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.
Here are the finished products: