Hartford-bound guard/forward La'Trice Hall does one-leg knee raises with weighted resistance on her shoulders as Cutting Edge Sports Training's Frank Colavecchia coaches.
By Aaron Mansfield
You wouldn’t know it's summertime based
on La’Trice Hall’s demeanor. By 5:57 this morning, the time I arrived at
Cutting Edge Sports Training in Amherst, Hall was halfway through her
active-stretch warm-up routine.
The recently graduated Sacred Heart guard/forward is at
midseason intensity right now, and her conditioning appears to be on the same level. Her
work ethic should come as no surprise to Buffalo hoops fans who have seen her
dominate on the court in helping the Sharks win back-to-back Monsignor Martin girls basketball championships as a starter.
Hall will move into her dorm at the University of Hartford July 7, and she wants to be in the best shape of her life when she
She allowed The News to sit in on today’s workout
with trainer Frank Colavecchia, who has been working with her for two years. In
that time, she has lost 18 pounds. The 5-foot-9 Hall was an All-WNY first-teamer
after averaging a double-double last year.
The Cutting Edge philosophy is emphatic, followed
by three exclamation points in its logo: “Revolutionize Your Game!!!” That’s
exactly what Hall is trying to do.
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.
Tonight's major matchup we'll be on hand for is a girls hoops game, and it is a huge one in the Monsignor Martin Association: No. 1 small schoolCardinal O'Hara vs. No. 1 large school Sacred Heart at 6:30 p.m. at Villa Maria College.
It is also a full night of #preptalkscores. On the boys side, there are several key matchups, starting with a Yale Cup I showdown of ranked small and large schools as East plays at McKinley at 6 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., Niagara Falls looks to end its two-game losing streak when it returns to Niagara Frontier League play at Kenmore West at 6:30 p.m. A fine meeting between ranked schools has new No. 1 large school Canisius at No. 4 small school Nichols at 7:30. In the Niagara-Orleans League, Roy-Hart is at Newfane at 6:30 p.m. Also at 7:30, old ECIC III buddies meet when Maryvale plays at Depew at 7:30 p.m.
I'll have play-by-play updates from O'Hara-Sacred Heart in the live blog below and I'll also be providing #preptalkscores updates on Twitter (those will also appear in the blog).
Your tweets with the hashtag #preptalkscores are welcome -- 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 tonight's games; the scoreboard will be updated as we receive game reports throughout the evening.
Keith & Lauren welcome guests from Niagara Falls boys basketball and look back at the week in high school sports.
0:00 -- Opening, discussion of McShea's Prep Talk column on Oracle Charter.
3:40 -- Interview with Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino and seniors J.J. Wilkins and Jermaine Crumpton
16:25 -- Wrestling (Clarence, Wednesday's matches, Mariacher's blog on the 'Pit' at Iroquois
27:20 -- Sacred Heart girls basketball (including coach Sister Maria Pares' pregame speech & a flashback to the Sharks' PTTV visit last week)
33:25 -- Amherst boys basketball (including coach Chris Kensy's postgame speech after the Tigers first win in Maryvale in 10 years, one that came over Maryvale coach Mark Kensy, Chris' dad)
37:45 -- Look at this week's boys basketball polls
39:10 -- PrepTalkTV Rewind (St. Joe's basketball, Lockport girls basketball coach Bill Shaw's halftime speech, Tonawanda girls basketball, Mount Mercy's "Mercy's Heroes")
43:15 -- A look ahead at ton of action from Thursday to Tuesday; closing.
For this week's PrepTalkTV Weekly -- which you can see right here tonight at 9 -- we'll welcome in Western New York's No. 1 large school boys basketball team has they head into a super weekend of matchups.
Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino and seniors Jermaine Crumpton (who has signed with Canisius College) and Jaleo Wilkins will be our in-studio guests for what will be another loaded show of highlights from boys and girls hoops as well as wrestling. We'll also have more highlights in PrepTalkTV Rewind, our weekly look at the boys basketball polls and a look ahead to this weekend and beyond.
For this week's PrepTalkTV Weekly -- which you can see right here tonight at 9 -- we'll welcome in a Hall of Famer in what we think is a loaded episode.
Legendary Sacred Heart girls basketball coach Sister Maria Pares, along with senior standouts La'Trice Hall and Hannah Rehbaum, will be our in-studio guests (the Sharks are coming straight from their game tonight with St. Mary's).
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.
Some additional notes and quotes from Tuesday's semifinals at Canisius College, where Sacred Heart beat Nardin, 38-29, and Nichols beat Mount St. Mary, 61-48:
* Sacred Heart will have the definite size advantage Sunday, but if Nichols shoots the way it did Tuesday, the Vikings will be tough to beat in the championship game.
* Congratulations to Mount St. Mary, which reached the semifinals for the first time in school history. Second-year coach Steve Gathers is building a nice program.
* Former Bills GM Tom Donahoe was among those in attendance.
And now, some additional quotes from Tuesday's games:
Sacred Heart sophomore Katie Healy
On the win: "We stayed under control and looked for good passes. We got some good open looks."
On playing varsity with her older sister: "It’s a lot easier. We know how each other’s game goes."
Sacred Heart coach Sister Maria Pares
On how Nichols beat them last game: "They pressed us. That’s exactly what happened to us. We know whoever we’re going to play is going to press us, so we’ll be working on it."
Nardin coach Jackie D'Orazio
On her team's energy level and the use of the full-court press: "In the first half we started slow. We did [use the press] in the beginning of the game, we just weren't getting what we wanted out of it."
Nichols coach Bob Torgalski
On the prospect of facing Sacred Heart a fourth time this season: "I just hope I’m healthy for Sacred Heart so we can give them a good run. They’re big. Sister [Maria Pares] is going to make her adjustments. She’s a smart coach, she’s been doing it for ages."
On how far the team has come: "The kids just hung in there. We talked about where we came from and where we are. Our tallest starter is 5-10."
Nichols senior Siobhan Hanley
On playing Sacred Heart: "They’re always a tough team. They’re really aggressive. I feel like if we play like we did today, we play as a team, we’ll definitely have a shot."
Mount St. Mary coach Steve Gathers
On is team's offensive struggles: "I think the whole night we played timid. The plan was to attack the inside. We were making passes from NBA range instead of attacking and dumping off. They weren’t that deep. They didn’t have as many players after their five starters. The idea was to get them into foul trouble and we didn’t even get near it.
On Hanley's shooting: "We really weren’t expecting her to be the shooter, but they’re all good shooters. I figured in this gym it’s going to be even tougher to hit the big threes. But once you hit one or two and you’re a shooter that’s just the way it happens."
Nichols and Sacred Heart will play at 1 p.m. Sunday for the MMA title at Daemen College.
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.