Photos by TRICIA DAVENPORT, stories on the games by CHRIS BROOKS
FRIENDSHIP — A high-scoring affair unfolded in Friendship on Friday, where a hyperactive first quarter saw both Fillmore and Friendship/Scio wheel and deal points.
But for one team, it was just the beginning. That being the Eagles.
Led by a career night from Mitch Ward, Friendship/Scio had no response for the Fillmore senior down low, who carved every path imaginable to the basket to record a season-high 33 points, as he assisted in jumpstarting three 20-point frames on offense to set up a rebounding victory after a tough loss to Geneseo the previous night, taking the 81-61 decision.
“We know that (Jair) Bialek and (Zach) Sisson are their two main guys from outside. We did okay on them, but Mitchell was the big difference for them tonight,” said Friendship/Scio co-coach Dillon McFall. “We were able to hold their other guys in check, but we did not do a good job of keeping him in front of us. For our guys offensively, this was probably our best game of the season. It was our highest point. We did a good job finishing the ball, and we had some early looks, but at the same time we have to be better defensively against a quality opponent, like Fillmore.”
It was a first quarter that the Eagles (11-5) navigated their way through right alongside Friendship/Scio across the majority of time, taking a narrow two-point lead going into the second. But then, the visitors in green would soon find their groove to ride along in the next two frames of play, ending the first half strong and starting the next on a high note to pull away and out of the reach of Friendship/Scio to put a wrap on the win.
Finishing behind Ward was Zach Sisson, who continued his red hot tear on the attack with 22 more points. Jair Bialek pitched in with 17, while Brent Zubikowski and Jonah Bialek rounded off the scoring with a three-point basket each.
Friendship/Scio (5-12) saw three of their scorers also eclipse the 10-point plateau, with Ethan Davenport netting 22 team-high points to pave the way, pairing them with four assists and three steals. Brenden Loucks chipped in with 16 points of his own down low to go with 10 rebounds to complete his double-double, while Taylor Moore had 13. The team is now off until next Friday night back in Friendship with a 7:30 p.m. tip-off against Hinsdale.
Fillmore goes over the road once more after the weekend, as they visit Andover/Whitesville for a 7:30 p.m. battle on Monday in Andover.
Fillmore 24 22 23 12 – 81
Friendship/Scio 22 13 11 15 – 61
FILLMORE: Brent Zubikowski 1 0-0 3, Jair Bialek 6 0-0 17, Mitch Ward 16 1-5 33, Zach Sisson 8 2-2 22, Jonah Bialek 1 0-0 3. Totals: 32 3-7 81.
FRIENDSHIP/SCIO: Taylor Moore 5 0-0 13, Ethan Davenport 9 1-2 22, Brenden Loucks 6 4-8 16, Cam Blouvet 1 0-0 2, Cooper Greenman 2 0-0 5, Matt Donohue 1 0-0 3. Totals: 25 5-10 61.
3-point goals: Fillmore 11 (Ja. Bialek 5, Sisson 4, Zubikowski, Jo. Bialek), F/S 8 (Moore 3, Davenport 3, Greenman, Donohue).
Total Fouls: Fillmore 7, F/S 7. Fouled out: None.
Geneseo 77, Fillmore 65
GAINESVILLE — In a tough, State-ranked battle up north at Letchworth, the Eagles of Fillmore gave Class C power Geneseo everything they could handle on both ends of the floor.
After a scoreless run ended the first half in favor of the Blue Devils, the Eagles fought their way back with a 25-point third quarter to try and close the gap down heading down the home stretch. Getting as close as three points to their opposition, Fillmore was denied a chance to springboard over the top, as Geneseo closed out on the most positive of notes with a hard-fought 77-65 win on Thursday.
“I couldn’t be more proud of how we played tonight. Geneseo has size and athleticism, but we didn’t flinch,” said Eagles coach Randy Crouch. “We finally put a complete game together from start to finish. It wasn’t perfect, but our effort and focus were phenomenal. Mitch (Ward) really set the tone for us tonight on both ends. He brought the leadership I expected from him. Brent (Zubikowski) was great as well. We still need to clean up a few things defensively, but tonight is a game that we can most certainly build on.”
Geneseo’s waves of momentum stemmed from an opening period where they survived a back-and-forth duel with Fillmore (10-5) — one that the Eagles were able to overcome an early 6-0 lead by recording the next seven points in a row to take the advantage away briefly. With the Blue Devils carrying a 16-12 lead into the second, it was time to build more.
