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Live from the state championships: Olean softball loses in final; Clarence softball, Tonawanda and Frewsburg baseball all fall in semis

Four Section VI teams and a ton of Section VI track and field athletes will by vying for state championships today.

While reporters Mary Jo Monnin and Amanda Bremer and photographer Mark Mulville (check out his photo gallery from Day One) are at Vestal High School for the state championships in track and field (see leonetiming.com and armorytrack.com), four local teams will try to win state titles: Clarence and Olean softball at Waterloo and Tonawanda and Frewsburg baseball in the Binghamton area. 

Just sit back -- or check in from time to time -- and hit the refresh button.

11 a.m. I'm en route to Binghamton; I'll pass on softball updates from correspondent Nate Beutel as soon as I get them.

11:40 a.m. Nate reports from the softball final four in Waterloo that Olean leads, 2-0, after the first inning while Clarence is scoreless.

12:10 p.m. Olean lead is now 5-0 in the fourth while Clarence is up, 1-0, in the fifth.

12:48 p.m. Hello from NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton, where Tonawanda finished with some pregame drills.

Another report from Nate from Waterloo. We have a FINAL SCORE in the CLASS B SOFTBALL SEMIFINAL: Olean 5, Dobbs Ferry 0. Olean will play Section IV's Chenango Valley for the state title in a 3:30 p.m. scheduled start.  

Clarence and Bay Shore are tied at 2-2 in the seventh inning.

12:54 p.m. Pregame announcements have begun following the umpires' meeting at the plate.

Tonawanda's fans are grouped behind the dugout here at NYSEG Stadium. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) Tonawanda has brought a large (and loud) group of students, who are standing behind the dugout in maroon shirts. One of them waves a large maroon flag with "Tribe" written on it. There are a bunch of maroon-clad parents and adult fans on hand as well -- looks to me like Tonawanda fans might outnumber those from Westhill -- which is the defending state champion from the Syracuse area -- by just a bit.

1:05 p.m. We're under way in Binghamton ... but first this update from Waterloo (sounds like I'm on TV or something) ... 

We have a FINAL SCORE in the CLASS AA SOFTBALL SEMIFINAL: Bay Shore beats Clarence, 3-2, in the bottom of the seventh. 

Tonawanda has first and second with one out in the top of the first.

1:10 p.m. Westhill gets out of the jam as junior Kevin McAvoy gets Brian McCarthy on a fading lineout to left fielder Mike Fagan and then struck out Mike Tolsma swinging to end the inning. No score, middle of the first. 

1:12 p.m. I'd like to thank Binghamton for putting Class B at NYSEG Stadium, and for Tonawanda making the final four -- which enables us to update this blog from an air-conditioned press box with much-needed power. I'm pretty where Frewsburg is playing -- at Broome Community College -- it's just a baseball field; at least it was two years ago when I covered Gowanda.  

1:18 p.m. Tonawanda starter senior Jesse Zellner gets out of his own jam in the bottom of the first -- stranding a runner on third by striking out junior Mark Syron swinging. No score after one.

1:22 p.m. Tonawanda gets a good start to the second but has it wiped out on an interesting play. Junior Kyle Gallivan reached on a single he dropped into right-center. Ryan McGinnis then grounded to the third baseman, who went to second for the force. The throw was a little high and Gallivan went low to break up the play, and totally upended second baseman t the umpire not only called Gallivan out but ruled McGinnis out as well for Gallivan's illegal slide. Word in the press box was that the out call was made because it was more of a takeout rather than a slide. Tonawanda manager John Frank discussed the call with the umpires but he didn't look outraged or anything. No score after one and a half.  

1:29 p.m. Westhill has taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Greg Schmidt, who served a single to left field. Westhill coach Bob Weismore sent Mike Fagan from second. Left fielder Ryan McGinnis made a good throw that beat Fagan, but the throw was a bit high -- catcher Brian McCarthy leaped to catch the ball and Fagan slid in safely. In a bit of a bad play, Tonawanda players were protesting the call and noone was at second and Schmidt took second. That didn't matter as Dan Karleski flew out to center to end the inning.

1:37 p.m. Westhill with some nice momentum here as McAvoy gets a three-up, three-down inning that began with Joey Warthling grounding out on a slow roller and a nice play by Mike McMullen. Westhill leads, 1-0, in the middle of the third.

