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Week Five showdowns: Who's going to win? What's the top game?

Week Five is FULL of big games. Vote in the polls and back up your answers in the comments section.

We'll be talking about these games all week. See what the polls (and our ballot) look like on Tuesday, join the live chat Wednesday evening (which starts live-video-style with co-host Lauren Mariacher at 8) and join us for all of the action at Prep Talk Live this weekend.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Vote for winners, then let us know who wins at Prep Talk Live

Who's going to win? Take your picks below.

When the teams hit the field, be sure to keep track of the action -- you can even help play a part in the updates -- at Prep Talk Live.

We're again looking for Western New York high school football fans to help us keep track of the action even as we're doing the same. 

Our Prep Talk Live page includes a live chat, video, photos and scoreboards that will be updated throughout tonight and Saturday afternoon. Several staff members, including myself, will be out and about checking out the action. But we can't be everywhere. That's where you come in. 

Provide updates from the game you're at via several ways:

* Join the live chat on the Prep Talk Live page.

* Tweet us at the Twitter via @bufnewspreptalk and @KeithMcSheaBN

* Comment on our Facebook page, The Buffalo News' Prep Talk blog.

* Email us at the shiny new address of

Note: Typing in will also get you to Prep Talk Live.

We'll be starting our Friday night at Amherst's 6 p.m. kickoff against West Seneca East. I'll be off to a showdown of two of the state's best Class D teams as 2009 state champion Randolph visits 2010 sectional champion Silver Creek, and we'll have photographers and videographers at several spots. 

On Saturday, PrepTalkTV's Lauren Mariacher and I will be at Canisius' Stransky Complex in West Seneca for all the pageantry of St. Joe's-Canisius. We'll also have team members at other games as well.

See you at Prep Talk Live.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

How The News voted: Week Two

Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school football polls.

Here's our shot after one week of action.

For reference: Week One; the preseason poll.


1. Orchard Park (2-0) [last week: 1] -- Another very solid win, something we saw a lot of this week. I continue to believe there are six contenders for this spot.

2. St. Joe's (1-1) [2] -- Impressive win out of town, Part I. Yes, I'm keeping them here. I know St. Francis and perhaps Canisius had just as big a wins against probably better opponents, but when you get to see things on the field, like this Saturday, I'll wait until after then.

The writing is on the wall: Canisius and St. Francis may be bigger, may be able to run on St. Joe's with their standout backs. I hear that. Will that overcome St. Joe's quarterback play? Like I said, we'll see on Saturday. Definitely a Bart Scott, "CAN'T WAIT!" game. 

3. St. Francis (2-0) [3] -- Impressive win out of town, Part II. Maybe the most impressive. Lynch again puts on a show (and does it in front of an impressed Mike Quick of MSG, who tweeted, "Can see why St. Francis of Buf RB Akell Lynch is #1 in NYS. The BC recruit scores 52 yard TD on 2nd carry of game.").

4. Canisius (2-0) [6] -- Impressive win out of town, Part III. Ran away from the new combined Elmira Class AA team that had started its season with a 70-20 win over Horseheads (but that shouldn't mean much because Horseheads won one game the last two seasons).

5. Sweet Home (2-0) [5] -- We win 42 straight against WNY and we're fifth?!?!?!!??!

6. Clarence (2-0) [4] -- Rout of Riverside doesn't look as good after Lockport throttled the Frontiers, and rout at Frontier doesn't show us a whole lot since Lancaster won big over the Falcons as well. I just liked what I saw from Sweet Home, I liked the value of the wins by the MMA teams. This top six situation is definitely in flux. 

7. Williamsville South (2-0) [7] -- They keep going like they're going, and this will be a top seven.

8. Amherst (2-0) [8] -- Fine display against Lake Shore, although West Seneca East's win at Iroquois really has us looking forward to Friday's 6 p.m. kickoff.

9. McKinley (1-1) [9] -- I suggest taking in the (Reyzon) Jordan & (Stephon) Johnson show for the Macks. Two juniors who could be among the top all-around playmakers in Western New York. Exciting when they've got the ball, and they have the ball a lot.

