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rotary tournament

January 6, 2023 - 10:08pm


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.


January 4, 2023 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in rotary tournament, basketball, Sports, Pavilion, Batavia HS, batavia.


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






January 4, 2023 - 10:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in rotary tournament, Sports, Notre Dame, pembroke, basketball.


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






January 3, 2023 - 6:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sports, basketball, rotary tournament, Batavia Rotary Club, batavia.


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.

May 15, 2022 - 10:51pm


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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