1:50 p.m. Westhill is now up, 2-0, after three innings. McMullen led off by rocketing a double over left fielder McGinnis' head and moved to third when Zellner tried to pick him off second -- but noone was covering. Tonawanda moved the infield in and got a groundout from Nathan Nigolian, but Mark Syron hit a sharp single to right through the drawn-in infield to bring in McMullen. Mike Fagan was out on a nice unassisted putout by first basemen Tolsma, who stabbed a sharply hit ball. After a hit batter, McGinnis didn't have to move to catch a line drive to left by Jake Rush. 

1:55 p.m. McEvoy might be getting stronger as the game goes on -- he struck out two, including leadoff man Zellner and Tolsma and getting an easy pop up to second from Gallivan to end the top of the fourth with the lead still 2-0 for Westhill. Sandwiched between the strikeouts was an infield single by Brian McCarthy, whose deep grounder to short was too deep in the hole for McMullen -- who made a great throw but was late. McMullen already has made two great plays in the infield.

2:03 p.m. Update thanks to Jamestown Post-Journal guru Scott Kindberg: Watertown's Immaculate Heart has a 1-0 lead on Frewsburg in the top of the fourth of the CLASS C BASEBALL SEMIFINAL.

2:06 p.m. Westhill tacks on another run for a 3-0 lead after four after an unearned run. Greg Schmidt reached on an infield single, then moved all the way to third when a pickoff attempt by Zellner went high and Schmidt was waved on easily to third. Zellner struck out top-of-the-order batter Dan Karleski and appeared to be out of the inning when McMullen's grounder went to shortstop, but Sean Stich's throw took Tolsma off the bag and McMullen avoided the tag by stumbling across first as Schmidt scored.  

2:14 p.m. Tonawanda gets a leadoff walk from Ryan McGinnis, but two strikeouts and a groundout get Westhill and McAvoy through the top of the fifth with its 3-0 lead. McAvoy went 2-1 on second batter Shane Foster when coach Weismore came to the mound for a meeting -- afterwards, two straight swinging strikes became the first of two strikeouts.

For the bottom of the fifth, Tolsma has come in to pitch for Tonawanda with Zellner moving to first.

2:24 p.m. Tolsma has a quiet inning with just four batters, including a strikeout of leadoff batter Syron, a foul pop and an inning-ending comebacker by Rush after a walk of Corey Hewitt. Westhill leads, 3-0, after five.

2:40 p.m. Tonawanda will head to the top of the seventh in a big hole. Westhill has added two unearned runs for a 5-0 lead and is still batting with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.

2:45 p.m. Reports to the press box have some bad weather coming in as we have one half-inning to go. Tonawanda trails, 5-0, after six innings.

Tonawanda seemed to be in good shape in the bottom of the sixth after a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play. Then Karleski doubled when his long fly ball carried to the left-field corner; he moved to third after the throw to the infield was wild. McMullen hit a grounder to third for a potential inning-ender, but the throw was wild to score a run and move McMullen to second.

Tonawanda fans line up to give the Warriors a round of applause after the game. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) 2:50 p.m. It was a quick (four batters) top of the seventh and we have a FINAL SCORE in the CLASS B BASEBALL SEMIFINAL: Westhill 5, Tonawanda 0.

3:28 p.m. First things first. We have a FINAL SCORE in the CLASS C BASEBALL SEMIFINAL: Immaculate Heart 4, Frewsburg 0.

Wow. What timing. I'm typing on my laptop in my car in the Broome Community College parking lot as the the rain pours down during a serious thunder-and-lightning storm. 

It started raining right after I talked to Frewsburg coach Jay Grann about his team's loss -- he and the team were disappointed after the Bears fell victim to similar circumstances I just witnessed in Tonawanda's game -- a failure at the plate and in the field.

Frewsburg had beaten Immaculata Heart twice during an early-season Spring Break trip to Myrtle Beach. IHC got one in the second without a hit, added one in the fifth on an RBI single by Connor Caldwell and two more in the sixth on an RBI double by Dustin Exford and an RBI single by Anthony Magovney. 

After Tonawanda lost, I ran down to the field and talked to coach John Frank (he was disappointed but fittingly very proud of his team), ran back up the stands, grabbed my stuff in the press box, asked if anyone knew what was going on at BCC (they didn't), texted Jamestown Post-Journal reporter/photographer extraordinaire Scott Kindberg to see if he knew, zipped the 10 miles north to BCC from downtown (nearby Route 11 to I-81 to BCC right off the exit was smoooooth sailing), as I'm about to turn into BCC got a call from Scott saying that Frewsburg lost, asked Scott if Frewsburg's bus was still there, he says it is and that they're still there, I say "THANK YOU SCOTT!," park my car, find coach Jay Grann, talk with him, take an iPhone picture of his scorebook, take some pictures of the Frewsburg bus (below) and get in my car right before the SER-ious downpour.

