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December 1, 2016 - 5:14pm
posted by Rick Franclemont in sports, alexander, trojans, varsity, basketball, Barker.

It came down to the last few minutes, and the Trojans could not hang on for the win.

Leading most of the game, Alexander put up some impressive stats:

Matt Genaway 21pts, 4 steals

Chris McClinic 10pts, 8 assists, 5 rebounds

Dustin Schmieder 12pts, 6 rebounds

Erik Scharlau 9pts, 12 rebounds

Alexander hosts Attica this Friday at 7pm.

More pictures from the game can be found here: http://francletography.photoshelter.com/gallery/Barker-v-Alexander-Varsity-11-30-16/G0000xr37sg7Tdf4/C0000f.aPItX_A7o

November 28, 2016 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, news, batavia.

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Press release:

Daemen College men's basketball player Jeff Redband (Batavia, N.Y./Batavia) has been named the East Coast Conference Rookie of the Week for games held Nov. 21-27. The official announcement was made via the league's weekly men's basketball report, which was released this afternoon from conference headquarters in Central Islip.

Redband, a 6-foot-7 redshirt-freshman forward, averaged 13.7 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block per game in three contests last week, while also shooting 51.7-percent from the field (15-for-29) and 55-percent from three-point range (11-for-20). Redband's efforts helped Daemen pick up a pair of wins to push out to a 5-1 record this season.

Redband opened the week by posting the first 20-point outing of his career in Daemen's 90-79 road win at Edinburg University last Wednesday (Nov. 23). The sharp-shooting forward canned five three-pointers in the first half, scoring 15 of his 20 points in the opening frame. He ended the game shooting 7-of-13 from the field and 6-of-10 from long distance, while adding five rebounds in what was the 300th win in the career of Daemen Head Coach Mike MacDonald.

Two days later, Redband started 4-for-4 from the field and 3-for-3 from three-point range as Daemen raced to a 19-point halftime lead over visiting Slippery Rock University. He ended up sharing game-high honors with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting (4-for-7 from three-point range) in the Wildcats' 12-point win (69-57). The victory moved Daemen to 5-0 for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

The Wildcats' winning streak was halted on Sunday with a 70-61 road loss at Mercyhurst University. Redband finished with five points, three rebounds and two blocks in a losing effort.

Redband's selection is the first weekly honor for a Daemen player this season. The Wildcats led the league in Rookie of the Week selections last season with six. Guard Jay Sarkis (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena), who is out for the entire 2016-17 season with an injury, was a four-time recipient, and Deion Hamilton (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena) earned the honor twice.

Redband and the Wildcats begin ECC play this week with a pair of road tilts. Daemen visits Long Island University Post on Wednesday (Nov. 30) and the University of the District of Columbia on Saturday (Dec. 3).

For breaking news and continuing coverage of the Daemen men's basketball team, follow @DaemenAthletics and @DaemenMBB on Twitter.

Photo courtesy Daemen Athletics.

UPDATE: I picked this up off of social media -- another former Batavia High School star having a good year so far at the college level is Jalen Smith, a guard at Hilbert College, who was the Alleghany Mountain Conference Player of the Week this week. "Jalen Smith led the hawks to a 1-1 record with averaging 27.5 points per game. He shot 57.7 percent from the field and 43 percent from the 3-point line. He led the hawks defense with four steal per game."

November 13, 2016 - 3:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, basketball, sports, news.

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Members of Notre Dame's basketball team from 1969, which won a state title known as the Manhatten Cup, were together once again last night for the school's Hall of Fame dinner. In the picture above, they pose in front of a case which holds a replica of the 1969 trophy.

For more on the inductees, click here.

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November 9, 2016 - 5:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, sports, basketball.

In 1969, the Notre Dame High School Boys Basketball Team won its one-and-only Manhatten Cup in basketball and that team will be honored along with other Hall of Fame inductees Saturday.

There will be a tour of the newly renovated school at 4:30 p.m., followed by a picture of the 1969 team members in front of a replica trophy.

The actual Hall of Fame event begins at 5:30 p.m.

Press release:

1969 Boys Basketball Manhattan Cup Championship Team: First and only Manhattan Cup championship team. Also were the Smith League Champions for the first time. Many believe this to be the greatest championship in school history due to the format of this tournament, which involved schools of all sizes much like the Hickory championship in the movie “Hoosiers."

Tony Cinquino ’69: Outstanding wrestler during our era of dominance in Smith League Wrestling. Three-time All-Catholic who ended his wrestling career on a 61-match win streak. Three-sport athlete who also ran X-C & track. X-C senior season went 7-1 and the wrestling squads he was on won three Smith League titles and two All-Catholic Championships with one second-place finish.

Dan O’Connor ’69: 1969 Athlete of the Year who earned All-Catholic recognition in football, wrestling & track. Led Smith League in rushing his senior season and the wrestling squads he was on won three Smith League titles and two All-Catholic Championships with one second-place finish.

Tom McGrath ’76: 1976 Athlete of the Year. Tom was an exceptional all-around athlete who excelled at four sports: football, basketball, baseball and golf. He led the Varsity Football team in receptions, was the boys Varsity Basketball team’s leading scorer and the MVP of the Varsity Baseball team his senior year.

Phil Pangrazio ’79: 1979 Athlete of the Year. Phil was a GR All-Star in football who also was a top track performer earning All-Catholic in the discus. Played basketball & wrestled.

