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December 9, 2018 - 8:29am

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Genesee Ice Devils visited Geneseo Ice Knights last evening at SUNY Geneseo State College. Both teams were exchanging possession but remained scoreless through the first period.

Senior Jackson Backus found the back of the net three minutes into the second period; assist by AJ Versage.

Both teams had a wide variety of penalties until eight minutes into the third period when Genesee's Evan Dusky tied the game 1-1 off a pass from Noah Martin that finished the game through regulation.

Genesee started the overtime down two players from penalties, but defense protected goalie Alexander Hunt who was a star saver for the Ice Devils that stopped 43 shots. Isaac Sweet made 25 saves.

Genesee Ice Devils Head Coach John Kirkwoods said following the game,  "I’m proud of our team tonight after dropping a tough game on Tuesday. This past week was a focus of a few tough practices.

"I preach to our guys all the time that we are a very hard working team, we don’t quit and we keep coming at you, no matter the score or the situation. Our squad is a coming together to be a very competitive team. 

"I am very proud of our guys. Tonight improved our abilities to overcome challenge teams like Geneseo. It was a step forward for us for our program."

Next game for Genesee is at home against Aquinas this Tuesday night, Dec 11th, at Falleti Ice Arena at 6 o'clock.

To view more photos click here.

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December 8, 2018 - 8:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basetball, Attica, pembroke.

Pembroke fell to Attica in a Friday night matchup in Attica, 55-59.

Attica's Dawson Nelson led all scorers with 16 points. He also had 15 rebounds and two assists. Tyler Meyer added 13 points and Frankie Biscelgilie scored 15.

For Pembroke, Trevor Vaughn scored 14 points and Jarrod Ludwig scored 10 points.

From Attica Head Coach Rob Crawley:

"Attica Held Pembroke to five field goals in the second half, but Pembroke was 20-22 from the free-throw line. 

"I am incredibly proud of our team tonight. With it being such a later season opener for us, I was very concerned about going up against a well-prepared and well-coached team like Pembroke. We kept our composure from start to finish which shows a lot of growth from our players.

"We used our depth tonight nine players scoring for us. Bisceglie hit back-to-back 3s to start the second half. Nelson did a great job inside as well. All of our guys stepped up and accepted their role tonight to help us get the win."

December 8, 2018 - 8:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, elba, news, sports, basketball.

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The Elba and Notre Dame early-season matchup at Elba was everything you expect an Elba vs. Notre Dame game to be: raucous crowd, and a battle to the end between two talented teams.

This time, the Lancers came out on top 52-48, but it wasn't easy.

The Fighting Irish built up a 10-point lead, thanks to some hot shooting from Lucas Calarco and Spencer Masiti, and led 33 to 27 at the break but Elba kept the pressure on throughout the second half and seemed to wear Notre Dame down by the fourth quarter.

"We shot the ball pretty well," said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. "Our biggest thing tonight is we didn’t execute the last four minutes. We took some bad shots. We made some bad turnovers and made a few defensive mistakes. When you’re doing that on the road, you’re not going to come out on top against a good team."

The Lancers were led by Jon Boyce, who scored 28 points and snagged 19 rebounds.

"John's one of the best players in Class D basketball," said his Coach Ciaci Zambito "The way he worked, the way he's gotten himself into shape and just his dedication, he deserves a game like tonight. He went out on his last home game against Notre Dame and I think he made a statement for himself. I'm super proud of him."

With Elba down two key players, Colton Dillon and Gregory Huntington, Boyce said he knew his role on the team but that didn't put any pressure on him.

"It sometimes feels like it's on me but then again it's not on me because I look at our team, I look at who is out there, who's out there playing with me," Boyce said. "Everyone knows their roles. We all have our own strengths."

This game, freshman Zack Marshall stepped up and contributed 11 points, hitting three three-point shots in the second half to help give Elba the boost it needed to mount a comeback.

For Notre Dame, Gabe Macdonald scored 15 points. Misiti and Calarco each scored nine points.

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To purchase prints, click here.

December 8, 2018 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, sports, basketball, news.

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Head Coach Buddy Brasky has warned us that, at least at the start, this will be a challenging season for the Batavia Blue Devils and the team got off to a rocky start with a 43-39 lose to Honeoye Falls-Lima.

An 18-point fourth-quarter rally might be something for Batavia to build on, but it wasn't enough to overcome HFL's 15-point lead at the end of three quarters.

Batavia was beset by turnovers early in the game and went through one four-minute period in the second quarter without hitting a basket.

The team has lost a key component of the offense with Antwan Odom out for the season after getting arrested late in the summer and Mason McFollins, Ethan Biscaro, Cam White, and Caeden White are all out of action, too.

The team is also off to a slow start because the football team had such a great season, reaching the state championship game, so prior to last night's game, Brasky had been able to lead only four practices with a full squad.

Luke Grammatico led Batavia's scorers with 11 points, including a pair of threes in the fourth quarter. Zach Gilebarte scored eight points and Joe Martinucci added six.

For HFL, Trevor Chamberlain scored 19 points and Josh Vogt scored 16.

Photos by Steve Ognibene. To view or purchase photos click here.

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December 8, 2018 - 4:23pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in Seniors, running, sports, news, batavia.

