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 John Kucko: Little Mill Creek in Wayland, NY

Wellsville swimming wins, basketball falls to A-L; B-R downs Alfred-Almond; Canisteo-Greenwood action

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Thursday Roundup: Lady Wolverines evade late push by Alfred-Almond, squeeze towards win at Scio X-Mas Tourney; Lady Rebels, Pioneer to meet in C-R’s 1st Annual Tri-County title game  

By Chris Brooks, managing editor,, photos by Tricia Davenport

SCIO — For three straight days, the Scio Christmas Tournament has now begun to take center stage.

While the boys currently wait their turn until after Christmas to begin their three-day trek through the annual joust, the ladies were up first with a Thursday night clash between Bolivar-Richburg and Alfred-Almond. It was a game that saw a productive first half from the Lady Wolverines transform into a big third quarter that allowed the Lady Eagles to aid in bridging the gap heading into the last eight minutes.

But with some clutch defense, along a pair of big shots inside from Carmen Crowley, the Lady Wolverines were able to fend off one final push from Alfred-Almond to claim the first victory of the annual tournament in close fashion, squeezing by with a 24-18 win.

NY Land Quest congratulates all student athletes

The Lady Wolverines (2-3) were able to get off on the biggest of footsteps through the first half of play, especially in the second quarter, when Crowley began a strong outing of offense with of the team’s nine points — pairing them alongside the second of two triples launched by Nadia Baldwin, as they formulated and finished off a 9-2 jaunt of Alfred-Almond to branch their lead to 11 at the break.

All of the deficit was nearly made up by the Lady Eagles upon their return to the hardwood for the second half, as Paige Marlatt and Taylor Flaitz combined to record all 14 of the team’s points in the third quarter to erase the deficit down to a single point going into the final eight minutes of play.

In that final frame however, the Lady Wolverines pushed their chips to the center of the table with a big finish from Crowley, as she came up with two more big shots inside, pairing them with two shots from the line from Raegan Giardini down the stretch to complete the victory.

Crowley would lead all Bolivar-Richburg scorers with 14 game-high points. Baldwin would finish with six points, while Giardini had the team’s last four.

The Lady Wolverines will get set to face host Friendship/Scio in a quick turnaround back to Scio tonight in a 6 p.m. tip-off.

Bolivar-Richburg 5 9 4 6 – 24

Alfred-Almond 2 2 14 2 – 18

BOLIVAR-RICHBURG: Nadia Baldwin 2 0-0 6, Raegan Giardini 1 2-6 4, Carmen Crowley 7 0-0 14. Totals: 10 2-6 24.

ALFRED-ALMOND: Taylor Flaitz 2 3-4 7, Kylie McMichael 0 0-2 0, Maeve Turner 2 0-0 4, Paige Marlatt 3 0-0 7. Totals: 7 3-6 18.

3-point goals: B-R 2 (Baldwin), A-A 1 (Marlatt).
Total Fouls: B-R 9, A-A 13. Fouled out: None.

Franklinville Tournament: Genesee Valley/Belfast 47, Chautauqua Lake 43

FRANKLINVILLE — The Genesee Valley/Belfast ladies squad are one of a few teams who remain red hot to start the new campaign just a couple weeks removed from its exordium, having won four of their first five games.

With a stellar start to a road trip, which began on Monday at Campbell-Savona and will subsist for the next three games straight, and for seven of their next games on the schedule, the time to carry the early momentum and become road warriors was now with a visit to Franklinville on Thursday for tournament merriment.

On the docket was Chautauqua Lake — an opponent that wound up hanging right with them until the end.

Even though the Section VI’s representatives put on a fourth quarter show to close the gap, the ball was in Genesee Valley/Belfast’s court to begin the night. And it would remain there.

Genesee Valley/Belfast controlled the pace to their game in their own regard, claiming a first half lead and building upon it later on in the back half’s time remaining, as they used a big Abby Sullivan rebound in the final moments to ensure they remained on top for good to claim a spot in Saturday afternoon’s Championship game with a close 47-43 edging of Chautauqua Lake — their fifth win in their first six games.

“I thought we showed a lot of growth in controlling pace tonight. We played fast when we needed to, and we slowed it down during times we needed to,” said GV/Belfast coach Raegan Ryan. “Abby had a big rebound at the end to keep us ahead. Chautauqua Lake is a well-coached team with a lot of veteran experience. If we went on a run, they always found a way to get back into it. They gave us a few different looks defensively to stop various runs, but I was proud of our floor leadership in how they responded to those adjustments, especially during their surge in the end.” This was really good for us to learn and grow from.”

The two foes were side-by-side with another through and through, beginning with a torrid run from Mary Hamer down low again to pace Genesee Valley/Belfast’s (5-1) offense, as she countered a strong Chautauqua Lake three-point presence in the opening quarter with eight of the team’s 15 points herself to help claim a four-point edge after it reached its conclusion.

In the second quarter, the visitors in black would use some clutch free throw shooting to maintain their lead when halftime drew closer, as Abby Sullivan and Sophie Zillgitt came together to go for a combined 3-for-4 at the line, along with an inside basket from both Hamer and Jenna Hill, to finish off a 22-17 lead at the break.

Genesee Valley/Belfast continued to carry the momentum in their favor and control the game with it, as a slew of scorers all found their way to the rim to produce a 12-7 outscoring of Chautauqua Lake in the third quarter to branch their advantage even further. With time running out to put the pressure on their opposition, Chautauqua Lake would not allow the time to slip through their grasp, as they assembled a 17-point frame headlined by some key defense.

That, along with five different scorers all navigating their way to the scorebook, including Quinn Putney and Elise Reidesel — fusing together 11 of the team’s 17 points in the frame to get as close as three of Genesee Valley/Belfast. With the pendulum tilted in their favor coming down the home stretch, the goal for Genesee Valley/Belfast was to stop it any way they could.

For them, it would be a big rebound off the glass that did just the trick, as Abby Sullivan snared away the loose ball from Chautauqua Lake’s grasp to halt any further developments from the opposing offense, hanging on to declare victory at the end of the night and a spot in this weekend’s title game.

Leading the way for Genesee Valley/Belfast was Hamer, who scored a game-high 18 points. Right behind was Jenna Hill, who had 11. Sullivan finished with seven points.

Saturday afternoon, Genesee Valley/Belfast will head back to Franklinville to close out tournament action by partaking in a second tournament title game this season, as they prepare to clash with New Life Christian – a team that handed host Franklinville their first loss to earn their spot, for all of the marbles beginning at 1 p.m.

Genesee Valley/Belfast 15 7 12 13 – 47

Chautauqua Lake 11 6 7 17 – 43

GV/BELFAST: Abby Sullivan 2 3-4 7, Sophie Zillgitt 2 2-2 6, Whitney Young 2 1-2 5, Mary Hamer 9 0-0 18, Jenna Hill 4 3-4 11. Totals: 19 9-12 47.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Anna Gollhardt 0 1-2 1, Quinn Putney 2 3-4 8, Elise Reidesel 6 4-8 17, Kaylee Tarr 1 0-0 2, Eden Ludwig 2 0-0 4, Taylor Donato 3 2-2 11. Totals: 14 10-16 43.

3-point goals: CL 5 (Donato 3, Putney, Riedesel).
Total Fouls: GVB 11, CL 12. Fouled out: None.

Tri-County Cup at C-R: Pioneer, host Lady Rebels to meet for title on Saturday

CUBA — This past Fall marked the debut of the Tri-County Cup on the soccer pitch outdoors from within the confines of Cuba-Rushford. Now, the new annual event has made its way indoors for the first time for the winter’s headlining act on the hardwood, as Pioneer, Canisteo-Greenwood, Olean and the host Lady Rebels came together to settle the score.

To begin the festivities, it was a powerful opening eight minute tenure for the Lady Panthers of Pioneer right out of the gate, as they finished nearly every opportunity they garnered against the Lady Chargers to establish an advantage they would never look back on, as they were the first to claim a spot in Saturday afternoon’s title game with a 60-20 victory.

Pioneer came out of the gate at a full sprint in the first eight minutes on both ends of the floor. While the defense held their end of the bargain, the offense in transition, would syphon the energy that they had built and construct a scoreless 13-0 run to garner the lead that the Lady Chargers (2-3) could not match, as the Lady Panthers hit all strides to put the finishing touches on the opening round victory.

Leading the scoring for Canisteo-Greenwood was Bailey Mullen, bucketing a team-high 11 points to pair with seven rebounds. Kora Button and McKenna Ferris each had four points, while on special teams, Lila Greenfield grabbed six boards off the glass to further the team’s cause.

