Lancaster's Courtney Bondanza placed second in the all-around with a score of 37.725 and Lily Jagodzinski of Williamsville North tied for first in the floor exercise with a 9.5, helping Section VI claim the state girls gymnastics title today in Albany.
I had a summer break that started as soon as the 2010-11 season concluded, and now I'm back -- and here to throw some notes out regarding some summer news and notes ...
* Late in the spring season we told you about the BCANY Hoops Festival set for Johnson City from Aug. 5-7. The event seems like a great one, and it's one that came about due to the unfortunate absence of the Empire State Games this summer.
The roster has been selected by the coaching staff of head coach Larry Jones (Depew) and assistants Mike Haskell (retired Pioneer) and Mike Berkun (Medaille):
Reggie Agbeko (St. Joe's), Stan Wier (who has transferred back home to East Aurora), Sterling Taplin (Williamsville North), Ryan Whelpley (Walsh), Matt Hart (Canisius), Aaron Frasier (Seneca), Aaron White (Canisius), Jamaal Carter (City Honors), Adam Weir (Canisius), Jordan Williams (Bishop Timon-St. Jude).
The team will play Long Island on Friday, Aug 5 at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 6, the Buffalo team plays New York City at 9 a.m. and Hudson Valley at noon. Saturday's evening session includes a dunk contest and three-point contest at 4:30 p.m.; a parent clinic on recruiting at 5:30 and a player clinic with college coaches at 6:30.
The event concludes on Sunday, Aug. 7 with the seventh-place game (9 a.m.), fifth-place game (10:30 a.m.), consolation (noon) and championship (1:30 p.m.).
While the event is being run by BCANY, there are some expenses that will need to be covered for teams and players (food, lodging, transportation -- costs mostly taken care of by the ESG during the Games). The squad is seeking sponsorships -- if you are interested in helping the team defray some costs, call Jones at (585) 746-8327.
This team deserves some serious commenting -- that squad is a really good one, a much better collection than I expected for what is a startup event this year. Great talent, great depth, great mixture of schools. Excellent job by the basketball community in getting the word out and credit the coaching staff for what must have been some difficult choices after the tryouts.
* Speaking of some good hoops competition, this weekend might be the Taste of Buffalo but fans can get a taste of hoops up in Niagara Falls. Some top programs are in action at the Niagara PAL Team Camp at Niagara Falls. Here's the lineup:
Friday: 5 p.m. -- Main gym, Niagara Falls vs. Canisius; Aux. gym, St. Joe's vs. Niagara-Wheatfield; 6 p.m. -- Batavia vs. Grand Island; Aux. gym, Wilson vs. Holland; 7 p.m. -- Main gym, Jamestown vs. Sweet Home.
Saturday: 9 a.m. -- Main gym, St. Joe's vs. Niagara Falls; Aux. gym, Canisius vs. Jamestown; 10 a.m. -- Main gym, Sweet Home vs. Wilson; Aux. gym, Batavia vs. Niagara-Wheatfield; 11 a.m., Main gym, Grand Island vs. Holland.
Single elimination tournament begins at noon, with championship at 5 p.m.
There is a $2 admission for fans 13 and older.
* I will hopefully hit some summer events of all sorts -- I'll be soon selling raffle tickets to benefit the Tom Borrelli Award and Scholarship Fund. We have some great prizes and it's a great cause as we continue to honor our fallen coworker.
The third Borrelli Award for boys and the inaugural Borrelli Award for girls will be announced later this month and the winners will receive their trophies at the July 27 Tom Borrelli Golf Tournament at Holland Hills. For those interested in golfing ($100 per person) or donating, please email me at [email protected]
* By the way, the spring All-WNY teams and all-league teams (for baseball, softball and boys and girls lacrosse), which have been published over the last month, have all been collected at the high school home page.
A report from the state hockey championships in Utica from correspondent A.J. O'Hagen:
Williamsville North defeats Saratoga, 3-2, to win the Division I state championship. Brad Ferrel scores the game winner 2:30 into the third period. Parker Gahagen stopped 22 shots.
The Cazenovia Lakers defeated the Williamsville East Flames by the score of 6-2 in the Division II (small school) final. Mike Sarcinelli scored both goals for the Flames. Tucker Weppner stopped 28 shots for East.
