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Notre Dame

September 27, 2015 - 11:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Notre Dame, pembroke.


The Notre Dame Fighting Irish played their homecoming game under the lights Saturday night, defeating the Pembroke Dragons 34-7.

The Irish are now 4-0 on the season and alone atop the Genesee Region standings, with Attica losing this weekend to University Prep. 

Notre Dame and Attica square off Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. in Attica.

Against the Dragons, Notre Dame amassed 383 total offensive yards, with 360 coming on the ground. 

Jack Sutherland had 26 carries for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Peter Daversa added another 74 yards and a TD on 10 carries. Etan Ozborne had a rushing touchdown and 33 yards on five rushes.

Connor Logsdon was 3-6 passing for 23 yards, no TDs and no interceptions.

For Pembroke, Reid Miano was 6-12 passing for 105 yards and a TD. Jake Jasinski had 18 rushes for 21 yards. Zack Swank had four receptions for 93 yards. Zach von Kramer had Pembroke's lone TD reception.

On defense, C.J. Suozzi had six and a half tackles, Jake Weatherwax and Etan Ozborne had four apiece. Ozborne also had a sack. For Pembroke, Brian Seweryniak had seven, Dylan Miserantino six and a half, Brandon Kowalski, six, von Kramer, five and a half, and Jack Thomas, five.


At halftime, Notre Dame honored Bill Sutherland, a former head coach who won 111 games, eight GR titles and four Section V titles in 23 seasons. He's been with the school for 41 years. He's a member of the Notre Dame High School Athletic Hall of Fame and the Section V Football Hall of Fame. Standing alongside Sutherland is his nephew, running back Jack Sutherland. Presenting the award is current Head Coach Rick Mancuso along with Athletic Director Mike Rapone.






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September 20, 2015 - 9:46am
posted by James Burns in Geneses, Notre Dame, elba, byron, bergen, Lancers, sports.


Genesee Region Division Notre Dame traveled to Elba Saturday afternoon to battle division rivals the Elba/Byron Bergen Lancers. The rain held off for a warm and windy conference game in which both teams ran 43 plays. The difference in the final score of 29 to 8 was in the rushing. Notre Dame rushed for all of their TDs for a total of 273 yards vs. a game total of 33 rushing yards for the Lancers. After a closely contended, scoreless first quarter Notre Dame was in position to score at the very beginning of the second quarter.


Above, #32 Jack Sutherland’s final effort of a six-yard run is ruled a touchdown by the officials.

The Lancers battled back with an impressive drive ending in a #12 Hochmuth pass to #5 Flores for a 36-yard gain and TD. Followed up by a two-point conversion run by #42 Stevens.



The Lancers led the game for only a few minutes because Notre Dames answered with another TD run by Sutherland and two-point conversion pass from #10 Connor to Sutherland. And so the game progressed with Notre Dame in control through a scoreless third quarter. Notre Dame added 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Sutherland would see the end zone one more time as would #42 Peter Daversa with an 11-yard run.


A couple of late turnovers kept the game interesting and the Lancers always seemed poised to come back but failed to capitalize on a few key plays.








More picture of the players and game are here:

September 18, 2015 - 8:59am
posted by Rick D. Franclemont in sports, soccer, girls varsity, pembroke, Notre Dame.

The Pembroke Girls Varsity Soccer Team had an impressive 4-0 shutout in last night's game against Notre Dame. The girls scored three goals in the first half and added another in the second.

September 12, 2015 - 11:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, alexander, Notre Dame.


In a key early season Genesee Region matchup, Notre Dame beat Alexander 34-14.

Alexander scored first on a 14-yard run by Jake Wozniak. Notre Dame scored twice in the second quarter, making it 12-8, on a two-yard run by Peter Daversa and a 44-yard run by Jack Sutherland.

Alexander tied the score early in the third quarter on a fumble recovery in the end zone by Josh Hylkema.

The rest of the game was all Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish scored on a 51-yard run by Sutherland, a one-yard dive for a TD by Sutherland, and Deversa scored on a one-yard run.

Alexander finished with 172 yards of total offense to 307, all on the ground, for Notre Dame.

Sutherland gained 185 yards and Deversa had 104. For Alexander, Wozniak rushed for 120 yards on 20 carries.

C.J. Suozzi had nine tackles and Dane Meberlein, 12, and Hunter Marzolf had nine for Alexander.

Suozzi punted twice for 69 yards.