10. Lancaster (2-0) [10] -- Not the most impressive win over West Seneca West (23-9), but being in 2-0 in AA South is good enough for me right now. A team like Jamestown might be better. We'll see. Bishop Timon-St. Jude might be the mythical 11th after two huge wins. Kenmore West seemed to have an Orchard Park hangover until the third quarter against a team you would think it would have had routed before a 20-point fourth quarter (41-6 final at home over Hutch-Tech). NT has a close loss to McKinley and a monster win over Will North.




1. Alden (2-0) [1] -- Man that was a rout they put on St. Mary's.

2. Depew (2-0) [2] -- Not the biggest win over Newfane, but I suppose we like their well-rounded-ness just a tad more than ...

3. Lackawanna (2-0) [3] -- ... the Steelers, who just rolled out a freshman QB and in his first game he sets a record for TDs in a game (four). Shaquille Brooks is a serious playmaker at receiver, good punter as well. Fun to watch, and speaking of fun to watch, they host Cheektowaga Friday night. Very top-heavy with these B's.

4. Southwestern (2-0) [4] -- Maybe not the "same 'ol Southwestern," which I wrote last week, after a 21-14 win over Westfield. Might have caused a slide, but after two weeks I can't really see a reason to move anyone past them.

5. Pioneer (2-0) [5] -- Thorough win over East Aurora after beating Burgard. Very tough to gauge the poll after the top three.

6. Cleveland Hill (2-0) [6] -- Does Cleveland Hill score a gazillion points early every season (96 so far) or is it just me?

7. Silver Creek (2-0) [7] -- Two big wins, opener over Dunkirk looks even better after Marauders beat Eden.

8. Randolph (2-0) [10] -- We'll bop the Cardinals up after a strong win, and also to make room for ... 

9. Maple Grove (2-0) [NR] -- ... their good buddies, who continue to have one of Western New York's best team websites. Three D teams in the top 10! The D folks in the chat room must be getting to this pollster. :-)

10. Olean (2-0) [8] -- Didn't expect 12-6 win over Springville, but maybe that's just a sign of progress by the Griffins. Fredonia gets bumped -- at this point, Maple Grove impressed while the Hillbillies were robbed of a game by Lafayette's forfeit.

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below, let us know via Twitter or facebook (addresses below), or join the live chat Wednesday evening.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

How The News voted: Week One

Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school football polls.

Here's our shot after one week of action.

For reference, here's our preseason poll we posted last Thursday.


1. Orchard Park (1-0) [preseason poll: 4] -- We were very tempted to stay with our preseason top six, because each one of them had very impressive debuts. But none was as impressive as OP's, which had an AA final four team from last year, one which returned major talent, crushed by halftime. They deserve to be rewarded for that. 

Other than No. 2, the rest of the top six all had impressive wins, but not enough to move them up.

2. St. Joe's (0-1) [1] -- Aquinas routs team from Western New York. Again. We're keeping Joe's here for now, because we certainly think Aquinas could beat the rest of the contenders for this spot, including what we think is a fairly clear top six (that's because Aquinas has beaten most of the contenders for this spot -- going backwards to last season, Little Irish have beaten Sweet Home, Canisius, St. Francis and Joe's again).

As defending champ, we're keeping Joe's slotted as a No. 1 in the MMA, but we know it is definitely close, and we are definitely looking forward to those MMA clashes that will sort it out.

3. St. Francis (1-0) [2] -- Nice job representing in the Dome, Part I.

4. Clarence (1-0) [3] -- Very nice win at Riverside. 

5. Sweet Home (1-0) [5] -- Very nice win at home against Williamsville East.

6. Canisius (1-0) [6] -- Very nice win at McQuaid.

7. Williamsville South (1-0) [8] -- Rout of South Park was over at the half.

8. Amherst (1-0) [9] -- Thought about moving the Tigers past South based on a tougher win on the road. Another close call.

9. McKinley (1-0) [10] -- If the Macks' big lead over NT turned into a big win over NT, maybe they'd get a bump. Nice grit by the Macks to answer Jacks' comeback with their own.

