By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, Wellsvillesports.com
BOLIVAR — 24 hours removed after one of their more grueling battles of the season with Houghton Academy, the Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg performed a quick turnaround back at Dunsmore-Latimer Field on Tuesday with what shaped into yet another of the same battles, this time with visiting Canisteo-Greenwood.
Chances were had, a midfield battle was waged. It was your typical back-and-forth duel through the early stages of the opening half.
But then coming down the homestretch, the temperature began to rise with the offenses coming to life. Three goals were scored in the last 10 minutes of the half. Two of them belonged to Reiss Gaines in back-to-back fashion to earn the Wolverines a 2-0 lead over the Redskins. Despite their deficit being cut in half, the lead would remain glued together until some late insurance was had in the last 10 minutes of the second half, as they scored a 3-1 home win.
After a slow and steady pace settled in for the early stages of the contest, Bolivar-Richburg (11-1-1) kicked into gear with an explosive offensive stand in the last 10 minutes of play with Gaines and his pair of goals. At the 10:09 mark, they reached the board first off a play set up by Aydin Sisson deep in the Canisteo-Greenwood zone. Just feet away from the net, a close give-and-go sequence between he and Gaines would break out, with Gaines finishing off the final pass on Sisson’s right side for the icebreaker.
Not even two minutes later, the momentum stayed with Gaines and the Wolverines, as he recorded his second of the game on a play stemming from an Ian Unfus corner kick. The ball would initially travel straight through Noah Warriner’s hands on his attempt to save the kick, landing straight on top of the head of Gaines, popping it into the net for a 2-0 lead at the 8:26 mark.
Canisteo-Greenwood would make things interesting right before the book closed, with Gavin Bob cutting their deficit in half going into the break, racing side-by-side with Aiden Stewart on his way into the Bolivar-Richburg zone. With possession, Stewart left off an accidental pass into the arsenal of Bob, and then fired from the top of the 18 straight past David Abdo in between the posts and in with 4:37 left to go.
With the Redskins continuing to ride the Wolverines coattails ever so closely throughout the second half, some breathing room was garnered with under 10 minutes left to play from an enormous piece of insurance — Gaines handing out a helper on the way into the offensive zone for David Baldwin, who connected with the back of the net himself with 8:53 remaining to give the Wolverines the room they needed to hang on and ward off the late push by their visiting opposition.
The three goals by Bolivar-Richburg were scored off 11 total shots, as they outshot Canisteo-Greenwood by an 11-6 count. Abdo would get the win behind five saves, while Warriner made eight for the Redskins.
Northstar 4, Houghton Academy 1
HOUGHTON — On their home turf in the first battle of the season, the Northstar Christian Black Knights were all over the field making everything happen, as they came away victorious with a 5-1 win over Houghton Academy back in the beginning of September.
Now, their trip to Houghton to face the Panthers one more time on Tuesday would have them pitted against a team that had won six in a row since that last matchup back on September 12.
But the Black Knights would dig right in over the road, and capture another dominant victory, as they found the back of the net three times during the second half of play to push their advantage out over the Panthers insurmountably to record the season sweep, claiming victory by a 4-1 count.
Andover/Whitesville 1, Alfred-Almond 1
WHITESVILLE — Overtime has become an all too familiar circumstance for Andover/Whitesville this season, as Tuesday night marked the fifth time that they were forced into extra time. On this occasion, they locked horns with the Alfred-Almond Lady Eagles in Whitesville.
A tight battle across the board would develop through the first half, and into the next. But then the offense began to settle in coming down the final stretch before the end of regulation. As a result, each team found the back of the net once with Alfred-Almond ultimately forcing overtime, and then an eventual game-ending deadlock — the third for Andover/Whitesville this season in what was a 1-1 draw between both clubs.
With no answers being found on offense across a defensive midfield battle in the first half, Andover/Whitesville (1-9-3) was the first to strike with under 20 minutes remaining in the game, as Kennedy Bledsoe connected with Ava Grice on the scoring play that would give them a 1-0 lead to work with.
Leaning on their defense to hold down the fort, Alfred-Almond would see their opening come 10 minutes later after they were fouled inside the goalkeeper’s box deep in the Andover/Whitesville zone, which would set up perhaps the biggest opportunity of the night — a free kick.
Electing to take the chance was Ali Hurd, who did not hesitate to fire it into the net, slipping through the grasp of Olivia Waters in between the posts on the way in with 7:39 left to play to tie the game at one, ultimately until the end, as both teams wound up settling on the draw after 100 complete minutes.
Both Alfred-Almond and Andover/Whitesville recorded seven shots on their respective nets, with Waters and Gracen Dusinberre both making six saves.
Jasper-Troupsburg 5, Friendship/Scio 0
TROUPSBURG — Emily McCaig was at the top of her game for the Lady Wildcats of Jasper-Troupsburg on Tuesday, as she rang in her Senior Night in style with a seven-point night — a hat trick and an assist on the team’s fourth goal to Kahley Stuart in what was a hectic opening sequence in the second half, en route towards a 5-0 shutout of Friendship/Scio.
