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Friday Night Live with PrepTalkTV: Jamestown wins at Lancaster, 69-61

No city games today, so PrepTalkTV's Friday Night Live schedule is a little more compressed. Some key games and some tough decisions about where to go.

Here's our take on tonight:

Read previews of top games and get updated results as we get them at our scoreboard page, which can also accessed through the high school home page.

As always, if you were at a game tonight, let us know how it went here in our comments section.

* * * 

6:56 p.m. We've started at Tonawanda, which is hosting JFK in an extremely pivotal ECIC IV game.

Great crowd here from both schools, nice "Tribe" student section on hand for the home team Warriors, and good energy early on from both teams and both benches. 

With 1:34 left in the first quarter, Tonawanda calls a timeout holding an 11-10 lead.

7 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Tonawanda leads JFK, 12-10.

7:08 p.m. Jesse Lalka goes to the line with 5:04 left in the second quarter and hits two to put Tonawanda up, 14-13. I have a feeling this matchup between the teams won't go into the 80s like their first contest did. Only natural, I suppose, with the importance of the game.

7:22 p.m. At HALFTIME, Tonawanda leads JFK, 25-24. Nice exchange of threes late in the half for both teams.

UPDATE from TML1000 of the Prep Talk blog at Lew-Port: Lew-Port leads Kenmore West, 15-14, after one quarter after the host Lancers started with a 7-0 lead.

I've got to boogie to Jamestown at Lancaster while video reporter Lauren Mariacher is off to South Buffalo and Canisius at Bishop Timon-St. Jude.

8:02 p.m. Hello from Lancaster. Nice of the JV game to go late for me, because they tipped off literally as I walked into the gym.

8:07 p.m. With 1:24 left in the first quarter, Lancaster coach Conrad Walters calls a timeout. Jamestown leads, 14-11.

UPDATE from Lew-Port: Kenmore West leads, 41-38, after three. It was 29-28 Lew-Port at the half.

UPDATE from Lauren Mariacher in South Buffalo: Canisius leads Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 28-18, with 2:58 left in the first half.

8:11 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Jamestown leads at Lancaster, 16-13.

8:15 p.m. Jamestown coach Ben Drake calls a timeout with 5:18 left in the second quarter after two fast-break baskets by Lancaster cut the Jamestown leads to 24-19.

Big play right after the timeout -- Jaysean Paige picked up his second foul, an offensive foul clearing out some space for himself in the post, with 5:05 left in the second and he heads to the bench.

8:25 p.m. At HALFTIME, Jamestown leads Lancaster, 32-27.

Continue reading "Friday Night Live with PrepTalkTV: Jamestown wins at Lancaster, 69-61" »

Friday Night Live with PrepTalkTV: Depew beats Lancaster, 19-16, in final minutes (watch the winning TD here); NT wins T-NT, 35-0

It's an interesting night as we get the final week of the Section VI football season started. Communities will gather for rivalry games while most of the league games being played tonight will have some sort of impact on completing the sectional playoff field.

We will have PrepTalkTV team members on hand at the T-NT and Lancaster-Depew games; I'll be stopping in at both of those games and perhaps another while I'll be providing updates from all over Western New York all evening. So stay tuned, or check back and hit up that refresh button.

5:30 p.m. Plenty of pageantry on hand here at Clint Small Stadium as the T-NT ceremonies begin with the senior cheerleaders and players being honored in a pregame program. Streets nearby are closed off to account for the large crowd, the red-and-blue supporters of the Lumberjacks are filling up the visitor bleachers while there are plenty of fans in Tonawanda Warrior maroon in the large home bleacher. 

5:58 p.m. A great National Anthem -- and in typical fashion at Tonawanda games -- a freight train roars by the elevated track just south of the stadium midway through the song.

5:59 p.m. Nice touch as Rick Casata and Larry Bodie -- members of the all-time All-WNY team we selected a few years ago -- were honorary captains.

Photo(73)

6:04 p.m. The T-NT game has begun as it has the last few years as NT scores on its first drive. It moved the ball fairly easily before Dan Montesanti took a pitch to the left and scored a 21-yard TOUCHDOWN. The run failed and NT has a 6-0 lead with 9:29 left in the first quarter.

6:09 p.m. First down for Tonawanda.

6:12 p.m. Tonawanda punts and NT takes over at its 20-yard line.

6:14 p.m. This matchup of a AA school with a ton of players on its sideline and a B school with maybe 11 reserves is personified in a Tonawanda defensive back. No. 9 Cody Wankasky, a junior who can't be taller than 5-foot-5, but he's in the mix on all the plays, throwing his body at guys like the much more mammoth Dan Montesanti (6-1, 215 senior).

6:15 p.m. Tonawanda gets good pressure on Joe Montesanti, playing quarterback, which forces an intentional grounding penalty, a loss of down and forces an NT punt. Tonawanda takes over on its 35 with 3:38 to play. Nice job early by Tonawanda.

Photo(74)

6:27 p.m. That was quick. NT takes over after a punt and soon after Joe Montesanti keeps the ball on an option run to the right and he goes 69 yards for the TOUCHDOWN on what is the final play of the first quarter. Rob Wikierski adds a two-point run for a 14-0 lead for NT.

6:33 p.m. Tyler Hughes with an interception of a Joe Montesanti third-down pass and Tonawanda takes over at its 23 with 8:10 left in the second quarter. Hughes followed that up with a 20-yard first-down run to the Tonawanda 43.

6:35 p.m. A fumbled shotgun snap is scooped up by senior Luke Zacher and returned 20 yards for a TOUCHDOWN. The two-point conversion pass fails and NT leads 20-0 with 7:40 left in the second quarter.

7:04 p.m. At HALFTIME, NT leads Tonawanda, 20-0.

Here are some highlights from the first half thanks to video reporter Lauren Mariacher:

I made my way down to the field for the final minutes of the first half and was right next to Mariacher as Tonawanda executed a great screen pass play on third-and-17 from its own 47 to get to the NT 17 with 2:22 left in the half -- Warrior fans were fired up after that one. However, on the next play, Joe Montesanti picked off a pass at the goal line and returned it to midfield, where the Lumberjacks' drive fizzled in the final minute.

It was tough making my way through the crowd -- there are a ton of people here, I'd guess 3,000 or 4,000. I'm going to be headed East -- depending on how the trip goes I may stop by and see Alden at Maryvale (just kicking off) before finishing up at Depew at Lancaster. I had to get my car out of Tonawanda's grass area where they let me park quickly -- I was parked behind where NT was setting up it's de facto locker room area at the half.

UB's marching band, which it bills as "The Thunder of the East," was to perform at halftime (they arrived in a motorcade of several buses during the first half. I'm typing at the gas station at Grove and Delaware St. just a block or two from Clint Small, and I can hear the band doing its thing.

7:09 p.m. That was quick - just got a text update from Alden PA man Kevin Okiec: the Bulldogs have taken a 7-0 lead at Maryvale 49 seconds into the game.

7:45 p.m. Arrived at Maryvale to update the blog. I've been listening to Depew at Lancaster on WXRL 1300 AM with local high school football media megastars Rich Kozak and Sean Bruso teaming up on a very entertaining broadcast.

Depew took a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard run by Anthony Emmanuele with 6:50 left in the first; that came on the Wildcats' first drive. Lancaster stopped Depew on third down and forces a punt late in the first quarter. Redskins take over at their 4 with 14 seconds left in the opening quarter.

Just got another text update from Okiec as I'm within view of the bleachers here at Maryvale -- but I can't see the scoreboard. Thank goodness for the text: Alden leads, 21-7, with 5:06 left in the second quarter after a 25-yard run. I'm going to try and get some video late in the half.

7:56 p.m. I don't think this actually counts as me going to a game -- I walked in as Alden kicked an extra point to go up, 28-7, with 46 seconds left in the second quarter. I headed back to the car and the Kozak-Bruso radio cavalcade.

I should be getting a text update on the touchdown I just missed in seconds! :-)

8 p.m. Sure enough: Okiec just zapped me the score a few minutes ago.

Lancaster has tied it up with Depew on a TD run by junior quarterback Ryan Radke followed by an Alex Debbins extra point for a 7-7 game with 9:16 left in the second quarter.

8:06 p.m. Depew has a bad punt snap go through the end zone for a SAFETY for Lancaster, which leads, 9-7, with 7:25 left in the first half.

8:15 p.m. Depew recovers a fumble on Lancaster's next possession and takes advantage of the field position with by going in for a touchdown and Depew leads Lancaster, 13-9, 4:58 left in the second quarter.

8:23 p.m. I'm going to sit tight and listen to the game and provide updates until the half before heading over.

8:28 p.m. FINAL SCORE from T-NT: North Tonawanda 35, Tonawanda 0.

Here's Lauren Mariacher's video report from the T-NT game:

8:30 p.m. UPDATES: I heard "Touchdown Maryvale!" from my car and Okiec's text says it was a Bilal Clay 1-yard run with 5:04 left in the third, but I just saw an Alden celebration in the end zone -- sure enough, the text reports a 50-yard touchdown by Dakota Peel for a 34-14 lead with 3:45 left in third ... now another TD by Alden ... Whew.

It is HALFTIME at Lancaster with the Redskins leading Depew, 16-13, after a huge play to end the half.

With Depew up, 13-9, and on the verge of another score, Geoff Franger intercepted a pass in the flat and ran 95 yards for a TOUCHDOWN. Debbins added the extra point for its 16-13 lead. It was absolute bedlam in the press box -- you could hear the home box rooting for Franger to "GO! GO!" and Kozak's radio call was a trip with all the noise. Great stuff.

I just got called out by Bruso on the radio because I'm not there!

Check out Joe Popiolkowski's video of that Franger touchdown.

UPDATE from Prep Talk blogger extraordinaire Milt Latimer, who had someone call me to tell me that Iroquois had a 25-0 lead over Hamburg after three quarters. ... Scott Kindberg of the Jamestown Post-Journal reports that Southwestern is up, 35-0, over Wilson with 8:40 left in the second quarter and he got word from Jamestown that the Red Raiders have a 14-3 lead over OP.

