Scio-Friendship and Houghton in action Thursday night. Tricia Davenport photo.
BY CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com @iambrooksie on Twitter
FILLMORE — The Class D3 Finals was an all-Allegany County spectacle put on display. With both teams being separated by just a five-minute drive down the road from one another, Houghton Academy and Fillmore got together on Thursday to do it all over again.
Like the previous three battles that the two teams had last season, it was no different.
Wire to wire, back and forth, the Lady Panthers and Lady Eagles laid it all out on the table once again inside The Rock, as each team garnered a dominant set to begin the night before the action began to tighten up down the final homestretch.
It was anyone’s game. But who wanted it more?
At the end of the night, that question was answered by the runners-up from down the road in Houghton, as they built just enough momentum to force a fifth set — one that they wound up finding the narrow, winning edge over Fillmore to collect the victory, taking the 20-25, 25-15, 23-25, 25-20, 15-13 decision.
“It was just another typical Fillmore/Houghton volleyball match. It was very close throughout the game,” said Lady Eagles coach Lacie Fuller. “We’re still working hard to find some consistency, and some areas that were solid in a previous match became our weakness tonight. On the other hand, there were things that we did well with tonight that we couldn’t figure out a week ago.”
Houghton Academy (1-2) saw Jessica Adenuga rise to the occasion on the attack, posting a game-high 19 kills to pair with six digs, five blocks and a pair of aces. Jess Prentice was also heavily involved with the team’s offense, scoring 14 kills of her own to go along with 10 digs and nine aces from the service line.
Setter Abby Reitnour (six digs, four aces) handed out 20 assists to help set up shop for the visitors in blue.
The Lady Eagles (2-2) saw Skylar Gaddy pace the offensive efforts behind her six team-high kills, four aces and one dig. On defense, Abby Engler contributed seven digs, while setter Zoe Hubbard passed out 15 assists to go with three aces from the service line.
“It’s just part of the growing process for this group. As we continue to build our chemistry, I think that consistency will come and with that, some confidence to finish matches strong will be right along as well.” said Fuller.
Hinsdale 3, Genesee Valley/Belfast 1
BELMONT — Jaylee Jimerson was outstanding from the service line for the Hinsdale Lady Bobcats on Thursday, as she assisted in propelling the team towards their first victory of the season by a 3-1 count over host Genesee Valley/Belfast.
Jimerson led the Lady Bobcats (1-2) from the back line with a game-high 10 aces, pairing them with eight kills on the attack and five digs. Hannah Sutton furthered the team’s cause on offense with five additional kicks to pair with four aces and two blocks, while setter Jamilyn Gilberson (five aces, three kills) handed out 13 assists.
On the other side of the net, it was Raygen Haggstrom who led the offense for Genesee Valley/Belfast (0-5) with a team-high seven kills, and five aces. Liliana Porter added in five aces and three kills of her own, while setter Cassidy Hand passed out eight assists to go with four aces and a denial.
Genesee Valley/Belfast would combine as a team to produce 24 aces from the service line throughout the contest.
Bolivar-Richburg 5, Cuba-Rushford 1
CUBA — The Bolivar-Richburg Wolverines knocked off Cuba-Rushford with a fast start to their game last weekend in the title game of Scio’s Memorial Boys Soccer Tournament to socket their second tournament jewel into their crown. Fast forward nearly a week later, and the two foes squared off once more, this time in Cuba on Thursday.
Only this time around instead of a fast first half, the unbeaten Wolverines used it all in the second half.
With a 2-0 lead over the Rebels at the break, they would use the momentum to add to their lead by scoring three second half goals, led by a two-goal game from Reiss Gaines and three-assist evening from Aydin Sisson to power their way towards seven straight wins by another 5-1 decision.
The goal-scoring would commence after a midfield battle consumed half of the first half’s time, beginning with Bolivar-Richburg (7-0) finding an opening through Cuba-Rushford’s defense with Evan Pinney help lead the way on a pass to Aydin Sisson for the first goal ringing in with 17:05 left.
Sisson would then have the honor of handing out assists on the next three goals for the Wolverines, two to Reiss Gaines, with the first coming with 7:57 left in the half to take a 2-0 lead on Cuba-Rushford (3-4) going into the break, and then an extension with Gaines’ second of the game with 25:33 to go.
The Rebels would eliminate the shutout past halfway with an unassisted marker coming from the foot of Jacob Smith, cutting the deficit down to two in the process. But the one goal would be all the hosts in blue and white would get, as Bolivar-Richburg added two more goals in the last 15 minutes of play from David Baldwin and Landon Barkley to close out the scoring in another red hot tenure of offense.
The Wolverines outshot the hosts by a 17-7 total count, with David Abdo making all seven saves for the victory. Adam Shaffer set aside 12 shots for the Rebels.
Houghton Academy 2, Friendship/Scio 0
HOUGHTON — Lucas Matias and Shams Zia were the two Panthers that made everything happen on Thursday, as the Houghton Academy duo interchanged on both of the team’s markers in each half, giving them a 2-0 lead that they never let up on against visiting Friendship/Scio to secure the victory in the end.