10. Lancaster (1-0) [7] -- AA South is a trademark tough division, and Lancaster posted a major win over Frontier. That gives the Redskins the nod here over Kenmore West (South > North). Bennett's great start with a big win over Grand Island gave them consideration. Iroquois and North Tonawanda are on the long list as well, with Bishop Timon-St. Jude perhaps ready to throw their helmet in the ring.  





1. Alden (1-0) [1] -- Nice job representing in the Dome, Part II.

2. Depew (1-0) [3] -- Wildcats looked very, very good in the second half with freshman Rodney Turner looking very fast. Jaden Cotten's interview for PrepTalkTV on Friday (also part of the Week One show) was great.

3. Lackawanna (1-0) [2] -- Looked very impressive early against Lake Shore, but it was a one-touchdown win -- Depew's big finish against Cheektowaga moves them up our chart.

4. Southwestern (1-0) [4] -- Same 'ol Southwestern.

5. Pioneer (1-0) [6] -- Panthers keep pounding away with a tough early win in the city against Burgard.

6. Cleveland Hill (1-0) [10] -- Big scoring sheet against larger-school Maryvale.

7. Silver Creek (1-0) [7] -- Big win over their neighbor Dunkirk, also a larger class.

8. Olean (1-0) [NR] -- Lightning struck Saturday night, and then it did for Olean on Sunday. Huskies beat rival Bradford (Pa.), which went 8-2 last year including a 47-0 win over Olean.

9. Fredonia (1-0) [5] -- Thought the win over JFK would be bigger.

10. Randolph (1-0) [8] -- Nice job by Frewsburg hanging in there with the Cardinals. Class D maybe even tougher than we thought, which was pretty tough already. Next up would be Burgard (close loss to ranked Pioneer), which is a step ahead of Cardinal O'Hara, St. Mary's (nice big margin over I-Prep), Maple Grove, Cheektowaga, Lake Shore and Eden (not necessarily in that order).

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below, let us know via Twitter or facebook (addresses below), or join the live chat Wednesday evening.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Live from the AA semifinals at Buffalo State: Paige scores 42 to set up Jamestown vs. Falls (with video & poll)

Hello from Buffalo State for tonight's highly anticipated Class AA semifinal doubleheader.

In the first game, No. 1 large school Niagara Falls takes on No. 7 McKinley at 6 p.m. That's followed by the scheduled 7:45 p.m. matchup of No. 2 Jamestown and No. 9 Lancaster.

We'll have separate "live" blogs on each game.

Some highlights:

And the postgame show:

The second semifinal:

[NOTE: I believe I owe an apology for my opining about a three-second call on Lancaster; I thought only one foot needed to be out of the lane to avoid the call but an emailer has whistled me on it and says both feet have to be out. My bad (chest tap).]

A highlight (I didn't have the iPhone rolling during Paige's great first quarter:

The postgame show:

* * *

The winners will play at 8:15 p.m. Saturday here at Buffalo State in the AA final.

The box scores for both games will be up at our scoreboard page as soon as possible.

After the games, let us know what you thought of the action -- and the finals matchup -- in the comments section.

* * *

The first game was obviously a downer in that the showdown fizzled and the second half saw some less-than-pretty basketball. Falls played great defense early, which I think set a tone -- it was going to be tough for McKinley to score, and it seemed like things just got worse when the Macks missed several easy ones.

Only until late in the game did the lid seem to come off the basket for the Macks. Marcus Feagin, Jeff Street and Jermaine Crumpton did a very nice job on McKinley leaders John Black (six points) and Antonio Avery (seven).

Jaysean Paige had a great start with those four first-quarter three pointers, then he kept scoring consistently to end up with 42. Jamestown coach Ben Drake had a great quote about how he wouldn't have thought Paige had that many -- he just does it consistently, sometimes quietly, sometimes spectacularly.

Lancaster again played Jamestown tough, but the Red Raiders just have too much, they are just a better team.