Rounding off the night, a close battle that saw the Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford start red hot against Olean in the opening quarter. But it was a lead that the Lady Huskies chipped away to create a back-and-forth finish down to the end of the first half. In the second half however, an exchange of enormous runs between both teams.

One of them allowed a team to maintain all momentum from that point onward. That being the Lady Rebels, as they held the Lady Huskies at a near-standstill in the third quarter to branch out their lead insurmountably enough to finalize their trip to this weekend’s Championship game themselves, edging their way towards a 49-41 win.

“It was nice to have so many girls contribute on offense. I thought we did a great job defensively in the third quarter and that was what really decided the game for us,” Lady Rebels coach Aaron Wight said. “We need to do a better job of playing with a lead and making smarter decisions with that lead. This was a good experience for us, especially with our underclassmen who continue to learn more and get better every game.”

It was a 10-4 lead for the Lady Rebels (2-3) right out of the gate that they were able to muster through the frame’s first four minutes and change. But in the back half of time remaining in the period, it was sequestered by the Lady Huskies and their strong finish they would provide in the first quarter, scoring half of the points remaining to keep the deficit at two possessions.

Both teams would come together down the stretch of the second quarter with multiple ties on the board, with the Lady Rebels breaking the last one with under 30 seconds remaining, scoring the last two baskets to gnab the 27-23 edge going into the break.

With the momentum heavily in their favor after the positive first half finish, Cuba-Rushford would go on to buckle down defensively and pick up where they immediately left off, as they held Olean right in their tracks while providing massive punctuation on both ends of the floor all throughout. As a direct result, a 15-2 run of the Lady Huskies was garnered, after a slew of Lady Rebels all pitched in to create a 41-25 lead — a lead they would never look back from to close out the night.

Three different Lady Rebels all posted double figures to propel the offense’s ascension. Leading the frontlines was Brynn Lavery, who posted a game-high 15 points. Not far behind was Aubrey Williams, who posted 12 points of her own, while Cloey Larabee chipped in with 10.

Coming up on Saturday back on Gary Wight Court, the Tri-County Cup will mark its conclusion early with the Consolation game between Olean and Canisteo-Greenwood beginning at 11 a.m, while Pioneer and Cuba-Rushford will battle for the tournament’s crown later on in a 12:30 p.m. tip-off.

Pioneer 13 14 14 19 – 60

Canisteo-Greenwood 0 5 5 10 – 20

PIONEER: Gretchen Rumfola 3 0-2 7, Jayden Leederman 1 0-0 2, Celsy Colombo 5 1-2 12, Shay Edwards 0 2-2 2, Delaney Petri 4 0-0 9, Emma Watson 2 0-0 4, Alaina Barber 2 0-0 4, Abby Mason 4 1-2 10, Sarah Morris 3 2-2 8. Totals: 24 6-10 58.

CANISTEO-GREENWOOD: Kora Button 1 1-2 4, Bailey Mullen 3 4-5 11, McKenna Ferris 1 2-2 4, Paris May 0 1-4 1. Totals: 5 8-13 20.

3-point goals: Pioneer 4 (Rumfola, Colombo, Petri, Mason), C-G 2 (Button, Mullen).
Total Fouls: Pioneer 15, C-G 9. Fouled out: None.

Olean 10 13 2 16 – 41

Cuba-Rushford 16 11 15 7 – 49

OLEAN: Ava Smith 1 0-2 2, Alaina Hirliman 8 1-1 21, Amy Campbell 2 0-1 4, Anna Bates 1 0-0 2, Lexi Benjamin 2 1-4 5, Jourdein Battle 2 1-4 7. Totals: 16 3-12 41.
CUBA-RUSHFORD: Aubrey Williams 4 1-4 12, Cloey Larabee 4 1-3 10, Lily Tompkins 1 2-6 4, Brynn Lavery 6 2-2 15, Mireya Rutkowski 1 0-0 2, Lilly Farwell 1 1-2 3, Raegan Poore 2 0-0 4. Totals: 19 7-17 49.

3-point goals: Olean 6 (Hirliman 4, Battle 2), C-R 4 (Williams 2, Larabee, Lavery).
Total Fouls: Olean 18, C-R 16. Fouled out: Campbell (OLE), Maples (C-R).


Allegany-Limestone 47, Wellsville 36

ALLEGANY — An arduous season-opening gauntlet journeyed onwards for the Lions of Wellsville over the road for the first time this season. Thursday night, it was a trip out west into The Swamp — home of Section VI superpower, Allegany-Limestone.

