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#PrepTalkAwards section, web-style: PrepTalkTV interviews, bios, photos & more

By Keith McShea

Today's 24-page Prep Talk Awards special section has great information and photos on all of Monday night's honorees, and we've got more coverage here. 

* There are PHOTO GALLERIES from:

-- Monday's event featuring winner's photos with Andre Reed (they can be purchased here)

-- as well as photo galleries including feature shots of the Prep Talk Players of the Year

-- and shots of our All-Western New York basketball and football teams.

* Here's our TWEET-by-TWEET post from Monday night, featuring tons of great tweets from those at the event. 

* The BIOs of the Prep Talk Players of the Year in the special section were taken from here on the blog. Our Countdown to #PrepTalkAwards profiled every Prep Talk Player of the Year in a day-by-day feature on the blog that started with Brandon Galanti of Frontier (Prep Talk Soccer Player of the Year) and concluded with McKyla Brooks of Frontier (Prep Talk Girls Three-Sport Player of the Year) -- the post on Brooks includes links to all the previous bios.

* Below are PrepTalkTV VIDEO interviews with nearly all of the Prep Talk Players of the Year (some from the winter), as well as videos featuring the All-Western New York basketball and football teams:

Continue reading "#PrepTalkAwards section, web-style: PrepTalkTV interviews, bios, photos & more" »

O'Hara coach McDermott steps down, hands reins to assistant O'Neil

By Keith McShea

Last night, Cardinal O'Hara girls basketball coach Dan McDermott surprised just about everyone at the team's season-ending banquet when he announced that he was stepping down as head coach. 

He announced that he would still be involved with the team in a coaching capacity, but that assistant Nick O'Neil would take over as head coach. McDermott has lauded O'Neil in recent years as the Hawks won three straight Catholic state championships, the first two in Class B and the latest in Class A this season, which the team followed up with a rare state Federation championship. 

The Federation title was just the sixth for a girls basketball team from Western New York, just the second in a large school division and the first since 1997.

Here's how I tweeted the news.

Continue reading "O'Hara coach McDermott steps down, hands reins to assistant O'Neil" »

#PrepTalkLive from state FEDERATION Class A CHAMPIONSHIP: Cardinal O'Hara 76, PSAL-Martin Luther King 47 (with VIDEO)

Federation Class A champion Cardinal O'Hara (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
By Keith McShea

Hello from the Times Union Center for the third of three days of basketball for Monsignor Martin Association girls teams -- and the final day of the high school basketball season in New York State -- at the Federation Tournament of Champions. 

As always, we'll certainly be looking forward to your #PrepTalkLive contributions from these contests via Twitter. 

Our scoreboard page has a full schedule of today's games -- that same page will have box scores as games are reported to us throughout the evening.

Keep track of the action and contribute to it as well in the blog below -- the easiest way to do that is to tweet updates with the #PrepTalkLive hashtag.

We set up blogs like this throughout the winter, especially on busy nights -- we'll monitor games via not only our tweets, but those of high school sports fans and followers who use the #preptalklive hashtag.

We want tweets from all varsity sports, every season, every day of the week. The #preptalklive blog (and hashtag) -- as it was during football season -- is the place to check out scores from all over Western New York.

* * * 

#PrepTalkLive from state Federation Class A girls basketball semifinal: Cardinal O'Hara 73, Pittsford-Sutherland 65 (with VIDEO)

By Keith McShea

Hello from the Times Union Center for what could be the first of three days of basketball for Monsignor Martin Association girls teams at the state Federation Tournament of Champions. NYSCHSAA champion Cardinal O'Hara plays in the Class A semifinal against NYSPHSAA champion Pittsford-Sutherland at 10 a.m.

As always, we'll certainly be looking forward to your #PrepTalkLive contributions from these contests via Twitter. 

Our scoreboard page has a full schedule of today's games -- that same page will have box scores as games are reported to us throughout the evening.

Keep track of the action and contribute to it as well in the blog below -- the easiest way to do that is to tweet updates with the #PrepTalkLive hashtag.

