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December 28, 2016 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lion's Tournament, basketball, sports, batavia, Notre Dame.

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Batavia and Notre Dame will meeting in the Lions Tournament final on Thursday at Genesee Community College after the Fighting Irish knocked of Roy-Hart 47-41 and the Blue Devils topped Albion 60-43.

For the Irish, Nico Zambito scored 14, including a pair of threes, Ryan Moffat had 13 points, including three triples, and Anthony Gugino hit a pair of threes for six total points.

In the nightcap, Tee Sean Ayala dropped seven three-point shots for 21 points on the night and Antwan Odom added 16 points.  

For Albion, Lamar Chambers had 19 points.

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December 27, 2016 - 4:53pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Several bowlers cracked the 700 mark at area bowling centers during the week of Dec. 19.

To see who was hot on the lanes, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

December 23, 2016 - 8:15pm
posted by Rick Franclemont in sports, alexander, basketball, byron-bergen.

Alexander Boys Varsity took down Byron-Bergen 53 to 40.


Standout sophmore Chris McClinic led Alexander with 21 points, three rebounds, three assists, and four steals.

Adding points for Alexander with strong games:

Matt Genaway -- 12 points, five rebounds
Erik Scharlau -- nine points, 10 rebounds, six blocks
Dustin Schmieder -- nine points

Leading Byron Bergen:
Brandon Burke -- 16 points, seven rebounds
Colin Noeth -- 11 points, eight rebounds


Alexander Coach Josh Bender said "I thought tonight my guys played great disciplined defense. These guys stepped up to the challenge and it was a great team win for us. We are starting to hit our stride and will look to continue to keep improving."

Current records:

Alexander 3-3 overall
Byron-Bergen 3-3 overall

More pictures from this game and other Alexander Varsity games can be found http://francletography.photoshelter.com/gallery-collection/Basketball/C0000f.aPItX_A7o

December 23, 2016 - 6:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Batavia HS, batavia, football, soccer.

Batavia running back and linebacker Ray Leach is the only sophomore to be named to the All Greater Rochester First Team in football.

Leach finished the season with 1,888 yards rushing. He scored 28 touchdowns. He made 62 tackles as a linebacker.

Leach isn't alone on the first team. Also named from Batavia Anthony Ray, a junior, who was Section V Class B Defensive Player of the Year and has been on all three of Batavia's Section V championship teams. He made 82 tackles and nine sacks.

Named to the second team was quarterback Jerry Reinhart.

The other top honor for a Genesee County athlete went to Maggie Cecere, Batavia, who was named to second team in girls soccer.

December 22, 2016 - 9:59am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

On Saturday (Dec. 17), the curtain came down on the 70th anniversary season of racing at Batavia Downs. America’s oldest lighted harness track’s meet that began on Monday (July 25), ran two days longer than originally scheduled after racing was extended for an extra weekend.

As usual, the stake season was highlighted by eight divisions of the New York Sire Stake series, which featured the best state bred horses and Grand Circuit horsemen. The series featured visits from the likes of John Campbell and Andy Miller and produced two new track records.

On Saturday (Sept. 3) Pointomygranson (Marcus Miller) toured the facility in 1:53.2 and set a new standard for 2-year-old pacing geldings and on Wednesday (Sept. 14) Zack’s Zoomer (Marcus Miller) trotted a mile in 1:58.1 and established a new track record for 2-year-old trotting colts.

Racing under saddle (RUS) made its debut at the Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 7) and that produced a new track record as well. Admirable Hanover who was ridden by Vanessa Karlewicz won the $4,000 event in 2:03.4.

On Saturday (Oct. 9), Batavia Downs signature stake, the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial trot saw the $7 million man, Foiled Again (Kevin Cummings) come from well off the pace to win by a length in 1:52.2 on the strength of an exciting stretch drive at 9-1. That win marked the 90th trip to the winner’s circle for the richest standardbred in the history of the sport.

For the first time ever, Batavia Downs offered a new claiming series that ran throughout the whole meet. Claimers of both gaits accrued points month to month in order to make finals worth between $15,000 and $20,000. On Saturday (Nov. 13) trotters Love U Forever and Chrome Finish, and pacers Outoftexas, War Front, Vals Jett, Big Unit and Can U Be Fun won the finals in their respective divisions.

