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
- 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.
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 Three 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
We're live at Buffalo State for the last step of the Section VI championships -- the overall Class B and A championships.
First up is Class B game which pits Olean against Akron for the third straight year in the postseason -- Olean has won the last two. A preview
post has a poll in which Olean is a big favorite.
Follow along below through the live chat.
DISCLAIMER: I won't be able to answer many questions because it gets
pretty busy here, especially late in games, 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.
As always, let us know why you voted the way you did in the comments
Here's a capsule look at the Class A game:
Williamsville South (18-3): Starters -- Mark Coppola (5-7 sr.), Joe Licata (6-3 jr.), Phil Stasiak (6-2 jr.), Erik Hansen (6-4 jr.), Kevin O'Connell (6-3 jr.). Key reserves -- Aaron Adams (6-4 jr.), Dan Schaus (6-3 jr.), Bob Divita (5-11 sr.).
Poll -- Ranked a season-high second in last week's final in-season large school poll, has been in the top 10 all season.
Win streak: 14.
Notable regular season wins & losses -- Lost to large school Top 10 teams Bishop Timon-St. Jude and Canisius (without point guard Mark Coppola) and St. Joe's, all before the New Year; opened season by beating X-Ogdensburg and III-Marcellus at Glens Falls Tournament, swept Sweet Home twice in ECIC II.
East (17-4): Starters -- Domonique Jackson (6-4 sr.), Deon Robinson (5-10 sr.), Tremmell Fisher (6-3 jr.), Jasen Oden (6-1 jr), Dale Gray (6-3 sr.). Key reserves -- Andre Jackson (5-10 jr.), Chris Boyd (5-11 jr.), Lonnie Taylor (6-3 fr.).
Poll -- Ranked eighth in last week's final in-season large school poll; has been in the top 10 all season and was ranked as high as a tie for No. 2 before late-season academic suspensions.
Win streak: Three.
Notable regular season wins & losses -- Lost to St. Mary's in first game of year, lost at East of Rochester in Dec., lost at McKinley on Feb. 9 with all of its starters suspended; lost to Middle College in Yale Cup finale without Jackson; beat Canisius at MLK Challenge at full strength, beat Grover without Jackson.
* * *
The Far West Regionals are Saturday at Buffalo State. There are two sessions with the same times as Saturday's Section VI championships: D-noon, C-1:45, B-3:30 p.m.; A-6:30, AA-8:15 p.m.
The Section V (Rochester area) representatives for those games will be determined in overall title games Tuesday and Wednesday. See the outstanding sectionvbasketball.com for details (click sectional schedule for a handy-dandy calendar).
Championship week is here, and it starts with what could be the best semifinal day of the week at Buffalo State.
Three games, starting with CCAA I power and year-long top 10 resident Allegany-Limestone taking on ECIC IV upstart Cleveland HIll at 5:30 p.m. in a B-2 semifinal.
That's followed by the highly anticipated B-1 semifinals, a final four of top 10 small schools. At 7 p.m., three-time overall Class B champion and No. 1 small school Olean takes on a dangerous Grover Cleveland team that struggled late in the regular season but the Presidents got Ricky Alejandro back for the quarterfinals and he had eight(!) threes in a very nice win at Medina. The final game of the day is a terrific matchup as ECIC III runner-up Depew takes on ECIC IV champion Lackawanna in an 8:30 scheduled start.
I've seen 12 games in the last seven days, will see 17 in the next six. It's the best week of the year in Western New York high school sports, and it should get off to a great start.
5:22 p.m. We're courtside and ready for our first game. NOTE to ALL FANS to get here EARLY this week. Buffalo State's main large parking lot is now a construction site, so parking spots are at a premium.
5:28 p.m. Also a reminder to fans that Section VI likes starting games ahead of time. Teams have been announced and the tipoff is next.
I'm going with Allegany-Limestone big. They've been here before and have a lot of players back from last year, which is why they have have been ranked all year -- just destroying teams not named Olean, Jamestown and Bradford (Pa.). Cleveland Hill has had a great season but I'm not sure they'll be able to keep up.
5:41 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Allegany-Limestone leads Cleveland Hill, 14-10. A-L is getting some good shots while Cleve Hill is taking some bad ones.
