Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Batavia HS

April 25, 2016 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mr. Batavia, Batavia HS, news, batavia.

mrbatchecksapril2016.jpg

The winners of last week's Mr. Batavia contest at Batavia High School presented their checks to the charities of their choices today in the school's library.

Above, Mr. Batavia Ross Chua presents a check for $2,055 to his father, Dave Chua. Dave is with the Batavia Kiwanis Club and leads the club's 5K team, which raises funds for research into autism.

mrbatchecksapril2016-2.jpg

Micheal Hughes, one of two second-place finishers, presented a check for $1,020 to Jaylene Smith-Kilner and Jessica Maguire Tomidy for Habitat for Humanity.

mrbatchecksapril2016-3.jpg

Dwayne Fonda presented his check to Chuck Marra, with the American Red Cross.

April 16, 2016 - 2:11pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in Batavia HS, Mr. Batavia, batavia, news.

_mg_0476bt.jpg

Batavia High School held its fourth annual Mr. Batavia Competition Friday evening. Twelve seniors participated in four categories – talent, swimsuit, lip sync and tux walk, with their efforts being scored by a four-member panel of judges.

Contestants were Alex Canty, Ross Chua (pictured above), Adonis Davis, Noah Dobbertin, Dwayne Fonda, Tyler Hale, Michael Hughes, Jake Kasmarek, Josh Kurtz, Zach Lee, Alex Mott and Trevor Sherwood.

Tuxedos provided by Charles Men's Shop, sunglasses by Reed Eye Associates, crew T-shirts by Extreme Streetwear, with additional support from Big Pauly’s Pizza.

The judges are pictured below, from left, are BSCD Board Member Shawna Murphy, Reed Eye Associates Dr. Kim Rosati, Batavia City Police Officer Pete Flanagan and Thompkins Insurance Agency VP Joe Teresi.

Nearly 700 people attended the event and proceeds set a new record high of $4,000. Second place was a tie between Mike Hughes, who donated to Habitat for Humanity, and Dwayne Fonda, who gave to the American Red Cross. They each will give 25 percent to their sponsors. Half (50 percent) goes to Autism Research on behalf of Ross Chua who won the event. All three winners received a $25 Amazon gift card.

For more photos: Steve Ognibene Photography

_mg_0025.bt_.jpg

_mg_0059.bt_.jpg

_mg_0132.bt_.jpg

_mg_0125.bt_.jpg

_mg_0220.bt_.jpg

_mg_0394.bt_.jpg

_mg_0246.bt_.jpg

_mg_0066.bt_.jpg

April 13, 2016 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mr. Batavia, Batavia HS, batavia, news.

mrbathsapril132016.jpg

Article by Zachary Lee, an aspiring journalist and contestant in Mr. Batavia.

It’s finally here: the Mr. Batavia contest will be held at 7 p.m. April 15th — be there.

Mr. Batavia this year will be the biggest we’ve ever had; the occupancy of the auditorium at Batavia High School is around 800 and we intend to fill that to the point the auditorium doors are bursting.

Mr. Batavia is a community charity event; each candidate selects a nonprofit organization to represent with the charity of the contest the top three winners receiving money raised. In Mr. Batavia there are five different categories, each scored by selected judges from throughout the community. They are lip sync, talent, questionnaire, swimsuit, and tux walk. The guys also do a group dance in the beginning to get the audience hyped up for the contest.

Last year’s Mr. Batavia was probably one of the best we’ve ever produced here at BHS. Whether it was Brandon Smart’s Micheal Jackson tribute or Dylan Beckman’s dramatic reading of "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj, these performances were borderline legendary. The 12 candidates up for Mr. Batavia 2016 believe that they can do even better.

