PHOTO GALLERY by STEVE HARRISON, story by CHRIS BROOKS
ARKPORT — A slow start on both sides to open their first game of the season on Tuesday, into a close neck-and-neck battle down the homestretch to close it out. Between both teams, the final eight minutes of play was a time frame where the action kicked the intensity into high gear.
In the end, it was a marvelous second half outing from Arkport/Canaseraga’s Caitlyn Gilman that helped lead the charge, as she scored nine of her game-high 15 points in the back 16 minutes, including a key effort in the fourth quarter that allowed the Lady Wolves to remain ahead of visiting Genesee Valley/Belfast, recording the 36-30 edging on their home floor in Arkport.
The Lady Wolves had to work their way from behind going into the second half, after Genesee Valley/Belfast (0-1) initially held the lead all through the first half, with big buckets from Mary Hamer inside, and a long-range three from Madison McKenzie assisting in paving the way towards the narrow 13-12 lead at the break.
Despite falling behind, the hosts in white and teal would work their way back in the third, despite some immaculate special teams from Genesee Valley/Belfast, scoring a perfect 6-for-6 outing at the charity stripe — four of those shots being drained perfectly off the hand of Anna Drozdowski to keep them within range of the Lady Wolves.
As for the hosts, they saw seven of their 11 points in the frame, including a three that took flight off the hands of Payton O’Dell, which allowed them to regain traction on their lead going into the fourth quarter. In the last eight minutes, the Lady Wolvers would use a stellar balanced scoring effort across the board to ward off Genesee Valley/Belfast’s final push down the stretch, as they secured a season-opening victory to start the campaign on a bright note.
Leading the scoring for Genesee Valley/Belfast was Hamer, who recorded 10 team-high points. Harley Proctor added in six points of her own, while Drozdowski and Abby Sullivan each had four to chip in.
Genesee Valley/Belfast will open their home slate of games this weekend in Belfast, as they prepare to welcome in the Avoca/Prattsburgh Lady Titans to town for a 12:30 p.m. visit, Saturday afternoon.
Genesee Valley/Belfast 4 9 8 9 – 30
Arkport/Canaseraga 3 9 11 13 – 36
GV/BELFAST: Anna Drozdowski 0 4-4 4, Abby Sullivan 1 2-2 4, Harley Proctor 2 2-2 6, Adison Grusendorf 1 1-2 3, Madison McKenzie 1 0-0 3, Mary Hamer 5 0-2 10. Totals: 10 7-8 30.
ARKPORT/CANASERAGA: Maddie Kellogg 1 0-0 3, Grace Groves 1 0-0 2, Payton O’Dell 5 1-3 12, Morgan Gilbert 0 1-2 1, Chloe Herman 1 0-0 3, Caitlyn Gilman 7 1-4 15. Totals: 15 3-9 36.
3-point goals: GVB 1 (McKenzie), A/C 3 (Kellogg, O’Dell, Herman).
Total Fouls: GVB 10, A/C 15. Fouled out: None.
Photo gallery by STEVE HARRISON: