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February 27, 2013 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, Notre Dame.

After five consecutive losses to defending state champions -- the Elba Lady Lancers -- the Notre Dame girls came into Tuesday's Section V semi-final match a little more determined and with a different game plan.

For the first time, the Fighting Irish ran a man-on-man defense.

The Lancers, who routinely score 70 or more points a game, were held to 40 on the night, scoring only 11 points in the first quarter and none in the second.

"Elba is a very good high school basketball team, a well coached team," said Head Coach Dave Pero after his team's 45-40 victory. "To shut out a team like that for even a few minutes is a feather in your cap. To do it to Elba is tough to do."

Riley Norton, who led Notre Dame with 16 points and 12 rebounds, said supporters have been encouraging the team to try a man-on-man defense.

The Irish always play Elba tough (one of the few teams that does) and maybe switching up the defense could make the difference.

"The defense worked," Norton said. "Going out and stopping them defensively is what we've been going out and working on day after day after day."

During the first half, the Lancers were often taking shots with only a few seconds on the clock. It was hard for the girls to find open lanes. When they did shoot, too often the ball didn't drop through the hoop.

"I thought, you know, we've got some quickness," Pero said, "let's roll the ball out and see where it falls. We went man-to-man and it paid off."

Tom Nowak, Elba's head coach, said man-to-man isn't something the Lady Lancers regularly see, but they've successfully played against that tactic before and they do prepare for it.

"We struggled in the first half," he said. "We didn't play Elba basketball."

In the previous five losses to Elba, the Irish have taken leads only to watch them slip away.

As the second quarter progressed, the Lancers turned a 12-point deficit into a two down, which raised the question: Would history repeat?

Of course, she thought that very question, Norton said, but she also felt this night was different.

"I knew we were going to fight through it," Norton said. "We fought through it last Friday. We’ve grown as a team since last time we played them. I knew this was our time and I knew we could hold onto it."

With the lead two, a three-point jumper from Emma Francis late in the 4th gave Notre Dame the emotional lift to hold back Elba.

"We said all along, and this seems to have happened the last four or five times they've beat us, we've got that one bad quarter," Pero said. "We seem to lose our momentum. Well, tonight, they hung in, they stayed composed and it's a great win for the girls."

The rivalry between Notre Dame and Elba is long-standing and crosses the lines between girls and boys sports and wraps in football as well as basketball.

On a slushy winter night, nearly 200 fans of the teams made the hour-long drive to Dansville for the game. Both sides were loud and proud until the final seconds of the game.

When the final buzzer sounded, Elba students rushed onto the court and mobbed the Elba players. The scene suited a championship game, not just a stepping stone to the next round.

Norton was clearly ecstatic after the win.

"This is my senior year," Norton said. "I didn’t want to stop playing. I want to get that patch on Sunday."

Pero admitted, it was a big win for him, too.

Personally, any time you can be a coached Tom Nowack team it’s great, because to me he’s one of the top coaches in Section V," Pero said. "Any time you can match wits with him,  it’s a feather, but it’s all about the girls. It’s not about me or my coaches. It’s about the girls. Without them I’d be nothing, so hats off to them."

Elba had a great run that included a state title and a breathtaking winning streak. Nowak said his girls should be proud.

"Like I told the kids, you’ll look back 10 years from now, 15 years, and realize what you accomplished," Nowak said. "I said I’ve been coaching 35 years in Elba and never did I experience anything like I did last year and this year, winning 44 games in a row. They will be really proud of that accomplishment down the road when they come back and think about it."

Notre Dame plays Friday for the sectional title, 8 p.m., against Romulus at Letchworth.

Photos: Laurie Call and Bailee Welker celebrate following the big win. Emma Francis drives for a lay-up against McKenzie Bezon. Riley Norton and Jamie Marshall fight for a rebound in the 4th quarter. Norton and Kelsey Bezon in the 4th quarter.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

February 27, 2013 - 8:12am
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

Batavia will play for the Class B1 crown after demolishing Livonia, 75-38.

This will be the Blue Devils’ first trip to the sectional finals since 2010. Coincidentally, they beat Livonia to win their second consecutive sectional championship that season and reached the semi-finals of the New York State tournament.

The Blue Devils scored the first 10 points of the game and never looked back, building a 19-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Jalen Smith scored 15 of his game-high 20 points in the first half as top-seeded Batavia carried a 37-point lead into the break.

Justin Washington, a freshman on that 2010 team, had another superb outing for the Blue Devils, scoring 10 points, grabbing nine rebounds, dishing out five assists and collecting three steals in the victory, while Justice Fagan scored 12 points off the bench on 4-of-5 3-point field goals.