Lisa Robinson, event director and student government advisor said, “Mr. Batavia is an event where we raise money for community nonprofits. Everywhere this event gets larger and we believe this year will be easily our largest we’ve had. ”       

Here are the candidates and the nonprofit organizations they represent in the order they’ll perform:

  • Tyler Hale – Michael Napoleon Foundation
  • Noah Dobbertin – 25 Neediest
  • Adonis Davis – All Babies Cherished
  • Zachary Lee – Anna’s Wish
  • Trevor Sherwood – Batavia VA
  • Alex Mott – Golisano’s Children Hospital
  • Michael Hughes – Habitat for Humanity
  • Alex Canty – Volunteers for Animals
  • Ross Chua – Organization for Autism Research
  • Jake Kasmarek – Genesee Cancer Assistance
  • Josh Kurtz – Salvation Army
  • Dwayne Fonda -- American Red Cross
March 6, 2016 - 11:57am
posted by Nick Sabato in sports, Batavia HS, batavia, basketball, news.

bhshoopsfinalmarch2016.jpg

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.

bhshoopsfinalmarch2016-2.jpg

bhshoopsfinalmarch2016-3.jpg

bhshoopsfinalmarch2016-4.jpg

bhshoopsfinalmarch2016-5.jpg

bhshoopsfinalmarch2016-6.jpg

bhshoopsfinalmarch2016-7.jpg

bhshoopsfinalmarch2016-8.jpg

bhshoopsfinalmarch2016-9.jpg

To purchase prints, click here.

March 3, 2016 - 5:05am

1_mg_8149.bt_.jpg

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.

3_mg_8072.bt_.jpg

2_mg_8013.bt_.jpg

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

4_mg_8306.bt_.jpg

5_mg_8117.bt_.jpg

6_mg_8215.bt_.jpg

March 1, 2016 - 5:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in heroin addiction, Act Genesee, news, batavia, Batavia HS.

Photo by Steve Ognibene of resident DEA agent-in-charge John Flickinger. 

Morgan Brittany Axe came from a good family with friends and relatives who loved her. She played volleyball and became a cheerleader. She had relatives here who attended Batavia High School. She traveled the same streets we travel.

"She looked like you," her mother, Deanna Axe, told the crowd gathered Monday afternoon in the BHS auditorium. "She is you."

But Morgan died in December at age 24 from an overdose after losing a four-year battle to overcome heroin addiction. She was pregnant with Deanna Axe's grandson, Isaiah Douglas Lee Mathis, at the time of her death and the unborn baby died, too.

The heart-wrenching story was shared with students and about 100 community members at a forum called "Pay Attention: Addressing Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Addiction in Our Community."

Morgan's downward spiral was triggered when a young man she loved committed suicide while talking on the phone with her. She was devastated by the loss and a doctor prescribed Xanax. Later someone suggested "Try this, you'll feel better. And she did."

But in that one moment, everything changed. The pain was gone but only fleetingly. Then came the numbness, sadness, isolation, truancy, poor grades, joylessness, more drugs.

"The first time you choose, the second time the disease chooses you," Deanna said. "And the disease takes over. You can't get back no matter how hard you try."

Jail. Institutions. Death.

"Deal with life on life's terms. ... There's no situation in your life that can be overcome by taking drugs," Deanna said. "When you wake up tomorrow after the drugs have worn off, you have the same problems."

The Rachel Platten song "Stand By You" provided the soundtrack to a brief video showing highlights from Morgan's life. The cute little girl. The young adolescent cuddling the chocolate-colored puppy. The happy-go-lucky teen taking candid selfies with friends. The beautiful young woman with long dark hair and a winning smile. 

"(Addiction) will knock you to your knees. ... Please don't take this path," Deanna said. "It will lead to disaster."

In addition to the first-hand account about the Axe family, the forum featured an overview by William J. Hochul Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York (spanning 17 counties), and input from law enforcement personnel from Batavia PD, Le Roy PD, and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. It was sponsored by a coalition of community volunteers known as Act Genesee, which promotes "healthy and safe choices through education and action." Representatives from the county, the Prevention Resource Center, State Police, GCASA, Batavia Urgent Care and others on the front lines of the opioid-addiction epidemic were also there.

