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. Girls hockey - Orchard Park/Frontier/Lake Shore vs. Williamsville, 4:30 p.m.
No. 1 Williamsville (14-0-2) takes on No. 2 Orchard Park/Frontier/Lake Shore (14-3) at the Hamburg Town Ice Arena on Thursday for the third and final time in the regular season. Williamsville won the first meeting 3-2 and the second one 5-2.
Williamsville's two ties came against third-place Monsignor Martin, which handed FLOP its third loss of the season on Monday.
Williamsville's 23 goals against are a league-low, and its 70 goals are only behind FLOP and Amherst/Sweet Home/Clarence. FLOP has the top goal differential in the Federation at +52 (77 for, 25 against), with Williamsville close behind at +47. To put those numbers in perspective, Monsignor Martin's third in goal differential at +19 (45 for, 26 against).
Leah Czerwinski (17 goals, 10 assists) and Holly Schmelzer (14 goals, nine assists) are the top point-getters for Williamsville. Megan Roche (12 goals, 15 assists) and Mary Kromer (11 goals, 13 assists) leads a FLOP offense that has three other players with at least 20 points.
2. Boys basketball - Health Sciences at Middle College, 6:30 p.m.
No. 1 Health Sciences (13-3) and No. 7 Middle College (9-4) meet at City Honors in a battle of top small schools.
The Falcons are hoping this nonleague matchup goes better than their 77-61 loss at No. 4 large school Bishop Timon-St. Jude, where they were down by 26 heading into the fourth quarter. Tyron Lott and Wize Threat each scored a team-high 14 points, while Davonte Gaines had 11. This will be the last nonleague tune-up for sectionals before three more Charter Cup games close out the regular season.
The Kats rebounded from a 14-point loss at McKinley, its first in Yale Cup I play, with a 14-point league win at Burgard. Middle College was still without junior guard Nader Ngoopas Kompany, who's battling an injury from the MLK Classic two weeks ago. Senior Shawn Goree led the team with 13 points, while juniors Hakeem Dobbins and Aziyon Clemons each added 10.
3. Boys hockey - Clarence vs. Williamsville East, 8:30 p.m.
Clarence (5-5-1) and Williamsville East (5-6) battle it out for first place in Division 2 on the Northtown Center Olympic Rink Thursday night.
The Flames stayed behind Clarence by one point with their 3-2 loss against Orchard Park yesterday. East battled back to tie things up at 1-1 and 2-2 but the Quakers scored the game-winner with 3:10 left in regulation. Matt Steffan extended his Federation-leading point total to 29 with an assist against OP.
The Red Devils have been off since a 4-1 win against Kenmore East on Sunday. Nick Messuro and Brett Naylor lead the team with seven points each. Matthew Binkowski is 3-3-1 in his seven appearances this season, but has a 1.83 goals against average.
4. Boys hockey - Lancaster vs. Williamsville North, 6:30 p.m.
Preceding the above game on the same rink is this Division 1 matchup between Lancaster (5-4-1) and Williamsville North (9-3).
The Spartans look to avenge their season-opening 4-2 loss to the Legends from Dec. 3. Their other two losses came against Catholic schools St. Joe's and, most recently, Canisius on Sunday. Brett Sardina is tied for first in the division with 10 goals and is tied for second with 17 points. Netminder Jake Zurat is among the Fed leaders with a 1.64 GAA.
The Legends currently sit three points behind Canisius in last place in the standings but have three games in hand. They can potentially pull within one point of the Crusaders, who Lancaster already beat, 2-1. Shawn Kross leads the team with 12 points. Mike Shaver has a team-high seven goals and Jeff Coons a team-high eight assists. Justin Stotz has a 1.75 GAA in eight games played this season.
5. Girls basketball - Cleveland Hill at Tonawanda, 7 p.m.
No. 10 small school Cleveland Hill (11-2, 8-1) looks to stay atop the ECIC IV standings when it heads to division foe Tonawanda (9-5, 6-2) in the top girls basketball game of the day. The Eagles won their home contest with the Warriors, 40-25, back on Dec. 16.
Cleve Hill is currently on an eight-game winning streak after its lone league loss to Holland. That span includes a 43-42 win over Chautauqua Lake, which looks more impressive now that the Thunderbirds knocked off No. 7 large school Olean last night, 54-45. The Eagles host Holland next Tuesday. Senior Sydney Turley averages a double-double with 21.5 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. Classmate Jayla James averages 12 ppg.
The Warriors are playing their best ball of the season having won their last four in a row since a 31-29 league loss to Springville. Senior Haley Schoelerman, at 6-foot-1, has been a big presence inside averaging 12.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.3 blocks per game. Alicia Farrell, a 6-foot senior, averages 7.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
- Boys basketball: Niagara Falls at Kenmore West, 6:30 p.m.
- Boys basketball: Frewsburg at Sherman, 7:30 p.m.
- Girls basketball: Ellicottville at Randolph, 7:30 p.m.
- Boys hockey: St. Francis vs. St. Joe's, 9 p.m. at Northtown Center
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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- As always, we'll monitor today's action in our #PrepTalkLive post