One side of the Frewsburg bus ... (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) Frewsburg baseball bus from the other side. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

4:02 p.m. I'll update the blog with some pictures, and I'll have Olean state championship updates as I working on my story for Sunday's paper. With the battery running low on the laptop and the rain finally having gone away, I think I'll be working on it at the unofficial Buffalo News High School Sports Desk Binghamton Bureau -- the Starbucks across the street from BCC and the BAGSAI softball fields which have hosted state championships in past years.  

4:26 p.m. First update from Nate in Waterloo (and first update from my back-corner table at our Starbucks Bureau) and the CLASS B SOFTBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: Olean and Chenango Valley are scoreless after two innings. I've added some pictures here (I didn't really plan the bus thing).

4:33 p.m. Chenango Valley takes a 1-0 lead in the third.

In other news, I just butchered my order here because I don't speak Starbucks. "Frappuccino is cold, right?" Blank stare from counter dude. "Um, what flavors do I have to pick from?" The dude helped this remedial coffee schmo through it. I had a tasty caramel mocha Frappuccino. He said "caramel" with two syllables. I take mine with three.

5 p.m. Chenango Valley now up, 4-0, in the fifth thanks to some smallball, reports Nate.

5:25 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE in the CLASS B SOFTBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: Chenango Valley 4, Olean 0. The Huskies only muster two hits in the final.

Ballgame over. Spring season over. 2009-10 high school sports season over.

I'm writing my story now and then its a couple of weeks of vacation -- thanks to all for a memorable season.

* * *

Some additional quotes to what you'll find in the paper ...

Tonawanda coach John Frank:

"One game can't take away the season these boys had. You can't be perfect every game, you're not going to win them all. Obviously we made too many mistakes today. Five errors and no runs aren't going to win you a ball game.

"I'm really proud of these kids, they won the first sectional title in 29 years for Tonawanda, won their first Far West Regional. I'm proud of the boys.

"It happens. Our pitching and our defense has been our strength all year long. Our defense failed us today. That happens, and it's OK.

"The support we've been given by the parents and families and friends and students and teachers and administrators and community -- it's been absolutely overwhelming. It was a fun ride. It was a great season overall. Unfortunately it didn't end the way we'd like, but a great season overall.

"Our ambitions were high [entering the season], absolutely. I told the kids they were special all year long and they went out and proved it.

"We lost a little bit of discipline at the plate. Tte kid did a nice job, but it wasn't anything we haven't seen. The bats have failed us -- actually in the last few games they've failed us -- in sectional final and the Far West Regional, and we knew two runs wasn't going to do it today.

"I said [to his seniors after the game], 'Thank you for putting Tonawanda baseball back on the map.' It was a young team with low numbers four years ago, and they did their job and turned this program around. They can leave their senior season with their head held high even though it didn't end on the way we wanted it to." 

* * *

Frewsburg coach Jay Grann:

"It came down to execution. They executed bunts and good baserunning, and we'd didn't. We had plenty of opportunities too.

"They had a good pitcher -- he mixes his pitches up well. Four hits isn't going to win a game. We gave them their first two runs. The first one scored without a hit, the second one on an error.

"I think we have to take it in perspective - we're playing in the state championships. We had beaten this team twice, 3-2 and 5-1. We knew they had solid pitching but we thought we did too. Our pitcher threw a great game. He definitely deserved a better fate. We didn't back him up offensively or defensively.

"With being No. 1 in the state, 24-0, we did a lot of positive things. We do lose some star players but we're not ruling out coming back next year, It's just one of those games where we didn't execute. We picked the worst time to play the worst game."

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Who will win a state title? Tune in Saturday

Four Section VI teams and a ton of Section VI track and field athletes will by vying for state championships Saturday.

While Vestal High School hosts the state championships in track and field starting today (see leonetiming.com and armorytrack.com), four local teams will try to win state titles on Saturday and we'll have updates here on the blog. 

I'll start my day at Tonawanda baseball's semifinal -- I'll have live updates from that game while I'll be passing on live updates from the Frewsburg semifinal as well as from the Clarence and Olean softball games at Waterloo thanks to correspondent Nate Buetel.

---Keith McShea

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Season-ending live chat (June 9)

Today is the first school day in a longggg time on which there isn't any high school action scheduled -- which means we must be near the end of the season. 

We are -- high school action in New York State wraps up this weekend.

We still have plenty to talk about in what will be our final live chat of the 2009-10 high school sports season, whether it is looking back on quite a school year, quite a spring season, or looking ahead to the state championship chances of the Clarence and Olean softball teams and the Tonawanda and Frewsburg baseball teams as well as local athletes heading to the state championships in track and field and golf. 