Frank Gioia, of Batavia, was photographed in Buffalo in September when he won first place in his age group in the USA Track and Field Championships. 

Frank Gioia has been serious about running since he was young. He's 65 now.

A son of Babe and Dolly Gioia, Frank was born and grew up in Batavia, where he ran all through high school, he said. He was the first one from Batavia to qualify for cross country in the state championships, he said. 

He attended Genesee Community College for two years, and for about five years took a break from running to play softball.

“Back then, everybody was playing softball,” Gioia said. “There were ball teams then all over town.”

As a young man, he had married the former Pattie Walker and had three children, during which time his running took a back seat. He went to work as a welding foreman for the railroad, retiring from CSX Transportation.

Now, as a senior citizen, with time to devote to his love of running and the desire to keep fit, he is chalking up some wins on the USA Track and Field circuit.

In 2016, Gioia placed eighth in a USA National 5K Championship road race in Massachusetts. This past August, he was third our of 15 in the nation in a 5K road race in Atlanta, with a time of 21 minutes 6 seconds.

In his most recent victory, he finished first among 14 in the nation in September in the USA Track and Field Championships in Buffalo with a time of 21 minutes 36 seconds.

His first-place finish was 30 seconds longer because it was in the grass in Delaware Park, Gioia said, while the Atlanta race was on pavement. All races were in age groups. 

He has also traveled to races in San Francisco and Virginia.

He thinks what attracted him to running was because you don’t have to be a member of a team to run. 

“I always enjoyed running, and I could just go run any time I wanted to,” Gioia said. “And when you do good, that makes it all the more pleasurable.”

Although all of his children and three grandchildren are serious about sports, none shared his passion for running.

During good weather, he runs nearly every day, but during the winter he runs on the treadmill at the YWCA four days a week.

He is going to take a break for three or four weeks while he waits for next year’s schedule for the national races to come out.

“I have accomplished everything I really wanted to do, and I’m happy now just maintaining what I’m doing,” Gioia said.

Gioia just learned he has been named The Buffalo News “Runner of the Year” in the 65 to 69 age group. Out of the seven races in the series, he won the first six and placed second in the last race.

He also recalled several other honors to his credit, including running the 1983 Philadelphia Distance Classic half marathon in one hour and nine minutes. That placed him 55 out of more than 3,000 runners.

In 1984, he ran the Skylon International Marathon in two hours and 29 minutes, placing seventh out of 1,153 runners.

And, in 1985 and 1986, he won gold medals at the New York Empire State Games in the 10K on the track.

Photo below: In August, Frank Gioia, of Batavia, placed third in the nation in the Masters 5K USA Track and Field Championships in Atlanta.

December 8, 2018 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Empire Earl N with drive Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After going winless since Sept. 7 when he trotted a season’s best 1:56.3, Empire Earl N has regained early season form winning two consecutive top-class races at Batavia Downs. The second score came on Friday night (Dec.7) when he captured the $11,000 Open Handicap trot.  

Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) got away third as Crystal Sphere (Billy Davis Jr.) made a beeline for the lead and when he got there, backed off the proceedings. After a leisurely stroll to the half in 1:01.2, Davis hit the gas, opened up a five-length advantage and tried to put the swoop to the group. Motoring along well on the point, Crystal Sphere looked very much the best, however there was a lot of race left.  

As the group moved from the five-eighths to the three-quarters, Monti tipped Empire Earl N and started chipping away at Crystal Sphere’s lead. Around the last turn he was on his back and at the head of the stretch he drew even on the outside and from there, Empire Earl N got stout and trotted away under mild urging from Monti to win by a length in 1:59.3.

Empire Earl N ($4.70) reached double-digit wins for 2018, scoring his 10th of the year for owner Kim Asher. He has also earned $90,354 this year which has been his career best under the tutelage of trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum.

In the $8,800 Open II trot Labatt Hanover (Shawn McDonough) made easy work of five foes, posting even fractions en route to a three-length victory in 1:59.3. Labatt Hanover ($8.70) scored his sixth victory of 2018 for owners Gary and Cynthia Saj. His driver McDonough also does the conditioning.

Aside from capturing the feature race, driver Drew Monti also had two other wins giving him a Hat Trick on the night. Billy Davis Jr. and Mike Caprio also had driving doubles during the nine-race card.

There was no winner of the early Pick-5 on Friday and as a result, there is a $534 carry-over and a guaranteed pool of $1,500 for the early Pick-5 when racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday. Post time for the first race at 6 p.m.

December 8, 2018 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Horsemen racing at Batavia Downs should take note of the draw schedule for the final week of racing for 2018. 

There will be a double draw held on Tuesday (Dec. 11) for Friday (Dec. 14) and Saturday (Dec. 15) with the box closing at 9 a.m. After the draw, the judges will also close both programs on Tuesday (Dec. 11). 

Also please note that post time for Friday (Dec. 14) is 6 p.m. while post time for Saturday (Dec. 15) is early at 4:45 p.m.  

For any inquiries about conditions or to call your entries in, please contact Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6304.