Tonight marks one of the biggest days on the high school basketball calendar: Section VI's Quarterfinal Friday.
There are 28 games across seven classes tonight, with the winners advancing to the final four at Buffalo State (Classes AA, A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2) or Jamestown Community College (C and D). Prepare for the big night by reviewing game previews for almost all of the matchups on our scoreboard page.
Here's our video preview of the night:
Today's snowstorm has postponed four games as of 3:15 p.m. -- all of which were to be hosted by Southern Tier teams.
Section VI boys basketball chairmain Jim Walker said that the Class D matchups of Olmstead at Sherman, North Collins at Panama and Ellicottville at Clymer, as well as the Class B-1 game of Buffalo Arts at Dunkirk have all been postponed to Saturday at 2 p.m.
PrepTalkTV will visit some early games before settling in for the evening at Williamsville North, which is hosting McKinley at 7 p.m. in a highly anticipated Class AA quarterfinal.
We'll have a live blog of the action from Will North, and we'll provide updates from other games as we receive them; feel free to join the chat via your smartphone or chime in afterwards in our comments section. The same scoreboard page that has the previews during the day will be updated with results and box scores as soon as we receive them at One News Plaza.
5:24 p.m. The first game of the night is a 5 p.m. start for Sweet Home at Hutch-Tech, and the host Engineers have rebounded very nicely after a slow start.
Maurice Miles just took two defenders to the hole and scored for a basket and a foul; he hit the basket for a 26-24 lead with 2:41 left in the second quarter. Sweet Home scored the first seven points of the game and led after one quarter, 17-12. Hutch-Tech has stepped up the defense and is rebounding very well. Sweet Home has brought its usual energy but they've had trouble finishing shots. Miles has been too much to handle for Sweet Home defenders while Hutch-Tech has gotten good contributions from other players, including John Cherry and Marcus Nelson, who hit a three-pointer to give Tech its first lead of the game at 23-20.
5:31 p.m. We are at HALFTIME here at Hutch-Tech, and the Engineers have gone into the locker room on an upswing and with a 33-28 lead over Sweet Home. Miles swished a three-pointer with about 25 seconds left, and, after a basket by Sweet Home guard Rashan Crule (11 first-half points), John Cherry hit a shot in the lane at the buzzer for Tech. Cherry has four baskets for eight points, all in the second quarter.
Miles, as I mentioned, has been simply too much to handle for Sweet Home -- he has 17 points already. Whew. He does a nice job bringing the ball up and distributing as well.
5:49 p.m. With 3:46 left in the third quarter, Hutch-Tech tracks down a loose ball and calls timeout owning a 37-32 lead.
5:59 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Hutch-Tech leads Sweet Home, 45-35.
Hutch-Tech continues to look good on defense and on offense with some unselfish passing plays, while Sweet Home continues to put up wild shots, most of them rebounded by Hutch-Tech. Nelson had a great steal and no-look pass for a Tim Whittlehead basket late in the third.
6:03 p.m. Great play by Miles to put Tech up 14 (49-35) and prompt a timeout by Sweet Home coach Scott Martin with 6:22 left. Miles stole an errant outlet pass -- dribbled up to the lane, went behind the back, then scooped a pass ahead to an open Nelson for a layup. Sweet.
6:12 p.m. Another very strong play from Miles, who shakes his defender on the right wing, then beats two more defenders on his way to a dominant drive and a 57-38 lead for Tech with 3:20 left. It was all the more impressive because on the previous defensive play, Miles was undercut and fell HARD to the floor. Scary play, but he jumped right back up.
6:13 p.m. Miles off a lob and he scores while being fouled for a 59-40 lead with 1:50 left.
6:17 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Hutch-Tech 59, Sweet Home 43. Very impressive win for the Engineers as they take care of business and advance to next Wednesday's Class A-1 semifinals at Buffalo State.
I'm heading up to Will North and I'll have a live blog from that game.
6:59 p.m. Hello from Williamsville North. Here we go with the live blog.
10:59 p.m. Wheeeewwwww. What a night. Story and PrepTalkTV work is finished. We'll post the video later as I take a look ahead to the semifinal matchups at Buffalo State and Jamestown Community College.
