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May 12, 2022 - 10:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, baseball, sports.

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Oakfield-Alabama (10-2) beat Webber High School on Wednesday, 8-3.

Colton Yasses pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out 12, to pick up the win.

He also had two hits, scored a run and drove in a run.

Kyle Porter had two hits in two ABs and a walk, also scoring once and driving in a run.

Brayden Smith was 2-3 and scored twice.

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.

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May 8, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, baseball.

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Oakfield-Alabama beat Royalton on Saturday 15-8.

Colton Yasses went 4-5, driving in four runs and scoring twice.  Bodie Hyde was 3-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored.  Kyle Porter had two hits in five ABs and scored twice.  Brenden Westcott collected three hits in five ABs and drove in four runs.

Porter was the winning pitcher, going 6 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and seven runs, but only three were earned. He struck out 8.  Yasses finished out the game with an inning and two-thirds work giving up three hits and an unearned run.  He K'd two.

In other baseball action: Elba Lancers lose to Northstar, 10-3

Photos by Kristin Smith.

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April 30, 2022 - 6:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, baseball, oakfield-alabama, byron-bergen.

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Colton Yasses tossed a five-inning no-hitter today to help lead Oakfield-Alabama to a 13-0 victory.

He struck out 14 of the 15 batters he faced. 

Yasses was also 2-4 at the plate, scoring two runs.

Kaden Cusmano also had two hits. He also knocked in three runs and scored a run. 

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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April 30, 2022 - 12:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, baseball.

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The Oakfield-Alabama Hornets shut out Attica in baseball on Thursday for a 6-0 victory.

The Hornets notched 14 hits with catcher Aiden Warner going for 4-4. Colton Yasses was 2-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Bodie Hyde also had two hits.

Hyde tossed a complete game (seven innings) shutout, striking out 13 batters and giving up only two hits. He walked to batters.

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.

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April 23, 2022 - 6:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, oakfield-alabama, Notre Dame.

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Notre Dame beat Oakfield-Alabama in high school baseball at Dwyer Stadium today, 8-4.

The winning pitcher was Ryan Fitzpatrick, who worked all seven innings giving up five hits and one earned run while striking out 11.

For the Irish, Colin McCulley, Gavin Schrader, and Fitzpatrick all had two hits each and Fitzpatrick knocked in three runs while scoring twice.

For the Hornets, Bodie Hyde and Gaige Armbrewster each had two hits.  Hyde drove in four runs. He was also the starting pitcher and took the loss.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here,

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March 25, 2022 - 11:38pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, oakfield-alabama, drop-outs, education, notify, schools.

New York State’s high school drop-out rate has declined in recent years, to an all-time low of 5.6 percent, USAfacts.org says.

Still, nobody wants to see students drop out, even if it’s only one or two, as is the case at Oakfield-Alabama Central, Superintendent John Fisgus said during the district’s recent board meeting.

“We hate losing these kids at the last minute. They usually drop out by 17, as a junior, and they only have one year to go,” he said. “We want to see these kids leave with a high school diploma.”

He consulted with other school districts, including Batavia City Schools and Pembroke Central, about setting a legal drop-out requirement to age 17 for Oakfield-Alabama’s district, which has a legal age of 16 currently. The feedback from both schools led him to his proposal to the board: raise the legal drop-out age to 17.

“There were no negatives,” Fisgus said. “The board has the right to make it 17.”

A board member asked how many students this change would affect, and the answer was “maybe one or two.” But, according to the American Psychological Association, dropouts face “extremely bleak economic and social prospects” from not having a high school diploma. National statistics from 2012 showed more than 1 million high school students not graduating and earning that prized diploma. 

Those dropouts, compared to high school grads, are also less likely to find a job and earn a living wage, APA.org stated. 

“Poverty and dropouts are inextricably connected in the three primary settings affecting healthy child and adolescent development: families, schools and communities,” it stated.

Batavia City Schools not only has the higher age limit but also recently touted a 96 percent graduation rate and various educational and career-related activities being offered to upper-level high school students. Pembroke’s graduation rate is 92 percent, and both are higher than the state’s average of 86 percent. August 2021 data reported Oakfield-Alabama’s rate to be 86 percent. 

