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February 4, 2014 - 11:58pm
posted by Nick Sabato in basketball, sports, elba, high school sports, Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame girls are just one win away from clinching their 11th Genesee Region League title in school history after pounding Elba, 69-37.

The resounding victory also marks the first time that the Lady Irish have swept Elba in league play since the 2010-2011 season.

The Lady Lancers kept things close in the first quarter, but Notre Dame blew the game open in the second, led by Mel Taylor.

Taylor scored 12 of her game-high 24 points in the second quarter as the Irish increased their  seven-point lead after the first quarter to 23 at half time.

“It’s getting down near crunch time,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Pero. “We’re trying to stress that you have to be more aggressive on whatever you do [well]. Mel is a scorer and we want her to try and score as much as possible.”

In the third quarter, junior Emma Francis picked up where Taylor left off, scoring 10 of her 15 points in the frame to put the contest out of reach.

“Emma’s got potential,” Pero said. “She’s starting to believe in herself and it’s a great time to believe. If we have Emma Francis at full-go come sectional time, we’ll be a tough team to beat.”

Taylor was not as terrific scoring the ball, but she had a splendid game overall, adding 11 rebounds, six steals and four assists.

Shea Norton also played strong underneath, scoring 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Laurie Call chipped in with seven steals, six assists and five rebounds for Notre Dame (15-1).

Kelsey Bezon had another solid game in defeat, scoring 14 points and grabbing four rebounds. Haley Brown chipped in with 10 points for Elba (12-4).

Photos by Howard Owens

To purchase prints, click here.

February 4, 2014 - 7:30pm
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

Only four players in the history of the Notre Dame basketball program have ever scored 1,000 points in their careers.

Make that five.

Tim McCulley added to his already impressive athletic resume by scoring his 1,000th career point Monday night in a victory over Alexander, 52-32.

“People don’t realize how hard it is to score 1,000 points in high school,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. “To get 1,000 points shows that he’s been steady and consistent.”

McCulley joins his uncle, Tom McCulley, Mark Wadams, Jeff Weaver, and his father, Mike McCulley -- who is currently just one point ahead of his son -- in the 1,000-point club.

“It’s a great feeling to have a father and son both play for you and go over 1,000 points,” Rapone said. “There’s something in the McCulley genes that they can all shoot. I’m sure Mike is as proud as any father could be right now.”

The senior guard was just nine points shy of the 1,000 mark at the start of the contest, and he got within a point at the end of the first quarter.

Then just 20 seconds into the second quarter, McCulley caught a back-door alley-oop from Jason Hart to eclipse the hallowed accomplishment.

“It's a great accomplishment,” Tim McCulley said. “Only five players have scored 1,000 points at Notre Dame. I’m just glad to be a part of it. It’s a milestone I never thought I’d hit.”

It was not a superb shooting night as a team for the Fighting Irish, but McCulley still managed a strong outing, finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

“Alexander was physical and played hard,” Rapone said. “They got on the boards and gave us all we wanted.”

Caleb Nellis had a solid night for Notre Dame (12-3), scoring 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Tyler Laird paced Alexander (7-7) with eight points and 15 rebounds.

January 31, 2014 - 8:39am
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

Prior to opening tip-off, Notre Dame’s Tim McCulley jokingly rubbed his hands together as if to say he was going to “make it rain.”

It must have worked, because it rained in buckets for McCulley, as he poured in a career-high 37 points en route to a 79-59 victory over Oakfield-Alabama.

The Notre Dame senior may be as a hot as any player in Section V at the moment, as he used this as an encore performance after a 35-point game against Prattsburgh on Saturday.

“Tim is in a groove right now,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. “The great thing about him is that he does more than score. He finds the open man and gets his teammates involved.”

McCulley not only knocked down seven three-point field goals, but he added seven rebounds, four assists and three steals on the night.

After tonight’s explosion, McCulley sits just nine points shy of 1,000 for his career.

The game started as a shootout, with the Hornets only trailing by two after the first quarter, due in large part to their efficiency behind the arc.

“They came out hot in the first quarter,” Rapone said. “We made some adjustments defensively, and give Ryan [Stehlar] credit. They were ready and he had them in the right spots.”

With the game tied 27-27 midway through the second quarter, the Irish came alive, using a 19-4 run to end the first half and pull away for good.

One of the key reasons for the Notre Dame offensive explosion was junior Josh Johnson.

Johnson finished the night with 13 points, five rebounds and four steals.

“Josh played well tonight,” Rapone said. “He has really improved throughout the season and has been much more selective with the ball.”

Despite the loss, the Hornets had a superb night shooting the ball. They knocked down a total of 11 three-pointers on the evening, getting seven from Hunter Spiotta.

Spiotta finished the game with 27 points and four rebounds, while Ryan Emery chipped in 11 points for Oakfield-Alabama (8-6).

Senior Alex Domkowski had another strong outing, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds for Notre Dame (11-3).

January 28, 2014 - 10:19pm
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

This season has been a different one for the Elba girl’s basketball squad. Prior to this season, they had not lost a regular season game since Feb. 8, 2010.

This season they already have two losses within the Genesee Region League, but it looks like things are back to usual as the Lancers won their fifth-straight game, topping Northstar Christian, 69-51.

The Lancers lost four starters from a season ago, forcing players into roles that they have never had to fill. But, it appears as if they are finally settling in.

“It has taken some time,” said first year Head Coach Tom Redband. “All of these girls are in different roles than they ever have been before, but they have worked hard all season.”

One player in a different role is senior point guard Kelsey Bezon, who has taken on a do-it-all role.

Bezon filled the stat sheet again tonight, scoring a game-high 22 points, grabbing seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.

“Kelsey has never been asked to be a full-time scorer,” Redband said. “She could score more if she wanted to, but she is a pass-first player. She loves making the pass and getting her teammates involved.”

Elba jumped out fast on the Knights, scoring 23 points in the first quarter and forcing nine turnovers in the opening frame.

Northstar boasted two players who average nearly 22 points per game each in Mary Roberts and Taylor Harris, and the Lancers got after them early.

“We knew we had to stop Roberts and Harris,” Redband said. “We made it a point of emphasis in practice to stop those two.”

The Lancers took a 17-point lead into halftime, due to Haley Brown, who scored 11 of her 14 points in the opening half.

Halfway through the fourth quarter Northstar freshman Madison Motsay hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to nine, but Elba rattled off five straight to put the game away.

Junior Alyssa Bogue was solid all night for the Lancers (11-2), scoring 18 points, pulling down 11 rebounds and five steals. Brown also added eight rebounds and five steals.

The two star Knights still managed to put up impressive numbers, with Roberts scoring 19 points to go along with 14 rebounds and four steals.

Harris may have had the highlight of the night, notching her 1,000th career point in the third quarter. She finished with a team-high 20 points, 11 rebounds and four steals.

Motsay also added 10 points for Northstar Christian (10-2).

January 23, 2014 - 11:58pm

An estimated 220,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and every 1 out of 8 women will be diagnosed in their lifetime.

Tonight Pembroke High School took a big step in helping to find a cure with its third annual Shoot for a Cure game against Oakfield-Alabama.