5:50 p.m. With 2:45 left in the second quarter, Cleve Hill calls a timeout having cut the lead to 24-22. Golden Eagles have stepped up the energy on defense.
5:52 p.m. A-L calls the timeout this time with 1:25 left in the second. Omar Ramadan hit a deep three from the right side just moments ago to give Cleve Hill a 25-24 lead, its first of the game.
5:55 p.m. A-L gets a timeout on a scramble with 5.6 seconds left and the score tied at 26-26.
5:57 p.m. Nice finish of the quarter for Cleve Hill as Darryl Spencer blocks an A-L shot before the buzzer. At halftime we are tied at 26-26.
Nice job by Cleve Hill. Spencer has had a lot of energy on both ends. I thought A-L would be able to execute a little better on offense and perhaps be able to put away Cleve Hill early, but the Golden Eagles can only get more confident as the game goes on. Should be an interesting second half.
6:15 p.m. With 2:17 left in the third quarter, Allegany-Limestone calls a timeout. Cleve Hill is up, 37-34.
6:19 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Cleveland Hill has a 42-34 lead. A great tip in by Spencer and a late three by No. 10 (sorry, no rosters!) helped the Eagles to a 9-2 quarter-ending run.
6:22 p.m. Good timeout by Cleve Hill coach Jason Pryzbysz with 7:00 left and A-L having cut the lead to 42-38 on two consecutive strong drives by Marcus Aiello and Nate Keenan.
6:30 p.m. Some great action from Cleve Hill earned it a 12-point lead at 50-38, but A-L just got a three from Aiello to make it 50-42. Timeout, A-L with 3:28 left in the game.
6:33 p.m. A-L is turning up the defensive pressure and Cleve Hill calls a timeout while being trapped. Eagles lead, 50-43, with 3:08 left.
6:42 p.m. A-L with a timeout after a made basket; Cleve Hill leads, 55-50, with 57.6 seconds left.
6:47 p.m. Cleve Hill holding on in crunch time, just barely. One free throw by Aaron Sanders gives it a 57-52 lead with 22.2 seconds left -- timeout, Cleve Hill.
6:50 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE in B-2 semifinal: Cleveland Hill 59, Allegany-Limestone 54.
Huge win for the Golden Eagles, and they deserved it. Very well-played game, composed and under control in a big-time contest.
The Section VI playoffs aren't the only highly-anticipated tournament in February.
Sharing the spotlight is the Lockport Kiwanis Club Girls Basketball Tournament scheduled
for Friday and Saturday.
Here's some information that Lockport athletic director Pat Burke put together for the 28th
* * *
The event tips off Friday when Olean plays Shenendehowa at 6 p.m. followed by Lockport and
Nichols. The losers play in the consolation Saturday at 6 p.m. while the winners meet for the
title at 7:45 p.m.
The event features Shenendehowa, a power from the Albany area, is currently ranked No. 5 in
the state in Class AA. Nichols is the No. 6 large school in Western New York. Olean is the No.
1 small school in WNY and the No. 4 Class B school in the state. Host Lockport is the No. 1
large school in WNY and ranked No. 11 in Class AA in the state.
Nichols (14-4) is tied for first place in the Monsignor Martin Association.
Lockport, the defending champions put on the court one of the tallest teams in the area.
They are the five-time defending Niagara Frontier League champion, having run through a 14-0
season. The Lions are also the defending Section VI Class AA champions. They will be hunting
for a 17th Section VI championship.
The Lions are led by 5-10 senior Lea Sobieraski, 5-8 junior guard Caroline Randall and
5-year starting point guard 5-8 senior Renee Schwartz.
Shenendehowa is one of the long time powers in the state, coming over from Section II.
Shen's coach, Ken Strube, has over 500 wins in his career. In their last trip to the Kiwanis
tournament, Shen was beaten in the finals by Nichols in one of the most entertaining games in
Olean, the defending Section VI Class B champions, will once again be considered the
favorite in the Sectionals. Coach Don Scholla's club plays an entertaining brand of up tempo
basketball also having one of the best big players in the state in Rachel Bantelman. Bantelman
will be headed to the University at Buffalo next season on a basketball scholarship.
Senior point guard Alicia Mikowicz also returns for her second year as a starter and will
give the team excellent experience at the guard position. Seniors Grace Williamson and
Brittney Lee move into starting positions after playing key reserve roles on last year's
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.