Monday, February 12th
Clarence @ Lackawanna - 6:30 pm
Maryvale @ Niagara Wheatfield - 6:30 pm
Canisius @ St. Joe's - 7 pm
Tuesday, February 13th
East @ South Park - 6:30 pm
Niagara Catholic @ St. Mary's - 7 pm
Chautauqua Lake @ Southwestern - 7:30 pm
Maple Grove @ Dunkirk - 7:30 pm
Wednesday, February 14th
Lockport @ CSAT - 6:30 pm
North Tonawanda @ Grand Island - 6:30 pm
Kenmore West @ Kenmore East - 6:30 pm
Lake Shore @ Cheektowaga - 6:30 pm
Canisius @ St. Francis - 6:30 pm
Jamestown @ Williamsville North - 7:30 pm
Orchard Park @ Clarence - 7:30 pm
Sweet Home @ Williamsville South - 7:30 pm
JFK @ Depew - 7:30 pm
Gowanda @ Ellicottville - 7:30 pm
Thursday, February 15th
Newfane @ Wilson - 6 pm
Tapestry @ Maple Grove - 6:30 pm
Niagara Falls vs Lew-Port *at Niagara Wheatfield - 8 pm
Friday, February 16th
Timon @ St. Francis - 6:30 pm
Cheektowaga @ Williamsville North - 7:30 pm
Lackawanna @ Orchard Park - 7:30 pm
Saturday, February 17th
JFK @ City Honors - 11 am
Medina @ Orchard Park - 12:30 pm
* Game of the Week - Newfane @ Wilson on Thursday, February 15th
Coming off a week that featured a three-part series of 'Game of the Week' because the biggest dogs in WNY were lining up to take swings at one another, I'm looking to wrap up the regular season with a small town battle that has big implications. Insert Newfane at Wilson.
Over the years, these two have given gymnasiums packed from wall-to-wall deep in Northern Niagara County, some of the most exciting games a two-dollar ticket can offer. There have been several sold out games between the Panthers & Lakemen, and the gatherings between these two communities that are all too familiar with each other always result in creative parking spots, narrowed fire exits, and extra game supervision. It's a night the JV teams get a taste of a varsity atmosphere. It's what high school basketball is all about. It's the rivalry that spawned my love of high school basketball.
With no disrespect meant to any teams or remaining matchups this week, I'll boil down where I see the Niagara-Orleans League race heading into this game. Medina & Newfane are tied for first place with two losses apiece. Wilson has three losses and sits in second place. I think Medina wins its two remaining games and Newfane enters its final game at Wilson having kept pace with Medina and needing a win to force a tie for the league title. I don't think Wilson has a real shot at a share of the league title because I don't see Medina losing another game, but they could certainly play spoiler to Newfane! Ultimately, Thursday should be a chance for Newfane to earn a co-championship with Medina (even though its two losses came at the hands of Medina).
Newfane pounded Wilson in the first meeting this year, but I don't see the rematch as a foregone conclusion. Wilson is more than capable of beating the Panthers, just ask Medina. Both of Medina's losses came at the hands of Wilson. You can spin the first loss to the Lakemen any way you like, but Wilson's second win over the Mustangs just happened last Tuesday. Maybe a bad matchup for Medina. Or maybe Wilson is just that good when they're healthy and inspired to play. Thursday's game can't help but inspire the Lakemen to win. The Zipp Gym at Wilson is a big facility and a great place to see a game when it's packed, which it will be for this one. Wilson will have a rowdy crowd behind them, with a chance to devastate their rivals. And Medina, who the Lakemen put in this position, is sure to be there in force, passionately rooting on the Wilson squad that clipped them twice.
A long-standing rivalry game with league championship implications played in front of a full house to end the regular season. It's a light night on the overall hoops schedule in WNY, so maybe it will even draw some casual fans craving an excellent atmosphere and some passionate play on the hardwood. This game will have it, and it's a great way to conclude 'Game of the Week' for the 2018 season.