With another close battle taking up most of the second quarter’s time, the team in white and blue found their wavelength to travel on to provide a big boost going into the break. Up 26-23 on the Eagles, Geneseo went on to score the next 11 points in a row to claim a 37-23 lead at the break.
The swing would continue into the third quarter, where the Eagles posted eight of the next 11 points behind the efforts of Mitch Ward, Brent Zubikowski and Luke Colombo in the last three minutes of play to help trim their deficit down to the smallest margin of the game — three points, going into the fourth quarter.
From the beginning to the end of the fourth quarter, every Fillmore answer that was given, Geneseo quickly countered with a response of their own in return each time, as the Blue Devils maintained their double-digit cushion with some clutch free throws — a 13-for-18 outing at the line to put the game away for good.
Despite the defeat to the Blue Devils, Fillmore saw four different scorers record double digits in the scorebook, with Ward pacing the offense with his game-high 20 points. Zach Sisson had another excellent night from the field, adding in 19 points of his own, while Luke Colombo and Brent Zubikowski followed behind with 11, and 10 points respectively.
The Eagles will soar once again tonight with a quick turnaround back over the road, looking to rebound with a 7:30 p.m. visit to Friendship/Scio, in Friendship.
Fillmore 12 11 25 17 – 65
Geneseo 16 21 18 22 – 77
FILLMORE: Brent Zubikowski 4 1-2 10, Jair Bialek 2 0-0 5, Luke Colombo 3 2-2 11, Mitch Ward 7 6-9 20, Zach Sisson 8 0-2 19. Totals: 24 9-15 65.
GENESEO: Kellen O’Brien 2 4-4 10, Lyndon Bailey 1 1-2 4, Ethan Bennett 8 6-9 23, Ryan Whitney 8 2-5 21, Oren Ray 1 0-0 2, Eghosa Okpefe 6 5-9 17. Totals: 26 18-29 77.
3-point goals: Fillmore 8 (Colombo 3, Sisson 3, Zubikowski, Bialek), Geneseo 7 (Whitney 3, O’Brien 2, Bailey, Bennett).
Total Fouls: Fillmore 18, Geneseo 13. Fouled out: Zubikowski (FIL).
Andover/Whitesville 49, Genesee Valley/Belfast 31
BELFAST — Vanessa Hall simply did not miss a beat, Thursday night in Belfast.
The Andover/Whitesville senior was everywhere on the floor all game long. Inside, outside, the free throw line, you name it. Hall was there hammering it down from all angles, including a monster third quarter that saw them break away from host Genesee Valley/Belfast, as the team scored a big 49-31 win.
Both foes would start the evening strong with a back-and-forth battle that saw Andover/Whitesville (12-4) spring on top first with the early lead. The defense would then begin to settle in for the second quarter, when the visitors in black held Genesee Valley/Belfast to just three points from the field to close out the first half with a nine-point lead.
In the second half, the table was run, as Andover/Whitesville posted a 21-point frame paced by Hall, who recorded some big special teams assistance with a 9-for-10 outing at the charity stripe in the third quarter — a 21-10 run of Genesee Valley/Belfast (10-8) in all.
Hall would finish with a game-high 34 points at the end of the night.
“The effort from the girls tonight was really good,” Andover/Whitesville co-coach Aaron Rawady said. “GV/Belfast is a tough team. They made us really have to work hard to get stops on defense, and to get anything working offensively. There are definitely some things we need to keep working on, but we are happy with the result tonight.”
Finishing behind Hall was Kennedy Bledsoe, who tallied 11 points. Zoe Baert had four points.
On the other side, Abby Sullivan drained four of Genesee Valley/Belfast’s six triples to put toward a team-high 14 points. Mary Hamer finished with eight points, while Anna Drozdowski had six. The team will return to action next Friday night with a 7:30 p.m. visit to Bolivar-Richburg.
Andover/Whitesville heads back home to welcome in the Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford for a visit in Andover, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Andover/Whitesville 10 9 21 9 – 49
Genesee Valley/Belfast 7 3 10 11 – 31
ANDOVER/WHITESVILLE: Vanessa Hall 9 11-12 34, Gabby Terhune 0 0-2 0, Zoe Baert 2 0-0 4, Kennedy Bledsoe 3 5-6 11. Totals: 14 16-20 49.
