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Batavia High Blue Devils

February 29, 2020 - 10:35pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Batavia High Blue Devils, Section V, sectionals, basketball.

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The second-seeded Batavia High Blue Devils rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime before dropping a 63-58 decision against visiting Newark tonight in the quarterfinals of the Section 5 Class B1 boys’ basketball tournament.

A long two-point basket by junior guard Zach Gilebarto with 6.6 seconds left in regulation tied the score at 48-48 and, following a miss at the buzzer by Newark’s Josh Green, the teams moved into the four-minute OT.

The Blue Devils took a 50-48 lead in the opening seconds of the extra period on a layup by senior center Camden White, but it was short-lived as senior guard Dustin Case nailed a three-pointer to put the Reds up 51-50.

Newark went ahead 53-50 on a put-back by senior forward Devin Agosto before Gilberto came through again with another three-pointer to knot things up at 53-53.

Two free throws and a short jumper by Agosto gave the visitors a 57-53 edge but White sank a layup at the 1:20 mark to pull BHS within two.

The Reds made it 59-55 on a pair of free throws by senior forward Blade Case, before Gilberto responded with a three-point play on a driving layup and foul shot to make it 59-58 with 12.9 seconds to play.

Batavia fouled Case who calmly made two free throws to put Newark up 61-58 and, following timeouts by both teams, a three-point shot by senior guard Caeden White bounced off the rim.

A pair of free throws by Green with 1.6 seconds left closed out the scoring and enabled Newark to avenge a 48-47 regular-season loss to Batavia on Feb. 11 in Newark.

In tonight's rematch, Newark took a 14-10 lead after the first quarter -- Camden White scored seven of his game-high 17 points to keep Batavia within striking distance – before Batavia responded to take a 26-22 halftime advantage behind five points each from junior guard Alex Hale and junior forward Stone Siverling.

A pair of three-point shots by Blade Case in the third quarter sparked the Reds to a 36-31 lead as Batavia struggled from the field, hitting just two baskets in the period.

The Newark lead ballooned to 45-35 with 4:22 left in the final stanza before the home team staged a furious comeback.

A free throw by Gilberto and two by Camden White after an offensive rebound made it 45-38. A steal resulted in two more free throws by Gilberto, before Green sank two free throws for Newark to put the score at 47-40 with only 1:06 on the clock.

Batavia wasn’t finished, however, as Gilberto sank a three-pointer from the top of the key to pull his team within four. A free throw by Blade Case made it 48-43 but a corner three by Hale with 25 seconds left gave Batavia life.

Hale committed his fifth foul to stop the clock and the strategy worked when Newark missed at the foul line, giving Batavia another chance and setting the stage for Gilebarto’s clutch basket just inside the three-point line to tie the score at 48-48 and push the contest into overtime.

Gilebarto scored 16, Hale 14 and Siverling nine for Coach Buddy Brasky’s squad, which finished its season at 14-7 and played the final game on the BHS gymnasium floor as a new one is scheduled to go in on July 1.

For Newark, Green led the way with 16 while Blade Case had 14, Agosto 14 and Dustin Case 12.

The seventh-seeded Reds, 12-10, advance to the semifinals against No. 3 Waterloo. The other semifinal match pits No. 1 Geneva against No. 5 Hornell. The semis are scheduled for Tuesday night.

Top photo: Batavia's Zach Gilebarto launches a game-tying long shot with 6.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime.

Photos by Steve Ognibene. To view or purchase prints, click here.

Below,​ Camden White scores inside for Batavia.

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Below, Max Rapone fights for a loose ball.

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Below, Newark's Devin Agosto drives to the basket.

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Below, the Blue Zoo cheering on their Blue Devils.

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Below, Alex Hale gets ahead of the field for a layup.

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Below, faces tell the story as time runs out after a hard-fought game.

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February 28, 2020 - 11:29pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, girls basketball, Batavia High Blue Devils, pal-mac.

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The Batavia High Varsity Girls’ Basketball Team’s season came to an end tonight at the hands of host Palmyra-Macedon, 58-48, in the quarterfinals of the Section 5 Class B1 Tournament.

The Lady Blue Devils battled back from a 15-point deficit to twice climb within six points in the fourth quarter, but were unable to overcome a shaky first half punctuated by foul trouble and the inability to keep the taller Lady Red Raiders from dominating inside.

Fifth-seeded Batavia finishes with a 14-8 record while No. 4 Pal-Mac advances to the next round with a 17-4 mark.

“We made a lot of mistakes. We didn’t get back (on defense),” Batavia Coach Marty Hein said. “We knew we had to press to try to wear them down, to get them into some foul trouble – which did happen, but we didn’t sprint back hard enough and gave up a lot of easy buckets because we just didn’t communicate.”

Hein also pointed to the foul situation, especially the fact that junior point guard Mackenzie Reigle had to sit all but 19 seconds of the second quarter after picking up her third foul.

“The idea was there, but obviously, we got into foul trouble ourselves,” he said. “Kenzie not playing for a whole quarter is not ever going to be a productive thing for us offensively. Actually, that hurt us offensively and defensively.”

Pal-Mac, behind senior forward Andra Savage’s 11 points, took a 29-18 lead into the locker room.

“We put up only 18 points in that first half, and Kenzie only played the first quarter and maybe 30 seconds of the second quarter,” Hein said. “That’s a killer for us.”

The home team upped the advantage to 43-28 late in the third quarter before hot-shooting junior guard Bryn Wormley led a Batavia rally that closed the gap to 45-36. Wormley had 10 of her game-high 25 points in the quarter.

