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Eighth WNY Basketball Showcase set for Oct. 7

Great news from the local members of the Basketball Coaches Association of New York.

The BCANY, in conjunction with ADPRO Sports, is hosting the eighth annual WNY Basketball Showcase Exposure Event for high school boys on Sunday, Oct. 7 at St. Mary’s High School in Lancaster starting at 9:15 a.m.

Former Williamsville South coach Al Monaco, who was controversially fired from his job last month, was hugely involved with the conception and the carrying out of the showcase. It's good to see that the BCANY has gotten involvement from his fellow local coaches to keep an exceptional event going forward.

Last year the event sold out all 60 available spots for the seventh straight year. The event was attended by 28 college coaches, who attended the showcase to evaluate this area’s best high school basketball talent.

In order to provide for each player to receive a legitimate evaluation by the college coaches, the showcase is limited to the first 60 players on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is $70. The event is open to all high school players as long as they have previous varsity experience. Local BCANY representatives are sending forms to area coaches. The deadline for registration is Oct. 1 so that player information can be printed in the college coaches program booklet.

For more information, contact former Pioneer coach and current D'Youville assistant Mike Haskell at 984-4371 or; or Depew coach Larry Jones at 686-5005 ext. 2102 (work), (585) 746-8327 or

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Live chat (Sept. 13): Best 'O,' best 'D,' S-word, multi-sport athletes, 'crazy love for Timon,' why St. Joe's isn't close to No. 1 & Noonan wins at Bushwood

Our second Thursday night live chat of the school year is tonight at 9 p.m.

We'll talk about this weekend's upcoming Week Three football schedule and the entire fall sports season.

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.

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Here are our previous chats: Week One kickoff chat (the post includes an archive of 2011-12 chats) and Sunday's post-PrepTalkTV Sunday chat.

Week Two Thursday chat and post-PrepTalkTV Sunday chat.

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

---Keith McShea

Live blog from Williamsville Board of Education meeting; eight Monaco supporters speak, as does accuser Sanford

Hello from tonight's Williamsville School Board meeting.

Live blog below:

A total of nine people spoke.

Eight of them were clear supporters of Monaco, and they were from a widespread group: former recent player, former player from the 70s, golf acquaintance, longtime supporter of Will South basketball program, basketball official whose son played for Monaco (Steve Allen), former Buffalo Public Schools Athletic Director Dave Thomas, Western New York Basketball Officials Association president Benji Bluman and his sister.  

The exception was Marvin Sanford, who spoke to The News about being the parent who lodged the police complaint regarding Monaco. 

Sanford said residents "may have been receiving mistruths about certain things, so I was here hopefully to set the record straight." However, other than perhaps his claim that he and his family did not complain about playing time, no new real information was shared by Sanford.

Sanford, a Buffalo Police officer, also said that the Amherst Police investigation, is "not closed. It is currently open. My wife and I have to meet with our attorney this week, and speaking to the detective, she found that there was evidence to move forward should we decide."

Here is what The News reported Aug. 28 regarding the Amherst police aspect of this case:

Williamsville South High School basketball coach Al Monaco was removed from his coaching job a few days after the Amherst Police Department shared with the school district its investigation of student harassment complaints filed against him, police said Monday.

Police looked into the complaints in June and closed the case last week without filing charges. But by Friday, Monaco's 24-year tenure as a South High School coach was over.

"After our investigation was complete, we briefed them on the details on the information we had gathered," said Police Chief John Askey.


Monaco's defenders also said there's been tension on the team between students getting more playing time than others, and the parents of players who saw little court action were behind the harassment complaint to police in June.

Askey said several parents of students accused Monaco of verbally harassing their children during the course of his coaching duties.

When police investigated, only two of the allegations by parents of 15-year-old players appeared to merit further investigation, he said.

"We investigated the complaints and in the end, the parents did not want to prosecute for any of those comments or behaviors," he said. "It was minor harassment in nature to begin with, and they chose not to prosecute."

Investigators spoke with parents, students and Monaco and heard differing versions of what was said and how it was said, Askey said. Even if every allegation been substantiated, he added, the matter would have amounted to a harassment violation at most, not a misdemeanor.

