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Countdown to Friday Night Lights: Class AA

By Keith McShea

Who’s who: The nine-team division consists of the Clarence Red Devils, Frontier Falcons, Jamestown Red Raiders, Kenmore West Blue Devils, Lancaster Redskins, Lockport Lions, Niagara Falls Wolverines, Orchard Park Quakers and West Seneca West Indians.

Continue reading "Countdown to Friday Night Lights: Class AA" »

#preptalkpreseason with PrepTalkTV: Interviews with AA coaches from Clarence, Ken West, Falls, W.S. West & Lockport

Get the lowdown on Class AA football from coaches from Clarence, Kenmore West, Niagara Falls, Lancaster, West Seneca West and Lockport

Mary Jo Monnin sat down with the coaches prior to the Section VI preseason coaches meeting, and Harry Scull compiled the video: 

Check back for more coach interviews and reports from high school training camps, and check out more video reports at our video home page

Live from the Section VI girls lacrosse finals: Lancaster, Hamburg repeat; Amherst wins 9th in a row (with video interviews)

Class A champion Lancaster (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
Class B champion Hamburg (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
Class C champion Amherst (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
By Keith McShea

The spring season's Championship Week continues today with several major events, including the Section VI girls lacrosse finals tripleheader at All High Stadium.

That's where I'll be, providing play-by-play updates in the live blog below for the Class A (Lancaster vs. Frontier, 3:30 p.m.), B (Hamburg vs. West Seneca East, 5:30) and C games (Lake Shore vs. Amherst, 8 p.m.). 

The Georgetown Cup series between St. Joe's and Canisius is set to get started (4:30 at St. Joe's) after yesterday's postponement, as is the Section VI Class A boys lacrosse final of Orchard Park vs. Clarence at Hamburg (5:30). There are also several softball finals and semifinals and baseball finals on today's schedule. 

If you are at one of today's big games, be sure to tweet updates with the hashtag #preptalkscores. Those tweets will automatically appear in the live blog below. 

Check out our SCOREBOARD PAGE for today's complete schedule, which will be updated with results as soon as we have them.

Continue reading "Live from the Section VI girls lacrosse finals: Lancaster, Hamburg repeat; Amherst wins 9th in a row (with video interviews)" »

Live from the Section VI Wrestling Championships & PrepTalkTV video

By Keith McShea

Hello from the University at Buffalo and the Section VI Wrestling Championships -- great to have both Division I and II in one spot so we can bring you all of the action. Our head might be spinning a little, but we'll do our best with the live blog. 

I'll have match-by-match updates in the live blog below and I'll also be providing #preptalkscores updates on Twitter (those will also appear in the blog). 

Your tweets with the hashtag #preptalkscores are welcome -- 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 action; the scoreboard will be updated as we receive game reports throughout the evening.

Here are the championship bouts:

Continue reading "Live from the Section VI Wrestling Championships & PrepTalkTV video" »

Friday Night Live from big Clarence wrestling win (with PrepTalkTV video), plus your #preptalkscores

By Keith McShea

It's a pretty huge night in high school sports -- and it's a pretty huge night at Clarence. That's where Lauren Mariacher and I will be for two big events.

Wrestling's seventh "Border Brawl" takes place as the Red Devils, ranked first in Western New York, host No. 3 Lancaster at 6:30 p.m. Next door (in the divided gym) at 7:30, the No. 9 large school Clarence boys basketball team hosts ECIC I rival Jamestown, which is ranked third. 

Among the other top matchups tonight include No. 1 girls basketball large school Sacred Heart vs. No. 7 Holy Angels at Villa Maria College at 6:30; the father-son matchup of boys basketball coaches Chris (Amherst) and Mark (Maryvale) Kensy in their ECIC III matchup at Maryvale at 7:30; and a high-quality Monsignor Martin small school showdown as No. 7 St. Mary's visits No. 4 Nichols at 7:30. 

I'll have updates from games in the live blog below and I'll also be providing #preptalkscores updates on Twitter, which will also appear in the blog. 

Continue reading "Friday Night Live from big Clarence wrestling win (with PrepTalkTV video), plus your #preptalkscores" »

Super Tuesday: Lancaster, Hamburg and Amherst win girls lax titles (with video & photos), plus many other #preptalkscores

Class A champion Lancaster (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

Class B champion Hamburg (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
Class C champion Amherst. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
It is a Super Tuesday in high school sports today with major matchups and championships in baseball, softball, boys lacrosse and girls lacrosse. If you are at a game and getting your Tweeter on, make sure to tweet to #preptalkscores.

I'll be spending the afternoon and evening at the Section VI girls lacrosse championships at All High Stadium. We'll also have reporters at the Monsignor Martin boys lacrosse championship and the Georgetown Cup baseball semifinals. 

While I'll have updates from those games, tweets to the hashtag #preptalkscores will also automatically show up in the live blog below. 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 girls lacrosse finals at @KeithMcSheaBN, but most of my play-by-play updating will come in the live blog.

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

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

* * * 

Note: Super Tuesday is so super-full of high school playoff action that we're covering, that my Prep Talk column & the Power 10 will appear in Friday's paper instead of its traditional Wednesday. That actually will be a better fit for the Power 10 since the pool of teams will be whittled down by then. 

