Get yourself ready for today's #PrepTalkLive action with everything you need to know about the day ahead in high school sports.
What to watch for Thursday
1. Boys basketball - Williamsville South at Park, 6:30 p.m.
It doesn't get much better than No. 1 vs. No. 2.
That's what's going down Thursday when No. 1 Park (8-1) hosts No. 2 Williamsville South (7-0) in a nonleague showdown of large school powers.
Three of Western New York's top guards in South's Greg Dolan (22.8 points per game) and Park's Daniel Scott (18.2 ppg) and Noah Hutchins (13.7 ppg) will take the court in this one. Hutchins scored a game-high 23 in Park's historic first win over Canisius on Tuesday.
The big difference looks to be Park's size on the interior with 6-foot-8 Joe Jones, who has four inches on South's tallest player, Adam Braniecki.
The Billies have loaded up on their nonleague slate this season to prepare themselves for another postseason run. South has a four-game stretch at the end of January/early February where they face St. Francis, V-University Prep, Jamestown and V-Aquinas in the span of 10 days. Not to mention South already has a win at No. 3 Bishop Timon-St. Jude.
2. Girls basketball - Franklinville at Ellicottville, 7:30 p.m.
Class D and CCAA East 2 rivals No. 4 small school Ellicottville (9-0, 1-0) and No. 3 small school Franklinville (7-1, 1-0) meet for the first time this season. Franklinville won three of four matchups in the series last season with the most important coming in the Section VI Class D semifinals.
The Eagles are just one of three teams in Western New York that are still undefeated. Their closest game came in a 46-42 win over No. 6 Frewsburg on Dec. 10. Every other win has been by 14 points or more. Fifth-year senior Marrissa Hamilton, who's committed to UB, averages 19.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game, all team highs.
The Panthers rebounded from their first loss of the season, a 51-46 defeat at Class B Fredonia last week, with a dominating 70-33 win at league foe Cattaraugus/Little Valley on Monday. Freshman Danielle Haskell scored a game-high 30 points to up her season average to 26.3 ppg. Allyson Haskell (15.8 ppg) and Abby McCoy (8.4 ppg) scored 18 and 11, respectively.
3. Boys hockey - Williamsville East vs. Williamsville North, 7 p.m.
Williamsville East (4-1) and Williamsville North (5-2) renew their crosstown rivalry at the Northtown Center Feature Rink this evening, and they'll also be supporting a great cause while doing so.
After the first goal is scored, there will be a teddy bear toss. Bears are being sold at both schools for $5, or spectators can also bring their own to the rink. All money raised will be donated to Crisis Services, and the players will bring the bears to Children's Hospital.
The Flames haven't played a Federation game since Dec. 18, a 6-3 loss to Niagara-Wheatfield. Senior Mike Steffan is second in the league with eight goals and tied for first with 15 points.
The Spartans are led by the trio of Brett Sardina (six goals, 5 assists), Adam Batz (six goals, four assists) and Andrew Bruno (three assists, seven assists). Netminder Jake Zurat has been impressive between the pipes averaging 1.86 goals against in his seven games played.
4. Girls hockey - Monsignor Martin vs. Orchard Park/Frontier/Lake Shore, 4:30 p.m.
Orchard Park/Frontier/Lake Shore (10-2) and Monsignor Martin (7-2-2) battle it out at the North Buffalo Ice Rink Thursday in the second of three meetings between these two-loss teams. FLOP won, 5-1, on Dec. 1 behind a goal and an assist each from Emily Kromer and Jessica Peters.
FLOP's Megan Roche sits atop the Federation charts with 14 assists and her 22 points are third. Teammate Mary Kromer has eight goals and 11 assists. Kaitlyn Drew-Mead leads Monsignor Martin with 11 goals and 14 points.
Both of FLOP's losses have come to Williamsville by 3-2 score. Monsignor Martin also lost to Williamsville, 3-1, and tied them twice, 1-1.
5. Boys basketball - St. Francis at Canisius, 7 p.m.
No. 4 St. Francis (7-1, 1-0) and No. 5 Canisius (5-5, 1-2) seem to be two Monsignor Martin large schools heading in opposite directions right now.
The Red Raiders are winners of five straight, including the last three against Pennsylvania power Cathedral Prep (which Canisius lost to), Cardinal O'Hara and unanimous No. 1 small school Health Sciences on Tuesday. Their loss came to Rochester's University Prep.
Canisius, meanwhile, lost its first-ever game to Park Tuesday and have lost five of their last seven since starting 3-0. The Crusaders opened league play with a two-point loss at Timon last Tuesday and then blew out No. 9 St. Joe's, 62-33, three days later.
- Girls basketball: Newfane at Medina, 6:30 p.m.
- Girls basketball: Orchard Park at Clarence, 7:30 p.m.
- Girls basketball: Southwestern at Fredonia, 7:30 p.m.
- Girls basketball: Amherst at Hamburg, 7:30 p.m.
Today's schedule can be found at our high school scoreboard.
#PrepTalkLive updates: While we follow ALL the high school action via our Prep Talk team, we encourage YOU to also tweet updates from the games you are attending with the hashtag #PrepTalkLive attached.
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High School Extra (Jan. 12): Mel Swanson wins 600th as girls basketball coach, plus much more
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- As always, we'll monitor Saturday's action in our #PrepTalkLive post