GV/Belfast uses stout defense to establish attack, propel towards Rotary Club Tourney crown with 68-43 win over And/Whi; Fri/Scio bests Houghton behind brilliant 2nd half in Consolation round; Hamer, Grusendorf fuel GV/Belfast’s explosive 1st half in big home win over Avo/Pra; Baldwin’s clutch 3 lifts B-R over Finney
By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
BELMONT — The closing sequences on the Belmont Rotary Club’s inaugural basketball tournament began to take effect, Saturday afternoon. With decisive wins from both Andover/Whitesville and host Genesee Valley/Belfast on night one, they would become the first two teams in the tournament’s early inception to battle it out for this year’s crown.
As time wound down on the warm-ups, Swingtown by the Steve Miller Band blared over the speakers. Genesee Valley/Belfast coach Lintz Bliven’s telltale signal that he’s ready to go.
Along with it, some phenomenal play by his squad in the opening stages.
Genesee Valley/Belfast was at the top of their game one more time to close out the tournament weekend, as they established their footing on both ends of the court against Andover/Whitesville successfully, as the defense forced a bounty of turnovers which allowed their offense to provide major punctuations along the way. The foundation was laid down going forward, as the hosts became the tournament’s first-ever champions after coming away victorious with a 68-43 win.
“The kids are starting to believe in our defense. Hopefully it will become our best offense at some point, but they’re starting to close out really well and they’re building some confidence from it,” said Bliven. “It was really nice to get this tournament’s first title, and it’ll be towards the top of our goals each and every season as long as we have this thing. The kids all played hard to make this happen, and they earned it. It was a great turnout for everyone involved.”
Some back and forth jabs were traded between both clubs during the first eight minutes of play to open up the final game of the tournament. But it wasn’t long after until Genesee Valley/Belfast (2-1) was able to garner the start they wanted on defense, as they capitalized on back-to-back turnovers against Andover/Whitesville near mid-court, beginning with a Kadin Logue breakaway to the basket and then finished with Ian McKenzie following with one of his own.
The two turnovers would create a shift in the balance of power, as the pendulum was held down in the hosts favor for much of the time ahead. As a result, Genesee Valley/Belfast would go on to close out with nine of the quarter’s final 10 points for a 15-5 lead.
The hosts would continue to show no signs of slowing down in the second. With a double-digit lead in hand, it would blossom even larger to as much as 17 during one point after the defense forced the ball away from Andover/Whitesville (1-2) several more times. The majority of the capitalizations were provided by Kadin Logue, as he finished with a game-high 23 points to finish with the Tournament’s top honor of MVP at the end of the afternoon.
With a 33-16 lead in hand going into the break, Genesee Valley/Belfast was able to keep adding more building blocks in the second half, maintaining their position at the front of the pack to seal the victory for good.
Finishing behind Logue, who also grabbed nine rebounds, was Jacob Borden and Ian McKenzie, as both shooters recorded nine points. Brayden Cooper added in eight points of his own. For Andover/Whitesville, CJ Estep led the scoresheet with 21 team-high points. Colton Calladine and Gavin Cutler each had six to pitch in.
Prior to the Championship game, Houghton Academy and Friendship/Scio began the afternoon right back at One Jaguar Drive with Consolation round festivities, in a game where Friendship/Scio was able to overcome a massive second quarter from the Panthers in the second half, driving the lane towards victory by a 48-33 count to split their tenure in Belmont, directly in half.
“It was a pretty sluggish first half from the boys on offense. We were down eight at one point, and then they flipped the switch in the second half,” Friendship/Scio co-coach Dillon McFall said. “Defensively, we only gave up five points coming back out, which was great. Offensively, and even last night, it was a bit of a struggle. But we were able to find a rhythm, and we saw some glimpses from last night that carried over. We have one of the younger and least experienced squads around, so to come out of this tournament breaking even is a big positive.”
Friendship/Scio’s (1-1) victory was highlighted by a magnificent response they were able to produce after they rapidly fell behind to Houghton Academy and their 20-point effort, which led to a 28-20 halftime lead for the Panthers. Houghton Academy would then become frozen in place by their opposition for the remaining time in the second half, as Friendship/Scio coasted their way towards the front and remained there until the final buzzer behind a massive 19-2 third quarter run.
Heading the efforts was Brenden Loucks, who was dominant down low with his 20-point, 11-board double-double. Following was a 15-point effort from Taylor Moore, while Jerome Harmon had six points.
