PrepTalkTV met up with a few coaches before the Kensington Lions All-Star Classic at Depew High School to ask them about the upcoming season. Here's what they had to say about their teams and divisions:
St. Francis head coach Jerry Smith:
Burgard head coach Jason Kolb:
Sweet Home head coach John Faller:
Wilson head coach Bill Atlas:
South Park head coach Tim Delaney:
Hamburg head coach Mike McFadden:
St. Mary's head coach Dave Hersey:
Be sure to check back to the PrepTalk blog as we gear up for the first day of practices all around Western New York on Aug. 15.
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@example.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.
Hello from wayyyyy up north at Wilson High's Richard J. Zipp Gymnasium, where the place is packed and the Internet connections are spotty. We're good for now and hopefully for the night and for the Lakemen's huge home game against Newfane, their Niagara-Orleans rival and fellow top 10 small school. Newfane is ranked third among small schools while Wilson is sixth.
6:43 p.m. We have a connection and are holding our breath that we'll have it for the night.
Our wireless card, whose name is the same as a track and field event, is not the strongest up north, I've been told. But it worked well enough to get video reporter Lauren Mariacher's PrepTalkTV pregame video up and we're doing fine right now. But there were some dicey moments pregame for this reporter, as the school's wireless signal wasn't working either. Sighhh. OK, on with the show.
6:49 p.m. Newfane has won the JV game. We have a between-games ceremony going on to honor Wilson scholar-athletes -- not a bad crowd to be honored in front of.
Prior to the ceremony, an announcement was made by principal Dan Johnson to the assembled crowd to "squeeze in -- just like in church. We're going to have to close the doors soon and we don't want to have anyone miss this classic game."
6:53 p.m. Newfane doing a loud chant in the hallway just as Wilson's team was gathered behind the scorer's table watching the ceremony. Should be a great night. Scoreboard clock is counting down from 15 minutes.
7:02 p.m. Newfane's "Blue Zone," one of the top student sections in Western New York, is on its collective feet in the bleacher to the left of the scorer's table, behind the Newfane bench.
I'm on the railing of the bleachers on the right side, a good spot for my trusty extension cord to power up the laptop. Thanks much to Wilson athletic director Jeff Roth for helping find a spot for me as well as for Lauren Mariacher, who has a desk at which to set up her PrepTalkTV shop in the right corner.
7:12 p.m. We're about to tip off. Place is rocking following introductions.
7:16 p.m. We have our first timeout of the game, taken by Newfane coach Eric Klumpp as the Panthers trail, 7-1, with 5:45 left in the first quarter and Tyler Truesdell going to the line to try and convert a three-point play. He misses.
7:28 p.m. AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER, Wilson leads Newfane, 9-3. Some great early action here, Wilson with a super-strong start -- it had a 9-1 lead at one point. Truesdell has been big with his play and his energy.
7:33 p.m. Timeout Wilson with a player trapped after a defensive rebound. Lakemen continue to lead, 10-3, with 5:48 left in the second. Still very good defense from Wilson, as Newfane has not looked comfortable at all.
7:40 p.m. Timeout Wilson with 2:17 left in the second quarter and the Lakemen still holding a lead at 12-9. Rohn Pierce scored inside for Newfane and he hit two free throws to make it 10-7. Truesdell had a great strong baseline drive but Sean Seefeldt answered by hitting a drive while falling through the lane.
7:45 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Wilson leads Newfane, 18-13.
Junior Tyler Martin has been huge for Wilson with three three-pointers, including two threes in the final 1:30 of the second quarter, one of which came in the final seconds. Not the highest scoring game, but Wilson deserves its edge. It has played very good defense; on offense it failed to capitalize by wasting more than a few possessions with some unforced errors. Brennan Moxham's shooting was a little off in the first half, but I'd expect the Wilson senior leader to have a impactful second half.
Some halftime highlights thanks to Lauren Mariacher:
8:14 p.m. A fun third quarter here has become a back-and-forth affair, with Newfane up, 30-29, heading into the final minute. Panthers had a great start to the quarter, taking its first lead at 19-18.