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

If you won't be around for the chat, feel free to ask some questions in the comments section below and we'll throw them out during the session.

Here is our last chat (June 2) as well as previous spring chats on May 26, May 19May 12, May 5 and April 21

Here is the archive from the winter season: last chat (April 14)March 31, March 24March 17March 10, Feb. 24, Feb. 11, Feb. 3Jan. 28Jan. 20Jan 14, Jan. 6, Dec. 15.

More live chats can be accessed via the "live chats" category link at right.

---Keith McShea

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Tonawanda, Frewsburg move on to final four; Clarence, Albion, Pine Valley fall

It's a busy day for Western New York baseball teams. 

We've just gotten Tonawanda on the phone to confirm the Warriors' 2-1 victory over Wellsville in the Class B Far West Regionals at Dansville. Tonawanda advances to the state final four Saturday in the Binghamton area.

Correspondent Ben Gaughan reports from Batavia that Frewsburg has beaten Caledonia-Mumford, 3-0, in the Class C regional.

Clarence's season came to an end in Batavia as the Red Devils fell, 3-1, to McQuaid.

Correspondent Amanda Bremer reports that Pine Valley lost to Bolivar-Richburg, 5-1, in the Class D regional at Coca-Cola Field, where the Class A game was scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. 

* * *

Update at 11:24 p.m. Albion falls, 6-2, to Pittsford-Sutherland in the Class A game.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Friday Afternoon Live from Section VI boys lacrosse (with updates from other finals ... and video)

I'll be live at the Section VI boys lacrosse championships this afternoon and evening at Orchard Park. I'll be getting updates from the baseball and softball action as well. 

The Class A game starts the tripleheader at 3:30 p.m. as defending champion Orchard Park meets Clarence. Up in Niagara Falls, Clarence is also in action in the highly anticipated AA softball final against Williamsville North.

The scene at OP. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) The rest of the boys lax action includes defending champion Hamburg meeting Amherst at 5:30 in the B final and top-seeded Eden facing defending champion Silver Creek in Class C at 8.

The Class A softball final has Williamsville South playing Amherst at 6 p.m. at Niagara Falls while the Class D baseball final at Jamestown has Pine Valley meeting North Collins at 4:30 p.m. The Georgetown Cup championship series will be set today when St. Francis faces St. Mary's in a game at St. Joe's that was postponed from Thursday.

We'll update as soon as it is possible -- just hit refresh once every couple of minutes.

* * *

3:52 p.m. After the FIRST QUARTER of the AA game, Orchard Park has a 4-1 lead. A few technical difficulties at the start here; my apologies. The OP field is new, but not the press box, but we have a seat and somewhere to type, and I can see all the action -- if I move my head back and forth around the .

A report from correspondent Nate Beutel at softball in Niagara Falls - Clarence took a 2-0 lead over Will North after two innings.

4:06 p.m. OP is having a nice run to take a 7-1 lead with 4:14 left in the second quarter, prompting a timeout by Clarence. 

A good timeout after a very pretty goal by OP, which came just 13 seconds after senior Kevin Kelly scored off an assist by senior Sean Purtill. On the ensuing faceoff, junior Trevor Vargo won it, fed sophomore longstick middie Kole Robinson, who handed ahead to Purtill, who fed Vargo in front of the cage for the goal with 4:14 left.

4:09 p.m. OP now up, 8-1, after a great solo underhanded effort by Matt Wilson -- his third of the game -- after he charged from behind the cage.

4:13 p.m. We are at HALFTIME of the Class A game and OP leads Clarence, 8-1.

4:17 p.m. Update from Niagara Falls: CLARENCE BEATS WILL NORTH IN THE CLASS A SOFTBALL FINAL, 2-0, on a one-hitter by senior standout pitcher Jen Sansano. I set up a separate post for the game for comments.

4:29 p.m. OP's lead is now 9-1 after another pretty passing play that started with a ground ball by junior defenseman Cullen Mangino -- who scooped it up and cleared it across midfield himself. He moved deep into the offensive end and then started a tic-tac-toe play with a pass to the right side of the cage to Purtill, who fed cross-cage to wide-open sophomore Ben Johnson for an easy score with 8:54 left in the third quarter. 

4:35 p.m. OP now up, 10-2, answering a Clarence goal by junior David DeCirce with yet another pretty passing play in transition. A great stick-check by Mangino on the defensive end became a clear that went from Mangino to Gary Davies to senior middie Dan Nesci, who fed Purtill on the right side, who fed back into the high slot (hockey term) to Sean Rimmer for a liner he put past Clarence junior goalie Zach Johnson.

