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Thursday Evening Live: Lancaster girls, Hamburg boys make lacrosse statements

I headed out to catch some big lacrosse matchups this afternoon and saw two top teams head on their way to statement victories in league play.

I started out at Lancaster to see a portion of the second half of its 10-3 victory over Clarence, then swung south to Hamburg, where I saw the Bulldogs put some distance between themselves in Amherst in the beginning of the fourth quarter in what would be a 13-5 win.

Here are some highlights. Happy squinting.

I'm in the office putting together the High School Extra for Friday's paper. Check the high school home page (link below) for all the scores and highlights.

---Keith McShea

Jamestown tourney among rescheduled games

Jamestown boys basketball's United Way Tip-Off, which was postponed due to last weekend's snowy and windy weather, has been rescheduled for Jan. 8-9, 2010.

The lineup -- Friday, Jan. 8: Maple Grove vs. V-Newark, 6 p.m.; Fredonia at Jamestown, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9: Consolation, 6 p.m.; championship, 7:30 p.m.

The Orchard Park at Jamestown game, originally scheduled for Friday, Jan. 8, has been rescheduled to Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010.

OP also rescheduled its game with Hamburg that was snowed out last Thursday -- it will be played Monday, Jan. 11.

Please report any rescheduled games to The News as soon as possible. Email AND Thanks.

---Keith McShea

Live from Far West Regional volleyball: Eden, City Honors, C-LV win; Hamburg, NT fall

City Honors earned its first trip to the state tournament in 10 years Saturday by sweeping Section V Class C champion Nazareth, 25-18, 25-19, 25-7, in the Far West Regionals before an estimated 300 at Lockport High School.

Natalie Southard had 18 kills and five blocks, while senior Alysia Negron added 18 digs and 10 kills as the Centaurs (18-0) advanced to next Saturday's state gathering at the Civic Center in Glens Falls.

"It's a great accomplishment," Negron said. "It's taken us 10 years to get back to where we belong. ... It means a lot to us being a [Buffalo] city school."

"It feels amazing," Southard said. "It's indescribable almost."

City Honors is making its seventh state tournament appearance and has won four state titles, the last coming in 1995. The Centaurs lost in the state final in 1999.

* * *

Eden advanced to its 11th straight state tournament, cruising to a 25-10, 25-6, 25-12, win over Section V champion Wayne in the Class B regional.

Hannah Herc led the Raiders (53-1-1) with 10 kills and six digs, while Katie Eschner had eight kills and four aces.

Eden won its last state championship, its sixth, in 2007. Last year's title quest fell short in the final when a banged-up Raiders crew lost in five games to Hendrick Hudson.

* * *

It's not about quantity, it's about quality. Cattaraugus-Little Valley is the proof in the pudding.

The Timberwolves advanced to their first state tournament Saturday, beating Section V champion Lyons, 25-21, 25-16, 25-20, in the Class D Far West Regional clash before an estimated 250 at Lockport.

After rallying to win its first Section VI championship a week and a half ago, Cattaraugus/Little Valley -- which has just eight girls on its volleyball roster -- relied on solid serving and and made the hustle plays a team needs to make to earn a shot at the title in Glens Falls.

Eighth-grader Sara Crandall was a force with 19 kills and 18 digs, while her sister Erin, a sophomore, had eight kills and 16 digs. Shelby Ellis had 26 digs, while setter Casey Miller finished with 30 assists for the T-Wolves (20-2).

"It's great," said coach Joe Crandall, the father of both Sara and Erin. "It's kind of a 'pinch-me' to see if it's real situation. The kids played great. It's an unbelievable feeling."

Lyons finished 21-4.

* * *

The feel-good season for the Hamburg girls volleyball team came to an end at the hands of defending state Class A champion Victor on Saturday morning in the Far West Regionals.

The Section V champions beat the Bulldogs, 25-17, 25-18, 25-9, in a match played before an estimated 100 at Lockport.