The complete condition sheet for racing at Batavia Downs is available on the Batavia Downs website (www.bataviadownsgaming.com) under Live Racing>Horsemen>Condition Sheet and also on the USTA website (www.ustrotting.com) by clicking Horsemen>Condition Sheets.

December 6, 2018 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Lions Club, Lions Tournament, news, sports, basketball, notify.

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The Lions Club of Batavia is promising area basketball players a more competitive tournament with a revamped tournament format and for fans that should mean closer, more intense games.

The club has expanded the field this year to eight teams -- four teams in the small-team division and four teams in the large-team division. This should make games more competitive and lead to some potentially interesting matchups.

For example, if Batavia beats Roy-Hart in its first game it would face either Le Roy or Attica, teams that are natural rivals but Batavia rarely if ever plays.

Notre Dame and Elba have one of the most storied rivalries in the region and could potentially face each other in the championship game but both will face tough first-round opponents in Oakfield-Alabama and Mt. Morris.

"Our kids look forward to this tournament every single year," said Buddy Brasky, the Batavia head coach who will be taking a team to the tournament for the 29th consecutive year. "They talk about right from the get-go. They want to know when is the Lion’s Club’s Tournament? Who’s playing? Who’s in it? It’s really important to them.

"We play in Monroe County so we don’t get a chance to play the area schools very often. We see them in summer at camp. We play some spring league. They really look forward to playing the area schools, the tough area schools, in the Christmas tournament."

It's not a foregone conclusion, as it has been in recent years, that Batavia will be crowned champion. Brasky's squad has only five seniors and one of his biggest scorers, Antwan Odom, is out for the season because of legal issues. Brasky also said there have been some key injuries.

Roy-Hart comes from a tough Section VI and is coached by Joe Pawlak, Notre Dame grad who played in the tournament in 2008, with a loss to Batavia, so he knows what to expect.

"I’m really blessed to have been able to play in it and now coach it," Pawlak said.

If Batavia survives Roy-Hart, the Blue Devils will either face Le Roy or Attica.

Le Roy is anchored by four-year starter Reece Tresco, who is a 6-foot, 4-inch guard/forward who is a threat to score from anywhere on the court and tough under the boards.

Attica has 10 seniors on its squad and Coach Rob Crowley said with five or six big guys on the team and five or six guards, he will be able to play whatever brand of basketball an opponent puts on the court, adjusting his team's look to meet any challenge.

"We can mix in different brands of basketball and match every team and be competitive against every team," Crowley said.

In the small-team division, Mt. Morris is coming off a 15-win season and returning almost all its top players from that squad. Head Coach Brian Stout said he's expecting a quality year from his players.

They open against the Elba Lancers, always a tough squad and this year featuring one of the top players in Section V in 6-foot, 4-inch forward/guard Jon Boyce, along with returning stars Colton Dillon and Collin O'Halloran.

"I’m excited to see what his (Boyce's) senior season holds," said Elba Head Coach Ciaci Zambito. "We've gone from young and inexperienced last year to now one of the older teams experience-wise in the area."

Mike Rapone, Notre Dame's legendary head coach, said he's got the biggest team he's ever led. There are nine players on the roaster who are at least 6-foot, 1-inch tall, including 6-foot, 7-inch returning starting center Keith Szczepanski.

That is no guarantee of anything, however, Rapone said, especially after losing last year's two leading scorers.

"That (size) doesn’t necessarily always translate into what we want it to be, but hopefully it will this year," Rapone said.

Oakfield-Alabama is a young team (only two seniors) with coach, Ryan Stehlar, so their tournament game will be a test and give fans some idea of what to expect on the season.

The Lions Club Tournament is played at Genesee Community College and that's one reason that the players who get to play in the tournament look forward to it. It's a big stage and prepares them for what they might face in post-season play.

It's also the premier fund-raising event for the Lion's Club, which is another reason you should attend.

The first four varsity games are Thursday, Dec. 27. 

  • Attica vs. Le Roy, 4 p.m.
  • Mt. Morris vs. Elba, 5:30 p.m.
  • Oakfield-Alabama vs. Notre Dame, 7 p.m.
  • Roy-Hart vs. Batavia, 8:30 p.m.

The consolation and championship games will be played Dec. 28, with consolation games at 4 and 5:30 p.m. The championship game in the small-teams division is at 7 p.m. Tipoff for the large-team division is 8:30 p.m.

Top photo: Frank Biscelie, Attica, Joe Martinucci, Batavia, Charlie Birgham, Roy-Hart, and Reece Tresco, Le Roy.

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Spencer Misiti, Notre Dame, Jon Boyce, Elba, Cameron Regal, Mt. Morris, and Joey Burdick, Oakfield-Alabama.

December 6, 2018 - 3:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo of driver Billy Davis Jr. with Sportsmuffler.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs​

As the weather gets colder, she keeps getting bolder. Sportsmuffler continued to dominate the local distaff colony by winning the $10,400 fillies and mares Open handicap pace with little effort on a cold night at Batavia Downs on Monday (Dec. 5). 

Driver Billy Davis Jr. left three-wide with the 1-5 Sportsmuffler and out-dueled Kaitlyn Rae (Mike Caprio) to the catbird seat from where she dictated the rest of the race this night. With no challengers for three-quarters of the mile, Sportsmuffler got to that station in 1:26.4 when Caprio pulled the pocket-sitting Kaitlyn Rae to take their best shot. But try as they might, their best was no match for the streaking Sportsmuffler who after a tap and a swish from Davis, paced away to a two-length victory in 1:55.4. 

