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February 21, 2019 - 9:43am
posted by Steve Ognibene in sports, basketball, Batavia HS, news, steve ognibene's blog.


The Blue Devils squad was on a mission in the first half to control the game over visiting Palmyra-Macedon of the first round of class B1 sectionals last evening at Batavia High School.

Opening minutes were led 10-5 by senior Mason McFollins and junior Jake Humes. Tanner Thompson for Pal-Mac scored five. Blue Devils led 23-10 after the first quarter.

Second half Pal-Mac could not stop the Devils' rush as Camden White added six points. Blue Devils' Joseph Martinucci, Andrew Francis, McFollins and Luke Grammatico also contributed points to dominate the half 44-18.

Batavia then opened the floodgates rolling through the next eight minutes as Cayden White and McFollins added another 16 points combined along with points from Francis and Tyler Hale.

In the final minutes of the third quarter, both teams pulled their starters, Batavia led 69-27.

Senior Tyivon Ayala scored nine points in the fourth to close out the quarter as Batavia wins the game 87-41 and will travel to play this Saturday at #2 Newark Reds, 2 p.m. tip off.

Top photo is Batavia's Zach Gilebarto defending Pal-Mac's Paul Goodness.

To view or purchase photos click here.





February 21, 2019 - 9:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Notre Dame.


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Notre Dame dominated Hammondsport in their first-round Class D1 Section V playoff game at Notre Dame on Wednesday night, winning 85-40.

Gabe Macdonald scored 27 points, Colin McCulley scored 17, and Keith Szczepanski added 14 to pace the Fighting Irish.

Spencer Misit scored eight and Andrew Moore scored six. In all, nine Irish put points on the board.

"I think this was a team effort and I thought everybody contributed," Coach Mike Rapone said. "We played really well on both ends of the floor and rebounded well, passed the ball well. Keith was dominant inside and we got him the ball in areas where he could be effective."

Rapone thinks the road to the Class D1 finals runs through Mount Morris, which is where the Irish, now 12-9 on the season, head to next at 7 p.m., Saturday. Mount Morris is ranked second and is 17-3.

"Mount Morris is a very good team," Rapone said. "They got a few guys who have been starting for three years. This is the year they've been pointing to. They think they got a chance to win it all which they do. So this is a big test for us."

Also on Wednesday night, Batavia beat PalMac 87-41. Coverage is coming.


  • Elba vs. Bradford, 7 p.m. at Elba
  • Alexander vs. Geneseo, 7 p.m., at Alexander
February 21, 2019 - 8:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Pavilion.


Number 8 seed Pavilion knocked off #9 seed Dundee on Wednesday night at home in a Class 3 Section V playoff game, 36-31, in girls basketball.

For the Golden Gophers, Lindsay Lowe scored nine points, Aprile Beehler and Bri Hirsman each scored eight points, Lauren Kingsley scored seven, and Karlee Zinkievich scored four.

For Dundee, Mckenzie Strait scored 11 points and Megan Sutherland scored 10.

Pavilion is now 10-11 on the season and plays #1 seed South Seneca (18-1) on Saturday at South Seneca at 2 p.m.

In other girls basketball action Wednesday:

  • Pembroke 68, Bloomfield 56
  • Alexander 72, Rochester Academy 49

Tomorrow's games:

  • Batavia vs. Livonia, 7 p.m. at Batavia HS
  • Notre Dame vs. PalMac, 7 p.m., at PalMac

Top photo: Karlee Zinkievich.

Photos by Ryan Paddock.


 Lauren Kingsley


Aprile Beehler


Jordan Barrett

February 20, 2019 - 9:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, pavilion hs, sports, basketball.


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Colby Tillotson scored 17 points to help lead Pavilion over Keshequa 59-46  in a first-round  Section V playoff game in Pavilion on Tuesday night.

The #6 seed in Class C3, the Golden Gophers have been without Zach Wiedrich, a top scorer on the team, since the 10th game but Tillotson, Ryley Elliott, Cameron Milligan and Luke Milligan have all stepped up to help fill the gap, said Coach Rob Milligan.

Weidrich, a junior, was diagnosed with a heart condition and may not be able to play competitive basketball again.

As an example of Weidrich scoring prowess, Milligan said he got hot one game last season and scored 36 points.

Tuesday, Elliott scored nine points, as did Cody Penders. Nate Swede scored six points. Tillotson hit three three-point shots.

For Keshequa, Cameron Chestnut scored 17 points. He also hit three three-point shots.

February 15, 2019 - 1:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.


With a 55-49 loss to Eastridge on Thursday night, the Batavia Blue Devils finished out their season with a 10-10 record and ranked #7 in Section V Class B1 basketball.

