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GV-B girls, B-R and Fillmore boys advance to Section V basketball semi-finals (story, photos)

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Friday and Saturday Sectionals: In C2 Quarterfinal war, No. 3 Wolverines outlast No. 6 Wheatland-Chili behind big 4th quarter finish; No. 1 Fillmore nets 79 in win over No. 9 GV/Belfast to move to 3rd straight Semifinals

By CHRIS BROOKS, Sports Editor, Wellsvillesports.com

BOLIVAR — When the stars aligned for Sectionals, there was a very real possibility that two Allegany County rivals that know each other very well could perhaps run into one another in the upper echelon in the Class C2 bracket.

That being Bolivar-Richburg and Cuba-Rushford, who have already seen one another three different times this year — twice in League play and once in mid-December before the Christmas break when the two foes traveled across I-86 to I-90 to make their way to the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

Now with an opportunity to play one another for the right to take on Section V’s most colossal stage hanging in the balance, all they had to do was re-align those same stars one more time. While the No. 7 Rebels had to do battle later on in the day on Saturday up north against second-seeded Alexander, the third-seeded Wolverines had business to attend to themselves.

NY Land Quest congratulates all student athletes

The task at hand was a game-long waging of war. The opponent — No. 6 Wheatland-Chili, a stout superpower along the Class C/Class D borderline in recent seasons.

All across the battlefield, it was a fight for survival, with a trip to the Semifinal round awaiting the victor. The action across the opening half of play was closer than ever, with each team garnering a response for almost every single corresponding basket there was to offer. As a result, the degree of separation was no more than five points on either side.

The shortened version: It was anyone’s game to control.

The second half saw the same pace of play carry over, with both teams still fighting for the right to steer the ship. But in the last eight minutes, the fog would soon subside.

With the lead in hand and head coach Justin Thomas telling his team on the bench, Bolivar-Richburg went on to put the icing on the cake.

In the fourth quarter, the Wolverines found just enough of an opening to work their way through Wheatland-Chili by feeding off of not one, but two enormous second half blocks by Waide Karnuth under the basket. The established burst of momentum translated to some stout defense, holding the Wildcats to just four points across half of the quarter’s time.

That would allow the offense to work magic of their own in the process to build a lead that eclipsed as much as 10, keeping it there to stay out of Wheatland-Chili’s grasp for good to lock up a return trip to the Class C2 Semifinal round with a 58-48 home win.

“Games like this where they are always on the edge of the knife, a couple of possessions can change things in a variety of ways,” said Wolverines coach Justin Thomas. “The fact that we were able to settle right in and get rid of the jitters that came with a crazy crowd in a big moment on a big stage to get us where we were last year, was awesome. They absorbed every punch, they responded to every little bit of adversity that came their way and I am super proud of the way they finished this game. Taking that extra step to the Finals is pretty remarkable. My hats are off to the boys for grinding it out, and this was a grind, and responding in big ways.”

There was little room for error across much of the first half of play, especially in the opening quarter between Wheatland-Chili and Bolivar-Richburg (17-5), when every score that navigated its way onto the scoreboard found an equal response to it. With a 9-9 tie — the last the first quarter would display on the board, a three-point conversion from Reiss Gaines at the stripe allowed the Wolverines ahead before the Wildcats fought their way back with four straight of their own to regain the 13-12 lead.

The frame would conclude with one final word from Aydin Sisson himself, taking control of the push up court to drive straight up to the rim against a pair of Wheatland-Chili defenders, sinking the go-ahead bucket to take a one-point, 14-13 lead into the second quarter.

No lead held by either side was larger than five points across the entire opening 16 minute sequence, as the back-and-forth tempo recommenced in the second quarter. The Wolverines attempted to tilt the balance back in their favor late in the frame on a gorgeous 2-on-1 odd-man rush into the Wildcats zone, with Landon Barkley finding Sisson off to his right for the pass and flush right before Waide Karnuth added to the lead with a hard-fought basket of his own underneath, making it 20-17.

The Wolverines lead would eclipse five with nearly two minutes remaining after another brilliant Sisson score showcased some incredible ball control while losing his balance inside the paint against a stingy Wheatland-Chili defense, maneuvering around it with each for the finish. All while the Wildcats plotted a response of their own to cut the deficit back down to within a stone’s throw off assistance of their own from the inside. After three straight possessions saw a score from Leighton Williams Jr. for the Wildcats, the gap was closed down to a pair of points when halftime took effect.