4:40 p.m. Timeout with 2:06 left and OP owning its 10-2 lead.

5:01 p.m. After some frustrating browser/connection problems, we're back. Our apologies. OP's lead is 14-4 after a goal by junior middie Peter Biondi with 3:01 left in the game.

5:05 p.m. OP now up 15-4 with 2:03 left after a goal by junior Brian Kaspzyk.

5:09 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE and we have a CLASS A CHAMPION. Orchard Park beats Clarence, 15-5, for its 16th straight sectional title and 19th in the last 20 years.

Orchard Park wins the A championship. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
* * * 

5:46 p.m. We're about to start the Class B game. At the start of warmups, while I was doing interviews at the sideline, the Hamburg and Amherst teams did some serious woofing across the midfield line -- very reminiscient of college football pregame woof-fests. Everyone stayed on their side of the line, so just some good, clean (loud) fun. 

5:48 p.m. First possession for Hamburg but two shots go wide and Amherst hears the ball back on the backup.

5:52 p.m. Adam Dings makes it a 1-0 Hamburg lead on a nice leaping bounce shot with 6:48 left in the first quarter.

5:55 p.m. Hamburg goes up, 2-0, on a similar move as Andy Velazquez comes from the right side across the middle and fights off a defender as he gets his scoring shot off. 

6:01 p.m. Timeout Hamburg with the ball with 19 seconds left in the first quarter.

6:03 p.m. We are at the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER and Hamburg leads Amherst, 2-0.

6:21 p.m. We're still at 2-0 Hamburg; the teams have exchanged extra-man opportunities, turnovers and hits but no goals.

6:22 p.m. As soon as I type that, Hamburg's Josh Kerr scores off a feed from Ryan Feuerstein -- which came off what the press box says was the 13th turnover by Amherst. The goal was at 4:14 left in the quarter.

6:23 p.m. Thirty seconds later, at 3:47, Max Maxwell comes from behind the goal, beats a defender and scores on a low shot for a 4-0 Hamburg lead and prompts a timeout by Amherst coach Stefan Henn.

6:26 p.m. Timeout Hamburg with 2:37 left in the second quarter.

6:29 p.m. Hamburg adds another. After a save by Amherst goalie Scott Theilman, Josh Kerr picks up a ground ball on the left side and fires it in the top right corner for a 5-0 lead with 1:48 left in the second.

6:32 p.m. Hamburg's late surge in the second was pretty good, but Ryan Feuerstein made it outstanding. With the clock ticking down, he came from behind the right side of the goal and whipped around a shot that went in the goal with just one second left in the half. Hamburg leads, 6-0, with :01 left, which means ...

We are at HALFTIME and Hamburg leads Amherst, 6-0.

6:37 p.m. Update from Niagara Falls in SOFTBALL: Amherst leads Williamsville South, 2-0, after three innings of the Class A final. 

6:44 p.m. We have an update from BASEBALL: Pine Valley beats North Collins, 6-0, to win the SECTION VI CLASS D CHAMPIONSHIP.

6:46 p.m. We have started the third quarter. Hamburg senior goalie James Maxwell just made a nice one-on-one stop at the left doorstep on Amherst senior Bryan Lawson.

6:53 p.m. Hamburg scores on a pretty goal by Josh Kerry from Ryan Feuerstein with six minutes left; Amherst scores on its next possession thanks to senior Jack Huck; Hamburg, 7-1, with 5:35 left in the third. 

6:55 p.m. Hamburg goes up, 8-1, with four minutes left on a nice rush from behind the right side of the goal by freshman Max Maxwell.

7:01 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Hamburg leads Amherst, 8-1.

7:08 p.m. Hamburg goes up, 9-1, with 7:00 left on a goal by Chris Feuerstein, who dodged past a double-team and scored from the right side.

The Hamburg fans were cheering on their defense, which has been outstanding all game. Amherst has had long possessions, but excellent checks have limited the Tigers to a few fairly easy shots saved by James Maxwell.

7:14 p.m. Timeout with 4:50 left and Hamburg up, 9-1. 

7:20 p.m. Timeout Hamburg with 1:13 left; still a 9-1 game.

7:23 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE and we have a CLASS B CHAMPION. Hamburg beats Amherst, 9-1, for its fourth straight sectional title. 

Hamburg wins the B title. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
* * *

7:54 p.m. We have a SOFTBALL update. AMHERST WINS THE CLASS A CHAMPIONSHIP. Tigers beat Will South, 3-1.

