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Will South QB Licata verbally commits to UB

All-Western New York first-team quarterback Joe Licata of Williamsville South has verbally committed to the University at Buffalo.

Check out Rodney McKissic's post at the Campus Watch blog.

Friday Afternoon Live from Section VI boys lacrosse (with updates from other finals ... and video)

I'll be live at the Section VI boys lacrosse championships this afternoon and evening at Orchard Park. I'll be getting updates from the baseball and softball action as well. 

The Class A game starts the tripleheader at 3:30 p.m. as defending champion Orchard Park meets Clarence. Up in Niagara Falls, Clarence is also in action in the highly anticipated AA softball final against Williamsville North.

The scene at OP. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) The rest of the boys lax action includes defending champion Hamburg meeting Amherst at 5:30 in the B final and top-seeded Eden facing defending champion Silver Creek in Class C at 8.

The Class A softball final has Williamsville South playing Amherst at 6 p.m. at Niagara Falls while the Class D baseball final at Jamestown has Pine Valley meeting North Collins at 4:30 p.m. The Georgetown Cup championship series will be set today when St. Francis faces St. Mary's in a game at St. Joe's that was postponed from Thursday.

We'll update as soon as it is possible -- just hit refresh once every couple of minutes.

* * *

3:52 p.m. After the FIRST QUARTER of the AA game, Orchard Park has a 4-1 lead. A few technical difficulties at the start here; my apologies. The OP field is new, but not the press box, but we have a seat and somewhere to type, and I can see all the action -- if I move my head back and forth around the .

A report from correspondent Nate Beutel at softball in Niagara Falls - Clarence took a 2-0 lead over Will North after two innings.

4:06 p.m. OP is having a nice run to take a 7-1 lead with 4:14 left in the second quarter, prompting a timeout by Clarence. 

A good timeout after a very pretty goal by OP, which came just 13 seconds after senior Kevin Kelly scored off an assist by senior Sean Purtill. On the ensuing faceoff, junior Trevor Vargo won it, fed sophomore longstick middie Kole Robinson, who handed ahead to Purtill, who fed Vargo in front of the cage for the goal with 4:14 left.

4:09 p.m. OP now up, 8-1, after a great solo underhanded effort by Matt Wilson -- his third of the game -- after he charged from behind the cage.

4:13 p.m. We are at HALFTIME of the Class A game and OP leads Clarence, 8-1.

4:17 p.m. Update from Niagara Falls: CLARENCE BEATS WILL NORTH IN THE CLASS A SOFTBALL FINAL, 2-0, on a one-hitter by senior standout pitcher Jen Sansano. I set up a separate post for the game for comments.

4:29 p.m. OP's lead is now 9-1 after another pretty passing play that started with a ground ball by junior defenseman Cullen Mangino -- who scooped it up and cleared it across midfield himself. He moved deep into the offensive end and then started a tic-tac-toe play with a pass to the right side of the cage to Purtill, who fed cross-cage to wide-open sophomore Ben Johnson for an easy score with 8:54 left in the third quarter. 

4:35 p.m. OP now up, 10-2, answering a Clarence goal by junior David DeCirce with yet another pretty passing play in transition. A great stick-check by Mangino on the defensive end became a clear that went from Mangino to Gary Davies to senior middie Dan Nesci, who fed Purtill on the right side, who fed back into the high slot (hockey term) to Sean Rimmer for a liner he put past Clarence junior goalie Zach Johnson.

4:40 p.m. Timeout with 2:06 left and OP owning its 10-2 lead.

5:01 p.m. After some frustrating browser/connection problems, we're back. Our apologies. OP's lead is 14-4 after a goal by junior middie Peter Biondi with 3:01 left in the game.

5:05 p.m. OP now up 15-4 with 2:03 left after a goal by junior Brian Kaspzyk.

5:09 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE and we have a CLASS A CHAMPION. Orchard Park beats Clarence, 15-5, for its 16th straight sectional title and 19th in the last 20 years.

Orchard Park wins the A championship. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
* * * 

5:46 p.m. We're about to start the Class B game. At the start of warmups, while I was doing interviews at the sideline, the Hamburg and Amherst teams did some serious woofing across the midfield line -- very reminiscient of college football pregame woof-fests. Everyone stayed on their side of the line, so just some good, clean (loud) fun. 

5:48 p.m. First possession for Hamburg but two shots go wide and Amherst hears the ball back on the backup.

5:52 p.m. Adam Dings makes it a 1-0 Hamburg lead on a nice leaping bounce shot with 6:48 left in the first quarter.

5:55 p.m. Hamburg goes up, 2-0, on a similar move as Andy Velazquez comes from the right side across the middle and fights off a defender as he gets his scoring shot off. 

6:01 p.m. Timeout Hamburg with the ball with 19 seconds left in the first quarter.

6:03 p.m. We are at the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER and Hamburg leads Amherst, 2-0.

6:21 p.m. We're still at 2-0 Hamburg; the teams have exchanged extra-man opportunities, turnovers and hits but no goals.

6:22 p.m. As soon as I type that, Hamburg's Josh Kerr scores off a feed from Ryan Feuerstein -- which came off what the press box says was the 13th turnover by Amherst. The goal was at 4:14 left in the quarter.

6:23 p.m. Thirty seconds later, at 3:47, Max Maxwell comes from behind the goal, beats a defender and scores on a low shot for a 4-0 Hamburg lead and prompts a timeout by Amherst coach Stefan Henn.

6:26 p.m. Timeout Hamburg with 2:37 left in the second quarter.

6:29 p.m. Hamburg adds another. After a save by Amherst goalie Scott Theilman, Josh Kerr picks up a ground ball on the left side and fires it in the top right corner for a 5-0 lead with 1:48 left in the second.

6:32 p.m. Hamburg's late surge in the second was pretty good, but Ryan Feuerstein made it outstanding. With the clock ticking down, he came from behind the right side of the goal and whipped around a shot that went in the goal with just one second left in the half. Hamburg leads, 6-0, with :01 left, which means ...

We are at HALFTIME and Hamburg leads Amherst, 6-0.

6:37 p.m. Update from Niagara Falls in SOFTBALL: Amherst leads Williamsville South, 2-0, after three innings of the Class A final. 

6:44 p.m. We have an update from BASEBALL: Pine Valley beats North Collins, 6-0, to win the SECTION VI CLASS D CHAMPIONSHIP.

6:46 p.m. We have started the third quarter. Hamburg senior goalie James Maxwell just made a nice one-on-one stop at the left doorstep on Amherst senior Bryan Lawson.

6:53 p.m. Hamburg scores on a pretty goal by Josh Kerry from Ryan Feuerstein with six minutes left; Amherst scores on its next possession thanks to senior Jack Huck; Hamburg, 7-1, with 5:35 left in the third. 

6:55 p.m. Hamburg goes up, 8-1, with four minutes left on a nice rush from behind the right side of the goal by freshman Max Maxwell.

7:01 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Hamburg leads Amherst, 8-1.

7:08 p.m. Hamburg goes up, 9-1, with 7:00 left on a goal by Chris Feuerstein, who dodged past a double-team and scored from the right side.

The Hamburg fans were cheering on their defense, which has been outstanding all game. Amherst has had long possessions, but excellent checks have limited the Tigers to a few fairly easy shots saved by James Maxwell.

7:14 p.m. Timeout with 4:50 left and Hamburg up, 9-1. 

7:20 p.m. Timeout Hamburg with 1:13 left; still a 9-1 game.

7:23 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE and we have a CLASS B CHAMPION. Hamburg beats Amherst, 9-1, for its fourth straight sectional title. 

Hamburg wins the B title. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
* * *

7:54 p.m. We have a SOFTBALL update. AMHERST WINS THE CLASS A CHAMPIONSHIP. Tigers beat Will South, 3-1.

7:55 p.m. A couple minutes away from the start of the C game between defending champion Silver Creek and top-seeded Eden. Skies are greying but hopefully we don't get in any rain trouble.

8:07 p.m. Silver Creek takes a 2-1 lead on a Levi Jones goal off a nice John Jimerson pass with 8:59 left in the second quarter -- the Black Knights also scored on the opening faceoff as Zack Williams won it and charged right in for the goal. 

The teams split their two meetings this season, with Eden winning on the road,16-12, on April 7 and the Black Knights winning in Eden, 20-9, on May 3.

8:15 p.m. Some big-time back-and-forth going on. Silver Creek is up, 4-3, with 4:21 left on a sweet, low swooping shot by Zed Williams.

8:17 p.m. Like I said, back and forth. Derek Wilder scores off a nice through-the-defense pass by Mike Janker and we're tied at 4-4 with 2:39 left in the first. Looks like we have our best game of the day.

