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Wednesday Roundup: 4th quarter spark allows Attica to break away from Lions in back-and-forth battle, hang on for 52-48 win at Alfred U; Fillmore, GV/Belfast boys volleyball record victories  

Photos and stories by Chris Brooks,

ALFRED — Attica, Hornell, Avoca-Prattsburgh, Corning. Those are just some of the battles that the Lions of Wellsville will encounter in the time to come, with the first trio of matchups being spent away from home and at college campuses.

The firestarter to their four-game road trip saw them embrace the confines of the McLane Center at Alfred University to take on the Attica Blue Devils in a Class B2 mid-season showdown on Wednesday.

The aim was to keep their bounce back spark, becoming winners in four of their last five games, aflame against an opponent they may see again come Sectional time. To do it, the Lions would have to engage in a battle of wits across all 32 minutes of play, exchanging multiple runs along with consistent responses to one another.

When the chess match began winding down, a deadlock was waiting to be broken. For Attica, it was a fourth quarter start that did just the trick.

In the midst of a dead heat all the way down to the game’s final eight minute dash, something had to most certainly give way between both clubs. With five minutes remaining, the Blue Devils used the procurement of nine straight points to open the last frame of action, breaking away from Wellsville’s grasp permanently, despite some late pressure down the stretch, as they held on to complete a 52-48 victory.

“Attica did a really good job,” Lions coach Tom Muska said. “They ran a bunch of different defenses against us, they started it with the press, then they went man and then ended the game with zone. I thought our guys did a great job with whatever adversity was thrown our way, they adjusted to it. I think we took a little bit too long trying to adjust to those, and Attica made the most of their opportunities with the right adjustments.”

The first early back-and-forth exchanging of pleasantries settled right in across the first quarter, with a couple of forced turnovers by Attica against the Wellsville (4-7) offense that quickly turned into points to claim their first lead crossing the midway mark. The two clubs would continue to trade responses right until the 20-second mark of the quarter when Ty Vogel’s long triple right next to the shot clock’s expiration allowed the Lions to lay claim on a 14-11 lead going into the second.

The shot would aid in providing an offensive burst for the Lions to start the next eight minute session with, as they score an 8-0 run of the Blue Devils to turn a 15-14 narrow deficit into a seven-point lead. But not long after a timeout to discuss a new strategy, Attica turned the tables around with an 8-0 run of their own to reclaim the lead with two minutes to go, using a long three by Carter Gorski and a clutch save of the ball before exiting play, which turned into a breakaway go-ahead runner to the rim to create a 23-22 lead.

Attica would grab ahold of the half’s final possession, but JJ Howard had other plans in store for the Lions with a clean pickpocket of the offense, running for his life back down the court before the clock triggered the sound of the buzzer, juking a Blue Devils defender along the way to soar straight up to the breadbasket for the one-point lead at the break.

Like the end of the first quarter, the basket by Howard allowed the Lions to start hot once again with a series of scores that witnessed them garner an advantage that eclipsed as much as seven points during the early stage. But soon after, the Blue Devils would find their way onto the board themselves with as equal of a response, re-tying the game at 34 on each side with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

As the frame concluded with a 39-all tie going into the last eight minutes, the opportunity to break away from one’s reach was never greater.

For Attica, a rampant, game-changing run to open the scoring gave them the wiggle room they needed to slide past Wellsville, recording nine consecutive points to garner a lead of the same stature — the night’s largest advantage held to twist all the momentum in their favor for good. With the victory in reach for the Blue Devils, the Lions would not go down without one last fight, as Howard provided another key steal for a cash-in at the rim, and a long three from Vogel in the midst of a foul exchange in the waning seconds to keep the pressure on.

NY Land Quest congratulates all student athletes

Muska, despite the defeat, remains more than pleased with the progress his team continues to make night in and night out.

“It’s better to see the progress we’re making,” he said. “I feel like we’re still moving in the right direction, and today was one of those days where you always see kids getting better. It’s not always going to be perfectly linear. We’re hitting that plateau in figuring out what our next step is. We’ve got a huge month ahead with Hornell, Avoca-Prattsburgh, Corning, Greece Olympia, Greece Odyssey. They’re all games to give us a great opportunity to play at this high level and get us ready for the end of the year.”

Vogel was Wellsville’s leading scorer at the end of the chaos on the hardwood, as he compiled a team-high 14 points, while Howard followed with 13 of his own. Aiden Cowburn chipped in with nine points, while Alex Green had six.

The night at Alfred University was centered around Muska and his family, as the surrounding communities who took part in the three-game showcase came together as one in support of his young son, Akiva, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer this past summer. Looking back on all of the fundraising, the second-year head coach says that there are few words to describe the love and gratefulness he and his family have received far and wide over the difficult course of time.