I'm off to Lancaster.

9:11 p.m. Hello from the very full press box at Foyle-Kling Field. Bruso said my seat was saved. There's a sign that says "MacKay" on it. Nice! I'll take it.

UPDATE from Lackawanna: EDEN LEADS LACKAWANNA, 20-6, to start the fourth quarter. Thanks to Steelers hoops coach Tim Foley for that update.

9:16 p.m. Depew has taken over with 2:12 left in the third quarter at its 33 with Lancaster still up, 16-13.

9:20 p.m. UPDATE from Lauren Mariacher -- now Eden's lead at Lackawanna is 20-14 with 7:45 to play. ... FINAL SCORE: Alden 48, Maryvale 21.

9:28 p.m. Depew gets a big play, an interception in their end zone by Sam Sallaj; Wildcats take over at their 20 with 8:35 left.

9:33 p.m. FINAL SCORE: Iroquois 31, Hamburg 0. Thanks to Milt for that one. ... Lackawanna fumbles on a late drive and Eden takes over with 2:51 left.

Lancaster stops Depew, forces a punt, and takes over at the Lancaster 38 with 6:32 left.

9:36 p.m. UPDATE from Lauren: Eden makes an interception at its own 5 with one minute left. Whoa. ... Update from noted blogger Malt Blathermore! Medina up on Albion, 36-14, with just under eight minutes remaining in the fourth.

9:42 p.m. WOW. Depew's Aaron Ertel hits three passes on the Wildcats' drive, the last a slant pass over the middle to Joe Miller for a 46-yard TOUCHDOWN with 1:36 left in the game. The extra point goes wide right and Depew leads Lancaster, 19-16.

9:49 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Depew 19, Lancaster 16. WOW.

Here's the winning touchdown from video reporter Joe Popiolkowski:

Interview time; I'll have more updates from other games as soon as I can get them on here.

Here's Joe Pops' complete wrapup of the game:

10:31 p.m. Sorry for the delay; had a little wait for interviews, then did some PrepTalkTV-ing.

FINAL SCORES: Eden 20, Lackawanna 14. That's huge.

Check out the reactions after Eden's win, thanks to video reporter Lauren Maraicher:

Also big in the B playoff picture: Medina 44, Albion 14.

Dan McGrath told me Depew will be the No. 2 seed in Class B behind No. 1 Alden.

The wins by Amherst, Will South and Iroquois mean that Lafayette takes the fourth and final playoff spot in Class A South.

Randolph wins the D East division title with a huge win over Portville.

OP comes back to beat Jamestown and take second place in AA South; No. 3 will be Frontier; No. 4 will be Jamestown.

Pioneer wins at East Aurora, meaning that B South will have three teams (Pioneer, Lackawanna and Eden) all in the playoffs at 5-1. Pioneer reports that they have won the division on tiebreakers.

* * *

As always, we want to hear from you if you were at any games. Tell us about the players, teams -- even the concession stand.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Live from the state championships: Olean softball loses in final; Clarence softball, Tonawanda and Frewsburg baseball all fall in semis

Four Section VI teams and a ton of Section VI track and field athletes will by vying for state championships today.

While reporters Mary Jo Monnin and Amanda Bremer and photographer Mark Mulville (check out his photo gallery from Day One) are at Vestal High School for the state championships in track and field (see leonetiming.com and armorytrack.com), four local teams will try to win state titles: Clarence and Olean softball at Waterloo and Tonawanda and Frewsburg baseball in the Binghamton area. 

Just sit back -- or check in from time to time -- and hit the refresh button.

11 a.m. I'm en route to Binghamton; I'll pass on softball updates from correspondent Nate Beutel as soon as I get them.

11:40 a.m. Nate reports from the softball final four in Waterloo that Olean leads, 2-0, after the first inning while Clarence is scoreless.

12:10 p.m. Olean lead is now 5-0 in the fourth while Clarence is up, 1-0, in the fifth.

12:48 p.m. Hello from NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton, where Tonawanda finished with some pregame drills.

Another report from Nate from Waterloo. We have a FINAL SCORE in the CLASS B SOFTBALL SEMIFINAL: Olean 5, Dobbs Ferry 0. Olean will play Section IV's Chenango Valley for the state title in a 3:30 p.m. scheduled start.  

Clarence and Bay Shore are tied at 2-2 in the seventh inning.

12:54 p.m. Pregame announcements have begun following the umpires' meeting at the plate.

Tonawanda's fans are grouped behind the dugout here at NYSEG Stadium. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) Tonawanda has brought a large (and loud) group of students, who are standing behind the dugout in maroon shirts. One of them waves a large maroon flag with "Tribe" written on it. There are a bunch of maroon-clad parents and adult fans on hand as well -- looks to me like Tonawanda fans might outnumber those from Westhill -- which is the defending state champion from the Syracuse area -- by just a bit.

1:05 p.m. We're under way in Binghamton ... but first this update from Waterloo (sounds like I'm on TV or something) ... 

We have a FINAL SCORE in the CLASS AA SOFTBALL SEMIFINAL: Bay Shore beats Clarence, 3-2, in the bottom of the seventh. 

