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Countdown to Friday Night Lights: Class D

By Keith McShea

Who’s who: The six-team division consists of the Cassadaga Valley Cougars, Ellicottville/West Valley Eagles, Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake Red Dragons, Portville Panthers, Randolph Cardinals and Westfield/Brocton Wolverines.

Continue reading "Countdown to Friday Night Lights: Class D" »

PrepTalkTV: Preseason interviews with nine Southern Tier football coaches

PrepTalkTV photographer/videographer Mark Mulville caught up with several Southern Tier coaches at a Section VI preseason meeting.

Check out what they had to say about their teams and divisions below.

Also check out previous posts loaded with videos:

* St. Francis, Burgard, Sweet Home, Hamburg, Wilson, South Park and St. Mary's.

* Lancaster, Cheektowaga, Cleveland Hill, Amherst, Maryvale and Lake Shore.

* Our first PrepTalkTV episode of the season from Clarence, Iroquois and St. Joe's.

* Or browse through the videos by clicking "PrepTalkTV" on our video player page.

Olean coach Mike Kane (Class B South):

Salamanca coach Jason Marsh (Class C South):

Allegany-Limestone coach Chad Lyter (Class C South):

Cassadaga Valley coach Nick Spitzer (Class C South):

Cattaraugus/Little Valley coach Tim Miller (Class C South):

Maple Grove coach Curt Fischer (Class D):

Portville coach Gary Swetland (Class D):

(Our apologies for the incorrect screen graphic - this is really Swetland).

Pine Valley coach Chris Buczek (Class DD)

(Our apologies for the incorrect screen graphic - this is really Buczek).

Clymer coach Mark Heiser (Class DD)

Be sure to check back to the PrepTalk blog for more videos as we continue to gear up for the 2011 season.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Live from the B regional: V-Charlotte 68, Cassadaga Valley 57

Hello from Rochester's Blue Cross Arena for the third of five Far West Regional games.

All my typing is to keep an account of the game which I use to help me write my story. Feel free to monitor the game and even comment, but PLEASE be mindful that I won't be able to answer many questions while I'm live blogging.

Afterwards, feel free to add your comments on the post.

The box scores for all games will be up at our scoreboard page as soon as possible.

---Keith McShea

Video: PrepTalkTV goes OT with an instant classic

If you weren't at Buffalo State for Western New York's boys basketball finales, you better watch the latest episode of PrepTalkTV, put together by video reporter/producer Lauren Mariacher:

* * *

You can find all of our videos -- including highlight packages on the Manhattan Cup as well as all of Championship Saturday's Section VI finals -- easily by going to the video player and clicking "PrepTalkTV."

So much to talk about as a thrilling basketball postseason heads to the regional round -- which makes our weekly chat good timing. The discussion will get started at 9:30 p.m. here on the blog.

---Keith McShea

Live from the Section VI A & B finals: East beats Will South in 2OT; CV tops Lackawanna

Hello from Buffalo State for the last two boys basketball games of the season to be played in Western New York.

In the first game, the overall Class B championship will be determined as B-1 winner Lackawanna faces B-2 winner Cassadaga Valley at 6 p.m. That's followed by the scheduled 7:45 p.m. start for the overall Clas A final between A-1 winner Williamsville South and A-2 champ East High of Buffalo.

We'll have separate "live" blogs on each game.

* * *

The winners move on to Saturday's Far West Regionals against the champions of Section V (Rochester area).

The box scores for both games will be up at our scoreboard page as soon as possible.

After the games, let us know what you thought of the action -- and the regionals -- in the comments section.

* * *

Here's my game story on East's double-overtime win over South.

Here's Allen Wilson's game story on Cassadaga Valley keeping its playoff ride going.

---Keith McShea

Friday Night Live from JCC: Maple Grove repeats, Middle College romps

JAMESTOWN -- Hello from the Jamestown Community College for one of the best nights of the year, the Section VI Class C and D boys basketball championships. 

Opening tip of the Class D final. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) Updates will come here, so get comfortable with your refresh button. Two stories to write, one video to do, so not enough time to have a live blog going as well. I'll have updates at the very least after each quarter.

5:59 p.m. We've got introductions going on right now. The intimate gym is filling up. Always a great atmosphere here.

