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Big night for Allegany County: Wellsville girls win; Scio/Friendship, GV/B, B-R, C-R boys win


Wednesday Sectionals: Big 2nd half defense powers up incredible 3rd quarter power surge for No. 5 Lady Lions in win over No. 12 Midlakes; C-R boys hold off South Seneca, GV/Belfast strolls by Dun/Brad

Photo and stories by Chris Brooks, managing editor,

WELLSVILLE — After the boys team finished off their tenure inside the Lion’s Den for what was the final time this seasons, the Lady Lions of Wellsville hoped to do the same exact thing 24 hours later when the gym inside filled back up one more time for their Class B opening round battle against a longtime Finger Lakes powerhouse on Wednesday — No. 12 Midlakes.

Across much of the opening half, the heat was on. The Lady Screaming Eagles, led by Stella Delpapa from all angles on the floor, put the Lady Lions on edge as much as they could. Especially in the first eight minutes, where they used a wealth of defensive pressure to their utmost advantage to create a five-point lead going forward.

But it was a challenge that Wellsville accepted right from the start, as they fired right back with a strong finish to the opening half that wound up serving as the team’s tide-turning moment at the beginning of the second half.

As a direct result, they would hold the Lady Screaming Eagles without a single point for almost the entire quarter while capitalizing on a massive scoreless jaunt in the same swing, setting up shop for what came to be a 45-33 edge to punch their tickets to the Quarterfinal round this weekend.

“That third quarter made a world of difference. We’ve been pretty decent defensively on the boards, and I’ve continued to stress about how important offensive boards are as well when we went into the half,” Lady Lions coach Michelle Alvord said. “You practice a couple days here and there, but when the opportunity to shine came, Averee Palmatier did a great job with our rebounding, as well as handing out the ball to help make things happen.”

Both teams would witness some full-court pressing to start combat across the opening eight minute sequence. After back-and-forth threes were traded between Stella Delpapa of the Lady Screaming Eagles and Wellsville’s Caelyn Stevens to force an early deadlock, Midlakes foresaw the opportunity to jog out ahead with the quarter’s last five points — the largest edge one team would hold across the frame, to take a 11-6 lead over the Lady Lions.

Wellsville (13-7) followed up with a second quarter rebound to put on the scoreboard, building a gigantic burst of momentum to carry into the second half after a back-and-forth duel saw them spring ahead with a 20-19 lead — paid in part by five huge points from Natalie Adams inside and out, and a big free throw near the quarter’s expiration to officially claim the one-point lead going to break.

With the lead in hand, all the Lady Lions needed to do was build. Behind some stellar free throw shooting, which saw a 10-for-14 outing at the stripe develop altogether, along with some impeccable defense in return, the Lady Lions were nearly unstoppable across all eight minutes of the third quarter, as they posted a gargantuan 19-6 run of Midlakes — 18 of those points coming in consecutive fashion from the start of the frame all the way down to the one-minute mark.

As for that third quarter defense? After 13 first half points from Midlakes’ Stella Delpapa, she was immediately met by the Lady Lions across nearly the entire frame, as she was held without a single basket to cease all momentum from being established by the visitors in black and blue.

When it was all said and done, the tide was turned completely, as the Lady Lions warded off one last push from the Lady Screaming Eagles late in the fourth quarter to seal their spot in the next round this weekend.

“I definitely think we tightened up the defense in the second quarter with a box-and-one. We got a little flustered, but when we switched, that became a big difference,” said Alvord. “We knew going in that we wanted to limit Delpapa as best as we could, but she’s a great player and she will work her way to the basket in any way she can. She hit some shots when we were right in her face. But through it, we were able to feed off the second quarter and keep her off the board in the third.”

Natalie Adams and Makenna Dunbar led an all-balanced Lady Lions offense with 13 team-high points each, with Dunbar grabbing 12 rebounds off the glass to complete a double-double. Caelyn Stevens and Averee Palmatier each followed with six points, with Palmatier collecting 13 more boards to go with five steals.

On Saturday, the Lady Lions will now hit the road and head up north for a big visit with the No. 4 Lady Oatkan Knights of LeRoy in the Class B Quarterfinals beginning at 2 p.m.

