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Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 8:56 pm

Batavia Bantam Empire Triumphs Over Monroe County - North (2)

post by Jill Franclemont in Bantam Empire, GAHA, hockey, sports
Batavia Ramparts (Bantam Empire) vs. Monroe County Youth Hockey - North (Bantam 2)
 
Saturday, January 10, 8:10pm at Falletti Ice Rink in Batavia
 
Final score: 4-1 Batavia
 
Batavia Goals: James Reardon, assist Eve Murray & Matt Saj; Tom Mellon, assist Scott Tanner; Scott Tanner, assist Nate Hamilton & Issak Ward; Matt Saj, assist James Reardon & Nick Baumler
 
Goalie: Chris Klein
 
Team sponsor: Clark Patterson Lee - Design Professionals
Friday, January 9, 2015 at 5:54 pm

Batavia wins defensive battle to wrest Rotary trophy from Notre Dame

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, Batavia HS, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

In an effort to defeat Batavia's anticipated press in the Rotary Tournament championship game Thursday night, Dave Pero gave his girls a great plan -- quick passes down court to open shooters.

The Fighting Irish got a lot of open shot opportunities in the first half of the game. The part of the plan that didn't work is that too few baskets went through the hoop.

In the end, the Blue Devils prevailed in the defensive battle of rivals, 41-33.

"A game like this is great for us come sectional time," said Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Pero. "We're not going to see a team in our sectional bracket that presses like Batavia, so it's a great lesson we learned tonight of how to handle it."

Pero thought his team handled it pretty well, even mounting a bit of a comeback in the 4th quarter that had to make Batavia supporters a little nervous, but Batavia answered and held off the Fighting Irish charge to avenge defeats in the previous two Rotary tournaments.

"These guys hate me at practice, as hard as we run, but there's a reason," said Marty Hein, Batavia's head coach. "In the second half, and we don't turn the ball over any worse than we do in first half, but we seem to force more in the second half than anybody else. I think that gives us an edge."

Hein tightened his defense during half time, putting more pressure on Notre Dame at half court, which took away passing lanes and made it harder for offensive players to get behind his defenders. It created more turnovers.

Pero said his team was ready and primed for this game, but Batavia just did a little bit better.

"We had a great practice yesterday, perhaps one of the best practices we've had," Pero said. "Did we do a lot with the basketball? We did a little bit. We did a lot of talking. The girls were upbeat. They were responsive. When we got to the locker room upstairs, they were focused. When you get girls that are focused, a team like that, I don't care if they're boys or girls, win or lose, that's when you've got to give them credit for the way they prepared. They were awesome. They were ready for what they were going to give us, we just fell short. Next week is another week."

Hein said he and his team thought they were going to do a lot better.

"We're a little down, because we thought we should play better, myself included, but that's just a credit to them and their coach," Hein said.

Tiara Filbert, Batavia, was tournament MVP and scored 22 points Thursday. No other Blue Devil got into double figures. Essence Williams scored eight.

Shea Norton led Notre Dame with 10 points. Taylor DiMartino and Emma Francis each had eight.

(Filbert and Norton in the top photo)

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Friday, January 9, 2015 at 8:16 am

Genesee County football players honored in All-State awards

post by Howard B. Owens in football, high school sports, sports

The following players were honored for their 2014 season in the New York Sportswriters Association All-State awards.

  • Dom Mogavero, linebacker, Batavia, First Team, Class B
  • Tom Kelso, linebacker, LeRoy First Team Class C.
  • Greg Mruczek, quarterback, Batavia, Second Team, Class B
  • Mike McMullen, quarterback, Le Roy, Second Team, Class C
  • Steele Truax, linebacker, Elba/Byron-Bergen, Second Team, Class C
  • Honorable mentions in Class D: Josh Johnson, Notre Dame; Tyler Laird, Alexander; Zach Shivlock, Alexander; Allen Chatt, Oakfield-Alabama

UPDATED to include Tom Kelso. who was inadvertantly left out of the original post. Apologies to the Kelso family.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Batavia and Notre Dame advance to finals in Rotary Tournament at GCC

Outside the GCC gym last night, the weather was pretty sloppy, but not as sloppy as the basketball game going on inside.

In the second game of the annual Rotary tournament, matching Notre Dame and Alexander, there were turnovers and missed shots and refs who were seemingly calling an inordinate number of traveling penalties and questionable jump balls. 

The final score was 37-22.

"It's was a sloppy game," said Dave Pero, Fighting Irish head coach. "What more can I tell you. It was just a sloppy game."

Pero knows he'll need a better performance out of his girls Thrusday night when they take on the Lady Blue Devils in the tournament championship.

Batavia beat Midlakes 55-32 in the tournament opener.

Notre Dame has taken the previous two Rotary Tournament finals against Batavia, and both coaches said they're ready to lock horns again.

"They'll throw out all the stops and we'll be ready and they'll be ready and it should be fun," Pero said. "I like our chances, but we can't play like we did tonight. But Thursday's another night."