No admission was charged all evening, while all concession sales and donations were directly given to the Roswell Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

Not only were the gymnasium and hallways decked out in pink, but so were the Pembroke players, who wore all pink uniforms in honor of breast cancer awareness. They even played with a pink basketball.

Pembroke Head Coach Michael Wilson spearheaded the event after Athletic Director Ron Funke’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago. A few players suggested a “pink game” and it took off from there. Most importantly, several women in the Pembroke community and school district were honored at halftime for surviving their fight with the disease.

Between the junior varsity and varsity contests, several people even donated their hair for “Bald for Bucks.” The Buffalo Bisons also displayed their support as mascot Buster T. Bison attended the contest.

“These kids have been all over Rochester, Buffalo and Batavia promoting this event and collecting donations,” Wilson said. “I’ve got an incredibly compassionate group of kids and they love it. You could see that in the way they played tonight. They were definitely shooting for a cure.”

The Lady Dragons certainly played with a purpose, as they routed Oakfield-Alabama 52-18.

Pembroke pulled away in the second quarter and never looked back as they outscored the Hornets 14-1 in the frame.

Rylee Moser led the way, scoring a game-high 13 points, while Aralyse Johnson scored 11 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and Breanna Johnson chipped in with 11 points, seven rebounds and three steals for Pembroke (10-3).

“Getting a win on the court means a lot, but tonight was about recognizing women in the district who are currently battling breast cancer or who have won their battle or those that we have lost,” Wilson said. “It’s more about these kids coming together, showing that they’re civic-minded and showing that they are compassionate.”

In total, the night yielded nearly $10,000 that will be donated directly to Roswell by the entire Pembroke girl’s basketball team.

Photos by Howard Owens.

Sherie Grande was among the local breast cancer survivors who received a rose from a Pembroke player at half time.

January 19, 2014 - 10:43am
posted by Nick Sabato in batavia, sports, high school sports, alexander, Notre Dame, hockey.

The month of January has been a nightmare for the Notre Dame Hockey Team, but yesterday afternoon it may have woken up as the players defeated Batavia/Alexander, 2-1.

The Fighting Irish came into the contest just 1-4 this month, and had lost four straight by a combined score of 28 to 4. But, the win against crosstown rival Batavia/Alexander is a step in the right direction.

“We’ve been struggling recently,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Marc Staley. “We had two good practices getting prepared for this. We felt that we had hit rock bottom and the good thing about rock bottom is that you’re done falling. We thought we would come out and play a good game tonight.”

Notre Dame came out fast in the first period, controlling play for the majority of the period before Spencer Misiak pounced on a loose puck and put it by Blue Devil goaltender James Cryer 7:25 into the game.

“We wanted to focus on puck possession,” Staley said. “I thought we did a great job of that in the first period. We wanted to wear their defense down. The more we kept the puck down low, the more we can keep it out off of the stick of guys like Rich Francis.”

Just like the Irish did to start the game, Batavia/Alexander came out fast in the second period and their leading scorer, Francis, was able to get loose.

Francis picked up a nice pass from Julien Schimley and deked out goaltender Tyler Stroud for his 10th goal of the season.

“I think we had a little letdown in the second period,” Staley said. “But we also had three penalties called against us in the period, so that took a little steam out of us. We got focused again after the second period and righted the ship.”

The Irish would strike again on what would be the game-winner as Kevin Moscicki blasted a shot from the point that got through less than two minutes into the third period.

The Notre Dame defense did the rest of the work as Stroud stood tall in goal, making 19 saves on the night.

“Moscicki did a great job just getting it through to the net,” Staley said. “This game against Batavia is always that way. It’s one bounce or another and it ended up bouncing our way tonight.”

Cryer faced a barrage of shots all night, stopping 32 of 34 shots on the night for Batavia/Alexander (4-9-0).

“A win is always important,” Staley said. “We needed a win at this time of the year just to lift the spirits in the locker room.”

Notre Dame improves to 5-9-1.

January 18, 2014 - 10:12am
posted by Nick Sabato in batavia, basketball, sports, high school sports, blue devils.

They say you can’t teach size, and that was evident as Greece Arcadia out-muscled Batavia en route to a 61-56 win in Monroe County League play.

The Blue Devils got off to a slow start in the first quarter, as the Titans imposed their will inside and raced out to a 20-7 lead after the first frame.

“[Arcadia] is a physically tough team,” said Batavia Head Coach Buddy Brasky. “They’re the most talented team in the division. But, I was disappointed with our lack of toughness to start. We’re not big, we’re not strong, but we’re usually pretty scrappy. For some reason we didn’t bring that toughness to start the first quarter.”

Batavia scrapped their way back throughout the game, cutting the lead to as few as six in the second half after switching defenses and getting back-to-back three-pointers from Jerrett Laskett.

“I thought their size was hurting us in man-to-man,” Brasky said. “We switch on screens and we got some bad mismatches. We were hoping that the zone would get them a little more stationary. I thought it worked well, it helped get us back in the game.”

The leading scorers for the Blue Devils, Jeff Redband and Justice Fagan, struggled to find room to breathe all night and were smothered by the Arcadia defense.

Laskett stepped up in the second half while the defense was keyed in on Redband and Fagan. The junior reserve knocked down three three-point field goals in the second half and finished with 14 points.

“Everybody is taking Redband and Justice out of the game,” Brasky said. “Until someone else starts scoring consistently, it’s going to be difficult to be good teams. The tough thing is, the guys we’re asking to score are young guys.”

The Blue Devils, however, struggled all night to find an answer for Arcadia’s big men.

6-foot-6 senior Josh McFarland dominated inside all night, scoring 15 points, pulling 18 rebounds, blocking two shots and making two steals.

Jimmie Eddington, a 6-foot-5 senior, chipped in 14 points and grabbed five rebounds for Arcadia (7-4).

Fagan finished with a team-high 15 points, while Redband chipped in with 14, and Malachi Chenault added 11 points and eight rebounds for Batavia (7-4).

Top Photo: Jeff Redband attracted a crowd everywhere he went last night. A foul was called on the defense.

Photos by Howard Owens.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

Jeff Redband, again in a sea of maroon jerseys.

Jerrett Laskett driving for the basket.

Greg Mruczek awaits a rebound opportunity during a free-throw attempt.

Jerrett Laskett scores on a layup in the fourth quarter.

January 12, 2014 - 9:45am
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

If you saw last year’s Rotary Club Tournament final between Batavia and Notre Dame, you would expect a similar tough, hard-fought matchup between two of the top teams in the area.

After winning a close game last year, Notre Dame edged Batavia to repeat as Rotary Tournament Champions, 44-39.

The Blue Devils were unsure if they would have the services of leading scorer Tiara Filbert after she sat out the last contest with an injury, but she was active and made an impact on the game.

The sophomore put in a game-high 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a losing effort, but it was another Batavia sophomore the Lady Irish keyed in on.

After averaging nine points per game on the season, Madison McCulley, the Blue Devils’ top outside shooter was shutout on the night by Tournament MVP Laurie Call.

