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January 21, 2015 - 10:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

Jeff Redband scored 38 points to help the Batavia Blue Devils to a 71-31 victory over Hornell on Wednesday night.

Trevor Sherwood posted 10 points and led the team in assists with five.

The Blue Devils shot nearly 50 percent from the field and made 58 percent of its three point attempts.

January 17, 2015 - 5:34pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

In a battle of nationally-ranked teams, the No. 10 Monroe Community College men's basketball team outlasted No. 16 Genesee Community College on Saturday afternoon, 68-66.

The Cougars jumped in front early, scoring the first seven points of the game. Freshman Joshua Doughty was responsible for five of the seven, connecting on a 3-point basket and adding a layup.

Monroe quickly closed the gap and held the lead late in the first half before GCC ended the frame on a 7-2 run to take a 35-32 advantage into the break.

The Tribunes began the second half on a 6-2 stretch and took back the lead, not allowing it back to Genesee the remainder of the afternoon.

The Cougars were able tie the game at 51 apiece with just under eight-minutes to play, but MCC responded by going on a 9-0 run to regain momentum.

Down six with under two-minutes to play, Doughty got GCC back to within three after connecting on his second 3-point basket of the afternoon and after a defensive stop, Ervin Mitchell hit one of two free-throws to make it a 66-64 game with under a minute to go. The Cougars again came away with a defensive hold and Didier Antoine notched the game at 66 apiece with a layup with 19-seconds on the clock.

After an MCC timeout, the Tribunes looked to Anthony Hemmingway who connected on a jumper with 2.3 seconds left to put MCC in front 68-66. A last second look for GCC was unsuccessful, and Monroe sent Genesee to its second Western New York Athletic Conference (WNYAC) loss of the season.

Naquil Jones scored a team-high 14 points for GCC, Mitchell added 13 points and six boards, Antoine finished with 11 points and seven rebounds and Doughty added nine points and eight rebounds.

Genesee falls to 1-2 in conference play and 13-4 overall on the season. The Cougars will return to action on the road on Jan. 22 at Erie Community College. Start time is set for 7:30 p.m.


The No. 6 Monroe Community College women's basketball team was too much for Genesee to handle on Saturday afternoon as the Tribunes powered their way to a 96-36 Western New York Athletic Conference (WNYAC) win at GCC.

The Cougars were led in scoring by Breana Gleaton who finished with seven points. Shanell Glover and Thais Matté each added six and Glover also grabbed six rebounds.

Monroe was successful on half of its shots from the field in the game and was plus-22 in rebounding.

GCC committed 26 turnovers and shot just better than 21-percent from the floor.

Genesee (0-3, 9-7) has now lost three straight and the Cougars will take the floor again on Jan. 22 at Erie Community College. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

January 17, 2015 - 1:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

With a free throw in the second quarter against Greece-Arcadia, junior guard Tiara Filbert became -- school officials believe -- the first person wearing Lady Devils' blue to score 1,000 career points.

After Filbert hit her shot, play was stopped briefly as fans held up placards stamped "1000" and Filbert's teammates rushed to congratulate her. Her mother then came down from the stands (top photo) and Filbert ran over to her and they embraced.  

Head Coach Marty Hein then presented Filbert with a commemorative plaque. 

Filbert is a special player, Hein said.

"For me, as a coach, to be a part of something like this, with somebody who works so hard at her game, at her craft, is just outstanding," Hein said.

As near as school officials can figure out from available records, Filbert is the first girls player to reach the millennial mark.

Filbert, Hein said, has the heart of a champion.

"The only person who can beat Tiara Filbert is Tiara Filbert," Hein said.

Filbert finished the night with 13 points and 16 rebounds. Batavia won 48-27.

Filbert came into the game needing five points to reach 1,000. Here she scores points three and four.

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January 15, 2015 - 10:46pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

The 16th ranked GCC men's basketball team shot better than 56-percent to drop visiting Niagara County Community College on Thursday night and improve to 1-1 in Western New York Athletic Conference (WNYAC) play.

The Cougars and Thunderwolves went back-and-forth in the first half with neither team holding a lead higher than four. Ervin Mitchell scored 12 of his game-high 26 points in the opening half and was the only scorer to reach double figures during the first 20-minutes. Both teams went into the break tied at 40 apiece.

Trailing 59-58 midway through the second, Genesee went on an 8-0 run to take the lead and the Cougars did not trail again. GCC led by as much as 17 and went on to win, 98-84.

Naquil Jones finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and three assists, Jason Perry Murray recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards, Joshua Doughty added 16 points and eight assists and Mitchell also grabbed six rebounds.

Genesee (13-3, 1-1) snaps a two-game losing streak with the win and the Cougars will return to action at home on Saturday at 3 p.m. against No. 10 Monroe Community College.