Batavia (17-3) will face second-seeded Newark (14-6) in the Class B1 Final at the Blue Cross Arena on Sunday at 3 p.m. after they blew past NE/NW College Prep in the other semi-final matchup, 70-44.

Cody Cronmiller had 17 points and six rebounds for Livonia (10-10) in defeat.

February 27, 2013 - 1:50am
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

For the second consecutive year, the Genesee Community College men’s basketball season came to an end at the hands of Mercyhurst North East. Last season, the Saints eliminated the Cougars in the semi-finals of the Region III playoffs. This year, Mercyhurst held serve at home on Tuesday night in the #4/#5 match up of the opening round.

The two teams split the regular season series this year with both teams winning a game at home.

Mercyhurst, the no. 4 seed, shot better than 54% in the opening half on Tuesday night including eight 3-point baskets. The Saints erased an early 5-0 GCC lead, and after not scoring a basket during the first three minutes of the game, connected on three quick baskets from long-range to take the lead for good.

The #5 Cougars found themselves behind by ten, 37-27 with under five minutes remaining in the opening period and gave up a 15-9 run during the final four minutes of the half to fall behind 52-36 at the break.

GCC clawed back early in the second half and cut the Saints lead down to single digits just four minutes in. Stanley Peacock got the Cougars to within nine with a layup and after a made Mercyhurst basket, GCC converted on three straight free throws to close the gap to eight.

Mercyhurst responded and went on a 7-0 run in a span of just over a minute to extend their lead back to double-digits. The Saints grew their lead back up to as much as 16 with 12 minutes remaining, but the Cougars still had fight left in them.

Maurice Bailey connected on back-to-back three point baskets and E.J. Blackwell added a three of his own to get Genesee to within 11. Trailing 77-67 with under ten minutes to play, Donte Meredith got the Cougars back to within eight with a layup.

GCC cut the Mercyhurst lead to four just two minutes later before Terryl Coombs converted a layup to bring the Cougars all the way back to within two with 3:30 left to play. The Saints answered, and regained a lead as high as six with two minutes left in the game.

Genesee put together a quick 6-2 run to get back to within two at 92-90 with one minute remaining. Forced to put the Saints at the free throw line, Genesee was able to inch to within one at 95-94 when Vaughn Boler scored after Mercyhurst hit one of two free throws. The Saints converted on two free throws with less than ten seconds to play and trailing by three, the Cougars were unable to get off a final shot and a chance at the tie, falling to Mercyhurst, 97-94.

The Cougars out-rebounded the Saints 52-33 on the night, but Mercyhurst shot better than 55% from the field in the game.

Boler led the way for Genesee with 24 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. Blackwell added 19 points, Coombs finished with 12 points and 11 boards, Bailey chipped in 16 points and Peacock collected six rebounds.

Genesee finishes the season with a 15-16 overall mark and will bid farewell to sophomores Donte Meredith and Terryl Coombs.

February 26, 2013 - 12:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, hockey.


This past weekend the Batavia Rampart Squirt B hockey team played for the Division Championship at the Webster Ice Arena. In a hard faught battle they ended up being defeated by TCYH. The game was the culmination of a very succesful league season for the Rampart team.  The events of the day, which included all of the hoopla that would be expected in a championship game were a great thrill for this group of 9 and 10 year old boys and girls.  It was a tremendous accomplishment to be one of only two remaining teams, with the hopes of capturing the league crown.  With league games now complete the Squirt B team sets their sights on capturing a trophy in the Rochester Rumble tournament on the weekend of March 8-10.

The roster:
Zack Biegasiewicz, Nick Call, Collin Crane, Jocelyn Cryer, Derrick Fedus, Benjamin Lemley, Connor McNiel, Riley Pankow, Dylan Pehrson, Landin Pizzi, Jenna Sniesko(G), and Michael Stoll. Head Coach: Rich Biegasiewicz     Assistant coaches: Pat Fedus and Kevin Sniesko  Manager: Stephanie Call

February 26, 2013 - 9:36am
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

Notre Dame’s perfect season came crashing to end when Avon clinched the Class C1 Semifinals, 60-58.

The Fighting Irish entered the contest at 19-0 on the season, looking to win their second straight sectional championship after making it to the New York State Class D Semifinals last season. But this season they moved up to Class C and the Braves proved to be too much to handle.