Houghton Academy (0-2) was led by Josh Davidson, who recorded a team-high 13 points. Behind him was James Adenuga and his 12-point performance. Jack Prentice rounded off the Panthers efforts with the remaining eight points.
Below is the next game for all four participants of this year’s Belmont Rotary Club Tournament:
GVB: vs Hinsdale, Tuesday 6 p.m. (at Belfast)
A/W: at Cowanesque Valley (PA), Friday 7:30 p.m.
F/S: at Bolivar-Richburg, Friday 7:30 p.m.
HA: vs Keshequa, Friday 6 p.m.
Houghton Academy 8 20 2 3 – 33
Friendship/Scio 8 12 19 9 – 48
HOUGHTON ACADEMY: Jack Prentice 3 1-3 8, Josh Davidson 5 0-0 13, James Adenuga 5 1-1 12. Totals 13 2-4 33.
FRIENDSHIP/SCIO: Taylor Moore 7 0-0 15, Ethan Davenport 2 0-0 4, Jerome Harmon 3 0-0 6, Brenden Loucks 9 2-6 20, Matt Donohue 1 0-0 3. Totals: 22 2-6 48.
3-point goals: HA 5, (Davidson 3, Prentice, Adenuga), F/S 2 (Moore, Donohue).
Total Fouls: HA 10, F/S 11. Fouled out: None.
Andover/Whitesville 5 11 13 14 – 43
Genesee Valley/Belfast 15 18 19 16 – 68
ANDOVER/WHITESVILLE: Will Kent 2 1-2 5, CJ Estep 7 7-9 21, Colton Calladine 3 0-0 6, Kohler Niedermaier 1 0-0 2, Jack Belmont 1 0-0 3, Gavin Cutler 3 0-0 6. Totals: 17 8-11 43.
GV/BELFAST: Brayden Cooper 4 0-0 8, Kadin Logue 9 4-4 23, Elden Aquila 2 0-0 5, Daemon Cobb 0 0-2 0, Kyle McCumiskey 2 0-0 5, Ian McKenzie 4 0-0 9, Max Wedge 2 0-0 4, Jacob Borden 4 1-2 9, Thai Norasethaporn 0 2-2 2, Fisher Herdman 1 0-0 2, Ryan Daciw 0 1-4 1. Totals: 24 7-10 68.
3-point goals: A/W 1 (Belmont), GVB 4 (Logue, Aquila, McCumiskey, McKenzie).
Total Fouls: A/W 13, GVB 14. Fouled out: None.
Genesee Valley/Belfast 47, Avoca/Prattsburg 18
BELFAST — No matter what sport she plays. Whether it’s in the Fall on the pitch, or indoors on the hardwood during the Winter, Mary Hamer is a difference maker. During the latter, the Genesee Valley/Belfast junior has become one of the team’s centerpieces since she stepped foot onto the court from within the Varsity stronghold.
Saturday’s home opener against Avoca/Prattsburgh was a prime example of that.
Alongside her senior teammate Adison Grusendorf, the two Genesee Valley/Belfast sharpshooters help engulf their trails towards glory for their squad, as they used a tremendous, well-rounded effort on both ends of the floor to keep the Lady Titans at a complete standstill, with both scorers combining for 39 of the team’s 47 points to pace their 47-19 victory to open their home slate.
“We got some great play from everyone today. Mary is just incredible, and Adison had a great game behind her as well,” said GV/Belfast coach Jim Schneider. “We’ve worked hard preparing our new girls, and all of our returners have helped in this process. They are all friends first, athletic and they want to do better individually and as a team. It has been really fun coaching these ladies over the past five years since I started here.”
A brilliant beginning was formed by Genesee Valley/Belfast (1-1) to start their afternoon, scoring the game’s first six points — a Grusendorf three-pointer and an early three-point play finished off at the charity stripe by Hamer. After the Lady Titans found their way onto the board for the first time a short time later, the momentum was maintained by the hosts in white as they went on to complete what was a 12-2 first quarter run.
The run would continue going into the first half’s conclusion. After Avoca/Prattsburgh ended their scoreless drought, Genesee Valley/Belfast would add to their lead with nine straight points with Hamer and Grusendorf leading the charge once more, as their lead would grow to as much as 16. The hosts would score one more lengthy run of the Lady Titans upon their arrival back to the court for the second half, scoring a 12-2 jaunt to distance their lead even further for good.
