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June 29, 2018 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, schools, education, news, batavia.

After receiving word in April that the Buffalo Diocese was cutting financial aid for Notre Dame High School, Principal Wade Bianco, his staff, and the board of trustees got busy figuring out a way to reduce spending by $125,000 in a way that wouldn't hurt students or the families that depend on paychecks from the school.

"It’s an opportunity to stand alone and then get it done," Bianco said in an interview with WBTA.

There will be no layoffs, no classes cut, and no sports or other extracurricular activities cut, Bianco said.

He rattled off a series of small cuts that get the school pretty close to meeting its budget for 2018-19.

  • With the retirement of the guidance counselor, that position will be merged with another administrative job, which will not only save money but mean a guidance counselor is on campus five days a week rather than just three.
  • One employee is voluntarily shifting off of group health care coverage to Medicare.
  • One business class, with only two students, is being shifted to online learning through Genesee Community College.
  • The hockey booster club will help pay for ice time.
  • The receptionist hours are being cut by 2.5 hours per week.

"It all adds up," Bianco said. "We’re just about to the number we need and we have increased participation in our annual fund from alumni because we have new strategies to do that. If we add students, compete, continue to be very responsive in how we navigate the operational side to the budget we should continue to meet cash flow for a long time."

He said he strategized with Mike Rapone and Tom Rapone on a plan that would "least affect kids, least affects families that work here, and least affects the excellent reputation of the school."

The reduction from the Diocese is a part of those made at Catholic schools and other Catholic institutions because of decreased revenue.

There may be other opportunities for savings, Bianco said. For example, the school is exploring a merger of the swimming program with another school.

"The public schools are doing that all the time," Bianco said. "So we're getting creative without losing opportunities for kids because we're a small school with big school opportunities. We offer 17 sports teams, a  great music and arts program, a fantastic theater program. We're doing that for $1.4 million. That's just $9,000 per student. It costs the public almost $21,000 per student (in public schools)."

June 27, 2018 - 4:32pm

Photo: Hannah Pierson (right), Culinary Arts student from Le Roy CS, accepts the Rochester American Culinary Federation Scholarship and Chef Russell Bugbee Memorial Award from Chef Tracy Burgio, Culinary Arts instructor at the Batavia CTE Center. 

Submitted photo and press release:

Batavia, New York, June 25 – The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center recently celebrated the achievements of 309 seniors at an awards program earlier this month at Le Roy High School. During this ceremony, 25 scholarship awards were presented.

The scholarship winners, their programs and home schools are noted below.

Student of the Year (a.m.): Casey Shaw, Pembroke CSD, Health Dimensions

Student of the Year (p.m.): Zachary Boneberg, Le Roy CSD, Criminal Justice

Blakeslee Award: Christian Bradt, Oakfield-Alabama CSD, Building Trades

Donald Abramo Jr. Memorial Award: Vanessa Horseman, Batavia CSD, Metal Trades; Garrett Sando, Byron-Bergen CSD, Metal Trades

Gene Haas Foundation Scholarship: Matthew Kurowski, Attica CSD, Metal Trades

Master Manufacturing Scholarship: Matthew Kurowski, Attica CSD, Metal Trades

James P. Donnelly Memorial Award: Bradly Arnold, Oakfield-Alabama CSD, Building Trades; Cameron Brumsted, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Paul Levin’s Memorial Award: Ethan Conrad, Notre Dame -- Batavia, Building Trades

Batavia Rod & Gun Club Memorial Scholarship: Brandon Lewis, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Roy H. Turnbull Memorial Scholarship Award: Kyler Chambry, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Ignatius J. Radesi Memorial Award: Benjamin Lathan, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Pullinzi Family Scholarship: Christopher Decker, Attica CSD, Building Trades

