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rotary tournament

Cal-Mum picks up third Rotary Tournament title with 46-40 win over Pembroke

By Howard B. Owens
rotary tournament

For the third time in tournament history, Cal-Mum captured the Rotary Tournament crown on Thursday with a 46-40 win over Pembroke.

It's the first time the championship game did not include Batavia or Notre Dame (Notre Dame has won 15 times and Batavia has won nine, with Pavilion picking up the crown once).

For Cal-Mum, Halee Nickerson scored 14 points and was named tournament MVP. Shea Drazkowski scored 16 points.

For Pembroke, Peyton Liss scored 22 points.

Besides Nickerson, filling out the all-tournament team: 

  • Jaimin Macdonald, Batavia 
  • Nina Bartz, Notre Dame
  • Ava Amorese, Cal-Mum
  • Peyton Liss, Pembroke     
  • Elle Peterson, Pembroke

Drazkowski received the Ray Shirtz Award.

Photos by Tim Call.

rotary tournament
rotary tournament

Pembroke beats Notre Dame 50-43 in first round of Rotary Tournament

By Howard B. Owens
pembroke notre dame rotary 2023

Pembroke will play for the Rotary Tournament championship on Thursday after knocking off Notre Dame in a first-round game on Tuesday, 50-43.

Elle Peterson scored 15 points, and had five assists and four rebounds to help lead the Dragons to the win in the Girls Basketball game.

Seneca Calderon scored 11 points and had four assists and five rebounds. Jaden Hootman scored seven points. Morgan Conibert scored six and blocked three shots. Regan Schneider grabbed seven rebounds while scoring four points.

For the Irish, Nina Bartz scored 15 points, Emma Sisson, 10, and Sofia Falleti, eight.

pembroke notre dame rotary 2023
pembroke notre dame rotary 2023
pembroke notre dame rotary 2023

Notre Dame prevails over Batavia in Rotary Tournament championship game

By Howard B. Owens
Rotary Baseball Tournament 2023

Pitching dominated in Saturday's nightcap of the annual Batavia Rotary Club Baseball Tournament at Dwyer Stadium, with Notre Dame beating Batavia 3-2 to claim the championship.

Bryceton Berry, the tournament MVP, picked up the win, going seven innings, striking out nine Blue Devils, and surrendering eight hits and two runs.

Batavia's Shawn Kimball took the loss despite giving up only three runs and three hits over six innings.  He struck out six hitters.

Kimball was also the only hitter in the game to pick up two hits.

Earlier in the day, Notre Dame beat Oakfield-Alabama 5-2, and Batavia beat Attica 12-1.

Photos by Kristin Smith except where noted.

Rotary Baseball Tournament 2023
Rotary Baseball Tournament 2023
Rotary Baseball Tournament 2023
Rotary Baseball Tournament 2023
Rotary Baseball Tournament 2023
Rotary Baseball Tournament 2023
Rotary Baseball Tournament 2023
Rotary Baseball Tournament 2023
Rotary Baseball Tournament 2023
Photo submitted by Tom Turnbull
Rotary Baseball Tournament 2023
Bryceton Berry of Notre Dame was selected tournament MVP.  Pictures with Rotary President John McGowan and Tournament Director Tom Turnbull.
Photo submitted by Tom Turnbull.

New trophy, same hard ball excitement on tap for annual Rotary Tournament on Saturday

By Howard B. Owens
Rotary Baseball Tournament 2023
Four standout seniors playing in Saturday's Rotary Baseball Tournament: Bryceton Berry, Notre Dame, Colton Yasses, Oakfield-Alabama, Daniel Bialek, Attica, and Alex Johnson, Batavia.  Photo by Howard Owens.

Tournament Director Tom Turnbull is sticking to "23rd Annual" for the 2023 Rotary Baseball Tournament, even though there have only been 18 champs actually crowned over the two-plus decades since the first game.

Rainouts and two seasons lost to COVID-19 have kept a few names off the championship trophy -- which is new this year (see photo above) after the former trophy filled up with the plaques of previous winners.

Notre Dame's coach, Rick Rapone, at Tuesday's Rotary Club meeting in Batavia, called it the premier tournament in the area that every local baseball player is excited to compete in.