Here are Sanford's complete remarks: 

"What I wanted to speak about tonight ... I felt as though residents of the town of Williamsville wanted to know ... maybe they have received mistruths about certain things ... so I was here to hopefully set record straight ...

"First and foremost, my wife, myself, and my son, never have we complained about playing time for our son, it's never has been us.

"We also would like to let anybody know -- I heard a prior speaker -- the Amherst Police investigation was not closed. It is currently open. My wife and I have to meet with our attorney this week, and in speaking to the detective, she found that there was evidence to move forward should we decide. And we will then do so, if that's the case, if it's best for us and our son. 

"Secondly, I hear a lot of people speaking about Coach Monaco. And it's not up to me, or my wife or anybody else to come here to dog the man or degrade him or speak negatively against any experience that they have had with him or their son or their family has had with him.  

"But I would also like the board, and anyone who cares to know, about my son Joseph.

"My son received the coach's award on Williamsville South junior varsity basketball team. He's received the sportsmanship award from the University at Buffalo.

"The reason why I bring this up is because it is important to me. He may not have been the most valuable player. He wasn't in the three-point shooting contest. But because of our son and the way he's been raised, not just my wife and I taking credit for it, but his grandparents, his aunts, his uncles, family members prior to that ... 

"We really hold those awards dear to us because that speaks volumes about my son.

"His teachers, including his coaches, including the athletic director, Mr. [Kevin] Lester, who commented to me before one of the junior varsity basketball games last year on how my son, along with my older son, that it was a pleasure to know them. They were well-behaved kids and it was his experience that they were good kids. Truth be told, they don't have any choice.

"Last but not least, I wanted to personally thank the Amherst Police Department, the School Board, and the superintendent. Because you are praised sometimes, but you make tough decisions and sometimes people want to get on you. But I thank you for conducting a thorough investigation in this matter ... and then deciding accordingly. Have a good evening." 

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

How The News voted: Week Two

Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school football polls, and every week we tell you how The News voted.

The News is one of 10 voters on the large and small school polls. 


1. Orchard Park (2-0) [1] -- Absolutely overwhelming against a very good Clarence team. Clinically dominating.  

2. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (1-1) [2] -- They went to Steubenville all beat up and played a competitive game, which is saying a LOT. Quality of the Will South win and that showing keeps them my top-rated Monsignor Martin squad and certainly deserving of this spot.  

3. Sweet Home (2-0) [4] -- Saw less than a quarter of their rout of Kenmore East, but saw quite a few good things. They certainly have a claim on No. 2, but I like Timon's schedule much better than the Panthers' wins over NT and KE (0-4 after both lost to Grand Island as well). The strength of schedule increases Saturday in a great AA-A neighborly matchup at Ken West.  

4. Clarence (1-1) [3] -- Many are going to forget the Red Devils' big win over West Genesee in the Carrier Dome. I'm not. Yes, OP crushed them. To me, that says more about a focused, miles-better-than-anyone-in-WNY OP squad then it does about Clarence.

5Jamestown (2-0) [5] -- Quite nice wins over Kenmore West and Niagara Falls, both at home. I think Clarence's win over West Genny is better. Many will disagree. We certainly shall see ... but it'll be a while for the head-to-head matchup: Jamestown is at Clarence at Week Seven.

6. West Seneca East (2-0) [10] -- Very impressive, all-around victory over Williamsville East led by very impressive, all-around talent Andy Smigiera.

7. St. Joe's (2-0) [6] -- Impressive scores against teams that are not so impressive. This Saturday the Marauders host St. Francis, which will give us something to really chew on.

8. Lockport (1-1) [NR] -- Lions thumped a Starpoint team that is usually in the thick of Class A -- the teams played a close one last year. They showed some very good things in the OP loss as well. I certainly have them as the favorite in AA North.

9. West Seneca West (2-0) [NR] -- Really complete win over Lancaster team as Indians fans rightly fired up ... just as West heads east to OP.

10. Williamsville South (1-1) [8] -- They bounced back from Timon loss with a win, but it was at 0-2 Hamburg and it wasn't a clear enough victory for them to catch those ranked ahead.