Hamburg, which went from 1-13 last year to winning the program's first Section VI title under first-year coach John Crangle, didn't have the size or the talent possessed by Victor (20-4), which has all but one starter back from last year's team. The Blue Devils advance to the state tournament next week in Glens Falls.

Kiersten Krolikowski led Hamburg (14-10) with eight kills and five blocks, while Jessica Wood finished with 39 assists.

"We weren't on anyone's radar this year," Crangle said. "I think the girls have created a new identity for themselves and the program. ... The girls gained confidence on the court throughout the year and off the court, too. As a teacher and a coach that's the most important thing. They improved, they learned and they had fun."

Jessica Fessler led the winners with 13 kills, while Brigid Moore had 31 assists.

* * *

In Class AA, Canandaigua (19-1) ended the stunning run of North Tonawanda (16-3), sweeping the Section VI champions, 25-15, 25-15 25-12. The Braves' size and skill proved to be too much for an undersized NT crew to overcome as Canandaigua finished with 10 blocks, while 6-foot-2 Kymberly Gordon (19 kills, three blocks) and 6-footer Liz Scott (eight kills, three blocks) altered countless other shots. Adding to NT’s woes, Braves setter Marissa King (35 assists) did a wonderful job passing to keep their attack unpredictable.

Lauren Metzger led NT with seven kills.

---Miguel Rodriguez

Who's going to win Class A football?

Class A has been a blast to keep track of all year with its talented teams and unbalanced schedule, and the next three weeks are sure to be fun as well.

Right from the start there are tremendous games as West Seneca East heads to Iroquois and WIlliamsville South hosts Grand Island in a rematch of an excellent Week One game won by South. Hamburg has had a tremendous year, and Sweet Home is only the defending state champion.

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 B, Class C and Class D.

---Keith McShea

Friday Night video mania

The best highlights from my trip from North Tonawanda to Hamburg to Depew is at the Friday Night Live post, but here's every video clip that I shot (that was worth keeping).

Here we go, in chronological order:

Continue reading "Friday Night video mania" »

Friday Night Live: Week Seven

In case you didn't realize that tonight marks the end of the regular season in high school football, just step outside.

Some high-impact games will have some low temperatures as football playoff weather comes rolling across your Doppler Radar screen tonight. Monday morning's forecast called for lows of 31, highs of 45 and a chance of flurries in the Buffalo area. Down Southern Tier way, there is a greater chance of snow.

For those who want to keep their blood moving tonight, there's a chance to see a lot of action (and see your breath) by bopping around to different sites -- which is what a certain reporter is going to do.

The traditional 5 p.m. Harvard Cup game has South Park meeting East at All High Stadium. The 100th game in the Tonawanda-North Tonawanda series kicks off at 6 p.m. at NT's Lumberjack Sports Complex. Among several 7 p.m. kickoffs is the crucial Class A contest in which Williamsville South plays at Hamburg. The lineup of games at 7:30 p.m. includes Lancaster at Depew, an outstanding rivalry game featuring two ranked teams, as well as a big Class B South game of Lackawanna at Alden.

There are ton of other top-notch matchups, including the traditional rivalry games (check out some great capsules on the rivalry games).

Here's what you think the best game of the weekend is.

Check out today's weekend preview by Miguel Rodriguez, which breaks down some of the playoff picture.


6:36 p.m. It's going as expected at NT, where North Tonawanda has a 20-0 lead after one quarter. Having some trouble with the youtube-ing, so sit tight. I'm off to Hamburg.

Here's the kickoff of the 100th edition of the rivalry, with the classic voice of Dick Grapes on the call:

Here's Aaron Davis scoring NT's first touchdown on a 3-yard run.

Here's NT's second touchdown on a razzle-dazzle halfback option.

7:18 p.m. Made the long trip to Hamburg and pulled in as Will South scored a touchdown to go up 7-0 early.

Lockport's WJJL reported that NT was five for five on possessions as it built a 35-0 lead in the first half.