Hamer would lead the Genesee Valley/Belfast offense with a game-high 24 points, while Grusendorf followed behind with 15 additional points of her own. Rounding off the scoresheet was Kendra Bigelow, who had five points, and Anna Drozdowski with three. For Avoca/Prattsburgh, Kamryn Edwards had a team-high 10 points.
Genesee Valley/Belfast will get set to host Fillmore in the Jungle, Wednesday night in a 7:30 p.m. opening tip.
Avoca/Prattsburgh 2 9 2 5 – 18
Genesee Valley/Belfast 12 14 12 7 – 47
AVOCA/PRATTSBURGH: D’Mariannah Hinson-Pike 0 1-2 1, Gwen Moon 2 0-0 4, Breanna Jorritsma 0 0-2 0, Emma Carlton 1 0-0 3, Kamryn Edwards 4 2-5 10. Totals: 7 3-9 18.
GV/BELFAST: Anna Drozdowski 1 1-6 3, Kendra Bigelow 1 3-4 5, Adison Grusendorf 5 2-4 15, Mary Hamer 11 1-1 24. Totals: 18 7-15 47.
3-point goals: A/P 1 (Carlton), GVB 3 (Grusendorf 2, Hamer).
Total Fouls: A/P 14, GVB 11. Fouled out: Jorritsma (A/P).
Canisteo-Greenwood 47, Wellsville 22
CANISTEO — A hot start to the season rolls on for Canisteo-Greenwood.
On Saturday, Lillian Mullen and Brooke Burd were the dynamic duo that propelled the Lady Redskins towards big heights in their massive collision with the Wellsville Lady Lions, as both had a hand at fronting the team’s offense across the game. As a result, they went on to record their third straight win by a 47-22 count on their home floor to close out the weekend on a strong note.
“Their defense was very, very good today and we expected that. I knew going in that this was their third game and they have a ton of experience, and we are inexperienced,” said Lady Lions coach Michelle Alvord. “This would be the type of game that would show us where we are, and what we have to work on going forward. We will find our way to where we need to be, we just have to keep getting better and plug away.”
Canisteo-Greenwood (3-0) was able to get the best of both worlds across the first half to set the tone against the Lady Lions. On offense, Lillian Mullen would take charge with 13 of her team-high 19 points coming in that span, while the defense buckled down and delivered a near shutout performance by holding Wellsville to just a single shot from the field — a Sara Reitz three-pointer.
The momentum would sway onward into the second quarter before reaching a boiling point in the second half, when Burd would unleash a barrage of jumpers from inside — 12 points worth to be exact, out of the team’s 16 in all inside the frame, while the defense kept holding Wellsville (0-1) idle to balance and extend their advantage, insurmountably along the way.
Both Mullen and Burd would lead the Lady Redskins with a game-high 19 points, with Mullen recording six rebounds and four steals, while Burd grabbed seven additional boards. Adding special teams help was Bailey Mullen, who had nine additional boards to grab, while Elaine Roach had six. Canisteo-Greenwood will take aim at potentially a fourth straight win to open their campaign on Wednesday, visiting Alfred-Almond in a 6 p.m. contest.
The Lady Lions were paced by both Reitz and Makenna Dunbar, as they each recorded five team-high points.
Wellsville will continue their road swing on Tuesday, as they visit the Olean Lady Huskies in a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.
Wellsville 4 5 9 4 – 22
Canisteo-Greenwood 14 12 16 5 – 47
WELLSVILLE: Lindsay Stuck 1 0-2 3, Natalie Adams 1 0-0 2, Maddy Parks 1 0-0 2, Emily Robbins 1 0-0 3, Sara Reitz 1 2-3 5, Averee Palmatier 1 0-0 2, Makenna Dunbar 1 3-6 5. Totals: 7 5-11 22.
CANISTEO-GREENWOOD: Bailey Mullen 0 2-2 2, Elaine Roach 1 0-0 2, Triniti Tigner 0 1-2 1, Lillian Mullen 8 2-4 19, Peyton Peters 1 2-4 4, Brooke Burd 9 1-3 19. Totals: 19 8-15 47.
3-point goals: Wellsville 3 (Stuck, Robbins, Reitz), C-G 1 (L. Mullen).
Total Fouls: Wellsville 10, C-G 12. Fouled out: None.