8:19 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Wilson leads Newfane, 32-30. The pace has really picked up. Should be a great finish. Two free throws by Martin with 3.1 seconds left put Wilson ahead.
UPDATE from Sean Bruso, doing the game on radio: Lancaster 26, Williamsville 25 at halftime after North's Sterling Taplin spun out of a trap and hit a three at the buzzer.
8:30 p.m. Timeout Wilson with Truesdell trapped. Lakemen lead, 40-39, with 3:11 to go. Moxham just had a huge rebound and putback from the weak side to put Wilson in front.
8:32 p.m. Timeout Newfane with 2:53 left in the game after Moxham drew an offensive foul on Newfane. Maybe an iffy call, but I can say that Wilson has been owed some after seemingly getting hit a few times on their offensive end, so it's evening out -- just like it always tends to.
8:38 p.m. Whew what a finish. Wilson leads, 43-42, with 1:36 left in the game. Rohn Pierce just hit the first and missed the second. Truesdell has been huge on the boards.
8:40 p.m. Martin hits two huge free throws for a 45-42 lead for Wilson. Newfane calls a timeout with the ball and 52.3 seconds left.
8:42 p.m. Timeout Wilson. Newfane with a miss, jump ball to Newfane; 46.3 seconds left and still 45-42.
North leads at Lancaster, 41-39, after three, thanks to Bruso.
8:43 p.m. Sean Seefeldt with a tough fallaway jumper in the lane for Newfane, which calls a timeout with 35.5 seconds left, trailing, 45-44.
8:46 p.m. Martin super-clutch at the line. He hits two with 20.7 seconds left to put Wilson up, 47-44.
8:50 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Wilson beats Newfane, 49-44.
Newfane missed two shots at three-pointers in the final seconds and Martin hit two more free throws with one seconds left to finish it off. Great win for Wilson. Fans come on to the court and raise Martin up on their shoulders.
More to come.
9:10 p.m. Big win for Lancaster, which beats North, 67-58. Thanks to Sean Bruso for that update. The box score will be available at our scoreboard page, which can also accessed through the high school home page. I've just entered the Wilson-Newfane box.
Other notable wins tonight by Williamsville South, which took care of Williamsville East by 20; and by Maryvale and coach Mark Kensy, who is now 4-0 against son Chris, the coach at Amherst.
Now we're off to put together our full PrepTalkTV episode so look for that later tonight. It will include highlights and interviews from the Wilson-Newfane game, a rundown of other top games tonight as well as a day-by-day look at next week's major matchups.
Or catch it tomorrow before logging on to check in with the St. Joe's at Canisius game, set for 5 p.m. Saturday. If you're not at the game, I'll have updates during the contest as well as highlights and interviews later on.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello from Buffalo State and the second day of the best week of the high school sports year.
After a few minutes for a program upgrade, we're online for another tripleheader: the 5:30 B-2 semifinal between Niagara-Orleans rivals Wilson and Akron and two A-2 semifinals. East meets fellow Yale Cup-per Lafayette in the first game at 7 p.m. with Maryvale and ECIC III neighbor Cheektowaga getting together at 8:30.
East beat Lafayette in the regular season while Wilson and Maryvale both swept the season series from tonight's opponents, but wacky things have been known to happen at Buffalo State.
That being said, I'm going with Wilson in the first game.
5:31 p.m. This is when the game is supposed to be a minute in of real time. But we're two minutes in, with Wilson calling a timeout after Akron has taken a quick 6-0 lead with 6:08 left in the first quarter.
5:35 p.m. Akron coach Justin Gerstung calls a timeout with 3:41 left in the first quarter holding an 8-6 lead -- Brennan Moxham has swished two three-pointers for Wilson.
5:43 p.m. We are at the end of the first quarter and Akron leads Wilson, 11-8. Trevor Short has nine of Akron's 11 points.
5:47 p.m. Wilson coach Brett Sippel calls a timeout with 5:49 left in the second quarter and Akron having taken a 20-11 lead on a fast-break basket by Alec Short. Akron is fired up in its huddle. Wilson started slow against City Honors so maybe this is just how they roll.