“We knew it was going to be tougher,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. “Even though they moved us up a class, we still have the student body of a Class D school. It showed tonight. They had a little more depth, a little more physicality, a few more big kids than we had, and it was the difference in the game.”

In the first quarter, it appeared as if top-seeded Notre Dame would take control of the game, but Avon cut the deficit to three on a buzzer-beating shot off an inbound play by Zack Rizzolo to end the first quarter.

The Braves would carry that momentum into the second as they scored the first seven points of the frame.

Not to be outdone, the Irish responded with a 13-4 run of their own to recapture the lead heading into halftime, 29-26.

The third quarter belonged to the star players on each team.

Avon’s Zach Mouw started the second half red-hot, scoring 12 of his team’s first 13 points of the frame, however Notre Dame’s Tim McCulley responded by scoring 12 of the team’s 18 points in the quarter.

“Tim did a nice job,” Rapone said. “They were really pressing hard to take (McCulley, Tommy Prospero and Jared Thornton) out of the game. Tim did what he had to do, he found the gaps and he got inside.”

Mouw had 22 points midway through the third quarter, including connecting on four shots in a row, before Rapone matched Thornton on him in an attempt to take him out offensively.

Mouw did not score a point the rest of the game, but Avon’s role players began to step up, particularly on the boards, as the Braves racked up four offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter alone.

“It was something I was concerned about, but the main reason it happened was because we had to switch defenses to stop Mouw,” Rapone said. “We had to pick our poison.”

Avon took the lead with three minutes to play after Galen Snyder scored off a Mouw pass and drew a foul in the process. Freshman Gerad Coyne would then connect on a three-pointer from the wing with 2:40 to play, putting the Braves up by six.

The Irish would then storm back, getting two quick baskets from McCulley to cut the lead to two with just over a minute to play.

Coyne would appear to step out of bounds on the ensuing possession, but Avon was granted a timeout, allowing them to run the clock down to 30 seconds before turning the ball back over to Notre Dame.

McCulley was fouled on the next trip down the floor in what appeared to be the game-tying lay-in, but the basket was waved off, forcing the Irish to inbound from underneath.

“We thought Tim had the game-tying basket but it was waved off,” Rapone said. “Calls are calls and the officials make them. You have to live with it and move on.”

Ryan Bender appeared to have an easy lay-up with 10 seconds left, but Tyler Hite rescued the Braves with a game-saving blocked shot.

Prospero would get one last heave at the basket but was unsuccessful as their season came to end.

Mouw led the way for fifth-seed Avon (14-7) with 22 points, seven rebounds and two steals as they advance to the Class C1 Finals on Saturday to play Mynderse at the Blue Cross Arena.

McCulley led Notre Dame (19-1) in a losing effort with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Prospero added 15 points, four rebounds and four assists.

In girls basketball, Batavia beat Pal-Mac 71-68. Madison McCulley scored 30 points and Tiara Filbert added 21 with nine rebounds. Essence Williams also had nine rebounds.

February 24, 2013 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports.

The Blue Devils started a little flat in their first-round match of Section V playoffs at Batavia High School on Saturday, going a few minutes into the first quarter before scoring.

Defense and poor ball handling by Waterloo, who came into the game seeded #8 with a season record of 5-13, kept the game notched at 0-0 for more than three minutes.

Batavia would find their range, though, and finish out the first quarter with a 13-2 lead on their way to a 60-37 victory.

Justin Washington led all scorers with 19 points and crossed the 1,000-career-point milestone.

"It’s hard to keep these guys motivated (playing a #8 seed) and keep the good habits you try to build," said Head Coach Buddy Brasky. "I thought we did a fairly good job for most of that game, staying within our defensive principles. That was the whole big concern for me, you know, not to start reaching, going for steals. We want to play solid defensively. That’s what’s going to lead us to the sectional title."

Jalen Smith, a key spark for Batavia's offense, hadn't touched a basketball in a week, Braskey said. He hadn't been out of bed in four days. Half the team, he said, has been sick most of the week, which explains as much about the slow start as playing the #8 seed.

"That was part of it, too," Brasky said. "We’ve really been battling this flu since last Saturday."

After Washington scored his 1,000th point in the fourth quarter, announcer Wayne Fuller stopped the game for the announcement and Washington's teammates and coaches congratulated him on the achievement.

"It means a lot to me," Washington said. "It’s something to talk about my whole varsity career. After Andrew (Hoy) did it, I wanted to do it."

Washington has been a pleasure to coach through his four seasons as a varsity starter, Brasky said.

"He’s been a really nice kid to have in our program and I’m really happy for him," Brasky said.

Next up for Batavia, a semi-final match against #5 seed Livonia, 8:15 p.m., Tuesday, at RIT.

Also, last night, Le Roy's boys fell to #1 seed Hornel, 62-42. Scoring for Le Roy: Marcus Mistersaro 7; Zach Moore 11; Nate Piazza 6; Le Roy finishes the year 6-13.

The other big Section V boys basketball game this week: #1 seed Notre Dame (19-0) vs. #5 Avon (13-7), 7 p.m., at Cal-Mum.

In girls Section V playoff action:

  • Batavia plays PalMac, 6 p.m., Monday, at Pittsford-Sutherland
  • Elba and Notre Dame square off at 8 p.m., Tuesday, at Dansville

Coverage Note: We're not completely settled on what we'll cover yet. On Monday night, at most we can cover one game because I'll be at the Batavia City Council meeting. On Tuesday, Nick Sabato will cover Batavia and I'll cover Elba/Notre Dame.

To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

February 23, 2013 - 5:54pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

The Genesee Community College men’s basketball team dropped their regular season finale on Saturday afternoon, 87-69 to Erie Community College.

The Cougars found themselves behind early after Erie started the afternoon on a 21-8 run and had a 31-14 lead 15-minutes in. Donte Meredith closed the gap after a three-point basket and a traditional three-point play later in the half to get GCC to within 13 at 33-20 with four minutes left in the opening period. The Cougars trailed 39-24 at the break.

(#11 Vaughn Boler scores two of his team-high 19 points against Erie CC on Saturday afternoon)


The Kats upped their lead to 17 early in the second half before the Cougars clawed back. With 14 minutes remaining in the game, E.J. Blackwell got Genesee to within ten with a layup, and then Vaughn Boler converted a free throw after a basket to trim the Erie lead to 49-42.

Seven points was as close as GCC would get, as the Kats ended the afternoon on a 30-19 run.

Boler scored a team-high 19 points and Maurice Bailey added 18 points. Terryl Coombs grabbed 11 rebounds and Blackwell dished out nine assists.

The Cougars end the regular season with a 15-15 overall record and a 6-8 record in conference play. They will move on to the Region III tournament next week, which begins on Tuesday night.



The Genesee Community College women’s basketball team ended their regular season with a loss to Erie Community College on Saturday afternoon, falling to the Lady Kats 75-43.

Paige Hennings gave Genesee an early 4-2 lead with her first of two 3pt baskets of the half, but Erie responded with a 10-2 run to take the lead for good. The Lady Cougars went through a seven-minute scoring drought at the midway point of the opening period and trailed 38-16 at the break.

Erie’s lead ballooned to as many as 32 points in the second half after a 16-7 start to the final twenty-minutes and stayed there for the end result.

Dashawna Jenifer led the way for GCC with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Hennings ended the afternoon with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Genesee end the regular season with a 1-23 overall record. They will head to the Region III playoffs next week.

February 23, 2013 - 10:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Le Roy.

With a key player injured in the first minute of the game, Le Roy's girls battled Bath-Haverling hard, letting the game slip away for only a portion of the third and fourth quarter, but still came up short in their Section V playoff match, 47-42.

Montana Vescovi, who led the team this season in points, rebounds and steals, suffered an ankle injury early on, but captains Kari Piazza and Alicia Conte picked up the slack and kept the Oatkan Knights in the game.

“She’s a definately a key player, but we were right there," Head Coach Brian Herdlein "There’s no excuses. They played well. We played as hard as we could. It was a good game."

Le Roy and Bath switched back and fourth on the lead until the midway through the third quarter, when Bath built as much as a 12-point lead at one point.

Herdlein said his girls were able to take advantage of their mismatches with Bath when Bath ran a one-on-one defense, but when Bath switched to a 3-2, Le Roy had a hard time making the adjustment.

"Our girls were taking shots they weren't comfortable with," Herdlein said.

With about three minutes left, Le Roy started going inside again, tighented up their defense and pulled within two points with a minute to play.

Bath was largely able to control the ball, however, in the final minute and run down the clock, adding points on foul shots.

"They (Bath) rebonded well and played good defense," Herdlein said. "That's the minor difference in the game right there."

Photos: Top, Piazza scores on a lay up in the third quarter; Brooke Bower scrambles for the ball in the 4th quarter; Piazza reacts to getting elbowed in her eye during a rebound attempt in the final seconds of the game.

To purchase prints, click here or the link in the upper right of the slide show below.

In other basketball action:

  • Elba defeated Hammondsport 79 to 30 and Notre Dame downed Prattsburgh 68-54. The two rivals will meet in a Section V semi-final in Dansville on Tuesday.
  • Batavia top Livonia, 48-41.
  • Bergen plays  Mynderse at 4 p.m. in Canandaigua.
  • Notre Dame boys beat Williamson 86-63.
  • Alexander lost to York, 63-51.
  • Oakfield-Alabama lost to Clyde-Savannah, 85-32.
  • Batavia takes on Waterloo at 3 p.m.
  • Hornell and Le Roy meet at 7 p.m.
February 22, 2013 - 12:59am
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

Maurice Bailey scored a team-high 17 points and Stanley Peacock delivered seven points and nine rebounds in the second half to help the Genesee Community College men’s basketball team overcome an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat Alfred State College on the road on Thursday night, 75-73.

Genesee grabbed an early 7-1 lead in the first half but saw it quickly slip away as the home team responded. The Pioneers cashed in nine first half 3pt baskets and had as much as an 18 point lead during the first twenty-minutes. GCC was able to cut the Alfred State lead down to 11 at the half, and trailed 41-30 at the intermission.

(Terryl Coombs (blue) jumps for the opening tip-off on Thursday night at Alfred State)


The Cougars stepped up defensively to begin the second half and got back to within three after a 10-2 run to start the final period. Donte Meredith helped spark the run, scoring six of the first eight GCC points. Alfred State would increase their lead to as many as nine with 11:30 to play, but Genesee kept battling and fought back behind Bailey and Peacock. Peacock converted on two three-point plays and a 3pt basket from both Bailey and E.J. Blackwell got the Cougars to within one at 58-57. Bailey then gave GCC their first lead since the early going with a layup after the Cougars came up with a defensive stop. After a Pioneer 3pt basket, Bailey answered with a three of his own to put Genesee in front, 62-61.

Trailing 66-64 with under seven-minutes to play, Bailey again came up big for GCC with his fourth 3pt basket of the night to regain the lead for Genesee. The Pioneers continued to answer, and took a 71-69 lead with five-minutes left. After tying the game at 71 with a layup, Joe Gray gave Genesee their largest second half lead with a 3pt basket of his own to put the Cougars in front 74-71. Alfred state scored the final field goal of the game with 2:20 remaining to get to within one at 74-73, and both teams produced defensive stops throughout the final minutes to keep the game close.

Still trailing 74-73, Alfred State had possession of the ball with less than ten-seconds to play. The Pioneers were unable to score, but did draw a foul and went to the free throw line for two shots. They were unsuccessful on both attempts and Terryl Coombs boarded the final miss with under a second to play. He was fouled and made one-of-two free throws, and the Cougars escaped with the two-point win.

Peacock finished with a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Blackwell added 15 points and seven assists, Vaughn Boler chipped in 12 points and Meredith and Gray each finished with nine points.

The Cougars improve to 6-7 in conference play and are now 15-14 overall. They will end the regular season on Saturday afternoon when they host Erie Community College for a 3pm start.

The Genesee Community College women’s basketball team was unable to get past Alfred State College on Thursday night, falling on the road to the Lady Pioneers, 73-44.

Dashawna Jenifer again delivered a double-double for Genesee, posting 13 points and 11 rebounds. Dominique Davis scored a team-high 14 points on the night, which included four 3pt baskets.

Alfred State led the entire night and out-rebounded Genesee, 72-48. Genesee shot just 21% on the night and committed 16 turnovers.

The Lady Cougars fall to 0-11 in Western New York Athletic Conference play and are 1-22 on the year. They will conclude the regular season at home on Saturday afternoon when they host Erie Community College for a 1pm tip.

(Becky James (yellow) drives by an Alfred State defender)

February 17, 2013 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, mancuso bowling center, crossroads house.

A three-day bowling tournament to benefit Crossroads House wrapped up today at Mancuso Bowling Center.

It was a big turnout for the 17th annual event with 480 bowlers participating in four shifts Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

"We want to thank everybody who participated," said Cindy Lowder, one of the organizers.

Lowder said the event was held in memory of Betty Ellison, who organized the first event 17 years ago.

"She set everything up so well and got it going. We just really follow her lead now," Lowder said. "She was an amazing organizer. She had all her ducks in a row and we just follow suit."

February 16, 2013 - 11:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, muckdogs, sports.

More than 200 Batavia Muckdogs fans gathered tonight at the Clarion Hotel for the booster club's annual Hot Stove League Dinner.

One of the highlights of the night is the auction of memorabilia, merchandise from local businesses and local art.

The auction was conducted once again by Todd Jantzi, owner Bontrager's.

There was also a silent auction.

The most talked about item of the night was an old baseball card featuring local broadcasting legend Wayne Fuller.

Wayne Fuller

February 16, 2013 - 1:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, hockey.

Twenty-four boys and girls ages 4-9 came out for a 'Try Hockey' event today at Falleti Ice Arena. The free event gave kids a chance to skate around, hit pucks with sticks and learn a little about the game.

Above, four-year-old Matthew Kosiorek.

February 15, 2013 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, muckdogs, sports.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs have announced their manager and coaching staff for the 2013 season. This year’s squad will be led by Manager Angel Espada, Pitching Coach Brendan Sagara and Hitting Coach Rich Arena.

The 2013 campaign marks Espada’s second year as the manager for the Marlins’ short-season Single-A affiliate, first as manager of the Batavia Muckdogs. Espada spent the past season as the manager of the Jamestown Jammers and the year prior as the hitting coach for the Jammers. Prior to his time with Jamestown, he spent two years working as the hitting coach for the Gulf Coast League Marlins.

Espada was a 42nd-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in the 1994 First-Year Player Draft. In addition to the Braves, he also played in the Mets and Yankees systems. His playing career spanned 14 years and he finished with a .305 career batting average over 940 games played.

Sagara begins his second season as pitching coach for the Marlins’ short-season Single-A affiliate. Sagara has served as a pitching coach for 11 seasons with various teams. He broke into the coaching profession with the Dubois County Dragons of the Frontier League in 2001 as the club’s pitching coach. He has also worked for the Braves as a part-time scout (2010-11) and the Mets as an associate scout (2006-09). In 2007, he was named Coach of the Year in the Frontier League, while coaching the top pitching staff in Windy City. He and his wife, Michelle, reside in Wahiawa, Hawaii.

Arena returns for his second season as hitting coach for the Marlins’ short-season Single-A affiliate. He spent the previous two years as the director of scouting for Team One Management in Tampa, Fla. Prior to his time at Team One Management, Arena was the head coach at his alma mater, Tampa Catholic High School (Fla.), from 2007-09. He was recognized as the 3A Coach of the Year in 2008 and compiled a 53-18 record at Tampa Catholic HS. He spent the previous 10 years with the New York Yankees as scout and coach in the Minor League system. He and his wife, Joselle, have five children and reside in Tampa.

Bibbo will serve as the trainer for the 2013 season, his first year with the Marlins’ organization. Bibbo previously was the interim head athletic trainer at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia. Prior to that, he spent four years (August 2007-September ‘10, September 2011-June ‘12) as the assistant athletic trainer at Malvern Preparatory School. He spent seven months (February-August 2011) as the rehabilitation intern with the Philadelphia Phillies. Bibbo received his Master of Science in Rehabilitation Science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2012 and his bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. in 2007. He resides in West Chester, Pa. with his wife, Elizabeth, and stepson, Andrew (12).

February 15, 2013 - 8:14am
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

Charlotte connected on five three-pointers as a part of a 15-2 run to start the fourth quarter to put away Batavia on their senior night, 72-54.

The Lakesiders got off to a hot start as Kievonn Banks scored 14 of his game-high 37 points in the first quarter and led 21-15.

In the second quarter, Batavia’s own star took over as Justin Washington scored 15 points in the frame to help give the Blue Devils a one-point halftime lead.

Washington continued to control the game after the intermission, until midway through the third quarter as he picked up his third personal foul on a coast-to-coast charge.

With the Blue Devils’ star on the bench, Charlotte would use their full-court pressure to regain the lead heading into the fourth, 48-46.

“We didn’t take care of the ball,” Washington said. “If we are going to make a run in sectionals, we are definitely going to have to take care of the ball.”

Banks would connect on a three to start the frame, and would strike seconds after a Rayqwaun Blocker steal of Jake Brasky led to another three from Demetrius Gettys.

Batavia halted the run after a timeout with a lay up, but Charlotte would hit three consecutive shots beyond the arc, two more coming from Gettys, to put the Blue Devils away.

In total, Charlotte (15-3) tallied 15 steals, 7 by Banks, on the night as Batavia never seemed to crack the Lakesiders’ full-court press.

Banks would add nine rebounds to go along with his 37 points and seven steals, while Gettys chipped in with 16 points for Charlotte.

Washington had a superb all-around night in defeat, finishing with 25 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Jamesson Etienne added 14 points and nine rebounds while Jalen Smith chipped in 11 points for Batavia (15-3).

