Sunday's semifinals at Canisius College 4-St. Mary's (19-6) vs. 1-Canisius (20-4), 6 p.m. 3-Bishop Timon-St. Jude (12-13) vs. 2-St. Joe's (20-5), 7:30 p.m. Championship
Wednesday at Canisius College, 7 p.m.
MONSIGNOR MARTIN GIRLS PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Saturday's quarterfinals at Canisius College 1-Cardinal O'Hara vs. 8-Nichols, 10 a.m. 4-Nardin vs. 5-Christian Central, 11:30 a.m. 2-Sacred Heart vs. 7-Mount Mercy, 1 p.m. 3-Holy Angels vs. 6-Mount St. Mary, 2:30 p.m. Semifinals: Tuesday at Canisius College, 6 & 7:45 p.m. Championship
Fri. March 1 at Canisius College, 7 p.m.
We will be live from Canisius High tonight for two of this evening's four Manhattan Cup quarterfinals as the Monsignor Martin Association determines its final four.
I'll be at Canisius High, where the top-seeded Crusaders will play St. Francis at 5, followed by the highly-anticipated meeting of St. Mary's and Nichols at 6:30. Barring another quarterfinal upset, the St. Mary's-Nichols game will determine the Monsignor Martin's Class B representative in the state playoffs.
At St. Joe's, the Marauders host Archbishop Walsh at 5 followed by Bishop Timon-St. Jude meeting Niagara Catholic at 6:30. There are also a handful of early-round sectional games tonight for boys and girls basketball.
I'll provide updates in the live blog below. When I have my laptop out I'll be able to do play-by-play, otherwise I'll send #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. 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 today's games; the scoreboard will be updated as we receive game reports throughout the evening.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Basketball standout Stan Wier has verbally committed to the University at Buffalo.
The East Aurora senior-to-be emailed me and said he picked UB's offer over those from The Citadel, Princeton, Cornell, Rhode Island and Colgate. Wier said more offers have come in since he turned heads playing for the Albany City Rocks at the AAU National Tournament in Orlando a few weeks ago.
"It feels absolutely unbelievable -- to grow up in Western New York, play here, win a Federation title and then be blessed with the opportunity to play for your hometown college on such a great team," said Wier, who said he also worked out with St. Bonaventure. "After a few visits with the coaches and players everything felt perfect.
"Several calls and offers had come in since the Nationals and I had made a lot of visits in July ... but nothing felt as good as everything UB has to offer. UB has a great squad and I believe the City of Buffalo is in for a big surprise and treat over the next few years."
Wier has had a well-traveled and impressive high school career that has come full circle. He was an All-Western New York honorable mention with East Aurora as a freshman; he was a second-team All-WNY pick in helping Nichols to the state Federation championship as a sophomore; last year he played with and against top talent at Indiana private school La Lumiere; this fall he makes his return to East Aurora.
Next year, he'll be at UB -- where he'll meet up with former Nichols teammate Will Regan, who is sitting out the upcoming season at UB following his transfer from Virginia after playing there as a freshman.
"I’m excited to reunite with my former teammate," said Wier. "Virginia must have been a great learning/growing experience for him and I can only wait to see how much he has improved."
Wier was listed at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds on La Lumiere's maxpreps.com page. He is an obviously well-built shooting guard who has outstanding range. His outside shooting was a devastating factor in Nichols' run to the Federation title and I think it's very worthy of a Division I program (I thought that after his sophomore year). He also displayed some fine one-on-one defense and great competitiveness for Nichols during that championship season.
"It feels good to have this process complete," Wier said. "Over the years, I have made decisions that I hoped would make me a better basketball player. It wasn’t always easy leaving the new friends I made each year but playing for UB makes all the hard work and sacrifice worth it.
"I get the privilege to play for Coach Witherspoon and before that I am excited to play my senior year with my brother Cam and my friends at East Aurora. Coach [Chris] Koselny is demanding that all the players commit to being successful and EA is on the rise. All of us are working hard to get better. I went to the Buff State [Section VI championship week] games last year and remembered how exciting it was to play there with my older brother Thad [when Stan was a freshman]. I really hope Cam and I can share the same memories."
