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January 26, 2016 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Notre Dame.

Mike Rapone, athletic director for Notre Dame HS, has discovered some holes in the school records on who has won male and female Athlete of the Year awards. The school is planing to rennovate the display in the entrance hallway.

Rapone said he would like to properly recognize the achievements of each year's winner and is asking members of the community to help identify past winners where the records are incomplete. If you have the information for the years below, please e-mail [email protected].

Female Missing Years: 1957 / 1959 / 1961 / 1966 / 1973 / 1975 / 1976 / 1978 / 1980 / 1989 / 1992 / 1993 / 1995

Male Missing Years: 1956 / 1960 / 1961 / 1965 / 1966 / 1968

January 25, 2016 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, sports, wrestling.

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Andrea Aldinger provided this picture of alumni of the Alexander High School Wrestling Team on Alexander's Alumni Night.

Front row, from left: Alton Rupp, 2014, Austin Heberlein, 2012, Brian Schaal, 1994, Tyler Aldinger, 2012, Nick Wall, 2010; back row, Todd "Beep" Marzolf, 1993, Rob Smith, 1986, Keith Morton, 1992, Tom Aldinger, 1983, Dan Ognibene, 2012.

January 22, 2016 - 12:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, snowmobile safety, sports.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced that the New York State Police will hold a FREE snowmobile safety course for New Yorkers aged 10 to 18 on Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hamlin Beach State Park Conference Room in Hamlin. State law requires that all youth, ages 10 to 18, must possess a snowmobile safety certificate to operate a snowmobile anywhere except family-owned or leased land.

Space is limited so sign up early. Preregistration is required by calling the state Park Police at (585) 658-4692. Attendees are advised to bring their own lunch.

“While Western New York winters can be particularly harsh, they can also be great fun for snowmobile enthusiasts,” Hawley said. “As easy as it seems to operate a snowmobile, I remind constituents that these can be dangerous machines that have taken lives.

"It is imperative that residents under the age of 18 receive their snowmobile safety certificate for their own and others’ safety. I encourage all interested young residents to attend this course on February 6. Have fun and enjoy the snow.”

WHAT:          Snowmobile Safety certification course

WHEN:          February 6, 2016, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

WHERE:       Hamlin Beach State Park Conference Room, Hamlin

WHO:             New Yorkers aged 10 to 18

**Remember to bring a lunch**

January 20, 2016 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.

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After the injury to point guard Maddy McCully that put her out for the season, Batavia's Head Coach Marty Hein said the Lady Blue Devils would be a team in search of a new identity.

That thought was back on Hein's mind last night after Batavia narrowly escaped with its 13th win, 58-55, over Irondequoit.

Batavia surrendered a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, allowing Irondequoit to put 25 points on the scoreboard and with less than a minute left, pulling within a point of the lead.

"(McCulley was) the floor general at any given point in time," Hein said. Ryann (Stefaniak) and Tiara (Filbert) are doing a super job, but when the chips seem to be falling a bit, there was always, 'OK, Maddy, you run the point now.' That was freeing up Tiara to do whatever. She doesn't have to bring the ball up. Now, it's kind of that little identity crisis of, OK, when things start going south, who is going to be that step-up person to take that role. We played a good 24 minutes of basketball, and then the last eight..."

Filbert scored 18. Taylor Stefaniak added 16, including dropping three buckets from behind the arc. Ryann scored 14 and Sam Cecere had seven.

For Irondequoit, Megan Dano scored 16, Kylee Kanealey, 12, and Quinn Melidona, 13.

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To purchase prints, click here.

January 16, 2016 - 2:29pm
posted by James Burns in Batavia Blue Devils, basketball, sports.

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The Batavia boys varsity Blue Devils defeated Honeoye Falls-Lima in a very hard fought, double overtime, 61 to 59 victory. 

Batavia started off with an early lead that diminished quickly and had them behind at the half. HF-L's lead at the half was due to a tremendous defensive effort by forcing turnovers. On many of the turnovers HF-L was able to convert, a few times with three-pointers.

In the second half, Batavia battled back from a deficit to be back in contention for the lead by the start of the fourth quarter. Both teams look tired at the start of the fourth. Batavia took it to HF-L in the paint by playing physical and getting offensive rebounds. The Batavia defense did a good job keeping HF-L away from the basket, often making HF-L take forced shots as the shot clock ran out.

Batavia trailed most of the fourth quarter as the teams traded baskets. Hogan scored a three-pointer with 30 seconds left in the fourth that tied the game. Regulation ended in a 43-43 tie.

Malachi Chenault finished the night with a double double, 15 points 10 rebounds. Hogan had a big 18 points with some great clutch plays and Trevor Sherwood had 13 points on the long night.  

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More pictures below or to purchase go to www.jimburns.org

January 15, 2016 - 2:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, elba, oakfield-alabama.

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In the second half of Elba's 56-40 victory over Oakfield-Alabama on Thursday night, #55 John Hochmuth demonstrated what a dominant big man can do to lift a team.