Just missing out on this ballot were both Canisius and McKinley, who play Friday night at All High in a very nice matchup. Canisius needed a late touchdown to beat St. Mary's, which certainly hurt them here. McKinley was 6-6 with Williamsville North until late in the fourth and that hurt them. There could be a ton of big plays Friday night. ... St. Francis could still be a top 10 team. I want to give them credit for running their way behind Alex Misterman to a big lead over Holy Trinity, but the credit gets taken away because that big lead went away. ... Iroquois and Grand Island are probably next with their 2-0 starts, Kenmore West is solid, while Hutch-Tech might be the second-best 0-2 team behind St. Francis. Williamsville East could be heard from in A North as well.


1. Alden (2-0) [1] -- Niagara-Wheatfield is obviously not having a strong season, but it still tells you a good deal about the Bulldogs in that they utterly dominated a school that was AA before moving to A this season. 

2. Depew (2-0) [3] -- Another week, another very impressive performance, another week closer to Depew at Alden (two weeks down, three to go until Week Five). 

3. Cheektowaga (2-0) [4] -- Tremendous comeback to beat Burgard, and they did it with monster plays. Great catches, big-time plays by a dominating player in Marquel Jackson. 

4. Cleveland Hill (2-0) [6] -- Week One win at Maryvale looking really good after Maryvale routed Amherst. They visit Akron this week. Total points this year: Cleve Hill 84, Akron 84.

5. Burgard (1-1) [NR] -- Man, Class B West is absolutely sick. 

6. St. Mary's (1-1) [NR] -- Outstanding performance to not only hang with Canisius ... they were leading in the fourth quarter. Can't say you would expect that from most teams on this small-school side.

7. Maryvale (1-1) [NR] -- Did I mention B West is sick? Amherst and Lackawanna didn't even make the poll. 

8. Maple Grove (2-0) [7] -- Two big wins, and the best D always deserves a place here. Another big one this week with Randolph.

9. Pioneer (2-0) [9] -- Good, solid wins over Dunkirk and East Aurora, and a good, solid game hosting 2-0 East this week.

10. Frewsburg (2-0) [NR] -- Two big wins as well. Another big one we have to wait for: Frewsburg at Maple Grove is Week Seven.

Who's next? Aforementioned Amherst and LackawannaRandolph, Eden, East. How crazy is it that Southwestern just showed up in this sentence as an afterthought after the stunning win by Westfield?

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below, let us know via Twitter or facebook (addresses below), or join the live chat Thursday evening at 9.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Many Monaco supporters expected at Williamsville BOE meeting Tuesday

Supporters of fired Williamsville South coach Al Monaco are expected to be attendance at Tuesday night's Williamsville Board of Education meeting.

Tuesday's meeting is a regularly scheduled one, set for 7 p.m. at the district offices at 105 Casey Road, located adjacent to Williamsville North High. The announcement of the meeting, as well as the agenda, are on the district's website.

About 75 supporters of Monaco, attended a board meeting on Aug. 28 (see blog post and video).

That meeting was a special one to elect a new board member and did not include any opportunity for the public to speak. At Tuesday's meeting, "public expression" is scheduled for shortly after the meeting begins. The agenda states that there is a three-minute time limit per person. It also states that there is a 30-minute limit on public comments, "unless the rules are suspended by a vote of the Board."

Based on the turnout at that first meeting and from what I have heard from those in the coaching and Williamsville communities, there should be at least an equal number of people attending Tuesday night's meeting with many hoping to speak.

That was backed up by Depew boys basketball coach Larry Jones, the co-chairman of Section VI boys basketball with Monaco.

"We're hoping to have as many or more coaches there, and not just basketball," said Jones, who also coaches girls soccer at Depew. "It's not just a basketball issue -- it could be soccer, football, volleyball, it doesn't matter. If not getting playing time is equated to bullying, there are going to be issues at every level."

Jones said that he knows of some Depew basketball team parents who are planning to attend the meeting because they "know how much he has done for Western New York basketball." He said he has also spoken to some current Williamsville South team parents who intend to speak, while some former South players are also expected to attend. He also mentioned basketball officials' strong support of Monaco; many officials were at the previous meeting and they are expected to attend tonight as well.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

PrepTalkTV Sunday (Week Two): OP's big win over Clarence, winning in West Seneca, interviews with Canisius coach & players

PrepTalkTV Sunday postshow chat (Week Two)

The second episode of PrepTalkTV Sunday is tonight at 8:30 p.m. right on the home page of 

We'll have highlights, post-game interviews and analysis, and we will have guests from Canisius High in studio.

