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Friday, February 1, 2013 at 12:40 am

Genesee comes up empty at Monroe

post by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports

Three Lady Cougars reached double-figures in scoring at Monroe Community College on Thursday night, but the Genesee Community College women's basketball team fell to the Lady Tribunes, 88-46.

Dashawna Jenifer scored a team-high 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for GCC. Paige Hennings and Nanase Akagami eached scored ten points.

Genesee's only lead came after a first possesion basket by Falesha Moultrie to put GCC in front 2-0. Monroe went on to outscore Genesee 45-15 in the first half and 43-31 in the second. The Lady Cougars committed 25 tournovers on the night.

Genesee falls to 1-17 on the season and 0-7 in Western New York Athletic Conference play. They will host Finger Lakes Community College on Tuesday night at 6pm.

Monroe Community College used a late run to put away Genesee Community College on Thursday night, turning a close game late into an 80-66 win.

The Cougars held the No. 5 Tribunes to 34% shooting in the first half, but trailed 31-30 at the break.

Genesee was within two at 61-59 with just under seven minutes left in the game before Monroe went on a 13-1 run to take control of the game.

Foul troubled plagued GCC, which saw three players foul out in the contest.

Vaughn Boler led the way for Genesee scoring 19 points. He also grabbed eight rebounds. E.J. Blackwell added 14 points and five assists and Donte Meredith chipped in ten points.

Genesee out-rebounded Monroe 47-42 on the night but gave up 33 points on 23 turnovers.

The Cougars fall to 11-12 on the year and are now 2-5 in Western New York Athletic Conference play.

They will travel to Jamestown Community College-Olean on Saturday afternoon for a 1pm start.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 8:34 am

Notre Dame hammers Kendall as Rapone earns 600th Win

post by Nick Sabato in basketball, batavia, Mike Rapone, Notre Dame, sports

Notre Dame capitalized on a 14-2 run at the end of the first quarter to pull away from Kendall and earn head coach Mike Rapone his 600th career victory, 87-49.

After Kendall’s Dan Kelly connected on a three-pointer to tie the game at seven with two minutes remaining in the opening frame, the Fighting Irish came alive, scoring eight straight.

Jared Thornton scored the first six on the run, which was capped by an emphatic right-handed dunk by Tim McCulley to end the quarter.

Notre Dame never looked back.

Rapone became only the ninth coach in New York State history to achieve 600 wins, making Notre Dame Section V’s all-time leader in wins during the open-tournament era.

“For me, it’s a culmination of working with a lot of great young players and a lot of longevity,” Rapone said. “I hope that I impacted their lives in a little way as they matured into young men.”

Since becoming the head coach in 1980, Rapone has won 29 Genesee Region League Championships, eight Section V titles, five Far West Regional Championships and two State Championships.

Rapone became the all-time leader in Section V history in 2008, passing longtime Bishop Kearney coach Ed Nietopski with his 546th win, ironically against Kendall.

Despite the numerous accolades and number of wins, Rapone finds that working with his players on a day-to-day basis is just as rewarding as winning games.

“Winning is fun and it certainly makes coaching a lot easier, but just being out here every day with the guys is a good time and we work at it,” Rapone said.

One player who has had a chance to experience several milestones in the coach’s career is senior guard Vin Misiti, who has been a member of the Notre Dame basketball program since fourth grade when he became a team manager before becoming a player.

“It’s special. I’ve been watching him coach and watching Notre Dame teams for as long as I can remember,” Misiti said. “It’s just special to be a member of one of the many milestones for the school.”

Tommy Prospero poured in a game-high 28 points while adding eight rebounds and four steals for Notre Dame (14-0). Thornton also had a strong outing with 21 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks while McCulley chipped in 19 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.

“We continue to improve every week, which is what we want to do,” Rapone said. “Next week will tell a lot about us as we play Wheatland-Chili and University Prep to see if we are ready to take the next step.”

Kelly had a team-high 17 points for Kendall (7-6), as their five-game winning streak came to an end.

Photos by Howard Owens

To purchase prints of any of these photos or the ones in the slide show below, click here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 9:54 pm

A pair of road losses for Genesee at Mercyhurst

post by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports

The Genesee Community College men's basketball team made a late charge on the road at Mercyhurst North East on Saturday afternoon, but came up short in their fourth conference loss of the season.

Both teams played at an even pace until late in the first half when Mercyhurst turned an 18-18 tie into a 30-24 lead with a pair of three-point baskets and a trio of layups on the offensive end. The Saints took a 43-39 lead into the break.

In the second half, Joe Gray turned a missed shot into a tip-in basket and tied the game at 54 with 14 minutes left in the game. The Saints responded with a 16-6 run and took a ten-point, 70-60 lead with eight minutes remaining. Mercyhurst upped their lead to as many as 14 with five minutes to go, but the Cougars battled back.