I'm trying to think back to the last time someone had a 40-point game at Buffalo State. Randolph's Ashton Brown had 47 in the Class C final two years ago, but that was at Jamestown Community College. I recall Finney (the one that shouldn't be in Class D) getting a major individual performance in winning a D regional here -- but I just looked it up and that was Andy Marchand's 24 points on seven threes against Clymer. Looks like I'll be hitting the history books. If you remember outstanding individual performances at Buffalo State, let me know of them in the comments section or email me at

UPDATE: Prep Talk Nation has helped jog my memory -- Micole Parker of City Honors had 40 in the C-1 final in their 2003 state championship season, while I believe Dewan Stroud went for 40 for Seneca in a classic overtime game against Lackawanna in 2002 or 2003. More to come ...

Here's my story for Friday's paper.

Here are cool photo galleries by News Photographer Mark Mulville: one for Falls-McKinley and one for Jamestown-Lancaster.

---Keith McShea

Live from the Section VI semifinals: Wilson, East, Riverside win (with audio, video & polls)

Hello from the Buffalo State Sports Arena. We're moments away from our first game of a tripleheader tonight: the B-2 semifinal between Cleveland Hill and Wilson.

It's one of the best weeks of the year if you're a high school sports fan, and I'm excited to be here. We'll be back in moments with the tip.

Wilson starters: Thilk-Moxham-Parrott-Martin-Walch.

Cleve Hill starters: Glover-Tompkins-Barker-Molson-Spencer

5:31 p.m.: CH controls the tip, and we're off.

5:37 p.m.: CH leads, 6-4, midway through the first quarter. Brennan Moxham has three of Wilson's points, while Jeru Molson just converted a nice layup off a steal for CH.

5:39 p.m.: Maybe some nerves on the big stage? Lots of sloppy play on both ends. Cleve Hill definitely trying to run more, while Wilson is trying to slow the pace.

5:42 p.m.: CH is out to a 13-4 lead, prompting a timeout by Wilson coach Brett Sippel. A three-pointer by Jordan Parker on the Golden Eagles' last possession were the last points.

5:44 p.m.: Golden Eagles lead, 13-8, after one quarter. Moxham hit a three and Pat Walch went 1 of 2 at the free-throw line with 4 seconds left for Wilson to cut into the lead.

5:48 p.m.: CH timeout, leading, 17-15. Moxham has five in the second quarter for Wilson, which took a 15-13 lead, but the Eagles responded with a bucket in the lane by Barker and a steal and layup by Spencer.

5:53 p.m.: CH timeout, leading, 19-18, 3:35 left in the first half.

6 p.m.: Halftime, with the game tied, 25-25.

First-half note: Here's your scoring summaries: For CH, Tompkins has 2, Barker 4, Parker 3, Molson 4, Watkins 2, Davis 4 and Spencer with 6. For Wilson, Moxham leads all scorers with 15. DiLaura has 1, Walch 1 and Martin 8.

Programming note: Tyler Martin is wearing No. 30 for Wilson, not the No. 11 he's listed as having in the program.

6:10 p.m.: Third quarter is underway.

6:13 p.m.: Martin misses both free throws for the Lakemen, who trail by a pair. Wilson has been bad from the free-throw line, a big reason it's trailing.

Quick blog note: Making an executive decision to switch up the format and go with the time left remaining in the quarter. If you need to know what time it is, look at the corner of your monitor. :).

4:49 left in the third quarter: Jordan Thilk makes a traditional three-point play, Wilson's first points of the third quarter, and CH leads, 31-28.

3:01 left: Moxham gets his first points of the second half, as Wilson uses good ball movement to beat the 2-3 zone the Eagles have employed. CH leads, 33-30.

:24.3 seconds left: Spencer draws the foul and knocks down a pair of free throws to give the Eagles a 35-30 lead.

End of three, Cleve Hill up, 35-30. Martin missed a good look at a three for Wilson at the buzzer.

Fourth quarter

7:08 left: Moxham hits a pair of free throws after Martin started the quarter with a three and it's tied, 35-35.

5:04 left: More than 2 minutes without a hoop ...

4:18 left: The drought comes to an end when Walch hits 1 of 2 free throws to give Wilson a 36-35 lead.

3:36 left: Big-time three-pointer for Spencer to put CH up, 38-36. That's followed by a timeout.