Hochul said the United States has 4 percent of the world's population, but consumes 99.9 percent of the planet's hydrocodone. (A semi-synthetic opioid synthesized from codeine.)

"Either we have more people in pain here than the rest of the nations put together," Hochul said, "or something went wrong..."

Whether addiction starts with prescribed pain meds that become indispensable, pilfering pills a family member or friend's medicine cabinet, smoking marijuana laced with heroin, experimenting with synthetic opioids, or snorting or shooting heroin outright, the ultimate effect on the body and brain chemistry is the same, Hochul said. The road to addiction is typically sure and swift. It's also multifaceted and complex so a conversation about addiction to prescription painkillers needs to include the once-taboo topic of heroin.

The tragic irony is that once someone experiences that first high, they spend the rest of their days trying in vain to recapture the euphoria. If they can't get the prescription they want for pain meds or can't afford to pay $50 for a pill on the black market, they go for the cheaper stuff, and that's how heroin and synthetic opioids have come to grip so many.

(A PBS Frontline documentary which premiered Friday called "Chasing Heroin" artfully delves into the gritty reality of the national crisis. (Search Google and view online free.) Not to be confused with the 2010 documentary about an addict's world called "Chasing the Dragon," which was highly recommended by yesterday's panel.)

"This isn't the usual anti-drug message," resident DEA agent-in-charge John Flickinger said. "We're here because people are dying. This is different. It's mentally and physically addicting. After one hit, you are 'chasing the dragon.' People feel addicted for life. ... This truly is a drug that if you try it once, it may be the only thing you ever do. ... This is not something you want to experiment with -- it's too addictive."

Drug traffickers know this and they'll do anything to make a buck and get a customer for life, Flickinger said.

They often cut their product with "China white," a synthetic heroin called fentanyl, which comes from China and is very inexpensive but is 20 to 30 times more powerful than plant-based heroin. By cutting this into their product, they can stretch their resources and make more money. It just takes three or four grains (think as in grains of salt) in a dose or "fix" of heroin to amp up the high. But the traffickers plop it all in a household blender and mix it up, get the stuff packaged and out the door. They don't really know, or care, if there are three grains of fentanyl per dose or 23. It's all about the money, Flickinger said. 

This is NOT a just a teen problem. It's way too big. The number of people killed every year from heroin and prescription drug overdoses exceeds those killed from violent crime, including gang-related deaths, and car wrecks combined.

In Erie County in 2015, more than 250 deaths are attributed to opioid overdose, Hochul said, noting that during the same year there were 40 homicides.

In addition, 650 people in Buffalo were categorized as "Narcan saves," said Act Genesee President Anita Strollo, meaning they would likely have died if not for law enforcement or medical technicians dosing them with the anti-opioid nasal spray Narcan, thereby reversing the effect of drugs in the users' system and keeping them alive.

In other words, the grim statistics would be greatly multiplied. But even the use of Narcan has become problematic, according to Le Roy Det. John Condidorio, who said the dope out there is so powerful nowadays instead of the one or two doses of Narcan that used to work, now three or four doses are required to pull someone back from the brink of death. 

Sometimes the same people get a second chance more than once.

Condidorio said he's sick of being at the scene of a 14-year-old who overdosed, or a 16-year-old.

A women in the audience said during a Q&A session afterward that her child is struggling with heroin addiction. Her family is hurting, fearful, ashamed.

"It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do," she said about parenting an addict. 

But she praised the addiction-treatment drug Vivitrol (naltrexone), which costs $1,800 for a month's supply, for bringing hope their way. For the past two years, it has been working.

It was also working for Morgan Axe. She was doing great taking Vivitrol and getting a handle on her life. But after she became pregnant at some point she decided to stop taking her medication out of concern for her unborn child. Then came the second most fateful decision she would ever make: to use once more; to get high just one more time.

She found her connection on Facebook and didn't have to drive to some dark alley in a big city; the goods were delivered right to her door. She used again, and died.