(Naquil Jones (white) eyes up his defender in Thursday night’s win over Niagara County CC. Jones finished with 25 points and seven rebounds for the #16 Cougars)



The Genesee Community College women's basketball team started off 6-31 in the first half of Thursday night's Western New York Athletic Conference (WNYAC) showdown with No. 20 Niagara County Community College, and fell to 0-2 in conference play after a 68-49 loss to the visiting Thunderwolves.

The Cougars gave up a 12-0 run early in the opening period to fall behind 22-8 and managed only 18 total points in the first half.

Terra Clanton led GCC with 10 points, all 10 of which came in the second half. Breana Gleaton finished with 10 rebounds and eight points, Hillary Rivera added nine points and six boards and Tekia Gary grabbed six rebounds and finished with four points.

Genesee (9-6, 0-2) connected on just two of 16 three point attempts on the night and committed 17 turnovers in the loss. The Cougars will return to action at home on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. against No. 6 Monroe Community College.

January 9, 2015 - 4:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports, Notre Dame, Batavia HS.

In an effort to defeat Batavia's anticipated press in the Rotary Tournament championship game Thursday night, Dave Pero gave his girls a great plan -- quick passes down court to open shooters.

The Fighting Irish got a lot of open shot opportunities in the first half of the game. The part of the plan that didn't work is that too few baskets went through the hoop.

In the end, the Blue Devils prevailed in the defensive battle of rivals, 41-33.

"A game like this is great for us come sectional time," said Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Pero. "We're not going to see a team in our sectional bracket that presses like Batavia, so it's a great lesson we learned tonight of how to handle it."

Pero thought his team handled it pretty well, even mounting a bit of a comeback in the 4th quarter that had to make Batavia supporters a little nervous, but Batavia answered and held off the Fighting Irish charge to avenge defeats in the previous two Rotary tournaments.

"These guys hate me at practice, as hard as we run, but there's a reason," said Marty Hein, Batavia's head coach. "In the second half, and we don't turn the ball over any worse than we do in first half, but we seem to force more in the second half than anybody else. I think that gives us an edge."

Hein tightened his defense during half time, putting more pressure on Notre Dame at half court, which took away passing lanes and made it harder for offensive players to get behind his defenders. It created more turnovers.

Pero said his team was ready and primed for this game, but Batavia just did a little bit better.

"We had a great practice yesterday, perhaps one of the best practices we've had," Pero said. "Did we do a lot with the basketball? We did a little bit. We did a lot of talking. The girls were upbeat. They were responsive. When we got to the locker room upstairs, they were focused. When you get girls that are focused, a team like that, I don't care if they're boys or girls, win or lose, that's when you've got to give them credit for the way they prepared. They were awesome. They were ready for what they were going to give us, we just fell short. Next week is another week."

Hein said he and his team thought they were going to do a lot better.

"We're a little down, because we thought we should play better, myself included, but that's just a credit to them and their coach," Hein said.

Tiara Filbert, Batavia, was tournament MVP and scored 22 points Thursday. No other Blue Devil got into double figures. Essence Williams scored eight.

Shea Norton led Notre Dame with 10 points. Taylor DiMartino and Emma Francis each had eight.

(Filbert and Norton in the top photo)

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January 7, 2015 - 2:10pm

Outside the GCC gym last night, the weather was pretty sloppy, but not as sloppy as the basketball game going on inside.

In the second game of the annual Rotary tournament, matching Notre Dame and Alexander, there were turnovers and missed shots and refs who were seemingly calling an inordinate number of traveling penalties and questionable jump balls. 

The final score was 37-22.

"It's was a sloppy game," said Dave Pero, Fighting Irish head coach. "What more can I tell you. It was just a sloppy game."

Pero knows he'll need a better performance out of his girls Thrusday night when they take on the Lady Blue Devils in the tournament championship.

Batavia beat Midlakes 55-32 in the tournament opener.

Notre Dame has taken the previous two Rotary Tournament finals against Batavia, and both coaches said they're ready to lock horns again.

"They'll throw out all the stops and we'll be ready and they'll be ready and it should be fun," Pero said. "I like our chances, but we can't play like we did tonight. But Thursday's another night."

Give the Lady Trojans credit, they pushed hard on defense and even with a team of girls with perhaps an average height of maybe about 5' 4", they managed to pull down quite a few rebounds against a team with three starters over six foot.  In the first half, nearly every trip down the court resulted in numerous second and third chance tries at baskets.  

Unfortunately for Alexander, nothing fell.

"It'ss been like that all year," said Alexander's head coach, Marcia Hirsch. "Our defense has been so good, but we just haven't been able to score."

The loss puts the Lady Trojans, who've managed as many as 50 points just twice this season, at 4-4.