Right from the start, the host Gators caught fire from downtown Allegany. Out of the nine total three-pointers they supplied against the Lions, seven of them came in the first half of play. The three-point game would assist Allegany-Limestone in starting the first quarter on a brilliant note, using the momentum to carry forward and towards a 47-36 home win.

“We had another flat start that we couldn’t build from. We have a young group learning how to play well all 32 minutes. These kids are far more talented that our record will lead you to believe,” said Lions coach Tom Muska. “We need to keep getting better. We have some tough tests ahead, but our best basketball is also ahead of us. We could win any game on our schedule if we can stick to our game plan and play to our potential.”

Through the first four minutes, the Gators ran off, as they garnered big boosts on both ends of the floor to bolster an 11-2 run of Wellsville (0-4), led by an amalgamation of triples launched by both Collin Forrest and Carson Kwiatkowski — two Allegany-Limestone sharpshooters who combined to record eight of the team’s nine three-pointers in the contest.

The balance of power would remain in Allegany-Limestone’s favor from that point on, but saw some late fourth quarter heat arise from the Lions, who strung together their best offensive effort to trim the deficit down as much as they could. Behind the guidance of Aiden Cowburn and JJ Howard, who combined to record nine of the team’s 11 points in the last eight minutes, scored a game-ending 11-4 run of the Gators.

But the deficit would become too much to overcome, as the Gators and their early hop to their step would remain in their possession for good.

Howard was Wellsville’s leading scorer, as he posted a game-high 17 points. Alex Green pitched in with seven points, while Ethan Bailey had six.

The road trip for the Lions will continue after the weekend with another trip out west once more, this time in Olean, where they will visit the Huskies in a 7:30 p.m. clash on Tuesday.

Wellsville 6 11 8 11 – 36

Allegany-Limestone 16 13 14 4 – 47

WELLSVILLE: Aiden Cowburn 2 0-0 4, Karson Grover 1 0-2 2, JJ Howard 5 6-8 17, Ethan Bailey 2 1-2 6, Alex Green 3 1-2 7. Totals: 13 8-14 36.

ALLEGANY-LIMESTONE: Sean Conroy 1 0-0 3, Collin Forrest 7 1-3 18, Carson Kwiatkowski 6 1-1 18, Gavin Straub 4 0-0 8. Totals: 18 2-4 47.

3-point goals: Wellsville 2 (Howard, Bailey), A-L 9 (Kwiatkowski 5, Forrest 3, Conroy).
Total Fouls: Wellsville 11, A-L 11. Fouled out: None.


Wellsville 71, Cuba-Rushford 50

WELLSVILLE — Although water is an element that is known to extinguish fires, the Lions of Wellsville and their early-season inferno was kept ablaze after Thursday night in their home waters, starting the meet with visiting Cuba-Rushford red hot and never looking back in the rearview mirror again to propel towards a season-opening fifth straight win by a 71-50 count.

“At 5-0, the boys are swimming hard and it’s really paying off.” Lions coach Steve Hand said. “For one of the smaller teams in the Section, they swim pretty fast and score some good points. A lot of boys have made the Sectional time standards in multiple events now to see where they go the fastest. We head to the best team in the League on Monday, and hope for even faster times to come out of them.”

With a 200 medley relay victory (2:00.81) in their back pocket to start the meet, the Lions (5-0) would advance forward and rattle off the next seven individual wins to further cement their advantage over the Rebels, all recorded by seven different swimmers with Sean Driscoll (200 freestyle, 2:16.96), Eli Brophy (200 individual medley, 2:34.51), Ben Jordan (50 freestyle, 24.70) and Tyler Rahr (diving, 180.75) all recording gold across the first half.

Later on, Wellsville saw Thomas Cooke and Brayden Ketchner record triumphant finishes to finish off the meet with their winning times in the 100 butterfly (1:10.49) and 100 freestyle (1:02.46), respectively.

Cuba-Rushford would record two individual victories of their own from Avery Little and Jordyn Radomski in back-to-back fashion, as the two Rebels swimmers recorded winning times in the 100 backstroke (1:42.30) and 100 breaststroke (1:36.03) each. The Rebels would also claim two relay victories in the 200 freestyle (2:39.27) and 400 freestyle (5:30.88).

After the weekend, the Lions of Wellsville will look to keep their hot streak alive on Monday with a road trip to Alfred-Almond beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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