Midlakes 11 8 6 8 – 33

Wellsville 6 14 19 6 – 45

MIDLAKES: Stella Delpapa 7 1-1 18, Amelia Maslyn 1 1-2 3, Makenzie Davis 1 0-0 3, Mia Van Savage 0 1-4 1, Sophey Carswell 1 0-0 2, Emma LaBour 1 0-0 2, Zoey Overslaugh 2 0-0 4. Totals: 13 3-7 32.

WELLSVILLE: Caelyn Stevens 2 1-2 6, Natalie Adams 5 1-3 13, Emily Stuck 1 1-2 4, Averee Palmatier 2 2-2 6, Makenna Dunbar 3 7-12 13, Jaden Dunbar 1 1-2 3. Totals: 14 13-24 45.

3-point goals: Midlakes 4 (Delpapa 3, Davis), Wellsville 4 (Adams 2, Stevens, Stuck).
Total Fouls: Midlakes 18, Wellsville 10. Fouled out: M. Dunbar (WLSV).

More stories after photo gallery

No. 7 Williamson/Marion 78, No. 10 Canisteo-Greenwood 36

WILLIAMSON — The Lady Chargers tagged right alongside No. 7 Williamson/Marion through a fierce first quarter of play, Wednesday night. In what was a heavy display of offense to start the game with a bang, the No. 10 seeds remained within reach despite falling into an early hole.

But the momentum would begin to shift in Williamson/Marion’s favor for the remainder of the game, assembling a strong finish to the opening half and carrying it over into the second half where they never looked back from the victory in sight, as they ended Canisteo-Greenwood’s season in the opening round of the Class B2 Tournament with a 78-36 victory.

A powerful first eight minutes was established right away by the hosts, using their three-point game to their fullest of advantages, knocking down four big shots to set up a 20-point frame that allowed them to take an early 20-14 lead on the Lady Chargers.

Canisteo-Greenwood stayed within reach, but Williamson/Marion was able to push out their advantage in insurmountable fashion behind a positive conclusion to the opening half with a 35-22 lead, carrying all the momentum they had constructed into a 20-point third quarter headlined by an 11-point frame from Ellie Alexander down low.

As for the defense, they limited the Lady Chargers to just 14 more points across the pair of quarters to keep them at bay.

Despite the defeat, the Lady Chargers saw Peyton Peters lead the way with her team-high 15 points. Bailey Mullen chipped in 10 points to go with five steals, while Paris May had five more steals to add in on special teams.

The 2023-24 campaign is over for Canisteo-Greenwood in what will be head coach Les York’s final season at the helm, as the team finishes with a record of 11-9 overall. The team will bid farewell to their two seniors in Peters and one of the program’s all-time greats, Lillian Mullen, when Graduation arrives in June.

Canisteo-Greenwood 14 8 8 6 – 36

Williamson/Marion 20 15 20 23 – 78

CANISTEO-GREENWOOD: Kora Button 1 1-2 3, Bailey Mullen 3 3-5 10, Kadyn Piliero 1 0-4 2, Reagan Freeland 0 0-2 0, Harlie McCaffery 1 1-2 3, Paris May 1 0-0 3, Peyton Peters 6 1-1 15. Totals: 13 6-16 36.

WILLIAMSON/MARION: Kearstin Laird 3 0-0 6, Emma Taylor 3 0-0 7, Elizabeth Brandt 6 1-2 16, Kate Campbell 4 3-5 14, Ellie Alexander 9 1-3 21, Sasha Mulowayi 3 3-4 9, Abby DiMuro 1 0-0 3, Kayla Bellefontaine 1 0-0 2. Totals:

3-point goals: C-G 4 (Peters 2, Mullen, May), W/M 10 (Brandt 3, Campbell 3, Alexander 2, Taylor, DiMuro).
Total Fouls: C-G 13, W/M 16. Fouled out: None.


Class C2 First Round

No. 7 Cuba-Rushford 48, No. 10 South Seneca 40

CUBA — It was a little too close for comfort when No. 10 South Seneca and No. 7 Cuba-Rushford came down the final stretch neck-and-neck with one another on a Wednesday night in the Wighthouse.

The Class C2 opening round battle saw the host Rebels claim a close and early lead of the Falcons. From that point, they would go on to outscore their opposition across the remaining three quarters of play to extend the advantage out. But it was not easy by any means, as the Rebels squeezed out a victory while under duress from the Falcons, claiming the 48-40 home win.