Batavia employed a full-court press at the outset of the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to 45-39 on a free throw and bucket by senior forward Emma Krolczyk, who had all five of her points in the final frame.

The teams traded baskets until a three-point shot by Wormley – her sixth three-pointer of the game – pulled Batavia within 54-48 with 1:18 to play. That was as close as the Lady Devils got, however, as a layup by sophomore forward Ryley Trail and basket by junior guard Sophie Lyko sealed the victory for Pal-Mac.

Reigle, who fouled out in the closing seconds, ended up with six points (below her 15 ppg average) along with five rebounds and five assists, while sophomore guard Jaylene Dersham also had six points. Junior guards Kennedy Kolb and Tess Barone rounded out the scoring with 4 and 2, respectively.

Savage paced Pal-Mac with 17 points while senior guard Katherine Smyth added 12 and Lyke chipped in with 10.

Hein said he was impressed with the quality of the teams at the top of the Class B1. Entering Friday’s action, No. 1 Waterloo and No. 2 Dansville both were at 18-2, while No. 3 Livonia was at 16-4.

“We knew coming in with the teams that were left in the B1 Class, you needed a B-plus to an A performance every night that you were going to come out on the floor,” Hein said. “With the foul troubles and not getting back (on defense), we didn’t do that B-plus performance.”

Despite the loss, the coach said the season was a pleasurable one.

“Overall, I really love how all the girls were working together. It’s the tightest group that I’ve been with. They work together. It’s not just always about friendship; they care about each other on and off the court. It’s probably one of the best groups that I’ve enjoyed working with,” he said.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

From top to bottom -- Tess Barone battles for a rebound; Mackenzie Reigle drives to the hoop; Kennedy Kolb goes for a loose ball; Barone attempts a free throw as Jaylene Dursham looks on; Brym Wormley splits the defense for a shot.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

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June 4, 2019 - 11:17pm

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A four-run third inning capped by Austin Saeva’s two-run single and solid pitching from Kyler Lacarte and Kenny Saunders powered the Le Roy Oatkan Knights to a 5-3 victory over Batavia in a Class B regional qualifying high school game tonight at Dwyer Stadium.

The victory – played before a crowd estimated at 1,100 -- avenges an 8-0 defeat at the hands of the Blue Devils in the title game of the Batavia Rotary Tournament last month and, more importantly, propels the Knights into regional competition on Saturday against Section 6 Class B champion Medina.

Saturday’s game will be played at Lockport High School and is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Le Roy put runners in scoring position against Batavia starter Taiyo Iburi-Bethel in the first two innings but failed to score while Batavia had two on and one out in the second but was unable to cash in as well.

The Knights broke through in the third, however, scoring four times on a pair of hits with two walks and two hit batsmen sandwiched in between.

Shortstop Giovanni Caccamise led off with a single and advanced on a stolen base and passed ball before first baseman Reece Tresco was hit by an Iburi-Bethel pitch. After designated hitter Tim McMullen was intentionally walked to load the bases, Batavia Coach Rick Saunders pulled Iburi-Bethel, moving second baseman Alex Hale to the mound.

Kenny Saunders worked a walk after fouling off three straight 3-2 pitches and Caccamise pranced home with the first run. Hale then hit Tommy Saunders with a pitch to load the bases again and a wild pitch made it 2-0 in Le Roy’s favor.

That was it for Hale and center fielder Andrew Francis came in to pitch. Saeva greeted Francis with a hard shot between third and short, past the drawn-in infield, and the Knights had a 4-0 lead.

Francis then struck out the next two batters and held Le Roy in check until a two-out triple to the gap in right-center by Tresco (who went 2-for-4) plated Tyler Slaven to give the Knights a 5-2 edge.

The Blue Devils scored a run in the bottom of the third as Francis singled, moved to second on an error and scored on Sam Sallome’s sharp single. Lacarte regrouped, however, to retire the next three batters.

Batavia had an excellent chance to cut into the lead in the fourth as Hale singled and advanced on Josh Weis’ infield hit. Francis then hit into a fielder’s choice, putting runners on the corners, before Trevor Zewan drew a walk to load the bases.

Lacarte escaped the jam by retiring what would be the last batter he faced, Sallome, on a first pitch foul pop to Tresco.

Kenny Saunders took the mound for Le Roy in the fifth and, after getting the first batter, gave up an infield hit to Iburi-Bethel, who went to second on an errant throw on the play. He was on third when, with two outs, Hale drilled an RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-2.

Trailing 5-2 in the sixth, Batavia got one-out hits from Francis and Zewan, with another Le Roy error – the Knights’ fourth of the game – putting runners at first and third. Sallome then hit a fly ball to center, scoring Francis, but Zewan was called out for failing to retouch second base on his way back to first after the ball was caught.

Francis set the Knights down in order in the seventh, setting the stage for an exciting finish, despite Batavia’s first two batters going down by a fly out and strike out.

Kenny Saunders had been mixing his fastball and change-up effectively, but lost his control as he walked Jake Humes and Hale.

Pinch-runner Zach Anderson and Hale then executed a double-steal on a 1-1 count to pinch-hitter Nate Ryan. With the tying run at second, Ryan fouled back a 2-2 pitch before popping one up near the third base line. Pitcher Saunders ran over, caught the ball with just the glove hand and then threw the ball and mitt in the air, touching off the victory celebration for the LeRoyans and their fans.

Le Roy improves to 17-4 while Batavia, which outhit the Knights, 9-6, and committed just one error, ends its first-ever Section 5 championship season under Coach Saunders at 14-8.

Story by Mike Pettinella.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

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