Alexander applied pressure to Notre Dame at half court with some success, but on those rare possessions that resulted in a basket for the Trojans, they used a full court press and Notre Dame seemed out of rhythm all night.

That's pretty much the kind of defense the Irish will see when they meet Batavia in the championship game.

Head Coach Marty Hein said the Blue Devils will use pressure and the team's deep bench to compensate for Notre Dame's height advantage.

“We talked about trying to make that our identity,” Hein said. “We’re not a big team but we’ve got depth this year, so we run, run, run and press. We’re doing it for 32 minutes if we have to do it for 32 minutes.”

Both Alexander and Notre Dame suffered key injuries that disrupted their offenses.  Brett Stephens suffered an ankle injury crumpled to the court in the second quarter. A possession or two later, Emily McCracken fell down in the same exact spot.  Both are being evaluated and are considered day-to-day.

For Batavia, Essence Williams notched a double-double with a game-high 15 points and 11 rebounds, Tiara Filbert added 14 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals. Sam Cecere, recently returned from an injury, scored nine points and added seven rebounds.

Shea Norton and Rebecca Krenzer led the Notre Dame attack, both with double-doubles. Norton had 14 points and 17 rebounds along with four blocks and four assists. Krenzer scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

For Alexander, Sydney Breton had seven points and five rebounds. Jayna Wright scored four points and had five rebounds, while Karli Phillips grabbed five rebounds.

Both Pero and Hein expect a tough, competitive game Thursday night in the final at GCC.

"It should be fun," Pero said.

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January 4, 2015 - 11:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports, Le Roy, Notre Dame.

Saturday, on the gleaming polished hardwood of Notre Dame High School, it was the first time brothers Mike and Rick Rapone faced off as head coaches.

It was the first time in more than a half-dozen years Notre Dame and Le Roy met in a regular season basketball game.

It turned out that it was the first time this season that the Oatkan Knights scored at least 70 points.

The offensives' explosion also sent the Fighting Irish to their first home defeat in 62 games.

"We struggled all year," said Rick Rapone, head coach of the now 2-5 Knights. "We haven't made our shots. We had a tough transition from football to basketball. Those kids had a great year. Eleven of my 13 kids are football players. We struggled to shoot, struggled to shoot, struggled to shoot. Tonight, we couldn't miss."

Le Roy was 31-66 from the floor (47 percent) and 10-19 from beyond the arch (52) percent and five players hit double figures in scoring.

Nick Egeling 15, Kody Lamkin 13,Tom Kelso and Ryan Boyce, 11 each and Tom Dunn, 10. Dylan Laney was a point shy of hitting the decade mark.

Mike McMullen scored only five points, but helped lead his team on the court and contributed 10 rebounds, 12 assists, two steals and three blocked shots.

"I told the kids before, our record was not an indicator of the kind of basketball team we are and we probably just beat the top basketball program, them and Batavia High, in this area, on their court," Rick Rapone said. "They had a 61-game home winning streak that we just snapped. It's great for the boys."

The Irish drop to 4-2 on the 78-59 loss.

"The team that wanted it more won," Notre Dame's Mike Rapone said. "We didn't show up with the attitude it takes to win a game like this. I've been warning them all week that records don't mean anything when you play a game like this. Le Roy showed up to play and we didn't."

Josh Johnson had 16 points and Tyler Prospero had 12. Caleb Nellis and C.J. Suozzi each had eight.

Mike Rapone said the two teams used to meet every year, but a Le Roy head coach a few years ago stopped scheduled games with Notre Dame, even though the home-and-home series each year was always a big draw.

Saturday, even the JV game (Notre Dame won 45-36) filled the bleachers and the crowd jammed onto the stage and spilled out into the hallway of the gym. 

Fans of both teams were boisterous and the arena was filled with a championship-game feel.

As for the contest of brothers, both coaches downplayed the significance of the matchup. They embraced before the game and then got down to business.

The scoring outburst by the Knights might signal a turnaround for Le Roy's season, Mike Rapone noted. They made it hard for the Irish to get back in the game, once they fell behind in the second quarter.

"They hit a lot of big shots and they got the lead," Mike Rapone said. "When we made a run at them, they hit the shots they needed."

Rick Rapone said his boys were obviously happy with the win and he was clearly proud of their effort.

"They are excited and they should be," Rick Rapone said. "They beat a hall of fame coach, a top-notch program, I think the winningest program in Section V, on their court. Come on, hall of fame coach, 61-game winning streak, their court, top program, the kids deserve it all. They did fantastic."

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December 24, 2014 - 10:11am

Batavia's dominance of the Lion's Club Tournament at GCC came to a shocking end Tuesday night as the Blue Devils dropped an opening-round match to University Prep 59-55.

Head Coach Buddy Brasky was pretty blunt after the game. "We didn't execute our principles," he said.