In September, Batavia Downs hosted a new owners' seminar in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association and the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State. Twenty-six people took part in the workshop that took them from the classroom to the paddock and provided them with everything they needed to learn in order to make informed decisions about standardbred ownership.

On the track, one of the best driving colonies in some time put on quite a show. Perennial local favorite Jim Morrill Jr. put in another stellar effort that was highlighted by a seven-win night, two six-win nights and four five-win nights.

But it was 22-year-old Drew Monti who eventually won the dash driving title with 116 wins for the meet. Monti also registered a seven-win night and two five-win efforts as well. It was the first ever driving title won by Monti.

Jim Morrill Jr. did set a new single meet earnings record at the Downs after he banked $849,024 in purses from July to December.

JD Perrin “three-peated” his training crown, finishing first again this year with 47 wins. Perrin’s meet started off strong before many of his horses fell ill. But after a trying middle stretch, the stable got back on track over the last month and Perrin was able to defend his title again.

The winningest post position was post one with 231 wins followed by post two (151), post four (138) and post three (126). Post one also made the board 63 percent of the time.

Also, the favorites won the race 46 percent of the time during the course of the meet.

“We had a very exciting year at Batavia Downs this year. The product on the track was very competitive and having drivers like Jim Morrill Jr., Drew Monti, Shawn Gray and newcomer Larry Stalbaum joining the fray, the competition was fierce every night” said Todd Haight, GM/Director of Live Racing. “Despite our handle being down 5 percent for the meet, we paid out a record $5.9 million in purse money and we look forward to doing that again next year.”

Pending approval from the New York State Gaming Commission, the 2017 live racing meet at Batavia Downs will start on Wednesday (July 26).  

The management and horsemen of Batavia Downs would like to wish everyone in the industry a very happy Holiday Season and the best of luck in the upcoming new year. 

December 22, 2016 - 7:52am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

WALTER RAY WILLIAMS JR., the all-time leader in victories on the Professional Bowlers Association national tour, reached another milestone last week at the PBA/PBA50/PBA60 Decker Appraisal Services Baker Trios tournament in Harrisonburg, Va.

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“Deadeye,” as he is known by virtue of his bowling and horseshoe pitching skill, combined with Dennis Lane and Dick Allen to win the trios event for his 100th overall PBA title.

Some of you may remember that Walter Ray put on a bowling and horseshoe pitching exhibition at Mancuso Bowling Center (then Mancuso Lanes) about 30 years ago at the invitation of Mike DiMartino. It was quite a show as Williams, a nine-time World Champion horseshoe pitcher, and DiMartino, at least a nine-time NYS horseshoe pitching champion, tossed ringer after ringer on portable pits set up in the parking lot outside the bowling center's east entrance.

Williams' latest bowling title is his 10th as a PBA50 Regional competitor. He also has 47 wins on the regular PBA Tour, 32 PBA Regional crowns and 11 PBA50 Tour titles.

Fellow Hall of Famer Pete Weber has 99 combined Tour titles.

In other PBA news:

-- Mike Wolfe of New Albany, Ind., won his first PBA Tour title in eight years, defeating Darren Tang of San Francisco, 279-143, in the finals of the Cheetah Championship that was televised on Sunday on ESPN.

The win added $20,000 to Wolfe’s bank account, while Tang, a 21-year-old rookie, pocketed $10,000.

-- The finals of three more “animal pattern” tournaments from last month’s World Series of Bowling will be televised this weekend on ESPN – the Chameleon Championship at 1 p.m. Saturday, and a Christmas Day doubleheader on Sunday featuring the Scorpion Championship at 2:30 p.m. and the Shark Championship at 3:30 p.m.

-- Last month, I cast my vote for three people on the ballot for the PBA Hall of Fame and I am glad to announce that all three – Bryan Goebel, Steve Hoskins and Mike Scroggins – have been elected for superior performance.

All three were forces on the PBA Tour in the 1980s, ‘90s and 2000s. Goebel and Hoskins are 10-time champions with major tournament titles, and Scroggins has eight titles including the USBC Masters and U.S. Open.

