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Sunny Point Arts Center of Yates County by Chris Keagle

Collmer report: Previews and predictions of every Section V basketball team, Classes B, C and D

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By BILL COLLMER, Sun Senior Sports Writer

Section Five small School Sectional Preview

Class D Boys

Defending Champions: Class D Mt. Morris Class D1 Avoca-Prattsburgh

Top Seed: Avoca-Prattsburgh

Contenders: Elba, Jasper-Troupsburg

Sleepers: Andover-Whitesville, Hammondsport

Championship Game: March 2nd

The New York State Classification changes means there’s only one Class D Bracket this season and only Nine Class D teams in All of Section Five.

(A story on Ed Stores and coaches react to the tournament HERE)

Don’t be fooled by their record No. 1 Seeded Avoca-Prattsburgh (11-9) is still the team to beat. Their losses are to Class C York (14-6), Class C Arkport-Canaseraga (15-4), Class C Moravia, (17-3), Class C Byron-Bergen, (16-4) Class B Wellsville (7-13), Class B Addison (8-12) & Class B No.2 seed Canisteo-Greenwood (18-1) three times. They also have signature victories over Class C Gananda (15-5), and avenged their early season loss to Arkport-Canaseraga defeating them twice since December.

A-P has not lost to a Class D school since merging prior to the 2021 season.

Senior Macoy Putnam is having historic senior season, Putnam’s season has only ended with a loss once, his 8th grade season at Prattsburgh and the loss was to Avoca in the State Qualifier. His freshman year A-P finished 11-0 and defeated Batavia Notre-Dame for the Sectional Championship. His Sophomore and Junior seasons A-P won the New York State Class D State Championship. So far this season he has surpassed 1,000 career points, he currently has 1,279 career points, 609 career assists and 411 career steals. He leads A-P with 18.8 PPG, 7.1 APG, 7.6 RPG & 4.9 SPG. He was recently named the Steuben County League MVP. Freshman J.J Crowder chips in 16.0 PPG and was named a First Team Steuben County All-Star. Junior Big Man Daniel Stilson adds 14.9 PPG and 6.4 RPG, he was named Second Team All-County. Putnam will represent Steuben County in the Ronald McDonald All-Star game in Rochester. Putnam is in search of a fifth straight Sectional Championship. A-P is also three wins away from a third straight trip to Glens Falls. In Eleven seasons as Varsity Coach at Prattsburgh and now Avoca-Prattsburgh Brian Putnam is 196-50 with six Sectional Championships and two State Championships. He’s only had one losing season, his first.

“I think we need to find a way to play much more consistently day in and day out. We play games where I feel we have a good shot at another title, then there are games where I feel we could get beat by anyone. The boys are working hard, I think we know what we need to do better to make a deep run. I am excited for the kids, it’s a great time of year for high school basketball. We will see how it goes,” Avoca-Prattsburgh Coach Brian Putnam said.

The No.2 seed Jasper-Troupsburg (11-9) has had a great second half to their season with the return of Senior Guard Sawyer Troxel from Injury and a switch to a 3-2 Zone Defense has resulted in a big turnaround after a slow start to the season. Troxel was named a Steuben County first team All-Star., He is averaging 13.2 PPG, 2.3 steals per game, and 1.3 blocks per game in 12 games played this season. Sophomore Jim Ainsworth was named a Second team Steuben County All-Star and is Averaging 14.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.4 assist per game, 2.2 steals per game. Sophomore Landon Zver averages 13.0 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.4 APG, & 1.5 SPG.

“I have to give it to Landon and Jimmy. They have been Rock solid all year. It’s a lot to ask two sophomores to play and act like seniors out there but they have taken on the roles and done well, I’m proud of them both. Sawyer has given us that third option which in basketball you can be very competitive with three players out there scoring. It has opened up things for other players like Zach Baker, Jackson Hayes, and Jacoby VanGorden. I’m proud of this group and how hard they have worked after losing Four starters from the year before is not an easy feat but they have done well,” J-T Coach Lou Zver said.