U-Prep showed up with a team more skilled and more disciplined than seen in the tournament last year.

The team from the all-boys charter school in Rochester will face Notre Dame in Monday's final after the Fighting Irish crushed Albion, 74-60.

The Blue Devils win streak in the tournament goes back at least 10 years and has traditionally been the team to beat since its first tournament win 1989. The tournament was founded in 1982.

Batavia jumped to a quick lead to open the game and stayed just a step of ahead of the Griffins throughout much of the first half, only slipping until the final minute before the intermission to a point off the lead, 26-25.

The defensive game plan of Batavia is to hold teams to 13 or fewer points per quarter, and in the third, the Blue Devils did that, but only managed 12 points themselves.

In the final eight minutes, however, U-Prep scored 20 and Batavia's 18 wasn't enough of an answer.

"We didn't execute our principles, really, on either side of the ball as the game went on," Brasky said. "It was pretty disappointing. We had some good practices leading up to the game, but we didn't execute our fundamental principles."

Jeff Redband drained four threes and led the Blue Devils in scoring with 24 points. Jerrett Laskett and Greg Mruczek, who hit a trio of treys, including two in the closing minutes, each had 11.

For U-Prep, Jeenathan Williams scored 19 and Isaiah Brinkley and Cameron Myles had 12 apiece.

If the problem for Batavia (now 2-2) was a problem of execution, the opposite was true for Notre Dame in the nightcap.

Head Coach Mike Rapone said after the game that he's finally starting to see his team gel.

"You could see it a little bit in the second half at Attica," Rapone said. "I could see we were headed in the right direction. The first game we were OK. Oakfield, we were not good at all. With Attica I thought they are finally starting to understand.

"People don't understand it's all about understanding not only your role, but when to be in a spot and knowing that Josh is going to be here or Casey is going to be here and you've got to get there. It takes a while to get that belief. Tonight, I thought we had it."

Josh Johnson led the Irish with 27 points, all but five of those points coming in the first half when Johnson was clearly the dominant presence on the floor.

"He was getting to right spots and we were getting him the ball," Rapone said. "That's the whole combination right there. People have got to get to the spots and then we've got to find them."

Tyler Prospero came off the bench early in the game and scored 15 points, including hitting three shots from beyond the arc.

"He gave us a lift," Rapone said. "He's a good perimeter shooter.

"That's one of our strengths," he added, "our depth, our ability to run people into the game who can help us."

Looking ahead to Monday's final, Rapone knows U-Prep will present a tough challenge.

"We can't play at that frenetic pace," Rapone said. "If we play like that, it's going to be over early.  We're going to have to control the tempo, get some good shots and we've got to rebound a heck of a lot better than we did tonight."

The consolation game between Batavia and Albion is at 6:30 with the championship game to follow.

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December 21, 2014 - 1:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports.

Here are the latest game results for all of the Genesee County boys basketball teams (photos of the Le Roy vs. Letchworth game by David Boyce).

Letchworth (1-4) pulled out a narrow victory against Le Roy (1-5) on Friday night, 46-44. For Le Roy, Nick Egeling had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Tom Kelso scored 12. For Letchworth, Brad Bliss had 13, including the game-winning layup with :03 left in the 4th. Anthony Butler and Curtis Hoffman each had 10.

Notre Dame (3-0) beat Attica (2-2) 60-43 on Friday. Josh Johnson scored 19 and nine rebounds. Curtis Nellis noted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. C.J. Suozzi had 13 points. For Attica, Owen Thompson scored 18.

Byron-Bergen (4-1) won an OT victory over Lyndonville (3-3), 87-79. For BB, Brandon Burke had 22 points, Nick Magin 21 and Steele Truax, 21. Jordon Coffta made a three-pointer with :03 left in the 4th to send the game into overtime.

Pembroke moved to 2-4 with a 52-43 win over Alexander (1-4). Ryan Cansdale had 21 points and nine assists. Kyle Ludwig scored 14. Reid Miano had eight rebounds. For Alexander, Matt Genaway had 10 points, Tyler Laird 11 with eight rebounds and Jake Riggs had 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Elba (1-4) fell to Wheatland-Chili, 67-50. For Elba, John Hochmuth scored 22 to go with six rebounds and Dakota Dillion had five assists.

Oakfield-Alabama is 2-3 after beating Attica on Thursday, 70-65. Ryan Cummings had 24 points, Ryan Emery 21 and Josiah Yantz, 10.

Pavilion fell to Cal-Mum on Wednesday, 75-25. Pavilion is now 3-3. Evan Cleveland had eight points and Hayden Ewell, six.

Batavia beat Bishop-Timon 77-46 to improve to 2-1. Jeff Redband scored 32 and Jerret Laskett had 12.

December 20, 2014 - 6:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, UB Bulls.

