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July 21, 2015 - 4:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, basketball, GCC.

Press release:

Jason Perry Murray recently signed a Letter of Intent to join the Fisk University (TN) men's basketball program beginning this fall.

The 6'9" center from Harlem set the school record for career blocks with 117, topping the previous mark by eight. Perry Murray started in 36 out of the 49 career games he played at GCC and averaged 7.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Fisk is a Division I member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Bulldogs are coached by Larry Glover.

Genesee Community College athletics program endeavors to provide a quality and competitive intercollegiate athletics program consistent with the National Junior Collegiate Athletics Association (NJCAA) philosophy and the overall educational mission of Genesee Community College. Participation in collegiate athletics should be an extension of the total educational experience for the student athlete. The inherent philosophy emphasizes the athletic setting as a classroom used to teach character, commitment, work ethic, respect for differences, and the importance of sacrifice, teamwork, and cooperation.

For further information and pictures go to Genesee's Athletic Web page, which is updated regularly with game results, team rosters, photographs and information about Genesee's overall athletic program. http://www.geneseeathletics.com

View Online: http://readme.readmedia.com/Perry-Murray-Signs-With-Fisk-University/1130...

July 6, 2015 - 6:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, batavia, youth sports.

Area youngsters who enjoy basketball are encouraged to sign up for the Batavia Junior Blue Devils Basketball camp, which starts Aug. 10.

The five-afternoon camp at Batavia Middle School is open to boys and girls grades 3-8.

The cost is $60 per player, which includes a camp T-shirt.

Participants are asked to bring their own basketball every day.

Coach Jim Fazio, Junior Blue Devil's youth director, will lead the camp and coaches will include current and former Blue Devils players.

The camp focuses on offensive fundamentals such as shooting, passing and dribbling, as well as sportsmanship, fair play and safety. There will be daily contests and full court games.

For more information and to sign up, download the registration form (pdf).

March 14, 2015 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports, YMCA, Batavia HS.

When I stopped into the Y's gymnasium this morning for a little basketball practice, I found Jeff Redband there.

The Batavia Blue Devil's standout was working on his own game but took some time to give me a few pointers on my own shooting stroke. While we chatted, Tanner came into the gym and asked Jeff to sign one of his kicks. 

Redband is planning on attending Daemen College, in Buffalo, next year on a basketball scholarship. Redband scored 1,024 points with the Blue Devils in a little over two seasons (a 26.2 point-per-game average this season) and helped the team to a pair of sectional title games and hit the game winning buzzer beater in 2013 that sent Batavia to a state title game. The Daemen Wildcats finished this season with 21 wins and captured the USCAA Division I basketball title. Daemen is a Division II provisional member of the NCAA and the East Coast Conference. 

March 11, 2015 - 11:16pm

Tonight at Byron-Bergen School faculty and staff played basketball against the New York State Troopers from Troop A for a benefit. All of the proceeds will go to the USO, to honor Byron-Bergen students who have served or are now serving in the military.

Many supporters from families of the school including law enforcement came out to support the event. The NY State Troopers were a bit too strong tonight and beat the faculty 52-39. However it was all for fun and entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

March 9, 2015 - 1:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

In a world of infinite possibilities, there are an infinite number of ways the Batavia Blue Devils basketball team could have won its Class A2 Section V championship game Sunday evening at Blue Cross Arena.

A three-pointer from Jeff Redband could have dropped rather than rim out. A pass following a steal from Greg Mruzcek to Redband could have hit its target rather than skipping out of bounds. A 35-footer from a School of the Arts guard doesn't swoosh in as the shot clock winds down. One more layup, one more put back, one more backdoor cut, just one more of something positive could have turned the game around.

The one reality, though, is School of Arts won 45-36.

The Silver Eagles won not just because of a few bad breaks for the Blue Devils, nor because Batavia failed to execute on some of its basketball fundamentals. They won because they're a good team.

For the Eagles, Sergio Alicea sliced up the defense with his speed, deft ball handling and smooth shooting stroke. His 14 points were the product of three threes and a dunk that didn't seem possible from the 5'8" guard until he did it.

Christian Simmons, the tournament MVP, added 12 points, hitting five of eight from the field.

The Silver Eagles kept Batavia's offense off balance by switching up its defense, moving quickly to the ball and closing passing lanes.

"Give them credit," Head Coach Buddy Brasky said. "They went box and one to triangle and two to one three one and it kept us out of our rhythm. We didn't make very many good basketball plays. They key on Redband; they make everything tough on him and somebody else has to step up and we didn't get anybody else who stepped up."

The Blue Devils went into the half down 26 to 18, but Brasky told his team they could win it.