8:23 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Eden has a 6-5 lead over Silver Creek. Neither team has had more than a one-goal lead.

8:30 p.m. The wild back-and-forth swings continue with a Silver Creek spurt -- it leads 7-6 with 10:15 left in the second after a hard shot by Ryan Mitchell.

8:33 p.m. Timeout Eden after Zack Williams sheds two shoves in the defensive end, clears it himself and goes in alone to score on a low overhand shot for an 8-6 Silver Creek lead with 8:37 left in the second.

8:35 p.m. The highlight show continues in a major way. Sophmore John Jimerson took a pass on his own side of midfield, sped towards the Eden goal, and as one defender chased him and anothe rdefender approached, he put on the brakes and did a super spin-o-rama move before charging in a few steps and burying a shot in the top left corner. Awesome. Check it out on Time Warner Cable SportsNet this week. SC leads, 9-6, with 8:09 left in the second.

8:50 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Silver Creek has an 11-7 lead over Eden. What a fun half -- crazy scoring.

Time for me to get some writing done for Saturday's paper.

9:10 p.m. We're back to action, and the teams have kept up their pace with four goals in the opening five minutes. Silver Creek leads, 13-8, with 7:03 left in the third.

9:16 p.m. A slight drizzle started a few minutes ago, and then the officials called for the game to be suspended because lightning was seen in the distance. That's an automatic 30-minute delay. Ordinarily, I'd be a furious reporter right now, but the delay gives me a chance to write my story. I'll let you know of any more details, but we'll be back at 9:46 p.m. at the latest.

It's 13-9 Silver Creek with 3:40 left in the third quarter.

9:44 p.m. A steady downpour has subsided but apparently there has been more lightning during the delay, which has extended the delay. I'm typing a press box atop an empty bleacher.

10:05 p.m. Story is done for the paper and we just saw lightning again -- we've got to be looking at a suspended game that gets finished tomorrow.

10:19 p.m. A blast of thunder and another flash of lightning and ...

Section VI chairman John Faller has notified us that the game will be picked up Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. here at Orchard Park. That's Silver Creek leading, 13-9, with 3:40 left in the third quarter.

10:48 p.m. We've updated our story for tomorrow's paper and we're outta here. After the game was called, there was some serious lightning and thunder accompanied by a serious downpour. All is much calmer now. 

Next lacrosse stop is Tuesday night at the regionals.

* * *

Some postgame interview videos:

If you were at any of the games, let us know how it went and what you thought of the action.

---Keith McShea

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

Wednesday Evening Live (with softball and lacrosse video)

All the Section VI playoff action had traffic snarled on the 290 :-). (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) I'm running around to different sites this afternoon before tonight's chat  -- but the rush-hour traffic in the Northtowns isn't helping.

First stop is Williamsville South softball. Some rain but just a light drizzle.

5:21 p.m. Will South has a 1-0 lead on West Seneca East after four and a half.

Off to Clarence for softball and lacrosse.

5:42 p.m. Arrive at Clarence to see that the home team has an 8-2 lead on Lancaster with less than two minutes left in the second quarter.

Also an update from correspondent Nate Beutel -- West Seneca East beat Williamsville North, 13-9, in the Class B girls lacrosse final.

5:47 p.m. Clarence softball has a 3-1 lead on Niagara-Wheatfield -- whoops, just made it 6-1 with a three-run homer by Tori Nappo in the bottom of the sixth. Val Nappo just added an RBI single for a 7-1 lead.

Well-placed sources here say that Williamsville North is up on Lancaster, 4-1, late in the other AA softall semifinal.

Also, Sean Bruso just texted me that Lancaster has a 6-5 halftime lead over Clarence in the Class A girls lacrosse championship.

6:11 p.m. We have a final score: Clarence beats Niagara-Wheatfield in the AA softball semifinals, 8-3.

6:19 p.m. Over at the lacrosse field (the football field), Clarence has a 9-4 lead heading to the fourth quarter.

Man, Clarence just made it 10-4 while I was typing and not video-ing. Argh. Missed out on some softball stuff too.

6:22 p.m. Now 11-4. Still typing. Ugh.

6:32 p.m. Clarence leads, 13-5, with 3:56 left. And yes, we got some video highlights. Whew.

6:43 p.m. Clarence wins, 13-5. Nice job by the Red Devils to reach their first boys lax final. Good, physical, well-played game from what I saw.

Off to Hamburg.

