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Taplin, Rosten, Gathers are local McDonald's All-American nominees

By Keith McShea

The list of nominees for this year's McDonald's All-American Game includes two local girls players and one on the boys side. 

Ciara Rosten of Maryvale, who has signed with Massachusetts, and Adila Gathers of Tapestry Charter, who has signed with St. Francis (Pa.), are the local representatives on the girls side. 

Williamsville North senior Sterling Taplin, who has yet to choose from among several Division I scholarship offers, is the lone local boys player on the list. 

The list of nominees is an extensive one -- there are hundreds of players who have been nominated from throughout the country, including 64 total players from New York State alone. All the nominees are seniors.

The entire list is at the McDonald's All-American Game web site.

The final rosters, consisting of 24 boys and 24 girls, will be announced on Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. on ESPNU. The game will be played on April 2 at the United Center in Chicago.

#PrepTalkLive Tuesday hoops: Will North beats Jamestown in final seconds; Ken West tops Lockport (with VIDEO)

By Keith McShea

It's another busy night in high school basketball full of some big early-season games: Jamestown visits Williamsville North and Clarence is at Frontier in ECIC I; Lockport is at Kenmore West in an early Niagara Frontier League showdown; in the Monsignor Martin Association, Canisius heads to a Park team that started well while Bishop Timon-St. Jude hosts St. Mary's in a matchup that has been a very good one in recent years, while Fredonia visits Lackawanna in a very nice small-school nonleaguer.

Check out links to today's boys basketball coverage before heading out to the games.

I think I'll be starting at Kenmore West before heading up to Will North.

We will set up blogs like this throughout the winter, especially on big, busy nights -- we'll monitor games via not only our tweets, but those of high school sports fans and followers who use the #preptalklive hashtag. Last week we did it Tuesday and Friday. And while tonight is a busy basketball night, we want tweets from all varsity sports.

Much of it starts with you high school fans out there. Tweet updates and observations with the hashtag #preptalklive, and those will appear instantly in the blog below, making the #preptalklive blog -- as it was during football season -- the place to check out scores from all over Western New York.    

Our scoreboard page has a schedule of today's games and will have box scores as games are reported to us.

* * *

Video highlights from my evening. 

Lockport's last possession, down three at Kenmore West: 

Then from Williamsville North's 61-60 victory over Jamestown, North's final possession, on which Maceo Jack's three-pointer put them ahead:

Postgame show:

VIDEO: Timon outshoots Will North in OT at Cataract Classic

By Keith McShea

If you missed Bishop Timon-St. Jude's 66-64 overtime win over Williamsville North last Saturday, here are some pretty great highlights.

Here's my story on the game and here's the live blog from Saturday night. My bad (chest tap) on these not being posted earlier, but there just wasn't enough time in the day.

Note: The iphone camera-man makes no apologies for his commentary, which mostly sounded like this: "OHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

VIDEO: Williamsville North's magical postseason run concludes with loss in Class A state final

Section VI football Media Day at The Ralph: AA & A interviews

By Keith McShea

If it is Tuesday before the Section VI football championship games at The Ralph, that means it is Media Day at The Ralph. 

I spent my time talking with the Class AA & A coaches, largely because it features two significant underdogs (who have succeeded in that role already in Frontier and Williamsville North) against two significant favorites: No. 1 large school Jamestown in AA and No. 3 Sweet Home in A.

Here's what they had to say Tuesday afternoon. 

Please excuse the wind-disturbed audio (and the leaf-blowers in the background -- The Ralph was getting spruced up at the time): 

The finals will be the subject of my Prep Talk column on Thursday. 

Mary Jo Monnin broke down all six games and has some terrific info as part of today's Scholastic Spotlight

We'll also have gameday capsules later this week. 

Countdown to Friday Night Lights: A Central

By Keith McShea

Who’s who: The six-team division consists of the East Panthers, McKinley Macks, Riverside Frontiers, Williamsville East Flames, Williamsville North Spartans and Williamsville South Billies.

Continue reading "Countdown to Friday Night Lights: A Central" »

How The News voted: Let the playoffs begin

By Keith McShea

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 week starts the postseason -- today there will be play-in rounds in both the Monsignor Martin Association's Manhattan Cup playoffs and the Section VI tournament.

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. The direct link is here.

Here's last week's ballot (Week Eight, Feb. 12 -- Valentine's edition). Previous polls: Week Seven, Feb. 5 (Canisius No. 1), Week Six, Jan. 29 (Super week); Week Five, Jan. 22 (inauguration), Week Four, Jan. 15 (MLK), Week Three (Jan. 8, back from two-week holiday break); Week Two (special Christmas edition, Dec. 18); Week One (Dec. 11). Also, here's last year's final 2011-12 post

With not much movement in the poll and not many games left, here's a look at this week's ballot along with each team's remaining schedule:

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Canisius (17-4) [last week: 1] -- Crusaders playing at a very high level right now, right according to plan.

Continue reading "How The News voted: Let the playoffs begin" »

How The News voted: Happy February to Canisius

By Keith McShea

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.

Thanks to the Jesuit Tournament in D.C. for having this picture on their web site.

This week marks a change at the top as Canisius takes over the No. 1 large school spot for Niagara Falls. Canisius had a great start to what should be a fun month, winning at Timon Friday, beating Section V Class AA power Fairport (then ranked second in the state) on Saturday, becoming the top-ranked team in the Class A state poll on Monday and ascending to The News No. 1 spot today. 

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. Here's the direct link.

Here's last week's ballot (Week Six, Jan. 29 - Super week). Previous polls: Week Five, Jan. 22 (inauguration), Week Four, Jan. 15 (MLK), Week Three (Jan. 8, which followed a two-week holiday break); Week Two (our special Christmas edition, Dec. 18); Week One (Dec. 11). Also, here's last year's final 2011-12 post

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Canisius (15-3) [last week: 2] -- I said I was waiting to see Niagara Falls and Canisius this past weekend to see if there was a move to be made for this spot, and the results made it a clear one. Canisius was all over Fairport from the start and then made the plays to hold on. Fairport, Bishop Kearney (which Falls lost to Sunday) and Webster Schroeder (which Falls lost to Saturday) are considered to be tightly grouped together when it comes to who is the best Class AA team in Section V. 

Continue reading "How The News voted: Happy February to Canisius" »

Tuesday Night Live from Jamestown's big win at Will North & your #preptalkscores (with video interviews)

By Keith McShea

Hello from Williamsville North for a huge matchup in ECIC I and the large school poll as Jamestown is in for a seemingly always-entertaining visit. 

I'll have updates from games in the live blog below and I'll also be providing #preptalkscores updates on Twitter, which will also appear in the blog. 

Continue reading "Tuesday Night Live from Jamestown's big win at Will North & your #preptalkscores (with video interviews)" »

How The News voted: Super Week (& we're not talking football)

By Keith McShea

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. 

Here's last week's ballot (Week Five, Jan. 22). Previous polls: Week Four, Jan. 15Week Three (Jan. 8, which followed a two-week holiday break); Week Two (our special Christmas edition, Dec. 18); Week One (Dec. 11). Also, here's last year's final 2011-12 post

LARGE SCHOOLS

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. 

Continue reading "How The News voted: Super Week (& we're not talking football)" »

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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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