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#PrepTalkAwards section, web-style: PrepTalkTV interviews, bios, photos & more

By Keith McShea

Today's 24-page Prep Talk Awards special section has great information and photos on all of Monday night's honorees, and we've got more coverage here. 

* There are PHOTO GALLERIES from:

-- Monday's event featuring winner's photos with Andre Reed (they can be purchased here)

-- as well as photo galleries including feature shots of the Prep Talk Players of the Year

-- and shots of our All-Western New York basketball and football teams.

* Here's our TWEET-by-TWEET post from Monday night, featuring tons of great tweets from those at the event. 

* The BIOs of the Prep Talk Players of the Year in the special section were taken from here on the blog. Our Countdown to #PrepTalkAwards profiled every Prep Talk Player of the Year in a day-by-day feature on the blog that started with Brandon Galanti of Frontier (Prep Talk Soccer Player of the Year) and concluded with McKyla Brooks of Frontier (Prep Talk Girls Three-Sport Player of the Year) -- the post on Brooks includes links to all the previous bios.

* Below are PrepTalkTV VIDEO interviews with nearly all of the Prep Talk Players of the Year (some from the winter), as well as videos featuring the All-Western New York basketball and football teams:

Continue reading "#PrepTalkAwards section, web-style: PrepTalkTV interviews, bios, photos & more" »

#PrepTalkLive from the Section VI girls lacrosse finals: Lancaster, Hamburg repeat in tough ones; Lake Shore knocks off Amherst

By Keith McShea

Hello from one of my favorite days after one of my other favorite days on the high school sports calendar, the Section VI championship tripleheader at All High Stadium in girls lacrosse (boys lacrosse was yesterday).

I'll have updates throughout the day in the live blog below, while I'll also have end-of-quarter #PrepTalkLive updates on Twitter. We start with the Class B final of Hamburg and Williamsville North at 3:30, followed by the Class C final between Amherst and Lake Shore at 5 and the Class A annual showdown of Frontier and Lancaster playing at 8. 

As always, we're looking forward to your #PrepTalkLive updates on another important day in Western New York high school sports. The Section VI quarterfinals in both baseball and softball were played yesterday, but some were postponed to today. 

Contribute updates and keep track of others as well in the blog -- the easiest way to do that is to tweet updates with the #PrepTalkLive hashtag. Those tweets will automatically appear below. 

We want tweets from all varsity sports every day of the week. The #preptalklive blog (and hashtag) -- as it was during football season and the winter -- is the place to check out scores from all over Western New York.

News Player of the Year Sterling Taplin will attend prep school

By Keith McShea

Sterling Taplin, this year's Allen Wilson Award winner as The Buffalo News Player of the Year for boys basketball, will attend prep school next season. 

Taplin, who graduates from Williamsville North this spring, confirmed to me via Twitter direct message that he will be going the prep school route. He has been listed as a member of the Class of 2015 on the roster of the Albany City Rocks team competing this spring in Nike Elite Youth Basketball. 

Taplin has had Division I interest throughout his accomplished career, which included being a three-time first-team All-Western New York selection. In an interview for this year's All-Western New York issue, he said he had an offer from Siena but that he was giving more consideration to prep school.

Continue reading "News Player of the Year Sterling Taplin will attend prep school" »

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:


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" »

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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 |