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Countdown to Friday Night Lights: C North

By Keith McShea

Who’s who: The seven-team division consists of the Akron Tigers, Cleveland Hill Golden Eagles, JFK Bears, Lackawanna Steelers, Newfane Panthers, Tonawanda Warriors and Wilson Lakemen.

Continue reading "Countdown to Friday Night Lights: C North" »

Former All-WNY hoops standout Abrams killed in Lackawanna block party shooting

By Keith McShea

Some unfortunate news to pass on from Lackawanna. Police released the name of the victim who was fatally shot in a block-party shooting early Sunday. It is Richard Abrams, who was a standout for the Steelers' storied basketball program. 

Here's our updated story on the shooting.   

As a senior for the Steelers, Abrams was a fourth-team All-Western New York selection in 2002. 

Here's what I wrote about him in that year's All-WNY story:

Continue reading "Former All-WNY hoops standout Abrams killed in Lackawanna block party shooting" »

Live from Championship Week's tipoff at Buffalo State: Fredonia knocks off CSAT in B-2 (with video); Olean, Lackawanna roll in B-1

By Keith McShea

Today is the first of four straight days, and a total of five days this week, of Championship Week at Buffalo State. 

I'll provide play-by-play updates in the live blog below and I'll have periodic #preptalkscores updates via Twitter which will also appear in the blog. 

Your tweets with the hashtag #preptalkscores are welcome -- as they will appear in the live blog as well. You can comment on these games or others. Every night, scoring update tweets (in any sport) are welcome to those on Twitter -- just use the #preptalkscores hashtag. Today is also Super Monday for boys hockey while there are boys hoops semifinals at Jamestown Community College in Class D as well. 

Check our scoreboard page for a complete schedule of tonight's games; the scoreboard will be updated as we receive game reports throughout the evening.

Continue reading "Live from Championship Week's tipoff at Buffalo State: Fredonia knocks off CSAT in B-2 (with video); Olean, Lackawanna roll in B-1" »

Live from Quarterfinal Friday: Lackawanna beats Depew & a TON of your #preptalkscores updates

By Keith McShea

There are few days on the Western New York high school sports calendar like Quarterfinal Friday.

There are 32 games tonight which will determine which teams will advance to the Section VI semifinalis next week at Buffalo State and Jamestown Community College (eight classes x four games each = 32).

I'll be at one game which pits two programs that are very used to making that trip to Buffalo State: seventh-seeded Depew at second-seeded Lackawanna in Class B-1. That game, like all but two tonight, starts at 7 (a doubleheader at MST Seneca has games at 6 & 8 p.m.). 

I'll provide updates in the live blog below. I'll have play-by-play and I'll have periodic #preptalkscores updates via Twitter which will also appear in the blog. 

Your tweets with the hashtag #preptalkscores are welcome (especially tonight, with so many games, with such importance) -- as they will appear in the live blog as well. Every night, scoring update tweets (in any sport) are welcome to those on Twitter -- just use the #preptalkscores hashtag.  

Check our scoreboard page for a complete schedule of tonight's games; the scoreboard will be updated as we receive game reports throughout the evening. The quarterfinal lineup is also here.

Continue reading "Live from Quarterfinal Friday: Lackawanna beats Depew & a TON of your #preptalkscores updates" »

How The News voted: Let the playoffs begin

By Keith McShea

Every week during the basketball season a panel of voters participates in The News' large and small school boys basketball polls.

And every week we let you know, like the title says ... how The News voted.

This week starts the postseason -- today there will be play-in rounds in both the Monsignor Martin Association's Manhattan Cup playoffs and the Section VI tournament.

This is just one ballot -- there are nine other voters in each poll. This week's News poll is available via the high school home page. The direct link is here.