7:55 p.m. A couple minutes away from the start of the C game between defending champion Silver Creek and top-seeded Eden. Skies are greying but hopefully we don't get in any rain trouble.

8:07 p.m. Silver Creek takes a 2-1 lead on a Levi Jones goal off a nice John Jimerson pass with 8:59 left in the second quarter -- the Black Knights also scored on the opening faceoff as Zack Williams won it and charged right in for the goal. 

The teams split their two meetings this season, with Eden winning on the road,16-12, on April 7 and the Black Knights winning in Eden, 20-9, on May 3.

8:15 p.m. Some big-time back-and-forth going on. Silver Creek is up, 4-3, with 4:21 left on a sweet, low swooping shot by Zed Williams.

8:17 p.m. Like I said, back and forth. Derek Wilder scores off a nice through-the-defense pass by Mike Janker and we're tied at 4-4 with 2:39 left in the first. Looks like we have our best game of the day.

8:23 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Eden has a 6-5 lead over Silver Creek. Neither team has had more than a one-goal lead.

8:30 p.m. The wild back-and-forth swings continue with a Silver Creek spurt -- it leads 7-6 with 10:15 left in the second after a hard shot by Ryan Mitchell.

8:33 p.m. Timeout Eden after Zack Williams sheds two shoves in the defensive end, clears it himself and goes in alone to score on a low overhand shot for an 8-6 Silver Creek lead with 8:37 left in the second.

8:35 p.m. The highlight show continues in a major way. Sophmore John Jimerson took a pass on his own side of midfield, sped towards the Eden goal, and as one defender chased him and anothe rdefender approached, he put on the brakes and did a super spin-o-rama move before charging in a few steps and burying a shot in the top left corner. Awesome. Check it out on Time Warner Cable SportsNet this week. SC leads, 9-6, with 8:09 left in the second.

8:50 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Silver Creek has an 11-7 lead over Eden. What a fun half -- crazy scoring.

Time for me to get some writing done for Saturday's paper.

9:10 p.m. We're back to action, and the teams have kept up their pace with four goals in the opening five minutes. Silver Creek leads, 13-8, with 7:03 left in the third.

9:16 p.m. A slight drizzle started a few minutes ago, and then the officials called for the game to be suspended because lightning was seen in the distance. That's an automatic 30-minute delay. Ordinarily, I'd be a furious reporter right now, but the delay gives me a chance to write my story. I'll let you know of any more details, but we'll be back at 9:46 p.m. at the latest.

It's 13-9 Silver Creek with 3:40 left in the third quarter.

9:44 p.m. A steady downpour has subsided but apparently there has been more lightning during the delay, which has extended the delay. I'm typing a press box atop an empty bleacher.

10:05 p.m. Story is done for the paper and we just saw lightning again -- we've got to be looking at a suspended game that gets finished tomorrow.

10:19 p.m. A blast of thunder and another flash of lightning and ...

Section VI chairman John Faller has notified us that the game will be picked up Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. here at Orchard Park. That's Silver Creek leading, 13-9, with 3:40 left in the third quarter.

10:48 p.m. We've updated our story for tomorrow's paper and we're outta here. After the game was called, there was some serious lightning and thunder accompanied by a serious downpour. All is much calmer now. 

Next lacrosse stop is Tuesday night at the regionals.

* * *

Some postgame interview videos:

If you were at any of the games, let us know how it went and what you thought of the action.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Wednesday Evening Live (with softball and lacrosse video)

All the Section VI playoff action had traffic snarled on the 290 :-). (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) I'm running around to different sites this afternoon before tonight's chat  -- but the rush-hour traffic in the Northtowns isn't helping.

First stop is Williamsville South softball. Some rain but just a light drizzle.

5:21 p.m. Will South has a 1-0 lead on West Seneca East after four and a half.

Off to Clarence for softball and lacrosse.

5:42 p.m. Arrive at Clarence to see that the home team has an 8-2 lead on Lancaster with less than two minutes left in the second quarter.

Also an update from correspondent Nate Beutel -- West Seneca East beat Williamsville North, 13-9, in the Class B girls lacrosse final.

5:47 p.m. Clarence softball has a 3-1 lead on Niagara-Wheatfield -- whoops, just made it 6-1 with a three-run homer by Tori Nappo in the bottom of the sixth. Val Nappo just added an RBI single for a 7-1 lead.

Well-placed sources here say that Williamsville North is up on Lancaster, 4-1, late in the other AA softall semifinal.

