By Keith McShea
For the past few years, the ADPRO Sports Monsignor Martin-ECIC Challenge has been a staple of the December boys basketball season.
This year the name has changed, the event has changed, and the site has changed, and all the changes are good ones.
Welcome to the ADPRO Sports Public/Private Challenge, which will be hosted at Canisius High.
St. Mary's in Lancaster was a tremendous host since the event's inception several years ago and they were a big part of it coming together. The only thing that could be improved upon how St. Mary's hosted the event is if St. Mary's were located in downtown Buffalo so that potentially even more fans could attend the games in a more centralized location.
There are still plenty of MMA-ECIC matchups, but the name change frees up the event to include other leagues -- namely the Buffalo Public Schools -- along with Olean (an independent this year) without the showcase becoming a misnomer. That's what has happened in past years -- two two best matchups in the event's history varied from the name when the Nichols team that would go on to win the state Federation title played Niagara Falls, and last year when defending No. 1 poll schools Canisius and Olean met (Olean held on to win after getting out to a huge first half lead).
Here's the lineup:
2013 ADPRO Sports Public/Private Challenge
Thursday, Dec. 19
Park vs. Iroquois, 4 p.m.
Niagara Catholic vs. I-Prep, 5:30 p.m.
Nichols vs. Depew, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 20
Cardinal O’Hara vs. Alden, 4 p.m.
Archbishop Walsh vs. Lancaster, 5:30 p.m.
St. Mary’s vs. Clarence, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 21
St. Francis vs. Cheektowaga, 11 a.m.
Bishop Timon-St. Jude vs. Sweet Home, 12:30 p.m.
St. Joe’s vs. McKinley, 2 p.m.
Canisius vs. Olean, 3:30 p.m.
The only bummer? That's only a personal one for me. I'm headed out of town early for the holidays ... on Saturday, Dec. 21. Ugh! :-)
taggedBasketball | Canisius