By John Anderson
The Wellsville Lions boys’ basketball team was racking up Section V titles in 2015, 2016 and 2019 when COVID made for a strange 2020 season.
The team raced out to a 9-0 start, but in the shortened season, fell to Mynderse in sectionals.
With the 2021-2022 season starting and the schedule back at fill-strength, the Lions have to fill some major holes from graduation and thanks to just an 11-game season last year, the current team is lacking varsity experience.
However, Coach Raymie Auman’s Lions are a group of solid basketball players who have put in years of off-season work and feature lightning-quick guards and size and strength. It could take a few weeks into the regular season to see this group start to gel, and there is an exciting schedule to watch it unfold.
The Lions are at Geneva Thursday (Dec. 2) then on Saturday will play in the Hall of Fame Showcase at Wayland-Cohocton at 8 p.m., the final game of five that day.
One of the greatest games ever played in Wellsville was the inaugural Dan Barkley Showcase in Wellsville between the Lions and Hornell. The showcase was so big, it had to move to two local colleges. The showcase returns to Wellsville this year and once again, Wellsville will play Hornell. These games are as close to Section V finals as you can get.
The Lions also have a tough game at Olean this year, home and away series with rivals Allegany-Limestone, Walsh Bolivar-Richburg and Cuba-Rushford. The team also has a challenge with Fillmore and the Lions are playing in the IAABO Tournament.
It’s an exciting schedule with a lot of in-season championship opportunities. Here is a capsule of the Lions put together by our friend Bill Collmer from Section V talksback.
Coach: Raymie Auman, assistant Tom Muska
Last Season: 9-2, lost in the Class B2 Sectional Quarterfinals to Mynderse
History Lesson: Sectional Champions in 2010, 2015, 2016 & 2019
Numbers: Averaged 54.6 PPG, Opponents 44.0
Players to Watch: Logan Dunbar (Jr., 12 PPG, 8 RPG), Alex Perkins (Sr. 5 PPG), Connor Ferguson (Sr.), Dalton Ketchner (Sr.) , Kailob Phelps Sr.)
Top Newcomers: Cody Costello (Jr.), Aidan Riley (Jr.) , Eli Schmidt (Sr.), Cooper Brockway (Soph.), Jacob Hoyer (Jr.), Asher Billings (Jr.).
Fun Fact: Wellsville lost their first game last season then won nine straight before losing to Mynderse in Sectionals.
Coach Auman Says: “We will be a very young and energetic team with only two players returning who played significant minutes last season. This is a very talented and hard-working group who had a pretty good summer developing and coming together. I’m looking forward to seeing how much we grow throughout the season.”
Dec. 2 at Geneva
Dec. 4 at Wayland-Cohocton, varsity only 8 p.m.
Dec. 8 at Allegany-Limestone
Dec. 10 IAABO Tournament vs. Cuba-Rushford
Dec. 11 IAABO Tournament vs Finney or Fillmore
Dec 14 HOME Bath, 5:30 JV, 7 p.m. varsity
Dec. 17 at Walsh, varsity only, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 22 HOME Allegany-Limestone, 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity
Jan. 3 HOME Canisteo-Greenwood 6 pm., 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 8 at Canisteo-Greenwood, 6 and 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 11 HOME Bolivar-Richburg, 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 13 at Cuba-Rushford, 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14 HOME Barkley Showcase vs. Hornell 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21 at Hornell, 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. varsity
Jan. 25 at Bath, 5:30 p.m. and 7
Jan. 28 at Bolivar-Richburg, 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 9 at Fillmore, 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. varsity
Feb. 11 HOME Cuba-Rushford, 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. varsity
Feb. 14 at Olean 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 17 HOME Walsh, 6:30 p.m. varsity only