Batavia Head Coach Marty Hein attempted to do whatever he could to free up McCulley, who is also the point guard, by allowing other players to handle the ball.

“They put Call on her, and she is a ball-hawk,” Hein said. “We have three girls who can handle the ball, so we just let Essence [Williams] and Tiara [Filbert] bring the ball up.”

Call finished with nine points and seven steals on the night, including four points in the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer to put the Irish ahead 37-32.

“I had tears in my eyes, I was so happy for her,” said Dave Pero, head coach for Notre Dame. “Every team needs a Laurie Call, and every team would be happy to have her.”

Mel Taylor, who was knocked out of the game briefly in the first quarter when she hit the floor hard causing a cut on her chin, made a lay-up to give the Lady Irish a 33-32 lead that they would never relinquish.

Call would score the next four points in the contest to extend the Notre Dame lead, cementing her MVP performance.

“They aren’t the defending state champions for nothing,” Hein said. “It would have been nice to beat Notre Dame, not just for the community but because they are a good team. They have great girls and there isn’t a bad one among them.”

Essence Williams scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Sam Cecere pitched in nine points and 13 rebounds as both were named to the all-tournament team for Batavia (7-2).

Taylor scored a team-high 12 points and grabbed five rebounds, while Shea Norton scored eight points and pulled down 16 rebounds as they also earned all-tournament team honors.

Notre Dame improves to 9-0 on the season.

Top photo: Laurie Call takes it on the chin as she collides with Essence Williams while going in for a lay-up.

Laurie Call brings the ball down court, defended by Liz Myers.

Mel Taylor

Essence Williams

Tiara Filbert and Emma Francis battle as Filbert goes in for a shot.

The Notre Dame team with their tournament trophy.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

January 10, 2014 - 9:44am

The 25th edition of the Rotary Club of Batavia Basketball Tournament has certainly been eventful.

After the tournament was postponed because of the blizzard earlier this week, the teams finally took to the court at Genesee Community College and for the second straight season, Batavia and Notre Dame will meet in the finals.

The Lady Blue Devils were forced to play without leading scorer and rebounder Tiara Filbert due to injury, but they prevailed, defeating Alexander 44-36 in the first game of the night.

The two teams appeared evenly matched after two quarters of play, as Batavia took a four-point lead into halftime.

The Trojans came out hot in the second half, eventually tying the game at 23 midway through the third quarter.

The Blue Devils responded though, using a 14-2 run to end the frame, and at one point extended their lead to 14.

Batavia looked to miss Filbert in the fourth quarter though, as Alexander cut the lead to five with just under two minutes to play.

“To lose one of your top players, you’re not the same team,” said Batavia Head Coach Marty Hein. “But the defense shouldn’t have let down. I’m disappointed we didn’t play 32 minutes of defense.”

Madison McCulley came up big though, as she knocked down a three-pointer to extend the lead to eight  and the Blue Devils would not look back.

Sophomore Sam Cecere came up big all night for Batavia, as she scored a game-high 16 points on the night.

“I told Sam that this was a real big stepping stone game for her,” Hein said. “Tiara wasn’t here and it was time for her to step up, and she did that. The last three or four games she has been progressively getting better.”

McCulley pitched in 11 points for Batavia, which improves to 7-1.

Prior to this week’s snowstorm, Perry was scheduled to take on Notre Dame in the second game, but when the games were postponed, they had to drop out due to conflict. So, C.G. Finney stepped in to take on the Fighting Irish.

Unfortunately, they were overmatched by the defending state champions.

Notre Dame opened the game on a 34-0 run and continued onward, cruising to an 87-13 victory.

“I thought we got a lot of good minutes out of a lot girls,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Pero. “Down the road, you never know. We might need some of those girls. We have been getting good bench play all year and this helps.”

Mel Taylor led the way for Notre Dame, scoring a game-high 16 points, grabbing five rebounds and adding seven steals.

Rebecca Krenzer chipped in 12 points and six rebounds, while Shea Norton added 10 points and six rebounds and Burgundy Bartlett scored 11 points for Notre Dame (7-0).

Batavia and Notre Dame will meet in the championship game for the second consecutive season, as the Lady Irish took home the title with a 41-38 victory.

“Batavia is going to give us all we want,” Pero said.

“They will be ready for us. We played them last year in the finals and had a three-point game, and I don’t see it any different this year. They have good shooters and rebounders. We have to come out to play if we are going to take home the title again.”

The Blue Devils won the title back in 2012.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday at Genesee Community College.

Photos by Howard Owens.

To purchase prints, click here.

December 31, 2013 - 10:28am
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

Many coaches will say that the key to winning is defense, and that’s exactly what propelled Batavia to their eighth consecutive Lions Club Tournament championship, 46-36.

The game featured two of the top players in the area -- Batavia junior Jeff Redband and Notre Dame senior Tim McCulley, and both squads dug deep into their bag of tricks to stop them.

The Blue Devils guarded McCulley tight all night, making it a point of emphasis to deny him an easy catch on a pass and forcing other players to make plays.

“Our defense was very solid,” said Batavia Head Coach Buddy Brasky. “I thought we did a really good job on McCulley for most of the game, so I was happy with our defense.”

Batavia’s defense enabled them to jump out to a 17-6 lead after the first quarter, helped out by 10 points from Redband.

Notre Dame would then switch from a 2-3 zone to a box-and-one to attempt to slow down Redband’s scoring prowess.

“We weren’t finding [Redband] in the zone like we had practiced,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. “So we switched and I think it worked pretty well for the most part.”

The Irish managed to hold the Blue Devils to just 27 points in the first half, but they were unable to find their own shooting touch and trailed 15 at the break.

“Our defense wasn’t the problem,” Rapone said. “When you hold a team to 46 points, you should probably win the game.”

The Blue Devils began to show some fatigue late in the fourth quarter, and Notre Dame got two big baskets from McCulley and Covel to cut the lead to 11, but Batavia found a way to put points on the board.

The Blue Devils got a three-pointer from Jerrett Laskett and tournament MVP Justice Fagan scored two of his 12 points to push the lead back to 16 at the end of the frame.

“Justice [Fagan] and Jeff [Redband] are our two best players and we depend on them for a lot of things,” Brasky said. “They don’t come out of the game very often, and that shows late in games. I can’t take Justice or Jeff out and fatigue sets in.”

Redband finished the game with a game-high 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Blue Devils, who improve to 5-2, and have won four straight.

Despite the strong defensive effort from Batavia, McCulley still had a strong outing, scoring 18 points, grabbing six rebounds and blocking four shots.

“Tim is a very good player and he worked hard for every single one of his points,” Rapone said. “Covel and [Josh] Johnson started to hit some shots in the second half, but we need other guys to step up.”

Covel pitched in nine points and five rebounds, while Johnson scored eight points and played well defensively while shadowing Redband all night.

Notre Dame falls to 5-2 on the season.

Top photo: Jeff Redband drives for a layup trailed by Tim McCulley.

Malachi Chenault scores for Batavia during first period.

Josh Johnson

McCulley blocks a shot.

Lions club member Bill Hayes hands out the game's MVP trophy to Justice Fagan. Members said the Lions Club is grateful to Bill Hayes and his company, Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning, for being a major sponsor of the tournament.

