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Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 12:28 am

Batavia dominates Wayne to advance in sectional playoffs

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

The Batavia Blue Devils had no difficulty tonight knocking off Wayne in a second-round Section V Class A2 playoff game at BHS tonight. The 75-45 win sets Batavia (17-2) up for a semi-final match Wednesday evening at Blue Cross Arena againt College Prep (15-4).

Tonight, Jeff Redband scored 28 points, Malachi Chenault, 17, and Jarrett Laskett, 11.

Notre Dame also won tonight, beating Lyndonville 77-55 in the Class D1 playoff game. Notre Dame (13-7) faces Mt. Morris (12-8) on Wednesday at a location to be determined.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 11:57 pm

Byron-Bergen tops Notre Dame in hard fought girls hoops playoff game

It was a nifty little move under the basket, a no-look reverse layup from Byron-Bergen's Abbie Kelley. The kind of play good players make.

In this case, it couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Head Coach Rick Krzewinski said it was perhaps the difference maker in the game.

The Lady Bees got to that point by allowing Notre Dame to go on an 11-0 run at the start of the third quarter to erase a 10-point lead for Byron-Bergen in the Section V Class C1 playoff game.

The reverse of fortunes had a familiar ring to the Bees, who lost a home game earlier this season to the Fighting Irish after blowing a first-half lead.

Krzewinski told his players in the locker room at the half, "looks familiar doesn't it?"

One of his girls said, "don't even talk about it."

"Oh, we're going to talk about it," Krzewinski told his team, "because we're not going to let happen what happened last time."

The Bees apparently got the message, and Kelley's nifty basket provided the spark they needed to beat back Notre Dame's momentum.

"Players make plays and that was the perfect time for it," Krzewinski said. "We got our composure back, I thought, and started hitting some shots."

That basket and a three possession change of defense to a 2-3 zone, seemed to break the rhythm of the Irish girls.

Kelley, who has 393 points on the year, did more to carry her team than drop that one score. She was the game's leading scorer with 23. Nobody else on her team was in double digits.

"Today was Bergen's day," said Irish Head Coach Dave Pero. "In the fourth quarter, Abbie Kelley took the game over. We missed way too many free throws. We probably missed 14 free throws (10, actually) and in sectional play, in any game, you can't miss 14 free throws and think you're going to struggle to win. Sometimes you'll get lucky, but the luck of the Irish wasn't with us today."

B-B's diamond defense held Notre Dame's top two scorers to totals a shave below their season PPG averages. Becca Krenzer had 12 points and Shea Norton, 11.

Emma Francis didn't hit a single three and was held to seven points for the game.

"We had the shots we wanted," Pero said. "You have days when they're not going to go in and today was one of those days. But we fought to get back in third quarter and I don't know if we ran out of gas a little bit, we might have, but I've got to take my hat off to Bergen. They played a great basketball game. They played for 32 minutes and that's why they're moving on and we're not."

The Bees had 13 days off before the game and Krzewinski said the team used that time to work on the diamond defense thinking it would be effective against Notre Dame.

"We were hoping maybe we could force some turnovers, worst case maybe slow them down," Krzewinski said. "I thought the girls worked it well and the message was, it will work if you move and they moved. We got out of it what I wanted."

It's been 2008 since Byron-Bergen beat Notre Dame in a girls basketball game, and the Irish seem to be a chief rival for just about every team they play.  The win certainly made Bees fans happy, who whooped it up in the closing seconds of the game.

"Yeah, everybody wants to beat Notre Dame, obviously,"  Krzewinski said. "Year in and year out they're a team that everybody wants to beat and to be able to do this in a sectional game just makes it really sweet. I'm so proud of the way they (his team) played and hung in there and did this. I don't even know what to say."

Next up for Byron-Bergen, the #3 seed in the tournament, is #2 seed Gananda (16-3) at 6 p.m., Tuesday, at a location to be determined.

Pembroke, also a C1 team, lost today to East Rochester.

Oakfield-Alabama and Alexander also lost playoff games today, leaving Byron-Bergen, Batavia and Elba as the three Genesee County girls basketball teams still alive in the postseason. All three have games scheduled for Tuesday.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 8:52 am

Lady Blue Devils keep shooting on way to 46-37 playoff win over Geneva

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

The law of averages was bound to catch up with the Lady Panthers in their Friday night Section V playoff match with the Lady Blue Devils in Batavia.

Yes, Maddie McCulley, Sam Cecere and Tiara Filbert were held to only nine points combined in the first half, but they were getting open looks. If they kept shooting, shots would fall.

That's just what happens when good shooters keep shooting.

McCulley finished the night with 17 points, including a trio of threes in the fourth quarter, and Filbert notched 13 points and Cecere added seven as Batavia pulled away for a 46-37 to advance to the Class A2 semifinals at 8 p.m., Tuesday, in Mendon.

