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Maple Grove shines in NYSSWA's All-Sport Championship

Maple Grove defended its title as the top Class D program in the state as determined by the New York State Sportswriters Association's second annual All-Sport Championship.

The NYSSA takes the state championship results of all New York State Public High School Athletic Association events (New York City schools and Catholic schools not in the NYSPHSAA are not included) to determine overall champions in each class.

Maple Grove's overall title was driven by its boys program, which also topped the Class D boys list for the second straight year (this season it tied with Fort Ann and Chazy). Last year Maple Grove won the state football championship and made the final four in basketball; this year the Red Dragons won the basketball title.

Section VI teams which won state championships were also among the top-rated programs.

East Aurora was the top-rated Class B girls program thanks in large part to its state title in cross country -- that also put EA fourth in the overall Class B standings.

Clymer, which won the girls basketball championship in Class D, finished in a tie for first in the girls' D standings.

Eden and City Honors tied for third among Class B girls due to their state volleyball titles (City Honors won the volleyball title in Class C, but the All-Sport Championships used the basketball classifications as a universal guide -- in hoops, City Honors is a B). 

On the boys side, Southwestern's state title in football helped it to a tie for third in Class B. In Class C, state basketball champ OTC-Middle College and state football champ Randolph were among four schools tied for second.  

Check out the link above for more details on the rating system as well as state-wide results for boys and girls.

---Keith McShea

Class of 2010 updates & tidbits: Two to the SEC

Our Class of 2010 college list has been updated with a ton of names, including a big bump to the list in girls volleyball (thanks to the coaches Pierce of Eden for that).

Here are some links and some info we received with the updates and that we came across in doing some research ...

* There are two big-time athletes to the big-time Southeastern Conference. Not bad, Western New York.

Kenmore West swimmer Marissa Dressel is swimming her way to Alabama while Eden volleyball standout Stacey Smith concluded a competitive recruiting process with a trip to Georgia.

* Nardin soccer goalie Tori Christ is headed to Ithaca's East Hill and Collegetown as she attends Cornell.

* Connolly Cup winner Zack Sopak of Southwestern will keep playing for coach Sirianni -- that's  Washington & Jefferson coach Mike Sirianni, the older brother of Trojans coach Jay Sirianni. See Sopak's signing in a Jamestown Post-Journal story and photo.

* Another of Eden's fab four seniors in volleyball, Katie Eschner, is headed to Roberts Wesleyan in suburban Rochester. 

* Check out the bios of Willie Ruiz of Canisius and Matt Fox of Maple Grove, who are both playing football at Robert Morris.

* Read up on five locals heading to Gannon football: Ian Kennedy, Bishop Timon-St. Jude; Keith Bykowski and Matthew Hornung, Cheektowaga; Ryan Sweet, East Aurora and Jeff Bellanca, St. Joe's (also baseball).

* Amanda Serafini of Frontier softball is off to Davis & Elkins in Elkins, W. Va. 

* Kyle McLain of Canisius will play baseball at Washington & Jefferson, which is ranked in the Division III top 25. 

* Jamie Nash of JFK will play softball atop South Hill with the Ithaca College Bombers, ranked in the Division III national top 25. 

Have an update to the list or information like is posted here? See the top of the college list page for guildelines and e-mail me. 

---Keith McShea

Championship page day for Maple Grove

The Maple Grove boys basketball team is the second of this week's state champions we're honoring with poster pages and audio slideshows. 

Our page is the headquarters for the state titlists. The pages are available for purchase -- along with tons of other pages and photos -- out

The Clymer girls got us started Monday. Here's the schedule for the rest of the pages, with a special edition at the end of the week:

Thursday: OTC Middle College boys basketball
Friday: Nichols boys basketball
Saturday: All-Western New York issue (boys and girls)

While we're talking scheduling, the Scholastic Spotlight will spring back into action three days later on Tuesday, April 13.

---Keith McShea

Upon further review: Secky ninth all-time in points

I got a call from Maple Grove statistician Kim Rambacher this morning, and he notified me that Chris Secky's point total in the championship game was 25.

In my story I had 23 because that's what was on the box score relased by state statisticians. During the game and during my live blog I thought that the point total was different (due to centercourt and TV both having 25). I was under a tight deadline and only had the box score, which has been trustworthy for the decade I've been covering games at Glens Falls.My apologies for the error.

Secky's career total is 2,067, which is ninth all-time and one point more than Christian Laettner.

---Keith McShea

Live from the D state final: Maple Grove WINS STATE TITLE with 43-38 win over IX-Coleman Catholic (with video)

The Maple Grove Red Dragon and a few of his friends. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

Hello from courtside at the Glens Falls Civic Center for the first of two state championship games featuring Section VI champions.