“It was a physical game and I’m glad I get to have a couple of more days with this group of guys,” Rebels coach Pat Wight said. “South Seneca fought us to the wire. Coach (Ryan) Clemenson had those guys ready to go, and Kenny Halsey played a great game for them. Early on, they really hammered us on the offensive glass, but fortunately, we were able to clean that up at halftime and play much better defensively. Luke (Brooks) stepped up, and Eli (Sleggs) and Finn (Ricketts) gave us a good kick in the first half to get going.”

A three-point lead was held by the Rebels (13-8) after the opening half reached its conclusion, with Cuba-Rushford outscoring South Seneca across all four quarters of play. That included a narrow 11-9 lead of the Falcons paced by eight combined points from both Finn Ricketts and Eli Sleggs to kick-start the tires for the team.

After the offenses slowed down in the second quarter, a big second half for Luke Brooks would help create a massive eruption, as he used a pair of big three-pointers in the third to go along with some clutch free throw shooting in the last eight minutes to put the finishing touches on the victory in the midst of what was an 18 team-high point effort, pairing them with nine rebounds to finish one shy of a double-double.

Following behind him was Finn Ricketts, who totaled 12 points and nine rebounds to nearly complete a double-double of his own. Eli Sleggs finished with six points.

Cuba-Rushford will now hit the road for their Class C2 Quarterfinal contest, as they prepare to visit No. 2 Alexander for a Saturday afternoon visit. Time of the contest is yet to be determined.

South Seneca 9 7 12 12 – 40

Cuba-Rushford 11 8 13 16 – 48

SOUTH SENECA: Logan Laverack 4 5-7 13, Rylan Ericson 1 0-0 2, Jayden Reed 1 0-0 2, Sam Dufour 1 0-0 2, Kenny Halsey 7 2-3 18, Kyan Miller 1 0-0 3. Totals: 15 7-10 40.

CUBA-RUSHFORD: Braeden Wight 0 2-6 2, Kaden Bell 2 0-0 4, Luke Brooks 6 4-6 18, Eli Sleggs 3 0-0 6, Dean Frank 1 0-0 2, Finn Ricketts 5 2-2 12, Adam Roe 1 0-0 2, Peyton Joy 0 2-2 2. Totals: 18 10-16 48.

3-point goals: SS 3 (Halsey 2, Miller), C-R 2 (Brooks).
Total Fouls: SS 16, C-R 15. Fouled out: Miller (SS).

No. 3 Bolivar-Richburg 65, No. 14 Caledonia-Mumford 50

BOLIVAR — To open Sectionals on Wednesday, the third-seeded Bolivar-Richburg Wolverines were presented with one tough customer from the start and all the way to the game’s end, where No. 14 Caledonia-Mumford brought everything to the table.

The Raiders did everything in their power to keep the Wolverines on edge across all phases. But behind some stellar defense of their own headlined by Reiss Gaines, it would allow the momentum to remain in Bolivar-Richburg’s favor to aid in providing a strong finish to the evening, posting a 21-point fourth quarter to keep their opposition in the rearview mirror while they drove towards victory and Saturday afternoon’s Class C2 Quarterfinal round with a 65-50 win.

NY Land Quest congratulates all student athletes

“It definitely felt like a game that wasn’t a three against a 14. Cal-Mum brought it. and it was not a done-deal by any means in the game. Their boys played hard and gave us everything they had. When the second quarter came, they took advantage and carried it over into the second half,” Wolverines coach Justin Thomas said. “But Reiss had a special night. He played incredible defense and had some huge moments, some with a good stop or a good steal, settling the ball down when we needed to. Those are the kinds of performances we need if we want to make the run we want to make.”

The Wolverines (16-5) provided a hot inception to their game with their largest stand of offense against Caledonia-Mumford, setting up shop for a 22-point stanza to jump right out in front with a 22-13 lead. The Raiders would then switch gears and reverse course on the Wolverines across the second quarter and into the second half, despite being outscored, getting as close as a single possession at one moment in the third.