Because of the strong finish to their first half game, Wheatland-Chili was able to cash in on some of it with a fast and furious start out of the gate, scoring the second half’s first six points. The majority of the scores, stemming from the aid of Williams Jr, who dished off a nifty pass to Jaden Schwenebraten before taking one straight to the hole himself on the following possession to propel the Wildcats in front with a four-point lead in the early stages.

A timeout was taken by the Wolverines to quickly regroup, but it was one that was well spent, as Bolivar-Richburg did just that by providing a big response of their own in the shape of seven unanswered points themselves paced by a drive to the basket from Sisson and later, a wide-open look under the breadbasket from Karnuth to go back up by a 34-31 count past the midway mark.

Karnuth would then turn his attention to the defensive side of the ball to try and tilt the balance of power even more in Bolivar-Richburg’s favor, as he came away with two gargantuan denials against the Wildcats, both of which the Wolverines were able to syphon positive ardor from — one of those resulting in some magnificent pageantry under the basket from Sisson to put them up by a 39-37 count heading to the final eight minutes.

Thomas says that the effort his two Seniors gave, were second to none.

“Aydin Sisson, I’ve said over and over again, does Aydin Sisson things,” he said. “All he has to do is just take care of that ball. He does it so well, and I cannot say enough about the effort he continues to put in game in and game out to lead this team. Waide, when he plays disciplined defense, he is a rocket. He’s incredibly tough to get by and he took it to heart when we were gambling in some of the tougher moments in the game, he went back to the fundamentals, was reading better, was trying not to swat it through the bricks. I’m really proud of how they were both able to settle in.”

The late third quarter developments for the hosts in white and red translated into even more enormous things in the midst of their game-long donnybrook with the Wildcats by the time the last eight minutes approached. In it, their lead would excel to as much as 10 points when they found all the smoothest grooves possible to travel along, as the Wolverines provided an early stalwart display of defense that kept the visitors in blue to just five points across nearly five minutes in time while capitalizing on a run that saw them score seven of the quarter’s first 10 points.

The jaunt essentially locked up the victory for the Wolverines on both ends of the floor, as the Wildcats commenced the foul game in the last 90 seconds of play, resulting in a plethora of trips to the charity stripe. To ensure their lead remained intact, David Abdo delivered the team’s coup-de-grace with a wide-open finish originating off an inbound pass to avoid being sent to the line again, branching the advantage towards a 10-point exclamation.

“We talked about the shot-to-shot ratio early in the game,” Thomas said. “We weren’t rebounding well and we had a couple costly turnovers, and they ended up getting more shots because of it. We were neck-and-neck with them, and if we could find a way to shift that ratio, there’s nobody out there that will take more shots than us. They really honed in on defense, finished on both ends and made the most of our possessions while making the least out of theirs to seal the game from the get-go.”

Sisson led all scorers for the Wolverines behind his game-high 21 points. Landon Barkley followed behind with 15 points of his own, while Karnuth and Kingston Loucks each totaled six points.

On Tuesday, Bolivar-Richburg will march forward into the Class C2 Semifinal round for a second consecutive year, as they now prepare to face another one of the Section’s juggernauts within the bracket — No. 2 Alexander, who knocked off Cuba-Rushford to fill in the remaining vacancy.

Tip-off for the Wolverines and Trojans will tentatively take place at Letchworth with a time for the contest still yet to be determined.

Wheatland-Chili 13 12 12 11 – 48

Bolivar-Richburg 14 13 12 19 – 58

WHEATLAND-CHILI: A’nari Trotter 0 1-2 1, Jaden Schwenebraten 6 0-0 13, Javier Ellington 1 2-2 4, Jackson Semmel 1 0-0 3, Louden Thrush 3 0-0 8, Leighton Williams Jr. 8 3-4 19. Totals: 19 6-8 48.

BOLIVAR-RICHBURG: Aydin Sisson 8 3-4 21, Landon Barkley 3 9-11 15, David Abdo 1 0-0 2, Waide Karnuth 3 0-2 6, Reiss Gaines 2 1-1 5, James Margeson 1 0-2 3, Kingston Loucks 2 0-0 6. Totals: 20 13-20 58.

3-point goals: W-C 4 (Thrush 2, Schwenebraten, Semmel), B-R 5 (Sisson 2, Loucks 2, Margeson).
Total Fouls: W-C 18, B-R 12. Fouled out: Schwenebraten (W-C).

No. 2 Alexander 71, No. 7 Cuba-Rushford 44

ALEXANDER — In order to take that one giant step to the Semifinal round to meet their longtime rival Bolivar-Richburg on the other side, the No. 7 Rebels of Cuba-Rushford were entrusted with a meeting against one of the bracket’s scorching hot squads, Saturday night up north.