I'll be updating the play-by-play for my notes, but feel free to follow along. The games are also on Time Warner Cable SportsNet.

I will do my best to post your comments immediately but PLEASE understand that I may not be able to, especially late in the game. I'm under a heavy deadline with the two games tonight and I'll be doing my best to keep track of the action and to get my stories together. Thanks very much.

After the game, feel free to post comments below.

* * *

Video of the final seconds ...

---Keith McShea

Live from the D state semifinals: Maple Grove knocks off III-New York Mills, 56-50 (with video)

Hello from Glens Falls, where the parking was typically crazy for the Friday morning games (lots are full downtown with people at work) but we're courtside and will bring you the play-by-play of Maple Grove's Class D semifinal.

* * *

What a game. Maple Grove played its best game of the year against a great opponent on the grandest of stages.

 Their independent schedule really paid off today -- after seeing MG win but not dominate the last two weeks, I wasn't sure if the schedule had really shown its worth. It did today as the Red Dragons put forth a tremendous team effort led, as always, by Secky.

The Red Dragon gets down. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)MG got off to a great start against an favored opponent to set a great tone, and it played great team defense against New York Mills' two big guys (6-8 and 6-5) all game.

* * *

Maple Grove will play John A. Coleman Catholic, the Section IX champion from downstate's Ulster County, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Coleman Catholic beat Germantown of Section II (Albany area) in the first game of the day, 70-50. Six-foot senior Jake Palmer had 20 points while 6-4 junior Chris Chatelain had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Paul Lettieri (6-1 senior) had nine and Kyle Chambers (6-2 senior) had eight.

* * *

Here's my thoughts on private schools being allowed to play for the public school title in Class D.

* * *

Here's the box score and some stats:

Maple Grove 56, III-New York Mills 50

MAPLE GROVE (15-8): Jordon Saxton 0-1 1-2 7, Alex Grace 5-8 1-1 12, Skyler Liddell 2-10 1-2, Chris Secky 6-16 9-14 22, Matt Fox 1-1 0-0 2, Ryan Kibbe 0-0 0-0 0, Wil Nelson 0-0 0-0 0, Kevin McElrath 2-6 3-6 7.

NEW YORK MILLS (56-50): Matthew Dziekan 3-9 0-0 7, Ed Schulze 0-3 0-0 0, Edgardo Colon 2-6 0-0 4, Jeremy Miller 2-7 3-5 7, Jeff Albright 1-1 0-0 2, Fred Russ 4-12 8-11 17, Matt Welch 6-9 0-0 13.

First quarter: MG, 21-9; Halftime: MG, 24-23; Third quarter: 38-35.

Three-point goals: Saxton 1-2, Grace 1-3, Liddell 1-8, Secky 1-3; Dziekan 1-3, Schulze 0-2, Miller 0-2, Russ 1-1, Welch 1-1. 

Secky: 14 rebounds, six assists, two steals; Grace: three assists; McElrath: seven rebounds.

* * *

Here's video of Chris Secky's huge steal and basket in the final minutes. Just a warning: It's not the best shot of it, but the sound alone tells the story.

With the score tied at 48-48 with 2:12 left, Secky hits the first free throw, misses the second -- but steals the outlet pass and scores on a sick reverse layup. It gave MG a three-point lead and it would lead the rest of the way.

My apologies for Secky running out of frame, but that's what happens when you shoot video with one hand and type with your other hand. No kidding.

Secky stole the outlet pass, then went baseline -- after he came back into the picture the ref screened me on the play :-). Maybe not great video, but certainly a great play.

Secky goes back to the line with 12.7 seconds left and Maple Grove up, 54-50. He hits both, New York Mills misses, and the celebration was on.

* * *

As always, after the game feel free to add comments below.

We'll have a separate post up later for the Middle College Class C semifinal.

---Keith McShea

Who's going to win a state title?

Three teams head to Glens Falls this weekend (and next weekend) seeking state titles.

Vote in the polls and let us know why you voted the way you did in the comments section.

---Keith McShea

Research material: State hoops final four

First off, this is research for something else -- the NCAA and its stop here in Buffalo this weekend. Definitely get your hands on today's paper, which includes a great preview section, and check out all sorts of cool content at our Tournament Central.

Of course, no NCAAs in Buffalo for me as I'm off to Glens Falls. Here's some links that were part of my research for my story as well as the charts (I love doing that chart -- lots of stuff in there) that ran with it: 

* The current state rankings thanks to the New York State Sportswriters Association.

* The home page for the NYSSWA's Road to Glens Falls has tons of stuff. 