Induction ceremonies will take place on Feb. 13 at Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Shawnee, Okla.

GRAVANDA’S ‘BEAT THE CHAMP’ APPEARANCE IS SATURDAY

Fans of the “Beat The Champ” bowling show on WBBZ-TV (MeTV) were able to watch Batavian Rich Wagner win two matches before losing his third match on Dec. 10 – earning $250 for his efforts – and now will have the opportunity to see another Batavia resident this Saturday at 4 p.m. (with a repeat showing at 11 p.m. Sunday).

Fred Gravanda will take on current champion John Danielwicz of Sanborn in the first match. The winner will go up against Paul Tatone of St. Catharines, Ontario, and the winner of that match will take on Szczublewski of West Seneca.

The fourth and final show from Mancuso Bowling Center (taping took place on Nov. 30) will be televised on Dec. 31. It will be a mixed doubles event featuring four teams of Genesee Region bowlers – Rich and Jen Wagner, Chris and Jenn Bardol, Frank Jarkiewicz and Laurie Morgante, and Mark and Penny Brown.

GRAY SR. CASHES AT 60-AND-OVER EVENT IN ROCHESTER

Three days after undergoing surgery on his left thumb, Kevin Gray Sr. of Honeoye Falls was back on the lanes and found a measure of success at the 60-and-Over Tournament Bowlers Club event at Bowl-A-Roll Lanes in Rochester.

The 63-year-old right-hander, wearing a cast on his left hand, placed fourth out of 46 bowlers, just missing the three-bowler finals by a few pins.  Still, he won $125.

Gravanda and Joe Trigilio of Attica also cashed in the tournament by advancing to the top 12.

BATAVIA YOUTH BOWLERS EARN SCHOLARSHIPS

The team of Tyler Roth, Lily Martin, Jonah Martin and Brock Bigsby captured top honors at the third annual Genesee Region USBC Youth Baker Team tournament at Scopano’s Lanes on Dec. 10.

The Batavia team won $400 in the form of $100 scholarships each for their efforts. Another Batavia squad of Corinne Saluste, Tara Clattenburg, Zach Wester and Skylar Laesser finished in second place, splitting $120 in scholarship money.

Another GRUSBC youth tournament – Adult-Junior Doubles -- is scheduled for Jan. 14-15 at Medina Lanes. For an entry form, go to www.bowlgr.com.

FOUR LOCAL TOURNAMENTS SET FOR JANUARY

Medina Lanes will host two Genesee Region USBC tournaments in January, a month that also will feature a three-person no-tap event at Oak Orchard Lanes in Albion and the annual scratch singles tourney at Mount Morris Lanes.

-- Jan. 7, Scott Whittier Memorial 3-Person Handicap No-Tap, Oak Orchard Bowl. This is the fifth year of the tournament that benefits the Scott Whittier Scholarship Foundation. First prize is $600 and the entry fee is $60 per team. Squad times are 1, 3 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. To enter, call 585-589-6900.

-- Jan. 7-8, GRUSBC Scratch Memorial, Medina Lanes.  A $1,000 first prize (based on 80 entries) awaits the winner of the scratch singles event, which lists squad times at 1 and 4 p.m. on Jan. 7 and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Jan. 8.  Qualifying will be bowled on a 47-foot oil pattern and the finals will be contested on a 38-foot oil pattern. Entry fee is $55.  To enter, call 585-861-0404 or send an email to [email protected].

-- Jan. 13-15, Mount Morris Pepsi Open, Mount Morris Lanes.  First place is a guaranteed $1,500 and one out of five will cash. Qualifying (four games) dates and times are 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 13, 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 14, and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Jan. 15. Entry fee is $70 and the re-entry fee is $50. To enter, call 585-658-2540.

-- Jan. 14-15, GRUSBC Adult-Junior Doubles, Medina Lanes.  Squad times are noon, 3 and 6 p.m. on Jan. 14 and noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 15 for the handicap tournament, which lists two divisions – 12 & under and 13 & over.  Entry fee is $30 per team. Youth winnings will be in the form of scholarships; adult winnings will in the form of checks mailed from the GRUSBC office. To enter, call 585-284-2637 or send an email to [email protected].