Bolivar-Richburg 33, C.G. Finney 31
ROCHESTER — In what was a true back-and-forth battle from start to finish, something had to give between Bolivar-Richburg and C.G. Finney, Saturday afternoon in the Flower City. As the baskets were being traded constantly, the game would whittle its way down toward the final stages.
One shot can make all the difference. And for the Lady Wolverines, Nadia Baldwin had it.
With minimal time remaining in regulation, the Bolivar-Richburg sophomore made sure it was time well spent, as she unloaded on the team’s lone field goal from downtown — perhaps the biggest shot of the afternoon, to pull the Lady Wolverines ahead. Despite one final attempt to inch closer with some help at the line from the Lady Falcons, time would run out, as Bolivar-Richburg held on for dear life to secure a 33-31 edge for their first win.
“It was a back and forth defensive battle the whole time,” said Lady Wolverines coach Hadley Ferris. “I am very proud of my girls today, they truly gave it everything they had until the final buzzer. Malayna (Ayers) is just coming back into the lineup after being out sick, so it was great to see some of the younger girls step up and help out. Nadia and Emma (Sisson) made some crucial outside shots, and everyone played great defense. It was a great team win overall.”
Sandwiched in between a pair of dead even exchanges, the Lady Falcons were able to earn the first jump against the Lady Wolverines (1-1) with a quick lead through the opening eight minutes. They would hold their lead going into the second half, when Bolivar-Richburg found their way ahead with a 12-6 doubling up in the third quarter to even the playing ground.
Both teams would converge on one final dead even trade in the final eight minutes, leading up to what would be the penultimate moment of the battle — Baldwin’s long-range three to jet the Lady Wolverines into the lead, holding off a late challenge from C.G. Finney from the charity stripe along the way to seal the victory.
Baldwin would finish at Bolivar-Richburg’s leading scorer with a team and career-high 11 points. Emma Sisson followed with eight points, while Carmen Crowley had seven.
The Lady Wolverines are back on the floor Tuesday night for a 7:30 p.m. contest back home against Houghton Academy.
Bolivar-Richburg 4 6 12 11 – 33
C.G. Finney 8 6 6 11 – 31
BOLIVAR-RICHBURG: Nadia Baldwin 5 1-4 11, Emma Sisson 3 2-2 8, Raegan Giardini 1 0-0 2, Carmen Crowley 3 1-4 7, Malayna Ayers 2 0-2 4, Caitlyn Steiner 0 1-2 1. Totals: 14 5-14 33.
FINNEY: Kiara Van Der Jagt 2 1-2 5, Eva Blazynski 5 1-2 13, Faith Pasquantonio 1 0-0 2, Allie Frederickson 4 1-2 9, Katie Passero 1 0-1 2. Totals: 13 3-7 31.
3-point goals: B-R 1 (Baldwin), Finney 2 (Blazynski).
Total Fouls: B-R 14, Finney 13. Fouled out: None.
ACE Tourney Consolation
Ellicottville 38, Cuba-Rushford 21
PORTVILLE — Through the first half of play in Consolation round festivities of Portville’s ACE Tournament, it was anyone’s game. But in the remaining half yet to be played, that would soon be answered.
With a 15-13 lead for the Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford going into the break, Ellicottville turned up the heat in the last 16 minutes upon their return to the hardwood on Saturday, as they scavenged two humongous runs to freeze their opposition in place ultimately for good, evaporating their halftime deficit along the way and cash in on a 38-21 win.
In what was a slow-go through the first eight minutes, Cuba-Rushford (0-3) was able to find the early edge to work with against Ellicottville, with Taylor Searle accounting for all five of the team’s points — a trey and a 2-for-2 outing at the stripe. The action would begin to ramp up going into halftime when both teams recorded 10-point frames, with another Searle three and a pair of inside buckets from Brynn Lavery helping the cause.
But then Ellicottville ran the second half table when play resumed, as they would hold Cuba-Rushford to just six more points going forward, including a tide-turning 10-4 third quarter run that allowed them to speed ahead into the lead, ultimately for good to secure the Consolation round victory.
Searle would finish as the leading scorer for the Lady Rebels, totaling a team-high 13 points. Lavery would finish with six points, while Cloey Larabee had two.
Cuba-Rushford will look to bounce back after the weekend, as they host Hinsdale in a 6 p.m. tip-off on Monday.
