PHOTO GALLERY OF BOTH GAMES BY TRICIA DAVENPORT, story by CHRIS BROOKS
BELMONT — If there was one common denominator that was shared between the winning teams of the inaugural Belmont Rotary Club Tournament, it’s that a fast start made all the difference.
For Andover/Whitesville and host Genesee Valley/Belfast, that was the case when the Friday night twinbill went curtains up for the very first time, as both teams utilized the opening eight minute period to build up a lead that was challenged, but never lost, as they become the first two teams to meet for the championship title inside the Jungle this weekend, as Andover/Whitesville went past Houghton Academy, while Genesee Valley/Belfast coasted by Friendship/Scio.
In game one, Andover/Whitesville (1-1) found their rhythm with an all-balanced attack to score an early double-digit lead of the Panthers. Along with it, would come a boost of energy that would allow them to hang right with Houghton Academy before they were able to cap off the victory with the strongest of finishes in the fourth quarter — a 9-2 run of the Panthers to secure their spot in Saturday’s title game.
“This was a much needed win for our boys,” said Andover/Whitesville first-year coach Jimmy Joyce. “Kohler Niedermaier really dominated down low on both ends. We switched up our defense in the second half, and it allowed us to open up more for our offense. Colton (Calladine) held one of their best shooters in (James) Adenuga in check, and CJ (Estep) was very aggressive on offense to lead the way.”
CJ Estep would lead Andover/Whitesville on the attack with a game-high 17 points. Kohler Niedermaier followed behind with 11 points down low, while Jack Belmont and Gavin Cutler each had six to add in themselves. For Houghton Academy (0-1), James Adenuga led the charge with his 11 team-high points. Jack Prentice recorded nine, while Josh Davidson had eight.
To close out the opening round of action, it was another key start in the first eight minutes of play that paved the lane towards victory, this time by Genesee Valley/Belfast, as they used a solid start against Friendship/Scio to set the pace while the defense held their opposition to single figures across all four quarters to record the 52-28 home victory to fill in the final vacancy in the title game.
“They’re playing with a lot of energy, especially on defense,” GV/Belfast coach Lintz Bliven said. “We’re going to do some more shooting drills, and we have some shooters on this team. Once we find a way to get clicking, we’re going to be a tough out this season. It’s a great win to have tonight to kick off this tournament in style.”
Genesee Valley/Belfast (1-1) was at the top of their game, as they successfully rebounded from their season-opening defeat to Jasper-Troupsburg back on Wednesday with a big response that stemmed in the first eight minutes, punching down the gas pedal on an early 16-5 lead of Friendship/Scio to springboard ahead.
The energy was maintained for much of the battle going forward from that point on, as the hosts in white went on to outscore Friendship/Scio (0-1) in every quarter to build onto their lead insurmountably, securing their first win of the season, and a spot in Saturday afternoon’s title game.
Leading Genesee Valley/Belfast was Ian McKenzie, who scored a game-high 14 points. Kadin Logue followed with 10 points, while Max Wedge had five. On special teams, Ryan Daciw had a dominant game off the glass, collecting 10 rebounds, while the defense as a whole was able to create 12 steals against Friendship/Scio.
As for their opposition, Brenden Loucks paced the attack with 10 team-high points. Taylor Moore sank three treys, for nine points, while Cooper Greenman had four to help round off Friendship/Scio, who will face Houghton Academy in Consolation round action beginning at 12 p.m.
Afterwards, Andover/Whitesville and Genesee Valley/Belfast will vie for this year’s inaugural crown inside the Jungle, as the two teams prepare to square off in a 2 p.m. opening tip.
Andover/Whitesville 16 12 11 9 – 48
Houghton Academy 6 11 12 2 – 31
ANDOVER/WHITESVILLE: CJ Estep 7 1-1 17, Will Kent 2 0-0 4, Colton Calladine 2 0-0 4, Kohler Niedermaier 5 1-2 11, Jack Belmont 2 0-0 6, Gavin Cutler 3 0-2 6. Totals: 21 2-5 48.
HOUGHTON ACADEMY: Lucas Matias 0 1-2 1, Jack Prentice 3 1-1 9, Josh Davidson 3 0-0 8, James Adenuga 5 0-0 11, Marco Zanini 1 0-0 2, Pedro Rebello 0 0-2 0. Totals: 12 2-5 31.
3-point goals: A/W 4 (Estep 2, Belmont 2), HA 5 (Prentice 2, Davidson 2, Adenuga).
Total Fouls: A/W 9, HA 5. Fouled out: None.
Friendship/Scio 5 8 9 6 – 28
Genesee Valley/Belfast 16 12 13 11 – 52
FRIENDSHIP/SCIO: Taylor Moore 3 0-0 9, Ethan Davenport 1 0-1 3, Brenden Loucks 3 4-6 10, Cooper Greenman 2 0-0 4, Jerome Harmon 1 0-0 2. Totals: 10 4-7 28.