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As 2016 draws to a close, I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, and Lisa Ace, his graphic artist, as well as all the businesses who advertise on this page for supporting the Pin Points column that reaches out to bowlers and bowling fans in the GLOW region.

Bowling continues to be a popular organized sport in our area (as well as the nation and world) and I count it a privilege to be able to share bowlers’ accomplishments and information about the sport on The Batavian, the area’s No. 1 source of online news.

We’ll be back with the first column of 2017 on Jan. 5.  Until then, have a Blessed and Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

(Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column appears every other Thursday on The Batavian. To advertise on this page or to suggest story ideas, contact Mike at [email protected]).

December 22, 2016 - 7:50am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

Bob Hodgson of Medina notched his second 800 series of the season while Scott Noble of Perry recorded his first United States Bowling Congress-certified 300 game in recent Genesee Region USBC league competition.

Hodgson, 69, a retired sixth-grade teacher for Medina Central School, rolled 279-279-258—816 in the Wednesday Community League at Medina Lanes on Dec. 7.

On Nov. 9, he posted 810, and this past January, he had two 300 games in the Thursday Firefighters League at Medina Lanes.

When it was mentioned to him that he’s on quite a roll, Hodgson said, “It’s been hot and cold. Some nights I’ve had it and some not so good.”

The right-hander said his new ball, the Storm Optimus, has worked very well on the center’s new synthetic lanes.

“I have to play a little wider because the lanes seem to hold the oil better,” Hodgson said. “They don’t dry out as quickly and the oil is longer. It’s easier to pick the 10-pins.”

That’s all Hodgson left in the first two games on lanes 17-18 – rolling nine straight strikes in each before leaving a 10-pin.  He struck on the final ball of each game for back-to-back 279s, and then added nine more strikes in the third game for 258.

He bowls on a team with his wife, Merry; daughter, Tricia, and son, Tim.

“It’s great bowling with the family, especially for Tim, who has Down syndrome,” Hodgson said. “He loves to bowl and he has a 145 average.”

Hodgson holds a 213 average in the Wednesday league. He now has seven 800 series and 10 perfect games.

At Perry Bowling Center, Noble shook off the effects of a mishap at work earlier in the day to roll 300-247-193—734 on lanes 7-8 on Dec. 8 in the Thursday Night League.

“I tire blew up on me and it kind of took the wind out of me,” said Noble, a 32-year-old righty who works for Sedam Tires in Perry. “I was pretty sore later on.”

Despite the accident and the fact that he didn’t get lined up in practice, Noble started with the first 18 strikes before breaking off in the middle of the second game.

“During practice, I couldn’t find anything … the ball wasn’t moving,” he said. “So I decided to throw a totally different shot than I normally throw.”

Noble said he moved back a foot on the approach and moved about eight boards to the right.

“I ended up shooting down the 10-board (second arrow),” said Noble, who used a year-old Hammer Dark Legend. “I usually don’t play that straight.”

He said he will be ordering a ring from USBC, which awards certified bowlers for their first 300 game or 800 series. 

In action at Mancuso Bowling Center, left-hander Rich Wagner (coming off a successful appearance on the "Beat The Champ" TV show) gave himself an early Christmas and birthday present – he will be 34 on Christmas Day – with a 300 game en route to a 781 series in the North Pole Restaurant/Family Affair Boat Repair Thursday night league on Dec. 8.

Jim Dommer of Batavia just missed perfection as he shot 299 in the first game of that night.

Honorable mention goes to Michele Larson of Batavia, who rolled 246-236-215—697 on Dec. 14 in the Wednesday Night Ladies League at Mancuso’s, and to Bobby Donovan, who recorded a 735 series (his first 700) in the Thursday Owls League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen on Dec. 8.

December 17, 2016 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in mma, sports, Mixed Martial Arts, batavia, news, Ground Force Fights.

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It's only been a few months since it became legal to hold mixed martial arts events in New York, and one of the first such events in the state drew a sellout crowd in Batavia tonight at the Quality Inn and Suites.

