GV/Belfast girls start out hot behind balanced attack to record big win over Fillmore at home; Fillmore boys open season with win at Franklinville, C-R boys roll to 4-0 start
By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
BELMONT — With a big home-opening spark against Avoca/Prattsburgh to carry forward, the week ahead for Genesee Valley/Belfast does not get any easier.
With two tough battles in County League play in their very near future, they will need all of the momentum they can muster. One of those games took center stage in the Jungle on Wednesday against a premier squad not only locally, but regionally: the Lady Eagles of Fillmore. Later on in the week, a date with defending Class D2 Champion Andover/Whitesville.
It was a game that Genesee Valley/Belfast had no problem accepting the challenge that lay ahead. It was also a game that saw them carry their winning ways over from Monday by igniting a flame in the first eight minutes that the Lady Eagles could not put out, as they rolled their way towards a massive 45-33 victory to claim their first County triumph.
Genesee Valley/Belfast (2-1) wasted no time whatsoever in the first eight minutes of play, building a lead that was jump-started by Harley Proctor with four of her five points coming on the first two possessions the team would hold. Helping further the team’s cause along the way were Abby Sullivan and Mary Hamer, as the two shooters combined for the remaining seven points, five of them from Sullivan, while the defense held the Lady Eagles in check almost entirely.
A 12-3 quarter that would wind up making all the difference.
Despite falling behind rapidly, the Lady Eagles (0-2) looked to Hope Russell to springboard them back into the fray, as the junior shooter knocked down a pair of crucial threes to assist in establishing what would be the team’s heaviest quarter of offense in the game — a narrow 15-12 outscoring of their opposition to trim their deficit down to seven at the half.
But the damage was done by Genesee Valley/Belfast, as they used their defense one final time to halt Fillmore from the field in the second half. Despite a narrow advantage, they would allow just two field goals to reach the basket in the third quarter, using the edge to keep their lead intact until the final buzzer sounded off to officially wrap up the huge home victory in Belmont.
Hamer was Genesee Valley/Belfast’s leading scorer with a game-high 14 points. Sullivan accompanied her closely behind with 12 points of her own, while Proctor concluded with seven points.
For the Lady Eagles, Hope Russell would finish with 12 team-high points. Amelia Rose chipped in with nine points, while Rachel Hatch had five. Fillmore will head back home for their home opener on Monday, as they look to bounce back and aim for their first win of the young season with the Franklinville Lady Panthers in town for a 7:30 p.m. visit.
Genesee Valley/Belfast’s long week of tough battles will reach its end on the road on Friday, as they now get set for a 7:30 p.m. bout with Andover/Whitesville, in Andover.
Fillmore 3 15 8 7 – 33
Genesee Valley/Belfast 12 13 9 11 – 45
FILLMORE: Hope Russell 4 1-2 12, Grace Russell 0 2-2 2, Rachel Hatch 1 3-4 5, Amelia Rose 4 0-0 9, Preslee Miller 1 1-3 3, Madi Geertman 1 0-2 2. Totals: 11 7-13 33.
GV/BELFAST: Anna Drozdowski 1 0-0 3, Abby Sullivan 4 3-4 12, Harley Proctor 2 2-2 7, Kendra Bigelow 3 0-0 6, Adison Grusendorf 1 0-0 3, Mary Hamer 6 0-0 14. Totals: 17 5-6 45.
3-point goals: Fillmore 4 (H. Russell 3, Rose), GVB 6 (Hamer 2, Drozdowski, Sullivan, Proctor, Grusendorf).
Total Fouls: Fillmore 10, GVB 13. Fouled out: None.
Canisteo-Greenwood 79, Alfred-Almond 7
ALMOND — All the Lady Redskins of Canisteo-Greenwood needed to ensure a fourth straight win to open their season on Wednesday, was the opening eight minutes, as the offense began striking all chords imaginable to jetfuel a massive 79-7 road win over host Alfred-Almond.
Lillian Mullen was one of four different scorers that eclipsed double figures to pace the Canisteo-Greenwood (4-0) offense, as she recorded a game-high 23 points to couple with her five steals on special teams. Following behind was Brooke Burd and her 17 points, falling a rebound shy of posting a double-double, concluding with nine in all. Bailey Mullen posted 13 points, while Peyton Peters had 10.
The Lady Redskins will return home on Friday for a 6 p.m. contest against the Hammondsport Lady Lakers.
Canisteo-Greenwood 15 19 18 27 – 79
Alfred-Almond 4 2 0 1 – 7
CANISTEO-GREENWOOD: Bailey Mullen 4 3-4 13, Elaine Roach 2 0-0 4, Hailey Davis 2 0-0 4, Kennedy Richardson 1 0-0 2, Lillian Mullen 10 2-5 23, Peyton Peters 5 0-0 10, Brooke Burd 8 1-4 17, McKenna Ferris 2 2-2 6. Totals: 34 8-15 79.
