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May 11, 2019 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, rotary tournament, video.
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Batavia beat Oakfield-Alabama 5-4 with a bottom-of-the-seventh bunt in an opening round game of the annual Batavia Rotary Club Tournament.

Earlier today, Le Roy beat Notre Dame 8-2.  

Batavia and Le Roy face each other at 7 p.m. in the championship game.

January 4, 2019 - 11:53pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, rotary tournament, basketball, batavia, Batavia HS, notify.

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ROTARY CLUB CHAMPIONS: The Batavia High School Varsity Girls Basketball Team with Rotary Club Tournament trophy, from left, Bella Houseknecht, Kennedy Kolb, Meghan Houseknecht, Ryann Stefaniak, Emma Krolczyk, Jenae Colkey, Bryn Wormley, Mackenzie Reigle, Tess Barone and Haylee Thornley.

It was only fitting that senior Meghan Houseknecht dropped in the winning basket in Batavia High’s exciting 59-57 victory over Wellsville in tonight’s championship game of 30th annual Rotary Club Tournament at Genesee Community College.

Houseknecht was a freshman in the Lady Devils’ basketball program in January of 2016 when her father, well-known Batavia businessman Michael Houseknecht, died at the much-too-young age of 38.

With her mother, sister, grandparents, relatives and friends looking on during the closing moments of a hard-fought battle, Houseknecht, a 6-foot center, gathered in a pass from tourney MVP sophomore guard Bryn Wormley and laid the ball over the rim and through the hoop with :06 on the clock.

When teammate Kennedy Kolb broke up Wellsville’s last attempt to tie the game, Batavia had escaped with its seventh win in eight outings this season.

Batavia Coach Marty Hein relished taking the Rotary Club trophy but said he was doubly proud of the way his squad handled the adversity of losing three starters, including their top scorer, senior guard Ryann Stefaniak, who departed with her fifth foul at the 5:12 mark of the final quarter.

“Looking on the bench, we had a lead, I’m thinking we need defense,” Hein said. “ 'OK, Tess (Barone) go in'; Tess plays hardnosed defense and she did a nice job for us to finish the game. And Kennedy Kolb came through.

“I would have rather had Ryann and Kenzie (Reigle) in the game but it turned out that it was a nice win where everyone contributed down the line.”

He also spoke of the way Wormley has stepped up her game this season – “she’s blossoming and it’s fun to watch,” he said – and called Houseknecht’s late heroics “just rewards.”

“Remembering three years ago, it (her father’s passing) was heartbreaking,” he said. “Meg’s an awesome girl; I love her to death and it’s kind of fitting that she makes the shot to win the game.”

The game was close throughout as the teams were never separated by more than seven points.

Wellsville, now 7-2, was up by seven with two minutes left in the third quarter before Batavia ended the period on an 11-1 run with key hoops by Wormley, Reigle and Stefaniak.

Batavia grabbed its biggest lead, 48-43, on a basket by Wormley to open the fourth-quarter scoring, but Wellsville, which kept Batavia off balance with accurate long-distance shooting, pulled ahead 51-50 with 3:45 to play on a three-point shot by senior guard Taylor Adams.

Wellsville made it 53-50 on a pair of free throws by senior guard Jana Whitehouse, but Wormley responded with a three-pointer at the 2:55 mark to tie it at 53-53.

After a free throw by Wellsville’s freshman guard Marley Adams, Batavia scored four straight on a driving layup by sophomore guard Reigle and two foul shots by Wormley to take a 57-54 edge with 1:06 to play.

A pair of free throws by Adams on separate trips down the floor pulled Wellsville within a point and a free throw by senior guard Quincy Buckley with 15 seconds left made it 57-57.

Batavia inbounded the ball, with senior forward Jenae Colkey managing to escape pressure to get the ball to Wormley, who drove down the left side of the lane before lobbing it in to Houseknecht for the decisive bucket.

“The play was to get the ball to Bryn because she was the facilitator at the point in the game – the person who could either make the right pass or get into position to score,” Hein said.

Houseknecht said she was able to get free underneath by virtue of a screen from Kolb and was able to complete the play.

“When I cut through I saw I had a mismatch as the girl was shorter, and Bryn made a good pass to me,” she said. “I knew when I got the ball that I had to shoot it (right away), and fortunately it went in.”

Ironically, the basket was Houseknecht’s only two points of the game and touched off a wild celebration from the Batavia fans.