Tonawanda has first and second with one out in the top of the first.

1:10 p.m. Westhill gets out of the jam as junior Kevin McAvoy gets Brian McCarthy on a fading lineout to left fielder Mike Fagan and then struck out Mike Tolsma swinging to end the inning. No score, middle of the first. 

1:12 p.m. I'd like to thank Binghamton for putting Class B at NYSEG Stadium, and for Tonawanda making the final four -- which enables us to update this blog from an air-conditioned press box with much-needed power. I'm pretty where Frewsburg is playing -- at Broome Community College -- it's just a baseball field; at least it was two years ago when I covered Gowanda.  

1:18 p.m. Tonawanda starter senior Jesse Zellner gets out of his own jam in the bottom of the first -- stranding a runner on third by striking out junior Mark Syron swinging. No score after one.

1:22 p.m. Tonawanda gets a good start to the second but has it wiped out on an interesting play. Junior Kyle Gallivan reached on a single he dropped into right-center. Ryan McGinnis then grounded to the third baseman, who went to second for the force. The throw was a little high and Gallivan went low to break up the play, and totally upended second baseman t the umpire not only called Gallivan out but ruled McGinnis out as well for Gallivan's illegal slide. Word in the press box was that the out call was made because it was more of a takeout rather than a slide. Tonawanda manager John Frank discussed the call with the umpires but he didn't look outraged or anything. No score after one and a half.  

1:29 p.m. Westhill has taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Greg Schmidt, who served a single to left field. Westhill coach Bob Weismore sent Mike Fagan from second. Left fielder Ryan McGinnis made a good throw that beat Fagan, but the throw was a bit high -- catcher Brian McCarthy leaped to catch the ball and Fagan slid in safely. In a bit of a bad play, Tonawanda players were protesting the call and noone was at second and Schmidt took second. That didn't matter as Dan Karleski flew out to center to end the inning.

1:37 p.m. Westhill with some nice momentum here as McAvoy gets a three-up, three-down inning that began with Joey Warthling grounding out on a slow roller and a nice play by Mike McMullen. Westhill leads, 1-0, in the middle of the third.

1:50 p.m. Westhill is now up, 2-0, after three innings. McMullen led off by rocketing a double over left fielder McGinnis' head and moved to third when Zellner tried to pick him off second -- but noone was covering. Tonawanda moved the infield in and got a groundout from Nathan Nigolian, but Mark Syron hit a sharp single to right through the drawn-in infield to bring in McMullen. Mike Fagan was out on a nice unassisted putout by first basemen Tolsma, who stabbed a sharply hit ball. After a hit batter, McGinnis didn't have to move to catch a line drive to left by Jake Rush. 

1:55 p.m. McEvoy might be getting stronger as the game goes on -- he struck out two, including leadoff man Zellner and Tolsma and getting an easy pop up to second from Gallivan to end the top of the fourth with the lead still 2-0 for Westhill. Sandwiched between the strikeouts was an infield single by Brian McCarthy, whose deep grounder to short was too deep in the hole for McMullen -- who made a great throw but was late. McMullen already has made two great plays in the infield.

2:03 p.m. Update thanks to Jamestown Post-Journal guru Scott Kindberg: Watertown's Immaculate Heart has a 1-0 lead on Frewsburg in the top of the fourth of the CLASS C BASEBALL SEMIFINAL.

2:06 p.m. Westhill tacks on another run for a 3-0 lead after four after an unearned run. Greg Schmidt reached on an infield single, then moved all the way to third when a pickoff attempt by Zellner went high and Schmidt was waved on easily to third. Zellner struck out top-of-the-order batter Dan Karleski and appeared to be out of the inning when McMullen's grounder went to shortstop, but Sean Stich's throw took Tolsma off the bag and McMullen avoided the tag by stumbling across first as Schmidt scored.  

2:14 p.m. Tonawanda gets a leadoff walk from Ryan McGinnis, but two strikeouts and a groundout get Westhill and McAvoy through the top of the fifth with its 3-0 lead. McAvoy went 2-1 on second batter Shane Foster when coach Weismore came to the mound for a meeting -- afterwards, two straight swinging strikes became the first of two strikeouts.

For the bottom of the fifth, Tolsma has come in to pitch for Tonawanda with Zellner moving to first.

2:24 p.m. Tolsma has a quiet inning with just four batters, including a strikeout of leadoff batter Syron, a foul pop and an inning-ending comebacker by Rush after a walk of Corey Hewitt. Westhill leads, 3-0, after five.

2:40 p.m. Tonawanda will head to the top of the seventh in a big hole. Westhill has added two unearned runs for a 5-0 lead and is still batting with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.

2:45 p.m. Reports to the press box have some bad weather coming in as we have one half-inning to go. Tonawanda trails, 5-0, after six innings.

Tonawanda seemed to be in good shape in the bottom of the sixth after a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play. Then Karleski doubled when his long fly ball carried to the left-field corner; he moved to third after the throw to the infield was wild. McMullen hit a grounder to third for a potential inning-ender, but the throw was wild to score a run and move McMullen to second.

