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Perillo fundraiser seeks auction items, volunteers

  For anyone who has wished they could do something to help Matt Perillo, here's your opportunity. Organizers of his upcoming benefit are looking for donations of auction items and for volunteers to help on June 9 from 4-8 p.m. at The Chicken Coup VFW, 299 Leydecker Road in West Seneca.

 Perillo, a Section VI football and basketball official, almost lost his life to septicemia. As a result of the illness, he had to have his feet amputated in May. Sepsis causes more deaths per year than prostate cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. It is one of the most common, least-recognized acute illnesses, yet unawareness remains high.
 
   Help at the fundraiser is need for the silent auction, Chinese auction, ticket sales, and other means. Also needed are small items that we can include in baskets to be auctioned off; cash; and/or gift certificates from your favorite vendors in the Lancaster, Depew, West Seneca and surrounding area. Small but important specialty items that our fundraiser experts need to make the event a success are needed and would be welcomed.
 
  If you are committed to helping,
contact Sibby Constantino at: [email protected] or call 686-0727 or 289-8800 to receive details for auction items, silent auction items, donations, etc.

-Mary Jo Monnin

Frontier, Lancaster boys lax teams weather the storm

  The passion for lacrosse runs deep at Lancaster and Frontier. While most schools were rushing to cancel after-school activities, Lancaster was gassing up the bus to drive to Frontier for their scheduled Class A contest. Of the 94 events scheduled for Monday, 43 softball games, 35 baseball games, seven boys lacrosse games and nine girls lacrosse, it was the only game reported to The Buffalo News.

   The teams played in a steady rain, but there was no snow on the field.

   "It was going back and forth, and I debated all day with my AD [Rich Gray] on whether to play, but our field held up great," said Frontier coach Chris Stack. "We told our kids both teams had to play in it. By the time the kids knew they were going to play, they forgot about it. Really with all the dry weather we've had, our field needed some rain. I spoke with [Lancaster] coach [Renson] Mullen earlier in the day. The kids wanted to play."

   And the game was a good one. The gloomy forecast and day-long rain with wet snow weren't
enough to keep the Falcons from earning an 11-10 overtime win.

   Frontier midfielder Greg Smolkovich scored the game-winner on an assist from Jim May just 1
minute into the OT. The Falcons forced the OT with 1:18 left in regulation on a goal by Joe Schwartzott. Alex Zwack finished with three goals and an assist and May and Smolkovich added two goals and two assists each.

---Mary Jo Monnin

Live chat (April 18): Baseball, lacrosse, coverage criticism (& props), banquet postgame, All-WNY response & our first walk-off comment

We'll chat at 9 tonight as the spring season picks up now that spring break is behind us, and with the the winter season just about concluded (save for the Niagara PAL/ACE All-Star game in boys hoops next week) following Monday's Prep Talk/BCANY Awards banquet.

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 -- 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.

* * *

Last week's chat was our post-All-Western New York basketball Q&A session, which started with a video chat (April 11). That followed April 4 (pre-All-WNY hoops).

Our previous winter chats: March 29 (post-Fed hoops), March 22 (pre-Federation), March 14 (NYSPHSAA should be benched), March 7 (pre-Far West Regionals), Feb. 22 (Prequarterfinal Wednesday), Feb. 15 (starting with Ken West at Ken East), Feb. 8 (scorekeepers), Feb. 1 (twitter smh column & football signing day), Jan. 25 (pre-Canisius-Joe's), Jan. 18 (2012 video debut), Jan. 11 (2012 debut/Aquinas-Kearney viewing), Dec. 14 (from the MMA-ECIC Challenge), All-WNY football talk (Dec. 7 w/video); our first was Nov. 30 (live from the Pastor-Cooper Showcase tipoff).

Our chats of the 2011 fall season: Nov. 16Nov. 9Nov. 2Oct. 26Oct. 19Oct. 12Oct. 5Sept. 28Sept. 21 (our video chat debut)Sept. 14Sept. 7 and our preseason chat (Aug. 31), which also includes links to all of of the chats from 2010-11.

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

---Keith McShea

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

Live chat (April 11): All-WNY basketball breakdown: tweets, video chat, Power 10, the mythical fifth team, honorable mentions & banquet

We'll start with a video chat tonight for what is traditionally one of the most interesting chats of the year -- the post-All-Western New York basketball wrapup. Lauren Mariacher and I will field questions before I continue with the traditional chat.

As always, anything in the world of high school sports -- or our coverage of it -- is up for discussion. But we certainly look forward to fielding questions regarding this year's All-WNY process, from picking the teams to picking the location for our special photo shoot. Other topics might include the final polls or Monday's debut of the Prep Talk/BCANY Awards banquet.

We'll also respond to some comments that have been made on buffalonews.com as well as some All-WNY talk on Twitter. We only ask that any questions regarding players are respectful; you can ask why one player made it over another, or why you think one player should have made it over another, but there is a respectful way to do that. 