2:47 left: Another clutch three by the Eagles, this time from Julian Glover. CH leads, 41-38. Wilson has possession.

1:22 left: Moxham drills a deep three for Wilson to tie it at 41. Wow.

1:07 left: Molson responds for the Golden Eagles with a contested 16-footer in the lane. It's 43-41. Good finish here.

:31.1 seconds left: I wasn't kidding about the great finish. Martin pures a deep three from the right wing to put Wilson up by one, 44-43. CH has possession after Wilson's Walch picked up his fourth foul on a battle for a rebound.

Here's Martin's three:

:11.4 left: Moxham grabbed a big board on defense for Wilson, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1. That gave the Eagles the ball, but Molson lost the ball in traffic. Wilson's Martin recovered. He hits 1 of 2 free throws to make it 45-43 Lakemen. Cleve Hill will have a chance to tie or win on the final possession. The next Wilson foul puts the Eagles in a 1-and-1 situation.

:3.7 left: Barker goes coast-to-coast, but can't finish at the rim. Ball goes out of bounds off CH. Wilson has possession. Eagles will need to foul, and hope for a miss.

0.09 left: Diez gets open under the basket, and Cleve Hill is late to foul him. He rattles home the first and knocks down the second, giving Wilson a four-point lead.

Final: Wilson 47, Cleveland Hill 43.

Wilson coach Brett Sippel



Welcome back for game two.

Thanks to Keith McShea for the video you see above. Game two is the first A-2 semifinal between Olean and East.

Olean starters: Hennessy-Scholla-Curtin-Eckstrom-Schmidt 

East starters: Fisher-Brown-Boyd-House-Jackson

First quarter

4:35 left: The shutout is over. Alex Curtin hits a long jumper to give Olean a 2-0 lead. On East's next possession, Chris Boyd hits a three. East leads, 3-2.

End of first quarter: East leads, 10-6. Sorry for the lack of updates, combination of a lot to do, and not a lot happening at the start. East got hoops from Jasen Oden, Tremmell Fisher, and a three-pointer by Chris Boyd for the lead. Nick Schmidt hit a three at the buzzer for Olean.

Second quarter

7:31 left: Sam Eckstrom opens the quarter with an inside field goal to bring Olean within two, 10-8.

3:51 left: Andre Jackson knocks down a pair of free throws and East leads, 19-13.

2:58 left: Max Portlow, a sophomore, has back-to-back baskets for the Huskies. The last one cut it to 19-15.

2:19 left: Fisher gets inside position and finishes a traditional three-point play to give East a 22-17 lead. If he catches the ball there regularly, Olean will be in trouble.

:40.8 left: It's turned into a three-point shooting contest. A three by Curtin for Olean was answered by a three for Boyd, only for Schmidt to respond for Olean. After all that, the Huskies are up one, 26-25, their second lead after Curtin's shot gave them their first.

End of first half: East 30, Olean 26. Action really picked up at the end of the first half. Boyd hit another three for East, which then got a steal by Oden on the inbounds pass. He kicked it to Jackson for a 12-foot buzzer-beater, and the Panthers are up.

Third quarter

7:00 left: The Huskies didn't forget their shooting stroke in the locker room. Sophomore Pat Scholla knocked down a three in the first minute to cut East's lead to one, 30-29.

5:56 left: Olean goes back in front as Eckstrom gets nice position inside and finishes with a short bank shot for a 31-30 lead.

4:03 left: Dominique House is cleaning up -- the glass. The 6-foot-4 East senior has back-to-back putbacks, the second of which he was fouled on. He knocks down the free throw and East leads, 37-31. The Panthers are on a 7-0 run.

1:47 left: East has extended the run to 13-3, taking a 43-34 lead and prompting a full timeout by Olean coach Jeff Anastasia. House had a long jumper, then a steal and pass to Oden, who's got back-to-back layups in transition.

:19.7 seconds left: Olean gets a much-needed hoop underneath by Eckstrom, who was fouled and hits the free throw to pull the Huskies within six, 43-37.

End of three: East 43, Olean 37.