"Tiara had a bad first half, Maddy had a bad first half, Sam had a bad first half, yet were were behind by only three," said Head Coach Marty Hein. "There was never a time with these girls where we thought we would be only at 15 at half time. We told them, 'just keep shooting.' "

There was a time midway through the third quarter when the game had that feel of one that was slipping away.

Batavia trailed by 11, 26-15.

Successive baskets from McCulley, Filbert and Abby Allien, tightened the score.

A switch to a 3/4 quarter pressure defense got Geneva off balance and created some turnovers.

Suddenly with 18 seconds left in the quarter it was a different game.

Taylor Stefaniak, who finished with five points, sunk a crucial free throw (top photo) to tie the score and the Lady Panthers would never be out in front again.

To win, Batavia had to overcome a Geneva team led by senior Mia Morrison, 313 points on the year, 161 rebounds, 36 assists, 21 steals and 13 blocked shots and the athletic ability to dominate a game.

The job of slowing her down went to Filbert.

"She's definitely their star," Hein said. "We just wanted her to work from one end of the floor to the other. The first half we played a lot of man and put Tiara on her. We were joking around with Buddy Brasky (Batavia's boys head coach) the other day, about whether Tiara could even handle playing at the boys' level. When she guards you, it's intense."

The assignment helped get Filbert in foul trouble in the third quarter, so Hein switched the defense to give Filbert some help, but left his own star in the game.

"Tiara can play smart with four fouls," Hein said. "She knows, fine, let the girl score a layup, she's more valuable on the floor than on the bench."

It was an unorthodox approach that Hein stuck with when Cecere was whistled for a fourth time with about four minutes left in the game.

He didn't lift his junior center, either.

"Most of the time you sit somebody, they're in foul trouble and you sit them for almost a whole quarter and then they never get a foul the rest of the game, so it's like, go ahead and let them play, if it happens it happens," Hein said.  "It's such a close game. It's a live and die game. We lose and we're done. We win, we move on to the next step, so we'll go out swinging, I guess."

Pittsford-Mendon in the semis is going to be another tough matchup.

Like Batavia, the Lady Vikings are 15-4, but Mendon also held Batavia to 33 points in the second game of the season, in the Blue Devils' most lopsided loss of the year, 54-33.

The Vikings feature three players in triple figures in scoring (Alley Phillips, 232, Darby Kreienberg, 159, Emily Sullivan, 139).

Even so, Hein likes his team, which he believes has really come together well over the course of the season.

"Mendon really took it to us in the second game of the season," Hein said. "We were good and played with them in the first half, but we got shelled in the second half. Our team has a whole different identity from the beginning of the year to where we're at now. Todd Julien is a great coach. Mendon has some great basketball players, but I like mine, too. We'll give them heck on Tuesday."

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Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 10:07 am

Pembroke Lady Dragons opens sectional play with win over Sodus

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

The Pembroke Lady Dragons beat Sodus in a first-round Section V Class C1 playoff game Wednesday night in Pembroke, 69-45.

They took a 46-21 lead into the half.

Olvia Kohorst had 16 points to lead the Dragons. Hannah Duttweiler, 14 and Rylee Moser, 13. 

For Sodus, Jackie Barclay scored 15 and Alexis Jackson 14.

Pembroke (11-9) plays at 2 p.m., Saturday, against East Rochester (18-1) in East Rochester.

Photo and game information submitted by Aaron Burch, athletic director, Pembroke Central Schools.

Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 9:50 am

Notre Dame wins 55-29 in opening sectional game

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

The Notre Dame girls basketball team won its first Section V Class C1 playoff game of 2015 with a rout over Williamson, 55-29.

The Fighting Irish took a commanding 31-4 lead into the half.

Shea Norton (#44) hit three threes and had 17 points on the night. Becca Krenzer had 12 and Emma Francis had 11, including a trio of threes.

For Williamson, Kiki Hall had 11 and Maddie Thornson finished with 10.

Next up for Notre Dame (16-4), Byron-Bergen (16-3), at 2 p.m., Saturday at Byron-Bergen.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 10:34 am

Pembroke and Byron-Bergen open tournament play with battle to the end

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, byron-bergen, high school sports, pembroke, sports

Two teams, evenly matched, made for action-packed basketball at Byron-Bergen Tuesday night, but a 14-2 run in the second quarter made all the difference for Pembroke as the Dragons pulled out a 51-45 win in a first-round Section V playoff game.

Byron-Bergen and Pembroke came into the game as the #8 and #9 seeds, both with 7-12 records and having split their two regular season contests.

"We know everything that they're running," said Chad Smith, Bees head coach. "I mean, he had to change up his pace and we were able to adjust to it. We figured it out. We did a great job. He knows pretty much what we're doing. We worked them down to five seconds on the shot clock a lot throughout the night, but they had guys come up big."