Here's last week's ballot (Week Eight, Feb. 12 -- Valentine's edition). Previous polls: Week Seven, Feb. 5 (Canisius No. 1), Week Six, Jan. 29 (Super week); Week Five, Jan. 22 (inauguration), Week Four, Jan. 15 (MLK), Week Three (Jan. 8, back from two-week holiday break); Week Two (special Christmas edition, Dec. 18); Week One (Dec. 11). Also, here's last year's final 2011-12 post

With not much movement in the poll and not many games left, here's a look at this week's ballot along with each team's remaining schedule:

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Canisius (17-4) [last week: 1] -- Crusaders playing at a very high level right now, right according to plan.

Continue reading "How The News voted: Let the playoffs begin" »

How The News voted: Happy February to Canisius

By Keith McShea

Every week during the basketball season a panel of voters participates in The News' large and small school boys basketball polls.

And every week we let you know, like the title says ... how The News voted.

Thanks to the Jesuit Tournament in D.C. for having this picture on their web site.

This week marks a change at the top as Canisius takes over the No. 1 large school spot for Niagara Falls. Canisius had a great start to what should be a fun month, winning at Timon Friday, beating Section V Class AA power Fairport (then ranked second in the state) on Saturday, becoming the top-ranked team in the Class A state poll on Monday and ascending to The News No. 1 spot today. 

This is just one ballot -- there are nine other voters in each poll. This week's News poll is available via the high school home page. Here's the direct link.

Here's last week's ballot (Week Six, Jan. 29 - Super week). Previous polls: Week Five, Jan. 22 (inauguration), Week Four, Jan. 15 (MLK), Week Three (Jan. 8, which followed a two-week holiday break); Week Two (our special Christmas edition, Dec. 18); Week One (Dec. 11). Also, here's last year's final 2011-12 post

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Canisius (15-3) [last week: 2] -- I said I was waiting to see Niagara Falls and Canisius this past weekend to see if there was a move to be made for this spot, and the results made it a clear one. Canisius was all over Fairport from the start and then made the plays to hold on. Fairport, Bishop Kearney (which Falls lost to Sunday) and Webster Schroeder (which Falls lost to Saturday) are considered to be tightly grouped together when it comes to who is the best Class AA team in Section V. 

Continue reading "How The News voted: Happy February to Canisius" »

How The News voted: Super Week (& we're not talking football)

By Keith McShea

Every week during the basketball season a panel of voters participates in The News' large and small school boys basketball polls.

And every week we let you know, like the title says ... how The News voted.

This is just one ballot -- there are nine other voters in each poll. This week's News poll is available via the high school home page.

It's a Super Week, and we're not talking about Sunday's football game. As you'll see throughout the blog, there are several big-time games this week -- there's even one on Super Bowl Sunday that is worth a bit of hype. 

Here's last week's ballot (Week Five, Jan. 22). Previous polls: Week Four, Jan. 15Week Three (Jan. 8, which followed a two-week holiday break); Week Two (our special Christmas edition, Dec. 18); Week One (Dec. 11). Also, here's last year's final 2011-12 post

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Niagara Falls (10-1) [last week: 1] -- The 100-18 win over Kenmore East revived calls for the Niagara Frontier League to allow Falls to play as an independent. I've said they should have remained that way since the 2005 Federation championship team. 

Continue reading "How The News voted: Super Week (& we're not talking football)" »

Live from the MLK Classic: Canisius tops McKinley; Middle College, East, Lackawanna win (with video interviews)

By Keith McShea

Greetings from City Honors, again site of the seventh Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Basketball Classic, hosted by the Buffalo Public Schools. 

Today's lineup includes ranked teams in each of the four games here at City Honors. The day begins with No. 8 small school Lackawanna taking on the host Centaurs at 11 a.m., followed by No. 3 small school East meeting East Aurora (not ranked but I had them at No. 10 in my ballot) at 12:45. 

The second session begins at 4 p.m. with ECIC II leader Sweet Home taking on No. 6 small school Middle Early College. The marquee matchup of the day has No. 2 large school Canisius meeting No. 3 McKinley at 5:45. 