Sportsmuffler ($2.40) has now won five out of the last eight top class mares races in as many starts at Batavia. She has also matched her 2017 career-best total of wins, scoring her 11th this year and has reached a new single-season high for earnings of $74,506 for owner Rose Campbell. Steve Kiblin is the trainer of the Sportsmaster progeny. 

Davis had a stellar night in the bike besides winning the feature. He also won two other races on the card of eight giving him a Hat Trick for the evening. 

Davis has been on a roll the past couple of weeks and as such, is now in the conversation for leading dash driver of the meet. With Wednesday’s three wins Davis now has 97 for the session, only 10 behind the leading Drew Monti (107) and five behind second place Kevin Cummings (102). With four nights left in the meet, Davis has a legitimate shot of making up the shortfall and taking the 2018 driver race to a photo finish. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 7) with post time set for 6 p.m.  

December 5, 2018 - 7:29am

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Ryann Stefaniak driving in for a layup.

The Batavia High Varsity Girls Basketball Team shook off some early jitters on the offensive end of the court by turning to an effective full-court press on the defensive end en route to a season-opening 55-37 victory over host Irondequoit in a Monroe County inter-divisional game Tuesday night.

Senior guard Ryann Stefaniak led the way for Batavia with 20 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore guards Mackenzie Reigle and Bryn Wormley added 10 apiece.

Senior forward Jenae Colkey chipped in with seven while senior center Meghan Houseknecht scored six.

Coach Marty Hein’s squad looked tight at the outset, missing several layups and turning the ball over a half-dozen times in the opening period, which ended in a 14-14 tie.

After Irondequoit took a 15-14 lead early in the second quarter, Batavia went to the press and that sparked an 8-2 run with Reigle, Colkey and Emma Krolczyk scoring on the break and Houseknecht hitting from inside.

Houseknecht scored again in the final minute of the half to give Batavia a 27-22 lead.

Batavia, staying with the press that resulted in many Irondequoit turnovers, put the game away in the third quarter with an 11-2 run. Stefaniak had eight of those points on a three-pointer, two driving layups on assists from Colkey and a free throw, while Colkey had the other three.

The Lady Devils’ advantage was 44-27 after the third quarter and they coasted from there.

Irondequoit was led by junior guard Alahna Paige’s eight points. Paige, a 19-points-per-game scorer last season, was hampered by foul trouble throughout.

Both teams shot poorly from the foul line. Batavia was 7-for-17 while Irondequoit went 11-for-25.

The Lady Devils’ next game is scheduled for Dec. 11 at Greece Athena.

To view or purchase photos click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

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Mackenzie Reigle pushes the ball up court as Jenae Colkey advances.

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Meghan Houseknecht looks to rebound.

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Kennedy Kolb battles for the ball as Emma Krolczyk looks on.

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Krolczyk goes in uncontested.

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Colkey knocks the ball away from Irondequoit's Rebeca McGwin.

December 3, 2018 - 12:51pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

The Toyota of Batavia team in the league of the same name at Mancuso Bowling Center set a Genesee Region USBC record for high team game on Thursday night (Nov. 29).

Bowling on lanes 17-18, the team of Nate Cordes (297), Josh Elliott (265), Matt Buckley (214), Jason Gallo (216) and Wagner 279) registered a 1,271 game to cap off a big night, that also featured a 300 game and 824 series by Batavia's Wagner.

The 1,271 eclipses the 1,220 rolled by the Terry Hills Restaurant team of Fred Gravanda, Jerry Martino, Don Buckley, Joe Trigilio and John Gravante at Mancuso Lanes in February 1986.

Wagner rolled 245-300-279-824 -- his 37th perfect game and fourth 800 series. As the season nears the midway point, the 35-year-old lefty is averaging 245, which also would be a GRUSBC record.

Gallo finished with 717 -- he's averaging 235 -- while Cordes shot 715, closing with a 297 game. Elliott had 657 and Buckley, filling in for regular Leon Hurd, added 556 for a 3,469 total -- short of the Terry Hills' team record by 103 pins.

In other recent league action around the Genesee Region:

-- Curtis Foss of Medina finished with a 299 game on Sunday to place first in the weekly Sunday Rolloff at Medina Lanes. He left a solid 8-pin on the 12th ball. Earlier in the week, he had a 773 series in the Sneezy's Monday Night League at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

-- Chris Bardol spun a 769 series in the G&W Vending League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

For more high scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

December 2, 2018 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo of Runaway Bay N with driver Kevin Cummings.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

As the rain came down, In Runaway Bay N splashed through it in a convincing gate to wire triumph in the $11,500 Open Handicap pace on Saturday night (Dec. 1) at Batavia Downs.

In Runaway Bay N (Kevin Cummings) took early command from post two and set down even early fractions; reaching the half in :58.3. As they rounded the second turn and headed up the backstretch Upfront Countryboy (Billy Davis Jr.) came first-over with Iyq Yqr (Denny Bucceri) on his back and both tried to push the issue from there.

