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Wellsville boys advance in Section V tourney; Fillmore, GV/B girls win sectional games

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Tuesday Sectionals: No. 7 Lions start title defense with bang, turn tide with 23-point 2nd quarter to pace 78-40 win over No. 10 North Rose-Wolcott; Fillmore, GV/Belfast ladies garner 1st Round wins

By Chris Brooks, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com

WELLSVILLE — If you flipped open a copy of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, you will find that the word ‘momentum’ can be best described as strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events.

In the game of basketball, you can classify the eight-letter word along with one of many discrete facets in it. Ranging from forcing turnovers or taking a charge, to thunderous appearances off the bench or even a shining stand-out moment. The possibilities of turning the tide ever in your direction, are limitless.

The seventh-seeded Lions of Wellsville had almost everything working in their favor to open their Sectional title defense Tuesday night on their home floor for what is likely their final time this season. With No. 10 North Rose-Wolcott in town, the 10-7 opening round clash saw the two Class B2 adversaries hang right alongside one another across the first quarter.

(See highlights and interviews with the Wellsville seniors on our Facebook page, or click HERE)

Although the Cougars remained right on their coattails, the second quarter saw Wellsville put their foot down on the gas pedal, never lifting off of it again to score a massive run headlined by six different scorers — two of them providing a gargantuan impact up from the JV squad. In all, a season-high 78 points were accumulated by the Lions to make their opening round statement evident, as they strolled their way towards a 78-40 victory to set the table for a Friday night date in the Canisteo Valley.

“This is the best we have looked all season and it’s happening at the right time,” said Lions coach Tom Muska. “They have all been working really hard this past week to reach our potential. The sophomores have been an amazing help in practice and a few of them I thought really shined tonight. They have brought a new energy to the team recently. North Rose shot really well, despite making the long trip to be here. They came ready to play at the jump, but our guys remained confident and stuck to the plan in place to win it out in the end.”

Before the first half-ending explosion took place for the Lions (8-13), the battle through close quarters combat in the opening eight minute sequence ensued. With each team landing a three as their opening basket from the field, it would set the pace for an early game of musical chairs which saw the Cougars claim a one-point lead just past midway.

Two hard-earned baskets under the rim were then scored by Wellsville, the first off multiple offensive boards which was finally finished off by Karson Grover, and then a three-point play from Howard on the very next possession to put the Lions back in the lead by four with 90 seconds remaining. The three-point play would jumpstart Howard’s engine even more, seeing him gain control of the action with a one-handed jam on the breakaway to build their advantage even more.

Wellsville would finish off the quarter with two big shots at the charity stripe after a technical foul was assessed to North Rose-Wolcott right at the end of the frame, as their lead grew to five moving into the second quarter.

In that second stanza, all the momentum would sway in their favor off a kick-starting sequence inside the paint which saw a plethora of passes orchestrate a sweet conduction of music that was finished off by Cooper Brockway’s running lay-up — a basket that helped cement the foundation for seven of the frame’s first 10 points to branch their advantage into double-digit territory.

Wellsville continued to strike from all angles on the floor behind some immaculate passing in the paint and some more threes from long range. Out of the six total contributors who lent a helping hand in making the noise — Trenton Green and Derek Coleman, two of the team’s JV call-ups who made their impact known not only by finding the basket, but just simply providing big minutes to keep North Rose-Wolcott on their feet on defense.

In all, the Cougars were limited to just five points on offense in the midst of their 23-5 jaunt.

In short: the tide was turned.

“Trenton and Derek are both extremely talented and they are great kids to have in your program,” Muska said. “They could have been up playing Varsity the entire season, but I think the opportunity they got at the JV level helped prepare them to come in and play at an instant for us today.”

The Lions would keep their foot straight down on the gas pedal for the remainder of the game heading into the second half, as they continued to fire on all cylinders from all angles on the floor, extending the lead to as much as 30 in the third quarter to garner even more room to work towards the eventual victory that waited in the wings at the final buzzer.

Leading the scoring for Wellsville was JJ Howard, as he posted a game-high 18 points. Trenton Green followed with 10 points, while Karson Grover and Alex Green each had nine to chip in.

NY Land Quest congratulates all student athletes

Up next for the Lions is the Quarterfinal round, where a tough customer that enters the Class B2 fray for the first time this season awaits their arrival — the No. 2 Canisteo-Greenwood Chargers. The action in the Canisteo Valley will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday.