In other Genesee County football this weekend:

  • Attica beat Pembroke, 36-0
  • Geneseo beat York/Pavilion, 34-28
  • Elba/Byron-Bergen beat Holley, 60-14
  • Le Roy beat Dansville 28-0 (We should have photos from this game some time tomorrow.)
  • Previously: Photos: Batavia beats Cardinal O'Hara 32-8








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September 5, 2015 - 12:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Le Roy, Oakfield, alexander, Notre Dame.


Apparently, Le Roy hasn't missed a beat. With a new head coach, new defensive cooordinator, first-time starter at QB, the Oatkan Knights started off 2015 in familiar territory -- by winning.

Le Roy beat Letchworth/Warsaw, in the first game for the two merged programs, 42-7.

The bulk of the offense came on the legs of Nick Eggling, who rushed for 255 yards and four TDs on 20 carries.

Josh Laurie, in his debut as the varsity starter, was 3-4 passing for 19 yards. He rushed 12 times for 43 yards and two touchdowns.

Dom Filio carried the ball seven times for 60 yards and Nate Flint nine times for 51 yards. Single receptions were recorded by Jason Doemling and Ryan Boyce.

On defense, Reed Kacur had nine tackles, Egeling, six and Filio five.

Also in Genesee County's Friday Night Football action:

Alexander beat Finney 47-14. Senior running back Jake Wozniak rushed for 290 yards on 19 carries. He scored four TDs. Dane Heberlein gained 80 yards on 13 carries, with two TDs, and QB Jared Brown had a TD pass of 15 yards to Derrick Bushe and had a two-point conversion through to Dustin Schmeider. 

Notre Dame beat Oakfield-Alabama 26-12. For Notre Dame, Connor Logsdon was three for six for 54 yards passing. Allen Chatt, QB for the Hornets, was 18-33 for 305 yards and a TD. For the Irish, Jack Sutherland ran 29 times for 185 yards with three touchdowns. Peter Daversa ran 12 times for 93 yards with one touchdown. For the Hornets, Sal Schwable had five receiptions for 73 yards, Austin Fisher, one for 71 yards, Jon Harris, three for 66 yards and a TD, Reice Woodward, four for 57 yards and Josia Yantz, four for 34 yards.  Defensively for Notre Dame, C.J. Souzzi had seven tackles as did Casey Midwick. For O-A, Gage Dieterie, seven-and-a-half tackes. Jon Harris, Cameron Smith had seven each, Sal Schwable, six and a half, and six for Josiah Yantz.

NOTE: Section V had an error on the schedule for today's games. Elba/Byron-Bergen hosts Pembroke at 7 p.m. at Byron-Bergen.

Photos by David Boyce.








August 21, 2015 - 4:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, football, sports.


Any season that Notre Dame doesn't make sectionals might seem like a disappointing year, but Head Coach Rick Mancuso doesn't look on 2014 that way at all for his squad.

"Disappointing? No. We were building all they way through the season and I thought we got better every week," Mancuso said. "I think we're just going to take from last year, where we built to, and keep building going forward here."

All but two of last year's starters are returning this year, and from the looks of things the 2015 team is bigger and stronger.

"We have lot more experience," Mancuso said. "It makes it a lot easier, what we're trying to go through, what we're trying to teach them and we don't have to go over a lot of things. We're a lot sharper. We're fine-tuning more than coaching from the base up."

Key returners include CJ Suozzi at tight end, Ethan Osborne at full back, and half-back duties will be split between Peter Daversa and Jack Sutherland. Mancuso has yet to name his starting QB.

"We have a great group of kids," Mancuso said. "Our linemen look great. They've spent a lot of time in weight room since November and starting to show. I
really think our conditioning is probably the best we've seen in the long time."

It will take a record of 5-2, maybe even 6-1 for a spot in the post-season. It will be a week-by-week, game-by-game effort to get there, Mancuso said, but he seems to like his team's chances.








June 12, 2015 - 9:03am
posted by Traci Turner in Notre Dame, schools, education.

Notre Dame High School ranks in the Buffalo Business First's top 15 percent of all secondary high schools in Western New York for eight consecutive years.

For 2015, Notre Dame ranked 17th out of 136 secondary high schools in WNY. The school was also rated the No. 1 secondary school in Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties and No. 1 private catholic coeducational high school in WNY for eight consecutive years.

In athletics, the Fighting Irish interscholastic athletic program ranked 10th for two consecutive years and No. 1 in Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties.

"I have to stay that I'm very proud of our students," Principal Joseph Scanlan said. "They work very hard and you don't get to achieve those kind of accomplishments without hard work. I'm proud of our teachers, faculty and staff. They have high expectations and encourage our students to do the best and it's paying off."