Moving to the three-quarters Upfront Countryboy’s bid stalled, forcing Iyq Yqr to go three-wide. When In Runaway Bay N tripped the timer there in 1:27.1 he seemed to be pacing stronger as the outside bid from both horses failed. The only challenge left would be from Dark Horse (Shawn McDonough) who had been sitting the pocket trip and was game to take his best shot. But as the race headed down the stretch In Runaway Bay N opened up two-lengths on everyone and paced home sharply to win in 1:55.2.

In Runaway Bay N ($6.90) is owned by Mark Jakubik and trained by Angelo Nappo. The 8-year-old altered son of Mach Three has had a stellar year scoring eight wins and earning $66,125 in purses to date,

Golden Gun (Josh Kinney) came from well off the pace in the $9,900 Open II undercard and out-muscled Western Rockstar A (Shawn McDonough) and Sunset Sid (Denny Bucceri) at the wire to win in 1:57.2. Owned by the Whiz Kids Stable, the Jeff Sorenson trained Golden Gun ($4.80) scored his eighth win of the year and raised his earnings total to $38,550 for 2018.

Kevin Cummings scored a driving Hat Trick on Saturday leading all drivers on the card.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday with post time for the first race at 5 p.m.

December 1, 2018 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Empire Earl N with driver Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Another sloppy track greeted participants for Friday night’s (Nov. 30) card but it was no impediment for Empire Earl N who double-moved to victory in the $11,500 Open handicap trot at Batavia Downs.

Leaving from post four, Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) tucked second behind Crystal Sphere (Billy Davis Jr.) who led the field to the half in :59.1. At that station the outside train came with Labatt Hanover (Shawn McDonough) on the engine and post time favorite Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) third-over in the caboose,

As the group motored up the backside Fisher grew impatient and pulled Lougazi three-wide to try and sweep the field. But several steps into that move Lougazi made a break and the whole raced changed right there. Empire Earl N now had room to come off the pylons and Monti got him rolling around the last turn. After drawing next to Crystal Sphere, Empire Earl N continued right on by and under mild urging, opened up a length lead to win in 1:58.3.

Now boasting $84,854 in earnings on the strength of nine wins this year, the 10-year-old Empire Earl N ($12.40) is having a career year for wins, earnings and mark for owner Kim Asher and trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum.

In the $8,800 Open II trot, Are You In (Kevin Cummings) turned a second-over trip past the half into a winning three-wide move at the top of the stretch where he passed Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) down the lane to win his fourth race of the year, timed in 2:00. Are You In ($5.40) is owned by Anthony Alessi and is trained by his driver, Kevin Cummings.  

Shawn McDonough had a huge driving triple on Friday, lighting up the board with two of the wins. He scored with Heza Swan ($60), Raylan Givens ($6.50) and Back To Motown ($26.80).

With no winning ticket on the early Pick-5 on Friday, there is a carry-over of $570 and a guaranteed pool of $1,500 for the early Pick-5 this evening (Dec.1) when racing resumes at Batavia Downs. Post time for the first race at 6 p.m.

November 30, 2018 - 2:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia Downs has announced today that a new late-closer series for horses that have raced at the track this year will be offered in December. 

“The Dash for Holiday Cash” is for horses that are non-winners of $20,000 in 2018 as of Tuesday (Nov. 27) with at least 10 starts at Batavia Downs and five of those starts must have been for a purse of $5,200 or less since Wednesday (July 25). There is no entry fee for this series.  

Eliminations will be held on Saturday (Dec. 8) for a purse of $6,000. The final will be on Saturday (Dec. 15) and will offer a purse of $20,000. There will also be a consolation on Saturday (Dec. 15) and they will vie for $8,000. 

The eliminations will go with six or more horses with no more than two horses per owner or trainer. The finals will go with eight horses with no more than two horses per owner or trainer.

There will be one also-eligible drawn for the final. 

Horses will advance from the eliminations to the finals based on the horses placement in the eliminations, fastest time in the eliminations and most money made in 2018. 

The series will be on the regular condition sheet for the respective Saturdays and regular entry rules will apply.  

For any inquiries about this series please contact Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6304. 

November 29, 2018 - 12:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Sportsmuffler silences rivals in Batavia distaff feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Photo of driver Billy Davis Jr. and Sportsmuffler.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Trounced would be kind; annihilated would be accurate. Sportsmuffler took the best local mares to task at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Nov. 28) and taught school after winning by open-lengths going away in the $10,400 Open Handicap fillies and mares pace. 

Billy Davis Jr. wasted no time getting the lead off the gate and started a gapped journey immediately. After getting to the half in :58.1 over the sloppy track in a snow-globe, Sportsmuffler strode-away to a three-length lead when she hit three-quarters in 1:27. And then after rounding the far turn, she was gone. 

As she spiraled out the final bend and hit the straight Sportsmuffler was in a race against time alone as no one was even near her. With Davis a mere passenger, Sportsmuffler continued to widen her advantage, eventually stretching it to eight at the wire where she was the easiest of winners in 1:56.1. 

It was the 10th victory of the year for Sportsmuffler ($2.80) who has now earned $69,306 for owner Rose Campbell. Steve Kiblin does the training. 