The Blue Devils had already locked up the top seed in Class B1 prior to the game and will play host to the winner of the Midlakes/Waterloo game on Feb. 23. 

PHOTOS By Howard Owens.

Top, Justin Washington scores on a lay up in the second quarter; Jalen Smith with a lay up in the third quarter; Batavia on defense.

To purchase a print of photos, click here, or click the link in the upper right of the slide show below.

February 14, 2013 - 11:24pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

Two straight conference wins have the Genesee Community College men’s basketball team in the hunt to host a Region III playoff game when the first round rolls around in a couple of weeks, but the Cougars hit a stumbling block on Thursday night, losing to visiting Niagara County Community College, 73-71.

Niagara grabbed an early first half lead but the Cougars put together a 12-0 run halfway through the opening period to take a 30-19 advantage. The Thunderwolves responded with three straight 3pt baskets and got back to within four later in the half. Genesee took a 36-31 lead into the break.

GCC opened up a double-digit lead early in the second half, but with ten minutes to play, NCCC regained the lead after getting hot from three-point range. Both teams went toe-to-toe during the final few minutes but Niagara took a five point, 73-68 lead with a minute to go. GCC had a chance to capitalize on two missed one-and-one NCCC free throws, but were only able to cash in a 3pt basket from Malik Brown with under a second to play. The Thunderwolves were able to run out the clock and held on for the victory.

(#2 E.J. Blackwell goes to the basket against Niagara defenders on Thursday night)


Vaughn Boler led the way for Genesee with 18 points and nine rebounds. E.J. Blackwell finished with 14 points and 13 assists, Donte Meredith added 13 points and Joe Gray chipped in 10 points.

The Cougars fall to 14-14 on the season and 5-7 in conference play. They will travel to Alfred State College next Thursday night for a 7:30pm start.

The Genesee Community College women’s basketball team fell to Niagara County Community College for the second time this season on Thursday night, by a final score of 65-37.

GCC lost at Niagara in January and fell to the visitors on Thursday night to drop their overall season record to 1-21.

Becky James helped an otherwise slow start for the Lady Cougars, scoring nine of GCC‘s 17 first half points.

Trailing by nine after the half, Genesee gave up a 20-3 run to start the final twenty-minutes and could not find a way back into the game.

James scored a game-high 13 points, Dashawna Jenifer added 10 points and 14 rebounds and Nanase Akagami chipped in 10 points.

Genesee is now 0-10 in conference play and will travel to Alfred State next Thursday for a 5:30pm start.

February 12, 2013 - 10:42pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

A hot start to Thursday night's game against visiting Mercyhurst North East had the Genesee Community College men's basketball team out to a 26-9 lead early in the first half of a big, late-season Western New York Athletic Conference clash.

Terryl Coombs scored six of Genesee's first nine points during the fast start and the Cougars were on their way to avenging a January 26th loss at Mercyhurst. The Saints responded, however, and went on a 14-0 run of their own to inch back to within three with four minutes to play in the opening period. GCC held a 32-29 lead at the half.

In the second half, the Saints continued to battle and took a 45-44 lead, six minutes in. Both teams exchanged small runs and with six minutes left, the Cougars held a 60-59 advantage. The next five offensive possessions helped GCC to earn their fifth conference victory of the season, as the Cougars scored 15 points in those five possessions, including two Donte Meredith three-point baskets, a traditional three-point play from Vaughn Boler and E.J. Blackwell and a three-point basket from Joe Gray.

Up 74-64 with three minutes left, Genesee did allow Mercyhurst to get back to within three at 74-71 with under a minute to play, but the Cougars went a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line during the final seconds and held on for an 80-73 win.

Boler and Meredith each scored a game high 23 points. Meredith hit five 3pt baskets on the night. Boler also grabbed 14 rebounds. Coombs finished with 11 rebounds and six points, Gray added 13 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and Blackwell chipped in 15 points.

The win improves Genesee to 5-6 in conference play and 14-13 overall on the year. They will host Niagara County Community College on Thursday night for an 8pm start.




The Genesee Community College women’s basketball team dropped a Western New York Athletic Conference match up against Mercyhurst North East on Tuesday night, 66-48.

The Lady Cougars began the night on a 6-4 run to grab an early lead just three minutes into the contest. They then went through a nearly eight-minute scoreless drought, where Mercyhurst North East took advantage and went on a 13-0 run to take a 17-6 lead.