Building Trades Alumni Award: Joseph Aguglia, Attica CSD, Building Trades

Homeowner Award: Chandler Bow, Byron-Bergen CSD, Building Trades

Jason H. Rowcliffe Memorial Scholarship: Timothy Herter, Attica CSD, Culinary Arts

Chef Russell Bugbee Memorial Award: Hannah Pierson, Le Roy CSD, Culinary Arts

Rochester American Culinary Federation Scholarship: Hannah Pierson, Le Roy CSD, Culinary Arts

Josh Mouery Memorial Award: Danny Pernesky, Le Roy CSD, Culinary Arts

B.J. Mancuso Memorial Award: Taylor Almeter, Attica CSD, Cosmetology

Batavia Rotary Club Memorial Fund Scholarship: Rachel Tebor, Pembroke CSD, Cosmetology

Dr. Charles Holowach Memorial Scholarship: Kim Davis, Pavilion CSD, Health Careers Academy; Paige Perry, Attica CSD, Health Careers Academy; Ethan Hutchins, Notre Dame Batavia, Health Careers Academy.

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The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State. 

May 24, 2018 - 11:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, pembroke, batavia, Notre Dame.

The Pembroke Dragons will play their Class C1 Section V semifinal playoff game at 4:30 p.m. today at Dwyer Stadium against Avon.

Batavia plays Aquinas in a Class A2 semifinal at 4:30 at Brockport.

Notre Dame plays Bolivar in a Class D1 semifinal at 7 p.m. at Keshequa.

May 24, 2018 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Notre Dame, basketball.

Press release:

 Mansfield University women’s basketball’s Melanie Taylor has been named Most Improved Player for the 2017-18 season.

A Wyoming native, Taylor started in 23 of her 29 appearances at guard in her senior season. Averaging a fifth-best 5.6 points an outing, Taylor posted double-figure scoring in six games. The guard opened 2018 play in grand fashion, dropping a season-high 15 points in a win over Lock Haven. She recorded 49 assists and 23 steals while connecting on 68.8% of free throws.

March 7, 2018 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, news, Notre Dame, elba.

One Genesee County girls basketball team is advancing to the regional playoffs and for another, its season is over following a pair of Section V consolidation games played Tuesday.

Elba beat Wheatland, 47-38. The Lady Lancers will play for the Far West Region Class D championship Saturday at Rush-Henrietta High School at 3 p.m. against Franklinville of Section VI.

For the Lady Irish of Notre Dame, their season is over after losing the Class C consolidation game (where Class C1's sectional champion plays Class C2's sectional champion for the right to play in the Class C Far West Regional game) to South Seneca, 61-41. For Notre Dame, Margaret Sutherland scored 18 points and Callie McCulley scored 16 points.

March 4, 2018 - 1:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, basketball, sports, news.

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The Lady Irish staged a dramatic second-half come back Saturday at Rush-Henrietta, overcoming a 13-point third-quarter deficit, to beat Letchworth 42-35 and claim the Section V Class C1 crown.

It came down to defense, said Head Coach Tom McCulley, whose team held Letchworth to nine points in the second half and prevented them from scoring for more than eight minutes at one point.

"That’s who we are," McCulley said. "Hard work and gritty and score enough on offense and turn it up on defense and make teams uncomfortable."

Callie McCulley's aggression, driving for layups, with Margaret Sullivan and Stevie Wilcox attacking the boards, combined with good shooting from the free-throw line helped turn the tide.

"We’ve preached all season long, rebounds and free throws," McCulley said. "The fundamentals of the game, when you’ve got evenly matched teams, that’s what it comes down to. A lot of these games come down to free throw percentages and who wins that battles on the boards."

He praised the hard work and fight put up by Letchworth. They came out of the gate aggressive and McCulley said that put his team back in its heels. When they were down by 13, he called a timeout and told them they needed to grind it out.

"I just told them you've got to contest every shot," McCulley said. "You’ve got to go after every loose ball. This is sectional finals. There’s no tomorrow if you don’t win today."

Callie McCulley finished with 15 points and was named tournament MVP. Stevie Wilcox and Margaret Sutherland scored eight points each. They were both named to the all-tournament team.

Perhaps overlooked in the accolades but not overlooked by her coaches and teammates, McCulley I said, is Morgan Rhodes, who scored nine points.

"Morgan is a spark plug," McCulley said. "I ask her to defend. I ask her to help with ball handling. She can knock down shots. She’s not afraid of the big stage and the big moment. She played huge the other night against Red Creek. She played huge for us tonight. She’s one of those unsung heroes of this tournament but coaches realize what she brings to the table."

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March 1, 2018 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Notre Dame, football, batavia.

Press release:

Notre Dame announces the hiring of Joe Zambito as their Varsity Football Coach replacing Rick Mancuso who retired to spend more time with his family.

He was a highly successful Genesee Region Football and Basketball Coach at Elba from 1999 through 2006. Zambito joined the Notre Dame coaching family in 2010 as a volunteer coach on Coach Mancuso’s football staff a position he held for the past seven seasons.

His relationship with the Notre Dame side of one of Section V’s biggest rivalries began a few years earlier in the fall of 2007 with the enrollment of his nephew Vincent (Class of 2011).

It continued for the next 11 years as nephews Gianni (Class of 2010 and a current Social Studies teacher at ND), Luca (Class of 2016 Valedictorian), Nico (Class of 2018) and cousin Anthony (Class of 2021) all made Notre Dame their high school choice.

During his eight-year stint as the head football coach, his Elba teams were recognized in both the GR and Section V as being physical, well-prepared and disciplined football squads. They excelled on the field winning 3 GR Championships and the 2005 Section V Class D Championship, an accomplishment that led to Zambito being recognized as 2005 Section V Coach of the Year.

He was also a very successful basketball coach winning GR championships in 2005 and 2006, and a Sectional title in 2005 when he was both the Section V and Genesee Region Coach of the Year. During his coaching tenure, his teams also earned numerous NYS Scholar-Athlete team recognition.

Zambito, who is employed as both Race Secretary and Track Announcer at Batavia Downs, holds a bachelor's degree from SUNY Brockport. He is married to the former Kelly Degenhardt whose mother Anne Palmer (Degenhardt) is a 1966 graduate of Notre Dame.

When commenting on his appointment, Coach Zambito said,” I am looking forward to working with the student-athletes at Notre Dame to help them grow, progress and maximize their potential both on and off the field. Here Come the Irish!”

February 25, 2018 - 1:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Notre Dame.

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Notre Dame lost its home game Class D1 semifinal playoff game to Naples on Saturday, 72-59.

Nico Zambito scored 15 points for the Fighting Irish. Gabe Macdonald scored 14, and Ryan Moffat scored 11.  

For Naples, Evan Bay scored 20 and Cole Rathbon scored 18. Bay hit five three-pointers.

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February 22, 2018 - 10:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, news, Notre Dame.

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Notre Dame advanced in the Class D1 Section V boys basketball playoffs Wednesday with a 68-50 home victory over Wheatland-Chili.

Andrew Moore scored 13 points, Ryan Moffat, 12, Gabe Macdonald, 11, Nico Zambito, 9, and Brendin Klotzbach, 8.

Zambito had nine rebounds. Spencer Misiti had five assists.

For Wheatland-Chili, Adam Lund scored 23 points.

In girls basketball:

  • Canisteo beat Le Roy, 59-56
  • Geneseo over Alexander, 53-34
  • Bergen over North Rose, 57-40
  • Notre Dame beat East Rochester, 54-36

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February 10, 2018 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, sports, softball.

Press release:

Notre Dame announces the hiring of Tim Frappa of Orchard Park as their new Varsity Softball Coach. He replaces Michelle Panepento who decided not to return in order to spend more time with her family. His impressive resume, love of teaching the game of softball and his personality led to his selection from an impressive group of applicants.

