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Friday Night Live: McKinley wins at East and your #preptalkscores

Tonight's lineup isn't the busiest, but I'll be on hand for McKinley's visit to East at 6 p.m. The Macks have shown they are the team to beat in the Yale Cup, while the Panthers have been a ranked small school for much of the season.

While I'll have updates from that game, tweets to the hashtag #preptalkscores will also automatically show up in the live blog. So if you are a game tonight and you're updating via Twitter, be sure to include that hashtag. I'll have periodic tweets updating the game at @KeithMcSheaBN, but most of my play-by-play updating will come in the live blog.

Check out tonight's full schedule on our scoreboard page, where you can check back throughout the night for updated box scores and highlights.

See you out at the games, in the chat and on the tweeter. :-)

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

East's Fisher, I-Prep's Hillman among nine NCCC hoop signees

Three Yale Cup standouts are among an impressive recruiting class for Niagara County Community College and coach Bill Beilein.

All-Western New York first teamer Tremmell Fisher of East and honorable mentions John Black of McKinley and Kadeem Hillman of International Prep at Grover Cleveland will all sign letters of intent to the school on Wednesday. Also signing will be two Niagara Frontier League standouts in Jake Hughes (Niagara-Wheatfield) and Marc Morreale (Lew-Port) as well as Dut Dour, a 2010 Bishop Timon-St. Jude All-WNY honorable mention who is transferring from St. Bonaventure.

The class will be introduced at 5 p.m. Wednesday during a press conference in NCCC's athletics lobby.

Also signing are two out-of-town recruits: Jordan Green from New Rochelle of downstate's Section I and Andre "TJ" McCrea from Brien McMahon High School in Connecticut.

Also making it official tomorrow will be Marcus Feagin of Niagara Falls, who will sign Wednesday with Monroe Community College.

I've written before about how I think Feagin might be the type of player who could use his time at MCC to possibly springboard to a scholarship somewhere; I think Hillman and Fisher could become candidates to do the same via NCCC.

---Keith McShea
(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Live from the A regional: V-Aquinas 68, East 55

Hello from Rochester's Blue Cross Arena for the fourth of five Far West Regional games and the first of the two evening session contests.

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. It is a very busy day and I'll need every moment to work on my stories. 

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

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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

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

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

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Live from the Section VI semifinals: Wilson, East, Riverside win (with audio, video & polls)

Hello from the Buffalo State Sports Arena. We're moments away from our first game of a tripleheader tonight: the B-2 semifinal between Cleveland Hill and Wilson.

It's one of the best weeks of the year if you're a high school sports fan, and I'm excited to be here. We'll be back in moments with the tip.

Wilson starters: Thilk-Moxham-Parrott-Martin-Walch.

Cleve Hill starters: Glover-Tompkins-Barker-Molson-Spencer

5:31 p.m.: CH controls the tip, and we're off.

5:37 p.m.: CH leads, 6-4, midway through the first quarter. Brennan Moxham has three of Wilson's points, while Jeru Molson just converted a nice layup off a steal for CH.

5:39 p.m.: Maybe some nerves on the big stage? Lots of sloppy play on both ends. Cleve Hill definitely trying to run more, while Wilson is trying to slow the pace.

5:42 p.m.: CH is out to a 13-4 lead, prompting a timeout by Wilson coach Brett Sippel. A three-pointer by Jordan Parker on the Golden Eagles' last possession were the last points.

5:44 p.m.: Golden Eagles lead, 13-8, after one quarter. Moxham hit a three and Pat Walch went 1 of 2 at the free-throw line with 4 seconds left for Wilson to cut into the lead.

5:48 p.m.: CH timeout, leading, 17-15. Moxham has five in the second quarter for Wilson, which took a 15-13 lead, but the Eagles responded with a bucket in the lane by Barker and a steal and layup by Spencer.

5:53 p.m.: CH timeout, leading, 19-18, 3:35 left in the first half.

6 p.m.: Halftime, with the game tied, 25-25.

First-half note: Here's your scoring summaries: For CH, Tompkins has 2, Barker 4, Parker 3, Molson 4, Watkins 2, Davis 4 and Spencer with 6. For Wilson, Moxham leads all scorers with 15. DiLaura has 1, Walch 1 and Martin 8.