8:20 p.m. Spent a good amount of time watching Hamburg-Will South because it sure was entertaining. The teams were tied at 16-16 in the last half-minute of the first half. Hamburg had the ball but had just been pushed back on a penalty when it called timeout -- I don't have much time to spare so I headed out. I'm off to try and catch a few plays of Lancaster-Depew before returning to the office.

There was a light, cold rain adding to a brrrr of a night at Hamburg but both teams were slugging it out. Both defenses had some key stops while Hamburg was showing a nice quarterbacking game to answer some big plays by South's Joe Licata.

Hamburg scored a field goal off an interception, which is right here:

Here's a great connection from Licata to Mark Coppola -- note the nice block by Tyler Krempa.

Hamburg's Nico Zarcone had several nice plays, including this big pass for a TD on third down.

Hamburg stopped Will South late in the first half, including this fourth-down incompletion.

8:53 p.m. We're at Depew, where WXRL tells me that Lancaster has a 20-6 halftime lead. The halftime show on the radio was very enjoyable on the drive here -- Milt Latimer of the Prep Talk blog was the guest! Gotta love it.

We won't be here for long. Gotta run.

9:30 p.m. We're back in the One News Plaza parking lot. We caught a touchdown by Depew that made the score 20-12, but as we headed to the parking lot, Lancaster returned the ensuing kickoff for a score and added another touchdown.

Here's a video of a nice run by Lancaster's Justin Juda.

Depew got a big gain on an Anthony Emmanuele run which got the big crowd around the blue track going.

That run helped set up Depew's pass play for a score at the jam-packed Frank Constantino complex. Great venue.

In the fourth, Lancaster is up, 34-12.

10:40 p.m. In the midst of deadline madness at the home office right now ... here is the scoreboard that we will be updating as soon as we can.

The big score in so far is Hamburg 23, Williamsville South 22.  

11:14 p.m. Just got off the phone with Dan McGrath, whose Depew team lost to Lancaster, 41-40. Wow.


Stay here through the night as we'll have updates and scores as soon as we get them.

Also, tune your twitter to "bufnewspreptalk" to get instant updates of the scores as soon as they are reported to us. We also have a fan page at Facebook -- just search "The Buffalo News' Prep Talk blog" -- and you'll get updates with links to our high school sports stories.


If you are at a game, or saw one tonight, be sure to let us know what you thought of the action in the comments section below.

* * *

Our end of business report:

* Here's our roundup which is led off with the big wins for Lancaster and Hamburg, both of which include more information than we could squeeze in the paper. There are several other games which have bonus coverage -- the nice road win for St. Joe's is just one of them.

* Here's a separate story on the 100th T-NT game won by NT in a blowout. 

* The High School Extra delves into soccer, field hockey, swimming, cross country -- and swine flu!   

* * *

Some random blabbity-blah: I'd have to think there were crowds of over 5,000 at both the T-NT game and the Lancaster-Depew game. ... The Hamburg-Will South game was a gritty, cold, tough game where South (not surprisingly) went for two and the win at the end. They've been playing aggressively all year. Class A is going to be pretty crazy the next couple of weeks. ... I tried to squeeze in a trip to the South Park game to start the evening off, but the Main St. construction made that a no sale. I had to U-turn it to the 198 and head to T-NT land. I wanted to catch the opening kickoff; Tonawanda, on the other hand, didn't -- but that was just the start of an expectedly tough night for the Warriors.

Should they keep playing the game? Absolutely. Class B teams can be competitive with Class AA teams. Just ask Lancaster and Depew.

I'll have more videos posted when I get a chance to dig the best stuff out of the iPhone. See you back here for Saturday Afternoon Live.

* * *

There are a ton more video clips as part of a separate post.

---Keith McShea

No. 1 Hamburg picture perfect at Sweet Home

The top-ranked Hamburg boys volleyball team won the Sweet Home Tournament for the sixth straight year Saturday -- without dropping a set -- and they sent in this photo.

Hamburg volleyball celebrates its Sweet Home tournament victory.