Big win for Riverside, obviously. I know some might say I should have been at Maryvale, but as I discover from time to time, I can only be in one spot. McKinley was the highest-ranked team among the four, and with them playing on the road against a good team, and with it being a higher class (bigger schools), it was an easy choice.
I REALLY appreciate all the updates in the chat. It really made the night enjoyable for me and hopefully others "tuning in."
Other big wins? Some thoughts after a scan of our scoreboard:
How about Kenmore East going to win at Williamsville East? Really nice win there. ... Cleveland Hill going south to win its way back to Buffalo State -- nice job by that program. ... Lancaster with a solid home win over Kenmore West. ... With the way Frontier was playing that looked like it might be a scary game for Niagara Falls, but they run away with it and return to Buffalo State. ... The margin for Williamsville South over ECIC II rival Iroquois was an eyebrow-raiser. Joe Licata remains one three-pointer away from tying the all-time state record. ... Olean lived up to the hype that I and others were giving a young team that has been on quite a run with a rout at Amherst. ... Cheektowaga joins Cleveland Hill in returning to Buffalo State with a nice win over Lew-Port. ... No surprises in B-1. ... Maple Grove by one! That was fun to follow on the blog. Great job by Silver Creek. ... Impressive Class C wins for I-Prep, OTC and Tapestry -- which gets 32 from Dazmon Knight in a nice win over MST Seneca. ... Jordan Farrant of Holland scores 33 of his team's 41 points against OTC. What a finish of the regular season for him.
Big day tomorrow as well -- I'll be at Canisius College for the semifinal doubleheader of St. Mary's against Canisius at 6 and St. Joe's against Bishop Timon-St. Jude at 7:45 p.m.
* Tonight's Archbishop Walsh at St. Mary's game has been postponed to Saturday, Feb. 12 at 4 p.m. due to weather forecasts and travel concerns.
Also, the Cardinal O'Hara at St. Mary's game originally scheduled for Friday has been rescheduled to Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
* An email send out by Jamestown's athletic department states that the rescheduled game of Jamestown at Williamsville North (which was postponed two Fridays ago) is now set for Monday, Feb. 7. Originally word was that the game had been scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 8.
The highly anticipated ECIC I showdown of Jamestown at Williamsville North, which was postponed last Friday, has been rescheduled.
On Tuesday, Feb. 8, Jamestown will play at Will North at 7:30. Originally, Feb. 8 was the date of the Will North at Jamestown game; instead, Will North will head to Jamestown on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m.
We got a call to the office that the ECIC I showdown between Jamestown and Williamsville North has been postponed due to weather and Jamestown having to do its usual long traveling. No reschedule date as of yet.
Also, tonight's St. Mary's at St. Francis game has been postponed to Sunday at 3 p.m.; the St. Joe's at Archbishop Walsh game has been postponed to Feb. 2.
Check out our basketball scoreboard through the evening for any other postponements and updates on tonight's action.
Coaches and/or athletic directors should notify The News ASAP if you have postponements. Call 849-4461 or email [email protected]
PrepTalkTV returns tonight on what is a very busy night in hoops.
We'll be making stops at various games -- myself and video reporter Lauren Mariacher were planning to finish the night at Jamestown at Williamsville North, but with its postponement we're reconfiguring our game plan.
Here's our video preview as we get our evening started:
You can check out tonight's extensive lineup -- and the postponements -- at our basketball scoreboard, which we continue to upgrade. When "summary" is listed as part of tonight's schedule, click on that to get a mini-preview of that game. As tonight's scores get updated, clicking "summary" will get you the box score and in some cases a recap of the game -- you can check out that feature on last night's (Thursday's) games.
5:55 p.m. Our first stop is at Bennett High as the Tigers host No. 5 large school McKinley, and it's off to a great start for the home team. Bennett jumped to leads of 15-1 and 17-2 and lead 21-10 in the final minute of the first quarter.
After Bennett won at Riverside on Wednesday, I thought this would be a good one -- but I didn't expect the Tigers to go rout city in the first quarter. Impressive.
5:59 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Bennett leads McKinley, 23-12.
Great job by the Tigers with some excellent transition baskets, an ability to not get caught up in the McKinley pressure, and a great job getting back on defense to nullify Mack fast breaks. McKinley got tougher on the defensive end and it some shots to at least find its footing and dig into the lead.