“All week we were super-excited to play in the tournament and then after winning on Wednesday (against Caledonia-Mumford) to play in the championship game,” Houseknecht said.

Stefaniak led the Batavia scoring with 19 points – five of them in the closing seconds of the first half to pull her team within two at 29-27 at intermission.

Wormley tallied 16 while Reigle and junior forward Emma Krolczyk, who both fouled out in the game’s closing minute, added 13 and nine points, respectively.

For Wellsville, Buckley led the way with 17 – including four three-point baskets -- and junior center Regan Marsh added 13. All told, Wellsville sank eight three-pointers.

We knew that they were an outside shooting team, we were worried more about Winehouse – and Buckley was popping them,” Hein said. “We knew what we were up against … We didn’t close out soon enough – they were popping.”

Stefaniak, Adams and Buckley made the all-tournament team along with Notre Dame’s Callie McCulley (ND defeated Cal-Mum in the consolation game) while Reigle earned the Sportsmanship Award.

 Photos by Thomas Ognibene. To view or purchase photos, click here.

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May 13, 2018 - 1:21pm

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Batavia High School beat Attica 10-4 in the championship game of the Rotary Tournament on Saturday evening at Dwyer Stadium.

Earlier in the day, Batavia advanced behind the one-hit pitching of Hunter Mazur as Batavia beat Oakfield-Alabama, 7-0.

Jake Humes was the winning pitcher in the nightcap. Humes pitched 5 2/3 innings of no-hit ball before giving up four runs and three hits with two outs in the sixth inning

Tournament MVP was Batavia’s Griffin Della Penna, who went 4 for 7 with five RBIs over the tournament's two games.

Attica advanced to the final by beating Notre Dame 17-1 in a game shortened to five innings. Sam Cusmano picked up the win for Attica.

Thanks to Paul Spiotta for providing the information for the recaps of the games.

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January 5, 2018 - 1:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in rotary tournament, batavia, Notre Dame, basketball, sports, news.

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In a rematch of last year's Rotary Tournament finale, Notre Dame, this time, was the more dominant team, beating Cal-Mum, 43-35.

"We didn't really have an identity early in the season last year and it showed," said ND's head coach Tom McCulley. "They were a mature team and we weren't really there yet. This year I think we probably had the edge maturity."

The star of the game was Stevie Wilcox, who scored 17 points and seemed in command of her game from the start. She was named tournament MVP.

"We were ready to bring it and play as a team and work together because when we do, we're unstoppable," Wilcox said.

The Lady Irish are always tough on defense and McCulley said that's what he saw from his team again, especially in the first half, when Notre Dame held the Lady Raiders to six points. Guard Morgan Rhodes was a big part of that, he said.

"Morgan was steady all throughout," McCulley said. "She got some steals and helped us with ball pressure so we weren't allowing them to get comfortable in their sets, maybe not as quickly as they would like. I think most of the time, when I looked up, by the time Cal-Mum got in their sets there was 16 seconds off the close. I was shocked by that. That puts a lot of pressure on the offense to execute."

Margret Sutherland and Natale Thornton also had big games. Sutherland scored 10 points and Thornton scored nine. Both were a strong presence under the boards.

Callie McCulley added six points.

For Cal-Mum, Elyse Van Auken scored 12 points.

Besides Wilcox at MVP, the all-tournament team was Taylor Gadd, Attica, Ryann Stefaniak, Batavia, Elyse Van Auken, Cal-Mum, Margaret Sullivan, Notre Dame, and Callie McCulley, Notre Dame.

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To purchase prints, click here.

January 4, 2018 - 3:26pm

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It will be Notre Dame and Cal-Mum facing off tonight in the championship match of the Batavia Rotary Club Girls Basketball Tournament.

After Batavia delivered an uninspired performance leading to a loss to the Red Raiders 43-40, the Lady Blue Devils will face Attica in the consolation game at 6 p.m.

NOTE: the games have been moved from Friday night to tonight because of the anticipated cold snap tomorrow.

The Lady Raiders will face a motivated Lady Irish team that had two of the squad's top players both in sync Wednesday night, with Callie McCulley scoring 22 points and Margaret Sutherland scoring 16 to help lead a dominating 64-42 win over Attica. Natalie Thornton added 13 points.

Attica was led by Taylor Gadd with 13 points and Kacey Pearce with 10.

Top scorer Wednesday night was Cal-Mum's Elyse Van Auken, who scored 24 points. Makenzie Wilson scored eight points.

For Batavia, Ryann Stefaniak scored 13 points, Bryn Wormley, eight, and Kenzie Reigle, seven.