Smith and Pembroke Coach Matt Shay agreed that the turning point was the second quarter, when shots stopped dropping for the Bees and the Dragons got hot.

"We really locked down defensively and that was huge because they made some shots in the first quarter and I told the guys after the first quarter, I thought we were playing solid defense, but they were just making tough, good shots, good offensive plays. I told the guys, 'stick with it.' I think the defense looked pretty good and eventually those percentages even themselves out."

The game wasn't really decided into the closing second, but Byron-Bergen wasn't able to run its plays to get some scores.

Smith realizes he has a young team and he's eager to start off-season work with his returning players with an eye toward a stronger 2015-16.

"We've got a great group of kids," Smith said. "They work their tails off for me. I knew it was going to be a fight. They weren't going to give up at all until the end. I'm very proud of our guys.
I think we're moving in the right direction."

For Pembroke, Ryan Cansdale had 16 points, Zack Von Kramer, 10, and Kyle Ludwig hit three triples on his way to a 10-point game.

For the Bees, Steele Truax had 11, and Brandon Burke and Adam Strassner had 10 each.

Next up for Pembroke at 7 p.m., Friday, is #1 seed Mynderse (15-4). 

Shay knows it's going to be a tough game for his young team.

"We're definitely the underdog, which is OK with us because we've been an underdog team for most the season," Shay said. "I don't try to focus too much on the other team. We will get focused on what we do and execute on what we do rather than concentrate on what they do."

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Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Photos: Ice Devils top Fighting Irish 2-1 in hockey

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

In their third matchup of the season today at Falleti Ice Arena, Batavia and Notre Dame battled for three periods in a physical, fast-paced game that ended 2-1 with the Ice Devils on top.

Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 10:09 pm

Photos: Batavia HS cheerleaders place third in sectional competition

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, cheerleading, high school sports, sports

In a field of nine Class B Section V schools the Batavia High School cheerleaders placed third today in the sectional championship event.

Information and photos submitted by Justine Bonarigo.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 10:41 am

Lady Dragons don pink again to 'Shoot for a Cure'

post by laurie napoleone in high school sports, pembroke, sports

A tin can, a pink basketball, and a lady dragon… it sounds like some sort of fairy tale. But it is far from that as these Lady Dragons use the cans to collect donations and that ball to shoot for a cure for breast cancer. To date, these young women have raised more than $22,000 for this cause.

When Rylee Moser was a freshman and playing on the Pembroke Junior Varsity Basketball Team, she recalls being asked to participate in the “Shooting For a Cure” event to help raise funds for breast cancer research. She said “our gym teacher’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and we wanted to do something to help.” Now a varsity player and a senior at Pembroke High School, Rylee remains highly involved and she and her teammates are passing the torch that will continue this tradition of the Shooting For a Cure event.

The Pembroke Dragons Girls Basketball Team started this fund-raising effort in 2012, carrying around coffee cans and asking for donations; they raised approximately $4,100. The following year, they continued finding sponsors and raised more than $7,100. And last year they set their goal at $10,000 and raised over $11,000. This year, these players hope to make it bigger and better than ever. With corporate sponsors and 70-plus merchants involved, they hope to exceed their goal again this year.

Mike Wilson, Pembroke math teacher who has been involved with this event since the start, says “all the girls cannot wait for this game… they are a civic-minded group and they use basketball to make a difference in their community.” The underclassmen will continue to carry the torch as he sees this as “the game the girls look forward to the most, where they have a chance to serve the community and others.” 

Shooting for a Cure will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, when the Lady Dragons host the Holley Hawks at the Pembroke High School Gymnasium. Besides proceeds from ticket sales, the Lady Dragons will have food, auctions and raffles. Perry’s Ice Cream is sponsoring an ice cream sundae bar at the game as well.

Donations are still being accepted and anyone wishing to donate can contact Mike Wilson at 585-599-4525, ext. 1210, or go to www.crowdrise.com/shooting4acure. All money raised from this event go directly to Roswell Park Cancer Institute to support breast cancer research.

When Rylee and the other seniors exit the court tommorrow night, they will carry with them the pride that they have made a difference in their school, their community and all those battling breast cancer.

Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 9:02 am

Coach Pero honored prior to Notre Dame girls basketball game

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

Former players, such as Laurie Call, above, and his son, Dave Pero Jr., paid tribute Friday night to Notre Dame girls head basketball Coach Dave Pero Sr. prior to the team's game against Holly.

Pero hasn't announced his retirement, but there's a suspicion that this will be his final season, so Pero Jr., wanted to have a ceremony to honor his father, whose teams have won four sectional titles and a state championship.

Pero said he hasn't decided whether to return next season. Right now, he's focused on getting his team through another postseason, which starts in a couple of weeks. "Whatever I decide, it will be best for everybody involved," he said.

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