The remaining districts in Genesee County include Alexander Central, at 95 percent; Byron-Bergen at 98 percent; Elba at 80 percent; Le Roy at 90 percent; and Pavilion at 83 percent.

Lake Shore High School in Erie County made a move similar to Oakfield-Alabama in 2020, citing an 11 percent dropout rate. The school board adopted a new policy that would force students to remain in school until the end of the year in which they turn 17. The only exception is if they have a full-time job.

New York State law was revised in 2019 to extend the option, initially open to larger cities such as Buffalo and New York City, to rural and suburban districts. State law also exempts students who have full-time jobs.

Should Oakfield-Alabama’s board approve this policy change — something that “affects students and families to this extent” — families would be notified through ParentSquare, the district’s communication platform, Fisgus said. 

Board votes can take a while, however, since the group is entitled to up to three readings of a policy before taking a vote. This particular policy change has an expected timeline of approval in April, he said.

“We discussed it as an administrative team, and I am in full support of such a change moving forward,” he said.

March 25, 2022 - 8:08am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, capital project, oakfield-alabama, notify.

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Out of all the exciting upgrades and renovations happening at Oakfield-Alabama School District, it’s perhaps the middle-high school revamp that will be of most importance.

The Lewiston Road school hasn’t exactly stood out to folks up to now, Superintendent John Fisgus says.

“We really need a front entrance at the middle-high school. We're going to have a huge lighted sign out front that says Home of the Hornets, so it'll be branded, where you can't miss it. If you've never been to our campus, it's hard to find. So we wanted to really make it welcoming and obvious to people when they pull in here, where the front entrance of the Middle-High School is,” Fisgus said Thursday to The Batavian. “We’re excited about all this work —- Currently, right now they're in the process of demo’ing the front entrance to our Middle-High School. It is a mess, but it's progress.”

That “progress” is part of a $15.3 million capital project approved by district voters in 2020. After nailing down the blueprints, contractors and plan of action, the work has been evolving at both the elementary and middle-high schools, with a completion date of this August.

The district’s goals were to improve safety and security at the schools, meet building codes and Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, complete mechanical and electrical infrastructure, and landscape upgrades. 

District officials presented the plan as a “tax neutral” project, due in large part to state aid, with remaining costs paid for with capital reserves money. All of the dirt, commotion and periodic disruption from equipment will be worth it in the end, Fisgus said. 

“We are redoing our Middle-High School main office, the guidance and mental health suites, we're redoing the front entrance here, to make it a more secure vestibule. All of the windows in the middle-high school building are being replaced with tinted windows and brand new frames and colors. So it's not the old green 1950s stuff.

“A majority of the work has been completed at the elementary school,” he said, including cafeteria, stage and kitchen redesign and reconstruction and a new main office area with a secure vestibule and entrance so that visitors will remain behind a locked door once buzzed into the building. 

“There are still some minor things that, whether we're waiting on warm temperatures to finish the front entrance, or that we redid the elementary cafeteria and some of the flooring needs to wait to be done over the summer because it's a major project,” he said.

Bleacher replacements, a gym divider and acoustic improvements in the gym and reconstructed toilets in the fifth-grade wing, a repositioned playground with newly graded mulch, borders and rubber mattings, a reconfigured front campus parking lot and a new student drop-off and bus loop will complete the elementary school’s phase one scope of work.

How about some brand new, resurfaced and repainted tennis courts? They're outback, with a new basketball court. An atrium wall of windows with skylights and district branding will complement a safer entranceway for the middle-high school as well. In addition to the new welcome sign will be labeled for other community sites, such as the entrance to the aquatics area. 

Much of the work wasn’t about want, but about need, Fisgus said.

“The big thing was to increase the security,” he said. “It's construction and there's a lot of vehicles here and a lot of supplies and materials, but, it's moving right along. And we're happy with the work being done. It's intrusive, but, you know, it'll be great once it's completed.”

Top photo:  Art Teacher Kim Leupold puts the finishing touches on a mural created by students at Oakfield-Alabama Central School on Lewiston Road (Route 63).  The mural is on a temporary wall in a hallway next to the new main office for the Middle-High school. 

Photos by Howard Owens.

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District Superintendent John Fisgus holds renderings of exterior building designs.

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Construction in progress for the Middle-High school’s new main office.

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Newly resurfaced and painted tennis courts are part of O-A's capital project.

