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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)" »

Section VI Wins State Gymnastics

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.

-- Bob DiCesare

PrepTalkTV (Jan. 20): 500th win for Pine Valley's Nobles; wins by Cheektowaga, Ken West and Tonawanda among our six stops

It was a busy night in the gyms and a busy night for PrepTalkTV: Highlights and interviews from six games, discussion of even more and a look ahead to next week:

Check out our 2012 basketball debut -- a big win for Williamsville East (Jan. 17).

Our weekly football episodes from the fall are available here, while you can watch additional videos at Prep Talk Live

More sports and seasons are documented in PrepTalkTV episodes are on our video page -- click "PrepTalkTV" there for the archive.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

Playing catch (up) with some summer hoops

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).

Alternates are: Matt McDonald (Canisius), Demone Harris (Timon), Kyle Kobis (Timon), Derrick Sekuterski (Depew).

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 kmcshea@buffnews.com. 

* 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.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

Will North hockey wins state title; Will East falls

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.

Here's the story from Monday's newspaper.

Video: PrepTalkTV reviews Quarterfinal Friday

Most agreed that McKinley at Williamsville North was the place to be for Quarterfinal Friday -- we show you what happened there and throughout Western New York.

Review the action -- thanks to PrepTalkTV video reporter/producer Joe Popiolkowski -- and get our breakdown of Championship Week at Buffalo State and Jamestown Community College:

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You can find all of our videos easily by going to the video player and clicking "PrepTalkTV."

* * *

For more on Quarterfinal Friday, check out our Friday Night Live post which includes a running blog; as well as my game story on McKinley's win, our scoreboard with all the box scores, and our roundup with more details on the action.

---Keith McShea

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

Friday Night Live with PrepTalkTV: McKinley routs Will North on Quarterfinal Friday

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 ShermanNorth 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.

Here's my story on McKinley's win for Saturday's paper.

Here's our finished episode of PrepTalkTV as we look ahead to the final four in six classes.

---Keith McShea

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

Snow likely to wipe out most of Wednesday's schedule

Wednesday's basketball schedule wasn't the busiest (two boys games and 10 girls games), but it's likely to be wiped out due to several school districts already having canceled classes.

In other scheduling notes to pass along:

* 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.

* * *

Coaches and/or athletic directors should notify The News ASAP if you have postponements. Call 849-4461 or email kmcshea@buffnews.com AND sports@buffnews.com.

Check out our basketball scoreboard through the evening -- and every evening -- for updates on all the action.

---Keith McShea

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

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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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