7:28 p.m. Arrived at Hamburg after a very necessary fuel stop (five diet Cokes to get me through the night).

Hamburg boys have scored four times -- I believe -- while I've been trying to find a parking spot. They just have Iroquois overmatched. Iroquois called a timeout after the fourth goal -- and just after I found a spot.

Also we have some final scores. Lancaster wins it's sixth straight Class A title in girls lacrosse with an 11-9 win over Clarence in what must have been a great game. thanks to correspondent Amanda Bremer and Mr. Bruso for the texts in the last few minutes.

Also, Mr. Bruso confirms a 4-1 softball final victory for Will North.

7:39 p.m. Correspondent Ben Gaughan reports that Albion beat Williamsville South, 5-3, to win the Class A baseball title.

7:49 p.m. The sky darkened big-time and a serious downpour hit Hamburg. They're still playing, but I'm still in the car -- for now.

7:50 p.m. Rain has stopped. Iroquois hanging in there at 4-2 with 3:44 left in second quarter.

8:01 p.m. Awesome goal by Iroquois -- which I caught on video -- late in the quarter makes it just a 4-3 halftime lead for Hamburg. Hmmmmm. Battery running low on iPhone - hope we have enough juice to handle a closer game than most expected.

8:21 p.m. We have a lightning delay - which means we have a 30-minute wait. Hamburg has scored twice to take a 6-3 lead with 3:48 to play in the third quarter.

With the live chat at 9:30ish, I'm going to head back to One News Plaza.

Back in the car. It wasn't raining when the delay was called, but it is now and fans are seeking shelter across the street in the high school. Thunder rumbled often before lightning was seen.

See you in the chat and we'll have all results posted as soon as possible.

8:40 p.m. Wow. Did some work in the car - now we have a torrential downpour with thunder and lightning. Not sure if they'll get to finish tonight.

I'll have video of the stormy weather, too :-)

9:45 p.m. We're back at One News Plaza, fuled with some Subway and up and running with our weekly live chat.

* * *

If you're out at a game, let us know what you saw and what you thought of the action.

---Keith McShea

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

Class A final is set and it's a surprise; Canisius-Joe's in Georgetown Cup semifinal

The Class A final is set -- and it's not Iroquois-Grand Island.

Albion knocked off No. 1 large school and second-seeded Iroquois, 8-5, while Williamsville South toppled No. 1 seed and defending champion Grand Island, 11-5.

The undefeated Purple Eagles (21-0) take on the Billies (10-5) at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Niagara Falls' Sal Maglie Stadium.

In the Monsignor Martin Association, we have three of the final four teams and one killer semifinal matchup.

St. Joe's beat Cardinal O'Hara, 9-0, while Canisius edged Nichols, 3-2 -- the rivals will meet in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Thursday at St. Joe's. The semifinal doubleheader at Joe's concludes with St. Mary's -- which knocked off Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 2-1 -- meeting the winner of Sunday's quarterfinal of Niagara Cathoic at St. Francis.

---Keith McShea

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

Class A baseball semifinal times set for Saturday

Here are the times for Saturday's Section VI Class A baseball semifinals:

Albion at Iroquois, 1 p.m.

Williamsville South at Grand Island, 2 p.m. 

---Keith McShea

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

2010-11 boys hoops, here we come: Niagara Falls' Cataract Classic field is set

Yes, the All-Western New York basketball issue just came out.

And yes, this is a post about the 2010-11 schedule.

One of the top early-season showcases is already set: the Cataract Classic at Niagara Falls. Event organizer Sal Constantino emailed the schedule to us today.

As always, a great mix of teams and some great matchups. Here it is:

Friday, Dec. 10
North Tonawanda vs. Lancaster, 5 p.m.
St. Joe's vs. Depew, 6:30 p.m.
Niagara Falls vs. Jamestown, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 11
Wilson vs. St. Mary's/Lanc., noon
V-Charles Finney vs. Amherst, 1:30 p.m.
V-Batavia vs. Williamsville North, 3 p.m.

Williamsville South vs. Canisius, 5 p.m.
Niagara Catholic vs. East Aurora, 6:30 p.m.
V-Aquinas vs. Niagara Falls, 8 p.m.

I sure hope the Pastor-Cooper Tournament is the week before (Nov. 29-Dec. 3) -- that's the way things have gone down the last two years. I've covered a state championship football game on the last Sunday in November and then seen some hoops at Daemen the next day.