Their opposition being the No. 2 Alexander Trojans, winners of 10 straight games entering the Quarterfinal contest on their home floor. The flame that the second-seeds proceeded to ignite over the course of time quickly morphed into a towering inferno. And to ensure that it would remain ablaze, the Trojans did everything necessary on both ends of the floor to keep Cuba-Rushford behind them.

That included taking their offense outside to the parking lot, where they knocked down 14 humongous three-pointers to set up shop — six of them coming in the first half to set the tone on the Rebels to clinch their spot in the Semifinal round with a 71-44 win.

“Alexander came out and they shot the lights out. I was proud of our guys and their effort, but we unfortunately ran into a red hot team. I’d like to thank my guys for another solid year and especially the Seniors, Luke Brooks, Tristan Clayson, Kaden Bell and Braeden (Wight). They were a fun group to watch grow up, and I’m excited to see where life takes them.”

Alexander came out firing on all cylinders to open the battle in the first quarter. Within their 21-7 run of the Rebels, Kingston Woods was one of four different contributors to ignite the fuse on offense by captaining the attack, leading with nine of those points. Although Cuba-Rushford was able to chip away at their early deficit, the three-point game for the Trojans continued on with three more going down across the second quarter — two from the hand of Jake Brooks to branch the advantage to a 36-17 margin heading into the break.

To make sure their lead remained glued together, the hosts in white and green orchestrated a 24-point third quarter led by five more triples and an array of free throws at the charity stripe to pull away and out of reach from the visitors in blue and maroon.

Braeden Wight pieced together a fine performance in what was his final game lacing up the basketball shoes for the Rebels in his career, as he knocked down four of the team’s six triples to pace his 14-point effort. Peyton Joy followed behind with eight points to go with nine rebounds and four blocks, while Finn Ricketts had six points. In addition to the special teams help, Luke Brooks chipped in five rebounds and handed out four assists.

The 2023-24 campaign for Cuba-Rushford is officially history, as the team finishes up with a record of 13-9 overall. The Rebels will say goodbye to their four seniors in Wight, Brooks, Tristan Clayson and Kaden Bell when Graduation arrives in June.

Cuba-Rushford 7 10 12 15 – 44

Alexander 21 15 24 11 – 71

CUBA-RUSHFORD: Braeden Wight 5 0-0 14, Kaden Bell 1 1-3 3, Luke Brooks 2 0-0 4, Zach Deck 1 0-0 3, Eli Sleggs 1 0-0 2, Finn Ricketts 3 0-0 6, Tristan Clayson 0 0-4 0, Adam Roe 2 0-0 4, Peyton Joy 3 1-1 8. Totals: 18 2-8 44.

ALEXANDER: Kingston Woods 5 2-4 14, Dominic Kwiatek 2 1-2 6, Damien Hale 2 0-0 6, Jake Brooks 4 2-2 14, Trenton Woods 3 0-0 7, Paul Schmitt 1 0-0 3, Keith Morton 0 2-2 2, Anthony Pellegrino 1 0-0 3, N. Marsoft 2 0-0 6, Jaden Snyder 1 0-0 2, Dylan Pohl 3 2-4 8. Totals: 24 9-14 71.

3-point goals: C-R 6 (Wight 4, Deck, Joy), Alexander 14 (Brooks 4, K. Woods 2, Hale 2, Marsoft 2, Kwiatek, T. Woods, Schmitt, Pellegrino).
Total Fouls: C-R 10, Alexander 15. Fouled out: Wight (C-R).

Class C3 Quarterfinals

No. 1 Fillmore 79, No. 9 Genesee Valley/Belfast 41

FILLMORE — Without a doubt, the third quarter has been one of Fillmore’s biggest strengths all season long. Each and every game, the top-seeded Eagles always find a way to make a ton of clamorous noise whenever they return to the court after halftime.

In the second season, it’s something that can provide a game-changing momentum swing.

With No. 9 Genesee Valley/Belfast forcing Fillmore into overtime in their last meeting right before the end of the regular season, their aim was to build off a monumental amount of power they gained from it and use it to hang right alongside the Eagles once again. For much of the opening quarter, the start they produced was one to have, despite trailing heading into the second.

But on the other side of the floor, once the top seeds were able to get their feet back underneath them, there was simply no stopping them.

After Fillmore assembled a strong finish to the end of the first half, the momentum shifted gears into the third quarter where massive dividends were paid off once again, as they struck all chords on offense with a gigantic 29-point stanza to set the tone for the rest of the game, setting up a third straight trip back to the Semifinals, this time in Class C3, with a 79-41 victory.