In the $8,800 fillies and mares Open II, Susie’s Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) led from gate to wire, taking advantage of pedestrian fractions to the three-quarters to close out the contest with a one-length victory in 1:59.4. Ryan Swift trains the winner for the Swift Racing Stable.

Billy Davis Jr. also won two other races on the card Wednesday giving him the Hat Trick to lead all drivers. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Nov. 30) with post time set for 6 o'clock.

November 29, 2018 - 8:09am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

rob_stefani.jpgBatavia’s Rob Stefani has made it back to the Beat the Champ TV show, and will be on the small screen almost a year to the day after appearing on the WBBZ-TV (MeTV) broadcast that emanated from Mancuso Bowling Center.

This year, the scene of the action is Brad Angelo Lanes in Lockport and that’s where Stefani, a 34-year-old right-hander, edged fellow Batavian Brian Green on Sunday for the ninth and final berth, which qualifies him to be on the last of three shows in December. Taping is set for Dec. 3 at the Lockport bowling center.

“I was able to grind it out,” said Stefani, who rolled the last five strikes in his third game to post a 683 score – one pin more than lefty Green’s 682.

Stefani started with a 269 in the 24-bowler finals but fell to 199 in the second game.

“It didn’t look good but fortunately I was able to finish strong,” Stefani said, as his 215 third game barely held off Green, who posted 224-211-247.

Stefani, who earned $150, is the only bowler outside of the Buffalo area to reach this month’s show – where he will have an opportunity for more prize winnings.

He will appear in the third show -- which airs on Dec. 23 -- and will go up against Tyler Molina of Buffalo, Pat Brick of Buffalo and whoever the “champ” is.  Currently, Chuck Jagodzinski of Lancaster rules the roost.

Tim Frenz of Depew, Tony Dolan of West Seneca and Ryan Kress of Cheektowaga will battle against Jagodzinski on the first show (Dec. 9), and Tom Sorce of Blasdell, Tim Finken of Depew and Gary Kinyon of Lockport, who rolled a 300 game in the finals, will compete on the Dec. 16 telecast.

Mancuso Bowling Center opted not to participate in the program this year due to a decrease in the number of entries.

KARL MARTH CUP RIVALRY RENEWS ON SATURDAY

The North squad, led by non-playing captain Tom Allis, has the “home court” advantage as it looks to extend its dominance in the Karl Marth Cup series at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday at Medina Lanes.

In 2017, the North defeated the South, 64.5-58.5, at Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield for its sixth victory in the past seven years. Overall, the North holds a 14-10 edge.

The teams compete in Doubles, Singles, Baker-style Doubles and Baker-style Team.

Rosters are as follows:

North – Alex Allis, Hayden Allis, Roger Allis, Scott Allis, Richard Culver, Scott Gibson, Mike Lavender, Jason Mahnke, Jake Rosenbeck, Rob Sease, Scott Shields and Aaron Verheyn.

South – Ed Doody (captain), Geoff Harloff, Mike Johnson, Todd Mortellaro, Steve O’Dell, Jim Pursel, Rick Saunders, Matt Slocum, Paul Spiotta, Joe Trigilio, Brett Van Duser and Gregg Wolff.

SPIOTTA, LOGAN CASH AT 60-AND-OVER TOURNEY

Make it six out of eight “cashes” for Batavian Paul Spiotta in Tommy Kress 60-and-Over Tour competition.

The 61-year-old right-hander led the qualifying round with 727 before bowing out in the second round of the finals Sunday at Brad Angelo Lanes in Lockport. He took home $95 for his efforts.

Bill Logan of Albion also cashed, posting a 584 to qualifying in the 65-69 age group, before being eliminated in the first round.

Ed Mousseau of East Amherst made a successful debut on the Tour by defeating Fred Back of Clarence Center, 196-182, in the title match. Mousseau, former director of the Amateur Bowlers Tour, earned $300.

The tournament attracted 47 entrants.

The next event is set for 12:30 p.m. (check-in starts at 11L30 a.m.) on Dec. 23 at Bowl A Roll Lanes in Rochester.

ANDERSON CAPTURES PBA PLAYER OF THE YEAR

The Professional Bowlers Association last week announced that second-year member Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., has been selected as the 2018 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year, while 20-year-old Kamron Doyle of Brentwood, Tenn., has been selected as the 2018 Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year.

Other honorees were Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., who captured the 2018 Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award, and 2018 PBA Hall of Fame inductee Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, who earned the PBA Tony Reyes Memorial Community Service Award.

Anderson, 23, and Doyle will be recognized on national television during the PBA Clash telecast that on FOX on Sunday, Dec. 23. Smallwood and Barnes will receive their awards during the PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Saturday, Jan. 5, from the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in Arlington, Texas.

Anderson won two titles in 2018 -- the United States Bowling Congress Masters (his first major) and the Xtra Frame Greater Jonesboro Open on his way to winning the 2018 Harry Smith PBA Points Leader award. He cashed in 16 of the 19 events he entered and had five top-five finishes, including a third-place finish in the PBA Tournament of Champions.