Tonawanda fans line up to give the Warriors a round of applause after the game. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) 2:50 p.m. It was a quick (four batters) top of the seventh and we have a FINAL SCORE in the CLASS B BASEBALL SEMIFINAL: Westhill 5, Tonawanda 0.

3:28 p.m. First things first. We have a FINAL SCORE in the CLASS C BASEBALL SEMIFINAL: Immaculate Heart 4, Frewsburg 0.

Wow. What timing. I'm typing on my laptop in my car in the Broome Community College parking lot as the the rain pours down during a serious thunder-and-lightning storm. 

It started raining right after I talked to Frewsburg coach Jay Grann about his team's loss -- he and the team were disappointed after the Bears fell victim to similar circumstances I just witnessed in Tonawanda's game -- a failure at the plate and in the field.

Frewsburg had beaten Immaculata Heart twice during an early-season Spring Break trip to Myrtle Beach. IHC got one in the second without a hit, added one in the fifth on an RBI single by Connor Caldwell and two more in the sixth on an RBI double by Dustin Exford and an RBI single by Anthony Magovney. 

After Tonawanda lost, I ran down to the field and talked to coach John Frank (he was disappointed but fittingly very proud of his team), ran back up the stands, grabbed my stuff in the press box, asked if anyone knew what was going on at BCC (they didn't), texted Jamestown Post-Journal reporter/photographer extraordinaire Scott Kindberg to see if he knew, zipped the 10 miles north to BCC from downtown (nearby Route 11 to I-81 to BCC right off the exit was smoooooth sailing), as I'm about to turn into BCC got a call from Scott saying that Frewsburg lost, asked Scott if Frewsburg's bus was still there, he says it is and that they're still there, I say "THANK YOU SCOTT!," park my car, find coach Jay Grann, talk with him, take an iPhone picture of his scorebook, take some pictures of the Frewsburg bus (below) and get in my car right before the SER-ious downpour.

One side of the Frewsburg bus ... (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) Frewsburg baseball bus from the other side. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

4:02 p.m. I'll update the blog with some pictures, and I'll have Olean state championship updates as I working on my story for Sunday's paper. With the battery running low on the laptop and the rain finally having gone away, I think I'll be working on it at the unofficial Buffalo News High School Sports Desk Binghamton Bureau -- the Starbucks across the street from BCC and the BAGSAI softball fields which have hosted state championships in past years.  

4:26 p.m. First update from Nate in Waterloo (and first update from my back-corner table at our Starbucks Bureau) and the CLASS B SOFTBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: Olean and Chenango Valley are scoreless after two innings. I've added some pictures here (I didn't really plan the bus thing).

4:33 p.m. Chenango Valley takes a 1-0 lead in the third.

In other news, I just butchered my order here because I don't speak Starbucks. "Frappuccino is cold, right?" Blank stare from counter dude. "Um, what flavors do I have to pick from?" The dude helped this remedial coffee schmo through it. I had a tasty caramel mocha Frappuccino. He said "caramel" with two syllables. I take mine with three.

5 p.m. Chenango Valley now up, 4-0, in the fifth thanks to some smallball, reports Nate.

5:25 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE in the CLASS B SOFTBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: Chenango Valley 4, Olean 0. The Huskies only muster two hits in the final.

Ballgame over. Spring season over. 2009-10 high school sports season over.

I'm writing my story now and then its a couple of weeks of vacation -- thanks to all for a memorable season.

* * *

Some additional quotes to what you'll find in the paper ...

Tonawanda coach John Frank:

"One game can't take away the season these boys had. You can't be perfect every game, you're not going to win them all. Obviously we made too many mistakes today. Five errors and no runs aren't going to win you a ball game.

"I'm really proud of these kids, they won the first sectional title in 29 years for Tonawanda, won their first Far West Regional. I'm proud of the boys.

"It happens. Our pitching and our defense has been our strength all year long. Our defense failed us today. That happens, and it's OK.

"The support we've been given by the parents and families and friends and students and teachers and administrators and community -- it's been absolutely overwhelming. It was a fun ride. It was a great season overall. Unfortunately it didn't end the way we'd like, but a great season overall.

"Our ambitions were high [entering the season], absolutely. I told the kids they were special all year long and they went out and proved it.

"We lost a little bit of discipline at the plate. Tte kid did a nice job, but it wasn't anything we haven't seen. The bats have failed us -- actually in the last few games they've failed us -- in sectional final and the Far West Regional, and we knew two runs wasn't going to do it today.

"I said [to his seniors after the game], 'Thank you for putting Tonawanda baseball back on the map.' It was a young team with low numbers four years ago, and they did their job and turned this program around. They can leave their senior season with their head held high even though it didn't end on the way we wanted it to." 

* * *

Frewsburg coach Jay Grann:

"It came down to execution. They executed bunts and good baserunning, and we'd didn't. We had plenty of opportunities too.

"They had a good pitcher -- he mixes his pitches up well. Four hits isn't going to win a game. We gave them their first two runs. The first one scored without a hit, the second one on an error.

"I think we have to take it in perspective - we're playing in the state championships. We had beaten this team twice, 3-2 and 5-1. We knew they had solid pitching but we thought we did too. Our pitcher threw a great game. He definitely deserved a better fate. We didn't back him up offensively or defensively.