Photos from last night's UB Bulls game against Niagara.

The Bulls won 88-62 and are 7-2 on the season.

Justin Moss (#23) had 24 points and 11 rebounds. Shannon Evans (#11) had 20 points. Jarryn Skeet (#10) had 17 points and Xavier Ford (#35) had 11 rebounds.

December 20, 2014 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports, Bniversity at Buffalo, UB Bulls.

Purely by coincidence Anita Strollo and I were both at the UB Bulls men's basketball game last night. She was there to meet Bobby Hurley in person. Her cousin, Sonny Falcone, is strength and condition coach at Duke University and is good friends with Hurley. Hurley, now head coach at UB, is one of the greatest collegiate point guards in history and helped lead the Blue Devils to a pair of NCAA national championships. Strollo, a Batavia resident, gave him a Christmas gift of some of her homemade cookies after the game. Buffalo beat Niagara 88-62.

December 19, 2014 - 12:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, high school sports, Notre Dame.

NOTE: Apologies for not getting this story posted sooner. Since the end of the game last night until tonight, another news story has been our priority.

In the midst of the ruckus in a near-capacity Stan Sherman Gymnasium at Elba Central School on Wednesday night, the Lancers and Fighting Irish put on quite a basketball show.

Passes zipped around the keys, bodies slammed under the boards and fast breaks were launched in transition with the swiftness of an executioner's sword.

In the end, Elba, having spent their all on the hardwood, left the court disappointed, as Notre Dame scored 61 points to their 53.

"It was an entertaining game," said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. "Both teams played hard. We both made some bad mistakes. We made some good plays. It was a typical Elba/Notre Dame basketball game. Both teams competed and both teams wanted to win. It had to be a good game for the fans to watch."

It's easy to see the game as an uplifting moment when your team wins, but Elba Head Coach Mark Beehler hardly hid his disappointment at the outcome during a post-game interview.

Elba hasn't beaten its arch-rival since a 2008 sectional playoff.

"That was everything we expect as far as energy and excitement of the game," said Beehler with hardly a trace of energy or excitement in his voice. "Every time we play Notre Dame, it's always a big one."

Elba took a 29-27 lead into the half and the start of the third continued the back-and-forth battle, but as players knocked about for position under Notre Dame's basket midway through the quarter, John Hockmuth was conked in the nose. The game was delayed while officials cleaned blood from the court. Hockmuth was taken to the locker room for treatment and missed the rest of the third and the start of the fourth quarter.

While was out, Notre Dame went on a run. Tyler Prospero scored a pair of threes, Josh Johnson had one and James Farmer had one.

The Irish outscored the Lancers in the third 21-8.

Elba's defense tightened when Hockmuth was back on the court, but couldn't capitalize of a string of Irish possessions that yielded no points.

As the second to last minute wound toward the final minute, the Lancers went on a mini-run, drawing within six points of the lead.

With about a minute left, Notre Dame was called for a backcourt violation. Elba's Richard Flores celebrated a little too exuberantly and was called for a technical foul, his fifth foul of the game.

Rapone said that foul did shift the momentum back to Notre Dame.

"The kids are excited, but they're (the officials) are really strict about taunting now, so you've got to be careful," Rapone said.

Flores (top photo) was a big reason Elba made a game of it. In his first start of the season, he scored eight points and had 10 rebounds.

He plays bigger than his 5' 10" height.

"He hits boards really well," Beehler said. "He's got sticky hands. If he grabs it, he's going to keep it."

In a box-and-one defense, Flores was charged with guarding Notre Dame's hot-shot shooter Josh Johnson. That is what really contributed to Flores fouling out.

"He had a tough task tonight," Beehler said. "He played as hard as anybody out there."

Rebounding was a big part of what kept Elba in the game, Beehler said, that and taking care of the ball, even against Notre Dame's pressure defense.

"Turnover-wise, we only had eight," Beehler said. "That's pretty low for us compared to years past against their press."

Rapone said after the game it's clear his team needs to work on its free throws. The Irish only sank 14 of 33 attempts (43 percent).

For Elba, both Hochmuth and Shane O'Halloran had 14 points. Hochmuth -- nine rebounds. Evan Cole had eight points and 11 rebounds.

For Notre Dame, Johnson had 17 points, C.J. Souzi 10 points and nine rebounds, and Caleb Nellis recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Josh Johnson drives for the basket.

Hochmuth blocks a Casey Midwick shot attempt.

Hochmuth and Nellis battle for position during a free-throw attempt.

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December 17, 2014 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, high school sports, Notre Dame.

The score may not reflect it, but the Elba Lady Lancers played an intense, hard-fought game against archrival Notre Dame on Tuesday night.

They came up short, 51-31.

