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March 8, 2016 - 5:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs.

(Written by Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs.)

Michael P. McDonald, of Batavia, NY, died peacefully Friday morning (Mar. 4, 2016) at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, after a lengthy illness. 

Mr. McDonald was born October 28, 1964 in Rochester; son of the late Paul McDonald and the late Barbara (Provenzano) Samberg.

Mr. McDonald graduated from the Aquinas Institute in 1982 and moved quickly into the family business. In 1984, he took over as the publicity director of Batavia Downs Racetrack, which was then owned by his mother Barbara Samberg (who was the first female Director of the USTA) and his Aunt Donna Warner, after the passing of their father Pat Provenzano, who founded the track in 1940.

For 14 years, Mr. McDonald publicized and organized the activities of the top names in the industry and managed many high level racing events held at Batavia Downs that included Grand Circuit races, New York Sire Stakes and a Breeders Crown in 1988.

When the track was eventually sold to Western Regional Off Track Betting (WROTB) in 1998, Mr. McDonald stayed on staff and became the facilities operations manager and inter-track wagering (ITW) manager and served in both capacities until 2006.

A member of Resurrection Parish in Batavia, Mr. McDonald was an avid sports fan (in particular of the Minnesota Vikings) and was very active in local youth sports. He was also very involved with his two sons and their activities. He enjoyed playing golf and participated in the local men's hockey league. He was a youth football coach, Little League baseball coach and a volunteer for Notre Dame High School football.

Mr. McDonald is survived by his stepfather Jim Samberg, of Webster; his pride and joy, sons Cam and Aaron McDonald, both of Batavia; loving sisters, Martha Smith, of Rochester, Margo Conheady, of Rochester, Meghan (Scott Boone) McDonald, of Scottsville, and dear brother, Mark (Jacquie) McDonald, of Atlanta; his former wife, Kelly McDonald, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

The McDonald family will be present from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday (Mar. 9) at the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel located at 4120 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Prayers will be recited at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday (Mar. 10) followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. celebrated by the Rev. Bill Donnelly at Resurrection Parish (St. Joseph's site). Memorials can be made in his honor to Notre Dame High School, 73 Union St., Batavia, NY 14020.

Please share your words of comfort with Mike's family at www.tomaszewskifh.com or for more information please call (585)343-7500.

March 6, 2016 - 11:57am
posted by Nick Sabato in sports, Batavia HS, batavia, basketball, news.

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Batavia is no stranger to Far West Regional games. The Blue Devils have been to a few under Head Coach Buddy Brasky, including a thriller against Olean in 2013 that saw Jeff Redband's game-winner find itself on a SportsCenter Top 10 on ESPN.

Not many imagined that Batavia would be playing in a Far West Regional game this year, but the Blue Devils were indeed there, taking on a Williamsville South squad that saw its season come to an end in that very game last year.

The Billies came in riding a 13-game winning streak and were seemingly a heavy favorite to win, but Batavia withstood everything its opponent had to throw at them, holding a one-point lead late in the game.

Williamsville South, like a championship team does, rose to the challenge as Jordan Buell knocked down a three-pointer with 10.2 seconds left to give his team a two-point lead.

Batavia had one more crack, and chose to get the ball to a fifth-year varsity player, Malachi Chenault -- the only holdover from the 2013 team -- but the ball was knocked away and Brasky felt his player was fouled.

The call was not made and Williamsville South escaped with a 53-51 lead, ending Batavia's season at Buffalo State College on Saturday night (March 5).

"Did he get thrown to the ground or didn't he?" said Brasky when asked about the play after the game.

Midway through the third quarter it didn't seem like the Blue Devils would even be in position to have such a call matter late in the game.

Leading by six at halftime, Williamsville South exploded out of the gates, using an 11-3 run -- capped by a one-handed dunk by Graham Dolan -- to take a 14-point lead. It seemed like the Billies were going to cruise to Glens Falls, but Batavia was not ready to go down without a fight.

The Blue Devils went on a 13-4 run to end the third quarter down by just five points...and then T Sean Ayala took over.

The sophomore went 0 for 7 in the first half, scored seven points in the third quarter and then went on to score 13 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter.

"It was just a matter of me feeling it," Ayala said. "I just told myself to come out and lead the team as best as I can because I'm the best shooter on the team."

Ayala would help lead Batavia all the way back and eventually they took a 51-50 lead on a Chenault free throw with 1:16 to play.

The Blue Devils had a chance to increase the lead but Chenault missed the front end of a one-and-one and Williamsville South grabbed the rebound.

The Billies were looking to use a play that had previously gotten star point guard Greg Dolan into the lane successfully, but Batavia closed it off, forcing them to kick it out and eventually it fell into the hands of Buell for the game-winner.

