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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.

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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

Live from the C regional: OTC Middle College routs V-Mynderse, 96-50

Hello from another great hoop day at Buffalo State. By the end of the day we'll know who is headed to Glens Falls from the Far West Regionals. It's time for Game Two of five.

DISCLAIMER: I won't be able to answer too many questions because it gets pretty busy here, especially late in games, and especially now that I've got the iPhone video going. Also, please try and limit questions to this game, especially during crunch time. THANKS for your understanding.

---Keith McShea

Video: Middle College, Maple Grove star at JCC -- and on PrepTalkTV

PrepTalkTV is in Jamestown as Middle College and Maple Grove win sectional titles.

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

Reporter/videographer/producer Lauren Mariacher and I will be back to wrap up the rest of the Section VI finals.

Let us know what you think.

* * *

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

* Manhattan Cup Championship (March 5): Nichols completes mission by dominating Canisius.

Continue reading "Video: Middle College, Maple Grove star at JCC -- and on PrepTalkTV" »

Friday Night Live from JCC: Maple Grove repeats, Middle College romps

JAMESTOWN -- Hello from the Jamestown Community College for one of the best nights of the year, the Section VI Class C and D boys basketball championships. 

Opening tip of the Class D final. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) Updates will come here, so get comfortable with your refresh button. Two stories to write, one video to do, so not enough time to have a live blog going as well. I'll have updates at the very least after each quarter.

5:59 p.m. We've got introductions going on right now. The intimate gym is filling up. Always a great atmosphere here.

One storyline to watch this evening -- Chris Secky, who wears No. 24, is 24 points away from the 2,000-point mark.

6:09 p.m. Sherman calls a timeout with 3:53 left in the first and Maple Grove having taken a 10-3 lead. Secky has seven points, that's 17 to go for 2,000.

6:12 p.m. Maple Grove is up, 10-5, with just over two minutes to go in the first quarter. Secky has picked up his second foul. The second one was a bad call in my opinion; Secky poked the ball by reaching over a player while both were standing on the ground. It  did not appear to be an over the back.

"You really called that?" asks Curt Fischer of the official on the sideline. "You just changed the game completely." Fischer, who can get fired up at officials no matter what the sport, was already hollering at them for the first call on Secky.

6:18 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Maple Grove has a 10-8 lead on Sherman. 

An official came over to Fischer and issued him a warning because he "berated" the other two officials.

6:21 p.m. Sherman coach Cory Emory calls a timeout; Maple Grove leads, 12-8, with 6:50 left in the second quarter.

6:29 p.m. Check this out; Sherman 19, Maple Grove 15 and MG calls a timeout with 1:52 left in the second. 

Things might be evening out. Maple Grove came out of the timeout with six players on the court but got away with it. Sherman bench was outraged.

6:32 p.m. Check THIS out: We are at HALFTIME and Sherman leads Maple Grove, 23-21. 

Maple Grove had retaken the lead at 21-19 thanks to two straight three-pointers by sophomore Skylar Liddell, but Sherman senior Mike Reed came up big at the end of the half. He followed a slick baseline drive with quite the highlight play. Maple Grove had the ball with less than 30 seconds left in the half, but an ill-advised jumper gave Sherman a rebound and Reed came down the right side and let go a one-handed half-scoop, half-fling near the three-point line right in front of me (I'm just to the right of midcourt). The ball banked in at the buzzer(!) and after a brief huddle, the officials ruled it a two-pointer.

I just had a brief huddle with my iPhone, and it was a three. The video shows him taking off from behind both three-point lines here (there's the high school and college lines on the floor). It was an awkward takeoff in which he ended up quite close to the basket, which made the officials -- and me, before I checked the video -- believe it was a two. That's going to happen. Let's hope the one point doesn't come into play later.

Maybe it's just the basketball gods evening things out for Secky's two fouls. He definitely was playing tentative -- and rightly so -- at both ends after picking up two.

Should be quite the second half. Sherman and Reed are playing very well. 

6:47 p.m. Sherman with a timeout after Maple Grove takes a 28-23 lead with 5:20 left in the third quarter. Secky has all seven of Maple Grove's points in the second half. 

6:54 p.m. We have a timeout for blood on the floor with 2:44 left in the third quarter. Maple Grove leads, 28-23. Sherman has yet to score in the third quarter. Secky is six points away from 2,000; Reed is two points away from 1,000.

7:03 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Maple Grove has a 38-25 lead after winning the quarter, 17-2.

7:10 p.m. Sherman calls a timeout after a Liddell follow gives Maple Grove a 42-26 lead with 5:00 to play.

7:12 p.m. Timeout Maple Grove with Sherman having drawn within 42-30 with 3:58 left. 

7:18 p.m. Not a whole lot of scoring going on here, kind of an odd deal since we're on the verge of two milestones. Maple Grove leads, 43-30, with 1:22 left in the game; Maple Grove timeout. 

7:23 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Maple Grove 43, Sherman 32.

Reed got his 1,000th point on two free throws in the final minute. Chris Secky is four short of 2,000 points and should get them next week at Buffalo State in the Far West Regionals. 

7:52 p.m. We are pretty much on schedule here. Class C is about to tip off.

8:02 p.m. First timeout of the game is taken by Cassadaga Valley with OTC Middle College off to an 11-4 start with 2:28 left in the first quarter. 