"Don't let this be your story," Deanna said. "Choose life. Choose reality. Okay?"

Panelists urged parents to keep tabs on their children's use of technology.

"If you aren't on your kids' social media and monitoring their cell phone calls every day, you're missing out on where they spend 90 percent of their time," Hochul told the audience.

He gave an example of a teenage girl who, along with friends, found ways online to "reverse engineer" so-called tamper-proof pills so they could get high. Hochul said if they had scanned the teens' browser history, they would've seen what they were up to.

Parents were also encouraged to read:

  • "The Secret Life of Teens: Young People Speak Out About Their Lives" [Gayatri Patnaik, Michelle T. Shinseki]
  • "The Secret Lives of Teen Girls: What Your Mother Wouldn't Talk About But Your Daughter Needs to Know" [Evelyn Resh, MPH CNM]

For family members or friends struggling with an addict, a new adult Nar-Anon group meets on Monday nights at 6:30 at Horizon Health Care -- Batavia Recovery Center, 314 Ellicott St., Batavia. March 7 will be the third meeting.

Addicts are welcome to attend the Narcotics Anonymous meetings three times a week at The Salvation Army, 529 E. Main St., Batavia. They are at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays; 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays; and 7 p.m. on Fridays.

"You are not alone," Deanna told the audience. "If you want help, there is help for you."

February 29, 2016 - 2:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Batavia HS, batavia.

bhsboyshoopsfeb282016.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb282016-2.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb282016-3.jpg

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."

bhsboyshoopsfeb282016-4.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb282016-5.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb282016-6.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb282016-7.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb282016-8.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb282016-9.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb282016-10.jpg

To purchase prints, click here.

February 27, 2016 - 1:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

bhsgirlshoopsfeb262016.jpg

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.

bhsgirlshoopsfeb262016-2.jpg

Always fearless in the paint, Ryann Stefaniak did get tagged with an offensive foul in the second quarter.

bhsgirlshoopsfeb262016-3.jpg

Sam Cecere was dominate in the low post.

bhsgirlshoopsfeb262016-4.jpg

Filbert, as usual, was a threat inside and out.

bhsgirlshoopsfeb262016-5.jpg

Taylor Stefaniak with a layup in the fourth quarter.

bhsgirlshoopsfeb262016-7.jpg

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.

bhsgirlshoopsfeb262016-8.jpg

Post-game celebration.

bhsgirlshoopsfeb262016-9.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsfeb262016-10.jpg

The team bus received a police and fire escort down Main Street when the team returned to Batavia.

bhsgirlshoopsfeb262016-11.jpg

Back at the high school.

To purchase prints, click here.

February 25, 2016 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, theater, arts, entertainment, news.

marypoppinsbhs2016.jpg

Batavia High School's Production Club will present a musical product of Mary Poppins next week with Nick Piedmon playing Bert and Andrea Gilebarto as Mary Poppins.

Photos are from yesterday's rehearsal. 

Caryn Burk Wood is the director and Dan Grillo the musical director.

The cast includes Ross Chua as Mr. Banks, Chelsea Jensen as Mrs. Banks, Eryn Dunn as Jane Banks and Colin Dunn as Michael Banks.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m., March 4 and March 5, and 2 p.m., March 6.

marypoppinsbhs2016-2.jpg

marypoppinsbhs2016-3.jpg

marypoppinsbhs2016-4.jpg

marypoppinsbhs2016-5.jpg

February 24, 2016 - 9:29am
posted by James Burns in sports, blue devils, basketball, batavia, Batavia HS.

untitled_shoot-2353.jpg

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.

untitled_shoot-8088.jpg

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.

untitled_shoot-8135.jpg

untitled_shoot-8168.jpg

untitled_shoot-8274.jpg

untitled_shoot-2255.jpg

untitled_shoot-2268.jpg

untitled_shoot-2312.jpg

For more game pictures click below.