"We ran a play that had worked twice in a row for Greg to get in the lane and they guarded it very well," Williamsville South Head Coach Gabe Michael said. "But Jordan is always in that backside corner so it's hard to get over to him if we work the ball and Myles [Hall] did a nice job passing that shot up to get Jordan wide open."

It was just Buell's second basket of the game and Batavia was ultimately unsuccessful in tying or taking the lead on its last possession, regardless of the foul or non-foul call.

Hidden in the spoils of defeat was the fact that the Blue Devils battled back from a double-digit lead in the second half to eventually take the lead and put themselves in position to win the game late.

"In my 25 years coaching, in the fourth quarter, that's the most heart I've ever seen a team show," Brasky said.

Greg Dolan had team-high 17 points, six rebounds and six assists while his older brother Graham had 16 points, eight rebounds and two blocks for Williamsville South (21-3).

Chenault scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds while Trevor Sherwood had eight points and 14 rebounds in their final high school games for Batavia, which finishes 17-8.

Twitter: @SabatoNick

Video of controversial play at close of the game (by Nick Sabato):

Photos by Howard Owens.

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March 3, 2016 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Le Roy.

Press release:

Freshman Becca Schwan, of Le Roy, of the RIT women's track and field team, was named the Liberty League Women's Track and Field Rookie of the Week on Monday, for the week ending Feb. 28. It is Schwan's first weekly honor.

Schwan was part of a record setting relay team and won an event at the 2016 NYSCTC Championships over the weekend. She was part of the distance medley relay team that finished third overall in a time of 12:13.55, smashing a nine-year old school mark by four seconds.

In addition, Schwan won the 1,000-meter run, coming home in a time of 3:02.10. Schwan was also part of the 4 x 400-meter relay team that placed fourth in 4:08.16.

March 3, 2016 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, Section V football.
Press release:
 
Section V football Chairman Dick Cerone announced the 13 new members who will be inducted into the Section V Football Hall of Fame this Spring. The 19th annual ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, April 7th at the RIT Inn and Conference Center.
 
The Section V Football Hall of Fame was establish in 1998 and now has 219 members. The newly inducted members are selected as players, coaches, officials and contributor. They have distinguished themselves and have made Section V football the very best in New York State.
 
Players to be inducted are Ted Adams/West Irondequoit, Joe Bock/East Rochester, George Bosseler/Batavia, Carl Garritano/Webster, Clint Hurtt/Gates Chili, Mike Latek/Eastridge, Mitch Lee/Brighton, and Ronald Poles/Caledonia-Mumford.
 
The official being enshrined is Anthony DeJohn, a member of the Finger Lakes Chapter of Certified Football Officials.
 
In the coaches' category are Wade Bianco/West Irondequoit, Gary Fredericks/assistant coach at Caledonia-Mumford, and Sam Morabito/assistant coach at East Rochester.
 
In the contributor category, the honoree is Joseph Munno for his work in Section V as a player, coach and sponsor for 44 years. The Ontario Honda Scholarship recipients are Rush-Henrietta football player Jared Gerbino and Avon cheerleader Mary Welch.
 
Tickets to the induction ceremony and dinner are $40 per person or $350 for a table of 10. They may be ordered before March 29 with checks payable to Section 5 Football by mailing to: Frank Marafino, 4 Georgetown Drive, Rochester, NY 14617.
 
On the Web:
            Previous Hall of Fame inductees -- www.sectionv.org/football/halloffame
 
For more information:
Dick Cerone, (585) 451-7531
March 3, 2016 - 2:40pm

Press release:

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Genesee and Orleans counties is accepting applications for Spring turkey hunting. The refuge uses a random drawing to fill the 75 turkey hunting permits available; these permits are distributed within two sessions.

When applying, hunters should indicate their first and second preferences if they are selected. Session 1 runs from May 1 through May 15 and 50 permits will be issued for this session. Session 2 runs from May 16 through May 31 and 25 permits will be issued for this session.

To be entered in the drawing, interested hunters must obtain a Big/Upland Game Hunt Application form (Form 3-2356). Applications can be requested in person, by phone, mail, or e-mail at [email protected] A PDF version of the application form may also be printed from our Web site http://www.fws.gov/refuge/iroquois. Click on the link under “Visitor Activities.”

Applications, along with a $5 non-refundable processing fee, must be received by 4 p.m., Thursday, March 31.

Please refer to our Turkey Hunting Fact Sheet, available at the refuge office or on the Refuge Web site for additional information.

