I'm starting here at One News Plaza, but the plan is to catch a little bit of Hutch-Tech's boys game against City Honors, and then head to Clarence for its girls-boys doubleheader against Orchard Park (girls at 6 p.m., boys to follow). Not a bad ECIC I doubleheader -- Clarence, which is having good basketball seasons in both boys and girls, is hosting the No. 1 girls large school and the No. 10 boys large school.
5:54 p.m. We're signing off and making the trip a few blocks away uptown to Hutch-Tech.
6:19 p.m. Hutch-Tech has an 18-16 lead with 6:24 left in the second quarter. I was there for the final minute of the first quarter and the first minute of the second, and the only basket scored made for a nice highlight -- a nice drive for Hutch-Tech.
I'm off to Clarence.
6:55 p.m. Arrive at Clarence where the host Red Devil girls are trying to hand top-ranked Orchard Park its first loss of the season. Clarence leads OP, 41-37, after three quarters.
OP standout senior Jaymie Druding is out for about three weeks with an leg injury, obviously a big loss for the Quakers. You can see her crutches near the bench.
Sidenote: A flying chest-bump to copy editor Geoff Nason, who changed the headline of this blog from Wednesday Night Live to Thursday Night Live. Whoops.
7:03 p.m. Some nice back-and-forth action and Clarence has a 47-44 lead with 4:31 left in the game.
7:18 p.m. Senior guard Val Nappo has hit six straight free throws and Clarence continues to lead, 55-51, with 21.3 seconds left.
OP junior Taylor Swiatek hits a huge three-pointer to bring the Quakers within one at 55-54.
7:23 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE from the girls game: Clarence 56, Orchard Park 54.
Scorebooks for each team are at the right.
The Clarence reaction, starting with coach Erin Roos:
Coach didn't say anything about cookies, though ...
8:01 p.m. After the first quarter of the boys game, Clarence has a 16-11 lead. Nice pace to the game.
8:03 p.m. Rant alert: I HATE scoreboards that, during timeouts, don't show the time left but instead show the time counting down in the timeout. Hate it. The game is tied at 19-19 at some point in the middle of the second quarter but I don't know how much time because I'm staring at 11 ... 10 .... 9 ... . Canisius and Clarence get D-merits for that. Do they still have D-merits?
8:08 p.m. Really nice game here, and Troy Nowak of OP seems to have a ton of points. OP takes a 26-24 lead and Clarence calls a timeout with 2:02 left in the second.
8:13 p.m. At halftime, OP leads Clarence, 26-24.
A funny moment of the first half. Some Orchard Park dudes and dudettes have made the trip (nice job by them), and when a Clarence player was at the free throw line, an OP player on the bench turned around to his OP people.
OP player on bench: "Hey, say something."
Buddy in bleachers, a little confused: "What do you want me to say?"
[Pause as Clarence player steps to the line]
Buddy in the bleachers: "AHAHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"
8:29 p.m. I've been checking in with the office about the girls game so I've missed some action but OP leads, 30-26, with less than five minutes left in the third.
8:32 p.m. OP coach Bob Rumschik calls a timeout with the Quakers, leading, 35-28, with 3:08 left in the third.
8:38 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, OP's lead is cut to 37-36 on a three-pointer in the final seconds from Clarence's Greg Lucsok.
8:43 p.m. OP calls a timeout with Clarence ahead, 40-39, with 5:52 left.
Hill's three-pointer puts Clarence up, 43-39, and DJ Dominic gets busy.
Nesci finishes off a nice hustle play with a three to put OP up, 44-43, and Nowak blocks a big man's shot on the other end.
8:49 p.m. A great finish of a tough fast-break drive by OP sophomore Matt McCormick gives the Quakers a 46-45 lead.
With 2:28 left, Rumschik calls a timeout.
8:54 p.m. After a McCormick three puts OP up three, Clarence calls a timeout trailing, 49-46, with 20.7 seconds left.
Late in regulation, DJ Dominic with a nice job, reminding the Clarence fans who are nearly spilling on to the court across the way that sportsmanship comes first in "the Devil's Den."
8:56 p.m. Clarence dribbles across halfcourt and calls another timeout with 15.5 seconds left.
8:58 p.m. Clarence's David Hill takes a DEEEEP three-pointer and swishes it in the final seconds; OP misses a desperation heave, and we're going to OVERTIME.
Jeesh. Unbelievable. Tied at 49-49.