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Beutel lands Grand Island boys hoops job

The Grand Island boys basketball team will have a new leader next season, one who should have no trouble getting comfortable in the Niagara Frontier League. Nate Beutel's appointment became official this week. He'll replace the departed Greg Ross.

Beutel, 22, recently left his job as a high school sports reporter at the Niagara Gazette, a position he held for nearly five years. He's pursuing his master's degree in elementary education from Medaille College. If the name looks familiar, perhaps it should. Beutel has recently served as a correspondent here at The News, covering high school sports.

He has previous head-coaching experience with the Medaille men's junior varsity basketball team, and has also served as an assistant football coach at Wilson High School.

On a personal note, I'm happy to call Nate a good friend. He and I worked together for most of his time at the Gazette before I came to The News, and you won't find many harder-working 22-year-olds. Nate's got a great passion for high school sports, as anyone who knows him can attest.

Best of all, I know who to harass next winter when we don't have a Grand Island basketball score.

---Jay Skurski


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

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

Middle College looks good at Cataract

Just in from a trip up north to the Cataract Classic, where I was very impressed with Middle College in a 52-43 win over Grand Island

The performance wasn't the Kats best, but I like the way they smartly and consistently worked the ball inside to Sean Mulhern (who was named MVP) and kept a patient -- even is-this-really-a-Yale-Cup-team? slow at times -- tempo. Darale Young displayed the unselfishness I'd heard about from fellow hoop fans, Mulhern was literally huge down low with post moves, rebounds and putbacks, Justin Stokes and Davon Alexander were solid as usual.

Middle College had some active contributors on both ends as well, including 6-2 sophomore Cordell Torres.

Sweet Home was up huge on North Tonawanda thanks to a 12-1 run to end the second quarter and a 17-5 third -- that's when I left.

I'll pass along the final when we get it, as well as some notes on what was an interesting clash between state championship football schools -- with plenty of the players involved. I'll also have some videos to post at some point. There's a lot of Web work to be done on All-Western New York football so I'm not sure when I'll get them up.

As promised:

From Middle College's win over GI, which got some great play from senior guard Bobby Ross that kept the Vikings in the game ...

An early three by Young.

Nice quick outlet feed by Alexander sends Stokes in for a layup.

Ross in transition.

Continue reading "Middle College looks good at Cataract" »

Video highlights from Pastor-Cooper championship night

Check out the story, the live blog and photo gallery and here are some video highlights from championship night at the Pastor-Cooper Memorial Tournament:

Corrin Genovese puts the Williamsville North girls up for good with a slick drive down the left side of the lane.

Grand Island's final shot.

Continue reading "Video highlights from Pastor-Cooper championship night" »

A fun tip-off to hoops season (and lots of video highlights)

As it is every year, it was great to see many familiar faces as well as some cool early-season basketball matchups at the Pastor-Cooper Tournament at Daemen College.

A private school played a city school in both boys games. How about that, football people? :-)

The final game was a fun one, with St. Mary's edging East, 62-59. Domonique Jackson of East and Vince Kazmierczak of St. Mary's both drew plenty of oohs and aahs from an entertained crowd.

St. Mary's looked fantastic at the start (18-9 first quarter and 36-26 at halftime) with Kazmierczak dropping several sweet long-distance shots. Jackson displayed his all-around talents as East caused several turnovers in a game that took on the frenetic pace of a Yale Cup contest.

Sophomore guard Rashaad Rogers was impressive for the Lancers with several strong takes to the basket; some times it appeared he was on the verge of going out of control, but often times he finished off the play.

Late in the third there was a flagrant foul on a St. Mary's player for a blatant body check in open space at midcourt. The foul was totally unnecessary, correctly called, and prompted some East fans to get very fired up and leave their seats. They were just venting, and they had reason to.

Continue reading "A fun tip-off to hoops season (and lots of video highlights)" »

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

Who's going to win the Trench Trophy?

The finalists for the Trench Trophy, which honors the area's top lineman, are:

Troy Bigelow (Eden), Jasen Carlson (Southwestern), Dillon Gallagher (Williamsville South), Eric Harnden (Grand Island), Matt Hornung (Cheektowaga), Desmond Howard (St. Francis), Zach Marsh (Panama), Sean Mulhern (Riverside), Casey Shreve (North Tonawanda) and Kyle Shreve (North Tonawanda).

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 All-Western New York team.

The winner will be announced Wednesday, Dec. 9 at the Lancaster Elks Lodge No. 1478, which is the sponsor of the award. It is located at 33 Legion Parkway, Lancaster.

Reserve tickets are available by calling the Lancaster Elks at 685-1478 or by calling Carl Kuras at 698-1893. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner will follow at approximately 6:30 p.m. The cost per ticket is $20.

As always, another great job by the Trench Trophy committee to honor high school athletes. This award is a result of a lot of people doing a lot of hard work and they should be commended for adding another tradition to high school football in Western New York.

---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

Prep Talk Live's Class A replay: Sweet Home rallies past GI, 20-13

Check the Prep Talk Live page for outstanding photography from The News' Mark Mulville.

What did you think of the game? Let us know in the comments section below.

---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 | [email protected]