Please contact refuge staff at 585-948-5445, ext. 7036, for further information

Iroquois NWR is located midway between Buffalo and Rochester and is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Individuals with disabilities and any other person who may need special assistance to participate in this program should contact the Refuge at 585/948-5445 or at the Federal Relay No. 1-800-877-8339.

March 3, 2016 - 5:05am

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A1 Pittsford Sutherland hosted A2 Batavia at Gates Chili High School last night in the Far West Regional Qualifier playoff game.  

T Sean Alaya hit two three-point buckets and Malachi Chenault added field goals to lead the Devils 16-12 after the first period. Batavia's defensive play kept Pittsford Sutherland from scoring chances on the paint and the opponents had to change up their game.

Josh Mack scored six points and a steal with Jack Ward, both from Pittsford, to bring the game closer in the second period. However, Batavia's Ryan Hogan dropped a three-pointer and two buckets to keep the Devils lead to 25-22 at the half. Trevor Sherwood added a couple assists.

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The third period was led by Batavia as they held Pittsford Sutherland to four points. Holding them to four points was a key to our success, said Head Coach Buddy Brasky. Batavia's Greg Mruczek and Jake Schrider added some defensive play to allow Batavia to increase their lead to nine points 35-26 to end the quarter.  

In the fourth quarter Pittsford Sutherland fouled nine times to bring Batavia to score 14 points. Each time Pittsford Sutherland got the ball they were sinking threes left and right. Kevin Davis and Robbie Doggett combined for five three-point buckets; Jack Ward added four points but the Blue Devils held on and never gave up the lead to win 57-53.

Batavia's top scorers were Chenault 17 points, Hogan 12 and Alaya with 10.

Pittsford Sutherland's top contributors were Doggett 17, Mack 16 and Ward with 14.

Batavia's record increases to 17-7 and will play Section VI Williamsville South with a record of 21-3 this Saturday at Buffalo State College at 7 p.m.

For more photos go to: Steve Ognibene Photography

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February 29, 2016 - 2:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Batavia HS, batavia.

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We've seen Buddy Brasky celebrate sectional championships before, but he seemed to relish Sunday's 64-57 win over Wilson with a little more gusto.

"This was a very emotional one," Brasky told reporters after the game. "In a lot of ways, this was the hardest one. We had a lot of ups and downs during the season, but we came together at the right time, got into a little roll at the end."

The Blue Devils are now 16-7, and those seven wins are unusually high for a Brasky-coached team and a sectional championship and reflect the up-and-down nature of Batavia's 2015-16 season. There were certainly a couple of points during the course of the year that even making it to the postseason seemed in doubt.

"It's a little bit more special because it wasn't expected," Brasky said.

One challenge this year was the Blue Devils lacked what Brasky called that "go-to-guy," the guy who scores in bunches and the other team knows they have to account for him at all times. Last year, it was Jeff Redband. Before that, Jalen Smith. Before Smith, Andrew Hoy and prior to Hoy, Mike Chmielowiec.

The current edition of the Blue Devils learned over the course of the season, they had to call on each other and pick up each other to be successful.

"The good thing about this (no standout scorer) is that when one person is off, we've got other people to go to and they really step up when it's time," said senior forward Malachi Chenault.

That even attack was certainly evident over the 32 minutes of the championship game. Four players hit double figures in scoring and a fifth was just a point short. TeeSean Ayala led the way with 17 points, hitting four three-pointers, with Jake Schrider adding 13, Ryan Hogan, 12, Chenault 11, and Trevor Sherwood, nine. Chenault also snagged 11 rebounds, with Schrider and Hogan picking up seven apiece, Sherwood, six, and Ayala, five.

"It's kind of fitting that it was spread out like that today because that's the kind of team we were," Brasky said.

It was the type of game where it seemed Batavia was in control all the way, and most of the time, especially from about midway through the first quarter, they held the lead. Sometimes it was by 10 or 11 points, sometimes, only two or three. They held on, but not so tightly that the specter of a Wilson run didn't hang heavy over the court.

"That's the way it's been for us all year and one reason it's been that way is we struggle to score," Brasky said. "We can never put a team away. We get up six, seven, eight, nine points, even 12, and we have trouble delivering the knockout punch."

There was a point about midway through the third quarter when it looked as if Batavia was about to let Wilson make a run and Brasky called a time out.

"They were saying, 'we can't fold, we can't fold,' and I told them, 'You're not going to fold,' " Brasky said. " 'You're not going to fold. All you've got to do is relax, take a deep breath and you're in control of this game.You're not going to fold,' and they didn't. They handled the pressure. They made a lot of clutch free throws down the stretch and did what is needed to win down the stretch."

It was a well-timed timeout.