Wier elaborated (in a well-written email) about his reasons for selecting UB:
"Academics: UB is really a great academic institution. I think a lot of people take it for granted because it’s practically in their backyard and don’t realize how it measures up with the best in many ways.
Coaches/team chemistry: Coach [Reggie] Witherspoon and [assistant Jim] Kwitchoff are great guys. Their passion and intensity seemed a notch above. I have known [former standout and current assistant] Turner Battle for years: he is a great guy and was an amazing player. I am so excited to learn from him. As for chemistry: The UB team is a unit. They like each other, get along well and I just knew that I wanted to be part of them.
Win -- get to the NCAA Tourney. Coach Witherspoon has put together a great roster that has at least three other players of high major playing ability that could play for most any school in the country. Guys like Javon McCrea, Xavier Ford, Will Regan (everyone knows how good a player Will is), Dave Barnett [walk-on from EA] and other great players.
With this roster and the new guys coming in, I believe Buffalo will win the Mid-American Conference and could very well become the next Butler. Really, really excited for this opportunity.
Play: I have a strong passion for basketball and wanted to go to a school where I have a good opportunity to play as a freshman and have impact. I will be working hard as ever this next year and am really looking forward to getting involved with the team as early as I possibly can.
Coach: I am sure that after my playing days are over I want to be an NCAA coach. Coach Witherspoon has offered to take me under his wing, arrange some camps at other schools that I can work and involve me in the coaching process while I am at UB. I can’t thank him enough."
Wier's return to EA certainly makes for an intriguing storyline in the ECIC and Section VI, while being the latest local player to commit to UB provides another layer of excitement for Western New York basketball fans. It should be a fun hoops year -- and to think we've got a whole football season to go before that (starting Monday).
And now, since I'm writing this from the Watkins Glen International media center, back to auto racing. :-)
Nichols athletic director Robert Stewart e-mailed me with the news that Jim MacKinnon has been hired to succeed Greg Plumb as the Vikings' boys basketball coach.
"Coach MacKinnon has been involved with Nichols basketball for the last two years and we are very excited to have him take over the head position," stated Stewart.
MacKinnon was the head coach at Tonawanda from 1993 to 2002; from 1990 to 1993 he was the JV coach at Canisius High School. MacKinnon's son, Andrew, was the point guard on the Vikings' 2010 state Federation Class A champion team.
Williamsville South's Joe Licata has been a PrepTalkTV subject for his record-breaking football career, and Friday we saw him do his three-point shooting thing in basketball. It is part of a three-pronged episode featuring a big win for Maryvale and fine performance by Sacred Heart in our first visit to a girls hoops game.
Review the action -- thanks to video reporter/producer Lauren Mariacher -- and get our breakdown of the top games of the upcoming week:
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My bad (chest-tap): Please excuse my stuffy voice due to my stuffed-up head and the cold I'm fighting.
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You can find all of our videos easily by going to the video player and clicking "PrepTalkTV."
As always, if you were at a game tonight, let us know how it went here in our comments section.
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5:56 p.m. The cozy Nichols gym is getting cozier as fans file in for the big game. The girls are on the court for their pregame shootarounds. There are 13 minutes counting down on the scoreboard. The preceding game here was a St. Francis-Nichols JV boys game won by the visitors.
6:04 p.m. Both coaches -- Ron Torgalski of Nichols and Sister Maria Pares of Sacred Heart -- are standing under their baskets as their teams go through the final minutes of warmups.
6:14 p.m. We're tipping off.
6:17 p.m. Katie Healy reverse layup is answered by a Njideka Boble basket. An open Christina Healy off a nice pass. Katie Healy with a nice drive from the left side for a 6-2 Sacred Heart lead. Standout freshman Taylor Rooks is fouled with 5:49 left in the first; she misses both.
6:19 p.m. Taylor Rooks with a nice steal and drive; Sarah Pawlak answers inside off a nice bounce pass. Sacred Heart, 8-4. A runner by Sloan Walton for Nichols; travel on Sacred Heart with 4:22 left in first.
6:22 p.m. Rooks with a great hustle play to swipe a loose ball Sloan Walton hits a three for a 9-8 Nichols lead. Crowd loved it.
6:23 p.m. Katie Healy off a rebound; Sacred Heart, 10-9. Under three minutes. Nice baseline floater by Walton; Nichols, 11-10.