5:51 p.m. N-O coaches like using their first-half timeouts. Akron gets one ahead, 22-15, with 3:34 left in the second quarter. I think maybe Gerstung used it just to protest a call he wanted on Alec Short fast-break attempt. I'll side with coach on this one but it's all part of the game.
5:58 p.m.We are at halftime and Akron leads Wilson, 27-22.
6:16 p.m. Akron calls a timeout with 4:04 left in the third quarter with a 33-26 lead. Trevor Short continues to score for the Tigers, often just too much to handle on drives to the basket and he's been nailing some fadeaway jumpers.
6:23 p.m. At the end of the third quarter, Akron continues to lead Wilson, 37-33. Moxham had a late three-pointer to answer one by Akron's Seth Goodier.
6:27 p.m. Wilson calls a timeout with 7:13 left and Akron's lead down to 37-35. Ethan Baker with a putback of a missed free throw opened the scoring. Trevor Short just got fouled hard by Wilson's Nate Meier and the officials do some talking to both players.
6:33 p.m. After a nice big rebound by Alec Short, Akron brings the ball upcourt and calls a timeout with 4:26 left and a 42-38 lead over Wilson. Nice back and forth going on between the school's fans, and I'm pretty sure Akron's outnumber WIlson's, student-section-wise.
6:36 p.m. Wilson calls a timeout with 2:53 left and the Akron lead now at 47-39. BIG three-pointer from Jon Rink for Akron as the Wilson defense sagged towards Trevor Short in the post. On the other end, Trevor Short jumped out to block a three attempt by Baker.
6:39 p.m. Timeout by Akron with 2:24 left and a 47-41 lead. Baker just scored inside and Wilson turned up the pressure on the inbounds.
6:43 p.m. Wilson makes its move to cut it to 47-46, but Alec Short nails a three-pointer from the left corner to give Akron a 50-46 lead. Wilson brings it up and calls a timeout with 36.5 seconds left.
(Sorry about the poor view of Alec Short's shot, on which coach Gerstung ran a nice screen on me).
6:45 p.m. Wilson cuts it to 50-48 on a Collin Okoniewski putback and Trevor Short is fouled with 18 seconds left and Akron leading, 50-48. Timeout, Wilson.
6:48 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Akron 51, Wilson 48.
Short hit one free throw, Moxham missed a decent look from the top of
the key for three; Alec Short was fouled with 5.7 seconds left and
Baker's desperation three missed.
And that's why they play the games. Back for the A-2 semifinals in a bit. Still sticking with my poll for the next two games.
7:09 p.m. Back in our press row saddle just in time for tip-off of East-Lafayette.
7:23 p.m.At the end of the first quarter, East has a 16-10 lead on Lafayette. The Panthers are looking good with Domonique Jackson back on the floor. His passing as is impressive as anything else -- the 6-4 senior has already had some nice setups.
7:29 p.m. Lafayette calls a timeout with 5:24 left in the second quarter. East leads, 19-13. I only saw the Mighty Violets briefly in a game at East, but they have some serious height and length in 6-5 senior Darius West and 6-5 junior Davone Ferguson, who has already put in a very nice looking fast-break dribble drive finish.
7:31 p.m. East's turn to take a timeout with its lead now 19-14 with 5:02 left in the second.
7:36 p.m. Lafayette needed a timeout and has one witih 1:49 left in the second with East now up, 30-21. Jackson just put on one of the Moves Of The Week right in front of me. He took on a close-guarding defender just inside midcourt, crossed him over so bad he fell over, then calmly stepped to the three-point line and swished a three. Whoa.
7:47 p.m. Sorry about a semi-delayed halftime update. Had to run to the car to get a very valuable cord to power the iPhone. I'd be dead without it. Thanks much to 8-year-old Wyatt Walker, one of Section VI's administrators here, for manning the door after my full-out sprint to the parking lot across Grant. Booyah.