Displaying solid and practiced post-play skills, the 6' 4" senior scored 19 points and blocked five shots in the game, with the third and fourth quarters being his most productive.

I've never seen a high school kid who works harder than John," said Head Coach Ciaci Zambito. "He makes my job easy. It's so much fun to coach him. He is our best practice player every single day, and finally, I think, all of his hard work that he has done throughout his career is really starting to pay off."

Zambito wouldn't go out on a limb and say Hochmuth is the most dominant player in the Genesee Region, but he still gives him very high grades.

"John is the most dominant post player I've seen at Elba, ever," Zambito said. "I played with a couple of good post players. But especially in terms of the defensive end of things, he doesn't just block shots, he changes shots, and obviously you know what he can do underneath the basket on offense."

The test of where Hochmuth stands in GR could come when Elba faces Attica, whenever that might be, since a recent game was canceled and needs to be rescheduled.  Attica has 6' 5" junior Owen Thompson, who scored 20 last night in the Blue Devils' 77-44 victory over Wheatland-Chili.

The Lancers are off to a 12-0 start on the year and Hochmuth said it's fun to be part of a team that has really grown into a bonded unit.

"We're all brothers on the team," Hochmuth said. "We all like each other outside of school, in school. We're family and that's why we play great together."

Basketball is a team game and one reason Hochmuth is able to thrive in the post is his teammates offer their own scoring threats, and when the defense opens a little space to guard them, they know how to feed Hochmuth the ball.

"Opposing teams focus on John," Zambito said. "They game plan for John, as I would. But when you've got down a guy who knocks down 11 threes in a game (as Henry Pflaumer did in a game earlier this season), and you've got a guy who comes in tonight and knocks down back-to-back threes, you've got to start honoring that a little bit more. You've got to pick your poison. Do you want to guard the perimeter and leave John one-on-one? Or do you want to double John? You can't double everybody."

Thursday, Pflaumer scored 13 for the Lancers, with Tucker Bezon adding 11 and Dakota Dillon six.

It was Bezon's best game of the season, Zambito said.

Oakfield-Alabama scored 18 points in the first quarter, but was held to 22 the rest of the way.

Zambito said he told the team after the first quarter that they weren't playing the Lancer brand of basketball.

"Oakfield likes to get up in you," Zambito said. "They like to press you, but we're more of a half-court team. I think we kind of fell into the trap the first eight minutes of the game where we were trying to play up to their tempo. But we can't do that. We get ourselves into some big trouble when we start doing things like that."

Jon Harris scored seven for the Hornets and Jake Mandez had six. Trey Nadolinski scored five to go with seven rebounds and four assists.

It's been a long time since Elba's boys team has experienced this level of success, and the current Lancers' roster hasn't forgotten the bad times, which is what keeps them from getting too comfortable with their 12-0 start, Zambito said.

"All I have to do is show them the records from the past two years," Zambito said. "Less than 12 months ago, these kids weren't experiencing any success. It's a different feel. We really have a good thing going, great chemistry. There's a nice bond going on. They trust each other. They're hungry and they'll stay hungry. I've told them from day one, I don't care how many games we win, we're looking to win a title."

The Lancers are currently #1 in the GR, #1 in Section V Class D2 and ranked #5 in the state.

"We've always had potential," Hochmuth said. "Now we're showing it."

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January 12, 2016 - 3:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in gymnastics, sports, Le Roy, batavia, byron, pembroke, Oakfield.

Submitted photo and press release:

The MCA Gymnastics competitive team, the Brockport Junior Eagles, competed at the 21st Annual Winter Graffiti Meet in Niagara Falls on Jan. 9th and 10th. There were 325 gymnasts that competed at this meet and many were from Genesee County. This was the third meet of the season and the girls are off to a great start.

The Level 3 gymnasts placed 2nd as a team and had several top finishers. In the child age 9 division, Genna Klein, of Oakfield, placed 6th on Vault, 1st on bars with a 9.25, 2nd on beam with a 9.025, 2nd on floor with a 9.475 and 1st all around with a 36.85.

In the level 3 senior division, Haylie Leitten, of Alexander, placed 3rd on vault with a 9.25, 2nd on bars with a 9.20, 1st on beam with a 9.425, 1st on floor with a 9.8 and 1st all around with a 37.675. Anna Logsdon, of Le Roy, placed 2nd on vault with a 9.4, 1st on bars with a 9.375, 7th on beam, 7th on floor, and 3rd all around with 36.625. Robin Scroger, of Batavia, placed 6th on vault, 7th on bars, 3rd on beam with a 9.0, 3rd on floor with a 9.45 and 4th all around with a 36.175. Abrianna Gabriel, of Batavia, placed 9th on vault, 5th on bars, 6th on beam, 5th on floor and 6th all around with a 35.825. Elizabeth Sorensen, of Le Roy, placed 4th on beam, 8th on floor and 7th all around with a 35.425.

The Level 4 gymnasts placed 2nd as a team and also had several top finishers. In the child ages 6-9 division, Victoria Rogoyski, of Churchville, placed 5th on vault, 6th on bars, 9th on beam, 9th on floor and 8th all around with a 33.55.