"We needed to have a quarter, the third quarter, which is normally our best quarter during the year where we kept them to single digits and we could get right back in the game," Brasky said. "We did that. We actually took the lead. I think it was 27-26, then they hit a three and then a three toward the buzzer. That to me was the key to the game. We had taken control of that game and then they scored six points. We went from up one to down five."

SOTA went the first seven minutes of the third quarter without a basket before hitting that pair of threes.

The Eagles then went on a run and opened up another big lead.

Batavia mistakes made things a little easier on SOTA.

The rebounding could have been better, Brasky said. The team worked on it in practice leading up to sectionals, knowing they would be playing more athletic teams. 

The passing could have been better. It's something the team works on all season --  fake the pass to make a pass, improve passing angles on the dribble, hit the open man more quickly while he still has an open look.

That meant, Brasky said, that the Blue Devils were forced to take more forced shots as time expired on the shot clock.

"When you're playing a team like that, who's athletic and in the passing lanes, and they go for steals, they anticipate, you've got to do those types of things," Brasky said.

The mistakes add up.

"Jeff tried to do what he could, but it wasn't enough," Brasky said.

With his team falling behind and struggling, Redband stepped up his game in the 4th quarter, going coast-to-coast on several transitions and driving the line when teammates dished it to him or taking the open jumper when offered.

"We were down by nine or 10 and I wasn't going to go out not shooting and just being passive, so I just trying to do everything I could," Redband said. "I didn't play very good tonight, but I tried. I tried. At least I tried."

Actually, Redband scored a game-high 20 points and if a few things would have gone differently in the last couple of minutes, he would have scored more.

He, along with Jerrett Laskett, was named to the all-tournament team.

Redband was part of one of the special seasons in Blue Devils basketball history and he helped create some of the magic in 2013 when Batavia had a shot -- but came up short -- at a state title. A buzzer beater by Redband, among his first of the more than 1,000 varsity points he would score, is what sent Batavia to states.

Since then, Batavia has made it to the sectional title game twice, but hasn't been able to secure a win.

"I realize now I didn't truly appreciate winning a sectional my sophomore year," Redband said. "I realize now after losing finals two years in a row, that was something really special. I didn't really need to work for it at all my sophomore year, and I worked my butt off my junior and senior year and I realized how special it is to play here (Blue Cross Arena) and win sectionals."

Now, the university-bound Redband's high school career is over. It's a somber moment to contemplate.

"I love this team," Redband said. "High school basketball is just, it's like the greatest thing. I grew up with these guys, playing Junior Blue Devils, playing modified, all throughout, and it's crazy to think I'm never going to play with them again."

He also appreciated playing for Buddy Brasky.

"He's great," Redband said. "He motivates us. He's always willing to open up the gym any time of year. People see him yelling, but he's really like, he loves us. He really likes us as players, so I loved playing for him."

Brasky said at the beginning of the season, he thought this was a team that could win a sectional title. It should have won a sectional title. It was, he said, the best team in the bracket. It just didn't get the job done.

"I told them in the locker room, this is one of the most enjoyable teams I've ever coached because they were a true team," Brasky said. "Nobody cared who got the credit, nobody cared if they didn't play, everybody really cared about the team. A team like that should be rewarded, but you know, it's not always fair. In sports, one team wins, one team loses. They were a true team and they were really enjoyable to coach this year."

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

March 8, 2015 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, UB Bulls.

If you can't tell, I love shooting sports, especially basketball.  The folks at the Univerity at Buffalo Athletic Department are kind enough to allow me access to courtside for UB Bulls games and I was able to go Friday night for the final home game of the season.

In a market where there is no NBA team and none of the Division 1 teams have really gone big time yet, UB is well positioned to become that local dominant program.

Look at what the Aztecs have done in San Diego, going from a nearly empty house every game to consistent sell-outs and one of the loudest crowds in college basketball. 

Friday's game was hopefully a preview of what's to come for the Bulls.  More than 6,000 rowdy fans in the stands.

"My teammates put on a show and that generates a buzz locally," said Will Regan, a Buffalo native, (top photo) after the game. "It's exciting for me because when I transferred back from Virginia I had a goal to sort of try and take this program to the next level. We're not there yet, but it's an exciting time."

The crowd was definitely a factor, said head coach Bobby Hurley following the hard-fought, always tight game that the Bulls won 77-75.

"This is what real big time college environment should look like in terms of a crowd," Hurley said.

Hurley would know. A standout at Duke University from 1989 to 1983, when Duke won two National Championships, Hurley played on the biggest stage and is now in charge of recharging the UB basketball program. In his second year, the team seems on the right track.  Friday's win gave the Bulls the  Mid-American Conference title.

March 8, 2015 - 9:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports, Notre Dame.

