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Friday, January 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Elba dominates previously undefeated Alexander in girls basketball

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, alexander, elba, sports

With a record of 7-0, Alexander's girls were riding the high of a good start to a season.

Then they hit the brick wall of a team that hadn't lost its previous 31 games and are defending state champions, the Lady Lancers of Elba.

Keyed by McKenzie Bezon's 18 points, the Lancers, now 7-0 themselves, notched a decisive 57-31 at home.

Alexander Head Coach Marcia Hirsch wasn't too happy with her team's performance.

"We were playing a tough team," Hirsch said. "I expected my team to step up a little better. Our defense is the not the defense we’ve seen. They shut down all my scorers."

Her girls can expect to drill more on defense in the coming days and weeks, Hirsch said.

Elba's head coach, Tom Nowak, said in preparation for the game, his girls drilled on pressuring Alexander with an aggressive defense, forcing turnovers and limiting scoring, which is what they did Thursday.

And the team will continue to work on defense, he said.

"Hopefully, we can polish things up a bit," Nowak said. "You just keep playing. You never know where it's going to take you."

To go with her 18 points, McKenzie had six rebounds.

Kelsey Bezon had five rebounds and 11 points. Jamie Marshall had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Anna Dorman had seven points and five rebounds.

For Alexander, Sarah Loranty led the way with 13 points.

Next up, Elba hosts Bergen on Monday and Alexander plays in the Rotary Tournament at Genesee Community College on Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Batavia Rotary holds tip-off lunch for 24th annual basketball tournament

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, Batavia Rotary Club, alexander, sports

The Rotary Club of Batavia hosted its annual lunch kicking off its basketball tournament.

The 24th annual tournament will be Jan. 8 and 10 at GCC, game times of 6 and 7 p.m.

Photo above: Riley Norton, Notre Dame, senior, forward; Kaleigh Cicero, Perry, senior, guard; Tatyana Wayne, Batavia, senior, guard; and, Sarah Loranty, Alexander, senior, guard.

Below, Santa asks attendees to applaud for the coach with the best "do-rag." From left, Brent Gillette, Perry, Marcia Hirsch, Alexander, Dave Pero, Notre Dame, and Bill Wade, Batavia.

Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 8:26 pm

GCC Basketball: Cougar Holiday Classic Tournament

post by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports


The Genesee Community College men's basketball team blew a 16-point second half lead, but came back to defeat visiting Community College of Rhode Island on Saturday night, 90-89 in overtime.

The Cougars held a 59-43 lead with fifteen minutes to play in the second half before CCRI went on a 32-15 run to take a 75-74 lead with three minutes left. Malik Brown then gave Genesee a 79-77 lead with a basket and a converted free-throw after a foul, but with 19 seconds left, Isaac Medeiros tied the game at 79 and sent it into an extra session.

In overtime, CCRI jumped out early but GCC reclaimed the lead on an EJ Blackwell three-pointer. Tied at 88 a piece with under a minute to go after a Donte Meredith three-pointer, the Knights grabbed a one-point advantage at the free-throw line, taking an 89-88 lead. The Cougars were able to tie the game at 89 on a Meredith free-throw, and with under one-second to play, Stanley Peacock gave Genesee a 90-89 lead after making one of two free-throws. A last second heave for CCRI went begging, and GCC escaped with the win.

(Stanley Peacock hits the game-winning free throw for GCC on Saturday night)


Blackwell finished the night with 20 points and nine assists, Meredith added 18 points, Vaughn Boler chipped in 15 points, Brown ended with 14 points and Terryl Coombs grabbed ten rebounds and added seven points.

The win improves Genesee to 6-4 on the season and the Cougars will take on ASA College tomorrow at 5pm in the final game of the Cougar Holiday Classic Tournament.



The Genesee Community College women's basketball team fell to ASA College on Saturday afternoon, in their first matchup of the Cougar Holiday Classic Tournament.

Dashawna Jenifer was the only Lady Cougar to reach double figures in scoring, finishing with 11 points and adding six rebounds.

Genesee trailed by ten at the break, 35-25. ASA held GCC to just 14 second half points and cruised to an 81-39 victory.

Paige Hennings finished with seven points and seven rebounds, Nanase Akagami added six points and Dominique Davis chipped in five points.