ALFRED-ALMOND: Kaylianna Clark 1 1-4 3, Chloe Bracken 1 1-1 3, Isabel Badeau 0 1-2 1. Totals: 2 3-7 9.
3-point goals: C-G 3 (B. Mullen 2, L. Mullen).
Total Fouls: C-G 11, A-A 10. Fouled out: None.
Fillmore 64, Franklinville 51
FRANKLINVILLE — One of the County’s last teams that have not taken their first call for action on the hardwood, officially ended that long wait on Wednesday with a road trip off to the west.
The Eagles of Fillmore were tested right from the start by Section VI rep Franklinville. But like most first games of the season, it takes time for the gears to begin spinning again. Although they fell behind, ground was being made up in the second quarter going into the break, closing the gap with the Panthers down to a single basket.
Then, the backbreaker. A third quarter wildfire.
Fillmore came alive in the biggest of ways to start the second half. With momentous efforts from Mitch Ward and Jair Bialek leading the way, the Eagles were able to account for a run of herculean stature to overtake Franklinville in the command post permanently, en route towards a 64-51 season-opening victory.
“We got off to a sluggish start. Our defense wasn’t as sharp as it needed to be, and we really struggled from the perimeter on offense,” said Eagles coach Randy Crouch. “Give Franklinville credit, they took advantage of us early. I’m proud of the guys for staying within the game play, and digging our way out of the hole. Mitchell (Ward) really carried us late in the second and into the third. After that, the rest of the team got going.”
Fillmore (1-0) saw their game come to life after falling behind early to the hands of the Panthers behind Ward’s eruption to the basket, helping trim their deficit down from six to one when halftime approached. After the 15-10 advantage in the second quarter, the red hot attack would soon boil over into the second half, as Ward once more fronted a big charge to pull the visitors in green ahead — a 26-8 game-changing run which the senior produced 14 of his game-high 22 points in.
Enough for the Eagles to maintain a double-digit lead until the end of the game, securing their first win along the way.
“It was nice to get the first game out of the way, but we’re going to need to get a lot better if we hope to achieve all of our goals this season, starting with big games at the IAABO Tournament this weekend in Wellsville.” said Crouch.
Finishing behind Ward in the scorebook was Zach Sisson, who had 16 points to couple with his nine rebounds, five assists and five steals. Jair Bialek added 13 points of his own, while Brent Zubikowski finished with nine. On special teams, Luke Colombo recorded nine rebounds of his own to further Fillmore’s cause.
The Eagles will now face Cuba-Rushford — winners of their first four games, in a first round battle at the IAABO Tournament in Wellsville, beginning Friday night at 6 p.m.
Fillmore 12 15 26 11 – 64
Franklinville 18 10 8 15 – 51
FILLMORE: Brent Zubikowski 4 1-3 9, Jair Bialek 5 2-2 13, Luke Colombo 1 2-4 4, Mitch Ward 8 6-14 22, Zach Sisson 5 4-4 16. Totals: 23 15-27 64.
FRANKLINVILLE: Beau Bielecki 6 0-2 14, Bretton Blecha 2 0-0 4, Eli Shenk 3 1-4 8, Grant Cornell 1 0-0 2, Noah Shenk 5 0-0 11, Hayden Callahan 2 0-0 4, Collin Mooney 3 1-2 8. Totals: 22 2-8 51.
3-point goals: Fillmore 3 (Sisson 2, Bialek), Franklinville 5 (Bielecki 2, E. Shenk, N. Shenk, Mooney).
Total Fouls: Fillmore 12, Franklinville 23. Fouled out: N. Shenk (FRA).
Cuba-Rushford 56, Oswayo Valley 37
SHINGLEHOUSE, Pa. — The Rebels of Cuba-Rushford fought their way through an early battle with Oswayo Valley on Wednesday.
While they gained traction on possessing the contest’s first advantage through the opening eight minutes, Cuba-Rushford would take the time to build in the second quarter, holding the Green Wave to a game-low five points while providing massive punctuations on their game-changing run to close out the first half, keeping their lead intact in the midst of what was a 56-37 road win down below the border to move to a 4-0 start on the young season.
“The boys did an excellent job at coming out very aggressively, and matching Oswayo Valley’s size with physicality,” said Rebels interim head coach Rob Wight. “We did a much better job at taking care of the basketball, and limiting their second chance opportunities tonight.”