“Canisteo-Greenwood looks like the best team I’ve ever seen them have. I think for once we are entering a game where we don’t just have the most athletic kids on the floor anymore,” said Muska. “(JJ) Reese and (Cole) Chaffee are going to be tough to handle. Now, we have to put in the work to be ready for them on Friday. They play very quick in the transition and they run a lot of teams out of the building. It will be a fun matchup to be a part of.”

North Rose-Wolcott 15 5 13 7 – 40

Wellsville 20 23 16 19 – 78

NORTH ROSE-WOLCOTT: Cody Crane 4 4-6 15, Nick Gilbert 4 0-4 10, Evan DeWispelaere 3 0-0 9, Dayton Laird 1 0-0 2, Chase Kerr 1 0-0 3, Axton Paul 0 1-2 1. Totals: 13 5-12 40.

WELLSVILLE: Aiden Cowburn 2 0-0 6, Karson Grover 4 0-0 9, Cooper Brockway 2 1-2 6, JJ Howard 7 3-7 18, Ty Vogel 4 0-0 8, Ethan Bailey 1 0-0 2, Trenton Green 5 0-0 10, Jace Densmore 1 0-0 3, Alex Green 4 1-4 9, Derek Coleman 3 0-0 7. Totals: 33 5-14 78.

3-point goals: NRW 9 (Crane 3, DeWispelaere 3, Gilbert 2, Kerr), Wellsville 7 (Cowburn 2, Grover, Brockway, Howard, Densmore, Coleman).
Total Fouls: NRW 12, Wellsville 11. Fouled out: Paul (NRW).

Girls basketball sectional results after Chris Brooks photo gallery:

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Class C2 First Round

No. 9 Naples 35, No. 8 Cuba-Rushford 34

CUBA — The Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford were in control of their own destiny, Tuesday night.

In their Class C2 opening round clash against No. 9 Naples, the eight seeds were approaching the homestretch. As for the Lady Big Green, their aim was to provide a last minute change to the storyboard. Closing in on four minutes left to play, the visitors in green syphoned what energy the Lady Rebels built and used it to run the table, scoring eight unanswered points while keeping their opposition off the board to complete a massive game-ending run to steal away a 35-34 win in the Wighthouse.

“We had a seven-point lead in the fourth and they went on a little run,” Lady Rebels coach Aaron Wight said. “We missed a couple of great looks and we committed some bad turnovers that gave them some easy points to put away. We had some chances at the line to connect with, but we couldn’t find a rhythm to try and close it out. We’re young and it was a great experience. We played a tougher schedule this year than usual, but I was really impressed with how we improved as the season went on.”

The first half saw Naples and Cuba-Rushford remain stride for stride with one another, with the Lady Rebels jumping on top with an early one-point lead heading into the next eight minute session. WIth some inside work propelling the Lady Big Green, and a pair of big threes from Aubrey Williams aiding the host’s cause, the pace of play remained untouched, with the visitors jumping out on top with an 18-16 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, the script was flipped again by Cuba-Rushford, as they reclaimed the lead with the help of three different Lady Rebels. Of the 10 points they posted, five came from the hand of Brynn Lavery, including a big three from outside that would energize their outscoring of Naples to claim a 26-23 lead going into the fourth.

The Cuba-Rushford lead would reach as much as seven points at one point in the last eight minutes of play, but with half of the time erased off the scoreboard, Naples kicked the tires into high gear and changed the complexion of the game completely with a four-minute shutout of the Lady Rebels, producing the final points the game would see to swipe away victory from the their grasp to force an upset in the opening round of action.

On the attack, Raegan Poore led all scorers for the Lady Rebels with her team-high 10 points. Behind her was Lavery, who finished with nine points, while Williams’ pair of three-pointers totaled six points.

The 2023-24 campaign is now officially over for Cuba-Rushford, as the team finishes with a record of 5-15 overall. The team will return all but one of their playmakers, as they say goodbye to their lone senior Shae Maples when the end of the school year arrives in June.

“I definitely think there are a lot of good signs and a lot that we can build on going forward,” Wight said. “This is a hard working group and I appreciate that. I can’t say enough about Shae. You always know exactly what you’re going to get from her. She plays her heart out every minute she’s on the floor. We’re going to miss her physicality next year for sure.”