 

February 23, 2016 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

bhsgirlshoops_feb202216.jpg

A lockdown defense and the domination of a star player in the first half propelled the Lady Blue Devils to a 57-49 win over Honeoye Falls-Lima in Penfield on Monday night.

The victory in the Section V Class A2 semifinal sets up a championship game for Batavia at Gates Chili at 6 p.m., Friday, against Pittsford Mendon.

Tiara Filbert, who, incredibly, has yet to be recruited by a college program despite a school record 1,530 career points, knocked down 23 points in the first half and grabbed 13 rebounds to help Batavia open up a 35-11 halftime lead.

That huge lead led to Head Coach Marty Hein's biggest frustration of the evening. The team came out on cruise control in the third quarter and almost allowed HFL a chance to get back into the game. Slack play won't win championships, especially against Mendon.

"I know it's hard for them, you're up by 20 or whatever it was at half time, and it looks like it's going to be that type of game, but that's not their job," Hein said. "If I want to pull the plug, that's my job. If I'm putting you on the floor, you need to go all out all the time. We didn't. Instead of me celebrating and being happy, I'm kind of not right now because Friday it's going to require all 32 minutes."

The team's flatness and a more aggressive defense against Filbert held her to only one field goal in the second half, so she finished with 26 points. Sam Cecere got untracked, though, to put up six points, and Taylor Stefaniak continued to fire from outside, adding two more three-pointers to the three she sank in the first half, giving her 16 points for the game. Ryann Stefaniak finished with seven points.

Cecere and the Stefaniak sisters will be key to Friday's game against Mendon.

"Tiara is Tiara and you're never going to completely shut her down," Hein said. "But somebody else is going to have to contribute or it's going to be a long game."

After the game, there were college recruiters waiting to talk with her, and of course, journalists waiting to interview her, and after each chat, Filbert wished each person a safe drive home, reflecting her natural tendency to think of others.

That spirit, that willingness to share, is one reason she's been overlooked by this point by college coaches, Hein said. She's been a productive scorer since eighth grade, but she's always been willing to distribute and give her teammates their shots, which has kept her from building the kind of huge point totals that put players in the top 100 recruiting class.

"She's always worried about being a selfish player in the past and that's kind of hindered her a little bit on her college recruiting," Hein said. "Wherever she goes, they'll be a lucky team."

Filbert loves the game. She comes from a basketball family and she's always trying to get better.

After each game, Hein loads the game film to a Web site called Hudl, and Hein is able to track which of his players are reviewing tape and how much time they spend on the site. Typically, the time spent is measured in minutes, but not for Filbert.

"I mean, I can send something in the morning and she'll find a study hall somewhere in the day and somehow in the day of school she still manages to watch it for two hours during the day," Hein said. "That's crazy."

Filbert said basketball is just simply her life.

"I was born into the game, basically," Filbert said. "I've been playing it ever since I was young. I watch it every chance I get. I'm able to experience it through watching my brother grow up in it. My parents come from a basketball background. It's just something I'm born to do."

As for Mendon, Filbert said she has to work on her own game and help the team get ready for what will surely be a tough match.

"It's good to have a close team because whenever we're down, we just make sure our heads are up," Filbert said. "We've got to make sure we stay with each other. Our heads are all connected and we're on the same goal."

bhsgirlshoops_feb202216-2.jpg

bhsgirlshoops_feb202216-3.jpg

bhsgirlshoops_feb202216-4.jpg

bhsgirlshoops_feb202216-5.jpg

bhsgirlshoops_feb202216-6.jpg

bhsgirlshoops_feb202216-7.jpg

To purchase prints, click here.

February 22, 2016 - 5:58am
posted by Steve Ognibene in Notre Dame, hockey, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.

_mg_6313.bt_.jpg

In a hometown rival matchup the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2nd seed) played the Batavia Blue Devils (7th seed) for the Section V quarter finals Saturday at the Faletti Ice Arena.

Batavia came out strong the first period to attack Notre Dame's Ethan Conrad but he held strong on Batavia's attempts. 