Le Roy resident Richard Mitchell, owner of Ground Force Fights and himself a former professional MMA fighter, was the event's promoter.

First three photos, Mark Murry vs. John Gearhart. Murray won at 1:30 in the first round due to strikes.

In the dual main events, Morgan Cavanaugh vs, Eddie Ortiz Junior. Ortiz won at 1:55 in round 1.  Tom Shelby beat Nick Phelps at 1:55 in round 1.

Previously: Local promoter bringing one of the state's first MMA events to Batavia

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Two photos above, Sean Keough vs. Yuri Panferov. Panferov won at 1:15 in round 1 after a verbal tapout by Keough. 

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December 17, 2016 - 10:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs:

Shady City stuck to script with a strong come from behind effort to win the $9,500 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 17).

Foreign Officer (Shawn Gray) shot out for the lead quickly and gained that position without any opposition. Once there, he led the group in single file to the half in :57.2. When the race advanced past five-eighths, Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) pulled first up and brought Warrawee Qually (Kevin Cummings) with him as they proceeded to advance toward the leader.

Those positions remained unchanged around the far turn, but at the head of the stretch, Shady City put on another of his furious closing brushes. He went by the fading Foreign Officer, as well as Western Expression (Mike Whelan) who had tripped-out and snuck up the rail, to win by a head in 1:54.4.

It was the sixth win of the year for Shady City ($4.10) who has now earned $68,332 for 2016. The 6-year-old gelded son of Metropolitan is owned by his driver, Larry Stalbaum and is trained by Kim Asher.

In the $9,000 co-featured Open II pace, Rock The Dream (Ray Fisher Jr.) came from last at the half to go three-wide at three-quarters and win a narrow decision over Private Equity (Todd Cummings) in 1:55.1. It was the fourth win in five starts for Rock The Dream ($7.90) who is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by the Downs leading trainer, JD Perrin.

Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving grand slam while Larry Stalbaum got the hat trick and Shawn Gray doubled up. Trainer Kim Asher also had three wins on the night followed by JD Perrin with two.

As the 2016 meet came to a close, the leading driver and trainer were welcomed in front of the grandstand and presented with their winning hardware. Drew Monti was the leading dash driver with 116 wins and trainer JD Perrin was the top conditioner for the third straight year at the Batavia summer/fall meet with 47 wins.

December 17, 2016 - 7:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Batavia HS, news, batavia.

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The Evens beat the Odds 98-92 today in the annual Batavia High School boys basketball alumni game. 

Batavia's head coach, Buddy Brasky, said the oldest player on the floor today was from the Class of 1998 and there were players who graduated as recently as last year participating.

Brasky said it's just a good time for the players and coaches and fans. Afterward, they all go out for beer and pizza.  

The game was played at John Kennedy School.

The after-game photo at the bottom was posted by Brasky on Twitter.

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December 17, 2016 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, basketball, sports, news.

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Antwan Odom had 17 points and TeeSean Ayala scored 13, including three three-pointers, to help the Batavia Blue Devils beat Honeoye Falls-Lima 55- 39 in Batavia's home opener.

Batavia is now 2-1 on the season.

Mason McFollins added eight points.

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December 14, 2016 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, pembroke, basketball, sports.

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Pembroke beat Byron-Bergen in a home game for the Bees last night, 55-46.

Olivia Kohurst scored 14 points for the Lady Dragons, with six coming off a pair of three-pointers. Mackenzie Jurek had 11 and Mackenzie Johnson, who also had a pair of three-point buckets, had 10.

For Byron-Bergen, Karson Richenberg had 11 points, Dana VanValkenberg, nine, Jenna Amesburg, nine, Hailey Hubbard, eight, and Kelsey Fuller, seven. VanValkenberg and Amesburg each hit three-point shots.

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December 12, 2016 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Shooting for a Cure, pembroke, basketball, sports.

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Press release:

During the last five seasons, The Pembroke High School Girls’ Basketball Team has focused on winning—not just league games, but the battle against breast cancer.  It’s a cause that is personal to the team and their school district because of the number of faculty and family members who have been affected by the disease.  Yet according to Senior Captain, Shelby Turner, this year’s fundraiser (7pm, Thursday, January 12th vs. Notre Dame) is particularly important as it marks the final season this group of four seniors will be able to play in the event.