"With being No. 1 in the state, 24-0, we did a lot of positive things. We do lose some star players but we're not ruling out coming back next year, It's just one of those games where we didn't execute. We picked the worst time to play the worst game."

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Who will win a state title? Tune in Saturday

Four Section VI teams and a ton of Section VI track and field athletes will by vying for state championships Saturday.

While Vestal High School hosts the state championships in track and field starting today (see leonetiming.com and armorytrack.com), four local teams will try to win state titles on Saturday and we'll have updates here on the blog. 

I'll start my day at Tonawanda baseball's semifinal -- I'll have live updates from that game while I'll be passing on live updates from the Frewsburg semifinal as well as from the Clarence and Olean softball games at Waterloo thanks to correspondent Nate Buetel.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Season-ending live chat (June 9)

Today is the first school day in a longggg time on which there isn't any high school action scheduled -- which means we must be near the end of the season. 

We are -- high school action in New York State wraps up this weekend.

We still have plenty to talk about in what will be our final live chat of the 2009-10 high school sports season, whether it is looking back on quite a school year, quite a spring season, or looking ahead to the state championship chances of the Clarence and Olean softball teams and the Tonawanda and Frewsburg baseball teams as well as local athletes heading to the state championships in track and field and golf. 

As always, anything in the world of high school sports or our coverage of it is up for discussion. See you tonight.

If you won't be around for the chat, feel free to ask some questions in the comments section below and we'll throw them out during the session.

Here is our last chat (June 2) as well as previous spring chats on May 26, May 19May 12, May 5 and April 21

Here is the archive from the winter season: last chat (April 14)March 31, March 24March 17March 10, Feb. 24, Feb. 11, Feb. 3Jan. 28Jan. 20Jan 14, Jan. 6, Dec. 15.

More live chats can be accessed via the "live chats" category link at right.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Friday Night video mania

The best highlights from my trip from North Tonawanda to Hamburg to Depew is at the Friday Night Live post, but here's every video clip that I shot (that was worth keeping).

Here we go, in chronological order:

Continue reading "Friday Night video mania" »

Friday Night Live: Week Seven

In case you didn't realize that tonight marks the end of the regular season in high school football, just step outside.

Some high-impact games will have some low temperatures as football playoff weather comes rolling across your Doppler Radar screen tonight. Monday morning's forecast called for lows of 31, highs of 45 and a chance of flurries in the Buffalo area. Down Southern Tier way, there is a greater chance of snow.

For those who want to keep their blood moving tonight, there's a chance to see a lot of action (and see your breath) by bopping around to different sites -- which is what a certain reporter is going to do.

The traditional 5 p.m. Harvard Cup game has South Park meeting East at All High Stadium. The 100th game in the Tonawanda-North Tonawanda series kicks off at 6 p.m. at NT's Lumberjack Sports Complex. Among several 7 p.m. kickoffs is the crucial Class A contest in which Williamsville South plays at Hamburg. The lineup of games at 7:30 p.m. includes Lancaster at Depew, an outstanding rivalry game featuring two ranked teams, as well as a big Class B South game of Lackawanna at Alden.

There are ton of other top-notch matchups, including the traditional rivalry games (check out some great capsules on the rivalry games).

Here's what you think the best game of the weekend is.

Check out today's weekend preview by Miguel Rodriguez, which breaks down some of the playoff picture.

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6:36 p.m. It's going as expected at NT, where North Tonawanda has a 20-0 lead after one quarter. Having some trouble with the youtube-ing, so sit tight. I'm off to Hamburg.

Here's the kickoff of the 100th edition of the rivalry, with the classic voice of Dick Grapes on the call:

Here's Aaron Davis scoring NT's first touchdown on a 3-yard run.

Here's NT's second touchdown on a razzle-dazzle halfback option.


7:18 p.m. Made the long trip to Hamburg and pulled in as Will South scored a touchdown to go up 7-0 early.

Lockport's WJJL reported that NT was five for five on possessions as it built a 35-0 lead in the first half.

8:20 p.m. Spent a good amount of time watching Hamburg-Will South because it sure was entertaining. The teams were tied at 16-16 in the last half-minute of the first half. Hamburg had the ball but had just been pushed back on a penalty when it called timeout -- I don't have much time to spare so I headed out. I'm off to try and catch a few plays of Lancaster-Depew before returning to the office.

There was a light, cold rain adding to a brrrr of a night at Hamburg but both teams were slugging it out. Both defenses had some key stops while Hamburg was showing a nice quarterbacking game to answer some big plays by South's Joe Licata.

Hamburg scored a field goal off an interception, which is right here:

Here's a great connection from Licata to Mark Coppola -- note the nice block by Tyler Krempa.

Hamburg's Nico Zarcone had several nice plays, including this big pass for a TD on third down.

Hamburg stopped Will South late in the first half, including this fourth-down incompletion.

8:53 p.m. We're at Depew, where WXRL tells me that Lancaster has a 20-6 halftime lead. The halftime show on the radio was very enjoyable on the drive here -- Milt Latimer of the Prep Talk blog was the guest! Gotta love it.