"Sometimes you wait too long because you want to save your timeouts for the end of the game, but sometimes you've just got to call them and I thought it was time, so I called it and it stemmed the tide, I guess," Brasky said.

As meaningful as the championship was for Brasky, it also meant a lot to the players, who endured the same ups and downs during the season as their coach.

"We had a goal coming in to win a sectional championship," said Ryan Hogan. "When it came time to start sectionals, we had to turn it on, and we knew that. The seniors had to step it up and we did."

Sherwood agreed.

"We knew we just had to work together and play as a team and that's what we did tonight and it paid off," Sherwood said.

Chenault, a senior who joined the varsity squad in eighth grade, just before that team headed into the postseason, said winning with the seniors he's practiced with throughout his basketball life was something special.

"It's just a great feeling, you know, with the squad we have and the effort we put into it," Chenault said. "It's about due that Batavia won one again. This is my senior class and going it with them is a wonderful feeling."

One reason the team was able to pull together, Brasky said, is that the team held together as a team, even in the down times.

"They all really cared about each other, and that's what kept us afloat, too," Brasky said. "Through ups and downs, they really cared about each other."

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February 29, 2016 - 1:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, nortre dame, hockey.

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Interview and photos by Mike Carney.

Three times this season, Notre Dame played Geneseo and lost, but there was really only one game that truly mattered, and that was the fourth one.

The Fighting Irish won that game, 2-0, to capture the Class B Section V championship in hockey.

"Coming into this game, I think the kids were anxious for one last shot, one last shot," said Head Coach Marc Staley. "I said, 'The good thing about the first three losses is no one handed a trophy out after those games, but they're handing one out tonight boys and you can erase the demons with one good effort.' "

That effort put the emphasis on defense. Notre Dame has scored prodigiously all season long, but Staley said he recognized that Geneseo goalie Morgan Brown is the best player in the league.

"We knew that weren't going to score four or five goals against them, so we thought we had to play a crazy good defensive game," Staley said. 

H. Toivainen scored the game-winning goal in the first period at 8:28. The second goal was by B. Moscicki on an empty net late in the game. The MVP was Toivainen.

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February 27, 2016 - 1:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

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It's been 26 years since Jeanette Filbert played in a sectional title game. In her senior year at Batavia High School, the Lady Blue Devils came into the final with a 19-0 record and high hopes of winning the school's first championship in girls basketball.

The girls didn't win that year. Pittsford-Mendon, a perennial powerhouse, dashed the dreams of hardwood glory for the girls and Filbert never forgot what that was like, and for 26 years, she's watched from the sidelines as Mendon came out on top game after game and blocked Batavia's path to the Section V trophy it lacked.

But history doesn't always repeat. Sometimes, life comes full circle and dreams do come true.

Friday night, Batavia finally -- and perhaps for the first time ever -- beat Mendon, winning the long-coveted Section V Class A2 trophy by a score of 53-42.

It was sweet revenge.

"I'm impressed," Filbert said. "They (Mendon) always have a good program. They are well coached always, and being from Batavia, a small town, coming here to play in a Rochester district, it always felt a little unfair, but I'm very proud of our girls. I can't express how I truly feel. They're a well-coached team and these girls in Batavia, they deserve this."

The girls on the 2016 championship team include a basketball prodigy, arguably the best female player in Section V, and that would be Tiara Filbert, Jeanette's daughter.

"First, I give all honor to God," Jeanette said. "We are truly blessed with her talent, but there are no words to describe how I feel right now. Like I said, this was 26 years in the making and to be able to be here and to have my daughter be a part of the team that brought them here ... again, it's not about her, it's about the team effort. She couldn't do what she did without the team helping her."

What Tiara did was score 27 points, grab 18 rebounds and notch five steals on the way to being named tournament MVP.

Tiara being Tiara, even when asked pointedly about her performance, didn't take any credit herself.

"We all came in with a positive mindset," she said. "We knew we were going to do everything we can to win. I know I had to come in and play my game and I knew our team, we were going to come together and be able to play 32 minutes of basketball."

And that they did. It never really felt like Mendon had a chance. Oh, they would claw back from 12 and 14 point deficits, but then Batavia would put together another 10- or 12-point run and pull away again.

Filbert said Mendon never managed to get the team rattled, even when they got within a point or two of the lead.

"We all know it's part of basketball," Tiara said. "You've got to keep going on to the next one no matter what happens in a game. You've got to keep an optimistic outlook on things, and we knew our defense was going to take care of our offense for us."

Head Coach Marty Hein said he had a lot of confidence in his seniors, especially Tiara coming into the game.  