One storyline to watch this evening -- Chris Secky, who wears No. 24, is 24 points away from the 2,000-point mark.

6:09 p.m. Sherman calls a timeout with 3:53 left in the first and Maple Grove having taken a 10-3 lead. Secky has seven points, that's 17 to go for 2,000.

6:12 p.m. Maple Grove is up, 10-5, with just over two minutes to go in the first quarter. Secky has picked up his second foul. The second one was a bad call in my opinion; Secky poked the ball by reaching over a player while both were standing on the ground. It  did not appear to be an over the back.

"You really called that?" asks Curt Fischer of the official on the sideline. "You just changed the game completely." Fischer, who can get fired up at officials no matter what the sport, was already hollering at them for the first call on Secky.

6:18 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Maple Grove has a 10-8 lead on Sherman. 

An official came over to Fischer and issued him a warning because he "berated" the other two officials.

6:21 p.m. Sherman coach Cory Emory calls a timeout; Maple Grove leads, 12-8, with 6:50 left in the second quarter.

6:29 p.m. Check this out; Sherman 19, Maple Grove 15 and MG calls a timeout with 1:52 left in the second. 

Things might be evening out. Maple Grove came out of the timeout with six players on the court but got away with it. Sherman bench was outraged.

6:32 p.m. Check THIS out: We are at HALFTIME and Sherman leads Maple Grove, 23-21. 

Maple Grove had retaken the lead at 21-19 thanks to two straight three-pointers by sophomore Skylar Liddell, but Sherman senior Mike Reed came up big at the end of the half. He followed a slick baseline drive with quite the highlight play. Maple Grove had the ball with less than 30 seconds left in the half, but an ill-advised jumper gave Sherman a rebound and Reed came down the right side and let go a one-handed half-scoop, half-fling near the three-point line right in front of me (I'm just to the right of midcourt). The ball banked in at the buzzer(!) and after a brief huddle, the officials ruled it a two-pointer.

I just had a brief huddle with my iPhone, and it was a three. The video shows him taking off from behind both three-point lines here (there's the high school and college lines on the floor). It was an awkward takeoff in which he ended up quite close to the basket, which made the officials -- and me, before I checked the video -- believe it was a two. That's going to happen. Let's hope the one point doesn't come into play later.

Maybe it's just the basketball gods evening things out for Secky's two fouls. He definitely was playing tentative -- and rightly so -- at both ends after picking up two.

Should be quite the second half. Sherman and Reed are playing very well. 

6:47 p.m. Sherman with a timeout after Maple Grove takes a 28-23 lead with 5:20 left in the third quarter. Secky has all seven of Maple Grove's points in the second half. 

6:54 p.m. We have a timeout for blood on the floor with 2:44 left in the third quarter. Maple Grove leads, 28-23. Sherman has yet to score in the third quarter. Secky is six points away from 2,000; Reed is two points away from 1,000.

7:03 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Maple Grove has a 38-25 lead after winning the quarter, 17-2.

7:10 p.m. Sherman calls a timeout after a Liddell follow gives Maple Grove a 42-26 lead with 5:00 to play.

7:12 p.m. Timeout Maple Grove with Sherman having drawn within 42-30 with 3:58 left. 

7:18 p.m. Not a whole lot of scoring going on here, kind of an odd deal since we're on the verge of two milestones. Maple Grove leads, 43-30, with 1:22 left in the game; Maple Grove timeout. 

7:23 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Maple Grove 43, Sherman 32.

Reed got his 1,000th point on two free throws in the final minute. Chris Secky is four short of 2,000 points and should get them next week at Buffalo State in the Far West Regionals. 

7:52 p.m. We are pretty much on schedule here. Class C is about to tip off.

8:02 p.m. First timeout of the game is taken by Cassadaga Valley with OTC Middle College off to an 11-4 start with 2:28 left in the first quarter. 

8:09 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Middle College has a 17-8 lead over Cassadaga Valley thanks to seven straight points by Darale Young. Two unstoppable drives sandwiched a follow of a Justin Stokes fast-break miss. 