“They had some good looks in the first half, but our defense was solid in the second half holding them down,” said Panthers coach Jeff Prentice. “Jordan White is a great player, and he was hard to handle. We did everything we could to try and contain him. They might be a young team, but they do a great job of working hard and getting better. I have a feeling this will be another great game again later on this season.”
Matias was the first to strike for Houghton Academy (3-2) in the opening half, as the Panthers found a way to win the midfield battle with Friendship/Scio with a 1-0 lead at the break, taking a Zia pass and firing it home with 6:12 left to play before the break.
The lead would hold until the hosts in blue and white found a way to provide a big piece of insurance to extend it, as Matias repaid the favor to Zia with a helper on his goal just past the midway mark of the second half to cement their shutout victory permanently. Houghton Academy would wind up outshooting Friendship/Scio (1-4) by a narrow 9-7 count, with Marco Zanini stopping all five shots for the blank.
Landon Arnold would make seven saves in net for the visitors.
Fillmore 6, Genesee Valley/Belfast 1
BELMONT — Jack Cool and Mitch Ward helped lead another hot offensive effort from the Eagles of Fillmore back on the field on Thursday, each finding the back of the Genesee Valley/Belfast net twice to pace their fourth win in a row, taking down the hosts at Judy Bliven Field with a 6-1 victory.
Layton Sanasith and Zach Sisson would each score to round off another stout showing of offense from Fillmore (4-0), who scored four of their six goals in the first 40 minutes of play to set the tone immediately on Genesee Valley/Belfast. As for the hosts, their lone goal was scored by Daemon Cobb, who capitalized on a pass over from Evan Turybury to get on the board.
Fillmore outshot Genesee Valley/Belfast by a 19-5 count, with Luke Colombo putting a stop on four shots to preserve the victory in between the posts for the Eagles, while Thai Norasethaporn stopped 13 shots on the other end.
Hinsdale 3, Andover/Whitesville 2
ANDOVER — It was a game that saw Hinsdale jump on the board first after successfully winning the midfield battle with Andover/Whitesville. But as time began to wind down, the call for action and sense of urgency kicked into gear.
In the last 10 minutes of the first half, three of the next four goals would find its way into the back of the net between both teams, ultimately creating a halftime deadlock that needed to be broken in the second half.
As the two teams re-engaged in the battle across the field again, the Bobcats found a way to jump out on top in the last 10 minutes of regulation. Robert Childs was the Bobcat who went knocking on the door of opportunity, knocking the ball free from the Andover/Whitesville defense and knocking it home to put Hinsdale ahead in the late stages, and for good with a 3-2 victory for their first of the season on Thursday.
Childs would wind up scoring two of Hinsdale’s (1-4) three goals, with his first being the first of the game after weaving his way through the Andover/Whitesville defense with 23:05 to go, connecting with a pass from Kadyn Cassady on the way in to break the ice. The 1-0 lead was held right up until the 10 minute mark when the offensive fireworks began to erupt.
Hinsdale’s lead would grow to a pair with Childs paying the success forward with an assist to Brett Bergstrom, who scored with eight minutes remaining in the opening half to branch their lead. But the deficit would soon be erased by Andover/Whitesville (1-5), as they managed to tie the game at the break with help from both CJ Estep and Colton Calladine, scoring 1:18 apart on unassisted tallies to bring the game to a 2-2 deadlock, with Estep scoring off a direct kick that sailed into the Bobcats goal.
Both teams stayed right with one another for much of the second half, right up until Hinsdale found a way to unlock the deadlock with Childs’ second tally at the most crucial time — with 10:52 left in regulation to give the Bobcats the room they needed to stay out in front of Andover/Whitesville until the end.
Ethan Chapman would go on to record 10 saves in goal for the visitors to earn the win, while Landon Ordway made 10 saves himself for the hosts.
Amy McMichael Tournament
Cuba-Rushford 1, Friendship/Scio 0
SCIO — Sometimes only one goal is all you need.
In the opening round of the Amy McMichael Tournament under the lights in Scio, that was what the doctor exactly ordered for the Cuba-Rushford Lady Rebels, as they punctuated on the game’s lone goal to take the lead, holding onto ever since to secure a spot in the title game with a 1-0 shutout of host Friendship/Scio on Thursday.
“Sometimes it only takes one,” said Lady Rebels coach Aaron Wight. “We struggled to finish the ball, and Friendship/Scio nearly took advantage of it at the end. They had a couple of really good chances to tie it up, but we were fortunate nothing went in. I know they have a young team, but they have them playing really hard from start to finish. I’m glad we were able to hold onto this one.”
The Lady Rebels (2-2) and their lone connection was capitalized upon by their senior star Taylor Searle on the outside, as she gathered up a pass on the way into the Friendship/Scio zone from Cloey Larabee and knocked in home past Nevaeh Ross in between the pipes to give them the game’s first and only lead.
Friendship/Scio (1-3-1) would push the pace a bit right down the stretch of regulation, collecting two stellar chances on the Cuba-Rushford goal to try and tie the game with under 10 minutes left, but both were cleared away by the Lady Rebels defense.
The visitors in white and blue would win the battle in the shot department by a 14-2 count, with Tara Duvall making both saves to earn the shutout. On the other end, Ross and Grace Drumm combined for 13 saves for the hosts.