"If she's not the best girl in Section V, she's second place," Hein said. "Out of 115 teams in Section V, if I've got the second best player, anything can happen. Mendon's a great team. Taking nothing away from Mendon, nothing away from Todd, but having that type of caliber player, it's going to take two, three girls to even come close to stopping her."

Speaking of team effort, there would be no sectional title in Batavia today if not for the play of Sam Cecere, whose double-double (16 points and 10 rebounds) was crucial to Batavia's success.

By her own admission, Cecere has struggled a bit lately scoring. In the semifinal game three nights ago, she missed her first 10 shots before scoring six in the second half. In practice this week, she worked hard on getting in position a bit quicker and finishing with the ball in the bucket.

"The feeling (of winning the title) is just unreal," Cecere said. "Four years ago, I was in this gym as a freshman and we lost a sectional final and from that point forward, I was motivated to get a trophy and make it ours. The fact that we got here and got a great win just feels unreal. It's amazing."

The win was especially meaningful because it came against Mendon, Cecere said. 

"It feels good to give them a taste of their own medicine, really," Cecere said. "We've always lost to them as long as I've been on varsity and they've always been hard games. They always have players who are so good, but this time, we were the better team and that feels amazing."

There was a time early in the season when even the most confident of coaches and the most rabid of Blue Devil fans might have a flicker of doubt that this truly would be the year the girls would win their first sectional title, and that was in January, when the Lady Devils lost a key component of the team's offense. Maddy McCully's season ended during the Rotary Tournament when she suffered an ACL and MCL injury.

There were no post-game All-Star trophy's for McCully, who cheered her teammates from the bench dressed in her jersey with a black calf-to-thigh brace on her leg, but Hein said her contribution to the team can't be understated.

Even injured, McCully grew as a senior leader, Hein said. 

"Maddy's growth made Taylor's (Stefaniak) growth," Hein said. "Watching last year's film against Mendon, she looked like a freshman, completely like a freshman. Ryann (Stefaniak), who is a freshman now, in the second game of the season, when we lost to Mendon, looked like a freshman. You know, she didn't look like a freshman tonight. That all goes to Maddy's help, all the time talking with the girls."

While neither of the Stefaniak sisters made it into double digits on scoring Friday (they scored five apiece), they both played with confidence and helped with ball movement on offense and were key parts of Batavia's successful defense.

"They definitely stepped up big time for us after Maddy went down," Tiara said. "They had big games against Notre Dame in our tournament. They came out strong. They kept coming back. We just had to keep them in a positive mindset and they came out here and they handled their business."

Top photo: Tiara Filbert.

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Always fearless in the paint, Ryann Stefaniak did get tagged with an offensive foul in the second quarter.

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Sam Cecere was dominate in the low post.

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Filbert, as usual, was a threat inside and out.

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Taylor Stefaniak with a layup in the fourth quarter.

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Sam Cecere's father was ebullient (see slideshow below) and emotional in the final minutes as it became increasingly clear his daughter's team was about to win a championship.

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Post-game celebration.

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The team bus received a police and fire escort down Main Street when the team returned to Batavia.

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Back at the high school.

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February 26, 2016 - 7:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, sports, basketball, news.

The Batavia High School Girls Basketball Team just won the Sectional V Class A2 game against Pittsford Mendon. Final score: 53 to 42.

More T/K, including photos.

UPDATE 8:41 p.m.: The team bus will be arriving in town shortly. Starting from the Aldi's parking lot, the team will receive a police and fire escort down Main Street.

February 26, 2016 - 12:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, hockey, sports.

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Notre Dame seems to be peaking at the right time, scoring goals in bunches in post-season play, sending them to a Sunday final against a team they've played close three times this season, but came up a goal short each time.

On Thursday at RIT, the Fighting Irish flicked in three goals in under two minutes to start the second period and lock down a playoff victory against Aquinas, 8-1.

All four of Notre Dame's lines scored at least one goal for the second straight game.

"This is a good sign at the right time of year," said Head Coach Marc Staley.

The game was scoreless for the first six minutes and Staley said some of his team's lack of offense can be blamed on nervousness. Aquinas had beaten Brockport earlier in the year, and one of Notre Dame's four defeats was a lopsided loss to Brockport.

There was also a "feeling out" period to start the game.

"I thought we came out a little nervous tonight, which is to be expected, but we rotate four lines and they rotate two lines, so we knew if we kept shifts short and made good line changes that eventually they were going to tire and that's exactly what happened," Staley said.

The three quick goals in the second were a boost of confidence and the 5-1 lead was deflating for Aquinas, Staley said.

"We don't give up a lot goals," Staley said. "There were only three games all year where we've given up four goals or more, so when we get up four, five to one, we can shut it down and teams know that."

