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Friday, February 14, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Laurie Call, first player in Notre Dame history with 400 steals in basketball

post by Howard Owens in basketball, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

We were remiss earlier this week in not posting about Laurie Call of Notre Dame reaching a significant basketball career milestone -- her 400th steal. She's the first player in Notre Dame history -- boys or girls -- to reach 400 steals. Pictured with Laurie are her parents Tim and Dawn.

Photo submitted by Tim Call.

Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:33 am

Knights give Cal-Mum a fright but let game slip away in closing seconds

post by Howard Owens in basketball, high school sports, Le Roy, sports

Le Roy almost pulled off an upset against archrival Cal-Mum on Wednesday night.

But there's no almost in basketball. And there are no moral victories.

"They played good," said Rick Rapone, Le Roy's first-year head coach. "But you've got to play 32 minutes. You can't play 31 minutes and 50 seconds. You've got to play it the whole way out."

With the score knotted at 57, the Red Raiders took possession of the ball with less than 20 seconds left on the game clock.

It only took a couple of passes to get the ball to a wide open Chris Wilson just beyond the arch. His three-point swoosh gave Cal-Mum the lead with only 4.8 seconds left.

Three points is a big deficit to erase with only a few ticks to go and the Oatkan Knights were forced to settle -- no matter how well the game was played for 31 minutes and 50 seconds -- with a 60-57 loss.

"I told the kids I'll feel good when we finish one of these games off," Rapone said. "We've got to play 32 minutes."

Le Roy finishes the regular season with a 7-11 record and will open sectional play Feb. 18 against Bath-Haverling (8-10).

An upset over the 17-1 Red Raiders would have given Rapone's program a nice boost, but he still feels good about his team heading into the championship rounds.

The Oatkan Knights under Rapone play a fast-paced offense and pressure defense that should give a lot of teams fits.

"You really don't want to play us," Rapone said.

"Our program is going in the right direction," Rapone said. "We have gotten better every single week since I started and we're hoping now this catapults us into the tournament."

The Knights certainly had Cal-Mum's Dan Dickens pulling at his collar in the second quarter and the Raider's fans on the visitors' side of the bleachers grumbling, "we're better than this."

With the Raiders down by a dozen points in the second period, Dickens called a time out, sat his starters down and gave them a good tongue lashing.

A Raider's fan told another, "they deserve it."

But it's hard to stop a hot hand and Knights certainly had that going for them in the first half, dropping six three-point shots (compared to none in the second half).

As the second quarter wound down, Cal-Mum cut Le Roy's lead to two points and the second half would be a battle with neither team gaining a clear advantage until those fateful closing seconds.

"We held them to 60 points," Rapone said. "I don't think they've been held to 60 points very many times this season."

Zack Moore led the Knights with 20 points, including two threes, and going four of six from the foul line. Nick Egling had 10 points, including a pair of threes in the first quarter. Mike McCullen was four of five from the foul line and finished with six points. Ethan Witkowski and Kody Lamkin had seven points each.

Kurtis Haut and Will Van Auken had 18 points each for Cal-Mum and Chris Wilson scored 13.

For Le Roy, Lamkin had eight rebounds and Moore had seven. Steve Cappotelli and Moore each had three assists.

For Cal-Mum, Van Auken was a monster on the boards with 13 rebounds. He also blocked four shots.

To purchase prints, click here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

Notre Dame tops Wheatland-Chili for eighth-straight Genesee Region League crown

post by Nick Sabato in basketball, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

Around Christmastime, things were looking bleak for the Notre Dame basketball team.

In a span of 10 days, the Fighting Irish had their 70-game Genesee Region League winning streak snapped by Wheatland-Chili, and then they were beaten by Batavia in the Lions Club Tournament final.

Chances of winning their eighth consecutive G-R League title looked to be slipping away. But since the new year, Notre Dame has gone 9-1 and a win on Senior Night against the very same Wildcat team that had pounded them earlier in the season would give them a share of the league championship.

Just like in the past 10 games, Notre Dame responded to adversity and defeated Wheatland-Chili to tie them for the league crown, 74-57.

“We are playing better now,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone of his team’s progress. “At that time we were still struggling as a team, but now I think we have found our identity.”

The first quarter was marred by fouls, as both teams struggled to find a rhythm offensively.

Wildcats star guard Rodney Roberts managed 11 points in the first quarter, nine of which came from the foul line, but it was Notre Dame who led 17-15.

The Fighting Irish came out hot to start the second quarter, scoring the first seven points of the frame.

Tim McCulley began to go to work at that time, scoring eight Notre Dame points in a row.

“He just takes what’s there,” said Rapone of McCulley. “If you give it to him he takes it, if not he gives it to somebody else. He just does so many things well.”

Wheatland-Chili managed stay close, using the three-point line to their advantage and knocking down four triples in the quarter to cut the deficit to five at halftime.

The third quarter started as a shoot-out between stars.

