Friday Roundup: Despite tough battle from Franklinville, Eagles perform season sweep behind Zubikowski’s late spark, clutch defense in 73-50 win
By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor, wellsvillesports.com
FILLMORE — The Eagles of Fillmore recorded the start they wanted to have in what was another tough, gritty battle with Franklinville to close out their season series on Friday in The Rock.
With a strong first half settled in the books, it was now up to the second half for them to keep intact. The Panthers would close the gap down to as little as a pair of points at one point. But as soon as the narrow advantage began to take notice, Brent Zubikowski provided the Eagles with a spark, issuing some big help from inside and at the line to pair with Zach Sisson’s monstrous three-point game, as they rolled towards a 73-50 win in the end.
“We still haven’t really found our stride, but we keep inching close to our potential. We are going to need to keep improving in the coming weeks, with some big games on the schedule coming up,” Eagles coach Randy Crouch said. “We jumped out of the gate really well, but to Franklinville’s credit, they fought back and really battled us. Jair (Bialek) and Zach (Sisson) really led the way offensively, both scoring and passing on offense.”
The Eagles (5-2) looked to Jair Bialek and Zach Sisson to get the engine firing on all cylinders in the opening period, as the two came together to record 13 of the team’s 18 points in the frame, including three big three-pointers. The lead would grow while the defense kept Franklinville standing still in the second, as they posted an eight-point frame of defense while a balanced attack added to their 30-20 lead at the break.
The action would begin to tighten up in the third quarter, as the Panthers found an edge to trim down their deficit to the Eagles to as little as a pair of points, coming to within a stone’s throw of the lead in the process. But Fillmore ignited a spark to keep Franklinville in the rearview mirror, as Zach Sisson’s three-point game came alive, nailing three of them while Brent Zubikowski sank an inside basket and two clutch shots at the line to finish off a 19-point frame.
“In the third, they found a way to cut it to two at one point, but Brent took over for a two, three minute stretch and provided a spark on both ends of the floor,” Crouch said. “Jack Cool was really key for us off the bench as well, and he helped us defensively to get some turnovers to allow us to stretch the lead out.”
The spark would remain lit going into the last eight minutes, where Fillmore accounted for their largest stand of offense at the most opportune time — a 24-point frame that saw seven different Eagles all get involved to help further the cause, as they concluded the night on the highest of notes with a 24-14 run of the Panthers.
Sisson was one of three Fillmore scorers that posted at least 10 points, leading the charge with his 21-point, 10-assist double-double. Jair Bialek added in 15 points of his own to go with five assists and three steals, while Brent Zubikowski finished with 10 points along with five rebounds and five steals.
Fillmore will now get set to square off with the Rebels of Cuba-Rushford, winners of eight of the last nine, in a midseason County showdown in the Wighthouse, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Franklinville 12 8 16 14 – 50
Fillmore 18 12 19 24 – 73
FRANKLINVILLE: Beau Bielecki 6 2-3 16, Bretton Blecha 5 1-2 11, Eli Schenk 0 2-2 2, Grant Cornell 1 2-2 5, Noah Schenk 2 2-2 7, Drew Goss 1 0-0 2, Hayden Callahan 0 3-4 3, Collin Mooney 2 0-0 4. Totals: 17 12-15 50.
FILLMORE: Eben Schilke 1 0-0 3, Jack Cool 2 0-0 4, Brent Zubikowski 4 2-4 10, Jair Bialek 5 1-2 15, Marcus Wolfer 1 0-0 3, Luke Colombo 0 2-4 4, Mitch Ward 3 3-4 9, Zach Sisson 7 3-4 21, Jonah Bialek 2 0-0 6. Totals: 25 11-18 73.
3-point goals: Franklinville 4 (Bielecki 2, Cornell, N. Schenk), Fillmore 12 (Ja. Bialek 4, Sisson 4, Jo. Bialek 2, Schilke, Wolfer).
Total Fouls: Franklinville 19, Fillmore 16. Fouled out: None.
Cuba-Rushford 69, Friendship/Scio 34
FRIENDSHIP — One of the County’s hottest teams since the start of the season made their grand return to the hardwood in hopes of picking up right where they left off. But out of the gate, Cuba-Rushford would lock horns with host Friendship/Scio through much of the opening half on Friday.
But with an 11-point advantage to work with, the second half brought about a perfect opportunity for the Rebels to break away, doing that and then some.
To start the final 16 minutes of basketball left to play in Friendship, Cuba-Rushford re-entered onto the floor engulfed with flames, as they posted a massive 24-point quarter while stacking their strongest spout of defense on top of that along the way, as they rode the coattails of Jacob Smith and his phenomenal performance towards their eighth victory in the first nine games — their fourth straight, taking the 69-34 win.
“We came out a bit slow after having a week off, which was expected, and being short-handed. But Jacob did an excellent job of stepping up and leading by example for the younger guys. Once we found our intensity in the second half, I was proud of the way we executed and pulled away.” said Rebels interim head coach Rob Wight.
The Rebels (8-1) would have to navigate their way across a first half that saw Friendship/Scio travel stride-for-stride right alongside them, with the inside presence of Brenden Loucks and a pair of three-pointers from the hands of Taylor Moore and Ethan Davenport helping the cause from downtown along the way through a 17-10 opening quarter controlled by the visitors.
With the lead in hand, the Rebels continued to build behind Smith’s guidance once more, as he found his rhythm from downtown to go with his 11 second quarter points, extending the advantage out past double digits going into the break.
Upon their re-entry back out from the locker room, Cuba-Rushford would then kick it into high gear one more time on Friendship/Scio (2-7), as they posted their strongest outburst on the attack with a 24-4 run of the hosts in white, led by Smith from all angles and a pair of threes from Hunter Scott outside to give the Rebels all the room they needed to secure a fourth straight win.
Smith would finish with a game-high 26 points to pace the Cuba-Rushford offense. Following behind was Braeden Wight, who had 10 points. Scott finished with nine points off his three triples, while on special teams, Tristan Clayson and Dom Bello were strong off the glass by collecting eight and seven boards, respectively.
Friendship/Scio was fueled by Loucks and Davenport, as they each recorded 14 team-high points. Taylor Moore finished with six points behind his pair of treys. The team will look to rebound back on their home floor in Scio on Monday, hosting Jasper-Troupsburg in a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.
As for the Rebels, they will take aim at a fifth consecutive win on Wednesday in their return home to the Wighthouse, as they play host to the Eagles of Fillmore in a big County clash slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Cuba-Rushford 17 17 24 11 – 69
Friendship/Scio 10 13 4 7 – 34
CUBA-RUSHFORD: Jacob Smith 11 1-1 26, Braeden Wight 4 0-0 10, Kaden Bell 0 0-2 0, Hunter Scott 3 0-0 9, Luke Brooks 2 0-0 4, Dom Bello 2 0-2 4, Finn Ricketts 4 0-0 8, Tristan Clayson 2 0-0 4, Peyton Joy 2 0-0 4. Totals: 30 1-5 69.
FRIENDSHIP/SCIO: Brenden Loucks 6 2-5 14, Ethan Davenport 4 3-4 14, Taylor Moore 2 0-0 6. Totals: 12 5-9 34.
3-point goals: C-R 8 (Smith 3, Scott 3, Wight 2), F/S 5 (Davenport 3, Moore 2).
Total Fouls: C-R 12, F/S 10. Fouled out: None.
Bolivar-Richburg 56, Andover/Whitesville 44
ANDOVER — Andover/Whitesville did everything they could to get within reach of undefeated Bolivar-Richburg on Friday, trimming the deficit down to as little as nine at one point down the stretch.
But as resilient as they have been thus far this season, the Wolverines would not allow it to faze them, as they used a balanced attack to get them started and then followed Aydin Sisson and his big fourth quarter to the end and beyond, garnering their seventh straight win to start the 2022-23 campaign with a 56-44 edge in Andover.
“This is one of those games that almost feels like a win, despite it being a loss,” said Andover/Whitesville coach Jimmy Joyce said. “We battled and to be down nine or 10 late to them, was an accomplishment. I am really proud of my guys. Our younger core really led the way. Brody (Vance) had a great night, Colton (Calladine), Gage (Hall), they both stepped up. B-R is a very well-coached and well run organization, so it was nice to be able to compete with them.”
Bolivar-Richburg (7-0) went on to outscore Andover/Whitesville through the first three quarters of play, allowing them to build a lead that they would hang onto for the majority of the battle. But it wouldn’t come without some pressure by the hosts in white along the way, beginning in the opening quarter.
Brody Vance would jumpstart a strong start for the Andover/Whitesville (4-7) offense with seven of the team’s 11 points in the frame, as the Wolverines navigated their way towards an 18-11 lead after the first frame. The defenses would begin to buckle in right before the end of the half to keep the battle within reach.