In fact, there are none.

“We honestly have not found the words to express the gratitude to the community,” Muska said. “It has been overwhelming and humbling to say the least. We live in a great town that has shown us how great they are. It was awesome of Alfred U to give us this night to play this game, but at the end of the day, we’re getting through it and rolling with the punches. After all the treatments and radiation that we’ve taken him to, he’s still the same little man he’s been at home.”

Up next, the Lions will now turn their attention to the annual Sheriff’s Classic, which will happen right across the street from Alfred University, as they now head for the Orvis Activities Center at Alfred State to help kick off the eighth installment of the Dan Barkley Showcase this Friday night, when they face their long-standing rival — the Hornell Red Raiders, one of the Section and State’s best in Class B, in an 8 p.m. tip-off.

As for what to expect? Muska says quite simply, your typical Hornell-Wellsville showdown.

“You’re going to see a fun, physical basketball game like it’s always been like,” he said. “These are the kinds of games that you really look back on and you wish those are the experiences these kids get to have. Hornell still has the Picco boys, and they can make you pay wherever they wind up on the floor. We’ll be happy to get to business this weekend.”

Attica 11 14 14 13 – 52

Wellsville 14 12 13 9 – 48

ATTICA: Cole Harding 2 2-2 7, Ethan Meyer 1 0-0 3, Jack Janes 8 2-4 18, Carter Gorski 6 1-2 15, Clayton Bezon 4 1-4 9. Totals: 21 6-12 52.

WELLSVILLE: Aiden Cowburn 4 0-0 9, Karson Grover 1 0-0 3, Cooper Brockway 1 0-0 3, JJ Howard 6 1-5 13, Ty Vogel 5 2-2 14, Trenton Green 0 0-2 0, Alex Green 2 2-4 6. Totals: 19 5-13 48.

3-point goals: Attica 2 (Harding, Meyer), Wellsville 5 (Vogel 2, Cowburn, Grover, Brockway).
Total Fouls: Attica 12, Wellsville 11. Fouled out: None.

Fillmore 72, Andover/Whitesville 22

ANDOVER — A game removed off a historic night for Zach Sisson and the Eagles of Fillmore back on Monday, the wheels continued to churn with the highest of intensity when they hit the road for Andover, with Sisson once again propelling the offense to big success and towards their sixth consecutive win with a 72-22 win over host Andover/Whitesville.

The first eight minutes of play was what the doctor ordered for the Eagles (8-2) straight out of the gate, as they set the tone almost immediately against Andover/Whitesville with a 31-point frame that they never looked back on as the game progressed. Sisson helped play a big role behind the early efforts, scoring 15 of his game-high 21 points to set up shop.

Cam Mucher and Jonah Bialek each aided in the early efforts for the visitors in black and green, with Mucher following Sisson in the scorebook with his 15 points, and Bialek totaling 12 points in addition.

Andover/Whitesville (4-4) was captained by a team-leading eight points from James Miller-Young. Brody Vance chipped in with seven points. On Saturday, Andover/Whitesville will head for Alfred State to face Hammondsport in the first game of the five-game Dan Barkley Showcase beginning at 12 p.m.

The Eagles are off until Tuesday night when they head back home to The Rock for a titanic Allegany County showdown with the Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Fillmore 31 13 17 11 – 72

Andover/Whitesville 11 2 2 7 – 22

FILLMORE: Cam Mucher 7 0-0 15, Marcus Wolfer 1 0-0 3, Layton Sanasith 2 0-2 4, Brandon Buck 1 0-0 2, Zach Sisson 9 2-2 21, Jonah Bialek 4 2-2 12, Brayden Hennard 1 0-0 2, Jameson Rhett 3 0-0 7, Gavin Barnhart 1 0-0 2, JD Bialek 2 0-0 4. Totals: 31 4-6 72.
ANDOVER/WHITESVILLE: James Miller-Young 4 0-0 8, Trey Kent 1 0-0 2, Vincent Joyce 1 0-0 2, Brody Vance 2 3-3 7, Colton Calladine 1 1-2 3. Totals: 9 4-5 22.

3-point goals: Fillmore 6 (Jo. Bialek 2, Mucher, Wolfer, Sisson, Rhett).
Total Fouls: Fillmore 7, A/W 3. Fouled out: None.


Canisteo-Greenwood 70, Campbell-Savona 25

ALFRED — The Lady Chargers of Canisteo-Greenwood pieced together a complete team effort from start to finish, as every scorer managed to navigate their way to the basket, using a fast start to their fullest of advantages to roll past the Lady Panthers of Campbell-Savona on Wednesday inside the McLane Center at Alfred University with a 70-25 win — the 100th for the program under seventh-year head coach Les York.