For much of the first half of Saturday's Section V Class D1 championship game at Blue Cross Arena, Josh Johnson was the wheel that kept Notre Dame's offense rolling.

But wheels have cogs and cogs sometimes break.

The broken cog Saturday was Johnson's hip, which the senior guard hurt late in the half.

Who knows how the game might have turned out if Johnson had been healthy and rolling at full speed through an entire 32 minutes.

A slowed Johnson didn't exactly curb the Fighting Irish offense. The game did move at a different pace, but Notre Dame still held a lead with a minute to play.

The 51-48 on the tote board above the court glowed, but that's only three points. There's little margin for error with a one-basket lead in a championship game.

The errors came in pairs Saturday. Six times, when a single charity point would have made it a two-possession game, Notre Dame shooters missed free throws.

Johnson missed four of them.

The first two after a backcourt foul, which sent Johnson trotting down the court, nodding at his teammates with knowing smile that seemed to say, "I've got this."

Only Johnson didn't have it. Neither shot fell. The Notre Dame bench, so animated for most of the half, was quiet, unmoved, sitting like parishioners in a church pew waiting for the collection plate.

Notre Dame's six foul shots were the gifts every team gets as the clock winds down in close games. They're donations you have to accept to win. Every coach, player and fan knows it.

Johnson would later let his frustration show with the slam of a fist into the seat of a folding chair. 

Only Johnson knows if his hip injury affected his foul shooting. It's hardly inconceivable that it did. The change in the release of a shooter by only a fraction inch is the difference between a brick and a swish. A twinge of pain in a leg pushing up could unbalance the stroke.

That isn't an excuse. Just a thought.

The reality is, Genesee Valley's Dan George, who hadn't scored through the prior 31 minutes of play, suddenly became a factor in the final 60 seconds.

He hit two three-pointers, the second 20-footer coming with about five seconds left on the clock to tie the score.

Head Coach Mike Rapone threw his arms out wide as if to say, "how did that happen?"

After the game, Rapone explained what happened. Notre Dame's coverage broke down.

"We were supposed to be man-to-man coming out of the last time out and four of us were and one of us wasn't and that's the guy who got left open," Rapone said.

With three seconds left, the Irish huddled for one last time.

The ensuing inbound pass went to Caleb Nellis at half court. He turned, leaped and released. The form was good. The heave was long. The ball left his hands before the buzzer. It hit the backboard in the square above the rim and for smallest split of a second there was hope, but this was no Christian Laettner moment.

"I've got to be honest, I knew we were in trouble when the game went into overtime," Rapone said. "The emotional swings, with kids it's tough. Our kids felt like they had the game won and now you've got to go overtime and by that time, Josh was no factor on offense, so I knew we weren't going to score a lot of points in overtime."

After those final four minutes in which the Irish scored just once, Notre Dame was left with slumped shoulders and blue jerseys pulled up to cover faces as Genesee Valley players leaped into group embrace to celebrate their 57-53 victory.

Johnson, who seemed unstoppable in the first half, finished with 22 points and Rapone admitted, the "what if" question was inescapable.

"You'd like to dream what could have happened if he didn't get hurt because it really didn't look like they had an answer for him in the first half," Rapone said.

To be sure, Genesee Valley is a good team, led by a quick and potent guard, Tyler Zlomek, MVP of the tournament, who scored 24 points and forced man-to-man coverage while the Irish used a zone to impede the rest of Genesee Valley's offense

They also had to deal with 6' 6" junior Carter Schneider.

An athletic center, Schneider battled under the boards and kept his team fired up, though he hardly embarrassed Nellis, who had 11 rebounds and a couple of key put-back baskets in the second half.

"I'm not taking anything away from them, but I still say the game was there for us to take," Rapone said.

The Irish were helped a lot by the play of Casey Midwich, who showed a good deal of leadership when Johnson was out of the game for a few minutes in the third quarter and finished with nine points.

Nellis had seven points, Tyler Prospero five and John Sutherland and Luca Zambito each scored four.

Johnson also had 10 rebounds for a double-double and Sutherland had eight.

"The game was there for us to take and we didn't grab it and we have to accept that fact," Rapone said.

Dan George with the three-point shot that tied the score in the final seconds of regulation time.

Johnson made All-Tournament team, with gifts from Section V including a plaque and medal on a ribbon.

To purchase prints, click here.

March 7, 2015 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports, byron-bergen.

Team quickness and heavy use of a press defense helped Mynderse secure a 43-26 victory over Byron-Bergen in the girls basketball Section V Class C1 championship game played today at Rush-Henrietta High School.