Cousins Josh Johnson and Justice Fagan played against each other for the first and last time of their high school basketball careers. Fagan was the tournament's MVP.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

Photos by Howard Owens

December 28, 2013 - 11:27am
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

Local hoops fan will get their dream matchup Monday in the annual Lions Club Tournament as both Notre Dame and Batavia won opening round games Friday night at Geness Community College.

Notre Dame took the floor first, defeating Albion 55-40.

Both teams struggled to get going offensively, hampered as they were by the high volume of fouls called and poor free throw shooting.

“We struggled to find our offensive rhythm,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. “Part of it is the game has no rhythm with so many fouls. You just go foul line to foul line, and when you don’t make free throws, it really takes away the rhythm.”

The Irish managed to take a 29-20 lead into halftime as Tim McCulley scored 18 of his game-high 26 points in the first half.

However, Albion came out hard in the second half, outscoring Notre Dame in the third quarter to take a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, and also held McCulley out of the scoring column in the frame.

The teams played to a stalemate early in the fourth quarter, as the Irish held a four-point lead midway through the period.

The Purple Eagles would lose their composure though, as Ryan Fannin picked up his fifth personal foul, followed by a technical foul.

The Irish cashed in on the opportunity, making 3-out-4 free throws to push the lead to seven and they never looked back.

McCulley scored eight points in the last quarter, including a three-pointer to put the game out of reach with a minute to play.

The senior also added four rebounds, three steals and three blocks on the night, while Alex Domkowski chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds for Notre Dame (4-1).

The second game of the night started a little later than anticipated after University Prep failed to find the campus, but Batavia showed no ill effects from the delay and came out fast, winning 54-36.

The Blue Devils steadily increased their lead in spurts. Using a 7-0 run to start the second quarter and an 8-0 run to start the third.

Junior standout Jeff Redband struggled to find his shooting touch early, but senior Justice Fagan and an unlikely source off the bench picked up the slack.

Fagan finished with a game-high 22 points and six rebounds, while Tyler Crawford came off the bench to pitch in 11 points and eight rebounds.

“Tyler was huge,” said Batavia Head Coach Buddy Brasky. “Malachi [Chenault] got into some foul trouble early and Tyler came in and played big.”

Redband would find his touch in the second half, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds as Batavia improves to 4-2.

Notre Dame and Batavia met two seasons ago, but not in the current tournament format which has took a two-year hiatus.

Prior to this year, the two local teams have met in the finals five times since 2001, including three straight from 2008 to 2010, with Batavia winning each time.

“It’s really important to the kids,” Brasky said. “They get to come out in play in front of the entire community, and with us playing in the Monroe County League and Notre Dame in the Genesee Region League, we don’t get to play very often.”

Prior to the break from the current Lions Club Tournament format, Batavia had won seven consecutive championships and 9-of-10 dating back to 2001.

“This was a good tournament,” Rapone said. “We couldn’t get four teams for a couple years due to the strength of the tournament. The chance to get University Prep came up and them having a good team really rounds it out well.”

University Prep will play Albion in the consolation game on Monday night at GCC. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m., with the championship game to follow.

Photos by Howard Owens

To purchase prints, click here

December 17, 2013 - 10:40pm
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

You can’t make all of the shots you take, so when they don’t fall, you rely on other facets of the game.

That is exactly what Batavia did as defense was the key in their 49-26 rout of Greece Olympia.

The Lady Blue Devils came away with 19 steals, including five from sophomore Madison McCulley.

“Madison sees the court from both ends of the floor,” said Batavia Head Coach Marty Hein. “We’re not the same team when she’s not on the floor.”

While McCulley led Batavia on defense, another sophomore, Tiara Filbert, led the way on offense.

Filbert scored a game-high 17 points, pulled down nine rebounds and came away with three steals on the night.

It was a superb all-around night for the Blue Devils, as nine different players reached the scoring column and seven players recorded a steal.

“We have a great core to start with,” Hein said. “But our future is depends our depth. Right now the biggest thing we’re working on is getting the depth on the bench to carry forward.”

Sophomore Sam Cecere also chipped in 10 points and six rebounds for Batavia (5-1).

Phalen Greene paced Greece Olympia (0-5) with 10 points and four assists, while Melissa Carroll added 10 rebounds.

December 13, 2013 - 11:10pm
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

A thousand points is a rare feat in high school basketball, but one more player joined that prestigious club.

Notre Dame senior Mel Taylor notched her 1,000th career point in a 61-35 victory over Elba.

Taylor scored 10 of her 16 points in the first quarter as the Irish led 16-9 to end the first quarter, but foul trouble limited her playing time in the second quarter. However, sophomore Shea Norton picked up the slack, scoring 12 points in the frame to give Notre Dame an 11-point lead heading into halftime.

Coming out of the break, Notre Dame held Elba without a field goal until just over two minutes left in the third quarter, enabling to push their to 21 points after Emma Francis knocked down a three as time expired in the quarter.

It wouldn’t take Taylor long to reach the 1,000-point plateau, as she drained a three-pointer just 31 seconds into the fourth quarter.

“It’s been a dream of mine since I was in third grade as a ball girl,” Taylor said. “It’s been a goal of mine; I almost cried. It was like a calculator on my shoulders that I could finally get off.”

Taylor, who was named MVP of the state tournament last year, has been a two-time Genesee Region League All-Star and is in her fourth year of varsity basketball. She also had four steals and three assists in the game.

“Mel has come a long way, she’s really come into her own,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Pero. “She’s scored 1,000 points but she really plays unselfish. She makes sure her teammates get the ball when they have to. She really brings a lot to the table for us.”

Notre Dame (2-0) dominated the game on the boards, out-rebounding Elba 51-28 for the game, led by Norton, who pulled down 14 rebounds to go along with her game-high 17 points.

“Anytime we come to Elba we know we are going to have our hands full,” Pero said. “Our second half defense got us where we wanted to be. Elba is not to be taken lightly. They’re a good team and they will be a good team down the road.”

Francis chipped in nine points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Laurie Call added 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals.

The 25-point loss is largest margin of defeat for Elba since Notre Dame beat them by 16 back in the 2008-2009 season.

Alyssa Bogue paced the Lancers (2-1) with 10 points and six rebounds, while Haley Brown added 10 points.

 

November 9, 2013 - 12:03am
posted by Nick Sabato in football, sports, high school sports, Le Roy.

Le Roy’s football team came up just short as they fell in overtime to Wayland-Cohocton in the Class C championship, 14 to 8.

Head Coach Brian Moran was in search of his 14th sectional championship in 25 years, and a Section V record, 15th in school history, but it was not to be for the Oatkan Knights.

“They really worked hard and both teams were well prepared,” Moran said. “That led to a defensive struggle all day.”

The game was the definition of a defensive struggle for the majority of the game, as the game headed into the fourth quarter with a scoreless tie.

Class C Offensive Player of the Year Devon Harris entered the game averaging over 170 rushing yards per game and yet to be held under 100 all season long for Wayland-Cohocton. However, the Oatkan Knights managed to bottle him up for most of the game, holding him to 98 yards on 18 carries.