Two Batavia players missed the game due to illness.

A newcomer to watch with Batavia is 5' 11" sophomore Emma Krolczyk, who scored six points. 

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To purchase prints of pictures, click here.

January 7, 2017 - 7:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in rotary tournament, basketball, sports, Notre Dame, news.

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Cal-Mum won the annual Rotary Basketball Tournament at Genesee Community College on Friday night with a 51-34 win over Notre Dame.

Gillian Flint of Cal-Mum was the tournament MVP. She scored 20 points in the final.

For Notre Dame, Callie McCulley scored 14 points and Natalie Thornton scored 11 points.

In the consolation game, Batavia beat Attica 61-55 in overtime. For the second game in a row, Ryann Stefaniak scored a season-best point total, after getting 26 on Wednesday; she scored 31 last night.

Stefaniak, along with Notre Dame's McCulley and Margaret Sutherland, were named to the All-Tournament Team.

To purchase prints, click here.

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January 5, 2017 - 10:26am
posted by James Burns in sports, basketball, Notre Dame, Attica, rotary tournament.

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Notre Dame’s Lady Irish met Attica at Genesee Community College for the second game of the Batavia Rotary Club Girls Basketball Tournament. Coming into the game, Notre Dame was the favorite, but very quickly the game was in doubt for them as Attica came off the bench and started strong. By the end of the first quarter, Notre Dame had scored just two points on free throws and Attica led by 13 to 2. 

The second quarter was not that much better, even though Notre Dame tripled the amount of points they scored in the first quarter. Half time began with a score of Notre Dame 6 Attica 17.

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Notre Dame's Head Coach Tom McCulley had a short meeting with his team in the locker room and they returned to the court to get ready for the second half. Whatever he said must have been effective because Notre Dame quickly took control of the game at both ends of the court. They were able to score consistently and shut out Attica’s offense. At the end of three quarters, Notre Dame led 23 to 17. 

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Callie McCully (pictured above) led the scoring in the third for Notre Dame and continued the trend into the fourth quarter, ending the night with 15 points. Attica threatened to come back with a few nice plays but was not able to sustain a rally. Final score: Notre Dame 33 Attica 25.

Notre Dame moves on in the tournament to face Cal-Mum Friday. More pictures of the game are here.

For coverage of the Batavia -- Cal-Mum game, click here.

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January 4, 2017 - 8:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, rotary tournament.

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Notre Dame's Hannah Bowen, Gillian Flint, Cal-Mum, Emily Weber, Attica, and Melissa Mountain, Batavia, are all ready for the annual Rotary Basketball Tournament, which tips off tonight at Genesee Community College at 6 p.m.

Notre Dame's Head Coach Tom McCulley, pictured below, said the annual tournament is a great showcase for girls' basketball.

"It's a great atmosphere," he said.

Marty Hein, Batavia's head coach, said he and his players always look forward to the tournament. 

"It’s just nice to do it right here at GCC," Hein said. "Big gym, big floor, big crowd. It’s just a good time."

Batavia enters the tournament at 2-7, Notre Dame is 4-2, Attica is 4-4 and Cal-Mum is 7-1.

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January 5, 2016 - 4:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Rotary Club, rotary tournament, basketball, sports.

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Batavia High School will face some tough challengers for its Rotary Tournament crown when the annual event tips off tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Genesee Community College.

Always tough Notre Dame, defending Class C champs Cal-Mum and a rapidly improving Attica team will all vie for the crown.

Both Cal-Mum and Attica haven't participated in more than a decade.

Notre Dame's Dave Pero said he anticipates a fun and competitive tournament.

"This tournament brings together some very, very good teams," Pero said. "I’ve seen Cal-Mum and Attica. The competition doesn’t stop. It’s really a great tournament for the middle of the season where it’s almost like a sectional atmosphere. To me, the team to beat is Batavia. This is still their trophy until somebody can beat them. They’re playing very, very well right now. I’m looking for some strong competition and hopefully someone else can walk off with it this year. We’ll see what happens. I know Batavia will be ready."

Game times are 6 and 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday for the consolation game and the championship game.

Pictured are team captains Kierra Perl, Attica, Madison McCulley, Batavia, Rebecca Krenzer, Notre Dame, Adrianna Molisani, Cal-Mum. Back row is Corinne Jones, head coach of the SUNY Brockport women's basketball team, who delivered a few remarks about basketball and life during this afternoon's Rotary luncheon.

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