Mark Wadams ’96: Three-sport standout (Football/Basketball/Baseball) was Notre Dame’s Athlete of the Year in both 1995 & 1996. Mark was a three-time Section V All-Star in basketball playing IN THREE Sectional Finals winning in 1995 and earned GR All-Star recognition in baseball, basketball & football. He was named First Team All-State in Basketball in 1996 and is the only player in school history to accumulate both 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Dave Pero ’69: Longtime basketball coach who was on the bench for more state championships than any other coach (three). Dave served 12 years as a very successful JV boys basketball coach where he had an outstanding win/loss record developing players for future varsity success and was an assistant coach for two state championship teams (1992 & 2001). Took over as Girls coach in 2003 where he won a state title as a head coach in 2013. He also won two Western Regionals, four sectional titles, six GR championships and is ND’s winningest Girls Basketball coach.

November 1, 2016 - 8:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, youth sports, Notre Dame, batavia, news.

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As many 50 young girls, grades 2 through 8, have just completed the new Fall Ball Training Camp run by Tom McCulley and Otis Thomas in the renovated Notre Dame High School Gym.

The camp was offered to girls attending either St. Joe's or Batavia City Schools.

"There’s not really a whole lot going on for girls this age," said McCulley, who takes over from Dave Pero as head coach at Notre Dame this season. "We thought this would be a way to get them ready for the upcoming season no matter where they may be playing."

The camp is designed to get the girls in basketball shape for the season, drill them in fundamentals and help them learn how to focus, follow directions and participate as a team member.  

McCulley said this training will help the girls as they move up to higher levels. It's a lot harder for a coach to work with an incoming freshman, say, who hasn't had this kind of experience.

The camp ran for five weeks.

This was the first year for the camp and given its success, McCulley expects it to become an annual event.

"The girls love it," McCulley said. "They’re excited about it. They show up every week, so obviously, they want to do it. It gives them a chance to compete and to learn how to compete, learn how to prepare and stay focused and take direction, so when they do get up to the higher levels, at least they have a foundation to build upon."

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September 13, 2016 - 2:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, basketball, batavia, BHS.

Batavia Varsity Basketball Coach Buddy Brasky will hold a Basketball Mini-Camp at the Batavia High School gym this fall.

This mini-camp is for boys and girls in grades 8-12 and will be held two nights per week (Mondays and Thursdays).

The camp will start Monday Oct. 3rd and run from 7 to 9 p.m. on each of the following  dates:

  • 10/3
  • 10/6
  • 10/10
  • 10/13
  • 10/17
  • 10/20
  • 10/24
  • 10/27 

This program is for the experienced and serious player only! The program will emphasize offensive skill development. Cost for the program is $125. For more information call Buddy Brasky at 585- 356-4050 or email [email protected]   

** PLAYER MUST BRING THEIR OWN BASKETBALL

July 28, 2016 - 7:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports.

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(Submitted photo.) Pictured are students in grades three through eight who participated last week in the Batavia Jr. Blue Devils Summer Basketball Camp.

June 14, 2016 - 2:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, sports, Announcements, basketball.

Press release:

A 2016 Summer Basketball Camp will be held July 18-22 in the Batavia High School Auxiliary Gym. 

It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday.

The camp is open to boys and girls entering grades 3-8 in the fall. Cost of the camp is $65 and includes a camp T-shirt. Participants are asked to bring their own basketball every day and have their name on it.

The camp will feature Coach Jim Fazio, Batavia Jr. Blue Devil Youth Director, coaching intern Antwain Richardson, youth coaches, and current and former Blue Devil players.

Camp benefits: The camp will focus on the offensive fundamentals of the game including shooting, passing, dribbling, and ball handling, with a major emphasis on shooting. Sportsmanship, fair play, and safety will be emphasized all week. There will be daily contests with full and half court games.

Batavia City Schools are not responsible for injury that may happen during camp. Please enter and exit the high school in the front circle.

Make checks payable to: Batavia Boys Basketball Boosters.

Mail to: Jim Fazio 5190 Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

Also, provide this information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Town
  • Age
  • Grade entering in Fall
  • School
  • Phone #
  • Medical concerns
  • T-shirt size (Youth S-XL; Adult S-XL)
  • Parent/Guardian signature
June 3, 2016 - 12:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in basketball, news, sports.

Press release:

Bataiva High School Coach Buddy Brasky will hold a basketball camp at Batavia City schools this summer. This basketball camp will be held from July 5 through Aug. 12. (Location(s) to be announced later.)

This six-week program will emphasize offensive skill development. The program is open to anyone, male or female, from grades seven to college.

Cost is $375. For an application, call Coach Brasky at 356-4050 or e-mail him at:   [email protected]

Brasky will be joined by: 

  • Tim Sullivan
  • Tom Redband -- Girls Varsity Coach at Elba High School
  • Matt Shay -- Boys Varsity coach at Pembroke High School
  • Bill Pitcher -- Longtime area basketball player and coach
  • Billy Truitt -- Former Division I and professional basketball player

There will be two sessions:

1)  Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon for boys in grades nine to college;

2)  Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon for boys in grades seven and eight, and girls in grades seven to college.

May 25, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, GV Pride, basketball.

Submitted photo and press release:

On May 15, the Genesee Valley Pride eighth-grade Girls Basketball Team won the championship game at the North Country Rumble at the Boarder Shootout Tournament in Canton. The win qualified them to participate in the Girls National Championship at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla., in July.

This is a significant accomplishment and honor to achieve such success at a young age. The team is looking to the community to help support their fundraising goal to head to this National Championship. 

​If you would like to donate or sponsor the team to assist with tournament fees and travel expenses please contact the team at [email protected]

Also, they will also host an event at T.F. Brown's located at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, from 7 to 10 p.m on Friday, June 10th. Cost is $25 per ticket or two for $40, and includes beer, wine, soda, hors d’oeuvres, 50/50 Raffle and DJ Frankie Gioia.
 
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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To purchase prints, click here.

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.

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

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

More T/K, including photos.

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

February 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.

 

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