A 15-1 first quarter set the stage for the Bees defeat. It was a hole Byron-Bergen never climbed out of despite scoring 12 points in the second quarter, which turned out to be a higher total than the one scored in the second half by the Bees.

Lindsey Lovett had 11 points for Byron Bergen, and Abbie Kelley scored 10. Sam Donnelly had five.

Lovett and Kelley were named to the All Tournament team.

March 7, 2015 - 3:44pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

For the first time in 12 years the Genesee Community College men's basketball team is headed to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament. The Cougars, representing Region III, won the District II title over visiting No. 16 Dean College (MA) out of Region 21 on Saturday afternoon at GCC, 96-79.

Genesee led start to finish and shot better than 53-percent from the floor in the game.

Ervin Mitchell and Naquil Jones both finished in double-figures with 21 points apiece, and Jason Perry Murray became the career leader in blocks in school history with 110. The sophomore needed just one block entering Saturday's contest to take possession of the mark and ended the afternoon with four.

Joshua Doughty dished out six assists in the first half alone and was just one rebound shy of recording a triple-double in the game. He finished with 13 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.

After trailing by 13 at the half, Dean cut the GCC lead down to nine early in the second but did not get any closer. The Cougars went on a 12-0 run to take control and led by as much as 24 in the final period.

Gabriel Burroughs added 19 points and Perry Murray finished with 12 points and nine boards.

The Cougars finished plus-five in rebounding and forced 17 turnovers by the Bulldogs.

Genesee (23-8) will now wait for the seeds and pairings to be announced for the NJCAA National Tournament, which will be held in Danville, IL on Mar. 17-21. It will be the first trip to the national tournament since the 2002-03 season.

March 7, 2015 - 11:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, high school sports.

Photos by Jim Burns. Game information from Emily Tomczak.

A third-quarter rally wasn't enough for the Elba Lady Lancers to overcome Jasper-Troupsburg in the Section V Class D1 final in Letchworth on Friday night.

Jasper came out on top 55-47.

Haley Brown had 16 points, Alex Reigle had 14 points, and Alyssa Bogue had 13 points.

Alex Reigle and Haley Brown were named to the All-Tournament team, and Jenna Pedro received the sportsmanship award.

To view more photos and to purchase prints from Jim Burns, click here.

March 5, 2015 - 5:30pm

Genesee County will have four teams playing for Section V championships in their respective classes this weekend.

Elba's Lady Lancers plays Jasper-Troupsburg for the Class D1 crown at Letchworth at 8 p.m., Friday. Elba beat Arkport last night 68-36.

Byron-Bergen's Lady Bees take on Mynderse at 1 p.m., Saturday, at Rush Henrietta after winning last night 42-38 over Gananda.

The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame take on Genesee Valley in the boys Class D1 championship at 7:15 p.m., Saturday, at Blue Cross Arena. Notre Dame beat Mt. Morris 62-45 to advance. Head Coach Mike Rapone asked that fans be advised that officials are going to clear out the stands at Blue Cross Arena following the completion of the 4:15 p.m. game Saturday. Doors will open for the 7:15 game at 6:45 p.m.

The Batavia Blue Devils go for the Class A2 title at 5 p.m., Sunday, against School of the Arts at Blue Cross Arena. (Click here for coverage of their semi-final game). 

March 5, 2015 - 4:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

The size and speed of Pittsford-Mendon caught up with the Lady Blue Devils in the 4th quarter of their Class B1 Section V semi-final game in Penfield on Wednesday night.

Batavia was outscored 20-11 in the 4th quarter after being held to seven in the third.

"Mendon's girls play defense," said Head Coach Marty Hein. "They know where the screens are going to happen. They get around the screens. It's a totally different level of basketball IQ. They're a well-coached team. They've got a great program, a great feeder program. We weren't getting the same looks we get against other teams. It was a lot more difficult."

The final score was 57-43.

Even as she was constantly harassed and hurried, dogged by defenders and given few opportunities to score, Tiara Filbert still managed six field goals and 16 points on the night, making her the game's high scorer.

Batavia's other scorer, Maddie McCulley hit four field goals and had 13 points.

Significantly, neither girl managed a three-point bucket.

Sam Cecere was held to eight points.

Hein said his team would have benefitted by being a little more patient on offense, setting up more open looks for their scorers.

"I think I'd almost rather have taken 30-second shot clock violations than some of the choices we made offensively, but pressure does that to you," Hein said.

It was a great run for the Lady Devils, which is still a young team. Only three players will graduate off the team. The nucleus is all returners, including Filbert, McCulley, Cecere and Taylor Stefaniak, a freshman who played her way into a starting role over the course of the season and shows a lot of promise as a guard, playmaker and gutsy leader.

To purchase prints, click here.