In the last eight minutes though, Bolivar-Richburg made sure that the Raiders would not unbuckle them from the driver’s seat, posting a massive 21-point conclusion to their first round story while continuing to endure the pressure that Caledonia-Mumford applied down the stretch, as they officially secured their bid to host a Quarterfinal battle this weekend in front of their home crowd.

Leading the scoring for the Wolverines was Aydin Sisson and his game-high 20 points. Landon Barkley chipped in with 17 points of his own to pair with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Reiss Gaines’ spectacular contest saw him net 12 points to go with seven assists, six rebounds, three steals and a pair of blocks.

Saturday afternoon, Bolivar-Richburg will take the stage for Class C2 Quarterfinal battle on their home hardwood, as the No. 3 seeds will get set to take on No. 6 Wheatland-Chili in a 2 p.m. tip-off.

Caledonia-Mumford 13 10 13 14 – 50

Bolivar-Richburg 22 8 14 21 – 65

CAL-MUM: Donnie Peet 8 1-2 20, Jeremiah Anderson 1 4-6 7, Ryan Mills 3 0-0 6, Braeden Fonte 1 0-0 2, Nate Doll 3 8-10 14, Tyler Potter 0 1-2 1. Totals: 16 14-20 50.

BOLIVAR-RICHBURG: Aydin Sisson 8 1-1 20, Landon Barkley 5 3-4 17, David Abdo 2 0-0 4, Waide Karnuth 3 0-0 6, Reiss Gaines 5 2-3 12, Kingston Loucks 2 0-0 6. Totals: 25 6-8 65.

3-point goals: C-M 3 (Peet 2, Anderson), B-R 9 (Barkley 4, Sisson 3, Loucks 2).
Total Fouls: C-M 14, B-R 11. Fouled out: Mills (C-M), Karnuth (B-R).

Class C3 First Round

No. 9 Genesee Valley/Belfast 62, No. 8 Dundee/Bradford 39

DUNDEE — With a potential grudge match against top-seeded Fillmore hanging in the balance this weekend, No. 9 Genesee Valley/Belfast had to work their way there over the road to open their Sectional journey on Wednesday.

The obstacle blocking their path towards the Class C3 Quarterfinal round was No. 8 Dundee/Bradford — a team that would hang right alongside them for much of the contest. There was no higher degree of separation than four points across the first three quarters of play, all of which were garnered in Genesee Valley/Belfast’s favor to keep their lead intact.

When the final eight minutes approached, they advanced forward to provide a big finish, as the nine-seeds held the BraveScots steady while capitalizing on a momentous and dominant conclusion to the 32-minute first round battle in Dundee to officially claim their spot in the this weekend’s Quarterfinals with a 62-39 win.

“This was the best game we’ve put together all season long,” said GV/Belfast coach Lintz Bliven. “They switched when they needed to, they rotated when we needed to rotate. It was a Sectional game in all aspects and Dundee’s crowd was in it. This was a fun game to be a part of, and the kids were excited for this. Usually right around the third quarter, we can struggle, but they dug in and locked horns. The defense played well all 32 minutes to make this happen. They played their hearts out and they shot the lights out. Ian (McKenzie) played great on both ends to get us going and Lannden (Tilton) made some big shots in the fourth which allowed the other kids to feed off of that.”

Genesee Valley/Belfast (11-10) took the lead across all three quarters of play leading up to their big finish against Dundee/Bradford, assembling a three-point lead after the opening quarter and added on top of it with a 12-8 run of the BraveScots to close out the first half.

The close fight ensued into the second half, where the visitors in black remained in front despite the hosts continuing to give off bursts of pressure to keep their opposition on their feet.

But in the last eight minutes, Genesee Valley/Belfast put together a tremendous and monstrous 22-point finish that saw Ian McKenzie take the offense’s lead, alongside a pair of clutch threes from Lannden Tilton to serve as the team’s kick-starting precursor to the 22-9 run of Dundee/Bradford to close out the night on a victorious note.

McKenzie led all scorers for Genesee Valley/Belfast with his game-high 19 points. Kadin Logue followed with 11 points of his own, while Jacob Borden provided a solid presence inside the paint with 10 points.

Coming up on Saturday, Genesee Valley/Belfast will take their talents into The Rock for their third and final meeting with No. 1 Fillmore this season, as the two foes duke it out for a spot in next week’s Class C3 Semifinal round. Tip-off is slated for a 6 p.m. start.