I'll have updates from games in the live blog below and via #preptalkscores updates on Twitter. 

Continue reading "Live from the MLK Classic: Canisius tops McKinley; Middle College, East, Lackawanna win (with video interviews)" »

Prequarterfinal Wednesday: With #preptalkscores, video, & live chat on alleged 'love affair' with a certain team

We will have our live chat tonight after I run around to prequarterfinal basketball games.

There's no video start as Lauren Mariacher is off -- plus, I'm not exactly sure when I'll be back in the ofice to get things started. I'd guess around 9:30 or 9:45 p.m.

We'll open the chat window early so we can share updates of #preptalkscores on a fairly busy night of outbracket games that will set the field for Quarterfinal Friday.

Tweets to the hashtag #preptalkscores will also automatically show up in the live blog (including mine). So if you are a game tonight and you're updating via Twitter, be sure to include that hashtag.

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

As far as the chat goes, I promise I'll get to your question or comment -- but please be patient. It can get busy fielding all of the questions and I can only answer one at a time. And PLEASE don't enter your question/comment multiple times -- that only makes things more hectic.

Note: My apologies for my brainfart-caused errors regarding Albion and the A-2 bracket in today's paper. They have been fixed in the story online.

* * *

Video from my Wednesday travels:

Emerson took the lead for good in the final minute on Trevon Tubbins' off-balance jumper.

Raytrel Finley hits the free throw and Deron Adams makes a big steal to help seal the game for the Steelers.

The post-game show:

* * *

Our previous winter chats: Feb. 15 (starting with Ken West at Ken East), Feb. 8 (scorekeepers), Feb. 1 (twitter smh column & football signing day), Jan. 25 (pre-Canisius-Joe's), Jan. 18 (2012 video debut), Jan. 11 (2012 debut/Aquinas-Kearney viewing), Dec. 14 (from the MMA-ECIC Challenge), All-WNY football talk (Dec. 7 w/video); our first was Nov. 30 (live from the Pastor-Cooper Showcase tipoff).

Our chats of the 2011 fall season: Nov. 16Nov. 9Nov. 2Oct. 26Oct. 19Oct. 12Oct. 5Sept. 28Sept. 21 (our video chat debut)Sept. 14Sept. 7 and our preseason chat (Aug. 31), which also includes links to all of of the chats from 2010-11.

As always, if you have a question but you won't be able to make the chat, post one in the comments section here, email me, Tweet it or post it on Facebook and I'll do my best to address it.

---Keith McShea

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

Thursday Night Live, tweeting #preptalkscores & getting video highlights from four games (including Tonawanda's record-breaker)

We're doing our running-around-to-games thing tonight, and for the second straight night we're doing a Twitter experiment. I'll be much more mobile if I just tweet, so that's what I'll probably do while I'm running around. At the end of the night I'll provide some overall thoughts and details here. 

So follow along at twitter.com/KeithMcSheaBN.

And if you are out at any kind of varsity high school action, tweet updates with the hashtag #preptalkscores.

You just might win the #preptalkscores Tweet of the Night (check out last night's).

Here's the plan: Hutch-Tech at Riverside (6 p.m.), MST Seneca vs. I-Prep/Grover at Medaille (6), Emerson vs. OTC Middle College at Waterfront (6), Tonawanda at Lackawanna (7) and Williamsville East at Hamburg (7:30). 

Here we go. See you on the tweeter. 

* * * 

You can check out the tweets for my travels ... here are some video highlights .. 

Foremost among them is the history-making moment for Tonawanda's Jesse Lalka -- yes, it's a free throw, but it was cruicial in putting the undefeated Warriors up four in the final seconds of a 46-41 win at Lackawanna. Scroll down for six highlights, plus interviews, from that one.

Pretty cool "Jess-ee Lal-kaa!" chant after the big point.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

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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]

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