March 5, 2015 - 2:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

Basketball, when played pure and sweet, is five guys on the court coordinated in a single purpose. It's a team game. Wednesday, the Batavia Blue Devils played as a team to pull away from College Prep in the second half to pull off a 58-48 win in the Section V Class A2 Semi-Final at Blue Cross Arena.

Nerves may have gotten to the Blue Devils in the first half, when they played College Prep even through all 16 minutes and finished the half in a 21-21 tie.

"It was a very hard fought game," said Head Coach Buddy Brasky. "No matter how many times you're here, it's hard the next year the first time you come back. It's the big arena. It's the big stage. I thought we played very tentative early, the entire first half. I thought we were more like a deer in headlights, to be quite honest with you. I got after them a little bit at halftime and asked them to forget where we're playing. 'You've been playing the game your whole life. Just play.' "

Play they did. Jeff Redband, harassed on the perimeter by a swarming defense in the first two quarters, started driving the lane. Trevor Sherwood distributed the ball well, frequently finding Malachi Chenault under the board. Greg Mruzcek disrupted on defense and grabbed rebounds. Jerrett Laskett was a motivational spark throughout the game and was a big reason Batavia was even still in the game in the second half.

"He stepped up big time and that's what seniors are supposed to do," Brasky said. "You know, they're boxing and oneing Jeff. He can barely gets a look and when he gets them. He's got to rush them, so he couldn't get in any kind of a rhythm, and Jerrett just made big plays and hit big shot after big shot. You're right, we wouldn't be standing here talking right now if it was for Jerrett."

Laskett finished with 17 points, two assists, two steals and three rebounds. He was 3-5 on three-point attempts.

Redband led the game with 24 points, going 3-8 from beyond the arch. He had 13 defensive rebounds (14 total) to go along with three blocked shots and a rebound.

Chenault has been coming on strong the past few weeks and scored 11 points, several of them on offensive put backs.

"He's been here before and he knows what it takes," Brasky said. "He was in some foul trouble, but he got some put backs and that was just huge."

Before the game, Brasky told Mruzcek he would need his biggest rebounding performance of the season, and so Mruzcek delivered.

"Greg will do whatever I ask him to do," Brasky said. Greg does not care about anything else except for winning. That's all he cares about. If I were tell him to run down the court backwards the whole game, he would do it, and he wouldn't question me. He would just do it. Yes, Greg was huge, his defense and his rebounding and his physicality. He's been doing that stuff for us all year. He doesn't get a lot of notoriety, but he's a huge part of our success."

In the post-game interview, the first words from Redband, who scored his 1,000th career point in the 4th quarter, were praise for his teammates. 

"All I know Jerret and Malachi played their butts off tonight," Redband said. "They played so good, they played so tough, they rose to the occasion. That was a good team that we just beat right there. We had to fight through a lot of obstacles throughout the game. It was a good win."

Laskett, Redband said, was the difference in the first half.

"He was amazing tonight," Redband said. "He kept us in the game when everybody else was perhaps a little bit nervous, or we were just a little bit thrown off by their defense or something, but he kept us in the game and let everybody else get going. That was big tonight."

The senior guard was clearly fired up from the opening tip off.

"I knew this could be my last time playing basketball," Laskett said. "That's it. It's win or go home."

As for Redband, he played varsity for only a few games his sophomore year and was a starter for only his junior and senior year. At the start of the season, he didn't give himself much of a shot at reaching 1,000 points.

He was surprised when he heard the PA announcement in the 4th quarter.

"I didn't even know I was close to be honest," Redband said. "I thought I needed another hundred.
Just to be on that 1,000-point list is just amazing. I didn't think I would get there. It means a lot that I got it."

The next step, a sectional title, will be tough, but Redband thinks the team has it in them to pull it off.

"We've got to keep going doing what we did all year," Redband said. "We can't get nervous. We can't just be robots out there. We've got to make basketball plays. I feel like we did better towards the end of the game driving and dishing to people who were open. Trevor did some good moves and got Malachi open. We were just doing better basketball plays. We've got to keep doing that."

Batavia (18-2) plays School of the Arts (19-2) at 5 p.m., Sunday, at Blue Cross Arena, for the Section V Class A2 championship.

Several of the Batavia players were part of the football team this past season that won a sectional title and advanced to the regional final. They're aware, Brasky said, that they have a chance to be part of history -- the first players in school history with championships in both football and basketball in the same year.

That championship experience is also an advantage for the players, Brasky said.

"I think that helped in the second half," Brasky said. "You're right, they've been to this stage. They've succeeded on this stage, in a different sport, but it carries over. We fell behind. We weren't playing very well, but they didn't panic. They're winners. It goes hand in hand." 

.

To purchase prints, click here.

March 1, 2015 - 6:26pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

ROCHESTER, NY: The Genesee Community College men’s basketball team swept the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region III Division II Final Four this weekend, defeating Niagara County Community College in the semifinals on Saturday and dropping Monroe Community College in the finals on Sunday.

 

(Semifinals) There were four ties and 14 lead changes on Saturday night and neither GCC or NCCC held a lead higher than nine throughout the game.

Naquil Jones scored 21 of his game-high 31 points in the second half and the sophomore was a perfect 10-10 from the free-throw line, all attempts coming in the final 20-minutes.

Ervin Mitchell needed just 18 points entering Saturday's contest to overtake the school record for most career points. He scored 13 points in the first half and with 13:09 left in the second and the Cougars trailing 60-58, converted a layup to tie the game and break the record. He finished with 26 points.

The Cougars used a 10-0 run to take a 64-60 lead with 11:14 to play in the second half and the Cougars did not trail the rest of the way.

Jones went 6-6 from the line during the last 30-seconds of the game to keep the GCC lead out of reach.

Gabriel Burroughs went 3-4 from 3pt-range for GCC and tallied 11 points. Tre'Shaun Perry had a game-high 12 assists and also grabbed six rebounds. Mitchell also grabbed six boards and Jason Perry Murray finished with six points and five rebounds.

Mitchell now sits at the top of the all-time scoring list in GCC men's basketball history with 1383 points. He passes current Cougars head coach Terry George, who scored 1374 points from 2002-2003.

 

(Finals) With 8:19 to play in Sunday's National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region III Division II championship, the No. 2-seed Genesee Community College men's basketball team trailed No. 1 Monroe Community College, 67-49. It was the largest deficit (18) faced by the Cougars on the afternoon and it looked as though GCC would be sent home after a finals trip for the second year in a row at the hands of MCC.

Sunday turned out different, however as Genesee ended the game on a 26-7 run to earn its first regional title since the 2002-03 season.

The Cougars turned the ball over 11 times in the first half and went the last 7:03 without a field goal to reach the break trailing 43-30.

An 11-4 run to start the second got GCC to within 47-41 at the 16:37 mark, but the Tribunes used a 20-8 run of their own to extend the lead to 18 with 8:19 remaining.

Tournament MVP Naquil Jones then took over for GCC, scoring 12 of his game-high 27 points in the final eight-minutes. The Cougars stepped up defensively, holding MCC to just three field goals down the stretch and with 1:11 left to play, were within one at 74-73.

Both teams traded empty possessions on offense before Jason Perry Murray tipped in a missed Ervin Mitchell jumper with 3.6-seconds left to give Genesee a 75-74 lead.

The Tribunes had one last look out of a timeout but came up short and GCC dropped MCC for the first time in three tries this season.

Jones also collected eight rebounds and dished out three assists. Joshua Doughty finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, Gabriel Burroughs, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, added 11 points and Perry Murray and Ervin Mitchell both finished with eight points apiece. Perry Murray also recorded three blocks, which ties him for the career record for most blocks in GCC history (106).

Genesee (22-8) will now host the District II championship on Sat., Mar. 7 at GCC. The Cougars will face Dean College (MA), which defeated the Community College of Rhode Island on Sunday to win the Region 21 title. Game time to be announced.

March 1, 2015 - 12:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

The Batavia Blue Devils had no difficulty tonight knocking off Wayne in a second-round Section V Class A2 playoff game at BHS tonight. The 75-45 win sets Batavia (17-2) up for a semi-final match Wednesday evening at Blue Cross Arena againt College Prep (15-4).

Tonight, Jeff Redband scored 28 points, Malachi Chenault, 17, and Jarrett Laskett, 11.

Notre Dame also won tonight, beating Lyndonville 77-55 in the Class D1 playoff game. Notre Dame (13-7) faces Mt. Morris (12-8) on Wednesday at a location to be determined.

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February 28, 2015 - 11:57pm

It was a nifty little move under the basket, a no-look reverse layup from Byron-Bergen's Abbie Kelley. The kind of play good players make.

In this case, it couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Head Coach Rick Krzewinski said it was perhaps the difference maker in the game.

The Lady Bees got to that point by allowing Notre Dame to go on an 11-0 run at the start of the third quarter to erase a 10-point lead for Byron-Bergen in the Section V Class C1 playoff game.

The reverse of fortunes had a familiar ring to the Bees, who lost a home game earlier this season to the Fighting Irish after blowing a first-half lead.

Krzewinski told his players in the locker room at the half, "looks familiar doesn't it?"

One of his girls said, "don't even talk about it."

"Oh, we're going to talk about it," Krzewinski told his team, "because we're not going to let happen what happened last time."