Stepping up to take the lead for the Lady Chargers (7-4) was Bailey Mullen, who helped conduct a strong opening quarter with her presence inside and out, as she collected 11 of her game-high 24 points within the frame to kickstart the tires on what was a 26-point stanza to aid the squad in white and red with a start they raced full speed ahead with.

Mullen was one of three different scorers to eclipse double figures on offense, as she chipped in with some big special teams along the way by garnering seven rebounds and seven steals. Following behind was Kora Button and her 18 points, while Paris May collected 12 points to go with seven steals and five rebounds.

Adding more special teams aid was Harlie McCaffery, who posted nine big rebounds off the glass.

On Friday, Canisteo-Greenwood will look to close out the week on a high note with a 7:15 p.m. visit to Addison.

Campbell-Savona 6 8 8 3 – 25

Canisteo-Greenwood 26 10 10 24 – 70

CAMPBELL-SAVONA: Ashlyn Stratton 3 0-0 8, Emma Roy 3 0-0 6, Elizabeth Crosson 1 1-2 3, Jenna Machuga 2 1-2 5, Olivia Zimar 0 1-4 1, Jalyn Machuga 1 0-0 2. Totals: 10 3-8 25.

CANISTEO-GREENWOOD: Kora Button 6 3-4 18, Bailey Mullen 10 1-2 24, McKenna Ferris 1 2-2 4, Harlie McCaffery 2 0-0 4, Sidney Drouin 1 0-0 2, Paris May 5 2-4 12, Peyton Peters 2 1-2 5. Totals: 27 9-14 70.

3-point goals: C-S 2 (Stratton), C-G 7 (Button 3, Mullen 3, May).
Total Fouls: C-S 15, C-G 13. Fouled out: None.


Genesee Valley/Belfast 3, Portville 2

PORTVILLE — After Portville took the first decision against Genesee Valley/Belfast in consecutive fashion earlier in the year, there was no doubt that redemption was at the top of the to-do list for their rematch off to the west in Portville, Wednesday night.

In a grueling battle that came straight down the wire, it was a matter of getting that big two-point edge. After a late comeback was staged by the Panthers to force the fifth and final set their battle would see, Genesee Valley/Belfast would attempt to halt any more momentum funneling through for the home team.

But in the end, the visitors in black would manage to get those two points they needed to get the job done, as they survived a back-and-forth exchange with Portville to claim victory in five sets, scoring the 25-20, 25-16, 22-25, 17-25, 15-13 win in style.

“We started off really strong, but we really just need to work on finishing and not waiting. I’m really happy with the outcome, especially because that team swept us at the beginning of the season,” GV/Belfast coach Darren Bradt said. “It wasn’t always pretty at times, but they gutted it out through it. I was glad to see Sean (Mahon) keep his composure and steady the team with Brayden (Cooper) playing real tough in the front row. The younger and newer players are really starting to step up and grasp more of the skill and mental game of volleyball.”

Leading the pack for Genesee Valley/Belfast (5-6) was Brayden Cooper, who was outstanding at the front of the net, recording a team-leading 11 kills to go with his six big blocks to keep the ball on the Portville side of the court. Adding help along the way was Sean Mahon, who set up shop with his eight helpers, pairing them with five aces from the back line and a pair of kills.

A quick turnaround for Genesee Valley/Belfast will be held tonight, as they get back on the road for a 6 p.m. contest against Wellsville.

Fillmore 3, Cuba-Rushford 0

FILLMORE — Looking to bounce back from a straight-set defeat to the hands of Arkport-Canaseraga, a powerful night of service allowed the Fillmore Eagles to do just that in their return home on Wednesday, as they fended off an early threat from visiting Cuba-Rushford and settled in for a straight-set victory of their own by a 25-20, 25-15, 25-9 count.

From the back line, Anderson Wiltsey helped set the tone for the night of service with his 16 team-leading service points, pairing them with four aces to power the Fillmore (5-5) attack. Following closely behind was Reid Cockle and his 15 service points, coupling them with three kills, three aces and three blocks. Jacob Collopy and Zach Fraser combined to record 14 more service points to round off the scoring for the hosts in green.

Leading Cuba-Rushford (3-7) was Anderson Siegel, who recorded eight digs on defense to go with six kills and three aces. Brock Stadler chipped in with eight more digs and five kills, while Coen Kellogg handed out nine helpers in the middle of the floor.

Both teams will mark their return to the floor Tuesday night in a pair of 6 p.m. contests, as Fillmore gets set to visit Genesee Valley/Belfast, while the Rebels head back home to welcome in undefeated Allegany-Limestone.

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