Malik Brown hit a jump shot with under three minutes to play to cut the lead down to nine, and after forcing a couple of Mercyhurst turnovers, Donte Meredith got the Cougars to within five with a layup with under a minute to play. GCC then forced another turnover and capitalized with a Voughn Boler layup to make it a three-point game with less than 30 seconds to go. After a pair of made free-throws by the home team, Brown stepped into a top of the key three-pointer and cut the lead down to two with under five seconds remaining. Unable to come away with a steal, GCC was forced to put the Saints at the line where they converted on both free-throws to put the game out of reach. Mercyhurst went on to win, 91-87.

Meredith led the way for Genesee with 19 points, Boler added 15, Gray and E.J. Blackwell each finished with 14 points and Terryl Coombs grabbed ten rebounds.

The loss evens Genesee's overall season record to 11-11 and the Cougars are now 2-4 in conference play. They will return to action on Thursday when they travel to Monroe Community College.

A second half scoring drought proved costly for the Genesee Community College women's basketball team on Saturday afternoon, as the Lady Cougars fell on the road at Mercyhurst North East, 83-47.

Genesee began the afternoon with a 10-4 run to start the game. Becky James scored four quick points to spark the hot start, but Mercyhurst responded with an 11-0 run to take the lead. GCC hung around in the first half and trailed by five, 37-32 at the half.

Genesee began the second half by going on a ten-minute scoreless drought. During that time, the Lady Saints went on a 23-0 run to take a 60-32 lead and put the game out of reach.

Dashawna Jenifer led the way for Genesee with 15 points. She also collected 16 rebounds. Nanase Akagami added nine points and James finished with eight points and eight rebounds.

Genesee falls to 1-16 on the year and 0-6 in conference play. They will travel to Monroe Community College on Thursday night for their next contest.

Friday, January 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Pembroke girls play in pink to raise money for breast cancer research

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, pembroke, sports

It started out as a simple idea and now it has become a big annual event for the Pembroke Lady Dragons.

Last year after the wife of Pembroke Coach Ron Funke was diagnosed with breast cancer, the girls basketball team thought they would show support by playing a game with a pink basketball.

They wound up raising $4,000 for breast cancer research after Disney donated amusement park passes, another company donated pink uniforms and dozens of local businesses donated items for auction.

"It just kind of grew to something that for these girls as a team, it’s their identity," Head Coach Mike Wilson said. "These are community-minded kids. They think about other people."

Last night, for Pembroke's game against Holley, the girls again donned pink uniforms and hundreds of community members showed up for the event.

"When they saw how many teachers and how many community members were affected by this and the difference what they did made for those people, it became something that meant a lot to them to try and keep going," Wilson said. "They feel responsible to those people. They feel responsible for the community.  This is just a way for them to give back in some small way to the community that has gone the extra mile for them."

The goal for last night was to raise $6,000. We haven't heard yet how much was raised. Pembroke won the game 34-13.

Coach Mike Wilson, his daughter and the Buffalo Bisons mascot.

Dannielle Della Penta takes the court prior to the start of the game.

Cora Erb with a lay up.

Holley's Kassy Sutton and Pembroke's Rylee Moser tangle over a loose ball.

Cassie Williams goes for a rebound.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Cougars edge Jamestown, comeback bid falls short for Lady Cougars

post by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports

The Genesee Community College men's basketball team put their five-game losing streak behind them with a win on Tuesday night and followed it up with another Western New York Athletic Conference win on Thursday night, defeating visiting Jamestown Community College, 74-70.

Vaughn Boler helped Genesee to a first half lead with 15 points in the opening period. The Cougars shot better than 55% from the floor in the opening twenty-minutes and were 9/10 from the free-throw line. Jamestown hung around with four 3-pt baskets in the opening half, however, and GCC led 43-35 at the break.

(Vaughn Boler (white) scores two of his game-high 32 points in win over Jamestown CC)


Genesee extended their lead to double-digits in the early part of the second half after Boler converted on one of two free-throws and Terryl Coombs added a layup to give the Cougars a 46-35 advantage. The Jayhawks battled back, however, and took their first lead of the game at 63-62 with under eight minutes to play. After a back-and-forth final few minutes, Genesee took the lead back with under a minute to play after a Boler basket. They led 71-70. Coombs added a late free-throw and Boler iced the game with a last second layup to give Genesee the win.

Boler finished with a game-high 32 points. Coombs added 16 points and 12 rebounds, Denzel Thomas and E.J. Blackwell each added eight points. Blackwell also added eight assists.

The win improves Genesee to 11-10 overall on the season and 2-3 in conference play. They will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Mercyhurst North East for a 3pm start.