McCulley scored 13 of his game-high 36 points in the quarter, while Roberts matched him with 13 of his 30 points on the night.

Then toward the end of the quarter McCulley got some help from his friends.

The Fighting Irish finished the quarter on a 10-2 run to pull away. A big factor was senior Alec Covel, who scored eight of his 13 points in the second half to give the Irish a second scoring punch.

“Alec is real good ball player,” Rapone said. “In the last couple of games he’s really found himself. That’s what we need going forward.”

One factor in the early season win by Wheatland-Chili was the play of forward Andre’ Gulley, who dominated with 18 points and 24 rebounds.

Notre Dame also played without big man Caleb Nellis in that contest, and first-year senior Charlie Herbert had little experience at the time.

Two months seemed to do the trick, as Nellis scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Herbert added four points and nine rebounds.

Meanwhile, Gulley was held in check all evening, managing only four points and six rebounds before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.

McCulley was also superb in every aspect of the game, adding 12 rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks to go with his 36 points as Notre Dame (15-3) appears to peaking as they head into sectionals.

“I told them before the game that starting tonight, it’s about winning,” Rapone said. “The rest of the time it’s about getting better, but now it’s about winning. We needed to win to win the league tonight. Now we need to win to keep playing.”

Roberts added six rebounds to go along with his 30 points, while cousin Tyler Roberts connected on four three-pointers and scored 16 points for Wheatland-Chili (15-3).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 8:23 am

Vescovi drops 37 as Le Roy shocks Cal-Mum

post by Nick Sabato in basketball, high school sports, Le Roy, sports

It’s a game every athlete dreams of.

It’s senior night on the road against your big rival, with sectional implications on the line.

That’s what Le Roy was facing against Cal-Mum…and Montana Vescovi responded by pouring in a career-high 37 points and leading the Oatkan Knights to a comeback victory, avenging an earlier defeat to the Lady Raiders, 62-45.

In their first contest this season, freshman Gillian Flint went off for 25 points in a 5-point Cal-Mum win, and the start of this game appeared as if she was picking up where she left off.

Flint, who has been averaging 20 points per game over her last four contests, scored 11 points in the first quarter as Cal-Mum raced out to a 9-point lead.

Every aspect of Le Roy’s game seemed to be sputtering, as Vescovi only attempted one field goal from the field (a miss) and went 5-of-12 from the foul line in the first frame.

The second quarter was a different story however, as the Knights scored the first nine points to tie the game at 17.

Vescovi also came alive, scoring 10 points in the period, including eight in a row at one point.

“It was a hostile crowd, I told them to just settle down and relax,” said Le Roy Head Coach Brian Herdlein. “I just told my girls that they were going to have a run and they needed to just keep doing what they were doing.”

The Knights clamped down on Flint, holding her scoreless in the quarter, but Cal-Mum junior Hannah Anderson took charge, scoring six points in a row, and Adrianna Molisani buried a three-pointer at the buzzer to take a 28-25 lead into halftime.

But, Vescovi came out firing in the third quarter, scoring 11 points in the frame.

“She’s an exceptional player,” Herdlein said of Vescovi. “She’s always been a scorer, but she’s added to her game. I tell her all the time that there aren’t a lot of people that can stop her. Mentally she came to play and she didn’t want to lose tonight.”

The Knights took a 39-37 lead with 2:39 remaining in the quarter and never relinquished it.

Le Roy held Cal-Mum just four points, and Vescovi scored 11 more points to vanquish their rivals eight miles up Route 5.

Even more impressive, Flint was held to just seven points after her monster first quarter.

“Flint came out on fire,” Herdlein said. “We really needed to have a girl stay on her the whole time and deny her the ball. I think we did a better job of that as the game went along.”

The Knights also got a strong game from senior Alicia Conte, who finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and three steals.

Vescovi’s 37 points puts her just 32 shy of 1,000 for her career, but she was solid in every facet of this game, adding nine rebounds and three steals to her stat line.

This win was not just important because of the rivalry, but because the win guarantees Le Roy (9-8) the fourth seed in Class B2 and one more home game.

“This was huge for us,” Herdlein said. “Any time you can play in this kind of environment, it gets you ready for that sectional environment. It’s always rough, you have to play four quarters and that’s what we had to do tonight.”

Flint finished with 18 points and six rebounds for Cal-Mum (11-7), while Anderson added 14 points and nine rebounds.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Baseball sign-up dates announced for Batavia Minor Leagues

post by Billie Owens in announcements, sports

Registration for Batavia Minor Leagues baseball will be inside the Batavia Country Mall, outside of Sunny's Restaurant, on the following dates:

  • 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday Feb. 28th
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday March 1st
  • 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday March 7th

Registration fee is $50 due at time of sign-up. The fee will increase to $75 for any player registered after March 7th.

Monday, February 10, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Batavia Ramparts win silver medals at Empire State games

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Batavia Ramparts, hockey, sports, youth sports

The T.F. Brown's Squirt III Batavia Ramparts Hockey Team garnered silver medals at the Empire State Winter Games held Olympic Center in Lake Placid this weekend.