The loss drops Genesee to 0-7 on the season and the Lady Cougars will take on the Community College of Rhode Island tomorrow at 11am in their final game of the Cougar Holiday Classic Tournament.




Coming off of an overtime win against the Community College of Rhode Island last night, the Genesee Community College men’s basketball team again went to the final possession against ASA College on Sunday in the Cougar Holiday Classic, but this time came out on the losing end.

Vaugn Boler scored 18 first half points but the Cougars trailed by ten, 46-36 at the break.

GCC trailed by as many as 13 in the second half, but the Cougars battled and Donte Meredith sparked an 8-3 run with a three-pointer to get Genesee to within five at 61-56 with about ten minutes remaining.

GCC hung around and got to within one at 68-67 after a layup and free throw from E.J. Blackwell with five minutes left. The Cougars then took their first lead since the early part of the first half after Boler converted two free throws to put Genesee on top 71-70. Blackwell extended the lead to three with a jumper seconds later, but ASA answered with a three pointer to tie the game at 73.

Genesee had a 77-75 lead after two Denzel Thomas free throws, but the Avengers went on a 7-2 run in the final minute and a half and held an 82-79 lead with under ten seconds left.

The Cougars had one last chance coming out of a timeout, but could not find a look and fell to the visiting Avengers, 82-79.

(#11 Vaughn Boler scores two of his game-high 37 points in Sunday's loss to ASA)


Boler finished with a game-high and career-high 37 points. He also grabbed ten rebounds. Meredith tallied 16 points and was three of five from three-point range and Blackwell added 13 points.

The loss drops Genesee to 6-5 on the year and the Cougars will close out the first part of their season next Saturday, December 15th at home against St. John Fisher JV at 1pm.



The Genesee Community College women's basketball team fell to 0-8 on the season after falling to the Community College of Rhode Island, 105-47 on Sunday.

The Lady Knights took an early lead and did not trail in the game.

Nanase Akagami led the way for Genesee with 15 points and went four-of-seven from three-point range. Becky James added 11 points and Paige Hennings chipped in six points and also grabbed ten rebounds.

Genesee will not return to action until after the winter break when they travel to Cayuga Community College on January 4th.

Friday, December 7, 2012 at 1:54 am

Genesee drops a pair at home

post by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports

Vaughn Boler scored 30 points and grabbed ten rebounds for the first double-double of his collegiate career, but it was not enough on Thursday night as the Genesee Community College men’s basketball team fell to visiting Niagara College (Canada), 73-70.

Genesee faced a ten-point, 42-32 halftime deficit and could not draw much closer throughout the second period. They trailed at one point by as many as 18 when they were down 56-38 with about 15 minutes to play. It wasn’t until late in the half that the Cougars were able to apply pressure and cut into the Niagara lead. Having to put Niagara at the line, GCC capitalized on a couple of missed free throws and drew within three with less than thirty-seconds left. After two Knights missed free throws with less than twenty-seconds to go and trailing, 73-70, the Cougars had one last possession but could not get off a good shot, dropping their fourth game of the season and first at home.

(#11 Vaughn Boler goes up strong against three Niagara defenders on Thursday night)


Malik Brown finished the night with eleven points, Terryl Coombs added nine points and ten rebounds and Donte Meredith chipped in seven points and five assists.

The loss drops Genesee to 5-4 on the season and the Cougars will return to action in their holiday tournament, which begins on Saturday. They will host the Community College of Rhode Island at 8pm.



The Genesee Community College women’s basketball team struggled at home on Thursday night against visiting Niagara College of Canada, falling 73-40.

The Lady Cougars were led by Dashawna Jenifer who scored 16 points and collected 13 rebounds, but balanced scoring from the visitors was too much. Four Lady Knights reached double figures and Niagara held GCC to under 27% shooting on the night.

Dominique Davis added seven points for Genesee, Falesha Moultrie chipped in six and Becky James grabbed seven rebounds.

GCC falls to 0-6 on the season and will return to action on Saturday, in the Cougar Holiday Classic Tournament when they host ASA College at 4pm.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm

2012-13 Local Boys' Basketball Preview

post by Nick Sabato in basketball, sports

Alexander Trojans
Last Season: 8-11 (Lost in the first round of the Class C1 Playoffs)
Head Coach: Wayne Hanley

Alexander is coming off a losing season, but they have reason to be optimistic about the upcoming year. In particular, because they return 6-foot-5 forward Travis Schmeider.