After falling behind by as many as 20 points, the Genesee Community College women’s basketball team came up just short on Thursday night, falling to visiting Jamestown Community College in one of their best efforts of the year.

The Lady Cougars battled in an even start to the first half. With the game tied 25-25, the GCC offense went cold and the Lady Jayhawks made a 15-0 run to end the half and take a 40-25 lead into the break.

Jamestown continued their run to start the second half and jumped out to a 45-25 lead just two minutes in.

After a Genesee timeout, the Lady Cougars put together a ten-minute stretch that saw them eventually cut the JCC lead down to four at 57-53. That was as close as they would get, however, as Jamestown converted late and time ran out on GCC. A late three-pointer from Dominique Davis got GCC to within five at 67-62, but the Lady Jayhawks held on to win, 68-63.

Dashawna Jenifer led the way for GCC with a game-high 22 points and also a game-high 16 rebounds. Davis added 20 points and Nanase Akagami chipped in 14 points. Jackie Janes grabbed 11 rebounds.

Genesee falls to 1-15 on the year and 0-5 in conference play. They will travel to Mercyhurst North East on Saturday for a 1pm start.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Notre Dame's Coach Rapone closing in on 600 career victories

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, Notre Dame, sports

This was e-mailed to Notre Dame alumni this evening:

Longtime ND Fighting Irish Boys Basketball Coach Mike Rapone ('71) currently stands at 598 total wins as a result of an 81 – 41 victory over the Pembroke Dragons on January 18, 2013.

We travel to Holley on Friday, January 25, 2013 to take on the Hawks. A victory at Holley sets up the possibility of a potential 600th victory at home on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 with the visiting Kendall Eagles. The Varsity game will begin at approximately 7 p.m. This game is sure to be a sellout, so get here early!

Our Varsity Boys Basketball team is also in action – at home -- on Thursday, January 31, 2013 vs. GR rival Elba Lancers.

Coach Rapone currently holds the Section V record for most Varsity Boys Basketball victories, yet he will be the first to reach the 600 plateau win mark in Section V Boys Basketball!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 10:53 pm

GCC Basketball: men cruise, women fall against Alfred State

post by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports

The Genesee Community College men's basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak, which included their first three Western New York Athletic Conference games of the year, by defeating visiting Alfred State College, 76-47 on Tuesday night.

Joe Gray set the tone with a first half double-double, collecting ten rebounds and scoring ten points for Genesee.

The Cougars cashed in five times from three-point range in the opening half and led the entire night.

Vaughn Boler returned from injury to score 15 points on six-of-nine shooting and grab seven rebounds in just over fifteen minutes of work.

The GCC defense stymied the Pioneers to just 24% shooting in the second half and Donte Meredith scored a game-high 18 points,  which included five 3-pt baskets. Genesee ended the night with 12 baskets from long-range.

Gray finished with ten points and 14 rebounds, Malik Brown chipped in 13 points and Terryl Coombs put together another strong effort, scoring nine points and grabbing eight boards.

The win is the tenth (10-10) on the season for GCC and their first in conference (1-3) this year. The Cougars will host Jamestown Community College this Thursday night at 8pm.



The Genesee Community College women's basketball team will have to keep searching for their first conference win of the season after falling to visiting Alfred State College, 81-35 on Tuesday night.

Genesee battled in a close first half that separated the two teams by just ten points. The Lady Cougars jumped out to an early six-point advantage before Alfred State responded at took back the lead for good halfway through the opening period.

Dashawna Jenifer and Nanase Akagami combined to score 14 of GCC's 20 first half points.

In the second half, Genesee was held to just 15 points on 4-of-30 shooting from the field.

Akagami finished the night with 15 points and Jenifer chipped in nine. Sarah Scarborough and Jackie Janes each grabbed eight rebounds in the losing effort.

Genesee falls to 0-4 in conference play and are now 1-14 on the year. They will return to action on Thursday night when they host Jamestown Community College.

Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Genesee basketball drops a pair at Niagara

post by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports

The Genesee Community College men's and women's basketball programs are still winless in conference play this season, after falling to Niagara County Community College on the road on Saturday afternoon.

In the women's game, the Lady Cougars overcame an early eight-point hole to take a lead late in the first half. A Dominique Davis three-point basket gave Genesee a 17-15 lead with a little over five minutes remaining in the opening period. The Lady Thunderwolves responded and closed the half on a 7-3 run and took back the lead for good, leading 22-20 at the break.

In the second half, Niagara held Genesee to just eight field goals and outscored the visitors, 35-18, ending the afternoon with a 57-38 win.

