By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
CUBA — It was as fierce of a first half battle, as displayed during Tuesday’s return to action in Cuba. The host Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford gave everything to try and stay right on Wellsville’s coattails, including a garnering of the lead after the game’s first eight minutes behind what was a stellar night for their senior leader, Taylor Searle.
But for one team, much-needed momentum was garnered. The Lady Lions would have it.
Despite an early and narrow deficit, Wellsville would make it up in due time, as they provided a strong finish to the first half to jump ahead of the Lady Rebels going into the break. In the third quarter, the visitors in black and orange would break it loose on both ends of the floor to keep the hosts idle for an extended period of time, galloping their way towards a 53-42 victory to hop back towards .500 on the season once more.
“We played pretty tough tonight. It really came down to one bad quarter in the end,” said Lady Rebels coach Aaron Wight. “We came out of halftime flat and we dug ourselves a deep hole going into the fourth. It was nice to be competitive against a team like Wellsville, and hopefully we can gain some confidence from it going forward, for our League schedule.”
Behind a balanced Lady Lions (5-5) offense and an explosive start from Searle for the Lady Rebels, both teams traded blows through the opening period that saw the hosts in white and blue escape out to the front with the early lead to control. With a chance to build, the visitors would then look to their four leaders to pay first half-ending dividends once again with a 16-point frame — the team’s largest of the game to springboard ahead into the driver’s seat with a 28-24 lead.
The finish that Wellsville would provide, would create enough of a spark to catch fire in the second half. The firestorm began in the third quarter with their strongest tenure of defense transitioning into offense back down the floor, as they accounted for a 14-4 run of the Lady Rebels (4-4) to ensure their lead would be secure at the end of the night.
Leading the scoring for the Lady Lions was Averee Palmatier, as she posted a team-high 18 points. Makenna Dunbar was not far behind, chipping in with 16 points of her own. Rounding off were both Sara Reitz and Emily Robbins, as they posted 10 and nine points, respectively.
Searle would lead the Cuba-Rushford offense with a game-high 25 points. Brynn Lavery tallied seven points of her own to help the Lady Rebels, who will now get set for a 7:30 p.m. road trip to Friendship on Thursday to battle host Friendship/Scio.
Wellsville will now look to make that climb back over .500 on the season when they return to action themselves on Friday, hitting the road for a 7 p.m. visit to Letchworth.
Wellsville 12 16 14 11 – 53
Cuba-Rushford 13 11 4 14 – 42
WELLSVILLE: Emily Robbins 3 2-2 9, Sara Reitz 4 0-0 10, Averee Palmatier 6 6-7 18, Makenna Dunbar 6 4-6 16. Totals: 19 8-12 53.
CUBA-RUSHFORD: Emma Retz 2 0-2 4, Brynn Lavery 3 1-2 7, Aleah Demick 1 0-0 2, Taylor Searle 10 3-7 25, Tara Duvall 2 0-0 4. Totals: 18 4-11 42.
3-point goals: Wellsville 3 (Reitz 2, Robbins), C-R 2 (Searle).
Total Fouls: Wellsville 10, C-R 13. Fouled out: Larabee (C-R).
Wellsville 45, Avoca/Prattsburgh 27
AVOCA — Avoca/Prattsburgh immediately went to work with an early lead out of the gate against the Lions of Wellsville on Tuesday. But after three of the first four matches went their way, the Lions started to settle in with four huge wins on the mat out of the next seven in a row that the team would garner all together, locking down a strong 45-27 road win to keep their hot start moving along.
After Jayden Acker gave Wellsville the start they wanted at 118 pounds with his pinfall win, Avoca/Prattsburgh found their groove with three straight victories to take a big lead in the early stages. But it would not last for long, as the Lions went on to score seven straight victories on the mat led by the quickest pin of the night from Brayden Riley at 145 pounds, pinning his opponent in just 22 seconds.