“I thought we played very well defensively against a young man who is an extremely talented athlete,” Moran said. “I thought we shut him down pretty well, but we just didn’t make plays when we needed to.”

The Eagles struck first, as quarterback C.J. Ellis found tight end Darren Becker for a 40-yard gain down to the Le Roy 15-yard line. Two plays later, Ellis found Reece Chapman for a 13-yard score. Harris would punch in the two-point conversion to give Way-Co the lead two minutes into the fourth quarter.

Le Roy wouldn’t need long to respond, as quarterback Mike McMullen found Ryan McQuillen two plays later, and he sprinted 70 yards down the sideline to put the Knights on the scoreboard. McMullen then found Nick Egeling for the two-point conversion to knot the game at eight apiece with nine minutes to play.

The Eagles appeared to be driving again, but Egeling managed to step in front of an Ellis pass to halt the drive at Le Roy’s 30-yard line.

After failing to move the ball, Way-Co drove the ball again deep into Le Roy territory, but it was the Knights’ defense who came up big again, stopping the Eagles inches short of a first down late in the ball game.

Le Roy took possession and marched onto Wayland-Cohocton’s side of the 50-yard line, but a rare Knight turnover halted a chance at a go-ahead score as McMullen and running back Peter Privitera were unable to complete at handoff late in the game.

“It happens, it's high school football,” Moran said. “It's 16-, 17-, 18-year-old kids, and you can’t worry about it. You just have to pick yourself up and keep playing.”

The Eagles would take the first offensive possession on overtime and marched inside the Le Roy 10-yard line, but the defense would initially hold strong.

Zach Fitzsimmons came up with a big sack on third down to knock Way-Co back to the 12-yard line, but Ellis would find Chapman on the exact same play as the first touchdown to put the Eagles in front 14-8.

On Le Roy’s first offensive play of overtime, McMullen found Egeling for a gain of nine yards, but the Knights were never able to pick up that final yard as McMullen was unable to connect with Pierce in the end zone on second down, and Privitera was stopped short on the final two plays of the game to give Wayland-Cohocton their first sectional championship in school history.

“We just tried to get the first down,” Moran said. “We just tried to score and hopefully get a chance to kick an extra point to win, but today it just didn’t happen.”

The Le Roy trademark rushing attack was held in check all game, as the Eagles held them to a season-low 76 yards. Privitera finished with just 30 yards on 11 carries in the final game of his superb high school career.

McMullen finished the game 10-of-22 for 165 yards and a touchdown. McQuillen caught five of those passes for 108 yards.

Le Roy’s defense played well, holding the Eagles to under 200 yards of total offense, registering four sacks and forcing three turnovers.

Ellis entered the game having thrown only one interception all game, but the Knights managed to intercept him twice on the game, and he finished 5-of-12 for 73 yards to go along with his two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Wayland-Cohocton (9-1) will go on to face the winner of the Section VI championship game next week in the Far West Regionals.

Le Roy will finish their season at 8-2 as they fell in the Class C final for the second consecutive season.

“They had a great game plan defensively,” Moran said. “We played well, but obviously they made one more play than us and congratulations to them.”

Top Photo: Reece Chapman, Wayland-Cohocton's running back, crosses the goal line for the game's first points in the fourth quarter after catching a 13-yard pass from C.J. Ellis.

Ryan McQuillen outruns the Wayland-Cohocton defense after grabbing a swing pass from QB Mike McCullen for an 80-yard TD reception to tie the score in the fourth quarter.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

November 7, 2013 - 7:48pm
posted by Nick Sabato in football, sports, high school sports, Le Roy.

#4 Le Roy Oatkan Knights (8-1) vs. #3 Wayland-Cohocton Eagles (8-1)

Class C Championship, 5 p.m. Friday at Sahlen's Stadium

Le Roy will play for a Section V record 15th football championship when they take on Wayland-Cohocton on Friday night.

Currently the Oatkan Knights are tied with rival Caledonia-Mumford (who lost in the finals last week) and Clyde-Savannah, who won their 14th title last week, for the most championships in Section V.

It would be fitting for Le Roy to break the record, with this being Head Coach Brian Moran’s 25th season at the helm. Moran has led the Knights to 13 of their championships, but has not brought home a trophy since 2008.

The fourth-seeded Knights made it to the Class C finals a season ago, before losing to Hornell 21-7.

This season, they will face third-seeded Wayland-Cohocton in a battle of Livingston County schools.

Le Roy has garnered a lot of recognition for their passing game this season, but it has been the running game that has carried them during their sectional run, reminding fans of classic Knights football.

After carrying Le Roy a season ago, running back Peter Privitera got off to a slow start this season, in part due to an ankle injury. However, in the last two weeks Privitera has carried the ball 48 times for 245 yards and three touchdowns.

The senior has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the last two games after failing to eclipse that mark in three of the last four games of the regular season, including a 28-yard performance in a Week 7 loss to Cal-Mum.

“Peter is just getting to 100 percent,” Moran said. “He had ankle surgery and that’s not easy to come back from, but what impresses me most about Peter is that the four or five yards he gets are tough four or five yards. That’s what Le Roy football is all about, getting tough yards when you need it.”

Last week, Coach Moran relied heavily on his senior in the second half, and when Le Roy fell behind 14-13 late in the fourth quarter, it was Privitera who reeled off a 45-yard touchdown run to put the Knights ahead for good.

The Knights will be dealt with a tough task in stopping another tough running back on the other side of the field.

Wayland-Cohocton is led by Section V Class Player of the Year Devon Harris.

The junior running back has put up some impressive numbers this season, rushing for 1,531 yards and 29 touchdowns. Harris has also returned three kickoffs for touchdowns on the year and is a threat to score from anywhere on the field.

The Eagles also have a balanced attack, as quarterback C.J. Ellis has had an outstanding senior season.

Ellis has completed 75-percent of his passes this season for 1,023 yards, 13 touchdowns and only one interception.

Way-Co comes into this Class C title tilt outscoring opponents 88-14 in two sectional games.

Final Note: While this game will showcase two of the top running backs in Class C, it could be the passing game that decides the game.

Wayland-Cohocton’s duo of Ellis and Darren Becker was the fourth-best combination in Livingston County play, but Le Roy has their own superb tandem.

Ryan McQuillen has racked up 12 touchdowns on 25 receptions this season, and has caught a touchdown in each of the last five games.

Quarterback Mike McMullen has also tossed 25 touchdown passes this season and has thrown three or more in four games this season.

November 2, 2013 - 9:23pm
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

Le Roy will play for an opportunity for the Class C Sectional Championship after ousting top-seeded East Rochester/Gananda, 21-14.

The Oatkan Knights will be playing for their 15th sectional championship in school history, in an attempt to extend their Section V record that is shared with rival Cal-Mum.

After reaching the finals last season before losing to Hornell, Le Roy needed to defeat the top seed in Class C and the 2012 Class B champions in East Rochester/Gananda.

The Bombers got off to a fast start, striking just 1:39 into the game, as Zach Hauser found Andrew Fischer on a 51-yard touchdown pass to take the early 7-0 lead.