“I was pretty nervous about tonight’s game. Our two worst games of the year were against Genesee Valley/Belfast,” said Eagles coach Randy Crouch. “That is a tribute to how hard the coaches get them to play. I was also worried about being rusty after the 10-day layoff since our last game. The upside is that we got a few extra practices to prepare for their zone, and it really paid off. We came out of the gates a little nervous, but once Jonah (Bialek) and Zach (Sisson) made a couple threes, we found our footing and got rolling.”

Through nearly three minutes of the opening sequences, Genesee Valley/Belfast established their footing by capturing a 7-3 lead early on, which was paced by an off-balanced drive to the rim from Kadin Logue, followed by a basket straight down the middle from Kenton Shultz. The momentum soon cambered in favor of the Eagles (19-2) after a brief timeout, advancing forward with eight consecutive points — six of them off back-to-back threes from Jonah Bialek and Zach Sisson to claim the lead.

The run for Fillmore continued all the way to the end of the quarter where a two-point lead transformed into eight with the team scoring eight of the frame’s last 10 points. Distance was soon garnered behind a 9-3 run that witnessed several different Eagles provide contributions, including Sisson, Bialek and Cam Mucher all chipping in on what was a 30-14 lead near midway.

Crouch spoke more about the contributions of his three offensive playmakers, including Mucher who went on to record 14 points across the next two quarters of play, noting that “Cam had a monster night on both ends of the floor. He was guarding their primary ball-handler (Kadin) Logue, and really made him work all night. Those three guys have certainly made me a better coach. Our bench was huge as well, with Jameson (Rhett), Isaiah (Sisson), JD (Bialek) and Brayden (Hennard) making plays when we needed them.”

The advantage for Fillmore was 15 entering the break, and with all the momentum and control of the game in their hands, the third quarter provided an opportunity for them to break away from Genesee Valley/Belfast, doing just that behind a fiery 29-point effort that saw the offense come alive to ultimately push out their advantage in insurmountable fashion to seal the deal on a trip back to the Semifinal round next week.

Sisson was the headlining act for the Eagles on the attack, as he finished with a game-high 28 points — 15 of those points coming in the third quarter alone to ignite the team’s fuse. Bialek was right behind him, finishing with 20 points of his own, while Mucher totaled 17 points.

Genesee Valley/Belfast was led by Jacob Borden down low, as he produced a team-leading 11 points. Logue and Shultz each chipped in with nine points, while Thayne Cobb had five. The season is over for the No. 9 seeds, as they wrap up their 2023-24 campaign with a record of 11-11 overall.

The team will say goodbye to eight of their seniors in Borden, Logue, Cobb, Kyle McCumiskey, Matt Cater, Owen Heaney, Fisher Herdman and Lance Vohs.

As for Fillmore, the top seeds will enter Tuesday night with their sights on redemption, as they prepare for a Semifinal rematch with No. 4 Notre Dame-Batavia with a trip to Blue Cross Arena in Rochester on the line.

Tip-off between the Eagles and Irish will tentatively take place at Caledonia-Mumford at a time yet to be determined.

Genesee Valley/Belfast 11 9 10 11 – 41

Fillmore 19 16 29 15 – 79

GV/BELFAST: Kyle McCumiskey 1 0-0 2, Kadin Logue 4 0-0 9, Matt Cater 0 1-2 1, Thayne Cobb 1 2-2 5, Jacob Borden 4 3-8 11, Kenton Shultz 4 0-0 9, Fisher Herdman 1 0-0 2, Ryan Daciw 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 6-12 41.

FILLMORE: Cam Mucher 7 3-3 17, Isaiah Sisson 1 0-0 2, Layton Sanasith 1 0-0 2, Zach Sisson 11 2-2 28, Jonah Bialek 7 2-2 20, Brayden Hennard 1 0-0 2, Jameson Rhett 2 0-0 6, JD Bialek 1 0-0 2. Totals: 31 7-7 79.

3-point goals: GVB 3 (Logue, Cobb, Shultz), Fillmore 10 (Sisson 4, Jo. Bialek 4, Rhett 2).
Total Fouls: GVB 7, Fillmore 11. Fouled out: None.

Class D Quarterfinals

No. 3 Andover/Whitesville 55, No. 6 Hinsdale 18

ANDOVER — After nearly two weeks away from action, the Andover/Whitesville boys marked their return to action for the first time in the postseason on Saturday.

