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Preseason Prep Talk: Boys basketball

While the fall season has yet to crown most of its champions, today is the first day of winter practices, including boys basketball.

The first games get going shortly after Thanksgiving, with some great events lined up in early December (Niagara Falls' Cataract Classic, the Monsignor Martin-ECIC Challenge at St. Mary's, Canisius' Tom Keenan Memorial Invitational and of course, the Al Pastor).

While coaches are getting their squads in the gym this afternoon, I figured I'd roll out the ball here so we can talk some boys hoops.

A quick review of 06-07: The Section VI winners were Sweet Home (AA), McKinley (A), Olean (B), Maple Grove (C) and Pine Valley (D) while Nichols won the Manhattan Cup.

Underclassmen who were named All-Western New York were (all were juniors unless noted): Second team -- William "Stink" Robinson (McKinley), Rahshon Tabb (Niagara Falls); third team -- Jamal Webb (East), Anthony Greene (Grover Cleveland), Mansa Habeeb-10 (McKinley); honorable mention -- J.C. Tretter-10 (Akron), Anthony Ragusa (Canisius), Justin Young (Canisius), Abram Miller (City Honors), Blake McLimans (Hamburg), Edvin Ramulic (Kenmore West), Chris Secky-9 (Maple Grove), Tom Secky (Maple Grove), Brooks Estarfaa-10, (Maryvale), Tamere Shannon (McKinley), A.J. Roberts (Niagara Catholic), Dyrell Dolson (Niagara Catholic), Ronald Canestro-9 (Nichols), Will Regan-9 (Nichols), Blake Morrison (Randolph), Brian Wallden (Williamsville East).

We'll be taking a look at other winter sports in the coming days as well.

So who's going to end their season by storming the court at Buffalo State (or wherever the big games are held this year)? Which teams will come out of nowhere? What league will be the toughest? Who should be the preseason No. 1 large and small school teams?

And you coaches out there, make sure you send your schedules -- and rosters, as soon as you've finalized them -- to me via fax (849-4587) or email ( Thanks.

-- Keith McShea

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