Programming note: Tyler Martin is wearing No. 30 for Wilson, not the No. 11 he's listed as having in the program.

6:10 p.m.: Third quarter is underway.

6:13 p.m.: Martin misses both free throws for the Lakemen, who trail by a pair. Wilson has been bad from the free-throw line, a big reason it's trailing.

Quick blog note: Making an executive decision to switch up the format and go with the time left remaining in the quarter. If you need to know what time it is, look at the corner of your monitor. :).

4:49 left in the third quarter: Jordan Thilk makes a traditional three-point play, Wilson's first points of the third quarter, and CH leads, 31-28.

3:01 left: Moxham gets his first points of the second half, as Wilson uses good ball movement to beat the 2-3 zone the Eagles have employed. CH leads, 33-30.

:24.3 seconds left: Spencer draws the foul and knocks down a pair of free throws to give the Eagles a 35-30 lead.

End of three, Cleve Hill up, 35-30. Martin missed a good look at a three for Wilson at the buzzer.

Fourth quarter

7:08 left: Moxham hits a pair of free throws after Martin started the quarter with a three and it's tied, 35-35.

5:04 left: More than 2 minutes without a hoop ...

4:18 left: The drought comes to an end when Walch hits 1 of 2 free throws to give Wilson a 36-35 lead.

3:36 left: Big-time three-pointer for Spencer to put CH up, 38-36. That's followed by a timeout.

2:47 left: Another clutch three by the Eagles, this time from Julian Glover. CH leads, 41-38. Wilson has possession.

1:22 left: Moxham drills a deep three for Wilson to tie it at 41. Wow.

1:07 left: Molson responds for the Golden Eagles with a contested 16-footer in the lane. It's 43-41. Good finish here.

:31.1 seconds left: I wasn't kidding about the great finish. Martin pures a deep three from the right wing to put Wilson up by one, 44-43. CH has possession after Wilson's Walch picked up his fourth foul on a battle for a rebound.

Here's Martin's three:

:11.4 left: Moxham grabbed a big board on defense for Wilson, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1. That gave the Eagles the ball, but Molson lost the ball in traffic. Wilson's Martin recovered. He hits 1 of 2 free throws to make it 45-43 Lakemen. Cleve Hill will have a chance to tie or win on the final possession. The next Wilson foul puts the Eagles in a 1-and-1 situation.

:3.7 left: Barker goes coast-to-coast, but can't finish at the rim. Ball goes out of bounds off CH. Wilson has possession. Eagles will need to foul, and hope for a miss.

0.09 left: Diez gets open under the basket, and Cleve Hill is late to foul him. He rattles home the first and knocks down the second, giving Wilson a four-point lead.

Final: Wilson 47, Cleveland Hill 43.

Wilson coach Brett Sippel

 

 

Welcome back for game two.

Thanks to Keith McShea for the video you see above. Game two is the first A-2 semifinal between Olean and East.

Olean starters: Hennessy-Scholla-Curtin-Eckstrom-Schmidt 

East starters: Fisher-Brown-Boyd-House-Jackson

First quarter

4:35 left: The shutout is over. Alex Curtin hits a long jumper to give Olean a 2-0 lead. On East's next possession, Chris Boyd hits a three. East leads, 3-2.

End of first quarter: East leads, 10-6. Sorry for the lack of updates, combination of a lot to do, and not a lot happening at the start. East got hoops from Jasen Oden, Tremmell Fisher, and a three-pointer by Chris Boyd for the lead. Nick Schmidt hit a three at the buzzer for Olean.

Second quarter

7:31 left: Sam Eckstrom opens the quarter with an inside field goal to bring Olean within two, 10-8.

3:51 left: Andre Jackson knocks down a pair of free throws and East leads, 19-13.

2:58 left: Max Portlow, a sophomore, has back-to-back baskets for the Huskies. The last one cut it to 19-15.

2:19 left: Fisher gets inside position and finishes a traditional three-point play to give East a 22-17 lead. If he catches the ball there regularly, Olean will be in trouble.

:40.8 left: It's turned into a three-point shooting contest. A three by Curtin for Olean was answered by a three for Boyd, only for Schmidt to respond for Olean. After all that, the Huskies are up one, 26-25, their second lead after Curtin's shot gave them their first.