In the Level 4 child age 10 division, Kassidy Tully, of Brockport, placed 4th on vault, 1st on bars with a 9.425, 3rd on beam with a 9.225, 1st on floor with a 9.45 and 1st all around with a 36.55. Sydney Konieczny, of Batavia, placed 9th on vault, 3rd on bars with 8.4, 5th on beam, 4th on floor and 5th all around with a 34.45.

In the level 4 Junior/Senior 11 and up age division Alexis Potter, of Brockport, placed 8th on vault, 4th on bars, 4th on beam, 1st on floor with a 9.2 and 3rd all around with a 35.55. Cameron Parker, of Pembroke, placed 15th all around.

Level 6 gymnasts Carli Kirkwood, of Byron, placed 10th on bars and Autumn Mathisen, of Byron, placed 9th on beam. Level 7 gymnast Sara Cottone, of Le Roy, placed 6th on vault, 2nd on bars with a 9.075, 10th on beam, 8th on floor and 8th all around with 35.725.

January 9, 2016 - 2:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Batavia HS, batavia, Notre Dame.

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You can always count on a Dave Pero-coached Notre Dame team to provide opponents with a test, and that's what the Batavia Lady Blue Devils got Friday night in the finale of the Batavia Rotary Club Tournament at Genesee Community College, just when, perhaps, they needed it the most.

The contest was their first without Maddy McCulley, who had her high school career cut short with a knee injury Wednesday one game removed from scoring her 1,000th career point.

The team will carry on without McCulley, but the question that needed to be answered is would her teammates would pick up the slack?

They did.

Four players finished in double figures in scoring and Batavia beat Notre Dame 60-44.

The score may look lopsided, but the game wasn't. Notre Dame fought every minute, battling through Batavia's relentless press, finding ways to the basket at times, but also surrendering a few too many possessions.

The Irish finished the first half only five down and pulled within a point of the lead early in the third quarter. 

"When something like happens, what happened with Maddy, again my condolences, I feel terrible about it," Pero said. "I feel terrible about what happened to her, but they stepped up. The injury set her down, but the team, you could see it, they stepped up. Good teams do that and they're a good team."

Freshman Ryann Stefaniak scored 16, Tiara Filbert and Sam Cecere each had 13, and Taylor Stefaniak hit for 12.

It's the first time the Stefaniak sisters were both in double figures for the game, and that bodes well for the rest of the Lady Devils' season.

"We talked about in practice yesterday," Hein said. "I said 'Look, we're still a good basketball team; obviously, we're not the same team. We have to find a new identity as far as who is going to be doing some of those other things. Bottom line is, Maddy takes about 20 shots in a game. We can't all just look at Tiera and now expect her to shoot 40 of them.' "

Newly minted starter Elyse Snow will take up some of the slack, and Cecere will get a few more looks, but Taylor and Ryann need to add from 10 to 12 shots per game between them, Hein said.

"I turned to the two Stefaniak girls and said, 'Listen, it's really on you two,' " Hein said.

Taylor said she and Ryann are ready and she's proud of how they pulled through Friday.

"I feel like we both stepped up really well tonight," Taylor said. "(Ryann) stepped up her game a lot tonight, which we've needed her to do the whole season, but it helped a lot tonight. I think she did great."

Ryann was all over the court, tipping passes on defense, joining in double teams on ballhandlers, finding open lanes on offense and crashing the glass on rebounds, getting a couple of key putback baskets.

"Ryann is skinny as a rail," Hein said. "In most cases, I  think she's got a turtle shell on her back; she seems so slow at certain points and times. But on the offensive end, she's always kind of in the right spot. She's slashing, rebound here, rebound there. It was exciting to watch."

Filbert, the tournament's MVP, is still the leader of the team, and the shooter defenses will work hardest to stop, as Notre Dame did Friday, but Filbert is unruffled by the change in circumstances.

"I'm going to keep playing my game," Filbert said. "We all came in level-headed. We knew we had a goal we wanted to accomplish and we were able to do that. Losing Maddy is going to be a big adjustment because she helped us out tremendously on and off the court. But I know she's going to be there on the sideline and we know we have the players who are going to step up and help us out."

For Notre Dame, Becca Krenzer scored 15, Margaret Sutherland, 10, and Calli McCulley, eight.

Before the game, during introductions, Calli presented her cousin Maddy with a bouquet of flowers.

Pero said he was very proud of how his girls played, especially Sutherland, who is starting to come into her own as a scorer and floor leader, and considered the game a great learning lesson for the team, which won't see any opponents with Batavia's talent or depth in the rest of the GR or Class D.

"It was a good experience," Pero said. "We're not going to see teams this good where we're going."

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To purchase prints, click here.

January 7, 2016 - 1:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Batavia HS, batavia, Notre Dame.

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Norte Dame beat Attica 45-30 and Batavia topped Cal-Mum 50-31 to set the stage for a rematch of last year's exciting final in the annual Batavia Rotary Club Tournament at Genesee Community College.