The Bees apparently got the message, and Kelley's nifty basket provided the spark they needed to beat back Notre Dame's momentum.

"Players make plays and that was the perfect time for it," Krzewinski said. "We got our composure back, I thought, and started hitting some shots."

That basket and a three possession change of defense to a 2-3 zone, seemed to break the rhythm of the Irish girls.

Kelley, who has 393 points on the year, did more to carry her team than drop that one score. She was the game's leading scorer with 23. Nobody else on her team was in double digits.

"Today was Bergen's day," said Irish Head Coach Dave Pero. "In the fourth quarter, Abbie Kelley took the game over. We missed way too many free throws. We probably missed 14 free throws (10, actually) and in sectional play, in any game, you can't miss 14 free throws and think you're going to struggle to win. Sometimes you'll get lucky, but the luck of the Irish wasn't with us today."

B-B's diamond defense held Notre Dame's top two scorers to totals a shave below their season PPG averages. Becca Krenzer had 12 points and Shea Norton, 11.

Emma Francis didn't hit a single three and was held to seven points for the game.

"We had the shots we wanted," Pero said. "You have days when they're not going to go in and today was one of those days. But we fought to get back in third quarter and I don't know if we ran out of gas a little bit, we might have, but I've got to take my hat off to Bergen. They played a great basketball game. They played for 32 minutes and that's why they're moving on and we're not."

The Bees had 13 days off before the game and Krzewinski said the team used that time to work on the diamond defense thinking it would be effective against Notre Dame.

"We were hoping maybe we could force some turnovers, worst case maybe slow them down," Krzewinski said. "I thought the girls worked it well and the message was, it will work if you move and they moved. We got out of it what I wanted."

It's been 2008 since Byron-Bergen beat Notre Dame in a girls basketball game, and the Irish seem to be a chief rival for just about every team they play.  The win certainly made Bees fans happy, who whooped it up in the closing seconds of the game.

"Yeah, everybody wants to beat Notre Dame, obviously,"  Krzewinski said. "Year in and year out they're a team that everybody wants to beat and to be able to do this in a sectional game just makes it really sweet. I'm so proud of the way they (his team) played and hung in there and did this. I don't even know what to say."

Next up for Byron-Bergen, the #3 seed in the tournament, is #2 seed Gananda (16-3) at 6 p.m., Tuesday, at a location to be determined.

Pembroke, also a C1 team, lost today to East Rochester.

Oakfield-Alabama and Alexander also lost playoff games today, leaving Byron-Bergen, Batavia and Elba as the three Genesee County girls basketball teams still alive in the postseason. All three have games scheduled for Tuesday.

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February 28, 2015 - 8:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

The law of averages was bound to catch up with the Lady Panthers in their Friday night Section V playoff match with the Lady Blue Devils in Batavia.

Yes, Maddie McCulley, Sam Cecere and Tiara Filbert were held to only nine points combined in the first half, but they were getting open looks. If they kept shooting, shots would fall.

That's just what happens when good shooters keep shooting.

McCulley finished the night with 17 points, including a trio of threes in the fourth quarter, and Filbert notched 13 points and Cecere added seven as Batavia pulled away for a 46-37 to advance to the Class A2 semifinals at 8 p.m., Tuesday, in Mendon.

"Tiara had a bad first half, Maddy had a bad first half, Sam had a bad first half, yet were were behind by only three," said Head Coach Marty Hein. "There was never a time with these girls where we thought we would be only at 15 at half time. We told them, 'just keep shooting.' "

There was a time midway through the third quarter when the game had that feel of one that was slipping away.

Batavia trailed by 11, 26-15.

Successive baskets from McCulley, Filbert and Abby Allien, tightened the score.

A switch to a 3/4 quarter pressure defense got Geneva off balance and created some turnovers.

Suddenly with 18 seconds left in the quarter it was a different game.

Taylor Stefaniak, who finished with five points, sunk a crucial free throw (top photo) to tie the score and the Lady Panthers would never be out in front again.

To win, Batavia had to overcome a Geneva team led by senior Mia Morrison, 313 points on the year, 161 rebounds, 36 assists, 21 steals and 13 blocked shots and the athletic ability to dominate a game.

The job of slowing her down went to Filbert.

"She's definitely their star," Hein said. "We just wanted her to work from one end of the floor to the other. The first half we played a lot of man and put Tiara on her. We were joking around with Buddy Brasky (Batavia's boys head coach) the other day, about whether Tiara could even handle playing at the boys' level. When she guards you, it's intense."

The assignment helped get Filbert in foul trouble in the third quarter, so Hein switched the defense to give Filbert some help, but left his own star in the game.