Give the Lady Trojans credit, they pushed hard on defense and even with a team of girls with perhaps an average height of maybe about 5' 4", they managed to pull down quite a few rebounds against a team with three starters over six foot.  In the first half, nearly every trip down the court resulted in numerous second and third chance tries at baskets.  

Unfortunately for Alexander, nothing fell.

"It'ss been like that all year," said Alexander's head coach, Marcia Hirsch. "Our defense has been so good, but we just haven't been able to score."

The loss puts the Lady Trojans, who've managed as many as 50 points just twice this season, at 4-4.

Alexander applied pressure to Notre Dame at half court with some success, but on those rare possessions that resulted in a basket for the Trojans, they used a full court press and Notre Dame seemed out of rhythm all night.

That's pretty much the kind of defense the Irish will see when they meet Batavia in the championship game.

Head Coach Marty Hein said the Blue Devils will use pressure and the team's deep bench to compensate for Notre Dame's height advantage.

“We talked about trying to make that our identity,” Hein said. “We’re not a big team but we’ve got depth this year, so we run, run, run and press. We’re doing it for 32 minutes if we have to do it for 32 minutes.”

Both Alexander and Notre Dame suffered key injuries that disrupted their offenses.  Brett Stephens suffered an ankle injury crumpled to the court in the second quarter. A possession or two later, Emily McCracken fell down in the same exact spot.  Both are being evaluated and are considered day-to-day.

For Batavia, Essence Williams notched a double-double with a game-high 15 points and 11 rebounds, Tiara Filbert added 14 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals. Sam Cecere, recently returned from an injury, scored nine points and added seven rebounds.

Shea Norton and Rebecca Krenzer led the Notre Dame attack, both with double-doubles. Norton had 14 points and 17 rebounds along with four blocks and four assists. Krenzer scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

For Alexander, Sydney Breton had seven points and five rebounds. Jayna Wright scored four points and had five rebounds, while Karli Phillips grabbed five rebounds.

Both Pero and Hein expect a tough, competitive game Thursday night in the final at GCC.

"It should be fun," Pero said.

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Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Le Roy piles up points against Notre Dame in renewed rivalry game

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, high school sports, Le Roy, Notre Dame, sports

Saturday, on the gleaming polished hardwood of Notre Dame High School, it was the first time brothers Mike and Rick Rapone faced off as head coaches.

It was the first time in more than a half-dozen years Notre Dame and Le Roy met in a regular season basketball game.

It turned out that it was the first time this season that the Oatkan Knights scored at least 70 points.

The offensives' explosion also sent the Fighting Irish to their first home defeat in 62 games.

"We struggled all year," said Rick Rapone, head coach of the now 2-5 Knights. "We haven't made our shots. We had a tough transition from football to basketball. Those kids had a great year. Eleven of my 13 kids are football players. We struggled to shoot, struggled to shoot, struggled to shoot. Tonight, we couldn't miss."

Le Roy was 31-66 from the floor (47 percent) and 10-19 from beyond the arch (52) percent and five players hit double figures in scoring.

Nick Egeling 15, Kody Lamkin 13,Tom Kelso and Ryan Boyce, 11 each and Tom Dunn, 10. Dylan Laney was a point shy of hitting the decade mark.

Mike McMullen scored only five points, but helped lead his team on the court and contributed 10 rebounds, 12 assists, two steals and three blocked shots.

"I told the kids before, our record was not an indicator of the kind of basketball team we are and we probably just beat the top basketball program, them and Batavia High, in this area, on their court," Rick Rapone said. "They had a 61-game home winning streak that we just snapped. It's great for the boys."

The Irish drop to 4-2 on the 78-59 loss.

"The team that wanted it more won," Notre Dame's Mike Rapone said. "We didn't show up with the attitude it takes to win a game like this. I've been warning them all week that records don't mean anything when you play a game like this. Le Roy showed up to play and we didn't."

Josh Johnson had 16 points and Tyler Prospero had 12. Caleb Nellis and C.J. Suozzi each had eight.

Mike Rapone said the two teams used to meet every year, but a Le Roy head coach a few years ago stopped scheduled games with Notre Dame, even though the home-and-home series each year was always a big draw.

Saturday, even the JV game (Notre Dame won 45-36) filled the bleachers and the crowd jammed onto the stage and spilled out into the hallway of the gym. 

Fans of both teams were boisterous and the arena was filled with a championship-game feel.

As for the contest of brothers, both coaches downplayed the significance of the matchup. They embraced before the game and then got down to business.

The scoring outburst by the Knights might signal a turnaround for Le Roy's season, Mike Rapone noted. They made it hard for the Irish to get back in the game, once they fell behind in the second quarter.

"They hit a lot of big shots and they got the lead," Mike Rapone said. "When we made a run at them, they hit the shots they needed."

Rick Rapone said his boys were obviously happy with the win and he was clearly proud of their effort.