At halftime, East leads Lafayette, 39-24. Deon Robinson hit a free throw with 3.4 seconds left after an intentional foul (he was dragged down after a steal in the open court), then he hit a buzzer-beating fling for a three-pointer and a great finish to the half for the Panthers.
7:56 p.m. Lafayette coach Karl Maggiore calls a timeout with 4:43 left in the third quarter and East now up, 44-26. The Panthers are just too much -- not just too athletic but too good defensively too unselfish offensively. They had a fast-break moments ago which went Deon Robinson to Tremmell Fisher to Robinson to Dale Gray for the basket. Almost too much passing.
8:03 p.m. Lafayette calls another timeout with 2:14 left in the third and East leading, 54-33. Jackson had a three-point play after a whirling drive through the lane, and Robinson had a layup after he slapped the ball away for a steal.
8:05 p.m. East coach Starling Bryant with a timeout with 1:05 left in the third leading, 54-36.
8:08 p.m. We are at the end of the third quarter and East leads Lafayette, 54-38. The Violets had a great finish to the quarter as West took a pass on a fast break and -- in traffic -- put down a serious two-handed jam. Very impressive.
8:23 p.m. East has put its subs in with 1:29 left and a 68-43 lead.
8:27 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: East 68, Lafayette 48.
Interviews and then some writing while I watch the Maryvale-Cheektowaga game.
8:51 p.m. Great start for Maryvale, which leads, 8-0, with 5:54 left in the first quarter, prompting a Cheektowaga timeout by first-year coach Pat Cullinan.
9:03 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Maryvale leads Cheektowaga, 15-10. Nice job by the Warriors to keep their heads in it with some active defense. The Flyers hit three threes in the first, including two by senior Matt Wendling.
9:12 p.m. Maryvale coach Mark Kensy calls a timeout with 4:43 left in the second quarter and holding a 17-13 lead as Cheektowaga has played some solid defense and is getting some offense going inside and on the boards.
9:36 p.m. Sorry. Second half has started. Maryvale led, 26-19, at halftime. I'm doing a lot of writing right now.
9:51 p.m. Maryvale 40, Cheektowaga 33 after the third quarter.
10:04 p.m. Story is done for first edition. Jeesh. Right on time. Cheektowaga just scored on a fast break to cut Maryvale's lead to 46-43 with 2:23 left. The lead had been up to 10 (43-33).
10:09 p.m. Wow. Cheektowaga just had a couple of chances to tie the game but the ball wouldn't go down. Maryvale leads, 46-44, with 24 seconds left and has called a timeout. Maryvale inbounding under its own basket.
(Note to self: Be sure to move the phone while you're watching these big plays -- although the perspective on the first jumper is pretty neat since all you can see are players looking at the ball in mid-air. Sorry about that.)
10:12 p.m. A foul by Cheektowaga, and another timeout by Maryvale before it inbounds the ball with 19.7 seconds left. Maryvale inbounding at the sideline in its backcourt, right in front of me.
10:15 p.m. A foul by Cheektowaga, one free throw made, one free throw missed for Maryvale's Bryce Shepard, and a fast-break basket by the Warriors. Maryvale leads, 47-46, with nine seconds left.
10:17 p.m. Foul Cheektowaga, one free throw made by Alex Wendling, Cheektowaga takes a timeout. There are 6.3 seconds left, Maryvale is up two (48-46) and may be up three after the second free throw.
10:19 p.m. Wendling's free throw fell and Cheektowaga's desperation three missed off the backboard.
Clutch job by Wendling. The way Cheektowaga was getting to the basket, a three-point game was a whole lot different than a two-point game.
We have a FINAL SCORE: Maryvale 49, Cheektowaga 46.
12:10 p.m. I love basketball. I love writing. I love the best week of the high school sports year.
But I think I hate sectional tripleheader nights. OK. Got that out of my system. So much action, so little time, so little space. I'll be adding some additional notes and quotes, the scorebooks and some videos here. If you're still out there now, they'll be on here when you wake up.
* * *
Some thoughts on the evening ...