“I was only in 7th grade when the first varsity team came up with the idea to host the first Shooting For A Cure! game in support of Toni Funke’s battle with breast cancer,” Turner said.  The team spent that season seeking support from the community and local businesses in hopes of funding research efforts at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in honor of Mrs. Funke.  “Although I was a young player on the modified team it was amazing to see our community come together the way they did in support of her,” Turner stated. “This fundraiser means so much to our team because it gives us an opportunity to give back to the community, especially those battling cancer. This game is our identity and we take tremendous pride in that,” Turner said.

The 2017 Shooting For A Cure! donors list numbers more than 65 merchants and individuals such as ADPRO Sports, AdWorks, the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bandits, Buffalo Bisons, Carly’s Club, Chef’s, Chestnut Hill Country Club, Darien Lake, Fava Brothers Lawn Care, Insty-Prints, Maple Ridge Landscaping, M&T Bank, NFL Films, Original Pizza Logs, Party City, Perry’s Ice Cream, Target, Tops, Save-A-Lot and the YMCA to name a few.  Many of the product donations will become game night auction baskets and raffle prizes. Monies will also be raised from apparel sales and food sales with the generous support of local pizzerias and vending companies.  Additionally, online donations are being accepted at the team’s online fundraising site: (https://www.crowdrise.com/shooting4acure).

The team hopes Shooting For A Cure! will continue its tradition of topping the previous years’ fundraising total.  According to team member Sammi Tatarski, the event succeeds because of the format. “All of the money raised that evening goes directly to support cancer research at Roswell Park,” Tatarski said. “Playing for this team is not just about basketball, it’s about giving back to the community and showing our support for those in need any way we can.”  Tatarski added, “This game is personal to me because in 2013 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Seeing what she went through was difficult and no one wants to see a family member go through that. It inspired me to want to do whatever I could to help find a cure for this disease.  That 2013 season I was just a young kid on the JV team.  This game has had a special meaning to me ever since that day and I truly believe in what it stands for.”

Roswell Park has officially sanctioned Shooting For A Cure! as a Team Cure fundraiser and as a valuable example of the way that young people can make a difference. “We continue to be impressed by the Pembroke Girls’ Basketball Team each season. They push themselves, not only on the court, but off the court as well going above and beyond for the benefit of others.  It’s inspirational to have a group of teens who are so passionate about raising funds for cancer research at Roswell Park.  These girls continue to demonstrate an incredible amount of compassion,” said Julia Harvey, Team Cure coordinator.  “This team is special and their community is amazing.  Although the players may change each season, Shooting For A Cure! has remained constant, with the girls leading the charge, for five consecutive seasons,” Harvey added.  “To think that they’ve has raised over $40,000 in five seasons with this game is a testament to benevolence of these girls and the entire Pembroke community.” 

December 12, 2016 - 9:09am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

RENO, Nev., DEC. 12, 2016 – E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind., one of the Professional Bowlers Association’s rising young stars, defeated veteran Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., 246-180, to win the PBA World Championship Sunday at the National Bowling Stadium.

Tackett, PBA’s 2013 Rookie of the Year, won his first major championship and his fourth title of the 2016 season with a closing string of six strikes after Smallwood lost his strike line on the left lane and suffered two open frames late in the match. Tackett, the top qualifier for the World Championship for the second year in a row, earned $60,000 along with his fifth career title.

“It was the greatest feeling in the world to have my dad here to watch,” Tackett said after a tearful embrace with his father, Ed Tackett.

“It was great to bowl a good game to win,” Tackett said. “Tom gave me some breaks, which you’d never expect from him, but to throw the last six strikes, to be able to perform like that on a stage like this is what you dream about. It’s been a huge breakout year for me. I just hope I can keep riding the wave. I don’t expect to win every time, but I just want to bowl well.”

With his win, the 5-foot-7, 130-pound right hander, put himself into the thick of the PBA Player of the Year race.