But in the third, the lead was branched back out one more time before both teams engaged in back-and-forth pleasantries across the fourth quarter, when Andover/Whitesville continued to keep the pressure on with the emergence of CJ Estep, who went on to record seven big points in the frame in the midst of a balanced attack.
On the other side however, Aydin Sisson led the charge for the Wolverines on the attack themselves, as they warded off Andover/Whitesville’s late push behind his clutch fourth quarter consisting of eight big points, including a pair of clutch threes to secure their advantage permanently.
Sisson would finish with a game-high 23 points for Bolivar-Richburg. Landon Barkley chipped in with nine points of his own, while Evan Pinney had eight to add in.,
Andover/Whitesville was led by Estep, who finished with 13 team-high points. Vance would finish with 10 points after his explosive first quarter. The team will look to rebound back on their home hardwood in Whitesville on Tuesday, welcoming in Houghton Academy for a 7:30 p.m. visit.
Bolivar-Richburg will go for eight straight wins after the weekend over the road, as they visit Canisteo-Greenwood for a 7:15 p.m. contest themselves, on Monday.
Bolivar-Richburg 18 8 15 15 – 56
Andover/Whitesville 11 5 11 16 – 44
BOLIVAR-RICHBURG: Aydin Sisson 8 2-4 23, Landon Barkley 3 2-3 9, Reiss Gaines 1 2-4 4, David Baldwin 3 1-4 7, Evan Pinney 3 0-0 8, James Margeson 2 0-0 5. Totals: 20 7-15 56.
ANDOVER/WHITESVILLE: Brody Vance 4 0-3 10, Colton Calladine 3 1-1 8, CJ Estep 6 1-3 13, Gavin Cutler 1 0-0 2, Gage Hall 3 0-0 6, Kohler Niedermaier 2 1-3 5. Totals: 19 3-10 44.
3-point goals: B-R 9 (Sisson 5, Pinney 2, Barkley, Margeson), A/W 3 (Vance 2, Calladine).
Total Fouls: B-R 12, A/W 17. Fouled out: Calladine (A/W).
Genesee Valley/Belfast 45, Houghton Academy 31
HOUGHTON — After a close battle through the opening quarter, things began to open up for Genesee Valley/Belfast, as the offense came together to provide two strong finishes — both in each half of the contest against host Houghton Academy to build up a bounce back victory over the road on Friday with a 45-31 decision.
Genesee Valley/Belfast (5-4) would see an opening come about in the second quarter after they battled right alongside the Lady Panthers through a defensive quarter that saw them trail by one. In it, the visitors in black managed to extend their lead to five at the break behind their strongest outing of offense.
The momentum was maintained from that point forward to keep their lead intact, as they provided one final strong finish in the last eight minute period to seal the victory for good.
Three different scorers all eclipsed double digits to pave the Genesee Valley/Belfast offense towards big success, with Anna Drozdowski leading the way with a team-high 14 points. Following behind was Adison Grusendorf, who had 13 points of her own, and a 10-point performance from Harley Proctor.
Houghton Academy (2-5) was led by a game-high 23 points from Jess Prentice.
Both teams are back in action Tuesday night, as Genesee Valley/Belfast heads back home to the Jungle in Belmont to host Bolivar-Richburg in a 7:30 p.m. battle, while the Lady Panthers hit the road themselves to Whitesville for a 6 p.m. contest with undefeated Andover/Whitesville.
Genesee Valley/Belfast 8 14 9 13 – 45
Houghton Academy 9 9 5 8 – 31
GV/BELFAST: Anna Drozdowski 4 3-4 14, Abby Sullivan 1 0-0 2, Harley Proctor 4 0-0 10, Kendra Bigelow 1 0-0 2, Adison Grusendorf 6 0-0 13, Madison McKenzie 2 0-0 4, Kate Calanni 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 3-4 45.
HOUGHTON ACADEMY: Jess Prentice 9 3-4 23, Jessica Adenuga 2 2-6 6, Laura Maya 1 0-0 2. Totals: 12 5-10 31.
3-point goals: GVB 4 (Drozdowski 2, Proctor, Grusendorf), HA 2 (Prentice).
Total Fouls: GVB 6, HA 9. Fouled out: Prentice (HA).
Friendship/Scio 48, Lima Christian 43
LIMA — It was a very quick turnaround for Friendship/Scio on Friday, as they took their chance of rebounding and went up north with it to Lima Christian for a meeting with the Lady Saints to close out the week.
The team would find themselves in a dogfight with their opposition for much of the night. With the Lady Saints right on their trail, Friendship/Scio would use some key rebounding in the last eight minutes to seal off a potential comeback bid, as they completed the bounce back with a narrow 48-43 victory on Friday.