6:07 p.m. Bennett with a 32-21 lead after a three-pointer by starting guard Derrick Turner.
6:12 p.m. Bennett is getting a nice push in the second quarter -- another three by Turner bumps the lead to 41-26 with 1:51 left in the second and Bennett coach Randy Rakowski calls a timeout.
6:20 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Bennett has a 42-33 lead on McKinley. Big three-pointer in the final minute by the Macks' Jermaine Canty -- which followed a Bennett turnover caused by McKinley's backcourt pressure -- to get the lead under 10 at the break.
6:35 p.m. Bennett coach Rakowski calls a timeout with 4:59 left in the third and the Tigers holding a 52-39 lead. Bennett went back up by as many as 15 (50-35) in the quarter, a great start to the second half for them when it looked as if McKinley was ready to really dig out of its hole.
6:40 p.m.Forest Richardson, who had 10 for Bennett at halftime, has put on a couple of very nice moves here in the third, including a great pass to set up a layup by big man Derrick Quarles -- who scored while being fouled -- to give Bennett a 54-39 lead. Right now it is Bennett, 58-41, with 3:03 left in the third and McKinley coach Zaire Dorsey having called for the timeout.
Bennett looks really good. Very composed yet explosive on offense. Hard-working on defense. Good balance in the lineup with bigs and good guard play.
On the other hand, this is not the McKinley team we've seen all season. They don't seem to have the same defensive intensity and they've made some poor decisions on offense. Bennett has definitely had a lot to do with that -- they've set the pace for the game, they've been the aggressors.
6:48 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Bennett leads McKinley, 60-47. Still a chance for the Macks to make it more of a game, but the Tigers have been tough -- very impressive third quarter for the hosts. Let's see if they can close the Macks out and get a second big win in a row.
A big play in the third had Bennett's Jahad Wiley block a fast-break dunk attempt by Antonio Avery -- Wiley was rightly called for a foul on the play but the crowd loved it and his team loved it, good symbolic not-in-our-house play, and it was nearly clean. Big play. Avery would make one of two free throws with 2:01 left in the third to make it a 58-42 Bennett lead then.
6:57 p.m. Entertaining start to the quarter with Bennett still answering every comeback attempt. Tigers lead, 66-57, with McKinley having just called a timeout with 3:33 left in the game.
7:05 p.m. We've got a great finish. The Macks have pulled within 69-65 with 1:30 to go and Bennett's Richardson going to the line.
7:09 p.m. McKinley timeout with 1:14 left and Bennett up, 71-65, thanks to a fast-break basket by Wiley that brought the house down.
7:11 p.m. McKinley timeout with :59 left and Bennett up, 71-67, with the ball.
7:15 p.m. Bennett up, 73-67, going to the line with 43 seconds left.
7:16 p.m. Bennett up, 73-67, going to the line with 18 seconds left.
7:17 p.m. One of two at line. Bennett, 74-67, with 12.4 seconds left and the ball. Bennett fans starting to celebrate -- LOUDly.
7:09 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Bennett 76, McKinley 67. Exclamation point was a McKenzie Brown DUNK in the final seconds. WOW.
We're hitting the road -- but what a game here. We'll have the box score up in moments and more details as the night goes on.
Here are the final seconds of Bennett's win over McKinley, including Brown's finishing dunk (there will be more on our PrepTalkTV episode):
8:32 p.m. First chance to update with the postgame interviews and writing at Bennett and a trip out to Depew: It is HALFTIME and visiting Maryvale leads, 28-23.
Report from video reporter Lauren Mariacher: JFK wins at Cleveland Hill, 50-44. Big ECIC IV win there for the Bears.
8:52 p.m. Great quarter for Maryvale, which now leads, 52-36. Flyers got a little bit of everything while Depew struggled to score.
9:04 p.m. Maryvale's lead has reached 58-40 early in the fourth.
9:07 p.m. Maryvale coach Mark Kensy calls a timeout with 4:01 left and the Flyers up, 62-44.
A mini-breakdown of that third quarter for Maryvale: Shane Mullen and Ty Buczkowski hit threes, Andrew Luckey went 4-for-4 from the line and Blair Estarfaa had three baskets for six points.
9:19 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Maryvale 70, Depew 46.
Off to get interviews and stats and to do some PrepTalkTV work.
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.