"They are excited and they should be," Rick Rapone said. "They beat a hall of fame coach, a top-notch program, I think the winningest program in Section V, on their court. Come on, hall of fame coach, 61-game winning streak, their court, top program, the kids deserve it all. They did fantastic."

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Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 10:11 pm

Batavia Bantam Empire Ties Rochester Youth Hockey (D'Arcy)

post by Jill Franclemont in Bantam Empire, GAHA, hockey, Ramparts, sports
Batavia Ramparts (Bantam Empire) vs. Rochester Youth Hockey (D'Arcy)
 
Saturday, January 3, 6:50pm at Falletti Ice Rink in Batavia
 
Final score: 4-4
 
Batavia Goals: Tom Mellon assist by Eve Murray; Nate Hamilton assist by Tom Mellon; Nick Baumler assist by Tom Mellon; Tom Mellon assist by Nick Baumler
 
Goalie: Mitchel Pangrazio
 
Team sponsor: Clark Patterson Lee - Design Professionals
Friday, January 2, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Elite travel baseball tryouts to be held for 8- and 9-year-olds

post by Billie Owens in sports

Press release:

Team New Era Baseball will hold tryouts for its 8- and 9-year-old rookie elite travel baseball program on Sunday Jan. 18th and Sunday Jan. 25th at 3 p.m. at New Era Park, Depew, 3950 Broadway, Erie county.

For more  information or to register for the tryout, visit www.teamnewerabaseball.com <http://www.teamnewerabaseball.com/> or contact Rich Wozniak at New Era Park at 716-681-3001.

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 1:00 am

Our best high school sports photos of 2014

post by Howard B. Owens in high school sports, sports

Athletics teach young people life lessons that carry well beyond the diamond, hardwood or gridiron. They learn about teamwork and that the best things in life are the result of cooperation; that success is achieved through hard work and preparation; that mere talent and ability aren't enough; that opponents are worthy of respect; that life has boundaries and expectations and rules; that you may not always win, but if you always give your best effort, you are a winner; that the pursuit of excellence is its own kind of satisfying accomplishment. Competition is thrilling, but winning is the goal, and a worthy life goal.

Our high school teams are a touchstone of our community. They provide us with a source of community pride, an opportunity to come together as a community and a chance to see the best of our future as a community. 

To me, it's a privilege to cover our young community athletes. Over the past seasons, our athletes have inspired me to aim even higher and work harder in all aspects of my career and life. I thank them for all they achieved and shared with us in 2014 and wish them the best for 2015 and encourage them to give their best effort and aim for championship performances. 

To purchase prints, click here.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Railbird Recognition Award voting ends tonight

post by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports

From Tim Bojarski:

The Railbird Recognition voting for Racing Moment of the Year will conclude tonight (Wednesday, Dec. 31) at midnight, so this is your last opportunity to cast your ballot to express your opinion as to your choice for the most memorable racing moment of 2014. Voting takes place on the USTA homepage.

With voting for the Horseperson of the Year having already concluded on Dec. 19, both categories will have now been completed.

The results of the fan voting will be announced on Thursday (Jan. 8) and both awards will be presented to their respective winners during the Dan Patch Awards Banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday (Feb. 22).

The Railbird Recognition Awards were created for the fans to have a way to express their opinions about who they think are the best the sport has to offer and are the only fan driven award in the industry. The voting is run by the United States Harness Writers Association in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Local and state snowmobilers debut 'Take a Friend Snowmobiling' event on Jan. 11

post by Billie Owens in announcements, sports

Press release:

With Winter 2015 in full swing, the New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) and the Genesee Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club are partnering to host the initial "Take a Friend Snowmobiling" event. This will be a great opportunity for new riders and riders who have not been on a sled in years to enjoy a fun and safe snowmobile ride, and it’s a free event NYSSA plans to replicate across Upstate New York.

“It is very hard to find better views than those you take in while on the more than 10,000 miles of snowmobile trails in New York State,” said Dominic Jacangelo, executive director of the New York State Snowmobile Association. “Our clubs and club members have taken the lead this year in organizing Take a Friend Snowmobiling events across the state so we can share why we all love our sport.”

The featured course is specially selected by each local snowmobile club to be appropriate for novice riders. Clubs will organize safety gear for participants to use and sleds will be made available by local dealer partners.

“The Genesee Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club is excited to host the inaugural 'Take a Friend Snowmobiling' event so we can share the adventure and show others what great fun snowmobiling can be,” said James Elmore, New York State Snowmobile Association president and Genesee Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club board member. “Our event is a great opportunity for anyone interested in our sport to learn more about snowmobiling and take a ride on our scenic trails.”

Questions? Call James Elmore at 585-813-4610.

WHO: New York State Snowmobile Association and the Genesee Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club

WHAT: "Take a Friend Snowmobiling" event -- FREE!

WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHERE: 102 S. Pearl St., Oakfield

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