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Arkport-Canaseraga girls pick up big win on St. Bonaventure court (photos and story); A-C volleyball wins

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By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor, wellsvillesports.com

ALLEGANY — The journey begins with a trip down Route 417 in Cattaraugus County. As you continue further up the road, in between neighbors Olean and Allegany, you’ll begin to notice a different change of scenery out the window. In full view, completely visible to the naked eye, a bright beacon sits aglow in the quadrangle.

The designation: St. Bonaventure.

As you make that turn onto College Street, and follow it all the way to the back of the famed Division-I campus — the only Division I campus of its kind in the Southern Tier, you will find a place that has witnessed and amassed many memorable moments of ultimate grandeur take center stage, over the course of decades.

To name a few: More recently, a monstrous double-overtime win in front of a packed Wolfpack crowd for the then-Andrew Nicholson led Bonnies over St. Joes back in 2012. One that aided the team’s trek to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the turn of the millennium, 12 years prior. Even further back, the final curtain call for the basketball court’s namesake — Bob Lanier, back in 1970, when he played his final home game against one of the school’s archrivals in Canisius.

What happened further beyond that final day in the Reilly Center, can speak for itself. Loud and clear.

With the Bonnies having taken care of business over the weekend against Siena, and their eyes now set on No. 15 Florida Atlantic this upcoming weekend back on their home floor, Bob Lanier Court remained empty on Monday. There’s a pretty special reason behind that.

For one night only, high school basketball took over.

Inside that famed basketball chapel, on that historic hardwood, it was Andover/Whitesville and Arkport-Canaseraga’s time to make some noise, as both boys and girls squads came together for the opportunity of a lifetime. The girls took to the floor first to kick off the twinbill, in a first quarter battle that could have gone either way.

But thanks to some early three-point help, the Lady Wolves were able to navigate their way through the aperture to come away with the lead heading into the second quarter. With that now solely in their possession, the keys to the defense’s ignition were turned to start.

Arkport-Canaseraga began to take over.

The second quarter would see the team in white and teal catch an exuberant amount of fire on both ends of the floor, as they cashed in on every chance that was presented to them whilst holding Andover/Whitesville to just two points across their half-ending jaunt, setting the tone for the remainder of the contest to aid in capturing what was a 48-23 win.

The NY Landquest team are big fans!!!

“In high school basketball, shots aren’t always going to fall,” said Lady Wolves coach Rob Patrick. “You’re going to have to lock it down on defense when you can, and then really hope for them to fall while staying away from causing turnovers. We forced them to do some of the things that we were hoping to do on defense. For us, that was a big part of our game plan.”

Patrick added on the team’s opportunity to play on a Division-I floor entering and exiting the night, saying that “The girls were really excited to come here. I will say, they were a little nervous playing on a big court like this. It was nice of Andover/Whitesville to put this together, and give our girls this chance to experience something like this. Anytime you have a chance in an atmosphere like this, to give the kids experience, we’ll take it.”

Arkport-Canaseraga’s ascension to victory began after a close quarters battle with Andover/Whitesville (1-4) through the first eight minutes of the night. A timeframe which saw the Lady Wolves strike while the iron was hot on the first of two Morgan Gilbert triples right from the opening tip. The team in black would shake it off further down the line in the stanza, using some help at the line to coincide with a pair of Olivia Waters buckets down low to trim their deficit to three.

After the lead was kept intact by Gilbert’s second triple from long range, the Lady Wolves resumed where they left off with another strong start in the second quarter, going forward to score six of the first eight points to branch their advantage to as much as six approaching halfway to play. A big reason behind that — a near-perfect outing at the charity stripe, going 7-for-8 in all. An outing that saw Payton O’Dell record a perfect 6-for-6 tenure in the midst of it.

“(Payton) O’Dell, she is really difficult to stop in the paint. We’re undersized, and our girls did what they could against her,” Andover/Whitesville co-coach Aaron Rawady said. “They did a pretty good job, but she’s a talented player and she’s going to find a way to get her buckets. A couple of other kids did a great job knocking down threes when we had to collapse in the post. Rob had his team ready to go, and he always does a great job with them. They did what they set out to do.”

Arkport-Canaseraga (3-2) kept the momentum in their favor right at the beginning of the second half onwards, paced by the hand of Grace Groves outside, as she knocked down two of her three triples from within the frame to propel the team’s biggest quarter of the night to maintain their advantage on Andover/Whitesville heading to the last eight minutes.