Perhaps the big news of the night was an injury to Batavia's Madison McCulley (#42), a key part of the Lady Devils' talented starting five. McCulley was honored before the game for just achieving her 1,000th career point. Shortly before the end of the third period, she fell to the floor coming off a layup crying in pain. She was carried to the locker room and came out later with her knee wrapped in an ice pack. She had a medical exam today, but those exam results are not yet available.

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To purchase prints of photos, click here.

January 6, 2016 - 11:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Notre Dame, oakfield-alabama, sports, football.

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Batavia's Dom Mogavero has been named first team in Class B to New York's All-State football team as a linebacker.

Fellow Blue Devil Greg Mruczek was named to the second team at QB. Ryan Hogan made second team as an offensive end. 

In Class D, honorable mentions went to Allen Chatt, Oakfield-Alabama, at defensive back and C.J. Suozzi, Notre Dame, at punter.

January 6, 2016 - 10:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Shoot for a Cure, basketball, sports.

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Press release:

In 2012, The Pembroke Girls Basketball Team decided to use their passion for playing basketball as a platform from which to host a fundraiser for breast cancer research at Roswell Park in support of a community member. As a result, the girls and their coaches organized an annual event, naming it "Shooting For A Cure!" through which they raised over $30,000 in contributions for Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in past four seasons.

On Tuesday, the team played to the buzzer in their fifth annual Shooting For A Cure! game and raised $10,287.16, making their total RPCI donation over $40,000 since the event’s inception. During an emotional halftime ceremony, the team honored 18 cancer survivors, personifying their dedication to this cause.

Coach Ron Funke and his Pembroke Girls Basketball Team will present the full proceeds of their latest fundraiser to RPCI officials in the hospital lobby this Friday at 2:30 p.m. It’s a post-game tradition that Funke acknowledges has great meaning to the program.

“These girls are the driving force behind this fundraiser," Funke said. "What started many years ago in support of my wife’s diagnosis has continued to grow each season. The girls on this team are incredibly compassionate individuals.

"A few weeks ago they volunteered at the Carly’s Club Christmas party and rang bells for the Salvation Army. This group is truly special. Yet I have to say that the most meaningful part of Shooting For A Cure! is always visiting Roswell to donate what’s been raised.

"The girls once again put on their pink jerseys and travel to Roswell to present a check to hospital officials. Being there at the hospital, surrounded by people who are actually fighting their own battle against cancer never fails to inspire the girls. It’s a tangible reminder of how their efforts off the court are saving lives.”

More than a dozen alumni players from the previous Shooting For A Cure! events were in attendance last night, helping to run raffles and contests as well as cheering on the current team. Alumni Cora Erb (Class of 2013) hasn’t missed a game since its commencement.

“Playing in the first two Shooting For A Cure! games meant so much to me, not only because it’s for a great cause, but also because I lost someone very close to my heart from cancer," Cora said. "When I stepped on that court I played my heart out knowing in some way that I made my father proud.

"I come back every year to show my continued support for these girls and this cause. I know what it’s like to lose someone from cancer and I know I would want their support, just as they have mine.”

Dannielle DellaPenta (Class of 2014), a three-time game alumna, was also in attendance last night.

“The annual Shooting For A Cure! game means a lot to me," Dannielle said. "It brings our community together in support of others, focusing on the bigger picture in life. There is a sense of togetherness in our community.

"It’s about honoring those who have won their fight, supporting those who are still battling and memorializing those who we’ve lost. This event is simply beautiful and I'm forever grateful for the opportunity to still be a part of something so amazing.

"You never know if, when or who may be affected by cancer. Seeing so many people come together brings teams, families and communities together. When people come together like this they accomplish great things.”

The hallways surrounding the gymnasium were lined with balloons, decorations, photos and raffle tables. The basket raffle had more than 80 basket items to choose from, including donated items from various merchants and community members. There were three different raffles to choose from, highlighted by an Autographed Jack Eichel jersey, PlayStation 4 gaming system and diamond ring.

In addition to the raffles, the cafeteria was serving up slices of pizza from local area pizzerias, Original Pizza Logs, Perry’s Ice Cream and a variety of beverages donated by Coca-Cola Bottling Company. The cafeteria was uniquely set up and renamed “Mr. Brown’s Snack Shack” for the evening paying homage to its perennial coordinator, Arron Brown.

The list of WNY companies, vendors and individuals who donated to Shooting For A Cure! numbers more than 90, including 26 Shirts, Batavia’s Original, Big Pauly’s Pizza, Buffalo Bandits, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Bisons, Buffalo Sasbres, Carly’s Club, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Darien Lake Theme Park, Insty-Prints, Kendall’s Impressive Marks, LaPaloma Pizzeria, Mac Tools, Manitoba Corporation, Minute Print, NFL Films, Original Pizza Logs, Party City, Perry’s Ice Cream, Petals to Please, Russell’s Steaks, Chops & More, Target, Tim Horton’s, Tony’s Pizza, Yancey’s Fancy, and YMCA of Batavia.

Additionally, online donations are still being accepted at the team’s online fundraising page: (https://www.crowdrise.com/shooting4acure).