---Keith McShea

Hamburg lax's Chadderdon verbals to Ohio State

Hamburg boys lacrosse coach Jerry Severino emailed me today with the news that Eric Chadderdon, just a junior, has verbally committed to Ohio State.

Chadderdon, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenseman, accepted a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes. More than 30 different programs recruited Chadderdon, including Albany, North Carolina, Harvard, Dartmouth, Notre Dame, Fairfield, Georgetown, Virginia and Providence.

Check out the nice things Inside Lacrosse has to say about Chadderdon.

It's notable about Chadderdon, Hamburg and overall Western New York lacrosse that he has accepted a scholarship offer not only as a junior, but in September of your junior year. The higher recruited you are, the earlier you are able to sign.

It's also another WNY recruiting coup for Ohio State, where Orchard Park graduate, two-time All-Western New York first teamer and inaugural Borrelli Award winner Jeff Tundo is currently a freshman.

I'll have more on Chadderdon's signing in Tuesday's Prep Talk column.

---Keith McShea

Thursday Night Live: Week Three special edition

I can't resist the chance of checking out three 2-0 teams in action, so I'll be blogging live tonight -- I'm going to start at Williamsville South hosting Williamsville North and then move on down Main Street to Hamburg at Amherst.

We'll see what kind of highlights I'll be able to post via video and pictures -- and oh yeah, good old-fashioned words!

Don't forget to vote in the Week Three walkthrough poll.

* * * 

9:06 p.m. Hello from the front seat of my car on Westmoreland Road in Amherst, strategically located where I can see the scoreboard, which reads Hamburg 26, Amherst 0 with 4:21 left in the game.

My apologies for not posting something sooner, but I've been iPhone-video-ing plays and traveling around. The YouTube was on the blink for a while as well, so I only was able to upload a highlight just seconds ago.

The play I uploaded was the fourth touchdown for Williamsville South, which had a 29-7 lead when I left with 7:04 left in the second quarter at 8:02 p.m. The video of the play is above -- Joe Licata with his third touchdown of the game.

Will South had a slower start than I expected as the Billies committed several penalties in a flag-filled game. Will North didn't look too bad -- it went on a decent scoring drive but eventually Licata was too much for them.

When I arrived at Amherst, Hamburg had a 13-0 lead as the third quarter just got under way (both games started at 7, but all those flags slowed things down at South. I got from South to Amherst in about 10 minutes of parking spot-to-parking spot drive time.

9:15 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE at Amherst: Hamburg 26, Amherst 0. Hamburg is 3-0.

Hamburg looked too tough inside, with Amherst not able to create holes or protect quarterback Justin Jenkins. The Bulldog players were fired up, making noise and having fun on the field -- understandably so because they were all over the Tigers.

Hamburg was also too much on offense, grinding out yards and moving the ball fairly easily. I'll have more video highlights posted soon. Got some good ones today -- it was the perfect storm since I was able to spend some time just roaming the sidelines hoping that teams would have big plays (and run to my side of the field).

When I arrived at Amherst, Hamburg gave me a great one -- a halfback option pass for a touchdown to take a 19-0 lead with nine minutes left in the third quarter (below).

More highlights and details to come.

* * *

Been working on getting this straight for much of the night.

Joe Licata of Williamsville South threw for a WNY-record 522 yards in tonight's 62-32 victory over Williamsville North. 

More details will be updated in that story, video highlights of the historic night will be posted ASAP.

* * *

If you were at any of the Thursday games, give us a report in the comments section below.

* * * 

Here are additional highlights from Williamsville South's win over Williamsville North:

A great hit by Tyler Krempa of South just as North quarterback Zach Barrett let go of a pass (above).

North tries to make a game of it with a screen pass touchdown in the second quarter.

Will North got some momentum going with this tackle for loss.

* * * 

Hamburg pressures the Amherst passing game (above) ...

... and more pressure yields an interception.

Hamburg scores its third touchdown on a QB keeper.

An up-close view of Amherst getting the next kickoff.

Another nice view as Hamburg does some tough running.