Naples 5 11 7 12 – 35

Cuba-Rushford 6 12 10 8 – 34

NAPLES: Polly Bay 2 1-2 5, Kendra Hurlburt 1 0-2 2, Grayce Hedburg 2 1-2 6, Emily Lester 4 1-2 9, Erica Reigelsperger 5 3-7 13. Totals: 14 6-15 35.

CUBA-RUSHFORD: Aubrey Williams 2 0-2 6, Lily Tompkins 2 1-6 5, Brynn Lavery 4 0-0 9, Mireya Rutkowski 1 2-2 4, Raegan Poore 5 0-1 10. Totals: 14 3-11 34.

3-point goals: Naples 1 (Hedburg), C-R 3 (Williams 2, Lavery).
Total Fouls: Naples 11, C-R 10. Fouled out: None.

No. 3 Fillmore 61, No. 14 Eugenio Maria de Hostos 18

FILLMORE — Tuesday night saw the No. 3 Lady Eagles of Fillmore deliver a first quarter haymaker against No. 14 Eugenio Maria de Hostos, as they set the tone immediately on both ends of the hardwood with a lead that they proceeded to never look back on, strolling towards what was a 61-18 victory inside The Rock in opening round action of the Class C2 tournament.

In the midst of holding Eugenio Maria de Hostos to under 10 points across all four quarters of play, the Lady Eagles (19-2) came out swinging to start their journey through the Class C2 playing field, garnering a 20-2 jaunt in the first eight minutes to bring the hammer of momentum down right away, essentially cementing their place in the driver’s seat for the foreseeable future ahead.

“We opened Sectionals with a complete and balanced win. The girls came out with a lot of energy to start, and it never waned throughout the game.” Lady Eagles coach Tom Parks said.

Every single Lady Eagle, including a pair of JV call-ups, all had a helping hand in some way to produce a well-oiled and balanced machine on the attack throughout the course of the contest. Leading the way was Hope Russell and her game-high 16 points, pairing them with four steals. Grace Russell chipped in with 11 points of her own to go with four more steals. Mattie McCumiskey recorded nine points, while Preslee Miller was the team’s leading rebounder off the glass with eight.

Up next for Fillmore is a titanic clash of two Section V heavyweights in the Quarterfinal round, as they return to the confines of The Rock to host the No. 6 York Lady Golden Knights on Friday at a time yet to be determined.

Eugenio Maria 2 7 7 2 – 18

Fillmore 20 17 16 8 – 61

EUGENIO MARIA: Laila Perez 1 0-0 2, Brooke Jimenez 3 0-2 6, Emmi Veras 1 2-2 4, DeAzya Washington 2 0-0 6. Totals: 7 2-4 18.

FILLMORE: Hope Russell 7 1-1 16, Grace Russell 5 0-0 11, Rachel Hatch 2 0-0 4, Amelia Rose 1 0-0 2, Kylee Ellsworth 1 1-1 3, Mattie McCumiskey 4 1-2 9, Mylee Miller 1 1-2 3, Preslee Miller 2 1-2 5, Emalyn Mucher 3 0-0 7, Tenlee Miller 0 1-2 1. Totals: 26 6-10 61.

3-point goals: EMCS 2 (Washington), Fillmore 3 (H. Russell, G. Russell, Mucher).
Total Fouls: EMCS 13, Fillmore 6. Fouled out: None.

Class D First Round

No. 4 Genesee Valley/Belfast 51, No. 13 Harley Allendale-Columbia 30

BELFAST — Whenever a fast start needs to be established, Genesee Valley/Belfast wastes absolutely no time striking while the iron is hot.

When they’re on, they remain on all game long. And on Tuesday, Mary Hamer allowed them to do exactly that in their Sectional opener against No. 13 Harley Allendale-Columbia, as she posted the majority of her game-high 16 points all within the first eight minutes to get the No. 4 seeds off and running strongly to punch their tickets to the Class D Quarterfinal round this weekend behind a 51-30 win in Belfast.

“We knew coming in that HAC would play really hard and physical. They play tough from start to finish. I thought we did a great job moving the ball offensively against their zone. When you have eight different girls score, that’s tough to defend against,” said GV/Belfast coach Raegan Ryan. “Our girls came out very strong. They were focused and set the tone early. They played intense defense and caused a lot of turnovers. While the box score doesn’t reflect it, we battled inside defensively against their best player, (Cadence) Brecker. Because of our focus, discipline and effort, it was a solid team effort all around.”

