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.
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.
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).
It's a pretty nice lineup of high school action tonight. Lauren Mariacher and I will be hitting at least a few stops tonight.
We'll both be starting our night at the 6 p.m. girls basketball game as No. 1 small school Cardinal O'Hara takes on No. 6 large school Nardin at Canisius High School.
Other possible stops on a busy night: Also at 6, McKinley hosts Middle Early College in a boys basketball matchup of ranked schools; at 7, the St. Joe's and Canisius hockey teams go at it at Northtown Center; at 8 p.m., St. Joe's basketball hosts Bishop Kearney of Rochester. There are also some key ECIC II boys hoops games as Hamburg heads to Sweet Home and Williamsville South plays at Iroquois.
I'll have updates from games in the live blog below either directly in the blog or by using #preptalkscores updates on Twitter that will appear in the blog.
One of Western New York’s own, Bill Hurley, will speak on Monday at the Elks Lodge, 33 Legion Parkway in Lancaster as part of the WNY Football Coaches’ Association weekly clinic.
Hurley, a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, is currently an assistant coach at Robert Morris University.
His career as a quarterback at St. Joe's was punctuated by a sensational 1974 senior season in which he was honored as first-team All-Catholic, first team All-Western New York and first-team All-New York State. Hurley set many single-season and career records at St. Joe's, the most significant was his 381-yard rushing total (on 17 carries) against Bishop Turner, a New York State record.
At Syracuse, he continued to put up big numbers. As a sophomore, Hurley threw for 329 yards against ninth-ranked Penn State, breaking the school record by nearly 100 yards. Hurley was a four-year starter at Syracuse (as well as captain and team MVP junior and senior years), and set 23 game, season, and career records. He became just the third quarterback in modern NCAA history to rush for at least 2,000 yards and pass for at least 3,000 yards in a career.
A two-time honorable mention All-American and All-East quarterback, Bill was ECAC Offensive Player of the Year in 1979, selected for the Blue/Gray Football Classic, and was MVP of the East/West Shrine Game and Hula Bowl. He also led the Orange to an Independence Bowl championship in 1979. Hurley spent four seasons in the NFL as a safety with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, and Buffalo Bills.
Note: The interviews in this video are, in order, with St. Mary's coach Dan Gill, St. Mary's senior Erik Simmons (not Canisius), St. Mary's senior Devin Redden (not Jake Cercone), Canisius coach Kyle Husband, Canisius senior Aaron White (not Erik Simmons), Canisius senior Matt Hart, and Bishop Timon-St. Jude coach Jim Palano. Our apologies regarding some technical errors on-screen.
The game will be called by past Canisius parent John Murphy, the voice of the Buffalo Bills and sports anchor at WIVB Channel 4, and current parent, Jack Armstrong, the color analyst for the Toronto Raptors television broadcasts and the NBA on TSN.
The showdown of the No. 1 large school Marauders, who are coming off a stunning upset home loss to St. Francis, and the No. 2 Crusaders, who won in overtime at Bishop Timon-St. Jude the same night, is the third of three games at Canisius' Bernard J. Kennedy Field House. The freshman game is at noon with the JV game at 1:30 p.m.
As Canisius' press release advises, fans should get there early. The gym "traditionally reaches capacity before the tipoff of the varsity matchup at 3:30 p.m."
The broadcast is a great idea, and I'm not just saying that because I'll be out of town. For schools like St. Joe's -- which has been a leader in school broadcasts as it has done web radio for both football and basketball the last few seasons -- and Canisius, it is certainly a great way to share their biggest games with their extensive alumni in Western New York and beyond.
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.