* * *

I can't get over my unbelievable timing. I walked out of the South game with the Billies having taken a 29-7 lead with 7:04 left in the second quarter and things apparently heading towards blowout-ville.

But North scored three touchdowns -- and South two -- in that last 7:04! What?

It was a two-score game at halftime (16 points) and Licata broke the record in the third quarter, which should shut up the whiners (there's already been one) saying that this is a run-up-the-score deal.

I'm still amazed that so much action went down in the time I left. However, I did get to see -- and capture on video via the iPhone -- a lot of Licata's big plays. 

---Keith McShea

Friday Night Live: Week Two

The education of the Western New York high school football fan continues tonight.

Will Orchard Park have another close one? Can Cardinal O'Hara head to the Southtowns and knock off St. Francis?

Will Frontier, North Tonawanda, Iroquois and Hamburg continue their winning ways among large schools?

Who will get the first win in the Harvard Cup?

The kickoff of the Buffalo Public Schools' Harvard Cup, which has Hutch-Tech taking on Grover Cleveland at All High Stadium, is the first of 25 games that will be kicked off tonight as Week Two gets started. You can listen to the first Intense Milk Harvard Cup Game of the Week at 5 p.m. at WJJL (1440 AM), or via the National High School Broadcast Network

The Williamsville North at North Tonawanda game is on WGR (550 AM).

Here's what you think the best game of the weekend is.

Stay here through the night as we'll have updates as soon as we get them.

Also, tune your twitter to "bufnewspreptalk" to get instant updates of the scores as soon as they are reported to us. We also have a fan page at Facebook -- just search "The Buffalo News' Prep Talk blog" -- and you'll get updates with links to our high school sports stories.

* * *

6:04 p.m. It's the start of our football night, but we've already been way up to Middleport for research on a girls volleyball story which features Roy-Hart (and there were tons of purple-football-jersey-wearing Ram fans walking around. I was also over at Canisius High to check out a few plays from their boys volleyball match that officially opened the school's new field house.

We watched some late second-quarter action of Hutch-Tech against Grover Cleveland in the Harvard Cup opener, including a touchdown and two-point conversion that gave the Engineers a 14-8 lead over Grover at halftime.

The scoring drive began with an interception by Tech (above), which then drove down the field and got a 7-yard TD run (below) by senior Antae Miller, who stretched out the ball ahead of him and jusssst broke the plane for the score.

Tech added a two-point conversion on a pass. I've got video of those plays and will get them up soon.

Tech scored first on a rushing touchdown by senior quarterback Mark Horne. Grover scored on a wild play in which senior tight end Dontay Byrd caught a pass that was deflected and then ran 64 yards for the touchdown.

We're writing this from the new press box at All High Stadium -- that's right, the new press box. It has been built behind the stands. The old one is still on the stadium roof, and the stairway leading to it remains boarded off and guarded full-time. I just shake my head when I think about that stairway. 

The new press box is a good one, a decent space with a tables and electrical hookups, with a good view of the action despite some pillars in front of us.

With a bunch of games starting at 7 and 7:30 p.m. in the Southtowns, I'm going to get my fill down there -- I think I'll start at St. Francis, but there are games at Frontier, Hamburg, Lackawanna and Orchard Park as well. We'll see. 

I'm heading to the parking lot and turning on the radio broadcast of this game.

* * *

7:01 p.m. We're in the St. Francis parking lot and just posted some video highlights from the Harvard Cup game. Hutch-Tech still leads and the awesome Harvard Cup radio crew is letting an official have it for throwing a celebration flag on Grover after a big touchdown. "That's the worst call I've ever seen!" said Hall of Fame coach Art Serotte. Grover scores on the two-point conversion to go up, 22-20, on Tech. Great stuff. O'Hara-St. Francis just kicked off. I'm headed to the sidelines.

7:07 p.m. Holey crud. While I fixed some blog stuff, Cardinal O'Hara returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown (I believe that's how they scored -- there were 15 seconds gone on the scoreboard) and has a 7-0 lead on the host Red Raiders. I gotta get out of the car.