GV/BELFAST: Anna Drozdowski 3 0-2 6, Abby Sullivan 5 0-0 14, Adison Grusendorf 0 3-4 3, Mary Hamer 3 0-0 8, Kate Calanni 0 0-2 0. Totals: 11 3-8 31.
3-point goals: A/W 5 (Hall), GVB 6 (Sullivan 4, Hamer 2).
Total Fouls: A/W 7, GVB 15. Fouled out: None.
Fillmore 33, Jasper-Troupsburg 24
GREENWOOD — The Lady Eagles of Fillmore were tasked with a difficult assignment against host Jasper-Troupsburg on Thursday, but through it all, they would come out on top behind another brilliant game led by Hope Russell on the attack, as Fillmore spoiled the Lady Wildcats and their Senior Night celebration with a 33-24 road win in Greenwood.
Fillmore (11-5) would outscore Jasper-Troupsburg across the first three quarters of play, including a strong finish to the first half and an even stronger start to the second half with a pair of 10-point quarters — frames that would ultimately give them enough wiggle room to remain one step ahead of the Lady Wildcats.
The Lady Eagles couldn’t have picked up the victory without the guidance of Hope Russell, who continues to shine on the attack with a game-high 18 points. Mattie McCumiskey pitched in with eight points, while Grace Russell and Rachel Hatch rounded off with five and two points, respectively.
Up next is a 7:30 p.m. tip-off back home in The Rock for the Lady Eagles, as they welcome in the Lady Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg on Monday.
Fillmore 9 11 10 3 – 33
Jasper-Troupsburg 4 8 8 4 – 24
FILLMORE: Hope Russell 8 0-0 18, Grace Russell 0 5-8 5, Rachel Hatch 1 0-0 2, Mattie McCumiskey 4 0-0 8. Totals: 13 5-8 33.
JASPER-TROUPSBURG: Madison Cady 3 0-0 6, Lauren Ross 3 0-0 6, Natalie Cornell 1 2-2 4, Kelli White 1 0-0 2, Reagan Miles 3 0-0 6. Totals: 11 2-2 24.
3-point goals: Fillmore 2 (H. Russell).
Total Fouls: Fillmore 3, J-T 11. Fouled out: None.
Cuba-Rushford 54, Hinsdale 27
HINSDALE — Nearly every single Lady Rebel found their way onto the scoresheet with at least a two-point basket on Thursday, as they propelled their way towards victory behind a powerful second quarter run to record a 54-27 triumphant doubling up of the host Hinsdale Lady Bobcats to claim their fourth win in the last five games.
The Lady Rebels (9-7) built a strong amount of momentum to use against Hinsdale after trading back-and-forth baskets through the first three minutes. Later on, the visitors would find their rhythm and begin to hit all strides on offense with eight consecutive points to close out the first, creating a big offensive shift to carry into the second quarter.
In it, Cuba-Rushford garnered all the room they would need to pull away from Hinsdale’s (0-17) reach with a massive 18-1 first half-ending run.
Taylor Searle was a big reason behind the Lady Rebels successful offensive spurt, bucketing a game-high 24 points. Kendall Tompkins added in eight points, while Cloey Larabee and Brynn Lavery each had seven points.
The Lady Bobcats were led by Jaylee Jimerson and her team-high nine points. Hinsdale will travel to Houghton Academy for a 5 p.m. contest.
Up next is a trip to Wellsville on Saturday for Cuba-Rushford, as they get set to square off with the host Lady Lions in a 7:30 p.m. contest.
Cuba-Rushford 11 18 17 8 – 54
Hinsdale 5 1 12 9 – 27
CUBA-RUSHFORD: Cloey Larabee 3 0-0 7, Kendall Tompkins 3 2-2 8, Shae Maples 1 0-2 2, Emma Retz 1 0-0 2, Brynn Lavery 3 0-0 7, Aleah Demick 1 0-0 2, Taylor Searle 9 5-10 24, Raegan Poore 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 7-14 54.
HINSDALE: Hannah Sutton 3 1-2 7, Alexa Saunders 1 0-0 2, Jaylee Jimerson 4 1-2 9, Mikayla Miller 0 1-2 1, Sarah Tuttle 2 0-0 4, Felisha Veno 2 0-0 4. Totals: 12 3-6 27.
3-point goals: C-R 3 (Larabee, Lavery, Searle).
Total Fouls: C-R 7, Hinsdale 13. Fouled out: None.