“It was a nice, competitive win. We need some experience with close games like this one tonight. I was proud of the effort to bounce back after last night against Cuba. After the hour and a half bus ride and limited time to warm up, this was a great team effort we put together. We cleaned up, we shot and passed the ball better. The second half was outstanding, even though they had a lot of shots against us, but credit to Nevaeh (Ross), she cleaned up on the rebounds to slow them down.”
Friendship/Scio (5-3) saw their dynamic duo of Nevaeh Ross and Kadence Donohue help the offense prepare for liftoff, as the two combined for 34 of the team’s 48 total points. They would work their way to the front early before engaging in a close battle throughout the second half, finding their groove underneath the glass to help keep their lead intact for good.
As a team, three different Friendship/Scio scorers grabbed 32 boards off the glass against the Lady Saints, with Ross dominating with 17 rebounds to pair with five assists in her 14-point effort. Donohue would pave the lane for the offense behind five of the team’s six three-pointers, along with five rebounds of her own, to finish with a game-high 20 points. Morghyn Ross chipped in with eight points, while Lexi Crossley had 10 more boards.
Up next is a trip to Hinsdale on Wednesday, as Friendship/Scio prepares to face the host Lady Bobcats in a 6 p.m. tip-off.
Friendship/Scio 11 16 9 12 – 48
Lima Christian 7 16 11 9 – 43
FRIENDSHIP/SCIO: Kadence Donohue 8 1-2 20, Morghyn Ross 4 0-0 8, Lexi Crossley 1 0-2 2, Nevaeh Ross 6 1-2 14, Kiara Grover 1 2-2 4. Totals: 20 4-8 48.
LIMA CHRISTIAN: Genesis Leathersich 3 4-11 12, Alyssa Marsh 9 1-2 21, Abigail Britton 1 0-0 2, Brielle Hammond 3 0-2 6, Lillian Herring 1 0-0 2, Abby Dils 1 0-0 2. Totals: 14 6-17 43.
3-point goals: F/S 6 (Donohue 5, N. Ross), LC 2 (Marsh).
Total Fouls: F/S 15, LC 11. Fouled out: None.
Canisteo-Greenwood 59, Campbell-Savona 42
CAMPBELL — Lillian Mullen and Peyton Peters helped the Lady Redskins of Canisteo-Greenwood break free and out of reach from host Campbell-Savona on Friday. After a five-point lead, the two juniors sparked a massive outburst in the second quarter, combining for 16 of the team’s 22 points to help towards what would be an 11th straight victory to open the season in their 59-42 win over the Lady Panthers.
A balanced attack from five different Lady Redskins (11-0) helped get the scoring started in the opening eight minutes, garnering the upper hand over Campbell-Savona along the way. But for the unbeatens, it was just the beginning, as Mullen and Peters broke open the game even more against the Lady Panthers with their strongest frame of the night to take a commanding 36-17 lead at the break.
A cushion they would not let up, as they managed to hold down the fort for the remainder of the way.
Mullen was one of three Canisteo-Greenwood scorers that eclipsed double digits in the scorebook, leading the charge with her game-high 17 points, pairing them with five assists and five steals. Peters followed behind with 15 total points to go with six rebounds, while Brooke Burd chipped in with 13 points and six more boards.
The Lady Redskins are now off until Tuesday night when they hit the road once more, as they pay a visit to the Wellsville Lady Lions for a 7:30 p.m. battle.
Canisteo-Greenwood 14 22 21 2 – 59
Campbell-Savona 9 8 4 21 – 42
CANISTEO-GREENWOOD: Elaine Roach 1 1-2 3, Hailey Davis 0 1-4 1, Kennedy Richardson 0 3-4 3, Lillian Mullen 7 2-3 17, Peyton Peters 7 0-0 15, Brooke Burd 5 3-7 13, McKenna Ferris 0 1-2 1, Sara Coddington 2 0-0 4, Riley Winans 1 0-2 2. Totals: 22 11-24 59.
CAMPBELL-SAVONA: Hollie DeMong 3 3-4 9, Ashlynn Stratton 3 0-0 6, Emma Roy 1 0-0 2, Karissa Champion 3 0-0 6, Jenna Machuga 1 0-0 2, Jalynn Machuga 5 7-11 17. Totals: 16 10-15 42.
3-point goals: C-G 2 (L. Mullen, Peters).
Total Fouls: C-G 16, C-S 22. Fouled out: DeMong (C-S).