Mason McFollins scored 28 points, hitting five three-point jumpers. Camden White scored nine points and Andrew Francis scored six.

The Blue Devils jumped out to an early lead and edged Eastridge 12 to 9 at the end of the first quarter continued to lead at the half 21-18. 

Batavia's undoing, perhaps, was starting the second half without scoring for seven minutes. The team's only points came on a McFollins' three-pointer in the final minute of the third quarter.

Eastridge scored 22 points in the third. 

For Eastridge, Jahmel Demery scored 14 points, Jordan Capers, 12, and Jalen Rose Hannah scored 10.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

To view or purchase photos, click here.





February 13, 2019 - 11:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, basketball, sports, notify, elba.


Longtime rival Notre Dame stopped Elba's effort to finish the regular season undefeated Tuesday night, beating the Lancers on their home court, 59-47.

Elba is now 18-1 and the Lady Irish are 18-2. Both teams have 13 league wins and so finish the regular season tied atop the Genesee Region.

Entering Class D2 sectional play, Elba should be the #1 seed as it shoots for its third consecutive sectional title.

Notre Dame is ranked #6 in Class B1. Batavia High School is ranked #1 entering into sectionals.

For the Irish, Callie McCulley scored 23 points and had 13 rebounds. Stevie Wilcox scored 12 points and had seven rebounds. Morgan Rhodes scored 10 points and Amelia McCulley scored eight.

UPDATE: Stats for Elba: Taylor Augello, 19 points and eight rebounds. Maddie Muelhig, 13 points, and Leah Bezon, seven points and seven rebounds.






February 7, 2019 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, honeoye-falls lima, Batavia HS, basketball, news.


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There were times Wednesday night when it seemed like Honeoye Falls-Lima just couldn't miss three-point shots but even with that hot streak, the Batavia Blue Devils kept the game close.

Batavia pulled to within three points in the closing seconds but the home team still came up short, losing 62-56.

HF-L's shooters hit nine three-pointers, with Patrick Lustik hitting four (22 points) and Hayden Smith hitting three (11 points).

Batavia's Mason McFollins answered with four three-pointers of his own and a total of 24 points and Andrew Francis scored 17 points. 

Photos by Steve Ognibene.


To purchase or view photos, click here.





February 2, 2019 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, alexander, elba.

Attica dealt Alexander only its fourth loss on the season, only second in league play, knocking the Trojans out of a first-place tie with Lyndonville and Elba, with a 64-54 win at home.

Alexander's Chris McClinic was the game's top scorer with 25 points. Ryan Davis scored 11 points for the Trojans.

For the Blue Devils, Devon Henderson scored 15 points, Frankie Bisceglie, 12, Trevor Goll, 11. Dawson Nelson scored 10 points, added 16 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Ayden Goll scored nine points and had six assists, six rebounds, and two steals.

"I was very proud of the team tonight," said Attica Coach Rob Crowley. "This was two good teams going at it. It was a great game in December over there and I would not have expected anything less tonight. It's always nice to win at home versus your rivals. "

Attica is now 10-6. Alexander is 11-4.

Elba (15-3) was also lost its share of first place in the Genesee Region League on Friday night with a 52-41 loss to Lyndonville (15-1).

Oakfield-Alabama (8-7) beat Pembroke (7-9) 64-51.

Byron-Bergen (6-9) beat Holley 65-47.

Pavilion (7-9) (in the Livingston League) beat Geneseo 71-63. 

Batavia plays North Tonawanda this afternoon at North Tonawanda. Batavia, in the Monroe League, is 6-7.

January 26, 2019 - 3:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, basketball, sports, news.

Elba may be ranked number one in the state now but it's not something they think much about, said Coach Tom Redband after Friday's home victory over Pembroke 46-45.

"It's a fun thing for the fans and it's a nice thing to read about but it's not something we talk about or, you know, fixate on," Redband said. "You know we want to be as good as we can in the end; whatever that might be. We don't get into whether we're number one state or winning sectionals or winning states.

"It's just the personality of the team because of their work ethic."

And winning is a whole team effort, Redband said. The best example this year is Wednesday's road win over Avon 60-33 with no player on the team hitting double digits in scoring.

"We ended up winning by 27," Redband said. "I think that's pretty rare. I can't remember the last time we lost by 27 when the top two scorers on the other team had five points. I think that's just a testament to the girls developing and being ready at all times no matter what they did last game. You know, the next girl up when somebody is not at their best or injured or we need a little boost."

Elba, a Class D team, is 15-0 on the season now and among the reasons it's ranked number one in the state is five of those wins came against Class B teams and all but one of those other wins against Class C teams. The team has scored at least 60 points 12 times.