RPCI officially sanctioned the fifth annual Shooting For A Cure! game as an official Team Cure fundraiser and as a valuable example of the way that young people today can make a difference.

“It’s inspirational to have a group of teens who are so passionate about raising critically-needed funds for cancer research at Roswell Park," said Julia Harvey, Team Cure coordinator. "These girls continue to demonstrate an incredible amount of compassion.

"To think in one evening that this group of young women, with the support of Coach Ron Funke, Mike and Jen Wilson as well as their entire community, were able to raise over $10,000 is remarkable!

"This small community has a big heart! They continue to amaze us every year with this event. To think that this small school district has raised over $40,000 in five seasons is extraordinary!”

Submitted photos.

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January 6, 2016 - 12:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, baseball.

Press release:

Team New Era Baseball will hold tryouts for its 8- and 9-year-old rookie elite travel baseball program at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17th, and Sunday, Jan. 24th, at their Depew facility, 3950 Broadway.

For more information or to register for the tryout, visit www.teamnewerabaseball.com or contact Rich Wozniak at 716-681-3001.

January 5, 2016 - 4:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Rotary Club, rotary tournament, basketball, sports.

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Batavia High School will face some tough challengers for its Rotary Tournament crown when the annual event tips off tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Genesee Community College.

Always tough Notre Dame, defending Class C champs Cal-Mum and a rapidly improving Attica team will all vie for the crown.

Both Cal-Mum and Attica haven't participated in more than a decade.

Notre Dame's Dave Pero said he anticipates a fun and competitive tournament.

"This tournament brings together some very, very good teams," Pero said. "I’ve seen Cal-Mum and Attica. The competition doesn’t stop. It’s really a great tournament for the middle of the season where it’s almost like a sectional atmosphere. To me, the team to beat is Batavia. This is still their trophy until somebody can beat them. They’re playing very, very well right now. I’m looking for some strong competition and hopefully someone else can walk off with it this year. We’ll see what happens. I know Batavia will be ready."

Game times are 6 and 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday for the consolation game and the championship game.

Pictured are team captains Kierra Perl, Attica, Madison McCulley, Batavia, Rebecca Krenzer, Notre Dame, Adrianna Molisani, Cal-Mum. Back row is Corinne Jones, head coach of the SUNY Brockport women's basketball team, who delivered a few remarks about basketball and life during this afternoon's Rotary luncheon.

January 5, 2016 - 8:20am

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Batavia Lady Devils had been rolling on a streak, winning their last six straight games. But coming on the court in the first half Monday night, they were very flat-footed and missing opportunities.

Pittsford Sutherland came out hitting five 3-point baskets, and they held the lead by six points after the first quarter 20-14.

Batavia's senior Madison McCulley needed 12 points to reach a 1,000th-point milestone and her hopes were not good after the first half. Hitting one of one from the 3-point line, rimming a couple from underneath, the ball just would not drop for #42. Seniors Tiara Filbert led the first half with 15 points and Sam Cecere had nine.

Pittsford Sutherlands' Mary Bayer had seven points and Lena Kaufmans was three for three, ending with 11 points at the half, and Batavia was down by five, 36-31.

Coach Marty Hein and assistant John McCulley had to get their team back in the game and they did.  

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Tiara Filbert came out strong with eight of the 16 points. Batavia scored in the third quarter to lead 47-43. Pittsford Sutherland started making some key errors, was missing baskets, and Batavia took advantage. 

Taylor and Ryann Stefaniak started the charge combining 12 points in the fourth quarter. McCulley sank two buckets to bring her within one point of making her milestone. At the 5:54 mark in the fourth quarter, McCulley made her third straight 3-pointer to get her 1,000th high school career point -- actually 1,002. 

McCulley went to her bench and was embraced by her players (top photo) above, her dad John, and Coach Hein.  

Final score was 71-51 Batavia who is now 8-1 and Pittsford Sutherland drops to 5-5. Next game for Batavia is tomorrow at Genesee Community College where they are hosting a tournament and playing Calmum at 7:45 p.m. in the first round. 

Pictured below is Madison McCulley along with her teammates holding signs of her 1,000th career point tonight. Last year Tiara Filbert made her 1,000th career point on Batavia's home court.

For more photos of last night's game go to: Steve Ognibene Photography

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December 31, 2015 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lions Tournament, batavia, basketball, sports.

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A team coached by Buddy Brasky plays defense, but lockdown all you want, you've still got to score to win games.

The Blue Devils didn't do that very effectively Wednesday night in the Lions Tournament finale at Genesee Community College against University Prep.

The final score, 57-45 in U-Prep's favor.

"They're scoring 80 points a game and we held them in the 50s and we score 40 something," Brasky said. "You're not going to beat good teams scoring 40 something points."

There's no doubt, U-Prep is a good team. The Griffins' feature a 6'4" post player in Jeenathan Williams and an athletic guard in Isaiah Brinkley, and even with schemes designed to limit their scoring opportunities, Williams notched 23 points and Brinkley had 18.