ALBION’S SNOOK QUALIFIES FOR JUNIOR GOLD

Sixteen-year-old Paige Snook of Albion will be heading to Detroit this summer to compete against some of the best youth bowlers in the nation.

Paige, daughter of Paul and Kelly Snook, placed second at a Youth Bowling Tour event on Nov. 18 at Doug Kent’s Rose Bowl Lanes in Newark to earn a spot in the Girls U17 Division at Junior Gold.

The national tournament, sponsored by the Brands of Ebonite International, is scheduled for July 13-20, 2019 at several bowling centers in the Detroit area. Competition is in eight divisions -- U12 Boys, U12 Girls, U15 Boys, U15 Girls, U17 Boys, U17 Girls, U20 Boys and U20 Girls.

Snook, a 160-plus average bowler, rolled games of 167, 178, 169 and 155 in the four-game qualifier on a Sport (difficult) oil pattern to advance to match play. She won her first match with 183 before losing in the final match with a 133.

She is a member of the youth bowling program at Oak Orchard Lanes in Albion and the Genesee Region Youth Travel League.

HATS OFF TO CHRIS HUNTZ FOR 247 TRIPLICATE

We previously reported – in the weekly league high scores roundup – that Perry’s Chris Huntz spun a 247-247-247 triplicate in the Monday Nite 5 League at Perry Bowling Center on Nov. 12.

It wasn’t until last week that I found out what the 35-year-old right-hander needed in the 10th frame of the third game to roll another 247.

Huntz said he had to have a strike on the first ball and nine more pins on the final two rolls to do it. He got the strike then left the 6-7-10 split. He then knocked down the 6 and the 10 for the 247.

November 28, 2018 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, GCC, baseball, baseball camp, U.S. Baseball Academy.

Genesee Community College is hosting a four-week baseball camp starting Jan. 20.

GCC Head Coach Skip Sherman will direct the program in conjunction with U.S. Baseball Academy.

Classes are available for players in grades 1-12 and are limited to seven players per coach. Sessions are offered in advanced hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and baserunning. Space is limited.

Registration is now underway. For more information, visit www.USBaseballAcademy.com, or call toll-free 866-622-4487.

November 26, 2018 - 10:33am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Oak Orchard Bowl proprietor Randy Hanks carves out a little time for himself each week as a member of the Sneezy's Monday Night League at the Albion establishment.

During competition last week, the 52-year-old right-hander etched his name in the record book for the fourth time as he recorded a 300 game en route to a personal-best 792 series on lanes 9-10.

"I just happened to get hot," said Hanks, who posted 23 out of the last 24 strikes in a 225-300-267 effort. Only a 10-pin in the third frame of the last game -- which he unfortunately missed -- kept him from a chance at his first 800 series.

He now has four USBC-certified perfect games -- two at Bowl-A-Roll Lanes in Rochester and two at Oak Orchard Bowl.

Elsewhere around the Genesee Region, Chris Bardol of Brockport rolled his second 300 of the season in the G&W Vending League at Rose Garden Bowl last Tuesday night.

For a list of high scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

Mike Pettinella's next Pin Points column is scheduled for this Thursday.

November 25, 2018 - 3:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Iyq Yqr with reinsman Denny Bucceri wins Saturday night's Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After finishing fourth last week while being parked out the whole mile, Iyq Yqr rebounded Saturday night (Nov. 24) with a come-from-behind effort to win the $11,500 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs.

There were no leavers this week when the gate released the group, leaving In Runaway Bay (Kevin Cummings) in charge of the fractions and as such, they went to the quarter in :29.2 and the half in :58.4. Cummings breather ended there though as Iyq Yqr (Denny Bucceri) was out and rolling at that point and was looking for revenge.

Iyq Yqr moved forward methodically and drew near In Runaway Bay by the three-quarter pole. These two hooked up around the last turn, matching strides and pacing in unison. At the head of the stretch Iyq Yqr got the lead and drew clear to a length advantage that he held to the wire where he won in 1:56.2.

It was the eighth win of the year for Iyq Yqr ($8.30) who has now earned $34,451 this year for owners Blindswitch Racing Stable, Anthony Nicometo, Good Friends Racing Stable and Santo Farina. Jeff Amann trains the winner.  

In the $9,900 Open II pace Dark Horse (Shawn McDonough) made a three-wide move from fourth at the three-quarters to draw alongside of the leading Sunset Sid (Denny Bucceri) around the last turn before going right on by in mid-stretch to win by a length in 1:57.1. Having a career year, Dark Horse ($9.40) now has six wins and $54,696 earned for owner VHF Racing and trainer Sabrina Clevenger.

Drew Monti and Denny Bucceri led all drivers on Saturday scoring three wins each on the 13-race card.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 28) with post time at 5 o'clock.

November 24, 2018 - 10:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, sports, football, news, notify.

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What if Ethan Biscaro wasn't injured in the first quarter Saturday of Batavia's Class B state championship football game at the Carrier Dome?

Could Batavia have maintained its early lead, its early momentum, and held off Joseph Girard and the Glens Falls Indians, instead of losing 55-32?

We'll never know.

Biscaro's injury certainly isn't the only reason Batavia lost. The Blue Devils made their mistakes and missed their opportunities but, truth be told, Girard is one heck of a quarterback.