6:24 p.m. Katie Healy with a fast-break layup; Noble from Meghan Heldwein off nice ball movement from Nichols; Katie Healy with a nice reverse layup in traffic, nice awareness of where she was.
6:26 p.m. Sophomore LaTrice Hall of Sacred Heart drops a baseline jumper from the right side (right in front of me as I'm sitting on the court, photographer-style) just before the buzzer to give Sacred Heart a three-point lead.
At the end of the first quarter, Sacred Heart leads Nichols, 16-13.
6:29 p.m. Krissy Russo starts the second quarter the way Sacred Heart ended it -- hitting another three on a bank-shot.
6:30 p.m. Following a Nichols turnover, Bridget Andrews swishes a three from the left side for Sacred Heart for a 22-13 lead. That prompts a timeout by Nichols coach Torgalski with 6:47 left in the second quarter.
6:31 p.m. Rooks with a fast break; 22-15 Sacred Heart; Sharks travel; Nichols turnover; Sacred Heart miss; Nichols miss; Sarah Pawlak hits another three for Sacred Heart and the lead is 25-15 with under five minutes to play in the second.
6:34 p.m. Pawlak is fouled and hits one of two with 4:33 left in second; 26-15.
6:35 p.m.Another three by Sacred Heart as Pawlak drills one from the left baseline. Wow. Great shooting by the Sharks. Nichols calls another three-induced timeout with 3:36 left in the second quarter and Sacred Heart up, 29-15.
6:45 p.m. WOW what a finish to the quarter by Sacred Heart, which scored the quarter's last 17 points. Whoa.
At HALFTIME, Sacred Heart leads Nichols, 39-15.
A recap of the fantastic finish to a 23-2 quarter for Sacred Heart:
A Pawlak block of Rooks -- I believe her second in two possessions -- leads to a three-pointer by Russo for a 32-15 lead with 2:05 left. A turnover by Nichols was followed by a layup by Katie Healy with 1:40 left (34-15). A Pawlak steal translated to an un-boxed out Hall putting in an offensive rebound for a 36-15 lead. One free throw by Katie Healy and two by Russo in the final minute pushed the lead to 24.
6:51 p.m. I'm going to take off to Williamsville South to make sure I get a good seat for the Billies game with Bishop Timon-St. Jude. More updates to come.
7:36 p.m. Hello from Williamsville South, where we are plugged in courtside and we're about to tip off.
Once again we'll have updates throughout the night here from our PrepTalkTV team, so check in throughout the night and get familiar with that refresh button.
3:38 p.m. We're off to Nichols, which hosts Niagara Catholic in a 4:30 p.m. start, a good location for us to get our night kicked off. The interesting thing about the game is that it is Niagara Catholic's opener, which postponed its Week One game with St. Mary's to the end of the season due to some problems fielding a full team, then had two bye weeks.
Video reporter Lauren Mariacher and I will be on hand and we'll have our video intro of the night up by around kickoff.
4:28 p.m. It's just about kickoff time here. The Nichols public address announcer -- some may be familiar with him from basketball season -- is entertaining all by himself. He delivers arena-caliber introductions even though there is a friends-and-family crowd of tens here. Throw in a muscular sound system and we have some North Buffalo-mansion window rattling stuff here. His roaring announcement of the game featuring "YOURRRRR NICHOLLLLLLS VIKINGSSSSS!!!!!" is greeted with claps and cheers -- but it's only like 10 to 12 claps and cheers.
4:37 p.m. Here's our intro for the evening:
4:46 p.m. Nichols stops Niagara Catholic on its first drive, then quickly moves downfield -- with plays all on the ground -- and scores on a 6-yard run by senior standout Matt Benedict. Benedict adds the two-point conversion run and Nichols takes a quick, 8-0 lead.
Niagara Catholic started its next possession with 7:38 left in the first quarter and continued to look like it is their opener -- a bad snap leads to a fumble and a 20-yard loss deep in their territory; on the next play another fumble goes into its end zone and Nichols gets a safety for a 10-0 lead with 6:12 left in the first.
While we saw Nichols overwhelmed here last week by Cardinal O'Hara, the Big Green plays good football under coach Colin Brinson. It beat JFK in its opener and hung with Grover Cleveland in a Week Two game that went down to the wire.