Late in the first period at 4:21, Notre Dame went on a scoring streak scoring three quick goals in three minutes. Brad Misiak scored the first goal from Cameron Clark, pictured below. Hayden Chamberland and Michael Keeler scored the second Irish goal 50 seconds later. Ryan Webster from ND, pictured above, scored the third goal with a minute left in the first period. Shots on goal were 15-6 after one period of play.

_mg_6268.bt_.jpg

The referees called no penalties in the first period when Notre Dame lead 3-0. During the second period, Batavia got physical with some interference and roughing calls that led to a power play goal by Ryan Webster just shortly after Peter Madafferi added one and the irish led by 5-0 midway through the second period.  

Both teams drew multiple penalties in this period as the game got more intense. Exchange student Henrik Toivianinen tallied the sixth goal with a minute left in the period, which became the final, 6-0. Batavia added seven shots to Notre Dame's nine.

The third period was very scrappy on both sides as frustrations mounted for Batavia. More penalties were added on both sides and the shots were 15-6 for a game ending 39-19 led by Notre Dame.

The Irish will move on to the semifinals this Thursday night at 7:30 versus Aquinas at the Gene Polisseni Center at RIT.

For more pictures go to: Steve Ognibene Photography

_mg_6365.bt_.jpg

_mg_6385.bt_.1.jpg

_mg_6411bt.1.jpg

_mg_6316.bt_.jpg

February 21, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, batavia, Batavia HS, basketball.

bhsboyshoopsfeb212016-2.jpg

Batavia's stifling defense allowed the Blue Devils to open an 18-point first-half lead that Monroe couldn't overcome in the second half, even as Rayshawn Boswell hit a streak of three-point jumpers on his way to a 24-point game.

Batavia had four players score in double digits to advance the Blue Devils in the Class A2 sectional playoffs with a 60-52 win.

The Blue Devils still held a 10-point lead with two minutes left in the game, but Monroe continued to battle and twice pulled within three points in the final minute.

Malachi Chenault and Jake Schrider both scored 14 points, Tee Sean Ayala added 13 and Ryan Hogan scored 12.

Top photo: Steve Stefaniak with a layup in the second quarter.

The #2 seeded Blue Devils face the #3 seed in A2 U-Prep at 8 p.m., Tuesday, at Rush-Henrietta.

The Lady Devils play Honeoye Falls in Penfield at 7:45 p.m., tomorrow.

bhsboyshoopsfeb212016.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb212016-3.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb212016-4.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb212016-5.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb212016-6.jpg

bhsboyshoopsfeb212016-7.jpg

To purchase prints, click here.

;

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

bhsgirlshoopsfeb192016.jpg

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

Ryann Stefaniak and Taylor Stefaniak each scored 14 points.

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

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

bhsgirlshoopsfeb192016-2.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsfeb192016-3.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsfeb192016-4.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsfeb192016-5.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsfeb192016-6.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsfeb192016-7.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsfeb192016-8.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsfeb192016-9.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsfeb192016-10.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsfeb192016-11.jpg

February 19, 2016 - 9:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, track and field, batavia, Batavia HS.

img_0260.jpg

The Batavia High School Girls Track and Field Team won its 12th sectional championship Wednesday, scoring 154 points while second place Wayland-Cohocton had 67 points.

The boys team came in second at 105.5 points, just behind Greece Olympia, with 124.

Individual winners for the Blue Devils were: Katherine Wiseley in the weight throw; Rachel Denise in the pole vault; Maddi Moore in the 1500m race walk; and Sophia Dinehart in the 1500 meter. Other girls who had good performances were Maggie Cecere, Kiaya Franklin, Celia Flynn, Claire Zickl, Sam Cohen, Lizzy Cohen and Brianna Bromley.

"The Batavia girls were able to score in every event and had many solid performances and season-best times," said Coach Nicholas Burk.

For the boys, Anthony Ray continued his run of success this season by winning both the shot put and the weight throw.