To whatever degree last week's game against Skaneateles and their athletic QB Patrick Hackler prepared the Blue Devils to face an athletic, strong-armed QB, it wasn't enough. Hackler was good but he wasn't Joseph Girard III good.

Experienced sportswriters in the press box were raving about Girard by the fourth quarter, the best high school quarterback they've ever seen, some of them said.

Girard showed arm strength, touch, accuracy, and savvy on the field, as well as strength and quickness that enabled to him to turn what looked like sacks for lost yards into gains, into first downs, and even into touchdowns. 

For example, with Batavia leading 14-0 in the second quarter, Girard, from Batavia's 19-yard line, tries a keeper to his right and finds the path cutoff and he appears pinned in a corner near the sideline but he swings out wide into his own backfield and starts running toward the far side with Cam White in pursuit. Just as it appears White would snag his jersey, somehow Girard steps ahead of him and now has the entire defense beat on the far side of the field. He scores to give Glen Falls its first six points.

"He is a great football player, obviously a division one athlete," said Batavia Coach Brennan Briggs. "We had our opportunities, I think, and you know, he was very difficult to get a hold of. We simulated all we can in practice but at the end of the day, you have got to come up your make plays."

While officially, Girard gained only 15 yards on the ground on 15 carries, with two TDs, he was 10-18 passing for 314 yards and two TDs on passes.

All this and it was still a big game for Ray Leach, who for the third game in a row gained more than 400 yards, this time picking up 410 yards on 30 carries. He scored three touchdowns and he was clearly exhausted in the second half and playing on sheer determination.

"He's just a tough kid, he loves football," Briggs said. "He wanted to be out here so he did whatever it took to be out here."

With 1,645 yards over the final four games, Leach ends the year with 2,826 rushing yards, breaking the season Section V record of Hornell's Austin Dwyer, 2,826 yards, set in 2009.

A former Blue Devil who played for Batavia last year when the team opened the season in the Carrier Dome said a factor in that game was the heat on the field. As the game wears on the Dome warms up.

Ironically, the Carrier Dome is not air-conditioned.

Leach said he and his teammates were feeling the heat.

"The temperature was a little different than we've been playing and we had to get used to the heat," Leach said. "It's definitely a big adjustment. We're a little tired. I just had to rely on my line and keep on the ball hard."

Leach could be seen at one point in the third quarter with his hands on his knees. The sign of a winded athlete. Still, Leach went on to break off a couple of long runs in the second half, including an 80-yard touchdown run that avoided contact with every Glens Falls player on the field.

The turning point, if there was one, may have been Biscaro's injury. Batavia went on to score on that drive, thanks to a 46-yard pass from Leach to Taiyo Iburi-Bethel on the first play after Biscaro left the field. But that didn't reveal how unsettled the offense would become without Biscaro.

That score gave Batavia a 14-0 lead but it was clear how much things changed on the next Blue Devils' possession, which began with a successful onside kick. The play calling was slow and a combination of Leach and Alex Rood in the backfield lacked the tempo and organization of a Biscaro-led offense.

The Blue Devils were unable to convert that opportunity into points on the board and with Glens Falls scoring on its next possession, momentum seems to have shifted in the Indians favor.

Briggs said losing Biscaro hurt on both sides of the ball.

"He's a huge part of our offense and our defense so there's no question about it, that hurt a lot but, hey, I'm the football coach and you've got to figure out how to get it done and I didn't do that."

Biscaro did take the field to start the second half but Batavia was still unable to get back in rhythm, and after taking another hit that sent him to the turf in pain, Biscaro was once again lifted from the game.

Briggs tried a few different looks with the offense with Biscaro out -- Leach along in the backfield, Leach at QB with Rood at running back, Rood taking the snaps, along with reverses, flea-flickers, end-arounds, and the offense wasn't able to execute consistently.

One of Batavia's touchdowns in the fourth quarter came after a pass to Andrew Francis bounced off his hands, into the air and toward the end zone. Iburi-Bethel grabbed the pop-up fly, turn, ran and scored.

That and Leach's 80-yard run where among the few bright spots for the Batavia offense without Biscaro.

Briggs blamed himself, not the dropped passes, the fumbled snaps, the miscommunication on the field.

"We ran a lot of wildcat stuff with Ray but obviously everybody's keying on him," Briggs said. "He's not a pure passer back there so we tried to do a few different things. But you know, it didn't totally work out but again we've got to get some stops and you know maybe I should have been a little better prepared for that."

Iburi-Bethel finished with four catches for 82 yards and a TD. Leach had one reception for a 28-yard TD. Biscaro was 5-6 passing for 70 yards and TD.

Besides Girard's heroics for Glens Falls, Trent Girard, one of six Girard cousins in the game, caught seven passes for 183 yards and a TD. David Barclay had two catches for 93 yards and a TD. Aalijah Sampson carried the ball 23 times for 135 yards and four touchdowns.

Batavia had 538 yards and 25:37 time of possession while Glens Falls had 464 total yards and 19:25 time of possession.

For Batavia, Cam White, Joseph Martinucci and Alex Rood all recorded sacks.

Joshua Barber had eight tackles. 

Photos by Jim Burns.

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For more pictures, click here.

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