Every year Business First ranks schools based on academic performance. All the schools are judged in areas including regents exam scores, graduation rates and levels of diplomas.

For math and science regents' scores, the school received a 5 out of 5 recognition. For English regents scores, the school received a 4 out of 5 recognition.

"The tradition has been students are going to come here and do a good job in school and their going to be leaders and give back to the community," Scanlan said. "Put all those things together and they line up with results like we got."

Notre Dame's Class of 2015 Valedictorian Abigail Bleier and Salutatorian Natalie Moulton were ranked in the top 100 academic students in WNY. Each of the 40 graduating students are headed off to college and received $4.5 million in scholarships.

Other high schools in Genesee County that were in the top 100 high school ranking included Oakfield-Alabama, Elba, Alexander, Byron-Bergen, Pavilion, Batavia and Le Roy. For a complete list of all the high school rankings, click here.

June 12, 2015 - 8:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, batavia, Batavia HS, Batavia Lions Club.


Press release:

The Batavia Lions Club recently presented its annual scholarships and awards for the 2014-2015 school year.  

Each spring, several graduating seniors at Batavia High School and Notre Dame High School apply for these scholarships, are interviewed by a committee of Lions Club members, and are chosen to receive $1,000 toward their college education. In addition, selected students from each high school are awarded the Art Roth Fine Arts Award and the Bill Cook Scholar Athlete Award.  

The final award is the Batavia Lions Club Award in Communications, which is presented to a Genesee Community College student in memory of two former Lions and local media legends – Paul Bostwick, the former managing editor of the Batavia Daily News and James H. Gerrety, the former news director of WBTA.

During the high school football season each fall, members of the Lions Club man the food stands at each stadium to sell snacks during each home game.  The proceeds are used exclusively for the scholarship and awards program.

Genesee Community College’s Jenna Wozniak won this year’s Batavia Lions Club’s Award in Communication.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

Top photo: Notre Dame’s 2014-2015 winners are (including Retiring Principal Dr. Joe Scanlon (L) and Athletic Director Mike Rapone (R): Emma Francis, winner of the Bill Cook Scholar Athlete Award, Anna Spring, winner of the Art Roth Fine Arts Award, and scholarship winners Lydia Moens and Anna Warner.

Bottom photo: This year’s Batavia High School winners are from left: Samir Jain, winner of the Bill Cook Scholar Athlete Award, scholarship winners Madison Kabel, Mica Pitcher, Katie Kesler, Allison Della Penna, and Ava Haitz, winner of the Art Roth Fine Arts Award.


June 8, 2015 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, batavia, Batavia Kiwanis Club.


Thursday, Batavia Kiwanis honored the top students at Notre Dame High School.

Top photo: The Top 10 -- Emily McCracken, Olivia Marchese, Janelle Fancher, Lindsey Bender, Lucas Hull, Dennis Bleier, Abigail Bleier [Valedictorian], Anna Spring, Natalie Moulton [Salutatorian], and Emily Vandenbosch.

Photos and info provided by Joseph Scanlan, Ed.D.


Theresa Kehl, ND Vocal, Instrumental and Drama Society director, with Anna Spring ’15, who earned the Instrumental Award, Lydia Moens ’15, who earned the Vocal Award, and Anna Warner ’15, who earned the Citizenship Award, and Kiwanis President Theresa Asmus.

May 31, 2015 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, schools, education.


Notre Dame High School held its 2015 commencement ceremony Saturday evening at the school.

Several students and supporters of the school received honors and awards during the ceremony.

The valedictorian was Abigail Bleier and the salutatorian was Natalie Moulton.

Anna Warner was named Woman of the Year and Joseph Falkowski III, Man of the Year.    

National Technical Honor Society Memberships went to Emma Francis and Emily Vandenbosch.

Special recognitions awards were:

  • Msgr. Eugene F. Kolb Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Education: Phil and Sally Bleier
  • Msgr. David P. Herlihy Award for Outstanding Contributions to ND High School, Julie Mancuso and Jerry and Carm Reinhart

After the jump (click on the headline or the link below), more awards, more information on the special recognition awards and the concluding remarks by Dr. Joseph Scanlan, who officiated his final Notre Dame graduation with his retirement at the end of this school year.


John Fix hugs his son Dylan while Lorie Fix reacts to the moment.









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May 12, 2015 - 3:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, schools, education, batavia.