I promise I'll get to your question or comment -- 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.

* * *

Last week's chat was April 4 (pre-All-WNY hoops).

Our previous winter chats: March 29 (post-Fed hoops), March 22 (pre-Federation), March 14 (NYSPHSAA should be benched), March 7 (pre-Far West Regionals), Feb. 22 (Prequarterfinal Wednesday), Feb. 15 (starting with Ken West at Ken East), Feb. 8 (scorekeepers), Feb. 1 (twitter smh column & football signing day), Jan. 25 (pre-Canisius-Joe's), Jan. 18 (2012 video debut), Jan. 11 (2012 debut/Aquinas-Kearney viewing), Dec. 14 (from the MMA-ECIC Challenge), All-WNY football talk (Dec. 7 w/video); our first was Nov. 30 (live from the Pastor-Cooper Showcase tipoff).

Our chats of the 2011 fall season: Nov. 16Nov. 9Nov. 2Oct. 26Oct. 19Oct. 12Oct. 5Sept. 28Sept. 21 (our video chat debut)Sept. 14Sept. 7 and our preseason chat (Aug. 31), which also includes links to all of of the chats from 2010-11.

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

---Keith McShea

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

Saturday's All-WNY basketball edition is print-only

The annual All-Western New York edition is a print-only special today.

Take a look at our cover below, which includes our cast first-teamers. Then go out and get your hands on today's paper :-)

0407allwny

Today's issue features:

* A special wraparound poster page cover.

* Feature stories detailing the Allen Wilson Player of the Year for boys basketball as well as the girls Player of the Year.

* Capsules on the first, second, third and fourth teams for boys and girls.

* The final polls (here's How The News voted).

* All of Western New York's league all-star teams fill up a page.

* New this year is a page devoted to the listing every All-WNY first team (boys and girls) as well as lists of the top all-time scoring lists for both.

All of the stories and information will be posted at buffalonews.com on Sunday.

An online treat is this PrepTalkTV video which takes a behind-the-scenes look at our cover shoot:

We will have a live chat Wednesday at 9 p.m. to discuss the selection of the team, the production of the issue and cover photo or anything else on your mind.

---Keith McShea

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

How The News voted: Final poll (All-WNY issue is Saturday)

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.

This is just one ballot -- there are nine voters in each poll -- and those final polls will be published in Saturday's All-Western New York issue.

Here is a link to previous ballots: Feb. 28 (penultimate poll; entering championship week), Feb. 21 (entering playoffs), Feb. 14, Feb. 7, Jan. 31 (New World Order), Jan. 24 (when I said I thought Canisius would win at St. Joe's), Jan. 17 (MLK edition), Jan. 10 (back from the break), Dec. 20, Dec. 13 (the tipoff).

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Canisius (21-7) [last ballot: 1] -- In my final Power 10, I wrote that the Crusaders are a clear choice here and they are. I mentioned the disappointment on Long Island, and I don't use that word often in high school sports. However, this Canisius team was talented enough and scheduled tough enough that its stated goal from Day One was at the very least the state Catholic championship game. There's no other way to say that a loss -- especially to a Cinderella low-seeded team like St. John the Baptist -- at that point was a disappointment. There have been times when the Manhattan Cup champion has lost that state semifinal, but those teams were not as good as these Crusaders, and did not have the high goals of these Crusaders.  

2. Niagara Falls (17-5) [4] -- The AA title erased the doubts raised during the regular season (Ken West loss at home caused most of those), and their toe-to-toe battle with Aquinas (Falls led deep into the fourth quarter) in a game in which Aq was the clear favorite made for an impressive finish.

3. Jamestown (18-3) [6] -- Buzzer-beaten by Falls and Taijay Williams so they have to stay tucked right behind the Wolverines. 

4. East Aurora (20-3) [NR] -- The way they were playing at the end of the season, the Blue Devils totally deserve this spot.

5. McKinley (19-3) [2] -- We'll keep them behind EA after losing to them in the overall A final.  

6. St. Joe's (20-5) [3] -- A whoa stat: Three of Marauders' losses all season came in their last four games (home vs. St. Francis, at Canisius, vs. St. Mary's in Manhattan Cup semifinals). As you can see, I had McKinley ranked ahead of Joe's in the penultimate poll. Despite their surprisingly strong regular season, the Marauders' not-so-strong finish has me going with the Macks (who lost to Joe's by one in the teams' season opener). 

7. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (16-10) [5] -- Went down swinging against Canisius, deserve to be tucked right behind Joe's.

8. Riverside (15-5) [7] -- Ranked all year, lost to EA in A-2 semifinals, don't deserve to be passed although I could see a case for the ...

9. Frontier (16-4) [9] -- ... Falcons, who gave Jamestown quite a run. Will North gave Falls quite a run as well in the other AA semifinal, but Frontier beat Will North twice.