Williams scored 14 points in the second half.

"We tried to lock him up," Brasky said. "Then Brinkley hit a couple of threes against the zone. That was another part of the game plan: Always know where he is, and close out hard on him, and make him put the ball on the ground. But you can't always find him."

For most of the first half, the game looked like it might be all Batavia.

The half ended with the Blue Devils up 12-4. Brasky thought the margin should have been bigger.

"We got that seven-nothing lead and then we missed three little easy chippies inside," Brasky said. "It could have been 15-4 or 18 to 4, so I thought that was a key part of the game right away."

The Griffins' rang up a surprising number of offensive fouls in the first quarter, which kept putting the ball back in Batavia's hands.

"That's one thing we take pride in," Brasky said. "We do take a lot of charges. But specifically for this game, yes, they look to put their head down and attack the paint. We really emphasize stepping in and taking charge and we did. We were hoping that would make them more tentative. I think it did that in the first quarter."

Brasky said he would need to review the game tape to see what changed either in the defense or U-Prep's offensive scheme to see why things turned around so dramatically in the second quarter when the Griffins' outscored Batavia 22-10.

Batavia's offense came primarily from Malachi Chenault, 13, Ryan Hogan, 10, Tee Sean Ayala, eight.

U-Prep's game plan seem to be to deny in the paint and let the Blue Devils fire away from beyond the arc. Batavia has gunners who can hit from that distance, but too few balls dropped in the bucket.

"I think the real story of the game is, we couldn't shoot," Brasky said. "Let's call a spade a spade. I mean, they packed the zone. They know Malachi and Jake are our two biggest weapons and they packed it in and didn't give us many looks. They gave us any shot we wanted on the perimeter and we couldn't hit many of them."

Batavia actually had five three-pointers compared to only two for U-Prep, but it wasn't enough.

In the paint, Chenault once again showed how much his grown since last season as a low post player, good footwork, fighting for position and attacking the glass. Several of his points came on offensive putbacks.

"He's a senior now," Brasky said. "That's number one. He's a three-year starter, and (Jeff) Redband's not here anymore and we need a go-to guy, so, yes, he's stepping up like a senior should. We talked about that in the off-season. He really worked hard on his game and he's really producing for us."

Batavia is now 7-1 and U-Prep is 7-3. Both are Class A2 teams, so a sectional meeting come postseason isn't out of the question. Brasky likes his team's chances against the Giffins if they work out the kinks with their shooting.

"We can play with them," Brasky said. "If we make some improvements, I think we can compete with them and I think we can beat them."

All-Tournament Team honors went to Tyler Prospero, Notre Dame, Tommy Mattison, Albion, Chenault, Batavia, Ayala, Batavia, and Brinkley, U-Prep. Williams, U-Prep, was named most valuable player.

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December 29, 2015 - 7:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Lion's Tournament, Batavia HS, Notre Dame, batavia.

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University Prep and Batavia High School will vie for the Lions Tournament Championship on Wednesday following dominating victories in the opening round games Monday night at Genesee Community College.

U-Prep beat Notre Dame 80-36 behind Isaiah Brinkley's 20 points, with Joe McGrady adding 14 to go with 10 rebounds. For the Fighting Irish, Tyler Prospero had 13, Jordan Lyons had seven, and C.J. Suozzi, seven.

In the nightcap, the Blue Devils beat Albion 58-38. Off the bench, Tee Sean Ayala scored 15 points, all coming off of five three-pointers. Malachi Chenault scored 11, Adonis Davis, seven. For Albion, Tommy Mattison hit five three-pointers and scored 19 points.

Batavia is now 7-0 on the season.

U-Prep and Batavia will play at 8 p.m. Wednesday at GCC.

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December 23, 2015 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, oakfield-alabama, pembroke.

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In an effort to preserve its undefeated season, the Oakfield-Alabama Hornets twice battled back from double-digit deficits in the second half, and managed to briefly grab the lead with 1:11 left in the game. But missed free throws and two whiffs on easy layups proved to be O-A's undoing, allowing Pembroke to slip by with a 59-58 win.

"I told them this is one we let get away, but we learn from it," said Hornets Head Coach Ryan Stehlar. "You can't dwell on it. You learn from it and get better."

Both coaches were proud of how their teams stayed focused and played tough in the hard-fought contest.

The Dragons know O-A would play hard and fast, and they came prepared, said Dragon's Head Coach Matt Shay.

"They play a real intense style and I thought our guys faltered a little bit at times, but showed some resliance at the end," Shay said.

Junior guard Ryan Cansdale lead all scorers with 16 points for Pembroke; Zach Staebell had 15 and Dakota Dieter scored 14.

For O-A, Jake Mandel scored 13, Trey Nadolinski had 12 and Allen Chatt had eight.

The Hornets and Pembroke are both at the top of the Genesee Region standings with just one defeat each. They won't meet again until the final regular season game, Feb. 9.

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December 21, 2015 - 1:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports.

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Three members of Batavia's Section V championship team were honored with All-Greater-Rochester selections, including Dom Mogavero (above), who was named as a linebacker.