Press release:

mr._wade_bianco_0.jpgJohn Borrelli, Board of Trustees president, announced that Mr. Wade Bianco has been named the new principal of Notre Dame High School of Batavia effective July 1, 2015. After an extensive search process that included several committees of highly respected faculty, administration, staff, students, parents, board members and community members; three rounds of highly qualified candidate interviews, Mr. Wade Bianco emerged as the overwhelming choice to lead Notre Dame High School.

“We are excited to welcome Wade to our administrative team. His experience in education is extensive and includes instructional leadership at the high school level. He comes with a wealth of knowledge not only in academics, but also in co-curricular activities and athletics,” Borrelli stated. “Wade is a creative and effective communicator and listener and is a very insightful and knowledgeable leader. His high expectations and genuine caring for students, staff, and families will serve the Notre Dame community well,” added Borrelli.

Mr. Bianco demonstrated the attributes the Notre Dame High School family sought for its Catholic co-educational school including outstanding leadership abilities with a dedication to the concept and practice of positive school culture and core values. His understanding of the value parents as partners bring to the educational experience, expertise as an instructional leader and deep understanding of the current standards and assessment processes made him the clear choice for the position.

Wade is replacing long-time, beloved Principal Dr. Joe Scanlan, who is retiring at the end of this school year after 43 years in education, which includes 15 years at Byron-Bergen, 17 years at York and the last 11 years serving at his alma mater as principal of Notre Dame High School.

Opportunities for faculty, staff, parents and members of the community to meet and welcome Mr. Wade Bianco to the Notre Dame family will be announced in the near future. 

May 10, 2015 - 8:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, high school sports, Notre Dame, Batavia HS.


Batavia beat Notre Dame 3-2 in the championship game of the Rotary Tournament.

Batavia scored the winning run on a 2-out Quentin Weis single. Pitchers Greg Mruzek and Tyler Prospero both went the distance. 

Photos are from one inning of the Batavia vs. Oakfield-Alabama game and the championship game.








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May 2, 2015 - 12:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Notre Dame.

Notre Dame's Anna Warner, a multiple Section V title holder in cross-country, signed a letter of intent to attend Mercyhurst University, an NCAA Division I school in Erie, Pa.

Her athletic honors include:

  • Outdoor Track and Field Genesee Region [GR] All Star       2011-2015
  • Cross-country Genesee Region [GR] All Star                 2010-2015
  • Cross-country Genesee Region [GR] Division III Champion  2012 and 2014
  • Cross-country Team Section V Champions                    2010 and 2012
  • Cross-country Individual Section V Champion                2011 and 2014
  • Cross-country Section V NYSPHSAA All Star                2010-2015
  • Cross-country All Greater Rochester [AGR] Honorable Mention – 2013
  • Track and Field All Greater Rochester [AGR] Honorable Mention -- 2013 
  • Cross-country All Greater Rochester [AGR] – First Team -- 2014
  • Cross-country All Section V Recognition – 2nd Team [Class D -- 2011 and 2014]

She also excelled in academics at Notre Dame, said Principal Joseph Scanlan.

"Anna is the classic example of hard work paying off," Scanlan said. "Anna is the epitome of a student-athlete."

Pictured are Judy Warner, Anna Warner, Coach Eric Geitner, Principal Joseph Scanlan and Athletic Director Mike Rapone.

April 24, 2015 - 9:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, music, entertainment, schools, education, Notre Dame.

Notre Dame High School hosted its annual spring concert at the school Thursday night with jazz ensemble and concert choir performing such pieces as the "Overture of the Magic Flute," highlights from "Harry Potter," Disney movie tunes and a portion of Pachelbel's "Canon in D." Theresa Kehl is conductor of both the ensemble and the choir.

April 17, 2015 - 9:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, high school sports, Notre Dame.

Notre Dame came from behind to beat Lyndonville 4-3 at Dwyer Stadium on Thursday.

Top photo: CJ Souzzi is out at home trying to score the team's fifth run after Larry Infantino had crossed the plate a moment before on Peter Madafferi's double.

Here's Coach Mike Rapone's game summary:

Tyler Prospero pitched six strong, scoreless innings to pick up the win in relief of starter Casey Midwick who left with tightness in his pitching arm as ND rallied to win 4-3. Prospero's line was 6 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 6K and no walks. Lyndonville's had a 3-run first on a Brandon Schoolcraft RBI double and Eric Nease's 2-run triple. The Irish responded with two first inning runs on Mike Falitico's RBI groundout and Michael Muehlig's 2-out RBI single. They tied it in the fifth when Cal Tygart tripled to deep center and scored on another Mike Falitico RBI groundout. The winning run was scored by Larry Infantino, who walked, moved to second on CJ Suozzi's single and scored on Peter Madafferi's RBI double.

