Bolivar-Richburg coach Jeff Margeson hands the commemorative 1,000th-point ball to senior Landon Danaher. Photo by Steve Harrison for the Wellsville Sun.
Story by CHRIS BROOKS, wellsvillesports.com photos by STEVE HARRISON
CANISTEO — You would have to flip the history books back quite a ways before you could find the last boys basketball player to gain entry into the program’s famed 1,000-point club at Bolivar-Richburg.
27 years ago was the last time such an event occurred, right at the beginning stages of a new era in athletics when both Bolivar and Richburg first merged as one. That ticket was punched by Jeff Mountain back in 1995 — a name that head coach Jeff Margeson shared the court with during his time in high school.
With the incredible season the Wolverines continue to put together, it was only right that one of the big rewards down the line would be the program’s newest inductor into the coveted club — Landon Danaher.
Despite what turned out to be a 47-44 loss right down to the wire against host Canisteo-Greenwood, the Wolverines were able to garner the biggest positive out of it, as Danaher scored his record-breaking basket to become just the second ever Wolverine to eclipse the millennium mark in their career in his team-high 23 point effort.
“Landon throughout four quarters, hit two big threes to keep us in it. He absolutely loves to play this game,” Margeson told wellsvillesports.com. “I felt bad because he really couldn’t enjoy it when it happened, because the game was at the most competitive at that point. He was disappointed that we couldn’t get this win, and that’s him to a T. He really cares about getting that win, but I’ve had him since ninth grade, and I’ve seen every one of those points. He’s earned all of them, and it’s provided a ton of memories playing along side his brother Riley (Danaher) for most of those. He puts in all the effort in the world into this game, and for him to put in as much time as he does, he’s become an incredible young man because of it. He does it all.”
Like their last meeting with the Redskins back home in Bolivar, the Wolverines (8-3) would find themselves in a track meet all the way to the finish line. It would begin with a two-point lead swinging in the favor of the Redskins through the opening eight minutes of play before Bolivar-Richburg took that lead away.
In the second quarter, the Wolverines strung together their biggest run of Canisteo-Greenwood to close out the first half in style, netting a narrow 14-8 run that would propel them to the front with a 24-20 lead. The back-and-forth pace would settle in the third quarter upon both team’s re-entry onto the court, ultimately seeing Bolivar-Richburg’s lead get cut in half heading to the final quarter.
The fireworks would flare up in the fourth, as the Wolverines garnered their largest lead over the Redskins near midway with the help of Danaher and Cam MacDonell, who gave the visitors a lead of seven. In the midst of that run, it was when Danaher hit his record-breaking shot to post 1,000 points in his career.
But a sudden turn of events past the halfway mark occurred, as Canisteo-Greenwood, without MacDonell on the floor for the Wolverines, jacked up the heat with what formed into a 15-5 game-ending run — a run that was capped off by a heroic three-point play at the line from Hunter McCaffery with six seconds remaining, nailing a fadeaway inside before being fouled by the Wolverines defense to set it all up.
The Wolverines were given one last chance to force extra time after the defense intercepted a court-length pass from the Redskins, with Wyatt Karnuth firing one back down to a wide-open Danaher in the Canisteo-Greenwood zone. But before a shot could even be attempted, the buzzer rang out, as the C-G survived by the skin of their teeth to record the season-sweeping victory in dramatic fashion.
“We’ve been playing well the entire game, and we really loved the way we were playing defense,” Margeson said. “It was back and forth the entire game. We got it up to as much as seven toward the tail end, and we were pretty pumped about that after Landon hit one of his big threes. We had all the momentum, and then Cam came out of the game and C-G went on their big run to end it. You could feel the air go out after that, and they started to smell the blood in the water.”
To go with his team-high 23 points, Danaher would also record three steals. Finishing behind his senior teammate was MacDonell, who added in 13 points of his own.
On special teams, Wyatt Karnuth pitched in with a great night off the boards, leading the team with nine boards to pair with four assists.
Bolivar-Richburg will head back home to take aim at a bounce back on Wednesday, hosting Friendship/Scio in a 6 p.m. battle.
Bolivar-Richburg 10 14 8 12 – 44
Canisteo-Greenwood 12 8 10 17 – 47
BOLIVAR-RICHBURG: Aydin Sisson 2 0-0 4, Landon Danaher 9 1-2 23, David Baldwin 0 1-2 1, Reiss Gaines 1 0-0 3, Cam MacDonell 6 1-2 13. Totals: 18 3-6 44.
CANISTEO-GREENWOOD: Mason Boyd 1 0-0 3, Cole Ferris 8 6-9 24, Hunter McCaffery 6 2-5 14, Maddox Schwartz 3 0-0 6. Totals: 18 8-14 47.
3-point goals: B-R 5 (Danaher 4, Gaines), C-G 3(Ferris 2, Boyd).
Total Fouls: B-R 11, C-G 8. Fouled out: None.