There was simply no stopping Mary Hamer across the first eight minute session on the hardwood for Genesee Valley/Belfast (17-4), as she found her way inside every chance she could, posting 10 of her game-high 16 points all within the frame to set an immediate tone for the hosts while on defense, they held Harley Allendale-Columbia to a near complete standstill in the midst of their 12-2 game-opening sequence.

Although the Lady Wolves were able to gain some ground after a defensive second quarter, the offense sprung to life for Genesee Valley/Belfast once again to close out the game in the second half, bolstering their lead in insurmountable fashion behind seven different contributors along the way.

That included a 17-9 fourth quarter run that allowed them to cement the advantage permanently.

Finishing behind Hamer for the hosts in white was Abby Sullivan, who chipped in with 13 points of her own. Jenna Hill had seven points, while Sophie ZIllgitt had five.

Genesee Valley/Belfast is now on to the Quarterfinal round of the Class D Playoffs, which begin Friday night right back on their home floor, this time down the road in Belmont where they will welcome in No. 12 Northstar for a visit at a time yet to be determined.

The Lady Knights upset No. 5 Lima Christian, 71-68 to earn their spot in the next round.

Harley Allendale-Columbia 2 6 13 9 – 30

Genesee Valley/Belfast 12 7 15 17 – 51

HAC: Gabby Giambra 1 0-0 2, Mary Muller 1 0-0 2, Sawyer Hartman 2 1-4 5, Cadence Brecker 8 5-10 21. Totals: 12 6-14 30.

GV/BELFAST: Abby Sullivan 5 2-4 13, Sophie Zillgitt 2 1-2 5, Kendra Bigelow 1 0-0 2, Morgan Bentley 1 0-0 2, Whitney Young 2 0-0 4, Mary Hamer 8 0-0 16, Ava Aaronson 1 0-4 2, Jenna Hill 3 1-2 7. Totals: 23 4-12 51.

3-point goals: GVB 1 (Sullivan).
Total Fouls: HAC 14, GVB 14. Fouled out: None.

No. 8 Hammondsport 46, No. 9 Friendship/Scio 33

HAMMONDSPORT — From the very beginning to the end, the Friendship/Scio ladies gave it everything they had in another tough duel against No. 8 Hammondsport on Tuesday.

After an early back-and-forth battle, it was whittled down to a second quarter difference maker that favored the Lady Lakers, as they closed out the first half on a strong note to solidify their advantage to end the No. 9 seeds season with a 46-33 home win.

“The girls left it all out there tonight. We played much better as opposed to the first game against Hammondsport,” Friendship/Scio coach Ashleigh Lewis said. “Although it wasn’t what we wanted, we came out and made it a competitive game for the most part. We had it down to six late, but the turnovers came and it snowballed from there. I was really proud of the defensive effort, especially from Avery (Lamberson) against the (Sam) Pratt girl. She wasn’t feeling the best and she still played the whole game and locked her down. She scored almost 30 points the first game, and Avery held her scoreless until halfway in the fourth. It was unbelievable.”

An early first quarter battle saw the Lady Lakers springboard out in front after an exchange of pleasantries unraveled into a four-point advantage to carry into the second quarter. In the first half-ending frame, the momentum they had established would carry over on both ends of the floor, as they set the tone against Friendship/Scio with a monstrous 12-4 run that ultimately sealed their position at the top for good.

Despite trailing, Friendship/Scio would provide a bounce back second half and chip away at the deficit as much as they could, getting to within six at one point during the final eight minutes of the game. But it would prove to be too much to overcome, as the 23-11 halftime lead Hammondsport established would remain intact to secure the win.

Leading the scoring for Friendship/Scio was Nevaeh Ross, as she posted 12 points to go with seven rebounds. Emily Lamberson chipped in with nine points. Morghyn Ross followed with eight points to pair with six rebounds, while Grace Drumm had the team’s last four points from the inside.

Friendship/Scio’s campaign has officially reached its conclusion, as they wrap up with a record of 10-9 overall. The team will part with three seniors at the end of the school year in June, in Nevaeh Ross, Drumm and Sophie Bolzan.

After scoring 12 points in what was her final game on the hardwood for the program, Ross will finish her basketball career with 1,201 career points.

For Lewis, she said it was an honor to witness her growth since she first started coaching her.

