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 Monday
1. Boys basketball - McKinley at East, 4:30 p.m.
The Yale Cup I division has turned into a four-team race. Seeing as all four teams have only played two out of the six scheduled games against one another, the final three weeks of the regular season should be quite entertaining in the top Buffalo Public Schools league.
All four of those teams are in action tonight, with No. 8 large school McKinley (10-4, 6-2) and No. 7 small school East (9-5, 7-1) headlining Monday's top attractions.
The Macks seem like they have hit their stride following a 4-4 stretch in the middle of the season. After losing to South Park and splitting with Burgard, three straight wins against No. 10 large school Jamestown, Middle College and Hutch-Tech has brought McKinley a game back of the three 7-1 Yale Cup I leaders.
The Panthers have a 13-point win over South Park from three weeks ago and lost a three-point game at Middle College two weeks ago. Starting next Monday, East closes the regular season with consecutive games against Middle College, Burgard, McKinley and South Park. Junior Willard Anderson continues to lead Section VI in scoring averaging 29.4 points per game.
2. Boys basketball - Middle College at South Park, 6 p.m.
More like a 1A in today's today's morning announcements, No. 3 small school Middle College (10-4, 7-1) visits South Park (9-4, 7-1). The winner will either be tied for the Yale Cup I lead or a game ahead all by itself depending on the East-McKinley outcome.
The Kats have played against tough competition the past six games and have gone 4-2 in the process, even without key contributor Nader Ngoopos-Kompany at full strength or even in the lineup at all. The junior guard got hurt in a loss to Canisius six games ago and Middle College has beat Cleveland Heights (Ohio) and East, lost to McKinley and beat Burgard and former No. 1 small school Health Sciences since. Hakeem Dobbins, Shawn Goree, Aziyon Clemons and Derrick Bishop have all stepped up their games in the meantime.
The Sparks haven't received any votes in the polls the past few weeks, but don't underestimate them. They're the team that handed McKinley its first Yale Cup loss in two seasons. Senior Shakur Harris, who recently reached the 1,000-point plateau, has been one of the top scoring guards in the area averaging about 20 ppg. Junior Raymond Mushat's averaging about 15 ppg.
3. Girls basketball - Lancaster at Clarence, 7:30 p.m.
No. 7 large school Clarence (12-2, 7-1) hosts honorable mention large school Lancaster (8-5, 4-3) in the top girls hoops game on Monday's schedule. Clarence won a low-scoring 34-26 affair against Lancaster the first time these teams met.
The Red Devils are enjoying a solid season with wins against Sacred Heart and Depew and its losses against top five large schools Amherst and Frontier. The reason for that success has been the inside presence of Ella Rose Eckert and Carly Reynolds along with guard Lauren Cullinan. The rematch against Frontier next Thursday could be for the division title.
The Legends are currently third in the league behind Frontier (7-0) and Clarence. Lancaster plays Frontier on Friday and next Tuesday, so wins these next three games could put it right in the thick of the division race. Led by Molly Mahony, its top wins have come against ranked schools Cleveland Hill and Orchard Park.
4. Girls basketball - Sacred Heart at Mount St. Mary, 6:30 p.m.
No. 6 large school Sacred Heart (9-5, 4-0) heads to honorable mention large school Mount St. Mary (12-6) in a Monsignor Martin battle.
The Sharks sit one spot behind Frontier in the polls despite a big 64-56 win over the Falcons last Wednesday. The teams were tied at half, 32-32., before Sacred Heart opened up a six-point margin in the third quarter. Micaela Ryan had a career day with 34 points, 12 from beyond the arc, seven rebounds and no turnovers. Ryan's younger sister, Siobhan had 10 points and 10 assists, while Jennifer Grimm had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Thunder have already lost to the Sharks this year, but it was considered a nonleague contest. It was a close 51-44 game on Sacred Heart's home court. Now Mount St. Mary gets the Sharks at home, where Kelly Burns, Molly Meegan and company look to return the favor.
5. Boys basketball - Bishop Timon-St. Jude at St. Mary's of Lancaster, 7:30 p.m.
No. 6 large school Bishop Timon-St. Jude (9-4, 4-2) and No. 5 small school St. Mary's of Lancaster (11-4, 5-3) tip off in an interdivisional Monsignor Martin contest
The Tigers look to rebound from a 69-62 loss at St. Francis on Friday. Seniors Davion Warren and Joe Harrison have led Timon to wins over V-Bishop Kearney, Amherst, Canisius and Health Sciences so far this season. Its losses are nothing to be ashamed of. Park, Williamsville South and St. Francis are all ahead of the Tigers in the large schools poll, and Section V's University Prep is one of the top Class AA teams in the state.
The Lancers last Friday avenged an 80-58 loss at Cardinal O'Hara with an 83-70 home win. Juniors Christian Schablewski and Eric Brown combined for 49 of their points. Brown put on a clinic from the charity stripe going 10-10 in the fourth quarter, 12-12 in the second half and 14-14 for the game. St. Mary's other top wins this season came against Nichols, St. Joe's and rival Lancaster.
- Boys basketball: Lafayette at Olmsted, 6 p.m.
- Boys basketball: Nichols at Canisius, 6:30 p.m.
- Boys basketball: Salamanca at Randolph, 7:30 p.m.
- Boys hockey: Lancaster vs. St. Joe's, 8:30 p.m. at HarborCenter
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. 29): Dolan leads Williamsville South, plus much more
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- As always, we'll monitor today's action in our #PrepTalkLive post
- High school standings, polls and leaders in Tuesday's paper