End of first half: East 30, Olean 26. Action really picked up at the end of the first half. Boyd hit another three for East, which then got a steal by Oden on the inbounds pass. He kicked it to Jackson for a 12-foot buzzer-beater, and the Panthers are up.

Third quarter

7:00 left: The Huskies didn't forget their shooting stroke in the locker room. Sophomore Pat Scholla knocked down a three in the first minute to cut East's lead to one, 30-29.

5:56 left: Olean goes back in front as Eckstrom gets nice position inside and finishes with a short bank shot for a 31-30 lead.

4:03 left: Dominique House is cleaning up -- the glass. The 6-foot-4 East senior has back-to-back putbacks, the second of which he was fouled on. He knocks down the free throw and East leads, 37-31. The Panthers are on a 7-0 run.

1:47 left: East has extended the run to 13-3, taking a 43-34 lead and prompting a full timeout by Olean coach Jeff Anastasia. House had a long jumper, then a steal and pass to Oden, who's got back-to-back layups in transition.

:19.7 seconds left: Olean gets a much-needed hoop underneath by Eckstrom, who was fouled and hits the free throw to pull the Huskies within six, 43-37.

End of three: East 43, Olean 37.

Fourth quarter

6:44 left: Scholla at the line for Olean. He knocks down a pair of much-needed free throws, as East is threatening to run away with things. It's 48-39, East.

6:31 left: Another three-point play for House, making it 51-39, East. Coach Starling Bryant calls for a 30-second timeout.

4:26 left: Timeout called, with East ahead, 55-42. Updates will be minimal from now until sometime during the last game as I write a story for our paper's first edition, which of course, you can pick up tomorrow. :) I'm sure you understand.

3:19 left: Full timeout called by Olean, which trails, 56-44.

1:42 left: Beautiful passing by East finishes with an easy layup (sorry, I missed by who) and East leads, 61-46. The Panthers will face the winners of the night's final game between Cheektowaga and Riverside for the A-2 title at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

:30.7 seconds left: Olean is hanging around, but running out of time. The Huskies trail, 61-53.

Final: East 66, Olean 56. Off for interviews. Back at some point during the last game with some more coverage.

 East coach Starling Bryant

Game 3: Riverside vs. Cheektowaga

Riverside starters: Artis-Jefferson-Herrera-Little-Feggans

Cheektowaga starters: Jones-Nance-Green-Delaney-?

What's the question mark for, you ask? A No. 3 is on the court for Cheektowaga, but not the roster. I'll get his name after the first quarter. As for the action, Riverside leads, 8-6, with 2:39 to play. We'll update after the first quarter and halftime, then hopefully be able to give more updates in the second half.

End of first quarter: Cheektowaga 12, Riverside 11.

Halftime: Riverside leads, 28-21, after outscoring the Warriors in that period, 17-9.

Third quarter

5:23 left: A bucket by Willie Jefferson has given the Frontiersmen a 35-23 lead. Cheektowaga has just 11 points in the last 11 minutes.

4:36 left: Lamont Little to the line, and he makes both for his first points of the night and a 39-23 lead.

3:06 left: Delaney hits the layup and is fouled. He makes the free throw and Riverside leads, 39-28. A modest 5-0 run for the Warriors.

2:38 left: Make that 7-0 as Aswad Jones knocks down an 8-footer and it's 39-30. Riverside coach Ron Killinger calls timeout after that.

1:00 left: Justice Feggans just buried a pretty three-pointer from the right wing to give the Frontiersmen a 44-31 lead.

End of three: Riverside 44, Cheektowaga 33

Fourth quarter

5:33 left: Dagger for the Warriors. Feggans knocks down a three after Riverside uses up almost the entire shot clock. That gives it a 53-35 lead.

3:31 left: Riverside still in control, up 55-37.

3:09 left: Killinger calls another timeout, still 55-37. Brandon Nance has all four points for Cheektowaga this quarter.

1:35 left: Riverside still on cruise control, so Killinger empties the bench to get the reserves some playing time on the big stage.

Final: Riverside 58, Cheektowaga 42. Off for more interviews.

 Riverside coach Ron Killinger

Postgame: Audio from the winning coaches is now posted in this blog. The East-Riverside matchup Saturday will be the third of the season for those two teams. Be sure to listen to Killinger's thoughts on that game, he's got some interesting thoughts.

 

 

Here's a link to the story in Wednesday's paper.

The box scores are on our scoreboard, which includes tonight's Class D semifinal results as well.

 

 

I'll be back Wednesday at Buffalo State for more sectional games. Hope you can join me then.

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Thursday Evening Live: East beats Riverside to win Yale Cup Div. I

East's Dominique House sinks a jumper for the first basket of the second half. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

Hello from East High, where the host Panthers can with the Yale Cup Division I title with a victory over Riverside. 

I'm going to go with our "live" format for this game.

* * * 

Feel free to post comments on any games you've seen tonight. 

Keep track of tonight's games at our scoreboard page.

* * * 

After East, I wrote a bunch of my story in the parking lot, then headed to the Delavan-Grider Community Center because Dunkirk was playing Oracle Charter there. By the time I got there, Dunkirk's lead was 69-28 with just under five minutes left. I was hoping to get at least a look at Dunkirk -- albeit against not the best competition -- but it wasn't much of a look with the game already in rout city.

I'm finishing up my story now and then I'll be on hand for the chat. 

Big news from other city games is that International Prep at Grover Cleveland was taken to overtime before beating OTC Middle College, 80-78.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Thursday Evening Live: East beats McKinley, 75-67 (with video)

Hello from Northampton Street and a very key Yale Cup and top 10 large school showdown between host East and McKinley.

Sorry for a slow start but the laptop has been a little stingy.

Photo(3) 6:01 p.m. With 3:43 left in the first quarter, McKinley leads East, 7-4. All of the Macks' points have come on free throws.

A lot of energy in the gym. Loud. A great Yale Cup atmosphere.

6:08 p.m. A lot of free throws in this first quarter. With 1:26 left, East leads McKinley, 13-12.

6:11 p.m. Starling Bryant is hit with a technical and he deserved it for being all over the officials. Too much, and definitely too early.

6:15 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, East leads McKinley, 22-16.

Big three-pointer in the final seconds of the quarter by Chris Boyd, who celebrates right in front of a bleacher along with East grads from last year, Domonique Jackson and Deon Robinson. Fun scene there.

6:17 p.m. Dujuan Rutledge with a three to open the quarter for McKinley (22-19).

Dennis James covers the ball on the floor and McKinley coach Zaire Dorsey calls timeout with 6:46 left in the second. East coach Starling Bryant throws something behind the bench, pretty standard for him.

6:22 p.m. Timeout East, which leads, 27-21, with 4:53 left in the second quarter.

Sweet steal-and-finger-roll by Chris Boyd for East, 29-21.

Big three right in front of me -- left side of the arc -- from Andre Jackson for a 32-22 East lead.

6:29 p.m. A lot going on here -- I'm going to switch to the 'live' blog we use for chats for the second half. Game is too quick, and normal blogging can't handle it (or my typing. heh).

East up, 34-29, in final minute.

6:33 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and East leads McKinley, 36-29.

Second half below:

Here's the best highlight I caught on the iPhone, Jasen Oden finding Andre Jackson to push the lead from four to six under two minutes:

Post-game show:

* * *

Like I said at the end of the game, great win for East. And yes, I have had East ranked quite low (or not at all) this year. I was reminded of that from two East superfans after the game. :-)

I do think they have gotten a lot better since that first meeting with McKinley.

Continue reading "Thursday Evening Live: East beats McKinley, 75-67 (with video)" ยป

Monday Evening Live: East wins at Riverside, 67-52 (with video)

Hello from Ontario Street for a Yale Cup showdown originally scheduled for last week as East visits Riverside.

6:02 p.m. Riverside has gone on a nice run in the second quarter to take a 26-16 lead with 2:33 left in the second quarter.

Photo East had led, 13-10, after one.

It is an odd environment here -- odd in that it is quite quiet for a Yale Cup game, especially one at Riverside. It seems like there are no students in the balcony above my head -- that section is usually jammed and jamming all game. The pace of the first quarter (I walked in three minutes in at 5:40 p.m.) was quite slow, and the half has been more methodical than run-and-gun.

6:06 p.m. Nice block by Mike Leonard for Riverside, leading to a fast-break basket by Justice Feggans in which an in advertent moving screen my another player heading to the basket cleared the way; 28-16 Riverside under a minute.

