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Live from the Federation Class B girls final: Irvington 65, Cardinal O'Hara 48

By Keith McShea

ALBANY -- Cardinal O'Hara had its season end Sunday afternoon to one of the best high school girls basketball programs the state has ever seen.

Four-time reigning public school champion Irvington of Westchester County won its third overall Federation state title in four years by beating O'Hara, 65-48, today before an estimated 250 at the Times Union Center.

Senior 6-footer Lexi Martins earned MVP honors after putting forth a 22-point, 16-rebound performance despite serious foul trouble (three in the first half) while outstanding senior point guard Brittni Lai had 15 points, four assists and four steals for the Bulldogs, who have won 105 games over the last four seasons.

Cardinal O'Hara was led by senior Leah McDonell, who had 13 points (on 5-of-18 shooting) and was named to the All-Tournament team, and junior forward Kelsey McCarthy, who scored 12 on 6-of-10 shooting and had 11 rebounds. Junior guard Aisha Shabazz added nine points, senior forward Sara DiPasaquale had six points and six rebounds and senior guard Kayla Brown had five points and four steals.      

O'Hara injured standout Keyonte Edwards, who was unable to be on hand for the Hawks' semifinal victory here Saturday morning, was on hand to support her team. She surprised her teammates in the locker room for the team's pregame meeting and spent the game seated on the bench just after the coaches, cheering and encouraging her teammates.

The Hawks trailed, 15-8, after the first quarter but made a game of it in the second, when it appeared they would be in the contest the entire way. Martins picked up her third foul with 5:41 left in the second quarter, and with two minutes to go until halftime, O'Hara was within 24-22. 

But the Bulldogs closed the half with a 6-0 spurt to take a still precarious lead of 30-22 to halftime. in the third quarter, Irvington displayed the kind of basketball that has earned it piles of plaques and ribbons the last four years. 

Martins scored Irvington's first eight points of the third quarter as it opened a 38-26 lead. Two of the baskets came after wonderful hot-potato ball movement which left Martins in the lane with a good shot opportunity. 

Then it was Lai's turn, making a steal and layup, and then a three-pointer swished from the left side to put Irvington up, 43-26, with 3:20 left in the third. Irvington kept its cushion to the end of the quarter as it took a 53-35 lead to the fourth, where the lead would hit 19.

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Here's the live blog portion from earlier:

Continue reading "Live from the Federation Class B girls final: Irvington 65, Cardinal O'Hara 48" »

Live from the Federation Class B girls semifinals: Cardinal O'Hara 66, NYC's Scholars Academy 54 (w/PrepTalkTV video)

By Keith McShea

Cardinal O'Hara played inspired basketball without one of its best players. 

Now they get to do it again tomorrow. 

Playing without standout junior Keyonte Edwards, the Cardinal O'Hara girls basketball team dug out of an early hole and went on to a 66-54 victory over Scholars Academy in the state Federation Tournament of Champions Class B semifinals at the Times Union Center.

Edwards did not make the trip due to a blood clot in her right shoulder. The 5-foot-9 junior averages 15 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 4.0 steals. 

Senior Leah McDonell and junior Kelsey McCarthy each had 18 points as O'Hara (28-1) advanced to Sunday's 1 p.m. state Federation championship game against public school champion Irvington (23-2).

O'Hara fell behind, 11-4, to start the game, but closed the first quarter with a 10-2 run, capped by a McDonell three in the final minute, to take a 14-13 lead. The Hawks used its quickness -- namely from 5-4 senior Kayla Brown (five steals) and the 5-5 McDonell (four) to consistently cause turnovers and hurry up Scholars' shots (20 of 50 for 40 percent). 

The teams exchanged the lead in the second quarter before O'Hara used a 10-0 run to go up, 28-21. Scholars cut the lead to 28-25, but O'Hara closed the half with three straight baskets in what would be a 6-1 spurt resulting in a 34-26 halftime lead.

In the third, Brown added a three that pushed the Hawks lead to nine (41-32) and O'Hara would head to the fourth with a 47-36 advantage. Scholars surged back with a 13-6 run to come within 53-49 with 3:33 to go, but McDonell hit two free throws to push the O'Hara lead to six. Scholars junior Jessica Glaz (team-high 18 points, 10 rebounds) scored to make it a four-point game again (55-51), but she fouled out seconds later, with 3:09 left. 

O'Hara closed the game with a 15-3 run that started with two Dickson free throws and a three by Brown that put the Hawks up, 60-51, with less than two minutes to play. 

McDonell had 18 points on 5-of-15 shooting, including 3 of 7 from three-point range and 5 of 6 at the free throw line. McCarthy, the 6-1 forward, got her 18 on 7-of-15 shooting and she had six rebounds while fellow front-courter, 6-foot senior Sara DiPasquale, had five points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Aisha Shabazz, a 5-6 junior, had nine points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two steals. Brown had eight points, as did 5-8 junior Jailyn Dickson (five rebounds, three steals).