The first pitch Saturday is at 11 a.m. with the battle of the Blue Devils, Batavia vs. Attica.  Game 2 is at 2 p.m. when two hot teams face each other for the second time this season -- Oakfield-Alabama vs. Notre Dame.  Notre Dame is a pitching powerhouse, and the Hornets pack a lot of offensive punch. The last time these two teams met, Notre Dame prevailed.

The championship game is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday.  However, if Attica beats Batavia, the game will be played at 2 p.m. on Sunday because Attica has its senior prom on Saturday night.

Admission is $5 for an adult all-day pass and $3 for a student or senior all-day pass. All proceeds from the tournament will help benefit Batavia Rotary Club charities.

Rotary Tournament comes down to final seconds with Notre Dame holding on for win

By Howard B. Owens


Thursday's Rotary Girls Basketball Tournament championship game was everything hoops fans could hope for -- timely shooting, aggressive defensive, top players playing hard, and a final outcome that wasn't certain until the buzzer at the end.

Notre Dame beat Pavilion 44-43.

"It's been a while since we've had a nail-biter like that," said Tom McCulley, head coach of the Fighting Irish. "You've got two good teams that are well coached and with some players that can do special things and who are competitors, so at the end, you know you never feel comfortable as a coach with a two-point lead with 10 seconds left. It's never over in that situation."

Avelin Tomidy won the tournament's Ray Shirtz Service over Self Award, and the two free throws she made with eight seconds left may have swayed a few judge's votes.  Those free throws gave Notre Dame a four-point lead. If she missed either shot, it may have been a different game. Karlee Zinkievich, who was already having a big night and a bigger second half, hit a three-point shot with four seconds left. The Gophers were out of position to foul to stop the clock on Notre Dame's inbound pass eliminating any hope, how small it might have been, of getting another possession.

"It makes it exciting for the fans and the players and gets my heart pumping a little bit," McCulley said.

Pavilion's head coach Ben Schwenebraten would like to have notched the win, of course, but it was an exciting game.

"We knew it would be tough playing against Notre Dame," he said. "Notre Dame is in our class this year, and they're really tough, so it's a good game. It came right down the end, and we had a chance it just didn't go our way a couple of shots. We missed a couple of shots, missed a couple of box outs, and they finished, so it was a good game."

Schwenebraten said he was proud of how his team overcame a 10-point half-time deficit.

"It's all you hoped for in a game, that you have a chance at the end," Schwenebraten said. "We wanted to battle back and be in the game, and the girls did go right back out in the third quarter and played hard and then we had a chance at the end."

A big reason Pavilion had that chance was the play of Karlee Zinkievich in the second half, who played fearless basketball.

"She's a workhorse," Schwenebraten said. "She drives the bus for us. Once she gets going it helps everybody else out and she really did in the second half. She played great. She was attacking on offense, driving to the basket, taking jump shots, and she made that shot at the end of the game."

The difference maker for Notre Dame on Thursday was Emma Sisson, who was named the tournament MVP.  

"We needed her," Tom McCulley said. "Amelia had a big night the other night, but she's been sick, and it really hit her today. Emma had the opportunities, and she took full advantage of them. I mean, she made big shots, and she drove to the basket, so we started to adjust the game plan a little bit because we couldn't run everything that we needed to run because another one of our starters was out sick. We kind of had to go a little bit vanilla tonight and just run some basic stuff. Emma did a really good job of freelancing and getting to the basket and getting us some big layups at some big times."

Notre Dame is now 7-1 and Pavilion is 6-2.

Notre Dame scoring: 

  • Emma Sisson, 23 point
  • Amelia McCulley, 10 points and four rebounds and four steals
  • Avelin Tomidy, eight points, nine rebounds and nine steals

Pavilion scoring:

  • Lauren Kingsley, 16 points
  • Karlee Zinkievich, 15 points
  • Kylie Conway, eight points

In the consolation game earlier in the evening, Pembroke beat Batavia 45-41.  

Pembroke scoring:

  • Karli Houseknecht: 13 points, 4 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals
  • Elle Peterson: 11 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals
  • Olivia Breeden: 8 points, 1 assist, 4 rebounds, 3 steals

Photos by Howard Owens.  For more, or to purchase prints, click here.












Emma Sisson was named tournament MVP. The all-tournment team was Anna Varland, Batavia, Karli Houseknecht, Pembroke, Amelia McCulley, Notre Dame, Lauren Kingslee, Pavilion, and Karlee Zinkievich, Pavilion. Avelin Tomidy received the Ray Shirtz Service Above Self Award.