Fourth quarter

6:44 left: Scholla at the line for Olean. He knocks down a pair of much-needed free throws, as East is threatening to run away with things. It's 48-39, East.

6:31 left: Another three-point play for House, making it 51-39, East. Coach Starling Bryant calls for a 30-second timeout.

4:26 left: Timeout called, with East ahead, 55-42. Updates will be minimal from now until sometime during the last game as I write a story for our paper's first edition, which of course, you can pick up tomorrow. :) I'm sure you understand.

3:19 left: Full timeout called by Olean, which trails, 56-44.

1:42 left: Beautiful passing by East finishes with an easy layup (sorry, I missed by who) and East leads, 61-46. The Panthers will face the winners of the night's final game between Cheektowaga and Riverside for the A-2 title at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

:30.7 seconds left: Olean is hanging around, but running out of time. The Huskies trail, 61-53.

Final: East 66, Olean 56. Off for interviews. Back at some point during the last game with some more coverage.

 East coach Starling Bryant

Game 3: Riverside vs. Cheektowaga

Riverside starters: Artis-Jefferson-Herrera-Little-Feggans

Cheektowaga starters: Jones-Nance-Green-Delaney-?

What's the question mark for, you ask? A No. 3 is on the court for Cheektowaga, but not the roster. I'll get his name after the first quarter. As for the action, Riverside leads, 8-6, with 2:39 to play. We'll update after the first quarter and halftime, then hopefully be able to give more updates in the second half.

End of first quarter: Cheektowaga 12, Riverside 11.

Halftime: Riverside leads, 28-21, after outscoring the Warriors in that period, 17-9.

Third quarter

5:23 left: A bucket by Willie Jefferson has given the Frontiersmen a 35-23 lead. Cheektowaga has just 11 points in the last 11 minutes.

4:36 left: Lamont Little to the line, and he makes both for his first points of the night and a 39-23 lead.

3:06 left: Delaney hits the layup and is fouled. He makes the free throw and Riverside leads, 39-28. A modest 5-0 run for the Warriors.

2:38 left: Make that 7-0 as Aswad Jones knocks down an 8-footer and it's 39-30. Riverside coach Ron Killinger calls timeout after that.

1:00 left: Justice Feggans just buried a pretty three-pointer from the right wing to give the Frontiersmen a 44-31 lead.

End of three: Riverside 44, Cheektowaga 33

Fourth quarter

5:33 left: Dagger for the Warriors. Feggans knocks down a three after Riverside uses up almost the entire shot clock. That gives it a 53-35 lead.

3:31 left: Riverside still in control, up 55-37.

3:09 left: Killinger calls another timeout, still 55-37. Brandon Nance has all four points for Cheektowaga this quarter.

1:35 left: Riverside still on cruise control, so Killinger empties the bench to get the reserves some playing time on the big stage.

Final: Riverside 58, Cheektowaga 42. Off for more interviews.

 Riverside coach Ron Killinger

Postgame: Audio from the winning coaches is now posted in this blog. The East-Riverside matchup Saturday will be the third of the season for those two teams. Be sure to listen to Killinger's thoughts on that game, he's got some interesting thoughts.



Here's a link to the story in Wednesday's paper.

The box scores are on our scoreboard, which includes tonight's Class D semifinal results as well.



I'll be back Wednesday at Buffalo State for more sectional games. Hope you can join me then.

---Jay Skurski

Championship Week tips off with polls today, hoops tonight

Championship Week tips off tonight.

Review the day-by-day schedule (the class-by-class version is here) and vote in the polls. 

Today (Monday)

A treat of a tripleheader tips us off at Buffalo State.

The 5:30 p.m. opener is a Class B-2 semifinal featuring the Charter School of Applied Technologies making its first appearance at Buffalo State as it takes on CCAA II champion Cassadaga Valley. CSAT, located in the Town of Tonawanda, has shown an ability to put points on the board during a season in which it finished third behind Niagara-Orleans co-champions and top small schools Wilson and Newfane, and it is also coming off an impressive quarterfinal victory over City Honors. Cassadaga Valley rolled to the semis with a 65-37 rout of Fredonia.