With the possibility of some specks of rust forming over the long layoff, they would quickly put that to rest against No. 6 Hinsdale in a first half that saw them take care of business on both ends of the floor to secure what was a 55-18 home win in Andover to punch their ticket to the Class D Semifinals.

“This was a good way to come out and start Sectional play after a week-long layoff,” said Andover/Whitesville coach Jimmy Joyce. “Our defense was stellar tonight, and we played very unselfishly offensively as well. Hinsdale plays a physical brand of basketball, so we had to be ready for that. Overall, it’s the effort we needed. We will need to play a lot better moving forward with the Semifinals up next. There will be major challenges for us to encounter all over the court no matter who the opponent is. I wish we had more than one practice to prepare, but it’s the nature of the beast come this time of year.”

The Andover/Whitesville (11-10) defense wasted no time settling in while the iron was still hot, as they used all 16 minutes of the first half to their utmost advantage by holding Hinsdale to just four points across it — two in each quarter, including a 12-2 run in the first eight minutes to set the tone almost immediately.

Brody Vance was a humongous piece to the puzzle on offense for the hosts in white, as he posted an impactful first half that saw him score 17 of his game-high 22 points to get the ball rolling. Following him was Colton Calladine, who posted 10 points. Vinny Joyce chipped in with seven more of his own.

The Bobcats were paced by Henry Schwartz and his seven team-high points. Cody Barton had five. The 2023-24 season for the No. 6 seeds in Class D is now in the books, as they wrap with a record of 5-9 overall.

Hinsdale will say goodbye to three of their seniors: Schwartz, Barton and Brad Bergstrom, at the end of the year in June.

Andover/Whitesville’s next stop is the Class D Semifinal round on Tuesday, where they will now take on the No. 7 Elba Lancers, who upset No. 2 Jasper-Troupsburg, for a chance to make their way north to the big house in downtown Rochester — Blue Cross Arena, to vie for a Section V title next weekend.

Tip-off between the two foes is set for a 7:30 p.m. start at Wayland-Cohocton.

Hinsdale 2 2 9 5 – 18

Andover/Whitesville 12 18 16 9 – 55

HINSDALE: Henry Schwartz 2 2-2 7, Cody Barton 2 1-4 5, Tyler Richards 0 2-4 2, Robert Childs 1 0-0 2, Phil Dixon 1 0-0 2. Totals: 6 5-9 18.

ANDOVER/WHITESVILLE: Derek Perkins 0 1-2 1, Ethan Warriner 2 0-0 4, Vinny Joyce 3 1-2 7, Brody Vance 7 4-7 22, Colton Calladine 4 2-4 10, Gage Putnam 3 0-0 6, Derrick Wahl 2 0-0 5. Totals: 21 8-15 55.

3-point goals: Hinsdale 1 (Schwartz), A/W 5 (Vance 4, Wahl).
Total Fouls: Hinsdale 12, A/W 14. Fouled out: Childs (HIN).

No. 4 Hammondsport 54, No. 5 Houghton Academy 48

HAMMONDSPORT — Although a first half deficit formulated against the No. 5 Panthers of Houghton Academy, they did not back down without one final fight to give No. 4 Hammondsport, Saturday night.

Behind a late three-point presence in the fourth quarter, the Panthers would work towards closing the gap to as little as six behind the Lakers. Even though they chipped away as much as they could, the early deficit that was established by the hosts would prove to be too much to overcome in the very end, as Hammondsport hung on and finished off a close 54-48 win in Class D Quarterfinal action.

The Lakers set up shop right away in the opening eight minute stanza with their early showcase of three-pointers being put on full display, knocking down three of their five in total — two from the hand of Henry Morrison, while the defense held Houghton Academy to just four points in the midst of what was a 14-4 run that gave them an advantageous cushion to obtain.

From the second quarter on, the Panthers would continue to work their way back from behind with the aid of a three-point game of their own, getting back to within nine of Hammondsport after a trio of triples in the second quarter, which lead into the break.

After creating even playing ground across the third quarter, the Panthers would then go on to produce an 18-point finish propelled by four more clutch triples to put them back in reach, down two possessions.

But at the end of the night, the Lakers were able to ward off Houghton Academy’s final stand of pressure to secure their spot in Tuesday’s Class D Semifinal round.

Houghton Academy saw Jack Prentice lead the way with his team-high 17 points. James Adenuga pitched in with 13 points of his own, while Josh Davidson and Jack Qi rounded off the scoring with 11 and seven points, respectively.

