

"We've got to start working in the gym," said a laughing Constantino, "that's all I've got to say."

Niagara Falls made three trips to the Primetime Shootout in the mid-2000s, including during the Wolverines' 2005 state Federation championship season. That year, Falls' only loss came at the Shootout to Vashon of St. Louis. In 2004, Falls lost to St. Anthony's of New Jersey. 

In 2006, the Wolverines and then-junior Jonny Flynn were to take on Vashon in a rematch at the Shootout, but the trip was canceled by a snowstorm. In 2007, Falls and Flynn lost to Linden (N.J).

Nichols is the only other team from Western New York to have played in the Shootout, in 2009 and 2010. Like Falls, a Primetime stop was included during its state Federation championship season (2010).

My take?  

I think it's an excellent thing for Falls, for the same reasons Constantino cited: great on-court experience for the team heading into sectionals; great chance for players to impress; great off-court experience for the team to take a trip like that.

Now, let's be clear -- just because I mentioned "Federation championship" twice higher up in this post certainly doesn't mean the Wolverines will even be the best team in Western New York next year (they might not be second or third with Jamestown, Canisius and several other teams poised for good seasons -- we'll just have to wait and see).

With that said, a program that has been one of Western New York's best since the school was formed in 2000 is certainly worthy of competing in this event. Not every year yielded even a local championship for WNY teams which went to the Primetime, notably Falls in its final trip (loss to Sweet Home in Section VI final) and Nichols in its first (loss to Canisius in Manhattan Cup final).

It's a great move for Falls to pursue and attend an event like this. Their participation sets the bar for themselves at a very high level -- not just for that game, and not just for the season, but for the entire program.

To have super-high goals like that is good for everyone connected with Niagara Falls basketball. That includes from the community to its players -- all the way down through its youth leagues -- not to mention all of Western New York.

---Keith McShea
(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

Timon-OP lax showdown is ... only a scrimmage

I've been looking forward to Friday's boys lacrosse matchup between Orchard Park and Bishop Timon-St. Jude since before the spring season, and I know I'm not the only one.

Bad news just in from Timon coach Mike Burke: It's just a scrimmage.

Why? Timon scheduled too many games. The state limit for Catholic schools is 18 and the Tigers have already reached that total.

On the team's schedule as reported to laxpower.com, Timon is 16-3. Coach Mike Burke said that Timon's game with Kiski Prep (Pa.) was played as a scrimmage and will not count towards the team total. 

Burke said he was unaware of the limit until he was told by league chairman Tom Franz, who is the Nichols coach, following TImon's 11-9 home win over the Vikings Wednesday evening. Burke consulted with Timon administrators, including athletic director Jim Palano, and learned that the Timon-OP game would have to be a scrimmage.

"It's disappointing because this is a game that all of our kids look forward to, because Orchard Park is the top dog," said Burke. "I know that they're disappointed, too.

"We overlooked the rule regarding how many games you could have. We probably need to be more selective with who we play -- maybe we didn't need to play Aquinas [of Section V] twice. I talked to [OP] coach [Gene] Tundo. He sounded disappointed but he was as accomodating as he could be."

The teams will still play Friday evening, but with a running clock for 15-minute quarters and no official score kept on the field. 

"With the playoffs coming up, it's still good to get another quality opponent to prepare us, so something is better than nothing," Burke said. "We're going to be playing it as hard as possible, and I know they are too."

Timon has several games scheduled against private schools in Detroit this weekend; Burke said those will also be played as scrimmages and were always scheduled as such. Burke also said that in previous years, Timon's game against Ontario's Hill Academy was treated as a scrimmage. 

"We did a couple of things different and it really screwed it up," said Burke. "We just have to be more selective with who we play."

My take?

Coach Burke has played perhaps the most impressive nonleague schedules in Western New York over the last five or six years. I credit him for seeking out top competition that has included outstanding programs both from within New York and out of the state (and out of the country). His scheduling is one of the major reasons that Timon has become one of Western New York's elite program. 

But (and this is a big but) to schedule too many contests is a hugely critical error on behalf of Burke and the school. To have an outstanding game like Timon-OP wiped out because of too many games being played is inexcusable. It's a simple matter which could have been avoided. It's also something that almost never happens in other sports.

The bottom line is that arguably the best regular-season matchup between Western New York boys lacrosse teams has been lost for the players, programs, fans and yes, the media. A matchup like this attracts attention and deserves attention. It is one that would not have only benefitted the teams involved, but would have benefitted the sport in Western New York in general.

Instead, we won't be there. Because it's just a scrimmage.  

---Keith McShea
(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

Live chat (May 18): Talk of a soaked spring, OP lax's big win, J-town's great hoop season, radio, statues, fiction writing and other nonsense

We'll chat high school sports tonight at 9:30, with just three and one-half weeks left to go in the 2010-11 school year.

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 previous chats this season: last week (May 11), May 4 and our first chat of the "spring" on April 27.

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

Previous chats from this past 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

Softball regular season extended, sectionals altered

I don't have to tell anyone how awful the weather has been this spring.

Here's how awful: Section VI has moved its cut-off for league games back from this Saturday to Tuesday, May 24.

"This spring has to be one of the worst springs in history," Section VI softball chairman Mark Kruzynski wrote in an e-mail to sectional chairmen and The News. "Because of this weather, we are going to be making some changes to our sectional tournament."

The seeding meeting will take place Tuesday night as well (it was also originally scheduled for Saturday).

The postseason schedule for Classes AA, C and D will remain the same, with prequarterfinals beginning on Wednesday, May 25. 

The playoffs for Classes A-1, A-2, B-1 and B-2 have been altered. Prequarterfinals have been moved to Wednesday, May 25 (they were to start Tuesday); quarterfinals have been moved to Thursday, May 26 (from Wednesday) and semifinals have been moved to Saturday, May 28 (from Friday). 

---Keith McShea
(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

East's Fisher, I-Prep's Hillman among nine NCCC hoop signees

Three Yale Cup standouts are among an impressive recruiting class for Niagara County Community College and coach Bill Beilein.

All-Western New York first teamer Tremmell Fisher of East and honorable mentions John Black of McKinley and Kadeem Hillman of International Prep at Grover Cleveland will all sign letters of intent to the school on Wednesday. Also signing will be two Niagara Frontier League standouts in Jake Hughes (Niagara-Wheatfield) and Marc Morreale (Lew-Port) as well as Dut Dour, a 2010 Bishop Timon-St. Jude All-WNY honorable mention who is transferring from St. Bonaventure.

The class will be introduced at 5 p.m. Wednesday during a press conference in NCCC's athletics lobby.

Also signing are two out-of-town recruits: Jordan Green from New Rochelle of downstate's Section I and Andre "TJ" McCrea from Brien McMahon High School in Connecticut.

Also making it official tomorrow will be Marcus Feagin of Niagara Falls, who will sign Wednesday with Monroe Community College.

I've written before about how I think Feagin might be the type of player who could use his time at MCC to possibly springboard to a scholarship somewhere; I think Hillman and Fisher could become candidates to do the same via NCCC.

---Keith McShea
(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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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