10. Hutch-Tech (13-7) [8] -- Loss to McKinley in A-1 semifinal ended a season that had them in this spot quite a bit. The Riverside/Frontier/Hutch-Tech/Will North toss-ups are fun to think about but we liked Tech's depth all season. Tech's massive quarterfinal blowout at Iroquois (a team that did beat Will East during the season) can't be ignored, either. 

In the bonus:

11. Williamsville North [10 last poll]. 12. Kenmore West. 13. Williamsville East. 14. Amherst. 15. North Tonawanda/St. Francis (I hate when people split votes. But we're in the bonus. Normal rules don't apply). 

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Olean (22-2) [1] -- Huskies made state final four with four sophomores and a junior. Funny thing was, it was totally expected after we saw the young lineup last year.

2. St. Mary's (20-8) [2] -- They lost the Manhattan Cup final to the (probably) unanimous large school No. 1, and they did lose big. But they also routed St. Joe's in similar fashion two days prior. They deserve this spot, and they deserve the lofty status in the Power 10. Some of the very best team basketball I saw this year was played by the multiple-weapon-boasting Lancers, including in the semifinal win over St. Joe's. 

3. OTC Middle College (21-4) [3] -- Not a bad year for small schools when a state runner-up (Class C) is third. Based on seeing the C final four, I think St. Mary's handles all of those teams. 

4. Depew (15-7) [6] -- Great finish with OT win on road over Dunkirk, win over Tonawanda, good battle with Olean. ECIC III represented at Buffalo State.

5. Archbishop Walsh (17-6) [4] -- Going to keep them here just ahead of ...  

6. Silver Creek (18-2) [8] -- ... the Black Knights, who were fun to watch as they took OTC to the wire following a C-2 title win in OT over ...

7. Maple Grove (17-4) [NR] -- ... the Red Dragons, who also had a great playoff run by beating sometimes-voted-for I-Prep/Grover and ... 

8. MST Seneca (16-3) [5] -- ... the Indians, who were ranked all season.

9. East (12-10) [9] -- I repeat from the last poll: There were people moaning and groaning all season about how this team shouldn't be ranked despite losses to outstanding large schools (you know who you are -- fess up already and admit you were wrong! :-) ). This team made it to Buffalo State (again) and gave Olean a very tough battle in the semifinals.

10. CSAT (13-9) [NR] -- First Charter School champion showed they deserve a vote with B-2 title win over Wilson. Certainly would give Darnell Carson and his platoon of finishers the edge over the rest.

In the bonus:

11. Dunkirk (the regular season schedule stunk. For reals. But the OT loss to Depew is not the worst loss in the world by any means). 12. Tonawanda [7 last poll]. 13. Wilson. 14. City Honors [10 last poll]. 15. Newfane, 16. I-Prep. 17. Portville. 18. Cleveland Hill. 19. Randolph. 20. Cassadaga Valley.  

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below and our weekly chat is here Wednesday evening.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

Live chat (April 4): How do we pick All-WNY teams? Can we get more space for high school sports? Coaches call in fake scores? Huh?

With three days until our All-Western New York basketball issue, we will hold our live chat tonight.

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 -- 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 winter chats: March 29 (post-Fed hoops), March 22 (pre-Federation), March 14 (NYSPHSAA should be benched), March 7 (pre-Far West Regionals), Feb. 22 (Prequarterfinal Wednesday), Feb. 15 (starting with Ken West at Ken East), Feb. 8 (scorekeepers), Feb. 1 (twitter smh column & football signing day), Jan. 25 (pre-Canisius-Joe's), Jan. 18 (2012 video debut), Jan. 11 (2012 debut/Aquinas-Kearney viewing), Dec. 14 (from the MMA-ECIC Challenge), All-WNY football talk (Dec. 7 w/video); our first was Nov. 30 (live from the Pastor-Cooper Showcase tipoff).

Our chats of the 2011 fall season: Nov. 16Nov. 9Nov. 2Oct. 26Oct. 19Oct. 12Oct. 5Sept. 28Sept. 21 (our video chat debut)Sept. 14Sept. 7 and our preseason chat (Aug. 31), which also includes links to all of of the chats from 2010-11.

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

---Keith McShea

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

Big week: Scholar-Athletes, Power 10, How The News voted lead up to Saturday's All-WNY basketball issue

It's a major week for high school honors in The News:

* Wednesday: The Winter All-Western New York Scholar Athlete poster page will feature athletes from across Western New York who exceled for their teams and in the classroom.

We'll also have our weekly live chat here on the blog, sometime after 9 p.m.

* Thursday: I'll have a Prep Talk column which will include his season-ending Power 10 for boys basketball.

* Friday: Here on the blog, I'll have the last "How The News voted" post of the year, which will reveal our choices for the season's final boys basketball polls.

* Saturday: The annual All-Western New York basketball issue features a special wraparound poster page cover. The Allen Wilson Player of the Year for boys basketball will be announced along with the girls Player of the Year and the full All-WNY teams for boys and girls. Also included will be the final polls, league all-star teams and more.

---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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