The season is now over for the No. 5 Panthers, as they put a wrap on their campaign with a record of 7-13 overall. The team will say goodbye to their three seniors in Adenuga, who has served as the team’s anchor on both ends of the floor the last four seasons, along with Qi and Marco Zanini.

Houghton Academy 4 11 15 18 – 48

Hammondsport 14 10 15 15 – 54

HOUGHTON ACADEMY: Jack Prentice 5 5-6 17, Josh Davidson 4 0-0 11, James Adenuga 5 2-4 13, Jack Qi 2 1-2 7. Totals: 16 8-12 48.

HAMMONDSPORT: Henry Morrison 6 11-12 26, Andrew Morrison 2 0-0 6, Ethen Beers 1 0-0 2, Peyton Crooks 2 0-0 4, Isaiyah Ali 4 2-6 10, Alex Brown 2 0-0 4, Ben Dluzak 0 0-2 0. Totals: 17 13-20 54.

3-point goals: HA 9 (Davidson 3, Prentice 2, Qi 2, Adenuga), Hammondsport 5 (H. Morrison 3, A. Morrison 2).
Total Fouls: HA 16, Hammondsport 13. Fouled out: None.

No. 1 Avoca-Prattsburgh 75, No. 9 Friendship/Scio 28

AVOCA — The defending back-to-back Class D State Champions came out swinging for the fences in full stride on Saturday, as top-seeded Avoca-Prattsburgh brought the hammer down almost immediately out of the gate with a fervid 26-point stanza that set all the tones they needed to march into the Class D Semifinal round next week, rolling past No. 9 Friendship/Scio with a 75-28 victory in Avoca.

Avoca-Prattsburgh took complete command of both ends of the floor across the opening quarter of play, using an array of offensive scores to put Friendship/Scio on their feet early. As a result, a 26-2 lead was built — one they never looked back on, despite an outstanding response from the visitors in black and gold in the second quarter to close the first half on a positive note.

Friendship/Scio assembled their strong end with a 16-point conduction of offense, as they leveled the playing ground with the Titans across the frame. The attack was led by both Aiden Golden and Deacon Brown, each recording nine points. Jerome Harmon posted eight points, while Jerimiah Brown had the team’s final pair of points on an inside bucket.

Avoca-Prattsburgh’s offense was propelled by a magnificent inside game presented by Dan Stilson, who recorded a game-high 25 points. JJ Crowder tallied 14 points, while Chris Abbott had 11 to add in.

“The Stilson kid is a big dude, and he was one of the better guys we faced this year,” Friendship/Scio coach Dillon McFall said. “He dominated the paint. For us in this game, we got down early and a lot of that was because of some jitters. We got the ball in spots we wanted to have it in, but we could not finish the ball around the basket. But despite it, I was really proud of how they competed against a top-seed while being an eight-seed in this tournament.”

Friendship/Scio’s season has come to an end, as they officially conclude with a record of 5-17 overall. The team will return all but one contributor next season, as they bid farewell to their lone graduate in Tyler Nickerson at the end of the school year this June.

As for McFall, the stellar improvement that his team continued to show as time went on in the season is a sign of better things in the future ahead.

“Of course we would love to have a few more wins under our belt, but for a team that had very little Varsity experience coming into this season, I was really impressed with how much they improved,” he said. “We had five sophomores play a ton of minutes for that experience, as well as a couple of juniors. I hope all of that carries into next year and gives us a few more wins out of it.”

Friendship/Scio 2 16 4 6 – 28

Avoca-Prattsburgh 26 17 20 12 – 75

FRIENDSHIP/SCIO: Aiden Golden 4 0-4 9, Jerome Harmon 4 0-2 8, Jerimiah Brown 1 0-0 2, Deacon Brown 4 1-2 9. Totals: 13 1-8 28.

AVOCA-PRATTSBURGH: JJ Crowder 6 2-4 14, Macoy Putnam 3 1-1 7, Carter Button 1 0-0 2, Bryan Heale 3 0-0 7, Chris Abbott 5 0-0 11, Austin Swift 1 0-2 3, Dan Stilson 12 1-1 25, Collin Hammond 2 0-2 4, Colin Zurlick 1 0-0 2. Totals: 34 4-10 75.

3-point goals: F/S 1 (Golden), A-P 3 (Heale, Abbott, Swift).
Total Fouls: F/S 15, A-P 10. Fouled out: None.

Class D Quarterfinals

No. 4 Genesee Valley/Belfast 64, No. 12 Northstar/Chesterton 41

BELMONT — The idea of 0-0 is something that is often preached inside the Genesee Valley/Belfast locker room by head coach Raegan Ryan. That mindset has allowed them to assemble some of their best basketball at one of the best times of the season.