“Player of the Year is one of those things you strive for,” the 24-year-old Tackett said. “Now it’s a matter of what my peers think. With the kind of year I’ve had, I’d put myself in the top five in the world. Where, I’m not sure, but I grew up watching Tiger Woods, and I want to be the Tiger Woods of bowling.”

Smallwood earned his berth in the title match with three consecutive wins, including a 266-235 victory over England’s Dom Barrett in the semifinal match. Smallwood, who became a hero among America’s working class in early 2010, started the match against Barrett with eight strikes before leaving the 3-6-10 in the ninth frame.

Smallwood’s legacy began during the recession of 2009 when he lost his job with GMC and decided to pursue his dream of bowling professionally. He earned an exemption to bowl on the PBA Tour during the 2009-10 season, but more importantly, won the 2010 PBA World Championship for his first title and a $50,000 prize.

Smallwood, with key strikes when he needed them, eliminated 19-year-old Anthony Simonsen, who failed to carry strikes at critical opportunities, in the first match, 204-193. Simonsen, a two-handed player from Austin, Texas, was trying to become the youngest player to win two major titles in the same season after winning the United States Bowling Congress Masters in February.

In the second match, Smallwood rebounded from an open second frame with a string of five strikes, building a lead Australia’s Jason Belmonte couldn’t overcome. Belmonte, the three-time reigning PBA Player of the Year, saw his hopes for his first title in 2016 die when he left the 3-4-6-7 split in the ninth frame and failed to convert, losing to Smallwood, 224-185.

The PBA World Championship was the final event of the 2016 PBA Tour season. PBA competition resumes January 10-14 when a field of 16 PBA stars will join 16 Japanese players in the DHC PBA Japan Invitational in Osaka.

 PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev., Sunday

Final Standings:

1, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., $60,000.

2, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., $30,000.

3, Dom Barrett, England, $25,000.

4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $20,000.

5, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, $15,000.

Stepladder Results:

Match One – Smallwood def. Simonsen, 204-193.

Match Two – Smallwood def. Belmonte, 224-185.

Semifinal Match – Smallwood def. Barrett, 266-235.

Championship – Tackett def. Smallwood, 246-180.

December 10, 2016 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.

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The Batavia Lady Devils picked up their first win of the season in their home opener on Friday night, beating Eastridge 54-36.

Ryann Stefaniak led all scorers with 14 points. Mackenzie Reigle hit three three-pointers on her way to an 11-point game and Taylor Stefaniak also scored 11.

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December 9, 2016 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, pembroke, alexander.

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Pembroke pulled out a tight 44-42 win Thursday night over Alexander at Alexander.

Ried Miano scored 14 points for the Dragons. Ryan Carsdale scored 12 and Lucas Kohurst added 10.

For Alexander, Eric Scharlau scored eight and Brian George added six.

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December 9, 2016 - 8:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, sports, soccer.

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Batavia's Maggie Cecere has been named to the First Team, All-State Class A girls soccer team for 2016.

Of the 11 girls named to the team, only two were from Section V.

Cecere has committed to Kutztown University where she will be a pre-med major and play for the Golden Bears, a team coming off its most successful season in program history, making it to the final four of the Division II NCAA playoffs. The team will be ranked #4 to start the 2017 season.

Her sister, Samantha, just completed her first college season as goalie for Wilkes University. She is a pre-pharmacy major.

Photo courtesy of Steve Ognibene.

December 8, 2016 - 7:53am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

The honor score list in the Genesee Region USBC this season continues to grow at a rapid pace as five more bowlers posted 300 games over the past couple weeks, with one of them making it a “daily double” by recording an 800 series as well.

Matt Slocum of Perry shot his eighth USBC-certified perfect game in the middle of a 267-300-248—815 effort on Nov. 21 in the Monday Napa 400 League at Perry Bowling Center.

The big 31-year-old right-hander, nicknamed Strapper, said he took a five-year-old Roto-Grip Nomad Dagger out of the closet recently and, despite it having “3,500 games on it,” as he said, crushed the 1-3 pocket on lanes 3-4.

He said he wasn’t trying to add up his score but knew he was approaching 800. When he struck on the first ball in the 10th frame the honor score was secure.  His high series is 836.