We won't be here for long. Gotta run.

9:30 p.m. We're back in the One News Plaza parking lot. We caught a touchdown by Depew that made the score 20-12, but as we headed to the parking lot, Lancaster returned the ensuing kickoff for a score and added another touchdown.

Here's a video of a nice run by Lancaster's Justin Juda.

Depew got a big gain on an Anthony Emmanuele run which got the big crowd around the blue track going.

That run helped set up Depew's pass play for a score at the jam-packed Frank Constantino complex. Great venue.

In the fourth, Lancaster is up, 34-12.

10:40 p.m. In the midst of deadline madness at the home office right now ... here is the scoreboard that we will be updating as soon as we can.

The big score in so far is Hamburg 23, Williamsville South 22.  

11:14 p.m. Just got off the phone with Dan McGrath, whose Depew team lost to Lancaster, 41-40. Wow.

***

Stay here through the night as we'll have updates and scores as soon as we get them.

Also, tune your twitter to "bufnewspreptalk" to get instant updates of the scores as soon as they are reported to us. We also have a fan page at Facebook -- just search "The Buffalo News' Prep Talk blog" -- and you'll get updates with links to our high school sports stories.

*** 

If you are at a game, or saw one tonight, be sure to let us know what you thought of the action in the comments section below.

* * *

Our end of business report:

* Here's our roundup which is led off with the big wins for Lancaster and Hamburg, both of which include more information than we could squeeze in the paper. There are several other games which have bonus coverage -- the nice road win for St. Joe's is just one of them.

* Here's a separate story on the 100th T-NT game won by NT in a blowout. 

* The High School Extra delves into soccer, field hockey, swimming, cross country -- and swine flu!   

* * *

Some random blabbity-blah: I'd have to think there were crowds of over 5,000 at both the T-NT game and the Lancaster-Depew game. ... The Hamburg-Will South game was a gritty, cold, tough game where South (not surprisingly) went for two and the win at the end. They've been playing aggressively all year. Class A is going to be pretty crazy the next couple of weeks. ... I tried to squeeze in a trip to the South Park game to start the evening off, but the Main St. construction made that a no sale. I had to U-turn it to the 198 and head to T-NT land. I wanted to catch the opening kickoff; Tonawanda, on the other hand, didn't -- but that was just the start of an expectedly tough night for the Warriors.

Should they keep playing the game? Absolutely. Class B teams can be competitive with Class AA teams. Just ask Lancaster and Depew.

I'll have more videos posted when I get a chance to dig the best stuff out of the iPhone. See you back here for Saturday Afternoon Live.

* * *

There are a ton more video clips as part of a separate post.

---Keith McShea

Live from Scrimmage Saturday: 17 teams, 14 video highlights

This should be interesting. I've got a list of scrimmages and a plan mapped out, and that list has already gotten rained on. 

Oh well -- the umbrella is in the trunk as we head off to Cleveland Hill first to see the Golden Eagles and Cardinal O'Hara in action.

A Cleveland Hill coach videos some scrimmage plays. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) 9:52 a.m. Hard-hitting football season has officially begun.

It turns out that Grover Cleveland and Hutch-Tech also scrimmaged at Cleve Hill, so I got more action than I thought in my first stop.

A steady drizzle met me as I stood behind a Cleveland Hill coach doing his own video from a ladder set up behind an end-zone area. A big hit by a defender on a run brought an "OOHHHHHHH!" from the blue-and-yellow helmeted players on the Cleve Hill sideline. On the next play, a Grover quarterback rolled out, prompting the Cleve Hill sideline to yell, "PASS!" Oh yeah, it sure sounds like football season.

Cleveland Hill coach Glen Graham was in midseason form, urging players to assemble quickly after plays. "Everybody runs back to the huddle!"

I stepped over to an adjacent field, where O'Hara -- which looked like they were ready for gameday in the familiar white jerseys with black numbers and gold helmets -- set up against Hutch-Tech and its maroon practice gear. I spotted Jerry Falgiano for Hutch-Tech as well as O'Hara coach Angelo Sciandra as I captured my first highlight of the day.

We're in a bit of unchartered video territory as we try out our iPhone -- I can do videos with the phone, then upload them to the blog via YouTube. It's like the future.

But it's with my old-school notebook and pen that I capture a gem. Standing on the sideline of the O'Hara-Tech field, a big hit was audible from the Grover-Cleve Hill field. That prompted one mom to say, "Ohhh they doin' some hitting over there."

I returned to the Cleve Hill-Grover field, where Tony Alessi was coaching Grover and longtime Cleve Hill coach Denny Mason was also on hand.

Cleve Hill had a big run gain as I headed to the parking lot. The rain has seemed to let up. Excellent.

10:19 a.m. We're hitting the road to Clarence next since it's close by and we can shoot up to Lockport right after. But uh-oh -- the rain has picked up big-time.

10:37 a.m. OK. We've made an executive decision. We made this decision as we were driving down Main Street towards Clarence, analyzing on the way if I should just go right up to Lockport. Then I passed Williamsville South on the left, and I said, "Duh -- there's like seven teams practicing there."