We set up blogs like this throughout the winter, especially on busy nights -- we'll monitor games via not only our tweets, but those of high school sports fans and followers who use the #preptalklive hashtag.

We want tweets from all varsity sports, every season, every day of the week. The #preptalklive blog (and hashtag) -- as it was during football season -- is the place to check out scores from all over Western New York.

* * *

#PrepTalkLive from V-Penfield's rout of Cardinal O'Hara girls, plus your updates

By Keith McShea

This evening is not overloaded with games, but there are a few key ones, particularly on the girls side. No. 1 large school Cardinal O'Hara hosts Section V power Penfield at 6, while there is a battle for first place in ECIC II as No. 6 Hamburg is at No. 10 Williamsville South at 7:30. There's also a key wrestling matchup in the Niagara Frontier League as No. 3 Niagara-Wheatfield is at No. 2 Lockport starting at 5.

After an assignment, I'll be heading to O'Hara, and I'm looking forward to your #PrepTalkLive updates on Twitter. 

Our scoreboard page has a schedule of today's games -- that same page will have box scores as games are reported to us throughout the evening.

Keep track of the action and contribute to it as well in the blog below -- the easiest way to do that is to tweet updates with the #PrepTalkLive hashtag.

We will set up blogs like this throughout the winter, especially on busy nights -- we'll monitor games via not only our tweets, but those of high school sports fans and followers who use the #preptalklive hashtag.

While tonight is a busy basketball night, we want tweets from all varsity sports every day of the week. The #preptalklive blog (and hashtag) -- as it was during football season -- is the place to check out scores from all over Western New York.

* * * 

Tomorrow we'll have our PrepTalkTV episode at 7:30, featuring Cheektowaga All-American wrestler Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer and his coach, Matt Haberl, while our special guest co-host is former News reporter Lauren (Mariacher) Burroughs.

We'll have a live chat after the show, as always, where we'll monitor Thursday's action, including Williamsville North and St. Joe's playing a 9 p.m. Federation hockey game. 

Countdown to Friday Night Lights: Monsignor Martin Association

By Keith McShea

Who’s who: The six-team league includes the Bishop Timon-St. Jude Tigers, Canisius Crusaders, Cardinal O'Hara Hawks, St. Francis Red Raiders, St. Joe's Marauders and St. Mary's Lancers. The Nichols Vikings, who compete in the Monsignor Martin Association in most other sports, are an independent in football.

Continue reading "Countdown to Friday Night Lights: Monsignor Martin Association" »

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.

* * *

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)" »

Monsignor Martin boys & girls basketball playoff schedules

By Keith McShea

MANHATTAN CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Sunday's semifinals at Canisius College
4-St. Mary's (19-6) vs. 1-Canisius (20-4), 6 p.m.
3-Bishop Timon-St. Jude (12-13) vs. 2-St. Joe's (20-5), 7:30 p.m.
Championship
Wednesday at Canisius College, 7 p.m.

MONSIGNOR MARTIN GIRLS PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Saturday's quarterfinals at Canisius College
1-Cardinal O'Hara vs. 8-Nichols, 10 a.m.
4-Nardin vs. 5-Christian Central, 11:30 a.m.
2-Sacred Heart vs. 7-Mount Mercy, 1 p.m.
3-Holy Angels vs. 6-Mount St. Mary, 2:30 p.m.
Semifinals: Tuesday at Canisius College, 6 & 7:45 p.m.
Championship
Fri. March 1 at Canisius College, 7 p.m.

Video: No. 1 girls basketball small school Cardinal O'Hara beats No. 1 large school Lockport, 49-47

Cardinal O'Hara coach Dan McDermott and standouts Kelsey McCarthy and Aisha Shabazz talk about how the Hawks, ranked first in The News small school poll, came through to win a close game at Lockport, which is ranked first among large schools, at the Lockport Kiwanis Shootout.

Read more about the game in our game report from Saturday's News.

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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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