* Seeing Akron here tonight (after not seeing them during the regular season), I'm wondering where this team was all year. I guess the three-pointers from five different Wilson players was a difference, one that was cited by both coaches. Trevor Short, who Sippel called the best player in the N-O, was outstanding. It sure had to help playing at Buffalo State considering the success the Tigers had here last year. They sure looked comfortable while Wilson may have felt the pressure of living up to its ranking and beating Akron three times. Alec Short didn't have to hit as many threes as he did last year (he had a ton -- I've got to check the records) -- but the one he did hit was super clutch.
Akron and Cleveland Hill makes for a great matchup, I think. Who needs ranked teams? Both teams played extremely well and deserve the championship game. They both also brought a lot of fans so the energy level should be good in the first game of Saturday's quintuple-header. Tip-off is at noon.
* Game Two got out of hand because East is just too good. Lafayette knew this after losing to the Panthers in the regular season, and tonight's Panthers were back playing like the Panthers that Lafayette lost to in the first week of February. After that, East lost Domonique Jackson and some other players to academic suspensions and things became quite uncertain. The way East is playing they are going to be super-tough to beat.
There was a lot of moaning that the game wasn't fun to watch, but I starred plenty of plays in my notebook. Jackson, as I wrote, is an outstanding player because of his well-rounded play, including unselfishness and defense (several blocks). Deon Robinson had a clean, standing-still steal of a full-speed Lafayette player which turned into a fast break and a behind-the-back pass to Jackson for a finish. The Jackson killer crossover I wrote about already as well as the super-unselfish fast break by the Panthers and the Lafayette dunk.
I will admit that the blowout helped me get some work done, so maybe because I had other stuff to do it averted me from what obviously wasn't a close second half.
* Maryvale led the entire game against Cheektowaga, with the closest the Warriors getting the two-point deficit in the final minute. Warriors could never get over the hump thanks in large part to the shotmaking of Shepherd. Impressive showing from Cheektowaga and understandable how they were able to beat Amherst. Maryvale definitely makes you beat them. They just do not make mistakes.
First of all, the Yale Cup games are eariler, so I should be able to catch at least part of one (maybe two if my pickup hoops game goes short and the first Yale Cup game goes long) before moving on to one of the above prime-time contests.
Grover Cleveland is at Burgard at 4:15 p.m. and East is at McKinley at 5:30. (Note: the Hutch-Tech vs. Middle College game has been moved to 5:30 p.m. today at Hutch-Tech.)
Among the games listed above, there are four major rematches from this year and an intriguing nonleague rematch from last year.
The biggest upset of the season, and one of the biggest of the decade (whether it is last decade or this one :-) ) was North Tonawanda's64-62 overtime win at Niagara Falls, the first-ever Niagara Frontier League loss for the Wolverines. Falls' first-ever attempt to avenge an NFL loss gets started at 7 p.m.
St. Francis started making noise in the Monsignor Martin Association when it beat Bishop Timon-St. Jude at home, 56-54, on Jan. 20 to start a four-game win streak. The Tigers are coming off a top-notch victory at Canisius while Frannies has stumbled a bit with a loss at Nichols and a home loss to Canisius; tip-off in South Buffalo is 7:30 p.m.
The ECIC III battles between Maryvale and Depew have been outstanding for the last several years -- the Wildcats avenged their only loss of the season by winning at Amherst on Thursday. Back on Jan. 5, Depew won at Maryvale, 42-35. Tonight's battle is at 7:30.
The Niagara-Orleans League race likely rests on the 7 p.m. tipoff of Medina at Wilson. Medina won at home in the teams' first meeting, 62-53, on Jan. 15.
St. Joe's makes its first trip to Maple Grove
for a 7:30 tip. Last year the Red Dragons lost at St. Joe's, 79-64. The Marauders are struggling while the Red Dragons and Chris Secky appear to be primed for that Class D playoff run that everyone has been talking about since last year. A very intriguing matchup here.
Other games on the fast-breaking Tuesday include Lockport at Grand Island in the NFL, Orchard Park at Lancaster in ECIC I, Cleveland Hill at Alden in ECIC IV and St. Mary's at Niagara Catholic in a Monsignor Martin small school battle.