Originally I thought I'd be able to get Clarence in, but the writing and posting does take a little time. We'll check out the action here, then head to Lockport, then North Tonawanda, then hopefully Canisius will still be going when we get there.

11:18 a.m. The stop at Will South was a good one -- I just posted videos to the PrepTalkTV channel on YouTube featuring Bishop Timon-St. Jude and Tonawanda, St. Mary's and Maryvale and Williamsville South and Eden. South Park was also on hand. The rain has been hit and miss, and right now it has held off.

On the main Will South field, Timon and Tonawanda were on one half and Maryvale and St. Mary's on the other.

Some nice defense by Timon here ...

... and a good -- and quick -- play here by a St. Mary's lineman.

Here's my best highlight of the day, thanks to a reverse by South that came right at me. Gotta have quick feet and your head on a swivel when you're taping on the sidelines.

South had a few nice plays in addition to this scoring play, some on the ground and a few close calls in the air.

11:28 a.m. We're heading up to Lockport with hopes that scrimmages go longer than three hours.

11:59 a.m. Whoops. Swing and a miss. No sign of anything going on at Lockport. Empty parking lot, empty field. So much for my idea that teams scrimmaged all day. We're headed to North Tonawanda, where hopefully I won't be too late.

12:22 p.m. Argh. As I'm pulling into NT, buses from Grand Island and Riverside are pulling out. Argh. Note to self: Scrimmages don't go much over two hours. That's probably a state guideline that I should have known before I started this adventure.

I still got some good bang for the buck in my two stops, seeing a total of 10 teams.

I'll see some more this evening -- I'll start at Iroquois at 5 p.m. and spend a decent amount of time there since they're hosting Frontier and Lackawanna.

Over the river and through the woods to Iroquois' scrimmage field we go. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) 5:20 p.m. I arrive at Iroquois' scrimmage, but it wasn't exactly easy to find. The Chiefs, Lackawanna and Frontier were set up on a backfield, accessible via a dirt road that went well behind the high school building. There was a "Field of Dreams" feeling to it as you made your way down a hill, and all of a sudden in a clearing there was some high school football.

One thing that onlookers couldn't help but notice was the wording on a trailer behind the practice field's near end zone.

 "EA All the way" was how the duct tape lettering spelled out.

Apparently it was a prank by some Blue Devil backers from neighboring East Aurora who snuck onto the field one night.

Iroquois coach Frank Payne said the message is staying up until the Chiefs' Week One game -- which is against East Aurora.

East Aurora pranksters visited Iroquois' practice field one night and left a big message. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)On the field, the action was the best I saw all day -- which I suppose I shouldn't be surprised about since Iroquois and Lackawanna are two of the area's best programs, while Frontier has been a ranked large school in recent years while they've slugged it out in AA South. 

The gathering of quality teams brought out plenty of fans in folding chairs, despite the remote location.

One of the first plays I saw upon my arrival was a Lackawanna run in which the ball carrier hesitated before being swarmed by Frontier defenders. "Don't stop!" yelled Steelers coach Bruce Lakso.

Frontier had a number of quality defensive plays in back-to-back series against Lackawanna and Iroquois, including two straight batted down passes by -- I believe -- the same lineman on Iroquois rollouts. 

Above is a pass play by Iroquois finished off with some good hits by Frontier (it makes for a much better highlight when they come to my side of the field).

Here's a big interception and a nice runback -- check out the blocks -- by Lackawanna against Frontier.

A big sack here by Lackawanna against Iroquois.

I headed over to the other side of the field for a few plays and tried to get a photo to show how isolated the location was. It turned into a beautiful night for football after the rainy start to the morning.

6:57 p.m. I pulled in to Amherst, where the Tigers are paired up with Lake Shore on one half of the field while Kenmore East is knocking heads with West Seneca West on the other.

Check out West Seneca West's line pushing through for a touchdown.

A nice finish of a TD run up the middle by Lake Shore.

Amherst with a nice over-the-middle pass play for a score.

Amherst passes right at me (thank you) and the receiver makes a great catch-and-dodge before going down the sideline for a TD.

Kenmore East goes in for a touchdown on a nice keeper through traffic by their quarterback.

8:17 p.m. Back in the car for a ride home, where we'll do some editing and post some cool stuff from the evening scrimmages. 

Coach Bill Moore talks to his Lake Shore team after the Eagles scrimmaged at Amherst. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)Scrimmage Saturday is officially over.

Overall, it was a great way to get a taste of football before the season gets rolling next weekend.

It's hard to make any great proclamations based on what I saw today -- it is, after all, a scrimmage. The coaches are looking for specific things from their respective units, and they'll be poring over the videos of their day to how their guys did.

As Lake Shore coach Bill Moore said to his team at the close of their evening at Amherst, "the film never lies."

To sum up the evening, here's Kenmore East coach Matt Chimera talking about how nice it was to take his guys up against another team after training camp.

Our apologies about the audio at the end -- he finishes saying he was pleased with his team's physical play: "That's what we asked, to go out there and be physical."

* * *

If you went out at a scrimmage, let us know what you saw.

---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.

@KeithMcSheaBN | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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