Friday night's win -- which Elba almost let slip away -- was another example of distributed offense with Brynn Walczak scoring 12 points, Leah Bezon with 11, Lauryn Engle, 9, Taylor Augello, 6, and Maddie Muehlig, 5. Engle hit three of her four three-point attempts.

Here's how Redband breaks down his team:

"Leah Bezon has been on the team for four years now. She's only a sophomore. She keeps developing and she has a humongous upside. She's our captain.

"Brynn Walzcak has been on the team two, three years. Maddie Mulehig three years, Taylor Augello, it's her second year starting and she's really come on this year. She worked really hard in the offseason to develop her game.

"Maddie Howard who is a senior, she'll be back soon. She was injured a couple of weeks ago. She'll be back soon. She's a great, great assist person, very unselfish looking to defend and assist. 

"Then we have shooters like Adriana Long and Dakota Brinkman and Lauryn Engle, who at any point could hit three or four threes in a game.

"Kelly Mickey is a ferocious defender and then Izzy Riner who can kind of do it all.

"We're really not a top-heavy team."


Leah Bezon


Taylor Augello


Maddie Muehlig


Maddie Muehlig


Taylor Augello


Leah Bezon


Brynn Walczak


January 24, 2019 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, sports, basketball, news.


Press release:

On Friday, Jan. 18, the JV and varsity boys basketball teams from Byron-Bergen and Elba faced off in their traditional “Battle of Route 262” games, but this year they had their sights set higher than just a victory on the basketball court. Much higher.

In response to two of their classmates receiving cancer diagnoses, the players wanted to raise money for organizations that have helped those individuals and their families. The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester and Cure Childhood Cancer Association received equal shares of the evening’s donations.

“Games with Elba bring in a large local crowd,” said Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach Roxanne Noeth. “We thought that it would be a good chance to raise money and awareness for the cause – and the crowd really was amazing.”

In the weeks leading up to the game, the Byron-Bergen boys’ basketball teams gathered donations from friends, family, and community members and organizations. But, the Bees weren’t the only ones on the fundraising offensive. Elba, a partner District with Byron-Bergen for several sports including soccer and gymnastics, also collected donations for the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

“These students face off as opponents in basketball, but in another season they may be playing side-by-side,” said Elba Athletic Director Karen Cusmano. “The districts are less than 10 miles apart. We belong to a larger community and I’m proud that both teams are stepping up to support this important cause.”

The Elba players also joined the Byron-Bergen players in the half-court shot challenge sponsored by Jimmy Z’s of Brockport. Jimmy Z’s donated $20 for every half-court basket. The crowd exploded in applause as two Byron-Bergen players and one Elba player sunk the shot.

Both teams played hard with Elba’s JV and varsity teams edging out the bees. However, the biggest score of the evening was the $5,459 raised in support of the two charitable organizations. However, the final count still is not in.

Jimmy Z’s pledged to donate 20 percent of all sales from customers who mention Byron-Bergen’s fundraiser on Monday, Jan. 21, but due to inclement weather, the final fundraising effort is rescheduled to 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28.

In a tweet, the Ronald McDonald House responded to the fundraiser announcement, “Thank you so much! This is a big help for our families.”

Contact: Rich Hannan, Byron-Bergen athletic director (585) 494-1220, ext: 2003; Contact: Pat McGee Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. high School principal (585) 494-1220, ext: 2401.

“Our sports teams have a strong tradition of raising money for charitable organizations,” said Byron-Bergen Athletic Director Rich Hannan. “It’s an amazing accomplishment for high school students to organize fundraising on this scale, but it is also an amazing show of solidarity for their classmates and their families. It says, "We’ve got your back.’Once a Bee. Always a Bee.” 

Pictured: (l-r) (back row) Corden Zimmerman, Varsity Coach Roxanne Noeth, Lucas Stucchio, Daren Barron, Jerrod Amesbury, Josh Hohn, Jonathan Hahn, Travis Lambert, Tony DiQuattro, Rick Hubbard, Kevin Smith, Alex Brumsted, Mitch Gonyea, Bryce Yockel, Chad Green, Nicholas Baubie, JV Coach Chris Chapman; (front row) Nicolas Walters, Joey Damick, Caleb Carlson, David Brumsted, Anthony Chapman, Gianni Ferrara, Ryan Muscarella, Alex Donnelly, Alex Heatherman.  

January 19, 2019 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, news, alexander, Notre Dame, basketball.


For the seventh time in 13 games this season, the Alexander Trojans topped 60 points en route to their 10th win, beating Notre Dame at Notre Dame, 63-52.