The Lady Wildcats would provide two explosive starts to the game, beginning with McCaig’s first goal off a Katelynn Staats feed on the way into the Friendship/Scio (3-9-2) zone to find the back of the net for the early lead, just four minutes in. The lead would grow after a midfield battle settled in for much the remaining time, as Kaylie Petteys branched the advantage out to a pair with six minutes remaining to take a 2-0 lead at the break.
But then the lead that Jasper-Troupsburg had held onto, grew rapidly and insurmountably with an incredible opening sequence in the second half, as the Lady Wildcats scored three goals in the first four minutes. All the goals saw McCaig have a hand in them, recording two herself while handing a pass out to Kahley Stuart in between to push out the lead from a pair to five, for good.
Aubrianna Bradley would garner an assist herself on the team’s final goal of the game, four minutes removed from the break.
Friendship/Scio was held to just three shots on goal as a unit, all of which were stopped to help preserve the shutout for the hosts in black and gray.
Fillmore 3, Canisteo-Greenwood 1
FILLMORE — The task at hand for the Fillmore Lady Eagles back home on Tuesday was perhaps the tallest they have had all season. Inside the Rock, Class C2’s top team — Canisteo-Greenwood entered the building undefeated and looking for more momentum to build for Sectionals coming up in a couple of week’s time.
Both teams fought tooth and nail through the first two sets of action, each splitting one to tie the match up. But in the next two, a big boost was gathered by the Lady Eagles, after pushing the Lady Redskins to the brink entering what turned out to be a fourth set for the ages.
With the visitors beginning to close in on potentially sending the match into a fifth and final set, Fillmore had other plans. They would find their way around the eight-ball after the visitors built a 17-9 lead, the Lady Eagles saw Emma Beardsley rise to the occasion in one of the biggest ways possible — by scoring 10 straight service points from the back line to rip the lead out of Canisteo-Greenwood’s hands, and into theirs the rest of the way, as they took down the Class C2 giants by handing them their first loss in four sets (25-21, 20-25, 25-16, 25-18).
“This was just a great win for this team. Canisteo-Greenwood is a quality volleyball team that hadn’t lost coming into tonight. We felt like we were playing some of our best volleyball last night at B-R, and I feel like that carried over into tonight’s game,” said Lady Eagles coach Lacie Fuller. “The girls were steady with their passing, although we weren’t perfect. We were able to limit mistakes for long periods of time. It was nice to see our serving rise to the occasion after it was up and down through the match. Emma and Savannah (Hosmer) came through when we needed it the most.”
Emma Beardsley’s outstanding fourth set service would propel her way to the top on the offense for the Lady Eagles (5-6), as she compiled a grand total of 14 service points to go with seven aces and a pair of kills. Jenna Austin would add in eight additional service points herself to go with four more aces, while Skylar Gaddy (three kills) continued fueling the service with six aces.
On the attack, Cadence Evans recorded four kills and one block at the front of the net, while setter Zoe Hubbard was busy handing out 20 game-high assists.
The hope after a game like this for Fuller and the Lady Eagles, is for it to become a major stepping stone towards defending their Class D3 Championship right around the corner in Sectionals.
“We had a couple of good teams on the ropes this year, like Houghton and Arkport/Canaseraga, and we weren’t able to finish them off, so I was very proud of them that they were able to do it against a great team like this,” said Fuller. “We’re just continuing to try and come together as a team, and trying to play some of our best volleyball as we get closer to Sectionals. Tonight was a big step towards that.”
Class B2 Quarterfinals
No. 5 Fillmore 3, No. 4 Marcus Whitman 2
HOUGHTON — Girls Tennis was the first to get underway for Sectionals on a rainy Tuesday night. With the Lady Lions of Wellsville needing to wait until Wednesday to take their first course of action, inside the Kerr-Pegula Field House at Houghton University, it was time for the Lady Eagles of Fillmore to take theirs.
Their first task at hand in the Class B2 Quarterfinal round was the Marcus Whitman Lady Wildcats. Led by a tough battle from their top singles competitor Olivia Chiu and a dominant performance from Kali White, the Lady Eagles would have no problem locking down the victory, as they brought out the brooms for a singles sweep to clinch match victory, eliminating the Lady Wildcats with a 3-2 edge to advance forward into the Semifinal round.
All three singles matches would go Fillmore’s (7-4) way, with Chiu leading the pack behind a straight-set win that saw her navigate through tough waters in the second set, ultimately coming away victorious with the 7-5 tiebreak needed to capture the win over Marcus Whitman’s top competitor, Hannah Gardner.
As for White at second singles, she rolled her way towards triumph with a complete straight-set shutout of her opposition, taking the 6-0, 6-0 decision, while Clair Schilke helped clinch match victory with a third singles forfeit win, bringing out the brooms in the process.
Marcus Whitman would also provide a sweep for themselves with both doubles matches in the wagon, as the first doubles team for the Lady Eagles — Molly Mahoney and Kristina Wilcox fell in a 6-0, 6-2 decision, while Emma Hopkins and Annika Wiltset dropped a first-set tiebreak that saw the Lady Wildcats capture the 7-5, 6-2 win at second doubles in addition to close out the day.