Second team honors went to QB Greg Mruczek and WR Ryan Hogan.

On defense this season, Mogavero had 125 tackles, four forced fumbles, a sack, an interception and one defensive TD. (He also rushed for 1,127 yards and scored 15 TDs.)

Mruczek (second picture) set several school records this season, including passing yards, touchdowns and total offensive yards. He completed 117 passes in 183 attempts for 2,101 yards and 32 TDs. He also carried the ball 39 times for 248 yards and two TDs, giving him 34 total touchdowns and 2,349 total yards. He's also the BHS career leader in passing yards (4,294), passing touchdowns (59), total yards of offensive (4,883) and total touchdowns (65).

Hogan (third picture)  had 31 catches for 707 yards in 2015. His 14 TDs are a school record and fourth all-time in Section V.

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Other Genesee County football players honored:

  • Noah Dobbertin (Batavia)
  • Anthony Gallo (Batavia)
  • Ray Leach (Batavia)
  • Addison Pitcher (Batavia)
  • Trevor Sherwood (Batavia)
  • Danny Williams (Batavia)
  • Nick Egeling (Le Roy)
  • Luke Hogle (Le Roy)
  • Josh Laurie (Le Roy)
  • Anthony Natrigo (Le Roy)
  • Allen Chatt (Oakfield-Alabama)
  • Richard Flores (Elba/Byron-Bergen)
  • Andrew Gottler (Elba/Byron-Bergen)
  • Dane Heberlein (Alexander)
  • John Hochmuth (Elba/Byron-Bergen)
  • Josh Hylkema (Alexander)
  • Riley Kusmierski (Alexander)
  • Thomas Lambert (Elba/Byron-Bergen)
  • Ethan Osborne (Notre Dame)
  • Dustin Schmeider (Alexander)
  • Ismile Smith (Oakfield-Alabama)
  • C.J. Suozzi (Notre Dame)
  • Jack Sutherland (Notre Dame)
  • Jack Thomas (Pembroke)
  • Dakota Weidman (Notre Dame)
  • Zach Von Kramer (Pembroke)
  • Adam Walter (Elba/Byron-Bergen)
  • Joe Weatherwax (Notre Dame)
  • Reice Woodward (Oakfield-Alabama)
  • Jacob Wozniak (Alexander)

Boys Cross Country

  • Thomas Berggren (Notre Dame)
  • Anderson Bradshaw (Alexander)
  • Nathaniel DiSalvo (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba)
  • Jacob Gualtieri (Notre Dame)
  • Justin Hannan (Byron-Bergen)
  • Josh Larmon (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba)
  • Maxim McKenzie (Le Roy)
  • Cole O'Donnell (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba)
  • Henry Pflaumer (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba)
  • Joseph Yaeger (Alexander)
  • Trevor Zauner (Alexander)

Boys Soccer

  • Kieran O'Halloran (Le Roy)
  • Nicholas Richardson (Le Roy)
  • Mason Muoio (Byron-Bergen)
  • Ryan Richardson (Byron-Bergen)
  • Alejandro Ocampo (Byron-Bergen)
  • Matt Foeller (Byron-Bergen)
  • Ryan Curtis (Pembroke)
  • Ryan Cansdale (Pembroke)

Girls Cross Country

  • Siomara Caballero (Byron-Bergen)
  • McKenna Cone (Le Roy)
  • Emily Dyson (Pembroke)
  • Emily Gonyea (Byron-Bergen)
  • Morgan Munger (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba)

Girls Soccer

  • Leah Thompson (Byron-Bergen)
  • Kelsey Maurer (Byron-Bergen)
  • Sarah Zakes (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba)
  • Stephany McBride (Alexander)
  • Callie McCulley (Notre Dame)
  • Grace Krizen (Pembroke)
  • Quinn Audsley (Pembroke)
  • Olivia Audsley (Byron-Bergen)
  • Hannah Duttweiler (Pembroke)
  • Jenna Amesbury (Byron-Bergen)
  • Jayna Wright (Alexander)
  • Jennifer Yuhnke (Pavilion)

Girls Swimming

  • Maiya Reinhart (Batavia)

Girls Tennis

  • Stephanie Hoy (Batavia)
  • Melissa Mountain (Batavia)
  • Lea Morgan (Batavia)
  • Ariana Ross (Batavia)
  • Alicia Scroger (Batavia)
  • Lauren Leone (Batavia)

Volleyball

  • Lydia Milligan (Pavilion)
  • Taylor Sherman (Le Roy)
  • Ava Vescovi (Le Roy)
  • Riley Pasquale (Le Roy)
  • Naomi Hyde (Le Roy)
  • Breton Stephens (Alexander)
  • Aralyse Johnson (Pembroke)
  • Sami Quaranto (Pembroke)
  • Shea Norton (Notre Dame)
  • Mary Kate Miceli (Notre Dame)
  • Nichol Salvador (Notre Dame)
  • Bryanna D’Agostino (Byron-Bergen)
  • Lauren Burke (Byron-Bergen)
  • Cora Ivison (Byron-Bergen)
December 19, 2015 - 12:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, Falleti Ice Arena, batavia, sports.