7:25 p.m. Back in the car and hitting up google for "iPhone reboot" after our phone went kaput. Ugh. It was fine in the car, then I got to the field and it was dead. Uh-oh. 

On the radio, I just heard a riled-up Rick Kozak hollering that Grover beat Tech, 28-20. Quite the opener there. I kind of feel bad I don't have any Grover highlights here, but it was all Tech there at the end of the first half.

7:31 p.m. Thank you, A reboot and we're fine. It appeared that a little piece of fuzz or paper got stuck in the slot where you put the battery in and maybe shorted it out or something. Oh well. We're back up and running and we're headed to another game. 

I don't have any video or pictures, but St. Francis and O'Hara are tied at 7-7. It turns out that O'Hara scored on its first play of scrimmage, an 80-yard run by -- I believe -- Robert Davis. St. Francis answered with a very pretty play facing a fourth-and-9 at the O'Hara 19 as senior quarterback Michael Chuchia put up a pretty pass in the right corner for senior Roland Kerr, who made the grab with plenty of room for his feet to land in the end zone. Very nice play. There is 7:46 left in the second quarter.

Too many games and not a lot of time, so I'm outta here.

* * *

7:39 p.m. I park far away from Frontier's far-away field, run through three parking lots (hey, it's good exercise) and I hear the PA announcer getting excited because Mark Schuster just scored on a 56-yard touchdown run -- but I'm still far away from the far-away field. Whoops. The Falcons take a 7-0 lead on West Seneca West.

7:54 p.m. I leave Frontier after seeing the Falcons on a nice defensive series (including the big sack above). I'd expect them to add to their lead, although the Falcons failed on a series just before I left. I think I'm headed to Hamburg next

* * *

8:03 p.m. Whoops again. Hamburg is at halftime with a 13-3 lead over Grand Island -- looks like a great game, but halftime just started and there's 15 minutes on the clock. I'm outta here. North to Lackawanna we go.

* * *

8:27 p.m. Whoa. I arrive and Lackawanna is down, 14-6, to Pioneer in the second quarter. 

Pioneer was deep in Lackawanna territory, but the Steelers stopped a run (above) and got a big sack (below) to get some key field position back.

Pioneer called a timeout, but I don't have any time to spare. I run back to the parking lot -- where I parked illegally -- and head to Orchard Park

* * *

8:49 p.m. I'm guessing OP is now in the third quarter. I'm here, but in the car doing some updating via my laptop. I gotta head to the office at about 9:15 p.m. at the latest.

9:02 p.m. The good news is that WGR is doing high school football. The bad news is that they picked North Tonawanda's home game against Williamsville North, which was a blowout waiting to happen.

And it sure happened. NT went up, 49-0, at the halftime. It just went final: NT wins, 63-0. Yikes.

* * *

9:18 p.m. I'm hitting the road after Orchard Park took a 28-10 lead over Jamestown on a touchdown run (below) by Okoya Anderson which came on the last play of the third quarter. He had a nice gain a play earlier (above) just after OP stopped Jamestown on downs in OP territory. 

* * *

9:36 p.m. Back in the office and ready to write. Stay tuned.

* * *

10:32 p.m. Our scoreboard is getting updated by the minute.

* * *

1:16 a.m. Here's a link to our football roundup, featuring Frewsburg knocking off Maple Grove (wow!). The scoreboard (linked above) is complete. High School Extra has soccer, volleyball, tennis and field hockey. 

As for the games I stopped by, it just proves the old adage: you can't tell a game by the two minutes of game action you see :-)

When I left All High, Hutch-Tech seemed OK with a lead. When I left St. Francis, it was a tie game. When I left Frontier, it was a one-touchdown lead. When I left Lackawanna, Pioneer was up and the Steeler sideline seemed to be getting nervous.

Six football games from about 5:30 to about 9:15 p.m. I've said it before, I'll say it again: I love my job.

But I'm tired. Good night.

* * *

Did you see a game tonight? Listen to one on the radio?

Let us know what you thought 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.

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