Chris McClinic led the Trojans with 24 points, hitting a pair of three-point baskets along the way, and senior captain Ryan Davis scored 13 points.

"At the beginning, we were able to attack their two-three zone," said Trojan Coach Wayne Hanley. "We were able to get through it pretty quick and made them change things up. I thought Notre Dame did a good job shooting but we did a good job on the boards."

With eight wins against Genesee Region competition (10-3 overall), Alexander is tied for the league lead with Lyndonville and Elba. 

The Trojans lost a home game to Elba on Wednesday, 61-45, and have also lost to Greece-Odyssey, 91-54, and to Cal-Mum, 73-63.

"The kids are playing really well," Hanley said. "We faced some tough competition. Greece-Odyssey, then we played Cal-Mum, and that helped us prepare for the GR itself. The GR is very tough this year. We’ve played some tough games but we’ve been focused every game so I think that has really helped us out."

For Notre Dame, now 6-8, Spencer Misiti scored 16 points, Gabe Macdonald scored 12, and Zachary Cocking scored 11.





Thank you to Coach Hanley for participating in a video interview. Unfortunately, the audio did not come out well enought to use with this video.

January 11, 2019 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Shooting for a Cure, basketball, news, notify, pembroke.

UPDATE 1:13 p.m.: Last night was another new record for 'Shooting for a Cure." The event raised $30,000.

In its eighth year, Pembroke's "Shooting for a Cure" girls basketball reached a significant milestone Thursday night, topping $100,000 raised for cancer research.

The total amount raised this year hasn't been released yet but Mike Wilson said last night that organizers knew more than $19,000 had raised, putting the cumulative total over that $100K mark.

"These girls this year, they attacked it. I can’t say enough about this team," said Wilson, who was head coach the first year of the fundraiser in 2011. "They lead the charge. They really do. They’re the ones out pounding the pavement. They’re the ones out in Batavia, and on Transit Road, and Rochester, and Buffalo, and they’re on social media using it the right way for all those good things.

"They have really spread our mission. I’m so proud of this group. They’re a young group but they’re so mature in the compassion and love they have for the people in our community. It’s awesome."

Thursday night was also the night the community could celebrate a new job for Brianna Johnson.

It was Johnson who, in 2011, while on a team bus returning from a softball game, said the school should do something to support Coach Ron Funke's wife, Toni Funke. She and teammates talked with Wilson and the idea for Shooting for a Cure was born.

Today, Johnson starts a new job on the cancer research team at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo.

"For Brianna to have that idea and then to move on to something in the medical field, doing cancer research, it’s come full circle," Wilson said. "They just hired her. Her intake meeting is tomorrow, so when we’re down presenting our check to Candace Johnson and the Roswell staff, Brianna is going to be there signing up to become a member of that team.

"They’re going to find a cure for cancer with Brianna on that team. She’s so passionate about this. I’m very proud of her."

As for the game, Notre Dame beat Pembroke 50-31.











January 4, 2019 - 11:53pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, rotary tournament, basketball, batavia, Batavia HS, notify.


ROTARY CLUB CHAMPIONS: The Batavia High School Varsity Girls Basketball Team with Rotary Club Tournament trophy, from left, Bella Houseknecht, Kennedy Kolb, Meghan Houseknecht, Ryann Stefaniak, Emma Krolczyk, Jenae Colkey, Bryn Wormley, Mackenzie Reigle, Tess Barone and Haylee Thornley.

It was only fitting that senior Meghan Houseknecht dropped in the winning basket in Batavia High’s exciting 59-57 victory over Wellsville in tonight’s championship game of 30th annual Rotary Club Tournament at Genesee Community College.

Houseknecht was a freshman in the Lady Devils’ basketball program in January of 2016 when her father, well-known Batavia businessman Michael Houseknecht, died at the much-too-young age of 38.

With her mother, sister, grandparents, relatives and friends looking on during the closing moments of a hard-fought battle, Houseknecht, a 6-foot center, gathered in a pass from tourney MVP sophomore guard Bryn Wormley and laid the ball over the rim and through the hoop with :06 on the clock.

When teammate Kennedy Kolb broke up Wellsville’s last attempt to tie the game, Batavia had escaped with its seventh win in eight outings this season.

Batavia Coach Marty Hein relished taking the Rotary Club trophy but said he was doubly proud of the way his squad handled the adversity of losing three starters, including their top scorer, senior guard Ryann Stefaniak, who departed with her fifth foul at the 5:12 mark of the final quarter.

“Looking on the bench, we had a lead, I’m thinking we need defense,” Hein said. “ 'OK, Tess (Barone) go in'; Tess plays hardnosed defense and she did a nice job for us to finish the game. And Kennedy Kolb came through.