"Elba's very well coached," said Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Pero. "They're hard-nosed girls. They're going to be reckoned with all year. We're fortunate to do what we did."

The Lancers' game plan called for a pressure defense that would attempt to hold the Fighting Irish to 12 points or under per quarter.

All went to plan in the first half. Notre Dame scored only eight in the first quarter (six on a pair of threes from Shea Norton) and 11 in the second quarter.

Unfortunately for Elba, their shots weren't falling either and the Lancers trailed 19-10 at the half.

"I thought we both played good defense in the first half," said Tom Redband, head coach for Elba. "They started to pick it up in the second half and our shots continued not to fall. We had some untimely turnovers and the rest is history."

Pero said his team was pretty hyped up about playing Elba, but they relaxed in the second half and that, along with some adjustments to deal with Elba's press, made the difference.

"The listened to what we needed to do," Pero said. "That's a sign of good quality girls. They'll listen to you when you need to make adjustments." 

Notre Dame features three starters who are all six-feet tall and over. Elba's shooters repeatedly found their shots being knocked down, and rebounds were hard to come by.

"You practice the boxing out and you practice the crashing, but it's hard to simulate the 6-1, 6-2," Redband said. "They get an extra hand on the ball. It's a tough match up for us."

While both teams are in the Genesee Region League, Elba is Class D and Notre Dame is Class C.

Elba, now 3-1, looks like a team that can make a run at sectional play, though Redband is taking a one-game-at-time approach.

"We have some work to do like we all do this time of year," Redband said. "It's only our fourth game. It's a long season. Fifteen more games. We've got two more games before the break, then we've got 16 days off, so we'll be able to fine tune some things before the new year."

Guard Alex Riegle scored 14 ponits (with four three-pointers) for the Lady Lancers and proved a deft ball handler and capable court leader, even against Notre Dame's pressure defense.

For Notre Dame, Rebecca Krenzer had 15 points, Norton 13 and Emma Francis 11.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

December 16, 2014 - 6:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, Batavia Rotary Club, sports, high school sports.

The 26th annual Rotary Basketball Tournament is Jan. 6 and Jan. 8 at Genesee Community College and this year features Alexander, Batavia, Notre Dame and Midlakes.

The Rotary Club hosted the teams (Midlakes couldn't make it) in its annual tournament announcement luncheon at the YWCA.

Pictured are Madison McCulley and Samantha Cecere, from Batavia, Emma Francis and Emily McCracken, from Notre Dame, and Sydney Breton and Elizebeth Taylor, from Alexander.

December 14, 2014 - 7:44pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

The Genesee Community College women’s basketball team picked up two wins this weekend in the Genesee Holiday Classic Tournament to end the first semester with a 7-3 record.

Latricia Stephens poured in a game-high 22 points on Saturday in a 74-47 win over Durham College (Ont.).

Genesee forced 27 turnovers and out-rebounded the Lords 64-39.

Elsa Andersson added 17 points, Hillary Rivera added nine points and seven rebounds, Shanell Glover grabbed 11 boards and scored eight points and Thais Matté collected eight rebounds and dished out three assist.

On Sunday, Genesee erased an early seven point lead by the Community College of Rhode Island and used a 9-0 run midway through the second half to hold off the Knights, 67-59.

Rivera finished with a team-high 17 points for the Cougars, Stephens recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds and 10 points and Andersson added 15 points.

Stephens was tabbed the tournament MVP and Andersson and Rivera were named to the All-Tournament team.

Genesee is off to its best start since the 2010-11 season and will resume action again on Jan. 6 at Cayuga Community College.



The Genesee Community College men's basketball team rolled to two wins this weekend at the GCC Holiday Classic Tournament, defeating the Community College of Rhode Island and Columbus St. Community College.

The Cougars used a balanced attack to defeat CCRI on Saturday, 93-55.

Genesee had five players reach double figures in scoring, led by Ervin Mitchell who finished with 17 points. Naquil Jones and Devante Carolina each added 15 points, Gabriel Burroughs tallied 12 and Jason Perry Murray finished with a double-double, grabbing 12 rebounds and scoring 10 points.

The Cougars led the entire game and were plus-21 in rebounding.

Jones scored the first five points of the game on Sunday against Columbus St. CC and it was much of the same as the Cougars did not let the lead slip away.

Jones finished with a game-high 28 points, including five-3pt baskets. Mitchell added 20 points and five assists, Perry Murray collected 19 rebounds and also chipped in nine points, Joshua Doughty finished in double-digits with ten points and Carolina and Benjamin Hackett each contributed seven points.

Perry Murray was named the tournament MVP and Mitchell and Jones were selected to the All-Tournament Team.

The win over Columbus St. is the second this season for Genesee (8-1), which is now on an eight-game winning streak. The Cougars will play in the Niagara County Community College tournament on Dec. 19-20 to end the first semester.