6:07 p.m. Deon Artis with a sweeeet block of Jasen Oden, coming across the baseline to swat away what looked like an open layup. Oden hit one of two free throws shortly beforehand; 28-17 Riverside with :28 left in the second quarter, timeout Riverside.

6:10 p.m. Oden misses two, Fisher gets teh rebound of the second free throw and scores -- very nice play -- to bring it to 28-19 in the final seconds. Oden stole the inbounds pass and was fouled just before the horn and will go to the line with no time on the clock; misses the first, makes second.

6:11 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Riverside leads East, 28-20.

Best line of the day so far belongs to Riverside assistant coach R.J. Killinger. His dad, coach Ron, was screaming at the top of his lungs at a player after a missed free throw: "RELAX! RELAX!"

R.J. Killinger summed up the ironic situation, "Man, you're screaming, 'Relax."

6:21 p.m. Feggans with a nice fast-break follow for Riverside for a 30-20 lead to open the half.

Lamont Little of Riverside hit with a technical foul with 7:08 left in the third. Chris Boyd to the line and he hits two for a 30-22 game and East keeps possession.

6:27 p.m. A few computer problems. Ugh. East on a good mini-run to come within 32-27 and prompt a Riverside timeout with with 6:02 left in the third.

6:28 p.m. Turnover Riverside. Big rebound Mark Anderson for Riverside and he's fouled with 5:36 left in the third.

Gilbert Herrera misses a three for Riverside; turnover Riverside.

6:29 p.m. East coach Starling Bryant calls for a 30-second timeout with 5:18 left in the third and Riverside leading, 32-27.

6:30 p.m. East misses twice, another rebound by Anderson.

Anderson off a nice pass, scores on the baseline; 34-27 Riverside. Mike Leonard with a big block. East turnover. Riverside miss, foul.

6:33 p.m. Dominique House scores down low for East; Chris Boyd with a steal and he's fouled going in for a layup with 3:37 left in the third; makes first, misses second, 34-30 Riverside.

Raqib Hassan scores on the baseline and is fouled, misses the free throw.

House with a putback; Riverside, 36-32. Artis misses jumper. East the beneficiary of a faulty charge call on Riverside. Jason McDaniel on a putback; followed by a Herrera driving bank shot; Riverside, 38-34.

Feggans with a big follow on the baseline; Riverside, 40-34, under two minutes.

6:38 p.m. Two straight baskets by Boyd, followed by House taking a pass from Boyd in the lane for a layup to tie it up at 40-40.

Some confusion in the final minute thanks to the Riverside shot clock operator getting out of her seat to try and get Riverside fans to answer East fans making noise. Sigh.

6:40 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Riverside and East are tied at 40-40.

6:44 p.m. House again with a putback on opening possession; East, 42-40. Riverside miss, keeps ball, Artis with a tap-in follow; 42-42. 

Fisher drives to the right and banks it in; 44-42. Under 6:45.

Forced shot by Riverside on the baseline. Boyd scores on a nice pass from Jason McDaniel.

Missed shot by Riverside turns into a fast break and Andre Jackson lays it in for a 48-42 lead for East, prompting a timeout by Riverside with 5:29 left. Nice start to the quarter for East, scoring off of misses by Riverside, which has not been in sync on offense.

6:49 p.m. Feggans with a follow for Riverside; 48-44 just over five minutes left.

East miss on a nice play that doesn't go down for McDaniel, then a foul; East miss; misses by both. 

6:52 p.m. Boyd with a layup, 50-44 East; McDaniel blocks Deon Artis. Artis fouls Boyd, fifth foul for Artis, that's big. Boyd hits first, hits second, East leads, 52-44, with 3:42 left.

6:53 p.m. East forces Riverside turnover. Jackson from Fisher on a nice drive and dish, 54-44.

Steal and fast break by Boyd, 56-44. Herrera baseline bank shot, 56-46. East travel, 2:30 to go.

6:55 p.m. Herrera fouled, misses both. House goes to the basket and is fouled with 2:04 left. Makes both; 58-46.