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The remodeled elementary school cafeteria is ready for hungry youngsters.

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Oakfield-Alabama Elementary School Principal Lynn Gehlert shows the new -- and more secure -- entryway for the elementary school.  

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An expanded parking lot at the Middle-High School allows more room for visitors.

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In addition to new stage lights in the auditorium, the rigging system has been upgraded.  Work will begin to replace the stage after the annual musical.

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The new Nurse's Office in the elementary school

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Acoustic tiles in the ceiling of the remodeled cafeteria in the elementary school will help dampen sound.

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The new bus lot for pick-up and drop-off is exclusively for buses during those designated periods, and it also serves as an overflow lot for special events at the school when buses are not transporting students.

Oakfield-Alabama's $15.3 million capital project is in full swing, with a completion date by this fall.

March 10, 2022 - 4:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, oakfield-alabama.

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After a good run in 2021-22 that saw them secure another Section V title, the Oakfield-Alabama Hornets came up short in their attempt to make it to the state championships with a loss to Avon on Wednesday, 56-43.

No stats are available from the game.

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.

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March 6, 2022 - 5:49pm
posted by Press Release in oakfield-alabama, news.

Press release:

Nominations are currently being accepted for this year’s induction class of the Oakfield-Alabama Alumni Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding OACS alumni who have achieved distinction in their lives and chosen field after high school through significant contributions to their career, community, or personal achievements.

If you know a person who meets the following criteria, please consider nominating him/her for this prestigious honor:

  1. Nominees must be graduates of OACS or one of its predecessors or have been active in school classes and activities during their senior year. (Nominees who left school while in good standing to perform military service are also eligible. Deceased alumni are not eligible for induction until the fifth anniversary of the year of their death.)
  2. Nominees must have graduated prior to 2007.
  3. Selection is based on achievement after leaving OACS which includes a worthy record in more than one, and exemplary achievement in at least one of the following categories:
    • Job-related achievements
    • Professional honors and awards, professional affiliations, publications
    • Civic or community involvement
    • Personal achievements/accomplishments
    • Positive impact on the communities in the Oakfield-Alabama school district

Anyone may submit a nomination for any person meeting the criteria stated above. Nominations must be made during the nomination period only (March 1 – May 15) by using the Online Nomination Form or the PDF Nomination Form (see link below). Electronically submitted nominations are strongly preferred over mailed-in, hardcopy nominations.

Access the Online Nomination Form here.

March 5, 2022 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, basketball.

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The Oakfield-Alabama Hornets had little trouble with Lyons at Victor Hight School on Friday on their way to a Section V Class C2 championship.

Final score: O-A 55, Lyons 29.

Kam Cusmano scored 18 points for the Hornets, with Gaige Armbrewster scoring 13 and Kaden Cusmano scoring 10.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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March 1, 2022 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, basketball.

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Oakfield-Alabama turned on the jets in their Class C2 sectional semifinal, running away from cross-county rival Pembroke for a 61-31 victory.

For the Hornets:

  • Gaige Armbrewster, 18 points, five rebounds, eight assists
  • Kam Cusmano, 12 points, four rebounds, three assists
  • Kaden Cusmano, 11 points 10 rebounds, four assists, three blocks
  • Kyle Porter, eight points
  • Jordan Schlagenhauf, seven points

For the Dragons, Tyson Totten scored six points and Cayden Pfalzer scored five.

The Hornets are now 21-1 on the season.

"Getting to this point in the season is something special," said O-A Head Coach Ryan Stehlar. "You have to make the most of your opportunities and I felt we did that tonight against a very good team.  Coach (Matt) Shay is a great coach and prepares his teams so well.  We had to be locked in defensively from the start.  The boys made that their main priority.  I loved the energy they brought and the focus they had on both ends of the floor.  The crowd and support at GCC was fantastic and made for an exciting game.  I can't thank our fans and community enough for their constant support.  We are going to enjoy this game tonight but will need to get back to work tomorrow for the next step."

The next step is against Lyons (21-1) at 7 p.m., Friday, at Victor HS.

Photos by Karly Smith.  For more, click here.

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February 27, 2022 - 4:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, oakfield-alabama.

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Oakfield-Alabama, the #3 seed in Class C2, was upset Saturday by #6 seed Gananda, 47-45 ending the Hornets' hopes of a sectional title in 2022.