Schmeider made his mark as possibly the top big man in the Genesee Region League last year, averaging 17 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. He was also an inside-out threat, connecting on 17 three-point field goals. Being so multidimensional, makes him difficult for opposing forwards to guard him.

The Trojans will miss Stef Krna’s 10 points and 7 rebounds per game, but they do return several other players who played significant minutes last winter. Guard Mark Farnsworth returns after averaging 7.8 points and 3.8 assists per game, and will run the offense for Wayne Hanley’s team. Also look for guard Louis Breton to take a bigger role this season.

Batavia Blue Devils
Last Season: 14-6 (Lost in the Class A Quarterfinals)
Head Coach: Buddy Brasky

After being ousted in the second round of the Class A playoffs last year, Batavia has strong reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season. They return four out of five starters, including leading scorers Justin Washington and Jalen Smith.

Washington was an All-Monroe County selection last year after posting 18 points per game and 8 rebounds per game. He is a do-it-all forward that can score inside and out, rebound and handle the ball in space. Meanwhile, Smith was a second-team All-County pick and is capable of playing both guard positions and has a soft touch from beyond the three-point arc. He gives them a solid one-two punch after scoring 17 per game a year ago.

Jamesson Etienne gives Buddy Brasky’s team a solid inside presence that allowed Washington to play on the perimeter at times last year, while Jake Brasky returns to run the offense at the point guard position. Malachi Chenault gave the Blue Devils a solid backup in the post after being called up from JV as an eighth-grader near the end of the season, and expect him to continue to grow as a full-time varsity player this year. Justice Fagan will provide more depth at guard after leading Batavia’s JV team in scoring last winter.

Byron-Bergen Bees
Last Season: 5-14 (Lost in the first round of the Class C1 Playoffs)
Head Coach: Pat McGee

Byron-Bergen faced hard times last season, winning only five games. However, this year they return the majority of their players, and Head Coach Pat McGee feels that his team has the potential to be the best that the school has had since winning the Genesee Region League in 2005.

Jeff and Jamie Maskell, who combined to average 9 assists per game a year ago, return to run the offense for the Bees and will share time at the point guard position. Austin Richardson returns as the leading scorer from the 2011-12 squad, averaging 14 points per contest. Zach DuBois, who was one of the top football players in the GR League this season, will be called upon to guard the opposing team’s best player once again this season.

The key player for Byron-Bergen will be junior Dajuandrick Gardner. The 6-foot-6 center has the potential to be a force in the middle for the Bees. Last season he averaged 12 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks per game as a sophomore. Gardner could be one of the top big men in the league if he continues to build on his success from a year ago. 

“We have gotten off to a great start and our expectations are high this year,” McGee said. “We think we can win our side of the league this year.” 

Elba Lancers
Last Season: 18-3 (Lost in the Class D1 Championship Game)
Head Coach: Mark Beehler

The Elba Lancers are coming off a superb 2011-12 season, as they reached the Class D1 Championship Game for the first time since 2005. However, Head Coach Mark Beehler will have to replace his top four scorers from a year ago, including the Ramsey triplets. One of the Ramsey’s led the Lancers in almost every statistical category, including Dan, who was a career 1,000-point scorer.

Nate Jonathan is the lone returning starter for Elba, but he has a chance to be one of the top post players in the Genesee Region League. At 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, Jonathan was able to carve out space in the paint at times this year and will be called upon to do so more often this season.

Zac Gillard and Andy Boyce saw solid playing time a season ago, while Jesse Pflaumer, Brandon Naylor and Dan Scott got significant minutes as sophomores. Each player will be expected to take a bigger role this season.

“If we want to compete in against the top teams this year, we will need to battle on defense and limit our opponent’s scoring,” Beehler said.

Each of Elba’s three losses came at the hands of Notre Dame last year.