Davis converted on two of her six three-point attempts in the game and led GCC in scoring with 12 points. Paige Hennings chipped in ten points and Dashawna Jenifer added six points and seven rebounds.

Genesee falls to 0-3 in conference play and are now 1-13 on the year. They will return home and host Alfred State on Tuesday night at 6pm.


In the men's game, Genesee held only one lead throughout the afternoon. E.J. Blackwell hit a first-possession three-pointer for the Cougars, who went up 3-0 just fifteen-seconds into the contest. The Thunderwolves quickly responded and took a 5-3 lead just two minutes later and did not look back.

Niagara out-rebounded Genesee 27-14 in the opening half and took advantage with ten second-chance points. They led 41-28 at halftime.

The Thunderwolves held the Cougars to under 22% shooting from the field in the second half and did not see their lead drop below ten. Their largest advantage came in the closing seconds when they took a 86-58 lead, which proved to be the final.

Despite their scoring troubles, Genesee saw three scorers reach double-figures. Terryl Coombs led the way with 15 points, Donte Meredith added 13 points and Joe Gray chipped in 12 points. Blackwell finished with seven points and also grabbed eight rebounds.

Genesee is now 0-3 in conference play and 9-10 overall on the season. They will host Alfred State on Tuesday night at 8pm.

Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 12:10 am

Second-quarter run lifts Elba past Byron-Bergen

post by Nick Sabato in basketball, bergen, byron, elba, sports

In a meeting of cross-town rivals, Elba took down Byron-Bergen, 55-43.

The visiting Lancers used a 15-1 run, 11-1 to end the first half, to pull away from the Bees in a Genesee Region League matchup.

Elba, missing some players, was forced to insert new pieces into the starting lineup. One of those players was Dan Scott, who had a huge game, finishing with a career-high 25 points in the victory.

“It was a good time for him to step up,” said Elba Head Coach Mark Beehler. “Dan, not having a ton of starts this year, he really came through. I knew he was a good ball player, but he really took charge tonight.”

Byron-Bergen, who was also missing a few key players, found their offense when Ranjit Singh hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to single digits with two minutes to play in the third quarter, but Elba responded quickly to end the quarter with six straight points and would never look back.

“We were getting stops on defense and some steals, but we were getting anxious on offense and not taking our time,” Beehler said. “We just needed to slow down and run some offense, when we did that we started to get back on a roll.”

The matchup between schools 10 miles apart is also intriguing because they have merged in several other sports, including football. In fact, eight members of the football team were also members of the basketball team at each school.

“I think it’s fun for the kids to come here, and see their fellow football players and see familiar faces, but when it gets to the court, it’s game time and it’s cutthroat,” Beehler said. “It’s always good sportsmanship between the two schools and good camaraderie.”

One of those players, Nate Jonathan, helped pace Elba (7-5) with seven points and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, Jesse Pflaumer added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Lancers, who currently own a three-game winning streak. 

Jeff Maskell had a team-high 11 points for Byron-Bergen, who falls to 2-9 on the season.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 9:20 am

Monroe sweeps Genesee

post by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports

Riding a three-game losing skid, the Genesee Community College men's basketball schedule did not get any easier on Tuesday night. The Monroe Community College Tribunes, the second-ranked team in the NJCAA Division II, came to town sporting a 14-2 record and proved why they are off to such a fast start this season.

MCC began the night on an 8-0 run and built a twenty-five point lead behind John Velez-Rivera's five first half three-pointers. He was a perfect 5-5 from beyond the arc in the opening half.

The Cougars were within four about ten minutes into the game before a Velez-Rivera layup sparked a 16-4 run to give the Tribunes control. MCC converted on ten first half three-pointers and led 54-29 at the break.

The second half was more of the same as Monroe cashed in five more times from long-range, upping their lead into the 40's for the later part of the game. The Tribunes would cruise to a 106-58 win.

E.J. Blackwell scored 18 points in the losing effort for GCC and Terryl Coombs added 16 points and nine rebounds.

Velez-Rivera finished with 23 points for MCC.

Genesee now drops to 0-2 in the conference and are 9-9 on the season. They will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Niagara County Community College for a 3pm start.



The Genesee Community College women's basketball team fell to conference rival and Division I opponent Monroe Community College on Tuesday night, 88-27.

Paige Hennings scored eleven points and also grabbed nine rebounds for GCC, but turnovers were once again an issue with the Lady Cougars. Monroe forced 31 turnovers on the night and capitalized with 49 points off of takeaways.

GCC was held to just nine points in the second half.

(#15 Dashawna Jenifer tries to work by an MCC defender)


Dashawna Jenifer chipped in nine points for Genesee, who falls to 0-2 in conference play and 1-12 on the season.

The Lady Cougars will return to conference action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Niagara County Community College for a 1pm start.




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