(January 29, 2006) — It's just about a
given that the greater Rochester area will never become another New York
City, when it comes to high school basketball talent pools.
Still, this area and other parts of upstate
New York are home to some of the state's top teams.
Fairport, East High and Palmyra-Macedon get another chance to show they
deserve their positions in the state rankings today.
All three top-15 teams will play in
McQuaid's Image Capital Shootout, a high school boys basketball showcase
that includes five games at Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Memorial.
Palmyra-Macedon (12-2), the reigning Class
B public school state champion, owns the highest ranking among Section V
The Red Raiders are two slots behind No. 1 Lackawanna (12-0), which they tip
off against at noon. This is the third meeting between Lackawanna and
Palmyra-Macedon in less than a year.
Their state tournament quarterfinal matchup
last season at the War Memorial was no contest. Palmyra-Macedon romped to a
61-34 win, despite foul trouble for All-Greater Rochester guard Anthony
Hall. While the Red Raiders returned this season with largely the same
lineup, the Steelers had a new look and edged Palmyra-Macedon, 66-63, Dec.
30 at Lackawanna.
LeSean Braxton, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound
senior, scored 17 points to lead Lackawanna.
The Red Raiders count not only on the hot hand of Hall, but also 6-foot-8
junior Chris Milke. Milke has had statistical double-doubles in four of the
team's last five games. Friday against Midlakes he scored 14 points with 15
rebounds and 10 blocks in a 48-35 victory, while Hall, who's averaging 25
points a game, was held to eight.
Fairport (11-1) needs a win over McQuaid
(6-7) at 4 p.m. to keep its No. 5 state ranking among Class AA teams.
While the Red Raiders maintain their commitment to defense, they still have
three players who score in double figures: point guard Cory McAdam (15.8
points per game), 6-8 senior Cory Magee (15.7) and Kelly Condello (10.0).
East's matchup is at 2 p.m. against
unbeaten Jamestown (13-0), state-ranked 13th in Class AA, three spots ahead
of the Orientals (12-3).
Senior guard Keion Mitchem, who has scored 40 or more points twice this
season, is East's leading scorer at 25 points a game. The Orientals are an
even stronger team if 6-9 junior Jazzmin Hoffman or 6-8 senior Chad Bell are
playing well and stay away from foul trouble.
Jamestown's scoring is a bit more spread
out, as it's a team that thrives on chemistry. Four of its five starters
score 10 or more points a game, including 6-foot senior Francisco Lantigua
(15.8 ppg/8.5 rpg). Mike Maisto (14.5 ppg/6.5 rpg), a 6-4 senior, is the
team's tallest starter.
Finney (14-1), which has scored 100 points
twice this season, is off to its best start. The Falcons would be a No. 1
seed if Section V's Class DD Tournament began today and can earn more points
with a win over Class B Greece Oydssey (4-7). Senior guard Andy Marchand is
Finney's leading scorer.
The Shootout's final matchup is between
Class AA state champion Niagara Falls (11-2), state-ranked eighth, and
Syracuse Henninger (11-4), with 6-foot-11 sophomore center Ben Cronin.
Syracuse University basketball fans can get
a look at Niagara Falls junior guard Johnny Flynn, who has given a verbal
commitment to play for the Orange.