Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Lions Tournament

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

lionstournamentpreview2018.jpg

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 a new 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.

lionstournamentpreview2018-2.jpg

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

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

lionstournopen2017.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

lionstournopen2017-2.jpg

lionstournopen2017-3.jpg

lionstournopen2017-4.jpg

lionstournopen2017-5.jpg

lionstournopen2017-6.jpg

lionstournopen2017-7.jpg

lionstournopen2017-8.jpg

To purchase prints, click here.

December 30, 2016 - 2:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lions Tournament, batavia, Batavia HS, sports, basketball, Notre Dame.

lionstournfinal2016.jpg

In a game that was never really close, the Batavia Blue Devils won the annual Lions Tournament at GCC, beating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 60-29.

Tee Sean Ayala scored 19, despite a cold hand in the first half. He hit four three-pointers over the course of the game.

Antwan Odom, the tournament MVP, scored 14. He hit three threes. 

It was another big game for Notre Dame's Ryan Moffat, who hit three threes on his way to 15 points.

lionstournfinal2016-2.jpg

lionstournfinal2016-4.jpg

lionstournfinal2016-5.jpg

lionstournfinal2016-6.jpg

lionstournfinal2016-7.jpg

lionstournfinal2016-8.jpg

lionsimg_0367.jpg

lionsimg_0376.jpg

December 31, 2015 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lions Tournament, batavia, basketball, sports.

lionshoopsdec302015.jpg

A team coached by Buddy Brasky plays defense, but lockdown all you want, you've still got to score to win games.

The Blue Devils didn't do that very effectively Wednesday night in the Lions Tournament finale at Genesee Community College against University Prep.

The final score, 57-45 in U-Prep's favor.

"They're scoring 80 points a game and we held them in the 50s and we score 40 something," Brasky said. "You're not going to beat good teams scoring 40 something points."

There's no doubt, U-Prep is a good team. The Griffins' feature a 6'4" post player in Jeenathan Williams and an athletic guard in Isaiah Brinkley, and even with schemes designed to limit their scoring opportunities, Williams notched 23 points and Brinkley had 18.

Williams scored 14 points in the second half.

"We tried to lock him up," Brasky said. "Then Brinkley hit a couple of threes against the zone. That was another part of the game plan: Always know where he is, and close out hard on him, and make him put the ball on the ground. But you can't always find him."

For most of the first half, the game looked like it might be all Batavia.

The half ended with the Blue Devils up 12-4. Brasky thought the margin should have been bigger.

"We got that seven-nothing lead and then we missed three little easy chippies inside," Brasky said. "It could have been 15-4 or 18 to 4, so I thought that was a key part of the game right away."

The Griffins' rang up a surprising number of offensive fouls in the first quarter, which kept putting the ball back in Batavia's hands.

"That's one thing we take pride in," Brasky said. "We do take a lot of charges. But specifically for this game, yes, they look to put their head down and attack the paint. We really emphasize stepping in and taking charge and we did. We were hoping that would make them more tentative. I think it did that in the first quarter."

Brasky said he would need to review the game tape to see what changed either in the defense or U-Prep's offensive scheme to see why things turned around so dramatically in the second quarter when the Griffins' outscored Batavia 22-10.

Batavia's offense came primarily from Malachi Chenault, 13, Ryan Hogan, 10, Tee Sean Ayala, eight.

U-Prep's game plan seem to be to deny in the paint and let the Blue Devils fire away from beyond the arc. Batavia has gunners who can hit from that distance, but too few balls dropped in the bucket.

"I think the real story of the game is, we couldn't shoot," Brasky said. "Let's call a spade a spade. I mean, they packed the zone. They know Malachi and Jake are our two biggest weapons and they packed it in and didn't give us many looks. They gave us any shot we wanted on the perimeter and we couldn't hit many of them."

Batavia actually had five three-pointers compared to only two for U-Prep, but it wasn't enough.

In the paint, Chenault once again showed how much his grown since last season as a low post player, good footwork, fighting for position and attacking the glass. Several of his points came on offensive putbacks.

"He's a senior now," Brasky said. "That's number one. He's a three-year starter, and (Jeff) Redband's not here anymore and we need a go-to guy, so, yes, he's stepping up like a senior should. We talked about that in the off-season. He really worked hard on his game and he's really producing for us."

Batavia is now 7-1 and U-Prep is 7-3. Both are Class A2 teams, so a sectional meeting come postseason isn't out of the question. Brasky likes his team's chances against the Giffins if they work out the kinks with their shooting.

"We can play with them," Brasky said. "If we make some improvements, I think we can compete with them and I think we can beat them."

All-Tournament Team honors went to Tyler Prospero, Notre Dame, Tommy Mattison, Albion, Chenault, Batavia, Ayala, Batavia, and Brinkley, U-Prep. Williams, U-Prep, was named most valuable player.

lionshoopsdec302015-2.jpg

lionshoopsdec302015-3.jpg

lionshoopsdec302015-4.jpg

lionshoopsdec302015-5.jpg

To purchase prints, click here.

December 30, 2014 - 12:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, high school sports, Notre Dame, Lions Tournament.

For the first time since 2003, the Lions Tournament championship trophy will not be on display in the hallway of a Genesee County school.

After dispatching Batavia in the first round, University Prep ran away from Notre Dame in the 4th quarter of last night's final to clinch the crown in a champion's fashion, 63-49.

In a match-up of a Class A charter school from a populous county against a Class D private school from a rural county, the local team looked for most of the game like they might actually win the game.

But four minutes into the third quarter, a double-digit lead started to slip away after U-prep's guards hit back-to-back threes and the Irish found themselves launching bricks instead of buckets.

"It all started with the missed shots," Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone said. "Once the shots start getting missed, the game gets played at their tempo."

U-prep is a talented and athletic team. After the first round games, Rapone said his team would need to slow the pace of the game down in order to compete, and for 20 minutes, that's what they did.

Notre Dame carried a 29-17 lead into the half.

The Griffins were without three starters, all benched because they missed a practice, said Head Coach Raheem Miller.

"It's all about discipline," Miller said. "To me, you've got to be responsible. I understand things happen and whatever, but you've got to at least call. You don't just not show up."

It was OK, though. Miller still had Isaiah Brinkley at guard, another guard, Quillan Leach-Alexander, and Jeenathan Williams at forward.

Held scoreless in the first half, Brinkley let it up in the second, hitting four threes and scoring 24 points.

Leach-Alexander also hit a quad of treys and finished with a total of 19 points.

Williams, a freshman with some fine athletic moves in the lane and a deft touch from mid-distance, scored 13.

Brinkley was the tournament's most valuable player.

For Notre Dame, Josh Johnson scored 14 points and Caleb Nellis had 10.

Batavia beat Albion 68-31 in the consolution game to finish third in the tournament. Jeff Redband scored 29 points in that game.

Bishop-Timon won the tournament in 2003, and in 2004, Batavia started a tournament win streak that wasn't broken until this year.

To purchase prints, click here.

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2018 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button