Genesee Valley/Belfast 14 12 14 22 – 62

Dundee/Bradford 11 8 11 9 – 39

GV/BELFAST: Kyle McCumiskey 2 1-2 7, Kadin Logue 3 4-4 11, Lannden Tilton 2 0-0 6, Matt Cater 2 0-1 4, Ian McKenzie 7 1-1 19, Jacob Borden 5 0-0 10, Kenton Shultz 1 0-0 2, Ryan Daciw 1 1-2 3. Totals: 23 7-10 62.

DUNDEE/BRADFORD: Ryan Brody 1 1-2 4, Aiden Monell 1 0-0 2, Jeremy Stiles 3 0-0 8, Aidan Webster 4 0-0 11, Chris Clancey 4 1-5 10, Alex Goltry 1 0-0 2, Jake Black 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 2-7 39.

3-point goals: GVB 9 (McKenzie 4, McCumiskey 2, Tilton 2, Logue), D/B 7 (Webster 3, Stiles 2, Brody, Clancey).
Total Fouls: GVB 10, D/B 13. Fouled out: Heaney (GVB).

Class D Play-In

No. 8 Friendship/Scio 50, No. 9 Lyndonville 35

FRIENDSHIP — Whenever Sectional time arrives, there’s bound to be some jitters for everyone involved.

For No. 8 Friendship/Scio, it was the case early on in the midst of a back-and-forth exchange with No. 9 Lyndonville to start their Class D battle. At the end of the night, just one team would earn the right to punch their ticket to take on defending State Champion Avoca-Prattsburgh this weekend.

After a close battle in the early-going, Friendship/Scio would shake off those butterflies and piece together some sublime basketball on the hardwood Wednesday night, as they assumed complete command of the action from the second quarter on, behind an all-out balanced attack to set the stage for a 50-35 win in Friendship over the visiting Tigers.

“We’re happy to come away with a Sectional win. We’ve stressed about that since the start of the season, and for everyone on this team, this was their first,” Friendship/Scio coach Dillon McFall said. “We started off down early in the first four minutes, and there were some nerves and we played tight, but we settled in and ended the quarter with a run. From there through the rest of the game, we controlled it. We got it out to 20 in the fourth quarter at that point. Aiden (Golden) played really well on both ends, Charlie (Taylor) came off the bench and played well in the second half, Cooper (Greenman) played well and Jerimiah (Brown) only had nine points, but still did some great things. It’s a great sight to see when you’re able to get those contributions.”

Friendship/Scio (5-16) made the most of the opportunity presented in front of them after a close battle with Lyndonville across the opening eight minutes. With a 10-8 lead in hand, the hosts went straight to work building on their lead, using the first of two favorable runs to cement it even further.

The former of which allowed them to set a massive tone that the Tigers could not match, as they finished off the second quarter on a 17-9 run.

Helping aid that good fortune on the offense was Aiden Golden, who led all scorers with his team-high 13 points along with seven assists and five steals. Adding more fuel to the fire was Deacon Brown, who tallied 10 more points of his own, while Jerimiah Brown chipped in with nine.

Saturday afternoon will see Friendship/Scio hit the road for action in the Class D Quarterfinal round, where they will meet with defending Class D State Champion Titans of Avoca-Prattsburgh beginning at 1 p.m. in Avoca.

Lyndonville 8 9 8 10 – 35

Friendship/Scio 10 17 15 8 – 50

LYNDONVILLE: Colton Smith 5 0-0 10, Daniel Barry 2 1-2 5, Justin Higgins 5 2-2 14, Quincy McClinsey 1 0-0 2, Jacob Pitcher 2 0-0 4. Totals: 15 3-4 35.
FRIENDSHIP/SCIO: Aiden Golden 4 4-6 13, Jerome Harmon 2 0-4 4, Connor Blouvet 2 0-0 6, Charlie Taylor 2 0-0 4, Jerimiah Brown 4 0-0 9, Cooper Greenman 2 0-0 4, Deacon Brown 5 0-0 10. Totals: 21 4-10 50.

3-point goals: Lyndonville 2 (Higgins), F/S 4 (Blouvet 2, Golden, J. Brown).
Total Fouls: Lyndonville 7, F/S 7. Fouled out: None.

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