The sectional title game against Geneseo is at 1 p.m., Sunday, at RIT. Geneseo has beaten Batavia three times this season, by scores of 6-4, 3-2 and 2-1. Staley said his team is eager to rise to the challenge of meeting a season-long nemesis in a title game.

"It's going to come down in the belief you have in yourself in the locker room, and I believe we've got that right now," Staley said.

Here's the scoring table for the game:

0 - 1 1 1   5:58  B.Moscicki  R.Webster  
0 - 2 2 1   6:49  P.Madafferi  M.Keeler  
1 - 2 3 1   9:51  T.KELLY  E.CLEMMONS  
1 - 3 4 2   0:30  R.Antinore  H.Toiviainen  
1 - 4 5 2   0:50  B.Misiak  E.Hutchins  
1 - 5 6 2   2:10  H.Toiviainen  R.Antinore  
1 - 6 7 2   9:52  R.Antinore  D.DAlba  
1 - 7 8 3   4:01  C.Clark  R.Webster  H.Toiviainen
1 - 8 9 3   9:25  D.Grimshaw  R.Antinore  

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February 25, 2016 - 12:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, oakfield-alabama.

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For the first 12 minutes of Wednesday's Class C2 Section V semifinal game between Oakfield-Alabama and Pery, the two teams looked pretty evenly matched, but then Perry began to pull away.

The half ended with the Perry girls up 22-14. In the third quarter, Perry much sealed the fate of the Hornets, outscoring them 14-3. The final eight minutes was just a matter of maintenance for the Yellowjackets.

The final, 43-19.

 Rachel Evans scored 13 for Perry, Chelsea Pascoe, 12, and McKenna Croll, eight.

For 0-A, Lauren Reding scored 5 and Brianna Greene had four.

The Hornets have relied on strong defense all season and Perry's head coach, Courtney Kingston, said her team knew it needed to stay disciplined to get the ball around O-A's Kenydie Mott, who can alter the course of games on defense.

"We made sure we were setting our screens and making our early passes to get around her good defense and get our offense going," Kingston said.

Perry was able to effectively move the ball inside and that has been a big step forward for the team, Kingston said. 

"That's really the whole way to be a threat, to use both our post and use our guards," Kingston said. "We have two strong posts we can put in there and we use them. It's been a struggle until the past couple of games to make good interior passes, and we did it tonight."

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February 24, 2016 - 11:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, basketball, sports.

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When you hold an opponent to 43 points, you would think you would walk away with a win, Elba's Head Coach Ciaci Zambito said after the Lancers' loss Tuesday night to Lima Christian in a Class C2 Section V semifinal at Le Roy High School.

Defense wins games, but only if you put hit shots on the other end, and there were simply too many missed shots Tuesday night.

"You cannot afford to go through lulls where you don't put the ball in the basket," Zambito said.

The Lancers managed only 18 points in the first half and were down by a point at the 10-minute break. Then Lima came out firing and Elba came out cold in the third quarter, with Lima Christian building a 14-point lead.

For most of the third, Elba fired and fired and fired from beyond the arc and failed to hit. Then in the fourth, the Lancers started to drive into the paint and put together a scrappy 11-0 run, with eight points coming on free throws following fouls, to pull within three.

"They're a group of fighters," Zambito said. "I never, ever once thought that the game was going to be over and we would lose until the final buzzer."

The game, in fact, wasn't decided until the closing seconds, with great plays by Elba's Henry Pflaumer and Lima's Conell Christiansen perhaps deciding the final outcome (top photo). With seconds left and Elba down by three, Pflaumer stole an inbound pass, took a dribble and a step to the three-point line. Christiansen leaped and with his long reach got a hand on the ball, blocking Pflaumer's shot. Who knows if Pflaumer would have knocked down the game-tying bucket, but Christiansen arguably made the play of the game, capping off his 19-point performance.

"Lima did good," Zambito said. "The story line in the paper tomorrow shouldn't be what we did wrong. It should be what Lima did well."

John Hocmuth lead Elba's scoring with 15 points. Shane O’Halloran scored nine. Jayson Faynor added 11 for Lima.

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February 24, 2016 - 9:29am
posted by James Burns in sports, blue devils, basketball, batavia, Batavia HS.

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Tuesday night in Section V playoffs, at Rush-Henrietta High School, the Batavia Blue Devils met University Preparatory Charter for the boys varsity semifinal game.

Maybe it was the strange surroundings or the stress of the playoffs, because for the first few positions both teams seemed at a loss for what to do with the ball. After a few minutes, and air balls, U-Prep scored first and then quickly led Batavia 6-0. Batavia’s first score came after 3 minutes of play with a three-pointer followed up shortly afterward with a 2-point play.