Niagara Catholic may have had a late start, but it looks ready to go for its opener -- its cheerleaders are here and it has at least as many fans here as Nichols does.
4:52 p.m. Nichols rolls downfield again and Benedict runs in from 3 yards out for another score, followed by an Adam Noonan two-point conversion run, for an 18-0 lead with 4:11 left in the first.
4:52 p.m. Nichols is having a fine day here on its fine turf fields. The boys soccer team has a 5-0 lead on St. Francis and there's still more than 12 minutes left in the first half. That's a surprising score there since League AA soccer in the Monsignor Martin Association usually consists of tough matchups no matter who is playing.
5:05 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Nichols leads, 18-0, and again has the ball deep in Niagara Catholic territory.
5:06 p.m. Another Benedict touchdown (2 yards) -- no points after this time -- and Nichols leads, 24-0, with 11:54 left in the second quarter.
5:18 p.m. Another Benedict touchdown, but this one is much longer -- 85 yards. Benedict got a great block for about the last 50 yards from freshman Mike Geiger, who shielded off the only tackler that had a shot for a TD-saving tackle. A two-point conversion pass failed and Nichols leads, 30-0, with 6:26 left in the second quarter.
5:35 p.m. It's halftime here with Nichols leading Niagara Catholic, 30-0. With a little rain coming down, Lauren and her laptop have hit her in-car editing booth and so have I and my laptop. Lauren is headed next to Riverside to catch a little early action of McKinley against Niagara-Wheatfield before joining me at All High Stadium for NT-Riverside. I'll be heading over there early to make sure I'm settled in for the big game.
Here are Lauren Mariacher's first-half highlights along with Niagara Catholic coach Don Marinucci talking about having his team start the season in Week Four:
6:30 p.m. After a pit stop, we've pulled into All High Stadium where there is already a decent crowd filing in for NT-Riverside.
7:02 p.m. We're about to kick off -- Riverside is kicking off to NT. In a not unexpected development, senior standout and starting quarterback for NT, Joe Montesanti, is said to not be playing tonight. He took a big hit late in the first half of last week's win over Niagara Falls.
WGR (550 AM) has the Hamburg at Williamsville South game.
Here's Buffalo Public Schools superintendent James A. Williams chatting before the game with photographer John Hickey:
7:07 p.m. North Tonawanda didn't take long to strike, and their fans are being heard loudly here at All High. On second-and-4 at the NT 35, junior quarterback Pat Angelhow kept the ball on the Lumberjacks' option and Riverside just couldn't find him. He ran 65 yards for the TOUCHDOWN, Justin Bacon adds the extra point and NT leads Riverside, 7-0, just 1:40 into the game.
7:14 p.m. This one is going to be fun. Riverside comes back with a big-play drive that ends with a TOUCHDOWN by Harold Millender, who took and end-around to the right side for a 15-yard score. Sophomore Roland Wapalo -- who wasn't with Riverside last week it appears -- boots a low liner up and good for the extra point and we are tied at 7-7 with 6:57 left in the first quarter.
Earlier in the drive, junior quarterback Jeremiah Cormack hit senior Charles Pawlak down the left sideline for a big, 43-yard gain -- it was third-and-18 play from the Riverside 36 to move the Frontiers to the NT 21.
7:24 p.m. UPDATE from Lauren at Riverside: McKinley and Niagara-Wheatfield are scoreless after the first quarter.
7:29 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, NT and Riverside are tied at 7-7. Riverside has a first down at its 47.
7:32 p.m. Big play for NT as senior Ryan Daigler steps in front of a Cormack pass for an interception and he's tackled with a face mask. With the penalty, NT starts at the Riverside 28 with 11:05 left in the second.
UPDATE from Riverside: Niagara-Wheatfield takes a 7-0 lead on McKinley in the second quarter.
7:45 p.m. We have a timeout by NT with 3:15 left in the second quarter with NT facing a third-and-9 at the Riverside 35.
7:49 p.m. A lot to recap since that timeout. On the next play, Riverside senior Aweis Aweis (that's the name. I like it) knocked down a pass attempt on a halfback option by NT, which used that play to score a touchdown last week against Niagara Falls. On the next play, NT converted on fourth-and-9 when Angelow hit a swing pass to the left to a wide-open Justin Bacon, who nearly went for the score but was bounced out of bounds at the Riverside 4.