* * *
Part of me wanted to let the voters literally decide where I end up, but due to logistics and some Web work I'll be taking care of with reporter/videographer Lauren Mariacher (stay tuned), I can not completely put my traveling fate in your hands. Not that I don't trust Prep Talk Nation, of course. For instance, the trip to Maple Grove would be great, but the travel time involved would wipe out any possibility of seeing some games beforehand and would also throw a wrench into some significant postgame Web plans we have.
I'd have to say I'm leading to Falls at NT considering the historical impact of the teams' first meeting this year. I thought after NT's home loss to Lockport last week that perhaps the game had lost all of its luster, but then Falls struggled to beat Kenmore West so we're kind of back where we started -- trying to make sense out of the NFL.
But vote early and often (:-) ), and, of course, let me know why in the comments section below. I certainly am looking forward to seeing what the people's choice is.
The lineup is set for the Niagara-Orleans League vs. Genesee Regional League Showcase, a great late-season event in its second year. Some nice matchups that make for great tuneups for the teams heading into the postseason.
Here's the schedule:
NIAGARA-ORLEANS VS. GENESEE REGION SHOWCASE at Genesee Community College Friday, Feb. 12
Akron vs V-Elba, 6:30 p.m.
Medina vs V-Alexander, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 13
CSAT vs. V-Kendall, noon
Roy-Hart vs. V-Pembroke, 1:30 p.m.
Barker vs. V-Byron-Bergen, 3 p.m.
Newfane vs. V-Lyndonville, 4:30 p.m.
Albion vs. V-Wheatland-Chili, 6 p.m.
Wilson vs. V-Oakfield-Alabama, 7:30 p.m.
Somewhat of a bummer is that private school Notre Dame of Batavia is not participating -- I'm not sure why; perhaps it was a scheduling issue. Batavia Notre Dame is the only Genesee Region school in the state rankings -- it is fifth in Class D, one spot behind Maple Grove..
Don't get me started on private schools being permitted to participate in Class D of the state's public school athletic association.
My first trip to Medina is for a major Niagara-Orleans and small-school matchup as Wilson takes its undefeated league record to the Mustangs' gym.
7:20ish p.m.: I walk in the gym after the long trip up here hoping I haven't missed too much action, and I see Levi Pace of Medina score the first basket of the game. I like that.
I drove up and down Mustang Drive (gotta love the street name) outside the school looking for a spot -- the parking lot is jammed. The gym is probably a little more than three-quarters full.
7:31 p.m.: Medina has a 17-8 lead after the first quarter.
7:49 p.m. Medina has a 40-20 lead at halftime and Travis Bloom has hit SIX three-pointers. He just nailed his sixth from the right side and had a big smile as he trotted back up the court.
Adam Hellwig has three more threes for a total of nine for Medina in the first half. Wilson was in a zone the entire half and the Mustangs just kept shooting relatively open shots.
I'm a little bummed that it is a 20-point game at halftime and hoping that Wilson makes it a game. I tucked away the iPhone for the first half to save it for the end, and I missed Bloom going nuts from downtown. After Medina jumped to its big lead, Wilson was making a game of it, closing to withing 22-16, 25-18 and 28-20 with about two minutes left in the first half.
Then it was all Medina, led by Bloom, who hit three of his six threes in the 12-0 half-closing run in the final 1:44.
Just as an FYI, Wilson has three home games coming up after tonight. How do I know that? It's on the shirt on one of the young, knowledgeable fans ("That's four [fouls] on Pace! Yes!") sitting in front of me.
8:13 p.m. After three quarters, Wilson has shown some life and have gone man-to-man.
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.
Lauren Nicole Mariacher joined The News in 2009 after graduating from the Columbia University School of Journalism. The Elma native and Iroquois graduate can usually be found on a sideline, capturing highlights for PrepTalkTV. She also hosts Prep Talk's weekly live show, with Keith McShea, as well as The News' live postgame Bills show — [BN]TheHuddle.