Le Roy Oatkan Knights
Last Season: 2-18 (Lost in the Class C1 Quarterfinals)
Head Coach: John King

Le Roy went through some growing pains last season, managing only one win during the regular season. However, the Knights showed solid improvement as the season went along, upsetting Alexander in the first round of sectionals and coming up one point short in the Class C1 quarterfinals to Pembroke. This season, John King’s squad returns nine players, including four starters from last year’s team. They will be a senior-laden team that has a chance to make some noise in the Livingston County League. 

Eric Witkowski returns after leading the Knights in scoring a year ago. The 6-foot-3 senior forward averaged 12.7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks per game last season and should be a force in the middle. Marcus Mistersaro also returns to play alongside Witkowski in the frontcourt. Mistersaro led Le Roy in rebounding at 8 per game and also added 2.1 steals per contest. The backcourt will be led by junior Zach Moore, who was second on the team in scoring a year ago with 8 points per game. He will play alongside freshman Ethan Witkowski. 

“We have a great group of young men who have been working very hard,” said King, who is in his eleventh season as head coach. “With senior leadership and additions from JV’s, the team has made a commitment to working together and sacrificing individual success for team success.”

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last Season: 22-2 (Lost in the Class D State Semi-finals)
Head Coach: Mike Rapone

Last season Notre Dame won sectionals for the first time since their state championship team of 2001. However, the Fighting Irish return only two starters from their team that reached the New York State Class D Semi-finals, but both of those players (Tim McCulley and Jared Thornton) were not only all-league selections, but all-state picks as well. They will both need to be big contributors as ND moves up to Class C1 this season.

McCulley and Thornton were also Mike Rapone’s leading scorers last year. McCulley, a junior, is a superb all-around player who averaged 16.1 points, 5.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. Thornton, also a solid well-rounded player, averaged 16.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game, while connecting on 61 3-point field goals last year.  

Replacing three starters will be the key this year for Notre Dame, but they have some talented players to do so. Tommy Prospero, a transfer from Batavia, is an extremely versatile player who provides length and is a strong 3-point shooter. Ryan Bender will attempt to replace Sectional MVP Zach Hotze in the middle, and displayed great potential as the team’s sixth man a season ago. Bender will be an important asset, as Rapone listed how well his team plays against teams with strong inside players as a key to his team’s success. Vincent Misiti rounds out the starting five, and will provide a luxury as he can play both guard positions.

“This group has the talent to be both a GR pision 2, as well as a Class C1 title contender,” Rapone said. “If they develop a consistent work ethic, continue to grow and improve as individuals and as a team, we will be able to make big plays at the right time.”

Oakfield-Alabama Hornets
Last Season: 6-13 (Lost in the First Round of the Class C2 Playoffs)
Head Coach: Gary Kurkowski

While Oakfield-Alabama finished with a 6-13 record last season, they did have some moments to build off of. The Hornets played Elba, who had only two losses in the league, to a 10-point margin. While their signature win came early in the season, as they trounced Pembroke on the road, 71 to 29. 

This season, Gary Kurkowski’s team returns only two players with experience a year. Austin Hamm and Nate Nodlinksi will be called upon for their experience and leadership on a roster that features only two seniors (one being Hamm). Oakfield has seven juniors and a sophomore, Ryan Emery, that will play major roles in the upcoming year. Chris Nanni and Chase Manzella are coming off of stellar football seasons and should provide the Hornets with some toughness. 

“The G-R League will be highly competitive in both divisions,” Kurkowski said. “It is our hope that through hard work and game experience we will improve daily and be a formidable opponent for all on a nightly basis.”

Pembroke Dragons
Last Season: 14-7 (Lost in the Class C1 Championship Game)
Head Coach: Ron Funke

Pembroke surprised many people last season by reaching the Class C1 title game, and even having an opportunity to win the game. Coach Ron Funke’s team last year was extremely senior-laden, with 8 of 11 players on the roster graduating last summer. 

This season’s Dragons will only return two players who received significant playing time a year ago. Point Guard Colin Lewis started nine games and guard Dan Hill saw spot minutes behind Caleb Lang and Wyatt Chittenden. This year both players will be forced to be key contributors for Pembroke to have any success. 

“Duplicating last season’s success will be a stretch,” Funke said. “We will be scrappy and attempt to be competitive in our division, but we are a work in progress.” 

Austin Cansdale moves up from JV and will see extensive action, as well as sophomore Abe Lang, brother of Caleb. The Dragons also have several players who haven’t played basketball since modified.