A balanced attack out of the gate fueled a strong start for the Rebels (4-0) to take advantage of, going back and forth with the Green Wave in a competitive opening period to take a five-point lead. With it, momentum was built as the offense continued to blossom in the second quarter with the largest run of the night — an 18-5 jaunt paced by the strong three-point game of Finn Ricketts, who recorded all four of his treys in the opening half.
The lead would grow exponentially bigger when the first half reached its conclusion, as the Rebels 32-14 lead of the Green Wave would remain in double digit territory for the remainder of the game to secure their fourth straight win to open the season.
Ricketts would wind up leading the Rebels in scoring with his game-high 12 points from downtown. Following was Dom Bello and his 10 points. Jacob Smith and Jack Frank each chipped in with eight points to further the cause.
Cuba-Rushford will head for Wellsville on Friday to partake in IAABO Tournament action, as they prepare for an opening round matchup with Fillmore beginning at 6 p.m.
Cuba-Rushford 14 18 15 9 – 56
Oswayo Valley 9 5 9 14 – 37
CUBA-RUSHFORD: Jacob Smith 3 0-0 8, Kaden Bell 0 2-3 2, Luke Brooks 2 0-0 4, Jack Frank 4 0-0 8, Hunter Scott 3 0-0 7, Dom Bello 5 0-0 10, Finn Ricketts 4 0-0 12, Peyton Joy 2 1-2 5. Totals: 23 3-5 56.
OSWAYO VALLEY: Hayden Skiver 3 0-0 6, Cayden Black 4 1-1 9, Joey Maurer 2 0-0 4, Nikolas Bonney 2 0-0 5, Brayden Welch 1 0-0 2, Isaiah Goode 0 1-2 1, Allen Mertsock 4 2-5 10. Totals: 16 4-8 37.
3-point goals: C-R 7 (Ricketts 4, Smith 2, Scott), OV 1 (Bonney).
Total Fouls: C-R 11, OV 8. Fouled out: None.
Fillmore/Keshequa 48, Arkport/Canaseraga 23
FILLMORE — Last Tuesday, Fillmore/Keshequa took the mat for the first time as a combined team with their road trip to Addison. One week later, they would make their debut on their home turf with Arkport/Canaseraga in town for a stop in Fillmore on Wednesday.
It was an opportunity for victory that they would not squander, as they used a fast start with wins from Ryan Vedder and Kalen Beardsley out of the gate to get started. After the Wolves recorded the next two victories to cut down their deficit, it would grow large once and for all behind a slew of forfeit wins for Fillmore/Keshequa — six of them in the last eight matches to be exact, to secure their first ever victory together as one by a 48-23 count.
Vedder and Beardsley helped start Fillmore/Keshequa off hot (1-1) with back-to-back pinfall victories at 132 and 138 pounds respectively, as Vedder recorded the quickest pin of the night for the hosts with a 34-second defeat of Thomas Moore, while Beardsley needed just 24 seconds in the second period to finish off his win over Sage Butcher.
Arkport/Canaseraga would work their way onto the board themselves with the next two wins at 145 and 152 pounds, the latter belonging to John Stauring and his 22-6 technical fall triumph over Joe Derck. But the momentum would return to Fillmore/Keshequa’s favor from that point forward, despite a 285-pound pinfall win for the Wolves, as they went on to score six of the last eight victories — one of them, a rally from Jesse Isaman with 49 seconds left in his match at 160 pounds against Patrick Stauring to record the pinfall win.
In the forfeit department, Jules Cotton (102 pounds), Graham Howe (110 pounds), Alivia Cartwright (118 pounds), Gage Hartman (189 pounds) and David Bower (215 pounds) all had forfeit wins to help close out a victorious night in The Rock.
Up next, is a trip to the Arkport Holiday Duals for both teams, as the action kicks off Saturday morning. The team will resume regular season competition after the weekend, as they prepare for a road trip to visit Section V perennial Canisteo-Greenwood on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
102 – Jules Cotton (F/K) by for.
110 – Graham Howe (F/K) by for.
118 – Alivia Cartwright (F/K) by for.
126 – Tyler Pestle (A/C) def. Gavin Bush (F/K) by pin, 3:38.
*132 – Ryan Vedder (F/K) def. Thomas Moore (A/C) by pin, :34.
138 – Kalen Beardsley (F/K) def. Sage Butcher (A/C) by pin, 2:24.
145 – Taylor Pragle (A/C) def. Eli Strickland (F/K) by pin, 2:42.
152 – John Stauring (A/C) def. Joe Derck (F/K) by tech fall, 22-6.
160 – Jesse Isaman (F/K) def. Patrick Stauring (A/C) by pin, 5:21.
172 – Double for.
189 – Gage Hartman (F/K) by for.
215 – David Bower (F/K) by for.
285 – Ruben Diaz (A/C) def. Caleb Green by pin, :25.
-* indicates starting weight –