Tim has been an extremely successful travel softball coach in the Buffalo area for the past 10 years. For the last three seasons, he coached the NY Inferno 16U and 18U college showcase teams where he has helped players realize their goal of playing college softball. He is recognized as an excellent teacher of fundamentals and is especially strong in the development of pitchers including two daughters who went on to pitch in college. 

Coach Frappa, who  is the Founder and President of Torino Mosaic Flooring, is excited about the opportunity to coach the young ladies of Notre Dame softball and is looking forward to the challenge of building on the success the program has enjoyed in recent years.

February 8, 2018 - 2:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, Tobacco-Free GLOW, batavia, Notre Dame, news.

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Photo and info submitted by Tobacco Free GLOW.

Press release:

Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death and illness in New York State. Tobacco control representatives from Tobacco-Free GLOW Julie Calvert, Brittany Bozzer, Ben Streeter and Krysta Hansen, recently met with Assemblyman Steve Hawley at the Capitol in Albany to discuss the important tobacco control work being done in the GLOW region to save lives. 

Ben Streeter and Krysta Hansen are students at Notre Dame High School.

February 1, 2018 - 3:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, Notre Dame.
Event Date and Time: 
February 3, 2018 - 9:00am to 2:00pm

Giving back and saving lives 10 years later. Jason and Nancy Kota lost their son, Matthew, 10 years ago but they continue to honor his memory by giving back to the community and by helping save lives with the American Red Cross.

The Kota Family will be hosting the 10th Annual Matthew Kota Memorial Blood Drive on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Notre Dame High School in Batavia. It is located at 73 Union St.

January 10, 2018 - 3:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, batavia, news, sports.

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Press release:

Longtime Notre Dame football Coach Rick Mancuso (ND Class of 1976) has announced his retirement from coaching with the goal of spending more time with his family especially his grandchildren.

In announcing his decision, Rick said: “All of us reach a time of reflection on where we’ve been and where we are going. Over the course of the last 35-plus years my family, as all coaches families, sacrificed to allow me to be a part of something special.

"At this moment of my life I would like to spend more time being a part of our children and grandchildren’s lives and create memories that we will forever cherish.”

Coach Mancuso’s retirement ends a 37-year relationship with ND football during which he coached for 22 seasons and spent the other 15 as a key member of the football program’s support staff. Rick began his football coaching career at Notre Dame as the Head JV coach in the fall of 1981. In 2005, he took on the daunting task of replacing retiring HOF Coach Bill Sutherland as Varsity Head Football Coach.

This was the beginning of a very successful coaching career the highlights of which include qualifying for sectional competition in nine of his 13 seasons as Varsity Football Coach, winning Sectional Championships in 2006 and 2012, advancing to the title game on three other occasions and winning three GR League championships.

Although most recognizable for his football coaching role, Coach Mancuso has also been a successful coach at his alma mater in other sports as well. He coached Varsity softball for five seasons from 2011-2015 winning a State Championship in 2012 after advancing to the State finals in 2011.

His softball squads brought home “the Block” in 2011 and 2012 as well as earning three GR championships. He also was a successful JV and Varsity baseball coach and even coached Modified basketball where his squads only lost one game in two seasons.

Rick has had a positive impact on the lives of numerous Notre Dame athletes and has always been there for them both on and off the field. He has built relationships that have stood the test of time and has always been a resource for young coaches seeking mentorship as they begin their careers. He has always taken pride in the numerous alumni on his coaching staff.

A prominent local businessman who is a lifelong resident of Batavia, Rick and his wife, Julie, are parents of five Notre Dame graduates Morgan (’01), Alexandra (03), Rick (05), Pat (’08) and Maddie (’14). They have both donated countless hours to the betterment of the Notre Dame experience for all our students as well as helping to keep the school vibrant and an affordable option to any who would like to attend.