Entering Sectionals, the Genesee Valley/Belfast ladies had rattled off eight wins in their last nine games, showing no signs of slowing down.

Back on Tuesday, they added another phenomenal performance against No. 13 Harley Allendale-Columbia in Belfast into the mix to start their journey in the jam-packed Class D bracket. Now, they moved down the road to the Jungle in Belmont for what would be their final home game of the season against a potential Cinderella in No. 12 Northstar/Chesterton, who upset No. 5 Lima Christian in dramatic fashion.

Genesee Valley/Belfast knew they would have a fight on their hands in order to make it to the Semifinal round next week, with Northstar/Chesterton staying hot on their coattails for much of the opening half. With the pressure building up after every passing minute, halftime presented an opportunity for the No. 4 seeds to flip the script.

Leading by two, they looked to a pair of scorers to take command — Mary Hamer and Ava Aaronson.

Did they ever.

In the second half, Genesee Valley/Belfast came out swinging with a third quarter push against Northstar/Chesterton to gain more breathing room to work with going into the last eight minutes. Inside that last eight minute session, Hamer and Aaronson both rose to the occasion and combined for 16 of the team’s 20 points to set up a big finish that officially propelled their way into the Class D Semifinals with a 64-41 victory inside the Don Foreman Memorial Gym.

“I am so, so proud of our team. They played with so much heart and grit tonight. We went into halftime up five and the team made a couple of small adjustments, and they stayed the course to stretch the lead,” GV/Belfast coach Raegan Ryan said. “Their defense has truly been one total team effort. They just battle for one another. We talked about every game where each team is 0-0. It doesn’t matter what’s happened prior to this moment. They’ve really stepped up and come together these last two games.”

The competition across the opening half was stylized in close quarters fashion, with Genesee Valley/Belfast (18-4) garnering the upper-hand in the opening eight minutes behind the first of two powerful surges provided by Mary Hamer and Ava Aaronson, as the two scorers came together and produced 14 of the team’s 16 points to claim the 16-10 lead on Northstar/Chesterton.

In the second quarter, the visiting No. 12 seeds aimed to regain traction with some big assistance from beyond the arc, as Aileen Murphy knocked down three enormous triples from the parking lot to pace Northstar/Chesterton’s narrow outscoring of the hosts in white to help close out the half with the construction of some momentum to transport into the second half.

The three-point game rose to the occasion again for Northstar/Chesterton with Abby Eschner bucketing a pair to help keep them within distance of Genesee Valley/Belfast. But on the opposite end of the floor, the hosts saw five different contributors all pitch forth at least a pair of points to conduct a 15-9 run of their opposition to garner extended breathing room going into the last eight minutes.

That timeframe was the exact moment in time where Genesee Valley/Belfast took matters into their own hands permanently, with Hamer and Aaronson coming together one more time to provide the team’s curtain call — a turbulent 16-point combination, all from inside the arc, in the midst of their game-sealing 20-8 run of Northstar/Chesterton to punch their tickets to the Semifinals next week.

Hamer went on to assemble a brilliant night of service on the hardwood for Genesee Valley/Belfast, as she posted a game-high 26 points while Aaronson followed with 16 points of her own. Abby Sullivan was the third shooter to eclipse the double-digit plateau for the team’s offense, posting 12 points.

Coming up Wednesday night, a trip to Mount Morris will be had for the Genesee Valley/Belfast ladies, where a trip to Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua next weekend will be hanging in the balance when they take on top-seeded C.G. Finney in the Class D Semifinal round.

Tip-off is slated for 7:45 p.m. following the opposite Class D Semifinal bout between No. 3 Elba and No. 2 Avoca-Prattsburgh.

Northstar/Chesterton 10 14 9 8 – 41

Genesee Valley/Belfast 16 13 15 20 – 64

NORTHSTAR/CHESTERTON: Judah Linton 0 1-2 1, Abi Summerlin 2 1-2 5, Aileen Murphy 5 1-2 14, Abby Eschner 7 5-12 21. Totals: 14 8-18 41.

GV/BELFAST: Abby Sullivan 5 0-0 12, Sophie Zillgitt 3 0-2 6, Mary Hamer 12 2-6 26, Ava Aaronson 7 2-7 16, Kate Calanni 0 0-2 0, Jenna Hill 2 0-0 4. Totals: 29 4-17 64.