Caitlin Ryan scored 15 points and had 10 rebounds along with 5 assists. Brooke Reding scored 10 points, Emma Wray, eight, and Kelsey Schlagenhauf had seven rebounds at three assists.

Photos by Karly and Brayden Smith.

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February 26, 2022 - 9:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, oakfield-alabama.

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The Hornets are moving forward in their quest for a Section V Class C2 title after their win Friday over Kendall, 82-40.

Next up for the #2 seed Hornets (20-1), neighbors Pembroke (15-6, #3) at a time and place to be determined on Monday.

For Oakfield-Alabama:

  • Kam Cusmano, 25 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
  • Gaige Armbrewster, 16 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals
  • Kaden Cusmano, 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
  • Brenden Wescott, 12 points
  • Kyle Porter, 9 points

"I was proud of the focus and effort of the team tonight," said Head Coach Ryan Stehlar. "We went up against a solid team and a great coach in Coach Zimmer.  He always has his boys prepared and ready to compete.  I have all of the respect in the world for him and the program he has built. We will enjoy this victory, but get back to work tomorrow and focus on the next game."

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February 14, 2022 - 9:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, oakfield-alabama.

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After 17 straight wins to start the 2021-22 season, Oakfield-Alabama fell to Wheatland-Chili (15-3) on Friday 62-54.

Kam Cusmano scored 16 points for the Hornets. Gaige Armbrewster scored 13 and Kaden Cusmano scored 12.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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February 7, 2022 - 8:15pm

As a state mask mandate for schools creeps toward its Feb. 21 expiration date, at least one Genesee County school plans to be officially armed.

Oakfield-Alabama Central School has set an emergency Board of Education meeting this week to vote on a resolution regarding masks in schools. The meeting is at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Junior-Senior High School, 7001 Lewiston Road. 

“We’re waiting on a final determination about whether it will be extended or lifted,” Superintendent John Fisgus said to The Batavian Monday. “There’s a lot of advocacy out there …we want some type of end goal in preparation for the possibility for the mandate to be lifted. Our board wants to be proactive. When and if it’s lifted, we will be prepared when it's lifted. Masking will be optional.”

At the beginning of this year, the choice for masking was “split down the middle,” Fisgus said. That has shifted.

“An overwhelming majority want it to be a personal choice,” he said. “I’m not advocating for masks; I’m advocating for personal choice. In the last month or so there’s been a huge movement to lift the mandate and let people decide on their own.” 

The board's resolution reads, in part: “The Board of Education seeks to allow parents and students the freedom to choose whether to wear a mask indoors on school property or on a school bus.” It will give the superintendent the executive power necessary to implement protocols and procedures which allow parents and students the freedom to choose whether or not to wear a mask within and on school property. 

This move also includes the authority to modify school protocols “if the need arises due to future health concerns, emergency situations and/or necessary means for the health and safety of students and school staff alike.”

Oakfield-Alabama was one of eight Genesee County public school districts to sign a letter for New York State Governor Kathy Hochul requesting that each district be granted authority to create and enforce its own COVID-19 rules, rather than being told what to do by the state. 

Batavia City Schools Superintendent Jason Smith sent the letter on behalf of Alexander, Byron-Bergen, Elba, Le Roy, Oakfield-Alabama, Pavilion, and Pembroke school districts. Although there’s been a strong focus on whether or not to wear masks, the letter did not have that emphasis, Smith said. 

“It’s not just about masks, it’s how schools are run,” he said. “I’d say for every 10 emails, at least eight are for local control about the masks, and are strongly opposed to the mask mandate. We’re engaged in conversations, and listening to the parents and to the medical folks. We’ll be ready when the time comes to have a plan.”

The state mandate is set to expire on Feb. 21. Batavia’s Board of Education meeting may be a venue for further discussions, Smith said. It’s set for 6 p.m. Feb. 17 at Batavia High School’s library, 260 State St., Batavia. 

In other school news, Le Roy Central and Pembroke Central school districts have board meetings this week. Le Roy’s meeting is at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Wolcott Street Elementary School memorial auditorium and includes a budget presentation for the 2022-23 school year.

Likewise, Pembroke’s agenda includes a budget presentation for its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Jr/Sr High School Library Media Center, routes 5 and 77 in Corfu.