* * * 

Postgame show from the Section VI girls lacrosse championships: 

Lancaster coach Julie Buccieri, sophomore Allie Stewart and junior goalie Karli Pawlak:

Hamburg coach Katy Ryan and senior Amanda Obenshain:

Amherst coach Jodi Battaglia, senior Carly Martin, sophomore Grace Lawson and sophomore Emily Bitka:

* * *

A later addition I overlooked on my phone originally -- because it's quote far away. It's video of Frontier's final possession in the A game, on which a free position was stopped by Emily Pawlak in the final seconds.

The best part about the clip is watching Lancaster coach Julie Buccieri on the far right of the Redskins' sideline. Early on a foul is called, and let's just say she's not thrilled -- then she ends up watching the final play by herself far down the sideline while coaching the defense.

(Be sure to blow up the video to full-screen for a better look.)

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Hurley to speak Monday at Lancaster Elks

One of Western New York’s own, Bill Hurley, will speak on Monday at the Elks Lodge, 33 Legion Parkway in Lancaster as part of the WNY Football Coaches’ Association weekly clinic.

Hurley, a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, is currently an assistant coach at Robert Morris University.

His career as a quarterback at St. Joe's was punctuated by a sensational 1974 senior season in which he was honored as first-team All-Catholic, first team All-Western New York and first-team All-New York State. Hurley set many single-season and career records at St. Joe's, the most significant was his 381-yard rushing total (on 17 carries) against Bishop Turner, a New York State record.

At Syracuse, he continued to put up big numbers. As a sophomore, Hurley threw for 329 yards against ninth-ranked Penn State, breaking the school record by nearly 100 yards. Hurley was a four-year starter at Syracuse (as well as captain and team MVP junior and senior years), and set 23 game, season, and career records. He became just the third quarterback in modern NCAA history to rush for at least 2,000 yards and pass for at least 3,000 yards in a career.

A two-time honorable mention All-American and All-East quarterback, Bill was ECAC Offensive Player of the Year in 1979, selected for the Blue/Gray Football Classic, and was MVP of the East/West Shrine Game and Hula Bowl. He also led the Orange to an Independence Bowl championship in 1979.
Hurley spent four seasons in the NFL as a safety with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, and Buffalo Bills.

There is no admission to attend Monday’s event.

Take a bow, Lockport and Lancaster girls

Sports Girls basketball  scull

Lockport and Lancaster played a downright entertaining game on Tuesday night bringing a close to the 37th annual Section VI Girls Basketball Tournament. This battle of LHS vs. LHS came down to the last second when the Redskins missed a three-pointer that would have tied it.

Instead, Lockport earned the berth into the Far West Regionals with a 57-54 win.This game had many in the crowd of 850 on the edge of their seats at Niagara County Community College. The game had a little bit of everything. It was tied seven times, the last time coming at 51-51 with 3:28 left.

Unsung heroes? How about Lockport's 5-foot-3 junior guard, Alexis Cheatham, who can't weigh enough to donate blood, somehow finding herself alone in the paint with 28.1 seconds left and harmlessly dropping the ball through the hoop giving her team a three-point lead.

Subplots? The coaching matchup featured Lockport's Bill Shaw coaching against his pupil Karen Catalano, who coached in his program for seven years before getting her first varsity assignment two years ago at Lancaster. Shaw's statement that it was a shame someone had to lose wasn't lip service or coach-speak - it was from the heart. It would be a bigger shame if that man is forced out of coaching at Lockport after he retires from teaching in June.

What a display by the senior the post players from both teams. Emma Sobieraski and Marisa Guyton of Lockport can flat out play displaying great instincts, the ability to shoot off balance and negotiate the lane. Lancaster's Katie Healy looked every bit the future Division I player she is. She can play away from the basket, runs the floor like she's on fire, and times her block attempts well. Lancaster's backcourt of Kim Siresi and Sam Wozniak had a way of making Healy feel like they had her back. They don't force the ball inside to Healy. Instead, they are money from three-point range and win most of the battles for those 50-50 balls.

The feeling that both teams respected each other's abilities was in the air. This game was so different from the turnover-fests, jump ball marathons and air ball conventions girls basketball has become. Take a bow Lancaster and Lockport for a game well-played.

---Mary Jo Monnin

(Photo of Lockport's Emma Sobieraski and Lancaster's Katie Healy by Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Section VI Wins State Gymnastics

Lancaster's Courtney Bondanza placed second in the all-around with a score of 37.725 and Lily Jagodzinski of Williamsville North tied for first in the floor exercise with a 9.5, helping Section VI claim the state girls gymnastics title today in Albany.

-- Bob DiCesare

PrepTalkTV: Preseason interviews with coaches from Lancaster, Cleve Hill, Cheektowaga, Amherst, Maryvale and Lake Shore

PrepTalkTV photographer/videographer John Hickey and News Sports Reporter Mary Jo Monnin caught up with several coaches at a Section VI preseason meeting.

Here's what they had to say about their teams and divisions:

Lancaster coach Len Jankiewicz:

Cheektowaga coach Scott Zipp:

Cleveland Hill coach Glen Graham:

Amherst coach Pat Murphy:

Maryvale head coach Jeffrey Buccieri:

Lake Shore coach Chuck Kowalski:

Be sure to check back to the PrepTalk blog as we continue to gear up for the first day of practices all around Western New York on Aug. 15.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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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 |