Photo: File photo

January 9, 2018 - 9:52pm
posted by James Burns in sports, batavia, Batavia HS, Notre Dame.

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Batavia High School Ice Blue Devils played Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a crosstown game tonight.

A packed arena was there to witness Notre Dame's total domination of Batavia HS. Notre Dame scored in the first few minutes of the first period and continued scoring until the end of regulation.

Batavia HS had a few shots on goal and at the end of the first period was able to control the puck for a few minutes. Outside of that, they did not offer much resistance to Notre Dame.

Final score, Blue Devils 0 Fighting Irish 10.

After the game players form both teams posed for pictures together for their parents. Hockey aside, the players from both teams are all friends and neighbors. 

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January 5, 2018 - 1:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in rotary tournament, batavia, Notre Dame, basketball, sports, news.

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In a rematch of last year's Rotary Tournament finale, Notre Dame, this time, was the more dominant team, beating Cal-Mum, 43-35.

"We didn't really have an identity early in the season last year and it showed," said ND's head coach Tom McCulley. "They were a mature team and we weren't really there yet. This year I think we probably had the edge maturity."

The star of the game was Stevie Wilcox, who scored 17 points and seemed in command of her game from the start. She was named tournament MVP.

"We were ready to bring it and play as a team and work together because when we do, we're unstoppable," Wilcox said.

The Lady Irish are always tough on defense and McCulley said that's what he saw from his team again, especially in the first half, when Notre Dame held the Lady Raiders to six points. Guard Morgan Rhodes was a big part of that, he said.

"Morgan was steady all throughout," McCulley said. "She got some steals and helped us with ball pressure so we weren't allowing them to get comfortable in their sets, maybe not as quickly as they would like. I think most of the time, when I looked up, by the time Cal-Mum got in their sets there was 16 seconds off the close. I was shocked by that. That puts a lot of pressure on the offense to execute."

Margret Sutherland and Natale Thornton also had big games. Sutherland scored 10 points and Thornton scored nine. Both were a strong presence under the boards.

Callie McCulley added six points.

For Cal-Mum, Elyse Van Auken scored 12 points.

Besides Wilcox at MVP, the all-tournament team was Taylor Gadd, Attica, Ryann Stefaniak, Batavia, Elyse Van Auken, Cal-Mum, Margaret Sullivan, Notre Dame, and Callie McCulley, Notre Dame.

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To purchase prints, click here.

January 4, 2018 - 3:26pm

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It will be Notre Dame and Cal-Mum facing off tonight in the championship match of the Batavia Rotary Club Girls Basketball Tournament.

After Batavia delivered an uninspired performance leading to a loss to the Red Raiders 43-40, the Lady Blue Devils will face Attica in the consolation game at 6 p.m.

NOTE: the games have been moved from Friday night to tonight because of the anticipated cold snap tomorrow.

The Lady Raiders will face a motivated Lady Irish team that had two of the squad's top players both in sync Wednesday night, with Callie McCulley scoring 22 points and Margaret Sutherland scoring 16 to help lead a dominating 64-42 win over Attica. Natalie Thornton added 13 points.

Attica was led by Taylor Gadd with 13 points and Kacey Pearce with 10.

Top scorer Wednesday night was Cal-Mum's Elyse Van Auken, who scored 24 points. Makenzie Wilson scored eight points.

For Batavia, Ryann Stefaniak scored 13 points, Bryn Wormley, eight, and Kenzie Reigle, seven.

Two Batavia players missed the game due to illness.

A newcomer to watch with Batavia is 5' 11" sophomore Emma Krolczyk, who scored six points. 

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To purchase prints of pictures, click here.

December 30, 2017 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Notre Dame, Batavia HS, sports, news.

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In what may be the last regular season meeting between Batavia and Notre Dame in boys basketball, the Blue Devils came out on top 68-45 to win The Peter Arras Memorial Basketball Tournament.