“I would have rather had Ryann and Kenzie (Reigle) in the game but it turned out that it was a nice win where everyone contributed down the line.”

He also spoke of the way Wormley has stepped up her game this season – “she’s blossoming and it’s fun to watch,” he said – and called Houseknecht’s late heroics “just rewards.”

“Remembering three years ago, it (her father’s passing) was heartbreaking,” he said. “Meg’s an awesome girl; I love her to death and it’s kind of fitting that she makes the shot to win the game.”

The game was close throughout as the teams were never separated by more than seven points.

Wellsville, now 7-2, was up by seven with two minutes left in the third quarter before Batavia ended the period on an 11-1 run with key hoops by Wormley, Reigle and Stefaniak.

Batavia grabbed its biggest lead, 48-43, on a basket by Wormley to open the fourth-quarter scoring, but Wellsville, which kept Batavia off balance with accurate long-distance shooting, pulled ahead 51-50 with 3:45 to play on a three-point shot by senior guard Taylor Adams.

Wellsville made it 53-50 on a pair of free throws by senior guard Jana Whitehouse, but Wormley responded with a three-pointer at the 2:55 mark to tie it at 53-53.

After a free throw by Wellsville’s freshman guard Marley Adams, Batavia scored four straight on a driving layup by sophomore guard Reigle and two foul shots by Wormley to take a 57-54 edge with 1:06 to play.

A pair of free throws by Adams on separate trips down the floor pulled Wellsville within a point and a free throw by senior guard Quincy Buckley with 15 seconds left made it 57-57.

Batavia inbounded the ball, with senior forward Jenae Colkey managing to escape pressure to get the ball to Wormley, who drove down the left side of the lane before lobbing it in to Houseknecht for the decisive bucket.

“The play was to get the ball to Bryn because she was the facilitator at the point in the game – the person who could either make the right pass or get into position to score,” Hein said.

Houseknecht said she was able to get free underneath by virtue of a screen from Kolb and was able to complete the play.

“When I cut through I saw I had a mismatch as the girl was shorter, and Bryn made a good pass to me,” she said. “I knew when I got the ball that I had to shoot it (right away), and fortunately it went in.”

Ironically, the basket was Houseknecht’s only two points of the game and touched off a wild celebration from the Batavia fans.

“All week we were super-excited to play in the tournament and then after winning on Wednesday (against Caledonia-Mumford) to play in the championship game,” Houseknecht said.

Stefaniak led the Batavia scoring with 19 points – five of them in the closing seconds of the first half to pull her team within two at 29-27 at intermission.

Wormley tallied 16 while Reigle and junior forward Emma Krolczyk, who both fouled out in the game’s closing minute, added 13 and nine points, respectively.

For Wellsville, Buckley led the way with 17 – including four three-point baskets -- and junior center Regan Marsh added 13. All told, Wellsville sank eight three-pointers.

We knew that they were an outside shooting team, we were worried more about Winehouse – and Buckley was popping them,” Hein said. “We knew what we were up against … We didn’t close out soon enough – they were popping.”

Stefaniak, Adams and Buckley made the all-tournament team along with Notre Dame’s Callie McCulley (ND defeated Cal-Mum in the consolation game) while Reigle earned the Sportsmanship Award.

 Photos by Thomas Ognibene. To view or purchase photos, click here.






January 3, 2019 - 12:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lions Tournament, basketball, cal-mum, Batavia HS, batavia, sports, news.


There will be no rematch of last year's final between Cal-Mum and Notre Dame for the Rotary Championship after both teams fell in first-round games on Wednesday at Genesee Community College.

Notre Dame fell to Wellsville in the first game and Batavia notched a convincing 55-28 win over Cal-Mum, who lost to Notre Dame last year, but won the championship in 2017.

Bryn Wormley scored 15 points and Ryann Stefaniak scored 14 to lead the Blue Devils. Kenz Reigle added 10 and Emma Krolczyk and Jenae Colkey added six each.

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

Batavia Coach Marty Hein said he's been working with his team on their defense, which needs to improve for the team to advance and will be key if the team is to win Friday against Wellsville.

"They (Wellsville) have some outside shooters," Hein said. "They have people from the outside and they can also drive and penetrate. Our defense has to be, somebody has to play shutdown on the ball and we've got to steer it one direction and the other. People have to be willing to jump off and shut down driving lanes down as well as knowing who's the shooter and get out there them to close out them."

Game time Friday is 7:30 p.m. in the Anthony Zambito Gym at GCC.

Photos by Thomas Ognibene. To view or purchase photos, click here.







January 3, 2019 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lions Tournament, basketball, wellsville, Notre Dame, sports, news.


