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May 17, 2016 - 1:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Youth Bureau, sports, news, basketball.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Youth Bureau sponsored a citywide 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament on Friday, May 13. Ten teams competed in the double elimination tournament. Teams represented were Youth, Batavia Police, Batavia City Hall and Genesee County Dept. of Social Services.

The Batavia Youth Bureau is planning another tournament later this summer to continue this community event that creates interaction between youth and public servants.

Below are photos (submitted, IDs from left) of the first-, second- and third-place teams and the Youth Team playing the Batavia Police/City Hall Team.

First Place: Malachi Chenault, Trenton MaGraw, Dakota Irvin and Jordan Thomas.

Second Place: Luqman Baity, Ally Luckenbach and Alex Nesbeth.

Third Place: Anthony Garcia, Juan Claudio, Nashiem Harris (not pictured -- Jeff Redband).

(Names not provided.)

May 3, 2016 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Batavia HS, batavia, news.

Tiara Filbert, who led Batavia's Lady Blue Devils to the team's first Section V title has been recognized by the NYS Sportswriters Association as one of New York's best high school basketball players.

Filbert has been named to the All-State First Team.

The sportswriters select 14 teams plus honorable mentions in Class A and no other player from Section V made any of the top six teams. In all, six players from Section V Class A were honored.

In Class C, Pembroke's Aralyse Johnson received honorable mention. In Class D, Elba's Alex Reigle made fifth team.

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 - 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 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.

To purchase prints, click here.

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 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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For more game pictures click below.

 

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 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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February 20, 2016 - 9:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

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Tiara Filbert led the way with 23 points for the Lady Blue Devils on Friday night, helping to propel Batavia to a 59-22 win over Eastridge in their Section V playoff game.

Ryann Stefaniak and Taylor Stefaniak each scored 14 points.

Also, Friday, Elba girls beat Belfast 63-49.

In boys basketball, Oakfield-Alabama fell to Geneseo, 37-59.

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February 18, 2016 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Notre Dame.

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Sparked by a string of three-point buckets in the 2nd quarter, Notre Dame built an insurmountable lead over Fillmore in a first-round Class D Section V playoff game and ran away with the victory, 58-42.

Half of Fillmore's points came in the final quarter while Notre Dame rested some starters. Fillmore scored only eight, six and seven points in each of the respective first three quarters.

Tyler Prospero led the Irish with 19 points and Casey Midwick added 13.

In other local boys basketball playoff games Wednesday night:

  • Oakfield-Alabama beat Keshequa 65-51 to advance in Class C2. Ryan Douglas scored 18 points;
  • Pembroke, seeded #5, was upset by #12 seed Gananda, 38-37 in Class C.  Zach Von Kramer scored 11 and Reid Miano, 10.

In the girls games:

  • Alexander beat Red Creek 54-42. Stephany McBride scored 10 points;
  • Pembroke fell to Avon 17-26. Olivia Kohorst scored eight for Pembroke;
  • Notre Dame beat Addison 39-30. Rebecca Krenzer scored 12;
  • Cal-Mum beat Byron-Bergen 46-34. Dana Van Valkenberg scored eight points;
  • Oakfield-Alabama beat Cuba-Rushford 60-17. Brianna Smith scored 13.

Schedule:

  • Le Roy boys (12-8) vs. Wellsville (16-4), 7 p.m., Friday, at Wellsville;
  • Batavia boys (13-7) vs. Monroe (8-13), 4 p.m., Saturday, at Batavia;
  • Oakfield-Alabama boys (12-9) vs. Geneseo (16-5), Friday, time and place TBA;
  • Notre Dame boys (11-10) vs. York, Friday, time and place TBA;
  • Elba boys (18-2) vs. Webster-Christian (7-13), 7 p.m., Saturday, at Elba;
  • Batavia girls (17-2) vs. Eastridge (6-15), 7 p.m., Friday, at Batavia;
  • Elba girls vs. Belfast, 7 p.m., Friday, at Elba
  • Le Roy girls (8-12) vs. Attica (9-11), 2 p.m., Saturday, at Attica;
  • Notre Dame girls (14-7) vs. Cal-Mum (18-3), 2 p.m., Saturday, at Cal-Mum;
  • Alexander girls (15-6) vs. Letchworth (17-4), 5 p.m., Saturday, at Letchworth;
  • Oakfield-Alabama girls (15-6) vs. Lyons (12-8), 2 p.m., Saturday, at O-A;
  • Elba girls (12-8) vs. Belfast (13-7), 7 p.m., Friday, at Elba.

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January 30, 2016 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, basketball, sports, batavia.

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In her basketball career at Notre Dame High School, Christina Volpe was a prolific scorer and a leader who helped her team to a state championship, but it was more than just her athletic success that left a lasting impact on the school, said Athletic Director Mike Rapone during a ceremony Friday to retire her number.

"She always had a quick smile, was always kind and found a great pleasure in helping others," Rapone said. "As special a basketball player as Christy was, she may have been a more special person. She will always be remembered fondly here at Notre Dame."

Volpe died of an apparent heart attack at age 34 in her home in South Carolina in October.

During her playing career at Notre Dame, Volpe scored 2,392 points, grabbed 1,365 rebounds and amassed an 83-consecutive game streak of double-doubles.  She was named to the Section V Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. With Volpe on the court, Notre Dame won three consecutive Class DD Section V championships, and in 1999, the team won both the state championship and the federation championship and Volpe was named MVP of both tournaments.

Bill Wade, who coached Volpe's team, said the Notre Dame team is the only girls basketball team in Section V history to win a federation championship.

Rapone said Volpe inaugurated a tradition of excellence in girls basketball at Notre Dame that continues to this day. She inspired the next generation of girls to take up the game and play hard and work hard, leading to a second state championship under Head Coach Dave Pero in 2013.

"Along with the talent, she had an amazing work ethic," Rapone said. "She had a burning desire to realize her potential. As talented as she was, she constantly worked to get better. She spent countless hours in the Notre Dame and St. Joe's gyms fine-tuning her game."

Volpe taught her teammates that hard work wasn't just something you brought to the game, you brought it to the gym for every practice, Wade said. She came early, stayed late and made every drill count.

"That's how she became our leader," Wade said. "She led our team to greatness."

Through her example, she not only made her team better, she made her teammates better, both in the game of basketball and in life.

"You compete to beat your own numbers," Wade said. "That's what made us better and that's what made us cherish Christina Volpe. She taught her teammates so much and made her teammates lives better. She made her coach and her coaches better because of the person she was. Christina Volpe is not just a legendary player, she was a treasure because she made all of our lives richer."

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Bill Wade.

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Joining Rapone and Wade next to the lectern were members of Volpe's family and her former Notre Dame teammates.

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Prior to Notre Dame's game with Elba, the players wore T-shirts with Volpe's number and name.

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This tribute to Volpe will be hung in the entry hall of Notre Dame.

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Volpe's jersey will hang, framed, next to the scoreboard the rest of this season and next season.

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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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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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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