In the live chat below, Edwards said she would be on hand Sunday to support her teammates.

Look for more on O'Hara's win in the Sunday paper.

We'll be back tomorrow for another live blog and postgame PrepTalkTV video. 

* * * 

Here's the live blog post from earlier:

Continue reading "Live from the Federation Class B girls semifinals: Cardinal O'Hara 66, NYC's Scholars Academy 54 (w/PrepTalkTV video)" »

Live from the Federation Class A boys semifinals: NYC's John Adams 69, McKinley 54 (w/PrepTalkTV video)

By Keith McShea

McKinley's very memorable season came to an end with a 69-54 loss to New York City's John Adams Friday afternoon at the Times Union Center. 

The Macks, who had a memorable run to win the state public school title last weekend in Glens Falls, ran into a team which was a bit bigger, a bit better at slowing the pace and better shooting the ball. The New York State Public Schools Athletic Association champion Macks finish 22-4.

The victory makes John Adams (25-5) the first PSAL Class A team to reach Federation final since Benjamin Banneker in 2001. Adams will play independent representative Albany Academy in Saturday night's 5 p.m. final. Albany Academy (16-4) hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer for a 43-40 victory over state Catholic champion Nazareth (which defeated Canisius in the Catholic final).  

Senior Marcus Morris had 18 points (on 7-of-17 shooting, including 3 of 8 from three-point range) to lead McKinley. Morris was hampered by foul trouble which included a questionable technical foul with 5:35 left in the third quarter. 

Senior Reyjzon Jordan had 15 points for the Macks, including four three-pointers, many of which were launched late and kept the Macks hovering about 10 points behind John Adams.

Continue reading "Live from the Federation Class A boys semifinals: NYC's John Adams 69, McKinley 54 (w/PrepTalkTV video)" »

PrepTalkTV Weekly (or is it MackTV?); live chat talks Fed

By Keith McShea

We are set for another episode of PrepTalkTV Weekly tonight, and we might as well call it MackTV. 

We will welcome in several guests from McKinley after it returned from Glens Falls as a state public school champion -- and as it prepares for this weekend's overall state Federation Tournament of Champions.

The show airs tonight right here, and on the home page of buffalonews.com.

As usual after PrepTalkTV Weekly, I'll have a live chat following the show below.

Continue reading "PrepTalkTV Weekly (or is it MackTV?); live chat talks Fed" »

You make the call on the 2013 All-Western New York boys basketball team

So you want to try and pick a 2013 All-Western New York boys basketball team?

Here's your chance.

As is our annual tradition, below we have put together a semi-unscientific list of players under consideration for All-WNY honors, listed league-by-league. As we have in past years, we tried to err on the side of having too many names on this list rather than too few.

For our All-Western New York team, we attempt to pick the 20 best players who had the best seasons. The 20 are divided into four five-member teams: First team, second team, third team, fourth team. We then pick around 30-35 honorable mentions. That might sound like a lot of spots to fill. But start going down the list and you'll see how things get very difficult.

Our general guideline for this list was to include the first and/or second team from the all-league squads. Some teams have several names listed -- it might be because they might all be worthy top 20 candidates, because those teams went deep into the postseason and had many contributors, because those teams are deep and it is tough to determine which is a team's second- or third- best player for honorable mention reasons. Like we said, we err on the side of having too many names.

* * * 

If anyone thinks there's a player who is not listed who deserves legitimate consideration for the All-WNY team, just add it in a comment below or email me at [email protected] and he'll be added to the list.

Note: If we haven't received a league's all-stars yet, that is noted; we are very likely missing players who belong on this list because of that. We will add worthy names ASAP.

* * *

COACHES OF EVERY TEAM IN WNY: We want ballots from ALL of you. Please email your selections to me at [email protected] as soon as possible. Thanks.

* * * 

Here's the list:

Continue reading "You make the call on the 2013 All-Western New York boys basketball team" »

VIDEO: McKinley wins state title; plus sights, sounds & [BN]TheLockerRoom

Videos produced by Harry Scull Jr.

Live from Glens Falls: McKinley WINS CLASS A STATE TITLE with 76-73 OT win over IX-Burke Catholic

UPDATE very late Sunday night/early Monday morning: Here is the game story as well as the game video and the must-see sights & sounds video from McKinley's state title win.

* * * 

2013 NYSPHSAA Class A champion McKinley. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
By Keith McShea

McKinley made history today. 

The Macks won their first state title with an epic, 76-73 overtime victory over Burke Catholic in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A championship game before an estimated 2,500 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

It is the first state championship by a Yale Cup large school since Bennett won in Class B in 1984. Prior to 2004, the state was divided into four classes (A, B, C and D).

McKinley's title came by beating three private schools in the "public" high school playoffs: Aquinas of Section V (Rochester) in the Far West Regionals, Bishop Ludden of Section III (Syracuse) in Saturday's semifinals and Burke Catholic of Section IX (Dutchess County). Unlike Section VI, many sections within the NYSPHSAA have private schools as members.