Batavia followed U-Prep, until with 2 minutes left in the first quarter, they tied the game

With 1:40 left in the first Batavia took the lead.

At the end of first period Batavia led 17-12 and did not give up the lead, finishing the half up 30 to 26.

Batavia built up their lead from the half. With 3:30 remaining in the third, Batavia looked to dominate with a score of 41 to 30 Coach Brasky cautioned the team during a timeout not to get too comfortable or too confident U-Prep would battle back.

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At the end of the third Batavia led 43 to 37 as U-Prep dug into their lead.

Batavia held onto a small lead until with 3:17 left to play U-Prep took over the lead with a score of 48 to 49 beating Batavia with offensive rebounds.

With one minute left the momentum of the game was with U-Prep. They had increased the lead to 3 points after Batavia had lead by as many as 13.

With 50 seconds left, Malachi Chenault made a strong move from under the basket and brought the game back to within 1 point.

U-Prep was not able to score on their next possession and with 18.7 seconds left it was Batavia’s ball. It was all number 22 Hogan, from coast to coast with a hard dribble down the court to mid key, where Hogan pulled up and shot……Off the backboard and through the hoop! In for two points.

Batavia was up by one with 4.4 seconds on the clock. U-Prep got the ball back and tried a desperation shot from beyond the three-point line that found nothing but the floor and the screams of joy from the Batavia students bussed in for the game.

Final score: Batavia 52, University Preparatory Charter 51.

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February 23, 2016 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, batavia, youth baseball.

Registration is officially open for all divisions of Batavia Minor League Youth Baseball for girls and boys ages 4 to 10. You are welcome to come to Dick's Sporting Goods on Veterans Memorial Drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 27, to register.

Also, online registration is now available. Log onto the league's Web site via the LeagueLineup.com portal at: 

http://www.leaguelineup.com/bataviaminorleague

Click on 2016 registration on the right side and proceed.

Any questions feel free to contact local league President Dan Utter via Facebook or e-mail to: [email protected]

February 23, 2016 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

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A lockdown defense and the domination of a star player in the first half propelled the Lady Blue Devils to a 57-49 win over Honeoye Falls-Lima in Penfield on Monday night.

The victory in the Section V Class A2 semifinal sets up a championship game for Batavia at Gates Chili at 6 p.m., Friday, against Pittsford Mendon.

Tiara Filbert, who, incredibly, has yet to be recruited by a college program despite a school record 1,530 career points, knocked down 23 points in the first half and grabbed 13 rebounds to help Batavia open up a 35-11 halftime lead.

That huge lead led to Head Coach Marty Hein's biggest frustration of the evening. The team came out on cruise control in the third quarter and almost allowed HFL a chance to get back into the game. Slack play won't win championships, especially against Mendon.

"I know it's hard for them, you're up by 20 or whatever it was at half time, and it looks like it's going to be that type of game, but that's not their job," Hein said. "If I want to pull the plug, that's my job. If I'm putting you on the floor, you need to go all out all the time. We didn't. Instead of me celebrating and being happy, I'm kind of not right now because Friday it's going to require all 32 minutes."

The team's flatness and a more aggressive defense against Filbert held her to only one field goal in the second half, so she finished with 26 points. Sam Cecere got untracked, though, to put up six points, and Taylor Stefaniak continued to fire from outside, adding two more three-pointers to the three she sank in the first half, giving her 16 points for the game. Ryann Stefaniak finished with seven points.

Cecere and the Stefaniak sisters will be key to Friday's game against Mendon.

"Tiara is Tiara and you're never going to completely shut her down," Hein said. "But somebody else is going to have to contribute or it's going to be a long game."

After the game, there were college recruiters waiting to talk with her, and of course, journalists waiting to interview her, and after each chat, Filbert wished each person a safe drive home, reflecting her natural tendency to think of others.

That spirit, that willingness to share, is one reason she's been overlooked by this point by college coaches, Hein said. She's been a productive scorer since eighth grade, but she's always been willing to distribute and give her teammates their shots, which has kept her from building the kind of huge point totals that put players in the top 100 recruiting class.

"She's always worried about being a selfish player in the past and that's kind of hindered her a little bit on her college recruiting," Hein said. "Wherever she goes, they'll be a lucky team."

Filbert loves the game. She comes from a basketball family and she's always trying to get better.

After each game, Hein loads the game film to a Web site called Hudl, and Hein is able to track which of his players are reviewing tape and how much time they spend on the site. Typically, the time spent is measured in minutes, but not for Filbert.

"I mean, I can send something in the morning and she'll find a study hall somewhere in the day and somehow in the day of school she still manages to watch it for two hours during the day," Hein said. "That's crazy."