8:09 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Middle College has a 17-8 lead over Cassadaga Valley thanks to seven straight points by Darale Young. Two unstoppable drives sandwiched a follow of a Justin Stokes fast-break miss. 

8:13 p.m. Another Cassadaga Valley timeout after another Middle College run. Middle College leads, 24-11, wtih 5:40 left in the second. Some great defense being played by the Kats; they are speeding up the game for CV and causing a lot of turnovers. 

8:20 p.m. Middle College calls a timeout with 2:39 left in the second quarter and owning a 31-11 lead. It probably needs the rest because it is playing hard on defense. They are getting ater it big-time. 

8:26 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Middle College leads Cassadaga Valley, 41-13. The Kats are putting on a show and Darale Young has been just outstanding. His run of scoring earlier was followed by a run in which he had three assists, and late in the half he put on a show with two swished threes and a baseline swished jumper. Davon Alexander had a run of points as he was too much to handle inside. The Kats are just too much in general. 

CV has at least six banners draped around the gym, including "Krush the Kats." Awesome school spirit. They've also got two Cougar mascots walking around. Great stuff. And you can see that CV is a good team, one that I'm probably going to have in my top 10. They have just run into a team that is playing at another speed and another level. 

8:44 p.m. CV calls a timeout with 4:26 left in the third. Middle College has started the quarter with a 9-0 run and leads, 50-13. 

8:55 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Middle College leads, 59-23. Lots of subbing started in the third.

9:03 p.m. The lead is now 70-29 with 3:27 left and Cassadaga Valley has called a timeout. For some reason, Middle College pulled some of its starters a moment ago only to put some starters back in. I don't get it. 

9:17 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Middle College 71, Cassadaga Valley 35.

---Keith McShea

Video: PrepTalkTV wraps up the regular season

The final day of the boys basketball regular season, highlighted by Middle College's Yale Cup title and Lancaster's home win over Depew, is captured in the fourth episode of PrepTalkTV:

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

Reporter/videographer/producer Lauren Mariacher and I will putting another episode together on Sunday as the Manhattan Cup holds its four quarterfinals at Canisius College.

Let us know what you think.

---Keith McShea

Friday Night Live: Middle College wins the Yale Cup, Lancaster beats Depew (with video)

Hello from the final day of the regular season in high school boys basketball.

An interested courtside spectator. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) Undefeated Middle College is taking on East for the Yale Cup. Unfortunately we are in a different venue, the Grabiarz School off Military Road.

It's a cool coaching matchup in that Middle College's Randy Rich was a longtime assistant under East's Starling Bryant during Traditional's championship runs.

5:42 p.m. The first timeout of the game is called by East, which trails, 19-10, with 1:31 left in the first quarter. Middle College is getting out in transition with Justin Stokes and Darale Young putting up some very nice finishes.

5:45 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Middle College leads East, 24-15. Deon Robinson of East just nailed an off-balance NBA-range three-pointer at the buzzer; that answered Young swishing a three-pointer.

5:58 p.m. Middle College's Rich calls a timeout with 2:06 left in the second quarter. Stokes just swished an open three for a 35-27 lead. 

6:01 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Middle College leads East, 39-30.

East made a nice run in the second to come within 35-30 after a three-pointer by Jasen Oden, who is into this game. Great intensity. 

Stokes continues to be fantastic. He dished to Davon Alexander for a basket off a scramble, then made a tough catch-and-finish on a quick transition to supply the Kats with their halftime lead.

6:11 p.m. We're back and the second half has started. I took a picture of the Yale Cup, which is sitting courtside.

Continue reading "Friday Night Live: Middle College wins the Yale Cup, Lancaster beats Depew (with video)" »

East-Middle College game moved to Grabiarz

The location of today's Yale Cup finale that will decide the league title has been moved. Undefeated Middle College will play East at the Grabiarz School

The game was scheduled to be held at East. It will still be played at 5:30 p.m.

Buffalo Public Schools athletic director Dave Thomas said that only adults will be allowed at the game -- no students. Thomas said the changes were made "in the interest of safety" because some "threats" had been made concerning the game. 

This is obviously bad news. An integral part of high school sports are passionate crowds, and unfortunately it seems some students went over the line in anticipation of a huge game. This is not they way championship games should be decided -- in a gym with no students. However, the better-safe-than-sorry call to change the venue and limit spectators is a good move to avoid any possibility of an incident.

The Grabiarz School is located at 225 Lawn Avenue off Military Road.

---Keith McShea

Live chat Feb. 11 from Fed hockey

Another week, another shift before the snap for our weekly chat.

This week we've shifted to Thursday. We'll be chatting live from the Amherst Pepsi Center at around 10 p.m.

I'll start my day at the Middle College at Grover Cleveland Yale Cup showdown at 5:30 p.m. before heading to the always-entertaining Federation hockey Thursday doubleheader. This week, St. Joe's and Canisius battle at 7 p.m. followed by Williamsville South and Williamsville East skating at 9 p.m. 

As the postseason looms for some sports -- and has started for others -- we'll certainly have a lot to talk about. Anything in the high school sports world is up for discussion, from the polls to PrepTalkTV.

If you won't be around for the chat, feel free to ask some questions in the comments section below and we'll tackle them during the session.

Here are some previous chats from the winter season: last week (Feb. 3)Jan. 28Jan. 20Jan 14, Jan. 6, Dec. 15.

---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.

@KeithMcSheaBN |