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.
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.
Be sure to check out our basketball scoreboard for all of tonight's action.
Here's tonight's roundup.