March 27, 2015 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, schools, education, Notre Dame.

Press release:

Wednesday, March 25, was the Virtual Business Trade Fair at Genesee Community College. Nine high schools from the G.L.O.W. region competed with 11 businesses created entirely from scratch by students. At Notre Dame, this year-long project is incorporated into the college credit course Principles of Business or BUS 101 through collaboration with GCC’s Accelerated College Enrollment Program (ACE).

This is the first year Notre Dame participated in the event, but that did not stop the eight-member team from receiving multiple recognitions at the fair. Their teacher, Lindsay Warner, says the team has shown incredible commitment to the project since it began in September.

“They have had a contagious enthusiasm for this project that propelled them to a well-deserved victory!” Warner said.

This course is driven by student-centered projects. Each member has developed public speaking, problem-solving, and communication skills. They have learned to work together and value input of others, even if it is different from their own. They have learned that hard work pays in the end and that learning can be valuable and even fun. There are no tests and no quizzes but Drew Morabito, senior and chief financial officer, wants to clear up any confusion, saying “I have never worked harder in any class.”

Students learn because they want to succeed and suceed they did. 

Notre Dame placed in four out of five judged categories at the trade fair. The Cupcakery -- a small bake shop specializing in upscale cupcakes -- received First Place for Salesmanship and Number of Transactions. They also placed 2nd for Transaction Dollar Amount and tied with T&T from Pavilion High School for Best Booth Design.

The teams will also be judged on 20+ page business plans submitted at the event as well as product catalogs and Web sites with results expected in the next few weeks.

Notre Dame’s Bus 101 class and Cupcakery business owners are: Lindsey Bender -- chief marketing officer; Dylan Fix -- financial executive; Joseph Falkowski III -- human resource manager; Chase Hughes -- financial executive; Drew Morabito -- chief financial officer; Caleb Nellis -- human resource executive; Taylor Perzia -- chief executive officer; and Joseph Zickl -- marketing and sales executive.

ND currently offers Economics, Introduction to Careers, Personal Money Management, Accounting 1, and Accounting 101 in addition to Principles of Business. Business-minded students can graduate Notre Dame with 12 college credits, equivalent to one semester of college.

Anyone interested in learning more about this program and the other opportunities Notre Dame is providing its students should contact the school or visit during the upcoming Open House, April 19, from 2 - 4 p.m.

Total # of Deposits:
The Cupcakery                  Notre Dame                       256
Vision Vacations               Dansville                              155
Able Sports                         Elba                                        114
Oatkan Outdoors             Le Roy                                    114

Total Amount of Deposits:
Vision Vacations               Dansville                              $378,009.35
The Cupcakery                  Notre Dame                       $330,624.33
Road Trip                             Attica                                    $187,953

Booth Design:
The Cupcakery                  Notre Dame                       770
T & T Services                    Pavilion                                                770
Elite Feet                             Way-Co                                                743
Sugar Shack                        Batavia                                 730

The Cupcakery                  Notre Dame                       427
T & T Services                    Pavilion                                                407
Vision Vacations               Dansville                              395

March 24, 2015 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Notre Dame, mock trials.

Photos by Tom Rivers, Orleans Hub.

Batavia and Notre Dame will meet in the mock trials finals tomorrow after securing victories in the semifinals Monday evening in the Orleans County Courthouse.

Batavia went 2-0, 113 points to 110 points, against Attica. Notre Dame was 1-1, but with 109 points to 106 points against Avon.

In the top photo, Dylan Beckman serves as an attorney for the team from Batavia and questions a witness.

Amanda Conrad, a witness for Attica, responds to questioning from Becca Canale, an attorney for Batavia.

Becca Canale was one of the attorneys for Batavia. She presents her closing argument to Chad Murray, the judge for the competition.

Madhu Vihani, a lawyer for the Attica team, presents documents to the team from Batavia.

Nic Culver, of Medina, a freshman at Notre Dame, was a witness for his team.

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

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

But wheels have cogs and cogs sometimes break.

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

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

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

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

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

Johnson missed four of them.

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

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

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

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

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

That isn't an excuse. Just a thought.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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March 5, 2015 - 5:30pm

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

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

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

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

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

February 28, 2015 - 11:57pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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