That game is followed by the two B-1 semifinals, both of which are very intriguing. At 7 p.m., Western New York's only undefeated team, CCAA I champion Dunkirk, takes on Lackawanna. Senior leader Vinny Bomasuto had 47 points as Dunkirk routed Buffalo Arts by 40 to improve to 19-0 on the season and make their first trip to Buffalo State in recent memory. Lackawanna had lineup struggles early in the season but have won 8 of its last 9.

At 8:30, two league champions face off as ECIC IV's Tonawanda meets Newfane, the co-champion of the Niagara-Orleans League. Newfane has been in the top 10 all year behind a veteran team that includes Rohn Pierce operating in the middle. Tonawanda won its first league title since 1958 behind a balanced team led by scorers Jesse Lalka and Clayton Hess.  


While the Class D semifinals are held at Jamestown Community College, there's another tripleheader at Buffalo State.

The tip off is the other half of the B-2 bracket, as Cleveland Hill takes on top-seeded Wilson at 5:30. Cleveland Hill has several players back from a team that lost to Akron in last year's B-2 title game, and it made it back to Buffalo State with an impressive road win at Salamanca. Wilson, led by senior guard Brennan Moxham, has been a favorite in this class all year but is arrives at Buffalo State without the energy and inside play of senior forward Tyler Truesdell, who suffered a knee injury late in the regular season. 

Then it's time for the A-2 semifinals, starting with a 7 p.m. meeting between two very familiar faces at Buffalo State: Olean and East. Olean moved up to Class A this year and started the season slow with a very young team, but it still has a chance to win a fifth straight sectional title. The Huskies have won four consecutive overall Class B championships. East is the Yale Cup Division I champion and the defending Class A-2 champion, having shown great balance behind Tremmell Fisher, Andre Jackson, Jasen Oden, Chris Boyd and Dominique House.

Cheektowaga returns to Buffalo State after losing in last year's semifinals -- they take on a team that ousted ECIC III champion Maryvale in the quarterfinals, Riverside. Cheektowaga finished second behind Maryvale in ECIC III.


Perhaps the busiest and most meaningful weekday of Championship Week in the last decade.

The Manhattan Cup championship pits Canisius and St. Joe's at 6 p.m. at Canisius College. Both split their meetings this year on the other team's floor, with St. Joe's winning at Canisius, 67-57, on Jan. 29, and Canisius winning at St. Joe's, 82-78, in the final week of the regular season (Feb. 15). Both teams routed their way into the final.



At Buffalo State, the A-1 doubleheader starts at 6 p.m. with top 10 large school Bennett, which owns two wins over AA semifinalist McKinley, taking on upstart Kenmore East -- perhaps the biggest surprise semifinalist after winning at Williamsville East in the quarterfinals. Top-seeded Williamsville South has been expected to be in this spot all season, and they'll take on Hutch-Tech at 7:45 p.m. Defending overall A champion South is led by senior football/basketball standouts Phil Stasiak, Kevin O'Connell and Joe Licata, who is two three-pointers away from breaking the all-time state record. Tech has had an impressive second half of the season behind senior all-around threat Maurice Miles and a cast of contributors.

The final four at Jamestown Community College has been more anticipated than the one at Buffalo State as the top 10 small schools square off. At 6 p.m., a balanced Maple Grove team takes on a deep Tapestry Charter squad led by top scorer Dazmon Knight. At 7:45 p.m., OTC Middle College will attempt to avoid a three-game season sweep by top-seeded and No. 1 small school International Prep at Grover Cleveland at 7:45. I-Prep beat OTC twice in Yale Cup Division II play, but the second win came in overtime. 


One of the most anticipated final fours comes in Class AA, as season-long top 10 school McKinley, coming off an impressive rout at Williamsville North in the quarterfinals, takes on No. 1 large school Niagara Falls at 6 p.m. The buzz at Buffalo State has been at its best in recent years when top Falls teams have squared off against some of the city's best (including Bennett in the early 2000s and Riverside in the middle of the decade).