Ellicottville 3 10 10 15 – 38
Cuba-Rushford 5 10 4 2 – 21
ELLICOTTVILLE: Audrey Hurlburt 0 1-2 1, Dalayala Alexander 3 1-1 10, Addison John 0 2-2 2, Ryah Quinn 3 1-2 7, Allison Rowland 1 1-2 3, Ande Northrup 5 0-2 13, Natalee Leiper 1 0-0 2, Courtney Marsh 0 0-2 0. Totals: 13 6-13 38.
CUBA-RUSHFORD: Cloey Larabee 1 0-2 2, Emma Retz 0 0-2 0, Brynn Lavery 3 0-0 6, Taylor Searle 3 5-5 13, Tara Duvall 0 0-4 0, Raegan Poore 0 0-2 0. Totals: 9 5-15 21.
3-point goals: Ellicottville 5 (Northrup 3, Alexander 2), C-R 2 (Searle).
Total Fouls: Ellicottville 15, C-R 15. Fouled out: None.
BOYS BASKETBALL: ACE Tourney Championship
Bolivar-Richburg 70, Archbishop Walsh 44
PORTVILLE — Aydin Sisson’s very first game on the Varsity level began last season. It was during the team’s trip to Portville for their yearly visit to the ACE Tournament, to partake in an opening round game where he and his 25-point performance wound up having a career evening for the Wolverines.
Now, he’s become a staple for the Wolverines starting lineup. And in the process of their return to Portville this weekend, he would make sure his stay was worthwhile.
The Bolivar-Richburg senior was one of four different scorers to post double digits on the scoresheet, as they strolled his way towards a Tournament-MVP performance by dominating the inner sanctum of the key. It would result in a collection of 21 team-high points to finish off what has been a magnificent two-day stay for the Wolverines down the road, as they laid claim to back-to-back ACE Tournament titles with a 70-44 win over Archbishop Walsh on Saturday.
“Aydin likes this tournament, and he had a big welcome to Varsity last year here in this tournament. He did another great job tonight, along with everyone else. They all found their way to the basket really well,” said Wolverines coach Justin Thomas. “I’m really proud of their response from the other night against North Collins. We made better decisions, we distributed the ball well. Four guys scoring at least 10 points is an added bonus along with some great defense. Walsh went on a couple of runs to try and give us a run, but we took control from the third quarter on and never looked back.”
The impact that Bolivar-Richburg (2-0) would provide would be felt from within both of the starting frames — the first and third quarters, beginning with an outstanding tear in the opening eight minutes to grab a massive 19-3 advantage to work with against Walsh.
Although the lead was trimmed down right before halftime, the momentum would carry over one more time into the third quarter, when the Wolverines released another game-changing wave of electricity. Up by 10, the lead grew insurmountably while their offense syphoned the energy directly from their magnetic defense on the other end of the floor.
The combination would prove victorious in the end for Bolivar-Richburg, as they went on to put a bow on their second straight ACE Tournament title.
“It’s a fantastic way to start the season,” Thomas said. “We’re sitting in a good spot right now, and we have to remember down the line that there are good teams like the Fillmores and Wellsvilles out there waiting for us, and we have to learn to strive for those kinds of games. Those will only make us better going forward.”
Finishing behind Sisson and his game-high 21 points was James Margeson, who also had an All-Star nomination with his 16-point, nine rebound performance. David Baldwin would record a big double-double to further the cause, tallying a 10-point, 11-board evening, while Landon Barkley chipped in with 10 points and five boards on his own accord. Reiss Gaines furthered the team’s special teams play with a trio of steals.
The Wolverines are back on the road after the weekend, as they begin preparations for a 7:15 p.m. contest at Campbell-Savona.
Archbishop Walsh 3 19 6 16 – 44
Bolivar-Richburg 19 13 18 20 – 70
WALSH: Kellen Brady 3 0-1 7, Luca Quinn 12 3-5 32, Chris Forney 1 0-0 3, Michael Sexton 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 3-6 44.
BOLIVAR-RICHBURG: Aydin Sisson 10 1-2 21, Caden Gaines 0 1-4 1, Landon Barkley 3 4-4 10, Reiss Gaines 2 2-2 6, David Abdo 0 1-4 1, Trevor Pforter 1 2-2 4, David Baldwin 4 2-2 10, Evan Pinney 1 0-2 2, James Margeson 7 1-2 16. Totals: 28 13-21 70.
3-point goals: Walsh 7 (Quinn 5, Brady, Forney), B-R 1 (Margeson).
Total Fouls: Walsh 19, B-R 10. Fouled out: Przybyla (AW).