We won't have a building-the-schedule post up for a little while yet, but if anyone out there has some confirmed dates, please feel free to add them here or to email me at [email protected].

---Keith McShea

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

Will South's Coppola to Daemen

Williamsville South coach Al Monaco emailed me with the news that standout senior point guard Mark Coppola will continue his college basketball career a few miles down Main St. at Daemen College.

He received a full basketball scholarship to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school. There will be a signing ceremony for Coppola at the school on Wednesday afternoon.

---Keith McShea

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

Video: Far West Regional wrapup by PrepTalkTV

Two Section VI teams -- Middle College and Maple Grove -- will be moving on to the state final four after Section VI went 2 for 5 in Saturday's Far West Regionals.

The video is accessible at the buffalonews.com home page or via our video player page

Reporter/videographer/producer Lauren Mariacher was under the weather so thanks much to Joe Popiolkowski for filling in.

Let us know what you think.

* * *

Also check out an extensive photo gallery by News photographer Mark Mulville.

* * *

Here's your own PrepTalkTV DVR loaded with our previous episodes:

* Overall A & B finals (March 13): Williamsville South, Olean move on to the regionals.

* Championship Saturday (March 6): Winning titles were, in order, Akron (B-2), Olean (B-1), East (A-2), Williamsville South (A-1) and Jamestown (AA).

* Section VI C & D championships (March 5): Middle College (C) and Maple Grove (D) are champions.

* Manhattan Cup championship (Feb. 28): Nichols and its seniors romp to the title.

* Section VI quarterfinals (Feb. 27): Clarence and North Tonawanda have big wins and we look ahead to the final fours at Buffalo State and Jamestown Community College. 

* Manhattan Cup semifinals (Feb. 23): Nichols-Canisius showdown set after both win big.

* Scarcello's buzzer-beater helps Timon to final four (Feb. 21): Bishop Timon-St. Jude got past St. Joe's in a Manhattan Cup quarterfinal thriller to join Nichols, Canisius and St. Mary's in the semifinals.

* Last day of the regular season (Feb. 19): Middle College wins the Yale Cup, Lancaster beats Depew.

* Big wins for Nichols, East (Feb. 17): Nichols clobbers Canisius, East tops Grover Cleveland.

* Nowak's buzzer-beater stuns Jamestown (Feb. 12): Orchard Park's thrilling win, plus action from Nichols and Lackawanna.

Super Tuesday (Feb. 9): North Tonawanda sweeps Niagara Falls; Maryvale and McKinley win on the busiest night of the year.

Sweet Home is ShellStrong (Feb. 5): Panthers basketball hosts a great fundraising night.

---Keith McShea

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

More from the Far West Regionals

Five games in a day can really fill a notebook.

Here’s some additional notes and quotes that didn’t make the game stories from the action at Buffalo State.

Grab a cup of coffee, you’ll need it.

Class D: Maple Grove-Houghton

Some notes:

- Amazingly enough, this was my first time seein Chris Secky play live, and he didn’t disappoint. Despite being shackled to the bench for most of the first half, Secky put on a show in the third quarter. He dazzled the crowd with a Tim Hardaway-style crossover late in the quarter, freeing himself for a floater in the lane to make it 36-31.

- Maple Grove big man Kevin McElrath picked up his fourth foul with 1:44 left in the third quarter on a charge, sending him to the bench, but the Red Dragons were able to withstand his loss.

- Houghton hung tough for most of the game, including when Tyler Mastin hit a layup and made the ensuing free throw with 1:34 left in the third off a nice assist from David Roorbach. The shot made it 31-28 and Mastin celebrated by letting out a scream in front of the shirtless, painted Maple Grove fans.

- As you’ll read below in Maple Grove coach Curt Fischer’s quotes, going to an independent schedule this season was beneficial for the Red Dragons. Houghton started off strong in its first-ever trip to the Far West Regionals, but the Red Dragons never wavered, even with Secky on the bench. That can be attributed to their big-game experience.

And some quotes:

Continue reading "More from the Far West Regionals" »

Live from the A regional: V-Newark too much for Williamsville South, 77-63

Hello from another great hoop day at Buffalo State. By the end of the day we'll know who is headed to Glens Falls from the Far West Regionals. It's time for Game Four of five.

DISCLAIMER: I won't be able to answer too many questions because it gets pretty busy here, especially late in games, and especially now that I've got the iPhone video going. Also, please try and limit questions to this game, especially during crunch time. THANKS for your understanding.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     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 | [email protected]

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