Batavia was the #1 seed going into the final rounds after winning their first three games. They lost the gold medal round to the Rye Rangers.

Pictured are Head Coach Jeff Bower, Assistant Coach Brian Frieday and players Drew Bower, Vincent DiRizio, Matthew Frieday, Levi Grimm, Zachary Howard, Austin Hunt, Collin Kratz, Chase Pangrazio, Dominic Peracciny, Connor Peterson, Eric Pfalzer, Sean Pies, Jace Rademacker, and Max Tenney.

Photo and information submitted by Robert Grimm.

Friday, February 7, 2014 at 11:09 am

Le Roy track star signs with University of Arkansas

post by Howard Owens in high school sports, Le Roy, sports, track and field

Le Roy track and field standout Ruben Owens, front row center, signed a national letter of intent yesterday to attend the University of Arkansas on a full scholarship.

Owens has won Section V titles in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. In all, for both winter and spring seasons, Owens holds 11 Section V titles.

He holds the school records in the high, long and triple jump.

Information and photo submitted by Tim McArdle.

Friday, February 7, 2014 at 10:26 am

Ramparts representing Western Region in tournament at Lake Placid

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Batavia Ramparts, hockey, sports, youth sports

The T.F. Brown's Batavia Ramparts Squirt III Hockey Team is participating in the Empire State Winter Games, being held Feb. 6 through 9 in Lake Placid. The team posed for a picture prior to lining up for the opening ceremonies at the Olympic Center. They will play four games with a chance to win gold, silver or bronze medals. The Ramparts are the Western Region representative in this invitational tournament.

Information and photo submitted by Robert Grimm.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 12:58 am

Notre Dame dominates Elba to complete season series sweep

post by Nick Sabato in basketball, elba, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

The Notre Dame girls are just one win away from clinching their 11th Genesee Region League title in school history after pounding Elba, 69-37.

The resounding victory also marks the first time that the Lady Irish have swept Elba in league play since the 2010-2011 season.

The Lady Lancers kept things close in the first quarter, but Notre Dame blew the game open in the second, led by Mel Taylor.

Taylor scored 12 of her game-high 24 points in the second quarter as the Irish increased their  seven-point lead after the first quarter to 23 at half time.

“It’s getting down near crunch time,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Pero. “We’re trying to stress that you have to be more aggressive on whatever you do [well]. Mel is a scorer and we want her to try and score as much as possible.”

In the third quarter, junior Emma Francis picked up where Taylor left off, scoring 10 of her 15 points in the frame to put the contest out of reach.

“Emma’s got potential,” Pero said. “She’s starting to believe in herself and it’s a great time to believe. If we have Emma Francis at full-go come sectional time, we’ll be a tough team to beat.”

Taylor was not as terrific scoring the ball, but she had a splendid game overall, adding 11 rebounds, six steals and four assists.

Shea Norton also played strong underneath, scoring 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Laurie Call chipped in with seven steals, six assists and five rebounds for Notre Dame (15-1).

Kelsey Bezon had another solid game in defeat, scoring 14 points and grabbing four rebounds. Haley Brown chipped in with 10 points for Elba (12-4).

Photos by Howard Owens

To purchase prints, click here.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm

McCulley scores 1,000th point as ND tops Alexander

post by Nick Sabato in sports

Only four players in the history of the Notre Dame basketball program have ever scored 1,000 points in their careers.

Make that five.

Tim McCulley added to his already impressive athletic resume by scoring his 1,000th career point Monday night in a victory over Alexander, 52-32.

“People don’t realize how hard it is to score 1,000 points in high school,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. “To get 1,000 points shows that he’s been steady and consistent.”

McCulley joins his uncle, Tom McCulley, Mark Wadams, Jeff Weaver, and his father, Mike McCulley -- who is currently just one point ahead of his son -- in the 1,000-point club.

“It’s a great feeling to have a father and son both play for you and go over 1,000 points,” Rapone said. “There’s something in the McCulley genes that they can all shoot. I’m sure Mike is as proud as any father could be right now.”

The senior guard was just nine points shy of the 1,000 mark at the start of the contest, and he got within a point at the end of the first quarter.

Then just 20 seconds into the second quarter, McCulley caught a back-door alley-oop from Jason Hart to eclipse the hallowed accomplishment.

“It's a great accomplishment,” Tim McCulley said. “Only five players have scored 1,000 points at Notre Dame. I’m just glad to be a part of it. It’s a milestone I never thought I’d hit.”

It was not a superb shooting night as a team for the Fighting Irish, but McCulley still managed a strong outing, finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

“Alexander was physical and played hard,” Rapone said. “They got on the boards and gave us all we wanted.”

Caleb Nellis had a solid night for Notre Dame (12-3), scoring 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Tyler Laird paced Alexander (7-7) with eight points and 15 rebounds.

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