Friday, June 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm

3-on-3 basketball tournament scheduled for return to Williams Park

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

Former Batavia High School basketball player Jerry Smith is bringing blacktop basketball back to Williams Park with a 3-on-3 tournament June 30.

Williams said it's been a few years since the park hosted such tournaments, but he remembers them from his youth and thinks area players should get the same opportunity.

As many as 35 teams, or more, are expected to participate, coming from not just Batavia, Elba and Le Roy, but also Buffalo, Lockport, Perry, Medina and other towns in the region.

"It's some of the best competition around," Smith said.

The cost is $50 per team and teams can consist of as many as five players.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and play begins at 9 a.m.

For more information, call Smith at (585) 993- 3342 or email him at [email protected]

Proceeds will benefit Franchise Basketball of Rochester, an Amateur Athletic Union team and help send the team to Las Vegas in July for a tournament. Local team members include Jalen Smith, Tommy Prospero, Justin Washington and Jered Thornton.

Photo: Jalen Smith, Justice Fagan and Josh Johnson.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 8:50 am

Batavia Blue Devils JV team wins pair of tournaments

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

2012 March Madness 8TH Grade Champions
White team standing from left to right: Greg Mruczeck, Mike Rose, Matt Roach, Coach Alex Brasky, Xavier Green, Nashiem Harris, Coach Cam McDonald
Kneeling from Left to Right. Andrew Mruczek, Alex Candy, Tyler Prospero, Adonis Davis.

2012 Rochester Bash Tourney 8th Grade Champions
Blue team standing from left to right: Xavier Green, Terrell Mapes, Coach Alex Brasky, Jacob Schrider, Greg Mruczeck, Nashiem Harris
Kneeling from Left to Right. Mike Rose, Alex Candy, Tyler Prospero, Adonis Davis. Andrew Mruczek

Info and photos submitted by Joseph Prospero.

Monday, March 19, 2012 at 9:56 am

Elba celebrates Lady Lancers' state championship

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

Cheering, chanting, hugs and tears of joy were all part of a big celebration in Elba last night as the Lady Lancers brought home their Class D State Champions trophy.

"It’s amazing," said Meg Stucko. "It’s like  the best day of my life. I never thought the whole community would come together like this. It’s really awesome."

The whole community could celebrate together because the community won together.

Head Coach Tom Nowak praised dozens of volunteers, from scorekeepers to parents who traveled the state to videotape potential opponents in tournament games, along with all the fans who turned out to support the girls.

“They say it takes a whole community to raise a child,” Nowak said. “It takes a whole community to raise a state champion.”

The celebration in the gym followed a lights and sirens escort by the Elba Volunteer Fire Department through the village.

MacKenzie Bezon, who was Most Valuable Player of the title game, was amazed by the public's response.

"I can’t believe our community did this," Bezon said. "It’s not like just we won the championship. It’s the whole town. I just can’t believe it happened. We’ve been working so hard. I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a dream."

Nowak said he was exceptionally proud that the Lady Lancers, who knew what to do, executed the game plan and their plays, and stayed in control.

"This is the most composed group of young ladies I've ever been associated with," Nowak said. "I was able to relax because I knew what they could do on the court."

After explaining the story because somebody told him recently "Coach, nobody is perfect," Nowak ended his remarks to thunderous applause when he said, "Right now and forever, these girls are a perfect 25-0."

If you're unable to view the slide show, click here. To purchase photos, click here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Lady Lancers win state championship

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

The Elba Lady Lancers finish out 2012 with a perfect 25-0 season and a state championship after a win at Hudson Valley Community College today.

Elba beat Argyle High School 48--34 to take the team's first-ever state title.

Yesterday, Elba beat #1 seed South Kortright in the Class D semi-final to move on to today's final game.

McKenzie Bezon was named MVP and Meg Stucko was named to the All-Star Team. Kelsey Bezon won the Sportsmanship Award.

Friday, March 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Notre Dame knocked out of state tournament

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

Sackets Harbor beat Notre Dame today in the semi-finals of the boys basketball tournament in Glens Falls.

The final score: 50 to 40.

It's only the second loss of the season for the Fighting Irish, who won their first Section V title since 2001 and the Western Regional title.

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