Le Roy struggled to move the ball on their first possession and were forced to punt. The Knight defense regained their composure, stopping East Rochester/Gananda quickly.

At this point junior Ryan McQuillen asserted himself into the contest.

After being beaten on the Hauser-Fischer touchdown pass, McQuillen atoned for his mistake by taking the Bombers’ punt back to their 31-yard line. Two plays later McQuillen knotted the game on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Mike McMullen with 4:02 remaining the first quarter.

“(McQuillen) did an outstanding job for us all day,” said Le Roy Head Coach Brian Moran. “He was in good position on that touchdown play; he just didn’t make the play. Sometimes that happens, when play goes bad, you make the next play and the next play, that’s what football is all about.”

The two teams would play to a stalemate for the remainder of the first half, trading turnovers and punts.

Le Roy would break that tie coming out of halftime, marching down the field on the opening possession of the half that Nick Egeling capped off -- a drive that lasted 5:27 with a 14-yard touchdown scamper to take a 13-7 lead.

The Bombers managed to move the ball on the ensuing possession but were unable to score. Le Roy was also unable to move the ball and East Rochester/Gananda took over as the fourth quarter began.

East Rochester/Gananda finally began to find their rhythm on the ground after being stifled by a formidable Knight front. The Bombers kept their 10-play drive alive on a strong third-down run from Nate Teeter, followed by another that put them on the cusp of the end zone. Kendrick Watson would finish off the drive with a two-yard touchdown plunge, taking a 14-13 lead with 5:30 remaining.

The Knights would answer though, needing only six plays to regain the lead after senior Peter Privitera took a third-down carry 45 yards for a touchdown, punctuated by a McMullen quarterback sneak on the two-point conversion to take a 21-14 lead with 2:46 to go in the game.

The Bombers would not go away quietly though, after their comeback attempt appeared to be dead, Hauser found Riley Palmer on fourth down for a gain of 45 yards, taking the ball to the Le Roy 45-yard line.

Le Roy’s defense would the step up to the plate.

Kody Lamkin came up with a sack on Hauser for a loss of nine yards and two plays later McMullen would seal the game by intercepting Hauser with less than a minute remaining in the game.

“Football is a tough game,” Moran said. “You have to be tough and physical. That’s Le Roy football.”

Le Roy (8-1) will play Livingston County foe Wayland-Cohocton next Friday for the Class C championship at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester.

“It’s a Livingston County Final,” Moran said. “We play great football out here and we are looking forward to that game.”

Kickoff will be at 5 p.m.

Stats for the game: Peter Privitera, 20 carries, 124 yards, one TD; Tom Kelso, 12 carries for 73 yards. Mike McMullen was four for 9 for 45 yards and one TD. Ryan McQuillen caught three passes for 40 yards and a TD. Kody Lampkin had nine tackles, two for losses. Tom Kelso had seven tackles. Brian Hodges, Steve Cappotelli, Zack Fitzsimmons and Nick Egeling had five tackles each. Cappotelli and Brandon Van Grol each had a sack and McQuillen had an interception.

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November 1, 2013 - 3:25pm
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

#4 Le Roy Oatkan Knights (7-1) vs. #1 East Rochester/Gananda Bombers (7-1)

Class C Semifinal, 2 p.m. Saturday at Caledonia-Mumford

The Le Roy Oatkan Knights take on top-seeded East Rochester/Gananda in pursuit of their eighth Class C title game berth since 2001.

Senior running back Peter Privitera led the Knights to a 26-12 victory over Dansville last week in the quarterfinals. Privitera rushed for 115 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns in the win.

The Knights’ ground game also rushed for over 200 yards for the fifth time this season, as junior Tom Kelso also chipped in with 95 yards.

Le Roy has the ability to grind it out on the ground as they did last week, rushing for 232 yards, or they have the ability to move the ball through the air.

After getting off to a shaky 1-for-8 start a week ago, junior quarterback Mike McMullen recovered to go 4-of-6 for 70 yards and two touchdowns in the second half. He also eclipsed the 20-touchdown mark last week and currently has 21 touchdown passes this season.

Ryan McQuillen continues to make plays for Le Roy, as he has accounted for 14 total touchdowns this season. On offense, 11 of his 22 receptions have resulted in touchdowns and he has 367 receiving yards.

Top-seeded East Rochester/Gananda also comes in with a balanced attack after beating Elba/Byron-Bergen, 34 to 6.

Quarterback Zach Hauser has thrown 15 touchdown passes this season, including a 7-for-13 performance last week that netted him 135 yards and a touchdown.

Andrew Fischer was once again Hauser’s favorite target. After catching nine touchdown passes in the regular season, Fischer had four receptions for 92 yards last week.

The ground game continued to be solid also, as Jake Miller ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

East Rochester/Gananda is searching for their first sectional championship since 1985.

Final note: Both teams have balanced offenses, whoever can remain balanced for the majority of the game, should advance. If Le Roy gets an early lead, they will undoubtedly use their running game to control the ball and the clock.

#3 Alexander Trojans (7-1) vs. #1 Clyde-Savannah Golden Eagles (7-1)

Class D Championship Game, 1 p.m. Sunday at Sahlen’s Stadium

The Alexander Trojans look to take home their first sectional championship in school history as they take on top-seeded Clyde-Savannah on Sunday at Sahlen’s Stadium.

Alexander comes into the contest at 7-1 after going only 6-18 in the last three seasons.

“We knew this was going to be our last year and seniors have worked really hard,” said Alexander running back Dylan Scharlau. “We have been in the trenches fighting against bigger and better players since we were freshmen. Now as seniors, we know it’s our time.”

Scharlau racked up 161 yards on 30 carries and a touchdown en route to a 28-0 upset win over Notre Dame last week, avenging an early season loss. The senior is averaging 182 yards per game this season and has found the end zone 17 times.

“You can always leave one kid for [Scharlau], because he’ll shake the first one and run over the next two,” said Alexander Head Coach Tim Sawyer. “He doesn’t put the ball on the ground and he’s a tough kid. I’m glad he is on my team.”

The Trojans have also gotten solid play from another senior, quarterback Nelson Burke.

Burke has completed 37-of-73 passes 594 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also went 5-for-10 for 67 yards, a touchdown and an interception last week.

“It’s almost like having a coach on the field,” Sawyer said of Burke. He’s a very good quarterback and a very good game-manager. He keeps the offense at an even keel. He’s been a rock for us this year.”  

Clyde-Savannah (7-1) is making their second-consecutive appearance in the Class D Finals after falling to Notre Dame last year.

The Golden Eagles are led by quarterback Joe Faniel. The senior has thrown for 11 touchdown passes, rushing for another seven, and accounting for a total of 20 on the season.

Last week Faniel earned Class D Offensive Player of the Week honors after completing 5-of-6 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another 143 yards and a touchdown in a win over Perry.