Two plays later, senior Rob Wikierski ran to the left behind a nice push from the line for a 1-yard TOUCHDOWN. The extra point by Bacon was wide right and NT leads Riverside, 13-7, with 2:14 left in the second quarter.
7:56 p.m. Again -- this will certainly be a fun one. Because again -- Riverside comes right back with a TOUCHDOWN after a big play. On third-and-5 at the NT 40, Cormack rolled right and let go of a pass while jumping, and Justice Faggens made a play of his own while jumping, leaping for a great hands-catch over a defender and getting Riverside to the NT 7.
One play later, junior D'Yontae Parker ran up the middle for a 7-yard score. Wapalo's kick went wide left and the score is tied at 13-13.
8:04 p.m. At HALFTIME, Riverside and NT are tied at 13-13.
UPDATES: Photographer Mark Mulville reports that Orchard Park leads at Frontier, 6-0, after the first quarter.
McKinley scores on a 58-yard pass play to cut Niagara-Wheatfield's lead to 12-8 with 1:35 left in the second quarter, thanks to a report from Lauren at Riverside.
Here's Lauren Mariacher's report from that game, including some pregame words from McKinley coach Ed Wilson regarding the Macks' big win over Grand Island last week:
Williamsville South had a 13-7 first-quarter lead over Hamburg, according to Roger Weiss' report on WJJL.
8:10 p.m. Great game and a great atmosphere here -- tough for me to judge the crowd, but it's the most people I've seen at All High for a game. I'd probably guess 1,500 or so -- the central sections here are pretty packed. Rich Kozak says this is probably the largest regular season crowd here in five years.
8:23 p.m. We're under way with the second half; Riverside set to receive. After another look around I'm bumping my estimate up over 2,000. Great crowd here.
8:25 p.m. UPDATE from Mulville at Frontier: OP's lead over the Falcons is 6-0 at halftime. The score was a 10-yard run by Okoya Anderson in the first quarter. ... Thanks to WJJL: Iroquois up, 19-14, at West Seneca East and McKinley has taken a 16-12 lead on Niagara-Wheatfield at Riverside thanks to a touchdown run and extra-point run by Rutledge. ... Lackawanna, 14-7, over Dunkirk in the first half.
8:49 p.m. My apologies about the delay, some blog problems here. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Riverside and NT are still tied at 13-13. NT had two good drives end in field goal attempts by Justin Bacon, but the first went wide left and the second was short.
8:51 p.m. UPDATES from Sean Bruso: Lew-Port leads Maryvale, 20-14, in third quarter -- game will be on Time Warner SportsNet Sunday evening at 7. ... Williamsville South up on Hamburg, 28-7, after three quarters.
Big one here -- report of Cheektowaga and East tied at 8-8.
8:58 p.m. Since Bacon's second missed field goal late in the third, Riverside punted, then NT punted after Riverside sophomore Tyler Biedron came up with a big sack on third down.
9:06 p.m. NT has gone ahead with a TOUCHDOWN on a 32-yard play by Wikierski -- tough to tell because it was on the far side, I believe it was an option pitch to the speedy back on the outside, because he scooted down the left sideline for the score. The extra point by Bacon was good and NT leads Riverside, 20-13, with 4:13 left.
There are radio reports that there were Riverside complaints that the play was either an illegal forward pass -- later radio report says it was a forward pass, but a legal one because Angelhow was not over the line of scrimmage. So it's a touchdown pass.
9:12 p.m. BIG interception for NT as Ryan Drass comes down with a pass that was off the hands of Charles Pawlak over the middle.
9:14 p.m. NT runs for a first down and that should be it -- Riverside calls a timeout with 1:10 left.
9:16 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: North Tonawanda 20, Riverside 13.
Time for interviews and some serious running around. What a game.
UPDATE from Mulville at Frontier: OP's lead is 27-0 over the Falcons in the fourth quarter. ... McKinley's lead is 24-19 over Niagara-Wheatfield with 3:18 left in a back-and-forth game.