”It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster season, and we only had our entire team all together at once five times this year,” she said. “They put a lot of heart and effort into this game. I will miss Nevaeh, she had a tremendous career and I am so proud of the player she has become. She is a special player and to watch what she turned into over the years, it’s been an amazing ride. Grace and Sophie, I will miss them tremendously. They have some big shoes that will need to be filled next year. This year was a lot of fun, but unfortunately it just wasn’t our night to continue.”

Friendship/Scio 7 4 11 11 – 33

Hammondsport 11 12 9 14 – 46

FRIENDSHIP/SCIO: Grace Drumm 2 0-0 4, Emily Lamberson 3 2-2 9, Nevaeh Ross 3 5-5 12, Morghyn Ross 4 0-0 8. Totals: 12 7-7 33.

HAMMONDSPORT: Gabby Doyle 2 0-0 5, LaZell Locey 3 5-8 14, Arielle Szathmary 0 1-2 1, Sam Pratt 3 2-3 8, Nichole Pratt 6 0-0 14, Alexis Hurd 2 0-0 4. Totals: 16 8-13 46.

3-point goals: F/S 2 (Lamberson, N. Ross), Hammondsport 4 (N. Pratt 2, Doyle, Locey).
Total Fouls: F/S 12, Hammondsport 12. Fouled out: N. Ross (F/S).

No. 2 Avoca-Prattsburgh 62, No. 15 Andover/Whitesville 37

AVOCA — The opening eight minutes of battle was all the No. 2 Avoca-Prattsburgh Lady Titans needed to set up shop on Tuesday, as they opened their Sectional journey with a big bang against defending back-to-back Class D2 champion Andover/Whitesville, ending their 2023-24 campaign in the same swing by maintaining all the momentum they built early on and using it to secure a 62-37 victory.

The stage was set for the Lady Titans straight out of the gate, with D’Mariannah Hinson-Pike and Meyah Putnam coming together to produce the majority of the team’s offense off nine combined points of the team’s 10 in total, while in turn, the defense nearly held Andover/Whitesville idle in the first quarter to capitalize on a 10-2 lead going forward.

The momentum shift navigated its way into the second quarter to help produce an outstanding finish to the first half for the hosts in white and gold, as the hot hand of Hinson-Pike flared up from outside with two more of her three first half triples finding nothing but the twine on the way down, while four more contributions from inside furthered the team’s cause in the midst of their 20-8 jaunt to branch out their advantage, never looking back along the way.

Leading the scoring for Andover/Whitesville was Grace Fry, who posted a team-high 13 points. Olivia Waters recorded seven points of her own to add in, while Graci Lewis-Ellison finished with six.

Avoca-Prattsburgh was paced by Edwards, who was one of four scorers to eclipse double figures on attack, earning 15 game-high points. Hinson-Pike and Putnam each finished with 12 points, while Marissa Reid had 10.

The season is over for the defending back-to-back champions, as they wrap up their 2023-24 campaign with a record of 3-17 overall. The team will part with just two seniors at year’s end, bidding farewell to both Fry and Makaila Brewster.

“Coach Bannerman and I are really proud of this group and how they handled themselves,” Andover/Whitesville co-coach Aaron Rawady said. “We are a young team and we had a lot to replace from last year, so they had to undertake some unfamiliar roles. Every day, they competed and did what was asked of them. There is a lot of potential with this team. Makaila and Grace will be missed, and we can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for this program.”

Andover/Whitesville 2 8 12 15 – 37

Avoca-Prattsburgh 10 20 20 12 – 62

ANDOVER/WHITESVILLE: Stella Bledsoe 2 0-1 5, Graci Lewis-Ellison 2 2-2 6, Grace Fry 5 2-4 13, Makaila Brewster 0 1-2 1, Olivia Waters 2 3-6 7, Katrina Lewis 1 0-0 2, Reece Waters 1 0-0 3. Totals: 13 8-15 37.
AVOCA-PRATTSBURGH: D’Mariannah Hinson-Pike 4 1-2 12, Gwen Moon 2 0-0 4, Meyah Putnam 4 4-6 12, Breanna Jorritsma 1 0-0 2, Kamryn Edwards 5 4-8 15, Marissa Reid 5 0-0 10, Avery Reagan 1 0-0 2, Kendra Gay 0 2-2 2, Lily Hausauer 1 1-1 3. Totals: 23 12-19 62.

3-point goals: A/W 3 (Bledsoe, Fry, R. Waters), A-P 4 (Hinson-Pike 3, Edwards).
Total Fouls: A/W 15, A-P 15. Fouled out: None.

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