Amongst the winners in competition were Matt Ritter immediately following Riley, at 152 pounds, as he took complete control of an 8-1 decision win. Noah Black (172 pounds) and Shane Davidson (215 pounds) both took care of business with pinfall wins of their own, while Xander Outman (160 pounds), Blake Cranmer (189 pounds) and Grady Ball (285 pounds) all had wins via forfeit to help close out Wellsville’s victory.
Avoca/Prattsburgh would grab the night’s last two wins on the mat, including an incredible battle between Orien Davis and Wellsville’s Blake Geffers at 102 pounds, where 24 combined points between the two grapplers were racked up across the entire six minute battle. In the end, Davis was able to hang on to clinch victory over Geffers by a 14-10 count.
The Lions are back on the mat this weekend in dual tournament action beginning Saturday morning at Port Byron.
102 – Orien Davis (A/P) def. Blake Geffers (WLSV) by dec, 14-10.
110 – Hudson Cole (A/P) def. Jensen Spicer (WLSV) by pin, 3:26.
*118 – Jayden Acker (WLSV) def. Devin Stamets (A/P) by pin, 2:42.
126 – Nathan Young (A/P) def. Adam Iantorno (WLSV) by pin, 1:49.
132 – Peyton Hoad (A/P) def. Mason Edwards (WLSV) by pin, 2:30.
138 – Tristin Davis (A/P) def. Landon Stratton (WLSV) by pin, 3:56.
145 – Brayden Riley (WLSV) def. Trent Lewis (A/P) by pin, :22.
152 – Matt Ritter (WLSV) def. Liam Bajus (A/P) by dec, 8-1.
160 – Xander Outman (WLSV) by for.
172 – Noah Black (WLSV) def. Dallas Brady (A/P) by pin, 1:35.
189 – Blake Cranmer (WLSV) by for.
215 – Shane Davidson (WLSV) def. Justin Palmer (A/P) by pin, 3:24.
285 – Grady Ball (WLSV) by for.
Fillmore/Keshequa 42, Alfred-Almond 30
ALMOND — Headlined by multiple forfeits in the first half of the match, Fillmore/Keshequa collected three huge wins in competition to pair with their four forfeit wins, totaling seven for the match on Tuesday, as they were able to squeeze their way towards victory over the host Eagles of Alfred-Almond by a 42-30 count.
The match would begin with an Alivia Cartwright forfeit win at 118 pounds for Fillmore/Keshequa before the first win in battle would come immediately following, as Ryan Vedder weaved his way through the time on the board to pin his opponent in just 52 seconds to lay claim the opening triumph at 126 pounds.
Kalen Beardsley (138 pounds) and Eli Strickland (145 pounds) would both grab the two remaining wins in action, with Beardsley netting the match’s quickest pin in just 32 seconds, while Strickland picked up a pinfall win of his own just seconds into the second period. Three more wins were collected via forfeit by Fillmore/Keshequa, all being garnered by Gavin Bush (132 pounds), Jules Cotton (102 pounds) and Graham Howe (110 pounds).
Alfred-Almond would close out the match with five of the last seven forfeit wins, all in a row.
Fillmore/Keshequa will head back home to host the Bolivar-Richburg Wolverines in a 6:15 p.m. bout, beginning next Tuesday night.
102 – Jules Cotton (F/K) by for.
110 – Graham Howe (F/K) by for.
*118 – Alivia Cartwright (F/K) by for.
126 – Ryan Vedder (F/K) def. Cole Briggs (A-A) by pin, :52.
132 – Gavin Bush (F/K) by for.
138 – Kalen Beardsley (F/K) def. Clarissa Flint (A-A) by pin, :32.
145 – Eli Strickland (F/K) def. Eric Butts (A-A) by pin, 2:13.
152 – Riley McMichael (A-A) by for.
160 – Kanye Cumberbatch (A-A) by for.
172 – Alexis Rao (A-A) by for.
189 – Hunter Smith (A-A) def. Gage Hartman (F/K) by pin, 1:22.
215 – Miranda Garner (A-A) by for.
285 – Double for.