Despite the deficit, there were plenty of bright spots for Andover/Whitesville off stellar plays down low, including a hard-fought basket from Julia Cavagna, and a short time later, an offensive board cashed in by Olivia Waters, who led the team in scoring with nine team-high points.

“We’re a very young team, very inexperienced. We lost a lot from last year but they’re starting to figure things out,” Rawady said. “Every day, they’re getting better and their effort is outstanding. We’re just trying to get down some of the fundamentals and the IQ things we need to be more competitive. We never question their heart and effort. They show up to play.”

Following Waters in the scorebook was Graci Lewis-Ellison, who posted six points, including a perfect 4-for-4 at the line. Grace Fry and Makaila Brewster each had three points. For Arkport-Canaseraga, O’Dell and Groves both paved the way with 12 game-high points each. Gilbert, along with Gracen Mahany each had eight points.

For Rawady, despite the result, it was a chance to give his team a once-in-a-lifetime night they will remember as time goes on. The majority of which had never set one foot into the Reilly Center, until now.

“This is a really great opportunity for the kids,” he said. “Most of them have never even been here to catch a game for starters. To be able to get on the court, that’s something pretty special they will take with them and remember it going forward. It was a great opportunity that Jimmy (Joyce) and Jake (Bannerman) were able to get set up for the boys and for the girls. We’re definitely appreciative of them, and we’re appreciative of Arkport/Canaseraga coming with us and playing. It’s a great night for everyone involved.”

Arkport/Canaseraga Girls: @ Jasper-Troupsburg, Saturday 7:15 p.m.

Andover/Whitesville 7 2 10 4 – 23

Arkport-Canaseraga 10 12 15 11 – 48

ANDOVER/WHITESVILLE: Graci Lewis-Ellison 1 4-4 6, Grace Fry 1 1-2 3, Makaila Brewster 1 1-2 3, Olivia Waters 4 1-3 9, Julie Cavagna 1 0-0 2. Totals: 8 7-11 23.

ARKPORT-CANANSERAGA: Jasmine King 2 0-0 4, Maddie Kellogg 2 0-0 4, Grace Groves 4 1-2 12, Gracen Mahany 4 0-0 8, Payton O’Dell 3 6-6 12, Morgan Gilbert 2 2-2 8. Totals: 17 9-10 48.

3-point goals: A-C 5 (Groves 3, Gilbert 2).
Total Fouls: A/W 8, A-C 16. Fouled out: None.

More stories after Chris Brooks photo gallery:

VOLLEYBALL

Arkport-Canaseraga 3, Friendship/Scio 0

ARKPORT — Noah Drouin ignited the Arkport-Canaseraga offense in style, garnering seven kills to go with seven big aces from the back line to fuel the Wolves offense to glory on Monday, as they marched their way towards victory over visiting Friendship/Scio in straight-set fashion by a 25-17, 25-18, 25-8 decision.

Adding more help along the way behind Drouin was Marcos Gutierrez-Navas for the Wolves (3-1), as he pitched in five kills and an ace. Curtis Hartman chipped in with four aces and three kills of his own. Arkport-Canaseraga is back on the floor Wednesday night over the road with a 6 p.m. visit to Genesee Valley/Belfast.

Friendship/Scio (1-3) saw Lawson Ector take command of the offense, scoring five team-leading kills. Eli Wade provided four aces from the service line.

The road swing for Friendship/Scio continues on Thursday, as they visit undefeated Allegany-Limestone for a 6 p.m. contest.

Genesee Valley/Belfast 41, Campbell-Savona 25

CAMPBELL — With a fast start under wraps to begin their latest road trip on Monday, the Genesee Valley/Belfast ladies were hot on the button.

Despite host Campbell-Savona chipping away at their deficit to close out the half, the visitors in black did everything in their power to make sure their lead was never lost, as they emerged victorious with a massive third quarter run that allowed them to pull away towards a 41-25 win.

“The defense again was solid,” GV/Belfast coach Raegan Ryan said. “The girls really grouped at the half and focused a bit more on valuing each possession. Sometimes, teams can succumb to a mentality of trying to win a game in one possession, one quarter, one half, or play a bit tight. It’s really all about winning that possession, and the girls did that to come away with a win behind a lot of contributions from the whole team aside from points. It’s always nice when we find ways to hold teams to 25 points or below.”