Rotary Tournament Pavilion defeats Batavia 49-35

By Howard B. Owens


Pavilion improved to 6-1 on the season with a 49-35 win over Batavia in a first-round game of the 33rd Annual Batavia Rotary Club Basketball Tournament.

Karlee Zinkievich scored 22 points for the Gophers. Lauren Kingsley scored 17.

For Batavia, Anna Varland and Jaimin Macdonald scored 11 points each.

It was the eighth loss for the Blue Devils this season.

Pavilion faces Notre Dame in the tournament's championship game on Thursday at GCC at 7:45 p.m.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photo by Steve Ognibene






Notre Dame 62-19 vs. Pembroke in 33rd Annual Rotary Tournament

By Howard B. Owens


Amelia McCulley scored 31 points to lead Notre Dame to a 62-19 win over Pembroke in a first-round game of the 33rd Annual Batavia Rotary Club Basketball Tournament at GCC on Tuesday.

Emma Sisson scored 14 points for the Irish, and Avelin Tomidy scored eight. Sisson also had ten rebounds and five steals. Tomidy had 11 rebounds and six assists. 

Olvia Breeden scored eight points for the Dragons.

Notre Dame will play in the championship game at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday at GCC.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photo by Steve Ognibene






Batavia Rotary hosting 33rd tournament at GCC tonight and Thursday

By Howard B. Owens


The Batavia Rotary Club hosts its 33rd Girls Basketball tournament at GCC starting tonight with games between Notre Dame and Pembroke and Batavia and Pavilion, with the championship game scheduled for Thursday.

The club held its tipoff luncheon today, introducing the teams at the Arc GLOW facility on Woodrow Road in Batavia.

Notre Dame is aiming to repeat its championship of a year ago, and Head Coach Tom McCulley complimented the Rotary Club on the quality of its tournament.

"This is a great, a great thing you guys put together," McCulley said. "I mean, I know a lot of teams really wanted to get in this tournament, and it's because of this environment and what you guys do, not just the one night or two days at the college, but you're out here for sports. It's a well-run tournament. From the concessions to the award ceremonies to the games to the timing, everything is top notch."

Game one tonight is Notre Dame vs. Pembroke at 6 p.m. Batavia faces Pavilion at 7:45 p.m.  The championship is at 7:45 p.m. Thursday.

Top photo: Karlee Zinkievich, Pavilion, Karli Houseknecht, Pavilion, and Amelia McCulley, Notre Dame (Batavia's team was unable to attend the luncheon).

Photos by Howard Owens.


Note Dame: Tom McCulley, Avelin Tomidy, Maggie Monachino, Maylee Green, Emma Sisson, and Amelia McCulley.


Pembroke: (from right) Head Coach Jamie Johnson, Karli Houseknecht, Isabel Breeden, Elle Peterson, and Assistant Coach Aralyse Johnson


Pavilion: Head Coach Ben Schwenebraten, Lauren Kingsley, and Karlee Zinkievich.

Batavia deals Notre Dame first loss of the season in Rotary Tournament final

By Howard B. Owens


The Blue Devils jumped to an early lead; Notre Dame came charging back but could never pull ahead, leading to a 10-9 victory and the 2022 Rotary Tournament trophy at Dwyer Stadium on Saturday night.

The Fighting Irish were down 8-0 after 2 1/2 frames, then scored two runs in the third, five in the fourth (after Batavia tacked on two more in each of their half of the middle innings to reach 10 runs), one in the fifth, and one in the seventh.

Vincent Graziolplene and Mekhi Fortes each picked up two hits for Batavia. Graziolplene also had two RBIs as did Dan Dombrowski.  Cole Grazioplene scored three runs and Fortes scored twice.

Jesse Reinhart tossed 3 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and seven runs (four earned) and striking out five to pick up the win. 

For Notre Dame, Jay Antinore had three hits and scored twice. Vincent DiRisio was 1-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Gavin Schrader scored two runs and had a hit.  Ryan Fitzpatrick scored twice.

Fitzpatrick was the starting pitcher for Notre Dame and took the loss, giving up four hits and seven runs (three earned). 

Photos by Pete Welker


Vince Grazioplene was selected tournament MVP.













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