6:57 p.m. Technical foul called on McDaniel; Feggans misses two. Steal by Riverside, Anderson fouled going in for layup by Fisher; 1:36 left. Misses first, makes second. 58-47. Riverside steal and layup by Anderson, 58-49. Foul on Herrera with 1:15 left on Andre Jackson, he goes to the line. Hits one for 59-49 lead.

East's Starling Bryant rightly called for a technical foul. Just too much jawing. Feggans misses both free throws on the technical. East calls a timeout, 1:15 left in the game, East leads, 59-49.

7:03 p.m. Boyd to the line, hits two; East, 61-49, with :59 left.

7:05 p.m. Andre Jackson steal, he's fouled with :51 left. Hits both; East, 63-49.

A Riverside player left the gym; officials say he has to be on the Riverside bench. He's back. It was Hasan.

Three-pointer by Willie Jefferson; timeout Riverside with :41 left and East up, 63-52.

7:08 p.m. Boyd fouled. Hits first, misses second. Riverside, 64-52. Riverside players laughing at fans trying to taunt Boyd at the line with one-liners.

Anderson to the line, misses both.

7:10 p.m. Fisher fouled hard; hits one. East, 65-52. House scores. East, 67-52.

7:11 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: East 67, Riverside 52.

Not the prettiest game, but a very good result for East. More to come. 

Postgame show:

East coach Bryant starts with an answer to my question about what was talked about at halftime before East turned the game around:

---Keith McShea

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

Fumble: Class B Central's East isn't a Class B team (that makes sense, huh?) (UPDATED Oct. 6)

I fumbled in today's football story, although I'd like to think I got a little help from Section VI.

East is a Class A school playing down in the Class B Central (at the school's request) so the Panthers are ineligible for the Class B playoffs.

(I'm assuming they are out of the playoffs altogether, and yes, I know what happens when you assume. I have an email into Section VI about it).

When looking at the standings, it would appear that Cheektowaga (thanks to a loss to East) would be on the brink of not making the playoffs. That's because Section VI's Class B playoff format has the top two teams in each of the three divisions moving on along with the two best third-place teams. The B Central has Depew, Burgard, then East and Cheektowaga. But the Warriors appear safe and could even snare the No. 2 seed in the Central if it wins its next two games (including a finale against Burgard at Riverside).

In researching my story I went to the Section VI football handbook to check on the Class B tiebreaker. I did not notice the very fine print on the teams page which says East is a Class A school, but -- unless I missed it -- nowhere does it say that East is not eligible for the playoffs.

I'm trying to figure out why this would be allowed to happen -- maybe the scheduling worked out better overall? I can't think of any other examples of teams playing down in class and not being eligible for sectional playoffs. Obviously, it messes with everyone's perception of what is happening in a particular league and corrupts the regular season. 

So Class B Central teams have league games, nonleague games, and league games against East that don't really count? That makes sense.

Ultimately the mistake in the story today it is my fault. My apologies about any confusion and for Cheektowaga coach Scott Zipp having his email box fill up this morning due to the story.

* * *

Another angle on this: So if East is a Class A school, that makes them a large school. So much for voting on East in the small school poll, which I won't be doing anymore.

* * *

UPDATE (Oct. 6): Section VI football chairman Ken Stoldt returned my email, apologized for the confusion and set some things straight.

East is not eligible for the postseason in any classification. East will appear at the bottom of the Class B Central standings no matter what happens. The league games between Central teams and East count in the standings so that all B teams have six league games (making clearer to determine those last two B playoff spots -- the two-best third-place teams from the B North, Central and South divisions (which all have seven teams and six league games).

And a few final thoughts from me: Who ends up the loser in this situation? The players at East! The whole reason the Buffalo Public Schools moved into Section VI is to participate in the sectional (and state) playoffs, and the district and/or East decided to move the Panthers into the section without any possibility of the postseason. The players obviously put together a great season, but there's no reward.

I just hope that the East players knew this situation from the start of the year (unlike the media :-) ), because I sure wouldn't be an East player hearing about how city teams are going to the playoffs this season, and rightfully enjoying wins like that over a team like Cheektowaga, and then learning that there were never any playoffs to even qualify for. 

There shouldn't be any playoffs for them, of course, because they are an A school and have played a B schedule. This was just a bad move by the city while Section VI should have been clearer letting everyone know what the deal was.

Finally: Since East is a large school, it is no longer eligible for the small school poll.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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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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