8:13 p.m. Another Cassadaga Valley timeout after another Middle College run. Middle College leads, 24-11, wtih 5:40 left in the second. Some great defense being played by the Kats; they are speeding up the game for CV and causing a lot of turnovers. 

8:20 p.m. Middle College calls a timeout with 2:39 left in the second quarter and owning a 31-11 lead. It probably needs the rest because it is playing hard on defense. They are getting ater it big-time. 

8:26 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Middle College leads Cassadaga Valley, 41-13. The Kats are putting on a show and Darale Young has been just outstanding. His run of scoring earlier was followed by a run in which he had three assists, and late in the half he put on a show with two swished threes and a baseline swished jumper. Davon Alexander had a run of points as he was too much to handle inside. The Kats are just too much in general. 

CV has at least six banners draped around the gym, including "Krush the Kats." Awesome school spirit. They've also got two Cougar mascots walking around. Great stuff. And you can see that CV is a good team, one that I'm probably going to have in my top 10. They have just run into a team that is playing at another speed and another level. 

8:44 p.m. CV calls a timeout with 4:26 left in the third. Middle College has started the quarter with a 9-0 run and leads, 50-13. 

8:55 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Middle College leads, 59-23. Lots of subbing started in the third.

9:03 p.m. The lead is now 70-29 with 3:27 left and Cassadaga Valley has called a timeout. For some reason, Middle College pulled some of its starters a moment ago only to put some starters back in. I don't get it. 

9:17 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Middle College 71, Cassadaga Valley 35.

---Keith McShea

Who's going to win the Connolly Cup?

The finalists for the 38th Connolly Cup are:

Lockport sr. RB David Fluellen, Lancaster sr. QB Justin Juda, Grand Island sr. RB Andy LaLonde, Williamsville South jr. QB Joe Licata, Sweet Home sr. QB Pat McMahon, Cassadaga Valley sr. RB/DB B.J. Monacelli, St. Joe's sr. QB/DB Matt Rosenhahn, Maple Grove sr. QB Chris Secky, Iroquois sr. RB/DB Calvin Sluberski and Southwestern sr. QB Zack Sopak.

Tell us why you voted the way you did in the comments section below. Also, what do you think of the list? Who's not on the list that should be?

Remember to be RESPECTFUL of ALL of the players because they all had a great seasons.

I'll be keeping my thoughts to myself for now since we are deliberating The News Player of the Year.

The winner will be announced Saturday afternoon shortly after 2 p.m. I'll have the winner posted here and at as soon as it happens.

---Keith McShea

Connolly Cup finalists announced

The Riverside Athletic Club's Connolly Cup committee has announced its 10 finalists for the award given to the most outstanding football player in Western New York:

David Fluellen, Lockport
Justin Juda, Lancaster
Andy LaLonde, Grand Island
Joe Licata, Williamsville South
Patrick McMahon, Sweet Home
B.J. Monacelli, Cassadaga Valley
Matt Rosenhahn, St. Joe’s
Chris Secky, Maple Grove
Calvin Sluberski, Iroquois
Zack Sopak, Southwestern

The winner will be announced, as always, on the first Saturday of December (the fifth) in a ceremony at Ilio DiPaolo's Restauraunt in Blasdell.

A reminder to all that any discussions about who should win the award, or about players who should have made the the top 10, should be respectful. Thanks.

---Keith McShea

Saturday football times & sites update

This just in to the home office:

Saturday's Section VI football schedule -- all two games of it -- has been tweaked.

The Class C semifinal of Cassadaga Valley at Eden will be played on Hamburg's new turf field at 1 p.m. The game (originally scheduled for 1:30 p.m.) was moved because Eden's field is soaked.

The Class A semifinal of Iroquois at Sweet Home will be played at the traditional kickoff time of 2 p.m. (Section VI originally had the game at 1:30).

---Keith McShea

Who's going to win Class C football?

The field is set, the only question is -- can anyone stop Southwestern? The defending state champions are No. 1 in the small school poll, but can they survive Section VI? North division tough guys Eden and Cleveland Hill both potentially stand in their way.

As with all of our polls, we want to hear how and why you voted. Let us know in the comment space below.

Be sure to vote in all of the polls: Class AA, Class A, Class B and Class D.

---Keith McShea

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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 |