GV/BELFAST: Ian McKenzie 6 0-0 14, Brayden Cooper 2 0-2 4, Kadin Logue 5 0-0 10, Owen Heaney 2 0-0 4, Jacob Borden 1 0-0 2, Elden Aquila 1 0-0 3, Kyle McCumiskey 2 0-0 4, Max Wedge 2 1-2 5, Connor Stork 2 0-0 4, Fisher Herdman 1 0-0 2. Totals: 24 1-4 52.
3-point goals: F/S 4 (Moore 3, Davenport), GVB 3 (McKenzie 2, Aquila).
Total Fouls: F/S 5, GVB 16. Fouled out: None.
Cuba-Rushford 72, Hinsdale 19
CUBA — The Rebels of Cuba-Rushford caught fire right from the opening tip on Friday. After taking care of business earlier in the week against Andover/Whitesville to open their season, they would build on it going into the weekend after a humongous first quarter set the tone immediately against visiting Hinsdale, as they strolled their way towards a 72-19 win back inside the Wighthouse.
“I was very proud of our defensive effort and overall energy tonight. Every player that stepped on the court was ready to play.” said Rebels interim head coach Rob Wight.
The Rebels (2-0) was able to hold Hinsdale in check all night, as the defense kept the Bobcats offense at a standstill while the offense in turn, capitalizing on major punctuations in the opening eight minutes, amassing a 30-2 run that they would never look back on to maintain their position in the driver’s seat for good.
Every Cuba-Rushford player in the lineup and off the bench would find the scoresheet across the entire game, with Jacob Smith leading the way with his game-high 16 points. Cayden Joy added in nine points, while Dom Bello had eight. For Hinsdale (0-2), Henry Schwartz paced the offense with six points. Brad Bergstrom chipped in with five.
Up next for the Rebels is a Monday night visit from Canisteo-Greenwood, beginning at 7:30 p.m. back inside the Wighthouse, while Hinsdale continues their road swing to Belfast on Tuesday, visiting Genesee Valley/Belfast in a 6 p.m. contest of their own.
Hinsdale 2 3 9 5 – 19
Cuba-Rushford 30 15 21 6 – 72
HINSDALE: Damion Brown 1 0-0 3, Brad Bergstrom 2 0-0 5, Jeff Wright 1 0-0 3, Henry Schwartz 2 1-3 6, Cody Barton 0 0-4 0, Tyler Richards 1 0-0 2. Totals: 7 1-7 19.
CUBA-RUSHFORD: Braeden Wight 1 2-2 5, Jacob Smith 7 0-1 16, Kaden Bell 3 0-1 6, Luke Brooks 3 0-0 6, Jack Frank 3 0-0 6, Hunter Scott 3 0-0 6, Dom Bello 4 0-0 8, Finn Ricketts 3 0-0 6, Tristan Clayson 0 1-2 1, Jacob Lindermann 1 0-1 3, Cayden Joy 4 0-0 9. Totals: 32 3-7 72.
3-point goals: Hinsdale 4 (Brown, Bergstrom, Wright, Schwartz), C-R 5 (Smith 2, Wight, Lindermann, Joy).
Total Fouls: Hinsdale 9, C-R 6. Fouled out: None.
Portville Tourney: Portville 60, Cuba-Rushford 29
PORTVILLE — The first eight minutes were used to Portville’s utmost advantage to open their tenure in their home tournament on Friday. It was composed masterfully against visiting Cuba-Rushford, where the offense was hitting all strides while feeding off a dominant energy their defense supplied on the other end of the floor, using a massive run to put the hammer down on their 60-29 rolling of the Lady Rebels.
Portville was outstanding right out of the gate against the Lady Rebels (0-2), as they found their rhythm right from the opening tip by holding their opposition at a complete halt, scoring a gigantic 17-0 scoreless first quarter run to gain all the room they needed to work and build on for the remainder of the game.
The efforts would help them clinch a spot in tonight’s Championship game against Pioneer.
The Lady Rebels were led by Taylor Searle and her team-high 13 points. Brynn Lavery chipped in with eight points of her own, while Emma Retz and Raegan Poore both had four points.
Cuba-Rushford will return to Portville this morning to partake in Consolation round festivities, as they face Ellicottville in an 11 a.m. opening tip.
Cuba-Rushford 0 8 10 11 – 29
Portville 17 12 20 11 – 60
CUBA-RUSHFORD: Emma Retz 1 2-5 4, Brynn Lavery 3 2-2 8, Aleah Demick 0 0-2 0, Taylor Searle 5 0-1 13, Tara Duvall 0 0-2 0, Raegan Poore 2 0-2 4. Totals: 11 4-14 29.
PORTVILLE: Teagan Kosinski 2 0-0 4, Matteson Foster 3 2-2 11, Olivia Artlip 1 0-0 3, Avery DeFazio 3 0-2 7, Jackie Scanlon 5 0-0 12, Alisha Dickerson 0 1-2 1, Lillian Bentley 10 0-1 22. Totals: 24 3-7 60.
3-point goals: C-R 2 (Searle), Portville 8 (Foster 3, Scanlon 2, Artlip, DeFazio, Bentley).
Total Fouls: C-R 7, Portville 14. Fouled out: Lyle (PORT).