3-point goals: N/C 5 (Murphy 3, Eschner 2), GVB 2 (Sullivan).
Total Fouls: N/C 15, GVB 18. Fouled out: Zillgitt (GVB).

#3 Fillmore falls to #6 York in quarterfinals

FILLMORE — The third-seeded Fillmore Lady Eagles were destined to make a run.

To do it, their path ahead will not be an easily traveled one. The Class C2 bracket is one of the toughest journeys to navigate through to the big dance, with top-five teams featuring girls basketball powerhouses like Dundee/Bradford, Keshequa and Alexander, all vying for that glorious opportunity alongside them.

Another one of those foes: a juggernaut in their own right — No. 6 York, a team looking for their third Section V title in the last four years.

The two foes duked it out in front of a packed crowd inside The Rock on Friday, and for much of the opening quarter, it was a neck-and-neck battle. After back-and-forth exchanges were provided through much of the time, it resulted in a one-point lead for the Lady Golden Knights to carry into the next stanza of time.

In the second quarter, the momentum would spike and see the Lady Golden Knights assemble their strongest frame of the game, accounting for a mid-frame run of Fillmore to end the first half and later, restarting with a third quarter knockout to complete the upset of the No. 3 Lady Eagles to advance into the Class C2 Semifinal round with a 65-43 win.

“York has a dynamic team and we didn’t really have any answers for them defensively. They’re athletic, they have a good big girl and quality shooters on the outside. They’re really a complete package,” said Lady Eagles coach Tom Parks. “In the second half, we just couldn’t sustain the shooting percentage we did in the first half, and couldn’t string a run together to get back into it.”

The Lady Eagles were right with York across the opening eight minutes of play, as they used a powerful three-point presence across the first half to aid their start. In all, Fillmore would knock down eight — six of them in the first 16 minute elongation, five combined from both Amelia Rose and Emalyn Mucher. The hosts would remain right on their trail, despite falling down 15-14 after the first quarter.

While the Lady Eagles looked to build momentum off of it, York was looking to do the same with their advantage in the second quarter. They advanced forward and did exactly that with a 22-point stand that ultimately tilted the balance completely in their favor for the foreseeable future, building a 37-26 lead at halftime and extending upon it by holding Fillmore to just seven points in the third quarter to finish off the victory.

“I thought our start was terrific, we talked about high energy from the jump and the need to come out swinging,” Parks said. “We were knocking down our shots, and Amelia and Emi led us in that department from the three-point line. They were hitting almost all of them in the first half alone. Unfortunately, York found a groove and went on a run midway in the second quarter that put us in a little bit of a hole that we couldn’t climb out of.”

Amelia Rose led all scorers for Fillmore behind a team-high 13 points. Hope Russell chipped in with 11 points of her own, while Emalyn Mucher and Mattie McCumiskey each had six points. On special teams, Rachel Hatch paced the rebounding with 11 to go with two steals, while Preslee Miller garnered five boards off the glass.

The ride is over for the Lady Eagles of Fillmore, as their season wraps up with a record of 19-3 overall. The team will say goodbye to six major pieces to their brilliantly successful puzzle in recent seasons, in the Russell sisters, Rose, Miller, Hatch and Kylee Ellsworth.

For Parks, he says that the opportunity to coach them was a true honor.

“I’m so grateful to have been able to coach these six seniors. they have accomplished so much in their time here that it sometimes can be easy to take success for granted,” he said. “I tried to soak in every moment all season long knowing that groups this special don’t come along frequently. They made a lot of games look easy, but the work and commitment that they put in was the biggest of reasons. It’s sad to lose, but it’s heartbreaking to know that this was our last time on the court together.”

York 15 22 12 16 – 65

Fillmore 14 12 7 10 – 43

YORK: Tessa Rodwell 9 0-0 21, Brianna Parsons 1 0-0 2, Isabel Laney 7 0-0 16, Merideth Holland 2 0-0 4, Evelyn Smith 0 2-2 2, Rylee Cuozzo 9 1-6 20. Totals: 28 3-8 65.

FILLMORE: Hope Russell 4 0-0 11, Grace Russell 0 1-2 1, Rachel Hatch 2 0-3 4, Amelia Rose 5 0-0 13, Mattie McCumiskey 2 2-2 6, Preslee Miller 1 0-0 2, Emalyn Mucher 2 0-0 6. Totals: 16 3-9 43.

3-point goals: York 6 (Rodwell 3, Laney 2, Cuozzo), Fillmore 8 (H. Russell 3, Rose 3, Mucher 2).
Total Fouls: York 12, Fillmore 10. Fouled out: Parsons (YORK).

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