Genesee would fight back later in the half and cut into the Lady Saints lead after Becky James scored three straight baskets. Trailing by five, Dominique Davis inched GCC closer with a top of the key three-pointer, and Nanase Akagami tied the game after a defensive stop with a layup, completing a 9-0 run for Genesee and tying the game at 24-24.

Mercyhurst responded and went on a 6-0 run to take a 30-24 lead into halftime.

After the break, Davis hit her second of three, three-point basket on the night to get GCC to within three at 32-29. That was as close as the Lady Cougars would get the rest of the night, as Mercyhurst went on a mid-half run of 22-5 to put the game out of reach.

Davis finished the night with a team high 15 points, James added nine points, Paige Hennings and Sarah Scarborough each chipped in eight points and Dashawna Jenifer grabbed 10 rebounds.

Genesee falls to 1-20 on the year and 0-9 in conference play. They will host Niagara County Community College on Thursday night at 6pm.

February 12, 2013 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, Notre Dame.

Melanie Taylor, #10 in the photo below, scored 30 points to lead Notre Dame over Lyndonville 80-32 on Monday.

Senior Riley Norton, below, was honored as part of Senior Recognition Night. Riley scored 20 points in the game.

Photos and info submitted by Pete Welker.

In other girls basketball news, Elba finished the season with another perfect 18-0 record, beating Kendall 74-16. Elba, reigning state champs, is riding a 43-game winning streak entering Class D1 sectional play, where the team will be the #1 seed.

February 9, 2013 - 3:14pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

After a slow start on Saturday afternoon, the Genesee Community College men's basketball team bounced back from Thursday night's loss to pick up a win over Jamestown Community College-Olean, 87-71.

The Jaguars started the afternoon on an 8-0 run to grab the lead. Genesee responded with a 14-3 run to take the lead, a lead they would hold on to for the rest of the game. The Cougars only committed one turnover in the first twenty-minutes and led 34-28 at the break.

Donte Meredith hit an early second half three-point basket for GCC to increase their lead to nine. The Cougars led by 15 with just over 13 minutes to play, but saw their lead dip to just seven with seven minutes remaining.

After a timeout, Genesee went on a 15-2 run in a three-minute span to take control of the game and earned their fourth Western New York Athletic Conference victory of the season.

(Joe Gray (white) skies for a dunk in the first half of GCC’s win over Jamestown CC-Olean on Saturday afternoon)


Vaughn Boler finished the afternoon with a team-high 22 points and also collected eight rebounds. E.J. Blackwell added 19 points and five assists, Denzel Thomas and Terryl Coombs each chipped in ten points and Coombs also added eight points. Maurice Bailey scored eight points and Meredith finished with seven points.

Genesee improves to 13-13 on the season and 4-6 in conference play. They will host Mercyhurst North East on Tuesday night at 8pm.




February 8, 2013 - 3:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Notre Dame.

Pete Welker submitted these photos from last night's Notre Dame girls basketball game. ND beat Wheatland-Chili 68-20.

Pictured are: #10 Melanie Taylor, #21 Emily McCracken, #12 Taylor DiMartino, #22 Maddie Mancuso, #5 Bailee Welker, #35 Riley Norton.

February 5, 2013 - 9:37pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

Dashawna Jenifer recorded another double-double effort for the Genesee Community College women's basketball team in a non-conference clash with Finger Lakes Community College on Tuesday night, but the Lady Cougars fell to the visiting Lady Lakers, 76-68.

Jenifer scored 13 points and grabbed ten rebounds in the first half alone for GCC, but the Lady Cougars fell behind early after not scoring for the first six minutes of the game. Finger Lakes jumped out to an 8-0 lead during that time, but Genesee battled back and got to within two after a 6-0 burst.

GCC turned the ball over 21 times in the opening half, but trailed by just seven at the break.

A 5-0 run to start the second half cut the Finger Lakes lead down to two at 39-37, but the Lady Lakers responded and took their lead into double-digits for the majority of the second half.

(Nanase Akagami (white) hits a 3pt basket early in the second half for GCC)


Genesee made a late surge and a Dominique Davis three-point basket got the Lady Cougars back to within six at 72-66 with a minute to play, but Finger Lakes converted at the free throw line during the final minute and earned the eight-point win.

Jenifer finished with a team-high 19 points and 16 rebounds. Davis added 14 points and Nanase Akagami chipped in 12 points. Falesha Moultrie grabbed seven rebounds and Paige Hennings dished out three assists.

Genesee falls to 1-18 on the season and will travel to Jamestown Community College for a 5:30pm start on Thursday night.


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