With Notre Dame down two starters, the Lady Irish could never quite get its offense in sync, giving Wellsville the chance to pull away with a 55-46 win in a round-one game of the annual Batavia Rotary Club Tournament at Genesee Community College.

With Stevie Wilcox and Emma Finch out, Wellsville was able to concentrate its defense of Callie McCully. Even so, McCully still came away with 26 points.

Amelia McCully scored nine points.

For Wellsville, Jana Whitehouse scored 19 points and Marley Adams scored 12 points.

Wellsville faces Batavia in the championship game Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Photos by Thomas Ognibene. To view or purchase photos, click here.





January 2, 2019 - 12:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Shooting for a Cure, basketball, news.


Press release:

In 2011 the Pembroke High School Girls’ Basketball Team approached then Head Coach Mike Wilson with an idea; they wanted to show their support for Toni Funke in her battle against breast cancer by hosting a game in her honor, which would bring the community together to raise funds and awareness for cancer research at Roswell Park.

This simple act of love eight seasons ago has now grown into one of Roswell Park’s largest community‑based fundraising events. To date, Shooting For A Cure! has raised more than $88,000 for cancer research, and this season, the team hopes to eclipse the $100,000 mark in total funds raised.

This year’s fundraiser (7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10th vs. Notre Dame) will mark the eighth consecutive season the Pembroke team will be focused on winning—not just league games, but the battle against cancer. It’s a cause that remains personal to the team and their school district because of the number of students, faculty, staff and community members who have been affected by cancer.

“The Shooting For A Cure! game isn’t just a basketball game, it’s about trying to change peoples’ lives for the better. It’s about making a positive change in our community and using our platform as players to try and make a difference,” said senior Unique Bryant.

Since the inaugural game, each team—including all of the new members—looks for ways to widen the impact of the game.

“Our team has been looking forward to the Shooting For A Cure! game since last season; it’s our favorite game of the year. We rally together with the community and use this game as a means to fight alongside those currently battling cancer,” Unique said. “On a personal level, this game is extremely special to me, as my mother is a cancer survivor. When I was about 5-years-old, she was diagnosed and battled like a warrior. I have so much love and respect for her. She’s my hero."

Junior Casey Wurtz will be playing in her third Shooting For A Cure! game this year at the varsity level.

“Each game becomes more meaningful to me," Casey said. "Three of my aunts have battled cancer. Two of them are survivors, but sadly, one of them lost her battle. This disease has been tough on my family to say the least. My grandmother was just recently diagnosed as well, and I want to do all I can to support her. This game gives my teammates and me the opportunity to come together for a cause much bigger than us.

"This game brings us all together one night a year as a Pembroke community, united, in the fight against this disease. It’s overwhelming, in the best way, to share in such a night. When I look back on my years in high school, I will always remember playing in the Shooting For A Cure! games with my team and doing our best to support those in need while trying to find a cure for this awful disease."

The 2018-2019 Shooting For A Cure! donors list has grown to more than 100 merchants and individuals including: 26Shirts, ADPRO Sports, Batavia’s Original Pizzeria, Clarence Deli, Coca-Cola of Rochester, Courage of Carly Foundation, Crickler Vending, Dave & Adam’s Card World, Dixon Ticonderoga, Eli Fish, Fava Brothers Lawn Care, Fenton’s Produce, Five Guys, Haun Welding, Hershey’s Ice Cream, Insty-Prints, Kohorst Trucking, Linda’s Family Diner, moondanceCat, Northtown Automotive, Original Pizza Logs, Pillar Real Estate Investors, Silver Lake Country Club, Southwest Airlines, Tim Hortons, Yancey’s Fancy and the YMCA.

Many of the product donations will become game night auction baskets and raffle prizes. Monies will also be raised from apparel sales and food sales with the generous support of local companies.

“This year we will have some one-of-a-kind donation items on hand for our supporters to win," said event coordinator Mike Wilson. "A Corfu resident spent countless hours building a beautiful, rustic-style kitchen table with a matching bench and two chairs. Currently, two of our students are creating custom Adirondack chairs with a matching table in support of our mission.

"We were just recently donated four tickets to sit behind the Syracuse bench at an upcoming basketball game in March as well as four suite level tickets for a Sabres game in February. Dry Creek Group has again donated a fully catered dinner party for eight guests out in Hamburg and Fenton’s Produce just donated a helicopter ride for two over Niagara Falls.

"Southwest Airlines even donated a pair of roundtrip flights anywhere they fly in the U.S. in support of our Shooting For A Cure! mission. The generosity shown throughout our community, at every level, is overwhelming, to say the least. Our Pembroke community is unlike any other.