December 13, 2014 - 10:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

The normally stingy Batavia Blue Devils defense got scorched for 62 points earlier this week by Pittsford-Mendon, so over the past couple of days, Head Coach Buddy Braskey has drilled his team on defensive fundamentals.

The Brighton Barons paid the price Friday night.

Coming off a 58-point game against Greece-Odyssey, the Barons found it much harder to score against the Blue Devils.

In fact, they were held scoreless for the first six minutes of the game and managed only two points in the first quarter.

By the end of the game, Brighton was only 8 for 51 from the field (a 16 percent field goal percentage) and lost 47-27.

"I thought against Pittsford-Mendon on Tuesday, our defense really wasn't up to par," Braskey said. "We made a lot of fundamental mistakes with our principles.  We showed it to them on field, worked on it in practice, and I thought today, we took what we learned in practice and transferred it to the game."

Right from the tip-off, Batavia employed a press to pressure ball handlers, create turnovers and limit shot attempts. 

Even when Brighton appeared to get open looks, the shots weren't falling, and Brasky said that even with those seemingly open shots, looks can be deceiving.

"I think we rushed them," Brasky said. "We never let them get comfortable. ... Even when they were getting open shots, they really never could get their feet set because we were closing out really hard on their shooters."

With only 47 points, though, Batavia still needs to find away to get some scoring help for senior standout Jeff Redband.

Redband scored 21 points Friday, coming off a 32-point performance Tuesday.

In both games, only Malachi Chenault got into double-digits scoring, with 10 points each night.

None of the guards have yet stepped up and shouldered some of the load.

"It's not happening yet (getting help for Redband)," Brasky said. "We're searching. (Jerrett) Laskett, (Tee Sean),  Ayala, (Alex) Canty are three guys that are all good shooters, but they haven't found their rhythm yet. Malachi is contributing inside, but we've got to find some more scoring from the guard position, for sure."

Brasky is pleased with the progress Chenault is making under the boards.

"We're working hard with him to get the ball and go strong and not hesitate," Brasky said. "Malachi tends to think when he gets the ball. We're trying to get him to get the ball, make a quicker decision and just go strong.  I thought he did a much better job of that tonight."

It would also help Blue Devils scoring to take better care of the ball. Batavia turned the ball over 23 times against Pittsford-Mendon and 19 times last night. Brasky said that number needs to get down to eight or nine.

Overall, Brasky said his team is responding well in practice, working hard and getting better and better.

Next up, Bishop-Timon, a private school in Section 6, at home Tuesday. Game time is 7:45 p.m.

Top photo: Greg Mruzcek.

Trevor Sherwood

Jeff Redband

Malachi Chenault

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

December 10, 2014 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

Turnovers bedeviled the Lady Blue Devils in their home-game debut for the 2014-15 season as they suffered their first defeat of the campaign, losing to Mendon 54-33.

This is a better team than they they showed Tuesday night with the four returning starters, Essence Williams, Tiara Filbert, Sam Cecere and Madison McCulley.

"We've got a great group of girls," Head Coach Marty Hein said. "They're all returners. We lost one senior. Our bench is stepping into their jobs. We'll be there. It just wasn't a good night tonight."

It was a sloppy first quarter for both Mendon and Batavia, with both teams struggling to retain possession. Batavia (1-1) took a 15-10 lead. But Mendon started to find its rhythm in the second quarter, scoring 18 points and holding Batavia to nine points.

The game became lopsided in the third quarter, with Mendon scoring 15 while the Lady Blue Devils didn't knock down a single field goal and scoring its lone point on a free throw.

Batavia needs to be more aggressive on offense, Hein said, pushing the ball up the court faster on inbounds and transitions.

"When we push the ball, we're a much better team," Hein said. "In the last five minutes, we were looking ahead, running the floor and we did better. It was the same thing in Albion. We waltzed the ball up the floor, and if you're meeting good pressure, you're not getting into your offense. When we're actually running the floor, at least we're getting their defense below the foul line."

Filbert, a junior, remains the team's offensive fire power. She scored 16 points Tuesday and has 25 on the season along with 13 rebounds and nine steals. 

McCully had seven points and Williams had four.

Now, Hein said, the team knows what it needs to work on.

"There's nothing wrong with a loss as long as we learn something from it," Hein said.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

December 10, 2014 - 11:58am
posted by Steve Ognibene in batavia, basketball, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

Blue Devils got off to a heartbreaking loss in their first game last night versus the Pittsford Mendon Knights.  Senior Jeff Redband led the devils with a game high 32 points and added 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks.  The 1st qtr Mendon sunk three from 3pt. range and led 19-14.  