His favorite target is six-foot-five inch senior tight end Kam DiSanto, who has caught five touchdown passes this season. DiSanto has also earned on Class D Player of the Week on defense on two occasions this season

The Golden Eagles boast Section V’s best defense, which comes in allowing just 6.6 points per game. Even their lone loss of the season was impressive. As Clyde-Savannah held Section V’s highest scoring offense to just 15 points, falling to Dundee 15-12 in Week 5.

Final note: Alexander’s defense is also stout, giving up the third-fewest points in Section V, so it should be a defensive battle for most of the game.

Burke won the quarterback battle last week, and if he can win it this week, the Trojans could have their first sectional crown in school history.

“We’re getting healthier and stronger,” Sawyer said. “Clyde is a very good team, but so are we.”

October 26, 2013 - 10:45pm
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

Alexander will play for their first sectional championship in school history after defeating Notre Dame, 28-0.

When these teams met in September, it was Notre Dame who dominated the game from start to finish, but this time it was Alexander.

Alexander held Notre Dame to 25 yards of total offense and two first downs for the entire game while controlling the ball for over 36 minutes.

“I think defensively we were rock solid -- all 48 minutes,” said Alexander Head Coach Tim Sawyer. “We looked at how Attica beat them a week ago, and we played our defense but we did take some things from them.”

The two teams that tied for the Genesee Region League title played to a scoreless draw in the first quarter, but in the second the Trojans' offense started clicking.

Alexander notched the first touchdown of the game after the two squads traded fumbles at midfield after Tyler Laird punched it in from a yard out five minutes into the second quarter.

Notre Dame struggled to move the ball with any consistency in the first half, but then disaster struck as star quarterback Tim McCulley was forced to leave the game with an injury that would sideline him for the remainder of the game.

The Irish did come up with a big defensive stand as time ran out in the first half, stopping Alexander on fourth down to keep the score 6-0 heading into halftime.

The second half was all Alexander though.

The Trojans took the first drive of the half and finished it off on a one-yard touchdown plunge from Dylan Scharlau.

Disaster would strike again for Notre Dame on the ensuing possession after the ball was snapped over backup quarterback Joe Zickl’s head, giving Alexander the ball deep in Irish territory.

It wouldn’t take long for the Trojans to capitalize as Nelson Burke found freshman Derrick Busch on a 13-yard touchdown as Alexander scored for the second time in 20 seconds to go up 19-0.

After McCulley’s departure from the game, Notre Dame had difficulty with the quarterback-center exchange for the entire second half, fumbling the ball five times.

Meanwhile, the G-R League’s leading rusher had another huge game for the Trojans, as Scharlau carried the ball 30 times for 161 yards and a touchdown. The senior has rushed for more than 100 yards in all eight games this season.

“I knew they were keying on me,” Scharlau said. “I think we have the best line in the G-R League. I can’t gain yards without having them push people out of the way.”

Alexander would put the finishing touch on the game, sacking Zickl in the end zone for a safety early in the fourth quarter.

Tristan Aldinger would score the final touchdown of the game for the Trojans on a seven-yard run to make the score 28-0.

Before leaving what would be his final high school game, McCulley only managed to complete 3-of-11 passes for 41 yards after a record-setting season, and it was clear that the complexion of the game changed after his departure.

“I thought our defense played fantastic all game,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Rick Mancuso. “If you told me we had to play Alexander without Timmy, I would have thought it would have 60 or 70 (to nothing). We really played very well, we got caught with a few missed exchanges with the change at quarterback but I really thought we played very well.”

Alexander (7-1) will play top-seeded Clyde Savannah next Sunday at Sahlen’s Stadium for the Class D sectional championship.

“It’s big, but I think our kids are really grounded,” Sawyer said. “The most important game in our philosophy is the next one. We really don’t want them looking ahead too far and we really had a good week of preparation.”

After winning the Class D title a year ago, Notre Dame will end their season 6-2.

“We had a great run and a great group of guys,” Mancuso said. “We are thankful for the seniors and the effort that they gave. It was a great ride and we look forward to getting ready for next season.”

McCulley finishes his final season 83-for-165 passing, 1,388 yards and 25 touchdown passes.

Top photo: Scharlau breaks free on a long run in the first half.

McCulley was sacked four times during the first half. Here he's swamped before he could even look for a receiver shortly before the end of the half. It was McCulley's last series in the game. He was apparently injured a couple of plays before this sack.

Laird broke off a few long runs as the Trojans' secondary back.

Derrick Busch hauling in a third-quarter TD reception.

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October 26, 2013 - 8:30am
posted by Nick Sabato in football, sports, high school sports, Le Roy.

The Le Roy Oatkan Knights advanced to the Class C Sectional Semifinals with a win over Dansville, 26-12.

The Le Roy offense has traditionally been a run-based team under Head Coach Brian Moran. However with the growth of junior quarterback Mike McMullen, the Knights have become more pass-oriented this season. But Le Roy failed to get their passing game going early and we saw the return of old-fashion Knight football.

The Mustangs got off to a solid start, taking the opening kickoff 65 yards on 10 plays before Le Roy made a goal line stand to deny Dansville at the one-yard line.

After Dansville failed to capitalize on a McMullen interception, the Knights began to slowly pound away with their running game. The duo of Peter Privitera and Tom Kelso chipped away on a nine-play drive, capped off by a three-yard Privitera run to take a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Nick Egeling recovered a fumble on the Dansville 26.

This time the Knights only needed six plays for Privitera to punch in another score, this time from four yards out to go up 12-0.

Kelso carried the load early in the second half, racking up 91 of his 95 yards in the first half before Privitera came in to close out the game.

The senior bounced back after only managing 28 yards in last week’s loss against Cal-Mum. This week, Privitera ran the ball 28 times for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

“Peter ran hard tonight,” Moran said. “That’s good for us. It’s good to have him around this time of year.”

After Le Roy seemingly took control of the game, the Mustangs responded, taking their next drive 83 yards, which was capped off by a 53-yard hook up from Ethan Mapes to Brad Quibell on third-and-six to cut the deficit in half, 12-6.

Le Roy looked as if they would crush any momentum from the Dansville touchdown as they came out for the second half, but McMullen fumbled the snap on a fourth-down play, giving the Mustangs the ball at the Knights’ 45-yard line.

Dansville needed only four plays before Mapes found Gage Koch on a 13-yard pass to tie the game at 12 early in the third quarter.

With the passing game struggling, the Knights continued to rely on the running game. Le Roy took their next possession and ran the ball 11 consecutive times before McMullen finally found his touch, hitting Ryan McQuillen on a beautiful 28-yard touchdown catch-and-run play. Egeling then found himself on the receiving end of a McMullen pass to pick up the two-point conversion, making the score 20-12.

The fourth quarter saw both teams struggle to sustain any success on offense, with Le Roy going three-and-out on three straight possessions, and Dansville turning the ball over on two straight, including Koch racing 25 yards before fumbling the ball away at midfield with just over eight minutes to play in the game.

After going 1-for-8 passing in the first half for just 42 yards and an interception, McMullen finally found his touch.

The junior found Egeling once again, this time capitalizing on Dansville stacking the line of scrimmage expecting the Knights to pound away on the ground. The pass netted 29 yards, down to the Mustang 11-yard line.