"It is remarkable how many people come out to support the team’s mission each season. What started off as a small act of love, in support of Toni Funke eight years ago, has now become a community-wide movement that we strongly believe in. We’ll continue Shooting For A Cure! at Pembroke until a cure is found."

In addition to these generous donations, the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) will again be donating an astounding $2,500 to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in support of Shooting For A Cure! this season.

“Roswell Park has done incredible things for our membership. It has helped so many of our members and their families battling cancer. We wanted to give back to Roswell as well as support the incredible efforts of the Pembroke Girls Basketball team,” said Western Region NYSCOPBA Vice President Joe Miano.

As a former Pembroke graduate and current resident, Miano is a firm believer in this cause.

“This group of young women, with the support of the Pembroke School District, continues to do great things for the community beyond the basketball court," Miano said. "It’s truly inspiring and we wanted to take this opportunity to reinforce their efforts.”

Miano, accompanied by a few additional members, will take part in a check presentation with the team to be held prior to the varsity game.

Additionally, the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation has revamped their online platform and developed a Team Roswell site. Direct online donations are now being accepted in support of Shooting For A Cure! at: http://give.roswellpark.org/goto/ShootingForACure

The team hopes Shooting For A Cure! will continue its tradition of topping the previous year’s fundraising total.

“Last year we were able to raise over $27,000 as a community for cancer research, which is just overwhelming when you think about it! We live in such a great community with caring people who really want to help in any way they can,” sophomore Emily Peters said.

“Playing basketball at Pembroke isn’t just about scoring points and winning games; it’s about doing what we can to pay it forward. It’s about coming together as a team, as a community, to support those fighting cancer and to try and do our part to help find a cure. This game brings our team together and it gives us a much greater purpose when we step on the court."

Roswell Park has officially sanctioned Shooting For A Cure! as a Team Cure, community events fundraiser and as a valuable example of the way that young people can make a difference.

“We continue to be impressed by the Pembroke Girls’ Basketball Team each and every season," said Alex Hoaglund, Team Roswell Special Events coordinator. "What an incredible legacy that 2011 team left, built on compassion and altruism. What each team has been able to accomplish since the first game is truly inspirational. Shooting For A Cure! is one of the top, if not the top, ongoing high school community events fundraisers for Roswell Park.

“This small community continues to do big things. At this moment Shooting For A Cure! has raised over $88,000 for cancer research at Roswell Park. I have a feeling this season they’ll eclipse the $100,000 mark in total funds raised earning them a ‘Leadership Circle’ distinction on our donor wall in the hospital lobby.

"Pembroke’s Shooting For A Cure! game is making a difference in the fight against cancer. The money they’re raising each season is funding cutting-edge research and saving lives. Team Roswell is so thankful to partner with this team and their community every year.”

December 31, 2018 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, batavia, Daemen College.


Press release:

Redshirt junior forward Jeff Redband (Batavia, N.Y.) was hotter than a $2 pistol as he racked up a career-high 23 points to lead Daemen College to a 74-55 victory over the College of Saint Rose in non-conference men's basketball action today. Redband canned his first five three-pointers, helping Daemen build an insurmountable 24-point advantage en route to their seventh consecutive victory. The Wildcats improved to 9-1 this season, while the visiting Golden Knights dropped to 4-8.

It was Daemen's 10th straight win at the friendly confines of Lumsden Gymnasium, a streak that dates back to last season. The Wildcats are 26-3 over their last 29 games, a stretch that began with a 68-60 road win at St. Rose last New Year's Eve. 

Redband shot 8-for-10 from the field and a blistering 6-for-7 from three-point range in the win. The six three-pointers match his career-best for a single game, and the point production marked his second 20-point game of the season, and the fourth of his career. He added three steals and two blocks at the defensive end as well.

December 29, 2018 - 5:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, sports, basketball, Batavia HS, Attica.

It's a whole new ballgame for the Batavia Blue Devils now that the team's full squad is showing up ready to play on game night, and Friday Attica got a taste of what a healthy Batavia can put on the court.

After jumping out to a 10-1 lead to start the championship of the larger schools' bracket of Lions Club Tournament in the Anthony Zambito Gym at Genesee Community College, Batavia pretty much controlled the game the rest of the way for a 70-50 win.

Mason McFollins is back in the lineup and the difference is noticeable.

"He's offensively talented and so that helps us out because we were struggling to score while he was out," Coach Buddy Brasky said. "Now, by him scoring it opens up other things for us and it makes it easier for some of the other guys to score. He's a big piece of it because he's our number one option offense."

McFollins, the tournament MVP, scored 19 points against Attica. He hit three shots from beyond the arc.

Joe Martinucci continued his strong play in the painting, scoring 12 points.