9:39 p.m. UPDATES: BIG RESULT from Cheektowaga, where East has beaten defending Class B champion Cheektowaga. ... OP leads Frontier, 30-6, with four minutes left. ... Lew-Port beats Maryvale, 33-14. ... McKinley wins, 24-19.
10:21 p.m. Whew. Story is done for first edition. Video report is coming soon.
Here it is:
The final from Frontier was OP with a huge, 30-6 victory over a fellow top 10 large school. Frontier was ranked fifth ahead of No. 6 OP in the poll (but I have to say not on my ballot). Okoya Anderson had three TDs.
11:10 p.m. Whew again. Story done for second edition. I called Riverside coach Tony Truilizio to get his take on the winning score, and he said it was "definitely forward ... there were lineman downfield."
I've watched our video a bunch of times and it sure is hard to tell from that angle. NT coach Eric Jantzi, Angelhow and Wikierski all said it was a lateral.
A little trivia: NT players wear their helmets during interviews because the Jacks have a rule that if they are on the field, they are wearing their helmet. I was wondering what was up with that, because the Jacks would do interviews that way last year as well. I like it.
In other finals: Lancaster 45, West Seneca West 0 ... Williamsvile South 42, Hamburg 7. ... Iroquois 38, West Seneca East 17 ... Here's the WOW score of the night: East 14, Cheektowaga 8 ... East Aurora 30, Springville 0 ... Lackawanna 28, Dunkirk 7 ... Albion 38, Tonawanda 15 ... Alden 31, Newfane 14 ... Wilson 14, Roy-Hart 0 ... Southwestern 38, Allegany-Limestone 0. ... Fredonia 45, Falconer 0 ... Portville 22, Cattaraugus/LV 7 ... Maple Grove 39, Clymer 0 ... Chautauqua Lake 36, Westfield 0 ... Randolph 55, Franklinville 0 ... Pine Valley 32, Ellicottville 0 ... Frewsburg 41, Forestville 0 ... The final from the game we started at tonight is not a surprise: Nichols 40, Niagara Catholic 0. ... Eden 48, Gowanda 6 ... Medina 18, Akron 6.
My apologies regarding our scoreboard not being update or being incomplete tonight. We had some massive malfunctions.
Due to those malfunctions, no audio wrap from me. I will go over the results here, if you miss the audio version, spoken word editions can be arranged for a fee. Baddump-bump. >
The East win at Cheektowaga is tremendous, perhaps surpassing McKinley's win over Grand Island as the top city win of the season. Again, the city teams come through with another impressive weekend (and it's only Friday). Riverside and NT went right down to the wire as well, of course. McKinley got a sterner test than I expected from Niagara-Wheatfield, but the Macks came through in the end to keep some Class A North drama building -- next Saturday they're at Sweet Home.
The OP score is certainly impressive -- in the chat this week I mentioned how those teams have been known to play some close games in the past. I thought OP would win, with the chance of a Frontier upset, in a close game. Quality showing by OP but this was Frontier's first real test against a high-quality opponent this year -- maybe Frontier's 3-0 mark wasn't as worth as much as we thought.
Lancaster took out its frustrations big-time in getting its first win. ... Will South's score was close for a while but that's what we expected -- Joe Licata is two TDs away from setting the all-time WNY record. ... Nice win for Lew-Port by a surprising margin at Maryvale. ... Another huge victory margin for Fredonia. Whoa.
See you tomorrow morning from the "Cleveland Bowl" -- a top 10 small school between Cleveland Hill and Grover Cleveland at Riverside at 10 a.m. After that I'm headed to Canisius' Stransky Complex in West Seneca at 2 to see how the undefeated Crusaders fare against Cathedral Prep's powerful program, and I'll probably check out All-High's 4 p.m. show between Lafayette and Amherst.
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As always, we want to hear from you about what you've seen tonight.
Let us know what you thought of the teams, players -- even the hot dogs
-- in the comments section below.
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.
Lauren Nicole Mariacher joined The News in 2009 after graduating from the Columbia University School of Journalism. The Elma native and Iroquois graduate can usually be found on a sideline, capturing highlights for PrepTalkTV. She also hosts Prep Talk's weekly live show, with Keith McShea, as well as The News' live postgame Bills show — [BN]TheHuddle.