Genesee Valley/Belfast (4-1) started the night with the first of two electrifying runs of Campbell-Savona out of the gate, as the defense buckled down and held the Lady Panthers to a near-complete standstill in the midst of their 12-2 run, which was powered by the likes of Sophie Zillgitt and Mary Hamer — combining for 10 of the team’s 12 points in the frame.

The action would begin to shift gears slightly, as Campbell-Savona took aim at chipping away their early deficit to the visitors in black with four different scorers for the Lady Panthers all recording at least a pair of points to help the cause. But Genesee Valley/Belfast was able to keep their advantage together to take a 22-11 lead into the break.

When the third quarter arrived, a completely different story.

Led by Mary Hamer and her powerful presence downlow, Genesee Valley/Belfast was able to put strong emphasis on the start of the second half with their momentum-maintaining 17-2 run of Campbell-Savona which saw their senior leader piece together eight of the team’s points in the stanza, as the visitors used it to the fullest possible to capture victory at the final buzzer.

Hamer would go on to finish with a game-high 16 points for Genesee Valley/Belfast, while Abby Sullivan knocked down both of the team’s triples to put towards a 10-point performance. Following up was Zillgitt, who finished with six points.

Coming up, the Genesee Valley/Belfast ladies will partake in tournament action over the road in Franklinville beginning Thursday night, as they prepare to take on Chautauqua Lake at 6 p.m.

Genesee Valley/Belfast 12 10 17 2 – 41

Campbell-Savona 2 9 2 11 – 25

GV/BELFAST: Abby Sullivan 4 0-0 10, Sophie Zillgitt 2 2-2 6, Kendra Bigelow 0 2-4 2, Whitney Young 0 2-2 2, Mary Hamer 7 2-2 16, Ava Aaronson 0 1-6 1, Jenna Hill 2 0-0 4. Totals: 15 9-16 41.

CAMPBELL-SAVONA: Abby Riley 1 0-0 2, Ashlynn Stratton 4 0-1 8, Liz Crosson 1 1-2 3, Jenna Machuga 2 1-2 5, Jalynn Machuga 3 1-6 7. Totals: 11 3-11 25.

3-point goals: GVB 2 (Sullivan).
Total Fouls: GVB 14, C-S 15. Fouled out: None.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Genesee Valley/Belfast 79, Campbell-Savona 30

BELMONT — An exceptional genesis to a Monday night was one to behold from the Genesee Valley/Belfast boys squad, as they ripped and roared from within the confines of the Jungle in Belmont and never looked back on a furious first quarter start they established from the ground up, using it to roll past visiting Campbell-Savona with a 79-30 victory.

Right out of the gate, Genesee Valley/Belfast (4-1) hit all strides against the Panthers, putting their strongest frame of offense to work and finishing it with a lead they would never lose over the course of the battle. In all, the hosts recorded a humongous 26-6 run that saw three different scorers eclipse double figures at the end of the night to propel the offense to big heights.

Among them, Kadin Logue, who put together his best performance this season with 22 game-high points, including three of the team’s six triples from downtown. Following behind was Ian McKenzie, who chipped in with 13 points of his own. Jacob Borden provided a heavy inside presence down low to help round off the efforts with his 12-point game.

Genesee Valley/Belfast will now begin the search for their fifth win in their first six games next week, as they prepare for a visit from Cuba-Rushford back down the road in Belfast at 7:30 p.m. next Monday night.

Campbell-Savona 6 10 7 7 – 30

Genesee Valley/Belfast 26 20 19 14 – 79

CAMPBELL-SAVONA: Ethan Atkins 2 0-0 6, Flint Black 1 0-0 3, Ethan Soles 2 0-0 5, Jackson Kibler 5 0-2 12, Chance Miller 2 0-2 4. Totals: 12 0-4 30.
GV/BELFAST: Harley Wardhaugh 2 0-0 5, Kyle McCumiskey 4 0-0 8, Kadin Logue 9 1-4 22, Lance Vohs 1 0-0 2, Ian McKenzie 6 0-0 13, Thayne Cobb 2 0-0 5, Owen Heaney 2 1-2 5, Jacob Borden 6 0-2 12, Kenton Shultz 2 0-0 4, Fisher Herdman 0 3-4 3. Totals: 34 5-12 79.
3-point goals: C-S 6 (Atkins 2, Kibler 2, Black, Soles), GVB 6 (Logue 3, Wardhaugh, McKenzie, Cobb).
Total Fouls: C-S 11, GVB 9. Fouled out: None.

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