* The Glens Falls Post-Star kicks this thing's butt. You should see the print edition in town. (Note: Go to their live blogs instead of my live blogs and I might have to committ a Flagrant 2 on you).

* A bunch of final four related stuff came up in Wednesday night's edition of our weekly chat.

In semi-random order (I've got windows opened up all over my computer): 

* The Moravia roster (that's who Middle College plays) via MaxPreps.

* A story from the Auburn Citzen on how the Moravia community is rallying around its Blue Devils.

* Middle College's stats page via MaxPreps.

* A nice home site of New York Mills.

* Excellent Oneonta Star story on New York Mills avenging last year's regional loss to defending champion South Kortright.

* wrapup of New York Mills' regional win.

* Clymer plays John A. Coleman Catholic in the state semifinals. Coleman Catholic is also in the Class D final four.

A reminder that I strongly feel that private schools should not be allowed in Class D. Here's a 2008 post I dust off from time to time.

* One of the teams in the Class D final four is Davenport ... or is it Charlotte Valley? C'mon people. Pick one name. Like Middle Coll .... I mean OTC.

* Mary Jo Monnin has some cool down-home info on the Clymer girls' first trip to the final four.

---Keith McShea

Video: Far West Regional wrapup by PrepTalkTV

Two Section VI teams -- Middle College and Maple Grove -- will be moving on to the state final four after Section VI went 2 for 5 in Saturday's Far West Regionals.

The video is accessible at the home page or via our video player page

Reporter/videographer/producer Lauren Mariacher was under the weather so thanks much to Joe Popiolkowski for filling in.

Let us know what you think.

* * *

Also check out an extensive photo gallery by News photographer Mark Mulville.

* * *

Here's your own PrepTalkTV DVR loaded with our previous episodes:

* Overall A & B finals (March 13): Williamsville South, Olean move on to the regionals.

* Championship Saturday (March 6): Winning titles were, in order, Akron (B-2), Olean (B-1), East (A-2), Williamsville South (A-1) and Jamestown (AA).

* Section VI C & D championships (March 5): Middle College (C) and Maple Grove (D) are champions.

* Manhattan Cup championship (Feb. 28): Nichols and its seniors romp to the title.

* Section VI quarterfinals (Feb. 27): Clarence and North Tonawanda have big wins and we look ahead to the final fours at Buffalo State and Jamestown Community College. 

* Manhattan Cup semifinals (Feb. 23): Nichols-Canisius showdown set after both win big.

* Scarcello's buzzer-beater helps Timon to final four (Feb. 21): Bishop Timon-St. Jude got past St. Joe's in a Manhattan Cup quarterfinal thriller to join Nichols, Canisius and St. Mary's in the semifinals.

* Last day of the regular season (Feb. 19): Middle College wins the Yale Cup, Lancaster beats Depew.

* Big wins for Nichols, East (Feb. 17): Nichols clobbers Canisius, East tops Grover Cleveland.

* Nowak's buzzer-beater stuns Jamestown (Feb. 12): Orchard Park's thrilling win, plus action from Nichols and Lackawanna.

Super Tuesday (Feb. 9): North Tonawanda sweeps Niagara Falls; Maryvale and McKinley win on the busiest night of the year.

Sweet Home is ShellStrong (Feb. 5): Panthers basketball hosts a great fundraising night.

---Keith McShea

More from the Far West Regionals

Five games in a day can really fill a notebook.

Here’s some additional notes and quotes that didn’t make the game stories from the action at Buffalo State.

Grab a cup of coffee, you’ll need it.

Class D: Maple Grove-Houghton

Some notes:

- Amazingly enough, this was my first time seein Chris Secky play live, and he didn’t disappoint. Despite being shackled to the bench for most of the first half, Secky put on a show in the third quarter. He dazzled the crowd with a Tim Hardaway-style crossover late in the quarter, freeing himself for a floater in the lane to make it 36-31.

- Maple Grove big man Kevin McElrath picked up his fourth foul with 1:44 left in the third quarter on a charge, sending him to the bench, but the Red Dragons were able to withstand his loss.

- Houghton hung tough for most of the game, including when Tyler Mastin hit a layup and made the ensuing free throw with 1:34 left in the third off a nice assist from David Roorbach. The shot made it 31-28 and Mastin celebrated by letting out a scream in front of the shirtless, painted Maple Grove fans.

- As you’ll read below in Maple Grove coach Curt Fischer’s quotes, going to an independent schedule this season was beneficial for the Red Dragons. Houghton started off strong in its first-ever trip to the Far West Regionals, but the Red Dragons never wavered, even with Secky on the bench. That can be attributed to their big-game experience.

And some quotes:

Continue reading "More from the Far West Regionals" »

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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 |