Afterwards, I'll have a live chat right here. Let us know what you thought of the show, the debut of [BN]TheHuddle, and the second weekend of high school action.

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

As always, please just ask questions once. I promise I'll get to them.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Week Two Saturday: Prep Talk Live and your #preptalkscores, leading up to OP's big win at Clarence

Week Two's Saturday features a good slate of games during the day, all leading up to a major showdown tonight as Orchard Park visits Clarence.

I'll have live play-by-play updates from that one tonight and I'll be stopping in on several games today. Our staff of video/photographers will be out and about as well.

We encourage you to tweet updates with the hashtag #preptalkscores attached -- that's the quickest way for us to share the information through the live chat (tweets with that hashtag will automatically show up). You can also certainly still tweet those updates to @bufnewspreptalk and @KeithMcSheaBN.

As of Saturday afternoon, our high school scoreboard page is still being worked on due to our transition to a redesigned web site. We hope to have it up by tonight. If it remains down, you can still track all the football scores (and any other scores tweeted to #preptalkscores) via the blog. We appreciate your patience with us during this major switchover.

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We'll be back Sunday night when we will broadcast PrepTalkTV's new, live 30-minute show here at

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Can-Am/PAL boys basketball tournament tips off on Saturday

Some of the top boys basketball players will showcase their skills this weekend at the Can-Am/PAL Tournament named for the late Alan R. Elia Sr.

The field of eight teams includes two from Western New York, Niagara PAL and the Buffalo United Dragons. Other teams are from Canada, the Binghamton, Rochester and Syracuse areas. Each team will play three games on Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at Niagara Falls High School. The top four teams advance to Sunday’s final four starting at 10 a.m. at Niagara Catholic.

Niagara PAL, coached by Sal Constantino, will feature Niagara Falls High School’s Jermaine Crumpton, a 6-foot-5 forward named to the All-WNY second team last year as well as J.J. Wilkins and Ramir Burton.

The Buffalo United Dragons, under coach Rodney Nevins, counters with Sam Eckstrom and Nick Schmidt from Olean and Dante Williams of Timon/St. Jude.

Admission is $2 with all proceeds benefitting Niagara PAL programs.

Saturday’s schedule

Niagara PAL vs. Phoenix, main gym, 10 a.m.

RAP vs. Buffalo United Dragons, main gym, 11:05 a.m.

Wildhawks vs. Niagara PAL, main gym 12:10 p.m.

Sonics vs. CWNY, aux gym, 12:10 p.m.

Phoenix vs. EAP, main gym, 1:15 p.m.

Rage vs. Dragons, aux gym, 1:15 p.m.

Wildhawks vs. CWNY, main gym, 2:20 p.m.

Rage vs. Sonics, main gym, 3:25 p.m.

Saturday’s single elimination

Main gym, 4:30 p.m.

Aux gym, 4:30 p.m.

Main gym, 5:35 p.m.

Aux gym, 5:35 p.m.

Sunday’s schedule

Semifinals, 10 a.m.

Semifinal, 11:05 a.m.

Championship, 12:20 p.m.

Review Week Two Friday's live blog

It might be the first week of high school classes, but it is Week Two of football.

I'll be heading to the Williamsville East at West Seneca East matchup at 7 p.m. and I'll have live play-by-play updates from that one. Lauren Mariacher and our staff of video/photographers will be at additional games.

We encourage you to tweet updates with the hashtag #preptalkscores attached -- that's the quickest way for us to share the information through the live chat (tweets with that hashtag will automatically show up). You can also certainly still tweet those updates to @bufnewspreptalk and @KeithMcSheaBN.

As of Friday afternoon, our high school scoreboard page is down due to our transition to a redesigned web site. We hope to have it up by Friday night. If it remains down, you can still track all the football scores (and any other scores tweeted to #preptalkscores) via the blog. We appreciate your patience with us during this major switchover.

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We'll be back with another live blog to monitor Saturday's games, and on Sunday night we will broadcast PrepTalkTV's new, live 30-minute show here at

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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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 |