The tournament has commonly been known as the Lions Tournament, but the Lions Club of Batavia renamed it this year in memory of Pete Arras, a longtime Lions Club member and founder of the tournament.

The tournament is usually the one meeting each year between Batavia and Notre Dame, but next year, the tournament format will change to include eight teams, four each in Class A and B, and four teams in Class C and D, which is why Batavia and Notre Dame aren't likely to play each other again.

Last night, Mason McFollins scored 17 points, hitting five three-point shots. He was named tournament MVP. Steve Gilebarto and Antwan Odom scored 14 apiece.

For Notre Dame, Ryan Moffet scored 11 points and Keith Szczepanski scored eight.

Besides McFollins, the all-tournament team was Liam Ward, Albion, Colin O'Hallohan, Elba, Antwan Odem and Steve Gilebarto, Batavia, and Ryan Moffet, Notre Dame.

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A new feature of the tournament is a banner acknowledging all of the teams. The winning team signs the banner and will be able to display it in the school. Above, Nancy Arras, wife of Pete, signs the banner.

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To purchase prints, click here.

December 28, 2017 - 10:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, batavia, elba, Notre Dame, Lions Tournament.

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Notre Dame and Batavia will meet in the finals of The Peter Arras GCC Basketball Tournament at Genesee Community College on Friday after both teams won opening round games of the annual tournament organized by the Batavia Lions Club.

Notre Dame beat Elba 77-66 and Batavia beat Albion 84-58.

In the first game, Notre Dame and Elba traded leads throughout the first three quarters, but the Irish pulled away by scoring 30 points in the fourth quarter even as Elba scored 24.  

Ryan Moffat scored 26 points for the Irish, hitting five three-point buckets. Nico Zambito scored 17 points. Spencer Miskiti and Brendin Klotzbach each scored eight.

For Elba, Jonathan Boyce scored 20, Collin O'Halloran scored 16, Colton Dillon, 14, and Ben Pflaumer, 13.

In the nightcap, Mason McFollins scored 31 points, hitting seven three-pointers, while Ray Mlodozeniec scored 13, Trevor Zewan, 12, and Jonathan Liciaga, 8.

For Albion, Liam Ward scored 20, hitting four three-point shots and Bryce Pritchard scored 17, hitting five three-point shots.

Elba and Albion will play the consolation game at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and Batavia and Notre Dame tip off at 8 p.m. Both games are played at GCC.

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To purchase prints, click here.

December 9, 2017 - 9:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, elba, basketball, sports.

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Fans of the Notre Dame, Elba rivalry got their money's worth Friday night as the boys' basketball teams battled into overtime Friday night before the Fighting Irish came out on top 74-72.

The Lancers went into the final 15 seconds of regulation with a four-point lead but a three-point bucket by Andrew Moore (top photo) narrowed the lead to one. Elba failed to score on its possession and the Irish got the ball back with a little more than five seconds on the clock. Notre Dame's Gabe Macdonald was fouled as he drove in the lane toward the basket as time expired. He was also injured, so Zachary Cocking was called on to shoot his free throws. Cocking made the first to tie the score but missed the second (second from bottom photo) to send the game into overtime.

"They showed they have a lot of heart," said Head Coach Mike Rapone after the game. "They have a lot of courage. They didn’t give up. We not only played without (Ryan) Moffett (due to injury), but Nico (Zambito) had fouled out so the kids just circled the wagons and just keep battling. They hit some big shots and they never gave up."

Zambito was the game's top scorer with 26 points. He hit six three-pointers. Spencer Misiti had 14 points, with four three-pointers. Keith Szczepanski, Notre Dame's 6'7", 305-pound sophomore forward, scored 13 points, including four points in overtime.

For Elba, Colton Dillon scored 23 points. He hit five shots outside the arch. Collin O'Halloran scored 15, including a pair of threes. Grayson Huntington scored 11, including two threes. Jonathan Boyce added 10 points.

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