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Prior to the start of the David M. McCarthy Memorial Hockey Tournament at the Falleti Ice Arena, Assemblyman Steve Hawley donated a U.S. flag and a state flag to the arena to hang next to the scoreboard. The U.S. flag replaces the one that has hung in the area for years and has become worn with age.

Pictured are arena managers Alan Fitzsimmons and Adam Reach, Batavia players Bryce Polito and Riley Kusmicrski, Hawley, and players Bryce D'Alba and Jack Kasmarek.

December 18, 2015 - 2:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations:

The 69th live racing season at Batavia Downs wrapped up last Saturday (Dec. 12) much the same way it kicked off back in July; with a packed house of fans watching the best racing in Upstate New York.

The stellar calendar of stake races provided those in attendance a great opportunity to see some of the best horses in New York State and a fair number of Grand Circuit players as well.

The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) produced three record performances. The first was on Sunday (Aug. 30) when 3-year-old pacing colt Betting Exchange (Bettor’s Delight-Cheeky Hanover) tied the track record of 1:51.2 for sex and gait in winning his division of the $120,400 NYSS event. This was the fastest pacing mile of the meet.

Then on Wednesday (Sept. 16), Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance Hanover) took advantage of a lightning-fast track and 80 degree temperatures to set a new world’s record of 1:52.4 for 2-year-old pacing fillies in winning her division of the $109,000 NYSS race. It (obviously) was also a new track record for Batavia Downs, smashing the old standard of 1:54.2.

The 13th renewal of Batavia Downs signature event, the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace, took place on Saturday (Oct. 3) and one of the winningest horses in North America added his name to the roster of champions of that race. Seventeen-time winner in 2015, Atta Boy Dan (Western Terror-Dropitlikeitshot), paced his last quarter in :27.4 and pulled away to an easy win in 1:52.1.

The all-time pacing track record of 1:51.1 was not broken in that race, however track trotting history was made instead in the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial the same night.

Top local trotting star Lutetium destroyed the field, at one point opening up a gap of as much as 15 lengths, before scooting home to a six-length victory in 1:55.2. The winning time broke the existing track record of 1:56 for aged trotting geldings set in 2014. This race was also the fastest trotting mile of the meet.

Kevin Cummings easily defended his driving title at the Downs by winning 134 times during the meet, far ahead of the rest of his competition. Those rounding oIut the top five included Dave McNeight III with 89 wins, Shawn McDonough with 82 wins, Jack Flanigen with 81 wins and Drew Monti with 73 wins.

JD Perrin also defended his training title by sending 57 horses to the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle. The competition behind him was decidedly closer and included James Clouser Jr. with 45 wins, Dave McNeight Jr. with 41 wins, Maria Rice with 34 wins and Kirk Desmond with 32 wins.

Cobble Beach (Artiscape-Mirmattculous 1:51.2 $176,867) was named pacer of the meet with six Open wins, $42,270 in earnings and a seasonal mark of 1:52.4.

Lutetium (Credit Winner-Luby 1:52.4 $356,617) was the trotter of the meet with six Open wins, $37,750 in earnings and a new track record of 1:55.2.

Memumsnotnice (Jereme’s Jet-Bunny Town 1:51.4 $308,343) was named distaff performer of the meet with four Mares Open wins, $32,942 in earnings and a personal season's mark of 1:55.

The top three winningest post positions for the meet were post 1 with 230 wins, post 2 with 131 wins and post 4 with 129 wins.

In 2015, the on-track handle took a dip of 5.4 percent, or $1263 a night. But the export handle was up a substantial 21.2 percent, or $13,220 per night. Combined, the total handle was up a healthy 9.6 percent, or $10,250 per night.

Batavia Downs paid out $5,438,400 in purses this year, up $208,400 over 2014.

There was no shortage of promotions for Batavia Downs customers this year as something special was going on during 31 nights of the season. Giveaways, contests and food specials dotted the schedule but the year featured four major happenings.

In August the Downs hosted the annual wiener dog races, to the delight of thousands who gathered at the rail to see them. September included the Drew Monti bobblehead night, the annual Labor Day driver’s bike race and a special fund raiser for the family of Brad Hanners.

Then on Sunday (Nov. 15), Batavia Downs hosted the USTA District 8 membership meeting, Director election and New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) year-end awards banquet, sponsored by the New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund.

"We couldn't be happier with the way things went this year" said Todd Haight, GM/director of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. "We had outstanding weather the whole year; not one flake of snow. That facilitated many opportunities for our live crowd to come out and that they did.

"The product on the track was as good as it's ever been and the export numbers confirm that. A lot of people were betting the action at Batavia Downs at all the simulcast facilities that took our signal. The meet ended very strong."

To watch video highlights of the 2015 racing season, click on this link: (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B54kiFXcdsHxM0kxcmQ1dVNxbGM/view?pli=1 )

Live racing will resume at Batavia Downs in July; dates pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission.

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