Twin brothers Caeden White and Camden White also missed the start of the season but are back on the court causing problems for opposing defenses; Caeden always a danger to hit from the outside and Camden adding strength under the boards.

Caeden White scored eight points and was named to the All-Tournament team and Camden White scored six points.

They're very committed to basketball," Brasky said. "They come to everything we offer in the off-season. They are great kids, very coachable. And Caeden can really shoot it. Camden is a force inside. You wouldn't know they were twins just by looking at them. But it's kind of nice inside outside punch for us."

Camden White and Martinucci give the Blue Devils and nice inside rotation, Brasky said.

For the most part, Batavia was able to shut down Attica's big man, Dawson Nelson, except in the third quarter, when he scored 15 of his 19 points.

"We were trying to front them and trying beat them to across the lane not let them cut in front of us," Brasky said. "They like that high-low look where they flash the one forward up high and then he tries to dump it in low. We were trying to apply some more pressure to the passer to make the pass harder. I thought we did a decent job early, but in that third quarter we couldn't stop Dawson. He kind of took the game over in the third quarter."

McFollins, the Whites, Andrew Francis and Martinucci aren't all Batavia has going for them this season, Brasky said.

"Jake Humes is shooting the ball well for us," Brasky said. "Luke Grammatico is doing a lot of nice things for us. He hit a big three in the corner there when they're making a little bit of a run. So you know, they do some things on the court that don't maybe necessarily show up on the scoreboard but did their part.

"We've got like eight-man rotation going right now and they're part of their rotation and it's important that they can get (Andrew) Francis and Caeden and McFollins some rest."








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December 29, 2018 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, news, elba, oakfield-alabama.


The Elba Lancers stepped on the gas in the final two minutes of their championship game in the Lions Tournament, smaller schools' bracket, against Oakfield-Alabama for a 69-61 win.

The intense play of Colton Dillon (top photo), tournament MVP, and Jon Boyce overcame a 30-point performance by Joey Burdick for the Hornets.

Dillon scored 18 points and Boyce scored 17. 

This was Dillon's third game back after missing the start of the season with an injury. He may have been the difference maker Friday night.

"He's such a dynamic athlete," Coach Ciaci Zambito said. "I mean the things that he can do you really can't coach. I'm super lucky to have a kid like that. The other thing is, he is one of the hardest working kids I've ever even been around or let alone coached. You've got to kick him out of the gym every day and on Sunday mornings. He will text me tomorrow morning asking to get in the gym. I can guarantee that."

Boyce, who has the big man on the court in Dillon's absence, said having Dillon back is one more piece of team chemistry that keeps the unit rolling.

"This is a team sport," Boyce said. "You can't do it by yourself. Every night, sharing the ball, taking care of each other you always. It's not just one person that can do it all. We're all fighting. We all know our role. Coach talked a lot about roles before the game. The whole season he's been preaching it. We all know our role."

Zambito gave O-A Coach Ryan Stehlar and the Hornets a lot of credit. He knew they would be a tough matchup and he had to have his guys ready.

"We really needed to match their intensity tonight," Zambito said. They play real hard and that's a testament to their coach. When we play Oakfield, we always know that we're going to get their best shot. He always has them ready to go.

"The second thing, as far as a scheme goes, we needed to get back in transition. They push the ball really well even after makes, which is rare for a high school team. They really get down the floor well. So we needed to come back and be ready to play defense."

Besides Burdick's big night (he hit five three-point shots), Travis Wiedrich scored 14 points for O-A.

Elba outscored the Hornets 22-13 in the final quarter. 





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December 29, 2018 - 2:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba.

Brynn Walczak had a big night for the Elba in girls basketball against Perry, leading a second-half rally that secured a 61-40 victory for the Lancers.

Walczak scored 23 points, hitting 10 of 15 shots and pulling down seven rebounds.

Coach Tom Redband said she "brought a lot of energy" in the second half.

Leah Bezon had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Maddie Muehlig scored eight points and also stole the ball from opponents seven times.

For Perry, Chelsea Pascoe also had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Lily Jaques scored 10 points and Auburn Milholien scored eight. 

“Our first two quarters were competitive," said Perry Coach Courtney Bell. "We executed and worked hard to keep it close. Once we lost steam it was hard to close the point gap. We played a good game and need to keep our level of play high.”

In other Friday games in girls basketball: 

  • Alexander 50, Wilson 48
  • Oakfield-Alabama 47, Cal-Mum 35
  • Pembroke 60, Rochester Academy 35
  • Le Roy 46, Byron-Bergen 43
  • Pavilion 50, Barker 40
  • No report available for the Notre Dame game.


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