Other boys who had good performances were Jaysen Wylie, Anthony Gallo, Campbell Andersen, Cal Jantzi, Louie Leone, Ian SanFratello, Nick Callisher and Mike Hughes. 

For complete results, click here.

Information and photo provided by Coach Nicholas Burk.

February 13, 2016 - 7:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, Notre Dame, hockey, sports.

hocky_nd-bat-feb132016.jpg

Notre Dame beat Batavia 6-3 in a regular-season hockey game today at Falleti Ice Arena.

The hometown rivals will face off again next weekend in a first-round sectional playoff game.

hocky_nd-bat-feb132016-2.jpg

hocky_nd-bat-feb132016-3.jpg

hocky_nd-bat-feb132016-4.jpg

hocky_nd-bat-feb132016-5.jpg

hocky_nd-bat-feb132016-6.jpg

February 12, 2016 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, Batavia PD, batavia.

bpdbhsvolleyball2016.jpg

Students and staff of Batavia High School along with officers of the Batavia Police Department participated in a volleyball tournament at the high school Thursday night.

The idea for the tournament started with Officer Pete Flanagan who contacted Lisa Robinson at the school. Robinson "took the idea and ran with it," Flanagan said, doing most of the work to get the event organized.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help with education costs for a student or students interested in a career in law enforcement.

Flanagan said he was really pleased with the turnout for a first-year event.

"Especially now days, with everything the way it is, we want to build a good relationship with the community and we wanted a chance to give back," Flanagan said.

bpdbhsvolleyball2016-2.jpg

bpdbhsvolleyball2016-3.jpg

bpdbhsvolleyball2016-4.jpg

bpdbhsvolleyball2016-5.jpg

bpdbhsvolleyball2016-6.jpg

bpdbhsvolleyball2016-7.jpg

January 29, 2016 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, schools, education, GSO, batavia, Batavia HS.

Anytime we cover an entertainment event at Batavia High School, we wind up with a picture of Ross Chua performing. He's very talented and very motivated. This is a photo from a talent show in June.

Besides being a performer, Chua is also a songwriter and composer. On Monday, the Genesee Symphony Orchestra played one of his compositions so it could be recorded to include with his college auditions and interviews.

This may be the first time the GSO performed a composition by a local high school student.

Here's the video:

January 20, 2016 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.

bhsgirlshoopsjan192016.jpg

After the injury to point guard Maddy McCully that put her out for the season, Batavia's Head Coach Marty Hein said the Lady Blue Devils would be a team in search of a new identity.

That thought was back on Hein's mind last night after Batavia narrowly escaped with its 13th win, 58-55, over Irondequoit.

Batavia surrendered a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, allowing Irondequoit to put 25 points on the scoreboard and with less than a minute left, pulling within a point of the lead.

"(McCulley was) the floor general at any given point in time," Hein said. Ryann (Stefaniak) and Tiara (Filbert) are doing a super job, but when the chips seem to be falling a bit, there was always, 'OK, Maddy, you run the point now.' That was freeing up Tiara to do whatever. She doesn't have to bring the ball up. Now, it's kind of that little identity crisis of, OK, when things start going south, who is going to be that step-up person to take that role. We played a good 24 minutes of basketball, and then the last eight..."

Filbert scored 18. Taylor Stefaniak added 16, including dropping three buckets from behind the arc. Ryann scored 14 and Sam Cecere had seven.

For Irondequoit, Megan Dano scored 16, Kylee Kanealey, 12, and Quinn Melidona, 13.

bhsgirlshoopsjan192016-2.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsjan192016-3.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsjan192016-4.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsjan192016-5.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsjan192016-6.jpg

bhsgirlshoopsjan192016-7.jpg

To purchase prints, click here.

January 9, 2016 - 2:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Batavia HS, batavia, Notre Dame.

rotarytournr2_2016.jpg

You can always count on a Dave Pero-coached Notre Dame team to provide opponents with a test, and that's what the Batavia Lady Blue Devils got Friday night in the finale of the Batavia Rotary Club Tournament at Genesee Community College, just when, perhaps, they needed it the most.