Also, Sean Bruso just texted me that Lancaster has a 6-5 halftime lead over Clarence in the Class A girls lacrosse championship.

6:11 p.m. We have a final score: Clarence beats Niagara-Wheatfield in the AA softball semifinals, 8-3.

6:19 p.m. Over at the lacrosse field (the football field), Clarence has a 9-4 lead heading to the fourth quarter.

Man, Clarence just made it 10-4 while I was typing and not video-ing. Argh. Missed out on some softball stuff too.

6:22 p.m. Now 11-4. Still typing. Ugh.

6:32 p.m. Clarence leads, 13-5, with 3:56 left. And yes, we got some video highlights. Whew.

6:43 p.m. Clarence wins, 13-5. Nice job by the Red Devils to reach their first boys lax final. Good, physical, well-played game from what I saw.

Off to Hamburg.

7:28 p.m. Arrived at Hamburg after a very necessary fuel stop (five diet Cokes to get me through the night).

Hamburg boys have scored four times -- I believe -- while I've been trying to find a parking spot. They just have Iroquois overmatched. Iroquois called a timeout after the fourth goal -- and just after I found a spot.

Also we have some final scores. Lancaster wins it's sixth straight Class A title in girls lacrosse with an 11-9 win over Clarence in what must have been a great game. thanks to correspondent Amanda Bremer and Mr. Bruso for the texts in the last few minutes.

Also, Mr. Bruso confirms a 4-1 softball final victory for Will North.

7:39 p.m. Correspondent Ben Gaughan reports that Albion beat Williamsville South, 5-3, to win the Class A baseball title.

7:49 p.m. The sky darkened big-time and a serious downpour hit Hamburg. They're still playing, but I'm still in the car -- for now.

7:50 p.m. Rain has stopped. Iroquois hanging in there at 4-2 with 3:44 left in second quarter.

8:01 p.m. Awesome goal by Iroquois -- which I caught on video -- late in the quarter makes it just a 4-3 halftime lead for Hamburg. Hmmmmm. Battery running low on iPhone - hope we have enough juice to handle a closer game than most expected.

8:21 p.m. We have a lightning delay - which means we have a 30-minute wait. Hamburg has scored twice to take a 6-3 lead with 3:48 to play in the third quarter.

With the live chat at 9:30ish, I'm going to head back to One News Plaza.

Back in the car. It wasn't raining when the delay was called, but it is now and fans are seeking shelter across the street in the high school. Thunder rumbled often before lightning was seen.

See you in the chat and we'll have all results posted as soon as possible.

8:40 p.m. Wow. Did some work in the car - now we have a torrential downpour with thunder and lightning. Not sure if they'll get to finish tonight.

I'll have video of the stormy weather, too :-)

9:45 p.m. We're back at One News Plaza, fuled with some Subway and up and running with our weekly live chat.

* * *

If you're out at a game, let us know what you saw and what you thought of the action.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Wide-ranging championship live chat after wide-ranging championship day (June 2)

As far as spring playoff days go, they don't get much busier -- or more important -- than today.

Which should make for quite the live chat tonight.

I'll be updating the blog with the big games from today and I'll be taking in some of the action myself. Then I'll head back to the office for a chat that I have slated at 9:45 p.m. Depending on my travels (and what I'm reporting on), we might have to push the starting time back a little.

Today's action includes the Class A baseball final, 10 big softball semifinals, the girls lacrosse finals and six boys lacrosse semifinals.

(Here's the Wednesday Evening Live post I put together before the chat.) 

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

If you won't be around for the chat, feel free to ask some questions in the comments section below and we'll throw them out during the session.

Here is our last chat (May 26) as well as previous spring chats on May 19May 12, May 5 and April 21

Here is the archive from the winter season: last chat (April 14)March 31, March 24March 17March 10, Feb. 24, Feb. 11, Feb. 3Jan. 28Jan. 20Jan 14, Jan. 6, Dec. 15.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Live from the Class AA baseball final: Clarence beats OP, 7-3 (with video)

Sign and the flag make for a nice photo, even on an iPhone. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

We're live at Niagara Falls' Hyde Park, home of Sal Maglie Stadium, site of three Section VI baseball championship games this week.

Today it is a great matchup between top-seeded Clarence and No. 2 seed and ECIC I rival Orchard Park in the Class AA final at 4:30 p.m. We'll keep track of the action, inning-by-inning.

4:46 p.m. Clarence standout junior pitcher Zach Lauricella pitched a perfect top of the first, striking out two with a weak fly to left sandwiched between them.