Filbert said basketball is just simply her life.

"I was born into the game, basically," Filbert said. "I've been playing it ever since I was young. I watch it every chance I get. I'm able to experience it through watching my brother grow up in it. My parents come from a basketball background. It's just something I'm born to do."

As for Mendon, Filbert said she has to work on her own game and help the team get ready for what will surely be a tough match.

"It's good to have a close team because whenever we're down, we just make sure our heads are up," Filbert said. "We've got to make sure we stay with each other. Our heads are all connected and we're on the same goal."

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February 22, 2016 - 5:58am
posted by Steve Ognibene in Notre Dame, hockey, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.

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In a hometown rival matchup the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2nd seed) played the Batavia Blue Devils (7th seed) for the Section V quarter finals Saturday at the Faletti Ice Arena.

Batavia came out strong the first period to attack Notre Dame's Ethan Conrad but he held strong on Batavia's attempts. 

Late in the first period at 4:21, Notre Dame went on a scoring streak scoring three quick goals in three minutes. Brad Misiak scored the first goal from Cameron Clark, pictured below. Hayden Chamberland and Michael Keeler scored the second Irish goal 50 seconds later. Ryan Webster from ND, pictured above, scored the third goal with a minute left in the first period. Shots on goal were 15-6 after one period of play.

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The referees called no penalties in the first period when Notre Dame lead 3-0. During the second period, Batavia got physical with some interference and roughing calls that led to a power play goal by Ryan Webster just shortly after Peter Madafferi added one and the irish led by 5-0 midway through the second period.  

Both teams drew multiple penalties in this period as the game got more intense. Exchange student Henrik Toivianinen tallied the sixth goal with a minute left in the period, which became the final, 6-0. Batavia added seven shots to Notre Dame's nine.

The third period was very scrappy on both sides as frustrations mounted for Batavia. More penalties were added on both sides and the shots were 15-6 for a game ending 39-19 led by Notre Dame.

The Irish will move on to the semifinals this Thursday night at 7:30 versus Aquinas at the Gene Polisseni Center at RIT.

For more pictures go to: Steve Ognibene Photography

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February 21, 2016 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports.
  • Alexander fell to Letchworth 30-56 in Class C1. Marissa Scharlau scorted six points and Stephany McBride and Marcie Riggs had four each. (For game coverage, visit the Wyoming County Free Press.)
  • Cal-Mum beat Notre Dame, 44-35, in Class C1. Rebecca Krenzer had a monster game with 21 points and seven rebounds, but it wasn't enough to overcome Cal-Mum, led by Gillian Flint with 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
  • Oakfield-Alabama beat Lyons, 40-29. Lauren Reding scored 12 and Kylie Schlagenhauf had 10.
  • Le Roy advanced with a win over Attica, 36-24. Paige Biggins scored 14. Abby Dambra had six points and seven rebounds.

The playoff schedule for Genesee County girls teams advancing:

  • Batavia plays Honeoye Falls-Lima at 7:45 p.m., Monday, at Penfield HS;
  • Le Roy plays Wellsville at 6 p.m., Wednesday, at Honeoye Falls-Lima HS;
  • Oakfield-Alabama plays Perry at 7:45 p.m., Wednesday, at Bloomfield HS;
  • Elba plays Prattsburgh at 7:45 p.m., Monday, at Wayland-Cohocton HS.
February 21, 2016 - 1:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, basketball, sports.

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Webster Christian held close to the Elba Lancers through three quarters, but in the fourth, the #1 seed in Class D2 demonstrated how dominating they can be, pulling away for a 60-36 win.

Next up, the #5 seed, Lima-Christian, in a semifinal game, 7 p.m., at Le Roy HS.

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February 21, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, batavia, Batavia HS, basketball.

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Batavia's stifling defense allowed the Blue Devils to open an 18-point first-half lead that Monroe couldn't overcome in the second half, even as Rayshawn Boswell hit a streak of three-point jumpers on his way to a 24-point game.

Batavia had four players score in double digits to advance the Blue Devils in the Class A2 sectional playoffs with a 60-52 win.

The Blue Devils still held a 10-point lead with two minutes left in the game, but Monroe continued to battle and twice pulled within three points in the final minute.

Malachi Chenault and Jake Schrider both scored 14 points, Tee Sean Ayala added 13 and Ryan Hogan scored 12.

Top photo: Steve Stefaniak with a layup in the second quarter.

The #2 seeded Blue Devils face the #3 seed in A2 U-Prep at 8 p.m., Tuesday, at Rush-Henrietta.

The Lady Devils play Honeoye Falls in Penfield at 7:45 p.m., tomorrow.

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