The second game is another third meeting between league rivals as Lancaster meets Jamestown at 7:45. Lancaster gave a full-strength Jamestown its toughest tests by far in ECIC I play, losing by a combined 12 points (70-66 on Jan. 4 at Jamestown and 69-61 on Feb. 4 at Lancaster). The Red Raiders feature a powerful one-two combination in Jaysean Paige and Darin Butts whle JJ Harrington leads Lancaster in the middle. 



Friday and Saturday

JCC hosts the Class D (6 p.m.) and C (7:45) finals on Friday while Buffalo State hosts five championships on Saturday (B-2 noon, B-1 1:45, A-2 3:30 in the first session; A-1 6:30 and AA 8:15 in the evening session).


The Manhattan Cup winner takes on a downstate team in the state Catholic semifinals at noon at Canisius College.

---Keith McShea

You make the call: Who's going to win basketball titles?

Every basketball bracket has a post and poll -- vote for which teams you think will win it all and let us know why in the comments section.

Boys: Manhattan CupAA, A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2, C and D.

Girls: Monsignor Martin, AA, A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2, C and D.

You can review the overall postseason schedules for both boys hoops and girls hoops -- which go all the way to the Federation championships in Glens Falls -- and check our high school scoreboard each night as the results roll in. 

---Keith McShea

Who's going to win the Manhattan Cup?

Will it come down to a third meeting between St. Joe's and Canisius or will some team get in the way with an upset?

Break down the schedule, vote in the poll and tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Sunday's play-in game at St. Mary's
Nichols vs. Cardinal O'Hara, 12:30 p.m.
All remaining games at Canisius College
Tuesday's semifinals
Nich/O'H vs. 1-Canisius, 6 p.m.
5-Archbishop Walsh vs. 4-St. Mary's, 7:45 p.m.
Wednesday's semifinals
7-Nia. Catholic vs. 2-St. Joe's, 6 p.m.
6-St. Francis vs. 3-Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 7:45 p.m.
Semifinals -- Sat. Feb. 26
Nich/O'H/Can vs. Walsh/St. M, 6 p.m.
NC/St. J vs. St.F/TSJ, 7:45 p.m.
Final -- March 2
6 p.m. (unless a Class B final is needed at 6 p.m.; in that case the Manhattan Cup final would follow at 7:45)



There is a post and a poll for every bracket. Check them all out:

Boys: AA, A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2, C and D.

Girls: Monsignor Martin, AA, A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2, C and D.

You can review the overall postseason schedules for both boys hoops and girls hoops -- which go all the way to the Federation championships in Glens Falls -- and check our high school scoreboard each night as the results roll in. 

---Keith McShea

Who's going to win Class AA boys hoops?

All season long there's been talk about how tough the AA boys bracket will be -- and it sure is.

Break down the schedule, vote in the poll and tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Tuesday's first round
13-North Tonawanda (2-16) at 12-Orchard Park (6-12), 8 p.m.
Wednesday's prequarterfinals
9-Lockport (9-9) at 8-Clarence (10-8)
NT/OP at 5-Kenmore West (13-4)
10-Frontier (9-9) at 7-Niagara-Wheatfield (10-8)
11-West Seneca West (7-11) at 6-McKinley (15-3), 8 p.m.
Friday's quarterfinals
Lock/Clar at 1-Jamestown (15-3)
NT/OP/KW at 4-Lancaster (13-5)
WSW/McK at 3-Wmsv. North (13-5)
Fro/N-W at 2-Niagara Falls (17-1)
Semifinals -- March 3 at Buffalo St.
WSW/McK/WN vs. Fro/N-W/NF, 6 p.m.
NT/OP/KW/L vs. L/Clar/Jam, 7:45 p.m.
Final: March 5 at Buff. St., 8:15 p.m.



There is a post and a poll for every bracket. Check them out:

Boys: Manhattan CupA-1A-2B-1B-2C and D.

Girls: Monsignor MartinAAA-1A-2B-1B-2C and D.

You can review the overall postseason schedules for both boys hoops and girls hoops -- which go all the way to the Federation championships in Glens Falls -- and check our high school scoreboard each night as the results roll in. 

---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.

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