4:54 p.m. Clarence threatened in the bottom of the first as it had first and second with one out, but did not score. Leadoff batter Adam Urschel hit a line drive off of the OP pitcher; the third basemen picked the ball up and threw him out on a nice play although it appeared that Urschel beat the throw.

5:03 p.m. This time OP gets on, but we're still scoreless after the top of the second. Paul Leavell and Jimmy Fitzgerald had back-to-back singles after one was out, but Lauricella got a foul pop up by Bryan Lang and struck out Scott Tatay looking for the third out.

5:35 p.m. My apologies for some technical difficulties.

Clarence has a 4-0 lead after three innings thanks to a four-run second. Ben Smith drew a bases-loaded walk, Urschel followed with a sharp two-run single up the middle and, after a strikeout and an intentional walk to Lauricella, Andrew Lawrence dinked into an RBI single into left field.

OP got a single from Dave Crowley in the top of the third but nothing else. Clarence got a leadoff single from Mark Armstrong in the bottom of the inning but nothing else.

5:43 p.m. OP gets on the board and Clarence leads, 4-1, in the middle of the fourth. Max Korzaniewski lined a single to left field to bring in A.J. Witkowski from third. Witkowski had led off with a walk, moved to second on a walk to Leavell and to third on a double play. 

5:52 p.m. Clarence picks up another run to take a 5-1 lead after four. Matthew Grazen led off with a walk, moved to second on a single up the middle by Lauricella, then scored from second when the OP second basemen couldn't keep a tough ball in the infield off the bat of Lawrence.

6:03 p.m. Clarence kept its 5-1 lead after the top of the fifth thanks to a fantastic inning-ending double play. With the bases loaded, second basemen Mike Elwood handled a tough, hard hop just to the right of the bag and flipped to Urschel, who fired it on to first to a roar from the hundred or so on hand from Clarence.

6:12 p.m. Mark Armstrong led off the bottom of the fifth with a single for Clarence, but that was all and the Red Devils' lead remains 5-1.

6:19 p.m. Another inning-ending double play for Clarence to end a threat. Wow. With runners at the corners, Lauricella handled a comebacker by Scott Tatay and fired to shortstop Urschel at second, who went on to first.

That play was preceded by a fabulous defensive play by Ellwood, who came in on a slow roller and used just his glove to field and then flip to Urschel for a force play at second. Great play. Clarence still leads, 5-1.

6:29 p.m. Clarence added another two runs for a 7-1 lead after six. Grazen led off with a walk and scored on a triple by Lauricella, who bombed the ball over the right fielder's head to one-hop the wall. Lauricella later scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfield by Matt Creenan.

6:39 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Clarence 7, Orchard Park 3.

OP's Dylan Baun had a two-run blast of a home run over the left field fence in the top of the seventh. Off to do interviews; we'll have more here later.

* * *

Celebration time for Clarence as coach Dave Smith gets dunked after some nice Red Devils teamwork kept him distracted.

* * *

Postgame reaction from Clarence:

Elwood was one of the most important players in the game -- even though he was the player who was replaced in the lineup for a designated hitter.

"It just gives me a better chance to focus on my defense," he said. "It feels great [to contribute]. We won the championship and that's all that counts."

* * *

Orchard Park coach Jim Gibson:

"We had our opportunities -- we actually outhit them [9 to 8], but we didn't do it with men on base. We hit into three double plays, all with chances to score runs. I thought we shot ourselves in the foot and I thought there were a few questionable calls that hurt us. Clarence is a good team -- they take advantage of your mistakes."

* * *

Here's my story.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Class A final is set and it's a surprise; Canisius-Joe's in Georgetown Cup semifinal

The Class A final is set -- and it's not Iroquois-Grand Island.

Albion knocked off No. 1 large school and second-seeded Iroquois, 8-5, while Williamsville South toppled No. 1 seed and defending champion Grand Island, 11-5.

The undefeated Purple Eagles (21-0) take on the Billies (10-5) at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Niagara Falls' Sal Maglie Stadium.

In the Monsignor Martin Association, we have three of the final four teams and one killer semifinal matchup.

St. Joe's beat Cardinal O'Hara, 9-0, while Canisius edged Nichols, 3-2 -- the rivals will meet in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Thursday at St. Joe's. The semifinal doubleheader at Joe's concludes with St. Mary's -- which knocked off Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 2-1 -- meeting the winner of Sunday's quarterfinal of Niagara Cathoic at St. Francis.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Class A baseball semifinal times set for Saturday

Here are the times for Saturday's Section VI Class A baseball semifinals:

Albion at Iroquois, 1 p.m.

Williamsville South at Grand Island, 2 p.m. 

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     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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