"Tiara can play smart with four fouls," Hein said. "She knows, fine, let the girl score a layup, she's more valuable on the floor than on the bench."

It was an unorthodox approach that Hein stuck with when Cecere was whistled for a fourth time with about four minutes left in the game.

He didn't lift his junior center, either.

"Most of the time you sit somebody, they're in foul trouble and you sit them for almost a whole quarter and then they never get a foul the rest of the game, so it's like, go ahead and let them play, if it happens it happens," Hein said.  "It's such a close game. It's a live and die game. We lose and we're done. We win, we move on to the next step, so we'll go out swinging, I guess."

Pittsford-Mendon in the semis is going to be another tough matchup.

Like Batavia, the Lady Vikings are 15-4, but Mendon also held Batavia to 33 points in the second game of the season, in the Blue Devils' most lopsided loss of the year, 54-33.

The Vikings feature three players in triple figures in scoring (Alley Phillips, 232, Darby Kreienberg, 159, Emily Sullivan, 139).

Even so, Hein likes his team, which he believes has really come together well over the course of the season.

"Mendon really took it to us in the second game of the season," Hein said. "We were good and played with them in the first half, but we got shelled in the second half. Our team has a whole different identity from the beginning of the year to where we're at now. Todd Julien is a great coach. Mendon has some great basketball players, but I like mine, too. We'll give them heck on Tuesday."

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February 26, 2015 - 10:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports, pembroke.

The Pembroke Lady Dragons beat Sodus in a first-round Section V Class C1 playoff game Wednesday night in Pembroke, 69-45.

They took a 46-21 lead into the half.

Olvia Kohorst had 16 points to lead the Dragons. Hannah Duttweiler, 14 and Rylee Moser, 13. 

For Sodus, Jackie Barclay scored 15 and Alexis Jackson 14.

Pembroke (11-9) plays at 2 p.m., Saturday, against East Rochester (18-1) in East Rochester.

Photo and game information submitted by Aaron Burch, athletic director, Pembroke Central Schools.

February 26, 2015 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports, Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame girls basketball team won its first Section V Class C1 playoff game of 2015 with a rout over Williamson, 55-29.

The Fighting Irish took a commanding 31-4 lead into the half.

Shea Norton (#44) hit three threes and had 17 points on the night. Becca Krenzer had 12 and Emma Francis had 11, including a trio of threes.

For Williamson, Kiki Hall had 11 and Maddie Thornson finished with 10.

Next up for Notre Dame (16-4), Byron-Bergen (16-3), at 2 p.m., Saturday at Byron-Bergen.

February 25, 2015 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports, pembroke, byron-bergen.

Two teams, evenly matched, made for action-packed basketball at Byron-Bergen Tuesday night, but a 14-2 run in the second quarter made all the difference for Pembroke as the Dragons pulled out a 51-45 win in a first-round Section V playoff game.

Byron-Bergen and Pembroke came into the game as the #8 and #9 seeds, both with 7-12 records and having split their two regular season contests.

"We know everything that they're running," said Chad Smith, Bees head coach. "I mean, he had to change up his pace and we were able to adjust to it. We figured it out. We did a great job. He knows pretty much what we're doing. We worked them down to five seconds on the shot clock a lot throughout the night, but they had guys come up big."

Smith and Pembroke Coach Matt Shay agreed that the turning point was the second quarter, when shots stopped dropping for the Bees and the Dragons got hot.

"We really locked down defensively and that was huge because they made some shots in the first quarter and I told the guys after the first quarter, I thought we were playing solid defense, but they were just making tough, good shots, good offensive plays. I told the guys, 'stick with it.' I think the defense looked pretty good and eventually those percentages even themselves out."

The game wasn't really decided into the closing second, but Byron-Bergen wasn't able to run its plays to get some scores.

Smith realizes he has a young team and he's eager to start off-season work with his returning players with an eye toward a stronger 2015-16.

"We've got a great group of kids," Smith said. "They work their tails off for me. I knew it was going to be a fight. They weren't going to give up at all until the end. I'm very proud of our guys.
I think we're moving in the right direction."

For Pembroke, Ryan Cansdale had 16 points, Zack Von Kramer, 10, and Kyle Ludwig hit three triples on his way to a 10-point game.

For the Bees, Steele Truax had 11, and Brandon Burke and Adam Strassner had 10 each.

Next up for Pembroke at 7 p.m., Friday, is #1 seed Mynderse (15-4). 

Shay knows it's going to be a tough game for his young team.

"We're definitely the underdog, which is OK with us because we've been an underdog team for most the season," Shay said. "I don't try to focus too much on the other team. We will get focused on what we do and execute on what we do rather than concentrate on what they do."

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