The contest was their first without Maddy McCulley, who had her high school career cut short with a knee injury Wednesday one game removed from scoring her 1,000th career point.

The team will carry on without McCulley, but the question that needed to be answered is would her teammates would pick up the slack?

They did.

Four players finished in double figures in scoring and Batavia beat Notre Dame 60-44.

The score may look lopsided, but the game wasn't. Notre Dame fought every minute, battling through Batavia's relentless press, finding ways to the basket at times, but also surrendering a few too many possessions.

The Irish finished the first half only five down and pulled within a point of the lead early in the third quarter. 

"When something like happens, what happened with Maddy, again my condolences, I feel terrible about it," Pero said. "I feel terrible about what happened to her, but they stepped up. The injury set her down, but the team, you could see it, they stepped up. Good teams do that and they're a good team."

Freshman Ryann Stefaniak scored 16, Tiara Filbert and Sam Cecere each had 13, and Taylor Stefaniak hit for 12.

It's the first time the Stefaniak sisters were both in double figures for the game, and that bodes well for the rest of the Lady Devils' season.

"We talked about in practice yesterday," Hein said. "I said 'Look, we're still a good basketball team; obviously, we're not the same team. We have to find a new identity as far as who is going to be doing some of those other things. Bottom line is, Maddy takes about 20 shots in a game. We can't all just look at Tiera and now expect her to shoot 40 of them.' "

Newly minted starter Elyse Snow will take up some of the slack, and Cecere will get a few more looks, but Taylor and Ryann need to add from 10 to 12 shots per game between them, Hein said.

"I turned to the two Stefaniak girls and said, 'Listen, it's really on you two,' " Hein said.

Taylor said she and Ryann are ready and she's proud of how they pulled through Friday.

"I feel like we both stepped up really well tonight," Taylor said. "(Ryann) stepped up her game a lot tonight, which we've needed her to do the whole season, but it helped a lot tonight. I think she did great."

Ryann was all over the court, tipping passes on defense, joining in double teams on ballhandlers, finding open lanes on offense and crashing the glass on rebounds, getting a couple of key putback baskets.

"Ryann is skinny as a rail," Hein said. "In most cases, I  think she's got a turtle shell on her back; she seems so slow at certain points and times. But on the offensive end, she's always kind of in the right spot. She's slashing, rebound here, rebound there. It was exciting to watch."

Filbert, the tournament's MVP, is still the leader of the team, and the shooter defenses will work hardest to stop, as Notre Dame did Friday, but Filbert is unruffled by the change in circumstances.

"I'm going to keep playing my game," Filbert said. "We all came in level-headed. We knew we had a goal we wanted to accomplish and we were able to do that. Losing Maddy is going to be a big adjustment because she helped us out tremendously on and off the court. But I know she's going to be there on the sideline and we know we have the players who are going to step up and help us out."

For Notre Dame, Becca Krenzer scored 15, Margaret Sutherland, 10, and Calli McCulley, eight.

Before the game, during introductions, Calli presented her cousin Maddy with a bouquet of flowers.

Pero said he was very proud of how his girls played, especially Sutherland, who is starting to come into her own as a scorer and floor leader, and considered the game a great learning lesson for the team, which won't see any opponents with Batavia's talent or depth in the rest of the GR or Class D.

"It was a good experience," Pero said. "We're not going to see teams this good where we're going."

rotarytournr2_2016-2.jpg

rotarytournr2_2016-3.jpg

rotarytournr2_2016-4.jpg

rotarytournr2_2016-5.jpg

rotarytournr2_2016-6.jpg

rotarytournr2_2016-7.jpg

rotarytournr2_2016-8.jpg

rotarytournr2_2016-9.jpg

rotarytournr2_2016-10.jpg

rotarytournr2_2016-11.jpg

rotarytournr2_2016-12.jpg

To purchase prints, click here.

Pages

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 

Copyright © 2008-2016 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button