February 6, 2022 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, oakfield-alabama.

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Oakfield-Alabama beat Lyondonville in girls basketball on Saturday, 68-34.

Scoring for O-A:

  • Makena Reding, 12 points,  five assists, three steals
  • Kelsey Schlagenhauf, 11 points, 11 rebounds, nine steals   
  • Caitlin Ryan, 11 points 11 rebounds,  five steals, three blocks
  • Alea Groff, 11 points, six rebounds
  • Brooke Reding, 10 points
  • Emma Wray,  six points

Also in girls basketball on Saturday, Alexander beat Wheatland 68-12

In boys basketball, Byron-Bergen lost to Wheatland-Chili, 61-52

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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February 4, 2022 - 6:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Alexander, oakfield-alabama.

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Oakfield-Alabama beat Alexander in girls basketball on Thursday night, 55-49.

For the Hornets:

  • Caitlin Ryan   13 points., 8 rebounds
  • Brooke Reding    13 points., 7 assists, 3 steals
  • Makena Reding   10 points., 2 steals
  • Kelsey  Schlagenhauf   9 points., 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists

For the Trojans:

  • Riley Powell  14 points.
  • Natalie Whitmore  13 points.
  • Melanie Pohl  10 points.
  • Emma Kramer 10 points

"This was an incredibly well played high school game, said O-A head coach Jeff Schlagenhauf. "Both teams played at a very high level. This was a great win for our kids. Marcia's teams are  extremely well coached and they play hard from start to finish. I think the largest lead tonight was 6 points."

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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February 3, 2022 - 3:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, oakfield-alabama.

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And now they're 15-0.

Oakfield-Alabama's flawless season in boys basketball rolled forward on Wednesday with a 69-39 win over Holley.

Stats:​

  • Kam Cusmano, 24 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks
  • Gaige Armbrewster, 16 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists
  • Kyle Porter, 8 points
  • Kaden Cusmano, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks

Also on Wednesday in boys basketball:

  • Pavilion beat Keshequa, 62-37
  • Byron-Bergen beat Elba, 69-64
  • Le Roy lost to Geneseo, 52-40
  • Notre Dame beat C.G. Finney, 76-49
  • Pittsford-Sutherland beat Batavia 50-48. Carter McFollins scored 14 points, Javin McFollins and Sawyer Siverling has 11 each.

In girls basketball, Le Roy beat Letchworth, 51-30

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more click here.

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January 28, 2022 - 7:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, oakfield-alabama, byron-bergen, video.
Video Sponsor

Oakfield-Alabama continued to run the table in the 2021-22 hoops season -- they're now a perfect 13-0 -- with a 69-51 win over Byron-Bergen at home on Thursday night.

Kam Cusmano scored 19 points for the Hornets, while Kyle Porter scored 18, and Gaige Armbrewster scored 13.

For the Bees, David Brumsted scored 13 and Colin Martin scored 12.

Also in boys basketball on Thursday,

  • Elba beat Holley 50-29
  • Notre Dame beat Attica 64-60
  • Pembroke beat Lyndonville 69-33
  • Pavilion fell to Mount Morris 53-44

There were no local girls'd basketball games on Thursday.

January 13, 2022 - 1:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, oakfield-alabama.

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The Oakfield-Alabama Lady Hornets are no longer among the undefeated after being defeated Wednesday by the Elba Lady Lancers 42-38.

For Elba, Dakota Brinkman scored 10 points and both Laci Sewar and Adrianna Long scored nine points. Long hit a pair of three-point shots.

For O-A, MacKena Reding scored 11 points and Alea Groff scored 10.  Kelsey Schlagenhauf scored seven points to go along with 13 rebounds. Caitlin Ryan had 12 rebounds.

The Hornets are now 10-1 and Elba is 5-4.

In other girls basketball games:

  • Pavilion beat Notre Dame 52-26. For Pavilion, Karlee Zinkievich scored 16 points, Lauren Kinglsey, 15, along with nine rebounds, eight blocked shots, and five steals. Shea Amberger had a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
  • Lyndonville beat Alexander 65-61. 

In boys basketball:

  • Batavia fell to Brockport, 51-41. For Batavia, Javin McFollins and Tanner Mountain each scored 12 points.
  • Le Roy beat Letchworth 58-37

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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