Senior Lovell Smith earned MVP honors by scoring 24 points on 12-of-18 shooting, a performance that the Macks needed when leading scorer Marcus Morris was forced to the bench with foul trouble. Smith also had eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals.

Morris, a senior, had 16 points on 6-of-17 shooting, including 2 of 6 from three-point range, and seven rebounds and finished with four fouls; he picked up his fourth late in the third quarter.

McKinley, as it has done throughout the postseason, appeared it would claim control of the game in the third quarter. The Macks played exceptionally, outscoring Burke, 22-15, to take a 47-41 lead to the fourth.

Continue reading "Live from Glens Falls: McKinley WINS CLASS A STATE TITLE with 76-73 OT win over IX-Burke Catholic" »

Standout first season continues for UB grad and New Rochelle coach Rasaun Young

By Keith McShea

GLENS FALLS -- In Western New York, Rasaun Young is known as one of the best basketball players to suit up for the University at Buffalo.

But back home in New Rochelle, it’s just “Crabby.”

Reporters looking for the coach of New Rochelle High School team ask for “Crabby.” Assistant coaches ask “Where’s Crabby?”

The nickname is one that has stuck with Young since he was 9 years old. He decided to imitate a “Little Rascals” scene, one in which they referred to their teacher, Miss Crabtree, in a more familiar way.

“I said ‘Hey Crabby’ to the teacher,” said Young. “I said it and I got in a little trouble. Ever since then, they started calling me ‘Crabby.’ … But it never made it up there [to Buffalo]."

Crabby is making quite a name for himself in his first year as coach of his alma mater, as Young and New Rochelle will play for the for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA championship at 3:15 p.m. Sunday.

The championship berth marks the continuation of a fantastic season for New Rochelle, which had its struggles during what is now a 16-9 campaign before receiving national attention after an amazing three-quarter court buzzer-beater by senior Khalil Edney beat Mount Vernon in the Section I (Westchester County) championship.

Continue reading "Standout first season continues for UB grad and New Rochelle coach Rasaun Young" »

Live from Glens Falls: McKinley beats III-Bishop Ludden, 75-61, in Class A state semifinals (with PrepTalkTV VIDEO)

By Keith McShea

McKinley will play for the state championship on Sunday after another very impressive postseason performance. 

For the second straight week, the Macks turned up the defensive pressure while executing at a high level offensively to run away from a private school and advance in the state Class A playoffs. The Macks used a 25-13 third quarter to beat Syracuse's Bishop Ludden, 75-61, Saturday afternoon before an estimated 3,500 at Glens Falls Civic Center. 

The Macks (21-3) will play Section IX champion Burke Catholic (18-4) of Orange County at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Civic Center. Burke defeated Section XI (Suffolk County, L.I.) champion Amityville, 68-50, in Saturday's first semifinal.

Lovell Smith led Macks with 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting while fellow senior Marcus Morris had 21 while hitting five of six three-pointers. Senior DaeQuan Warren added 11 rebounds, senior Samuel Smith had 10 points, four assists and three steals and senior Reyjzon Jordan had nine points and four assists.

McKinley shot 31 of 53 from the field (58.4 percent) while limiting Ludden to 19 of 52 (36.5 percent). The Macks were called for 20 fouls -- with Morris and Warren in foul trouble throughout the game -- while Ludden was called for nine. McKinley outrebounded Ludden, 38-26.

It will be McKinley's second state final, but its first since the very first year of the state tournament arriving in Glens Falls. The Ray Hall-led Macks lost the Class B final to Long Island's Malverne in 1981.

McKinley is the first Yale Cup team to make the state final in one of the two largest classes since 1984 (when Bennett won Class B). The state tournament had four classes (A, B, C and D) from its inception in 1978 to 2003; it then expanded to five (AA, A, B, C and D).

McKinley will face a private school for the third straight game. Last week, McKinley beat Rochester's Aquinas, 79-52, in the Far West Regionals. 

Here's the live blog from today's game: 

Live from Glens Falls: Silver Creek falls to IX-Pine Plains, 52-49, in Class C state semifinal

By Keith McShea

Hello from the mecca of high school boys basketball: The Glens Falls Civic Center and the state public school final four. 

Silver Creek takes on Pine Plains in the Class C semifinals today. Here's a capsule preview. McKinley hits the court tomorrow in Class A.

I'll provide play-by-play updates from the boys regionals in the live blog below and I'll have periodic #preptalkscores updates via Twitter which will also appear in the blog. 

Your tweets with the hashtag #preptalkscores are welcome -- as they will appear in the live blog as well. You can comment on these games or others. Every night, scoring update tweets (in any sport) are welcome to those on Twitter -- just use the #preptalkscores hashtag.

Continue reading "Live from Glens Falls: Silver Creek falls to IX-Pine Plains, 52-49, in Class C state semifinal" »

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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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