2nd quarter Batavia was down by 10 and rallied back to cut Mendon’s lead to 4 leading at halftime 32-28.  Batavia went on a run where Freshman Tee Sean Alayla and Jeff Redband added a couple 3 pt. plays to take the lead after 3 quarters 45-42. 

Batavia was down by 2 and Jeff Redband sunk a key basket and both teams ended tied 56 each sending the game into overtime.  However Batavia’s turnovers got them in trouble where Mendon capitalized by adding 6 points versus Batavia’s 2 and won the game 62-58 in overtime.  

Mendon’s Zuril Hendrick and Daniel Jacob each scored 17 points on the night.  Batavia’s Junior Malachi Chenault tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds giving him a double, double and Senior Jerrett Laskett added 9 points for Batavia. 

Batavia hosts Brighton this Friday at 7:45pm for their first home game.

(photo above) Batavia #24 Junior forward Malachi Chenault going for 2.  

(photo below) Batavia #3 Junior guard Greg Mruczek getting ready for a pass.

(photo above) Batavia #14 Junior guard Trevor Sherwood jumpshot 

(photo below) Batavia's freshman #0 Tee Sean Alaya shooting for 3 points.

Batavia #40 Senior forward Jeff Redband layup for 2 points in the 4th quarter to tie the game:

December 9, 2014 - 9:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Milestones.

Press release:

Hobart College senior guard Andrew Hoy (Batavia/Batavia, N.Y.) was named to the Liberty League Men's Basketball Weekly Honor Roll by the conference office today. He was named to the All-Wendy's College Classic second team after leading Hobart with 16.7 ppg in the three-game tournament last week.

Hoy shared team-high honors with 18 points and added five rebounds in a 67-60 setback to Division II Roberts Wesleyan in the first round. In the second round, Hoy produced 15 points, three assists, and three rebounds in an 80-78 overtime loss to Brockport. He wrapped up the tournament with a game-high 17 points, four rebounds, and three assists in a 68-59 win over RIT. For the week, Hoy shot 50 percent from the floor, 47.6 percent from 3-point range, and 80 percent from the free throw line.

Hoy is off to an impressive start this year, leading the team in scoring with 14.4 ppg. He's third on the team averaging 5.0 rpg and second producing 2.6 apg. Hoy leads the Liberty League in 3-point shooting, averaging 2.8 makes per game with a league best .452 3-point percentage.

The Statesmen (3-2) are back in action on Wednesday, Dec. 10 when they visit Rochester.

December 6, 2014 - 6:48pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

Despite facing a 17-point deficit at halftime, the Genesee Community College women's basketball team improved to 5-3 this season after a comeback win against visiting Cuyahoga Community College on Saturday afternoon.

Cuyahoga started the game on a 14-0 run to grab the lead five-minutes into the game.

GCC committed 18 turnovers in the first frame and were out-rebounded 22-13. The Cougars trailed 44-27 at the break.

In the second half, Genesee battled back behind Shanell Glover and Elsa Andersson, who scored 12 and 10 points respectively in the period to get GCC back in the game.

Genesee trailed 70-68 with under 10-seconds to play before Thais Matté converted a layup in the final seconds to knot the game, which went into overtime.

Andersson scored the first seven points of the extra session for GCC to put the Cougars in front 77-70. Genesee held Cuyahoga to just one field goal in overtime and outscored the Challengers 14-3 to earn an 84-73 win.

Latricia Stephens led the way for Genesee with a game-high 17 points. Andersson finished with 16 points, Glover added 14 points and seven rebounds, Matté chipped in six points and three assists and Terra Clanton and Breana Gleaton each scored nine points.

Genesee improves to 2-0 at home this season and the Cougars will return to action next Saturday in the Cougar Holiday Classic Tournament against the Community College of Rhode Island at 2 p.m.



The Genesee Community College men's basketball winning streak is now up to six after the Cougars dropped visiting No. 13 Cuyahoga Community College on Saturday afternoon, 89-74.

After falling behind 8-3 early on, GCC went on an 11-0 run to take the lead and the Cougars did not trail the rest of the game.

Naquil Jones scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in the first half and Genesee shot better than 55-percent from the floor in the opening frame. The Cougars held a 50-27 advantage at the break.

GCC held a lead as high as 26 in the second half but Cuyahoga got to within single-digits late when the Challengers trailed 81-72 with 4:18 to play. The Cougars responded by going on an 8-2 run to end the game.

Genesee had a total of six players reach double-figures in scoring. Ervin Mitchell finished with 18 points and six rebounds, Jason Perry Murray added 13 points and eight rebounds, Joshua Doughty had 12 points and five assists and Didier Antoine and Gabriel Burroughs each added 10 points. Jones also had eight assists and six boards.

Genesee (6-1) will return to the floor at home next Saturday in the Cougar Holiday Classic Tournament. The Cougars will play the Community College of Rhode Island at 8 p.m.


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