An officer at Groveland Correction Facility in Sonyea, Slocum bowls on a team with his cousin, Ryan Smith; Brian and Brady Weber, and Don Parrott.

Slocum has enjoyed much tournament success over the years, but said he’s now devoting more time to teaching his stepdaughter, Allie Faryna, the finer points of the sport, and is excited to see his 4-year-old son, Gavin, stepping onto the lanes.

Nathan Wright of Batavia credited his parents for encouraging him to play sports in high school after rolling his second 300 game while substituting in the Realty USA/No Finer Diner Doubles League at Mancuso Bowling Center on Monday (Dec. 5).

The 27-year-old Wright, a 6-foot, 300-pound muscular NYS corrections officer, started with the 300 game on lanes 9-10, and finished with 247 and 202 for a 749 series. Last year, he had his other 300 in the same league.

A league bowler for only the past five years (he’s a regular in the Antique World Tuesday night league at Mancuso’s), Wright said he sees the game as an extension of a commitment to athletics that began while a student at Pembroke Central School.

“I was in wrestling, football, baseball and track (at Pembroke),” he said. “I’m thankful that my parents pushed me to stay in sports. They said I would stay out of trouble … and keep me off the streets. As it turned out, if I would have had any misdemeanors on my record, I wouldn't have been able to work for the State.”

Wright throws a high-revving ball, without placing his thumb into the hole, with a smooth delivery. Fellow bowler John Gerace rewarded him – and the other 16 members of the league -- by purchasing cheesy bread after the perfect game.

Thomas Friedl of Fillmore, better known as T.J., said the first-time experience of bowling a 300 “is just surreal” when talking about his perfect game on Nov. 27 in the Sunday Night Mixed A League at Letchworth Pines in Portageville.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” said the 37-year-old righty, a third shift supervisor at Morton Salt in Silver Springs. “Everything just came together.”

Friedl admitted he was a “little nervous” entering the 10th frame of the third game on lanes 5-6, following games of 206 and 266.  He finished with the last seven strikes in the second game, giving him 16 in a row going into the final frame.

“I buried the first ball. The second ball was a bit wide, but came back (to strike). I thought I was going to leave the 10-pin,” he said.

His last delivery was solid in the 1-3 pocket and minutes later he was filling out the application to receive his ring from the United States Bowling Congress.

Friedl, who averages around 200, also has a 299 game to his credit. The 772 is his high series. He’s the patriarch of a bowling family that includes his wife, Erica, and daughters, Sage, 12, and Summer, 9.

Rob Sease of Brockport added to his lengthy list of honor scores with a 300 game while substituting in G&W Vending League at Rose Garden Bowl on Nov. 29.  The 38-year-old right finished with a 740 series.

Sease, who now has about a dozen perfect games to go with a handful of 800 sets, also had a 290 game in the same league on Oct. 18.

Jeff Baes of Gasport rolled his second 300 game of the season on Nov. 23 in the Wednesday Community League at Medina Lanes.  His first one came on Sept. 14.

His games were 203-256-300 for a 759 series, raising his average to 214.

Unofficially, there have been 16 perfect games and 11 800 series so far this season in the GRUSBC.

December 8, 2016 - 7:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, basketball, sports, elba, news.

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In their first meeting of the season, Notre Dame prevailed Wednesday night at home over archrival Elba, 43-34.

Margaret Sutherland led all scorers with 21 points and Calli McCulley added 16 for Notre Dame.

For the Lancers, Emily Reynolds scored 12 and Madison Howard scored 6.

It was the first win for new Head Coach Tom McCulley.

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December 7, 2016 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, Notre Dame.

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Three Lancers scored in double digits Monday night in the home opener for Elba against archrival Notre Dame, a game won by Elba, 72-34.

Tucker Bezon put up 19 points and Henry Pflaumer had 17 and Shane O'Halloran added 12. Pflaumer knocked down four three-point baskets.

For Notre Dame, Ryan Mukkat scored 11 points, anchored by a trio of three-point baskets.

Tonight, the Notre Dame girls host the Elba girls in their newly renovated gym. Game time is 7 p.m.

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