Two plays later, the pair hooked up once again, this time on a nine-yard scoring toss to go up 26-12 with just 2:32 remaining.

“We had to make a play,” Moran said of his play selection. “We have some good athletes and obviously when they started taking that safety out of the middle of the field, we knew we had to do something to take advantage of that."

McMullen went 4-of-6 in the second half to finish 5-for-14 for 112 yards on the night.

Kelso would seal the game on defense, sacking Mapes for a loss of 17 yards.

Mapes finished 8-of-16 for 153 yards, two touchdowns and interception, while Ryan Hurlburt ran for 66 yards on 13 carries for Dansville (5-3).

Egeling had strong all-around game for the Knights, picking up 52 all-purpose yards, two touchdowns, an interception and a fumble recovery.

Le Roy (7-1) will advance to the semifinals to face top-seeded East Rochester/Gananda after they defeated Elba/Byron-Bergen, 34-6.

In other local high school football action:

Wayne 38, Batavia 21
Batavia's Brandon Stevenson ran for 153 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns, while also throwing for another. Wayne scored 32 points in the second half, after trailing 8-6 at halftime.

East Rochester/Gananda 34, Elba/Byron-Bergen 6
Steele Truax scored the Lancers' only touchdown on a 59-yard run.

Wellsville 26, Attica 25
Seventh-seeded Wellsville scored a touchdown with :43 seconds left and added a two-point conversion to oust second-seeded Attica in the Class C Semifinals.

Top photo: A Dansville player coughs up the ball during a kick-off return, leading to Le Roy's second TD score (Privitera scoring below; #20 on Dansville is not listed on the team roster).

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October 25, 2013 - 12:27pm
posted by Nick Sabato in football, sports, high school sports.

#5 Batavia Blue Devils (3-4) at #4 Wayne Eagles (4-3)
Class B Quarterfinal – Tonight at 7.

After facing a brutal Monroe County League schedule in which Batavia lost four straight games to Class A schools, the Blue Devils came away with two straight road wins to close out the regular season.

Batavia is led by do-it-all senior Brandon Stevenson, who has nine total touchdowns on the season. Stevenson splits time as a quarterback and a running back, and has scored on a pass, rush, receiving, interception return and kick return this season. He is also coming off of a solid outing a week ago, rushing for 204 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns in a 13-7 victory over Greece Olympia.

On the other side, Wayne enters sectional play on a two-game losing streak, and has failed to beat a team with a winning record this season.

The Eagles are led by quarterback Nathan Currier, who has thrown for 1,082 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. He has a number of weapons at his disposal, including dual-threat running back Justin Morrison. The senior has 757 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns, while adding 300 receiving yards and three touchdown catches. Currier’s favorite target is Mike Hollenbeck, who has 13 receptions for 307 yards and seven touchdowns on the year.

If the Blue Devils limit their turnovers and can get a big game from Stevenson, look for Batavia to spring the upset and advance to the next round.

#5 Dansville Mustangs (5-2) at #4 Le Roy Oatkan Knights (6-1)
Class C Quarterfinal – Tonight at 7:30.

Le Roy looks to bounce back from a difficult loss to rival Cal-Mum a week ago that cost them an undefeated season and the top seed in Class C.

These Knights may not look the same as past Brian Moran-coached teams. Le Roy is traditionally a running-based team, but this season they are led by quarterback Mike McMullen. The junior has thrown for 1,025 yards and 19 touchdowns this season, and was named Section V Class C Offensive Player of the Week in a losing effort a week ago.

McMullen’s favorite target has been junior Ryan McQuillen, who has 336 receiving yards and half of his 20 receptions have gone for touchdowns. Jon Pierce has also been a reliable weapon, making 13 catches for 256 yards and five touchdowns.

Despite the new high-flying attack, Le Roy still has a strong running game. Both Peter Privitera and Tom Kelso have had strong seasons, rushing for 587 and 460 yards respectively, while scoring six touchdowns apiece.

Dansville comes in with a strong record, but has yet to beat a team with a winning record. In two games against teams with winning records they have been outscored 59-6, including a 42-0 loss to Wayland-Cohocton last week.

The Mustangs have a strong running game, led by a stable of backs, including Ryan Hurlburt, Evan Dieter and Gage Koch. They also have a solid defense, which has given up the third-fewest points in Section V (67) this season.

#8 Elba/Byron-Bergen Lancers (3-4) at #1 East Rochester/Gananda Bombers (6-1)
Class C Quarterfinal, Tonight at 7.

Elba/Byron-Bergen picked up a big win against Finney last week to squeeze into Class C sectional play.

The Lancers will face a top-seeded East Rochester/Gananda, who played an impressive conference schedule, playing all seven games against Class B schools.

Elba/Byron-Bergen will need a strong overall game, starting with quarterback Garrett Chapell. The sophomore has thrown for seven touchdowns in his first season as the starter.

He will need help from the running game, from both Brandon Naylor and Steele Truax. Naylor is coming off of a superb game against Finney last week, rushing for 140 yards on 11 carries and scoring three touchdowns in the win. Truax has scored two touchdowns in the last two games.

East Rochester/Gananda has a balanced offense, starting with quarterback Zach Hauser, who has thrown 14 touchdown passes this season. His favorite target has been junior receiver Andrew Fischer, who has caught nine of Hauser’s touchdown passes.

The Bombers also boast a strong running game, headed by Jake Miller and Kendrick Watson. In last week’s victory over Wayne, Miller ran for 242 yards on 18 carries while Watson ran for 148 yards and a touchdown.

#3 Alexander Trojans (6-1) vs. #2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1)
Class D Semifinal, Saturday 1 p.m. at Caledonia-Mumford

Two of the three teams that took a share of the Genesee Region League championship will square off with a chance to go to the Class D finals.

This will be a rematch from earlier this season, which Notre Dame won easily, 41-12.

However since then, Alexander has rolled to four straight victories, outscoring opponents 172-23.

Notre Dame is coming off of their only loss of the season, a 28-14 loss to Attica, in which star quarterback Tim McCulley was held in check, completing only 12-of-34 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.

In the first matchup, McCulley dominated the game, throwing for 175 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for another 107 yards and two touchdowns. However, Alexander’s quarterback Nelson Burke struggled, only completing 2-of-11 passes for 12 yards and two interceptions.

Burke has had a strong season otherwise, completing 32-of-63 passes for 527 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Trojans will rely heavily on the G-R League’s leading rusher Dylan Scharlau, who has racked up 1,297 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. Scharlau also picked up 166 yards and two scores in the first meeting.

The Fighting Irish will need another strong game from McCulley, who has thrown for 1,347 yards and a school-record 25 touchdown passes. The senior quarterback is also the team’s leading rusher with 488 yards and six touchdowns.

McCulley has a trio of receivers to throw to. Senior tight end Charlie Herbert has caught a team-high 22 passes for 391 yards and five touchdowns, while junior Josh Johnson has made 19 grabs for a team-leading 436 yards and 10 touchdowns, and Luca Zambito has made 17 catches for 244 yards and five touchdowns.

The winner of the quarterback battle between Burke and McCulley could be the deciding factor in who advances to play for the Class D crown.

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