“We Switched to a 3-2 zone because I just felt that we were athletic enough to rotate and that would force teams to have to take outside shots more than they wanted to,” Zver added

“Although there are only nine teams in the bracket it is pretty even, I feel. We are pretty familiar with Elba even though they are a lower seed this year they are a good team. They are well coached and play in a very difficult conference. Hammondsport plays hard and they have a force in the middle with Ali. Houghton plays hard and can put up points in a hurry at times. Finally, A-P is well coached and they work hard. They seem to get something out of every one of their players, not to mention they have a well-seasoned veteran senior in Macoy Putnam

Ultimately our goal is to be playing in the Blue Cross Arena again but we also understand how hard it is to achieve that,” Zver Said

With one of the youngest teams in Section Five the No.3 Seed Andover-Whitesville (10-10) might be a year or two away on paper but don’t tell their players that. The Young Guns have exceeded expectations. Their nine-man roster only has one senior on it along with three Freshman, four sophomores and one junior. Freshman Brody Vance can twinkle the twine from the outside and hit six threes versus Hammondsport at the Barkley Showcase in January. Vance leads A-W averaging 18.0 PPG and has made 31 3’s on the season. Sophomore Colton Calladine is averaging 14.0 PPG on the season. Freshman Vinny Joyce leads the team in rebounding with over 100 on the season and has averaged a double-double over their past five games.

“We have played several of the teams in our bracket and watched in person or on tape most of the others. I’ll be honest, I would have liked to have played a few more of them this season but it is what it is. I really think its wide open. A-P is no doubt the top dog but top to bottom I think pretty much anyone can beat anyone else at any time. Some of the records are deceiving as always due to the difficulty of scheduling,” Andover-Whitesville Coach Jimmy Joyce said.

“I like our chances. We are extremely young yet still have guys that have experienced sectional basketball. If we play up to our ability’s and stay healthy, we can compete with anyone,” Joyce added.

No.4 seed Hammondsport (7-13) has played A-P twice, J-T three times and played non-league games with both Andover-Whitesville and Friendship/Scio. So, they’re familiar with many of the teams in this bracket. It’s been an up and down year for the Lakers. They won two out of three versus J-T but lost both games to A-P. They defeated Friendship/Scio but fell to Andover-Whitesville. 6’7” Senior Center Isaiyah Ali is averaging 16.0 PPG & 15.0 RPG; Junior Henry Morrison is averaging 13.0 PPG and 5.0 APG.

“Looking at where teams are projected in sectionals right now anything can happen. It’s awesome to see three Steuben County teams in the top four of the class right now but we are playing our best basketball all year and if there’s one thing, I know for sure it’s I wouldn’t want to play us,” First Year Hammondsport Coach Ethan Bower said.

“This team is dangerous and we are finally starting to play high level basketball consistently. Having been counted out for the last decade I am most looking forward to our team reminding Section Five that Hammondsport Basketball is still here and always ready to compete,” Bower added.

Like A-P No. 7 seeded Elba has played a brutal schedule playing in the rugged Genesee-Region against some of the top C and B teams in Section Five with three losses to Batavia Notre-Dame (15-5) Alexander (16-4), Pembroke (16-4), Attica (16-4), Wheatland-Chili (14-6), and Byron-Bergen (16-4) Seniors Mike Long (11.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG) Ashton Bezon (7.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG) and Angelo Penna (12.0 8.0 RPG) lead the Lancers. Elba split the regular season series with Number Two Seed Jasper-Troupsburg.

“I think that as our bracket takes form, there are certainly some interesting matchups, especially in the first round. Obviously at the top, you have the two-time defending state champions in class D. They have such a culture of winning, especially this time of the year. They will always be a tough out.” Elba Coach Ciaci Zambito said.

“A quarter-final matchup with J-T should make for a competitive battle. Splitting with them this past season, along with playing them a number of times over the past few years, I feel like both teams are familiar with each other. I have a lot of respect for Coach Zver and the way his teams play. It should make for a fun environment, and whoever punches their ticket to the semifinals will surely have to earn it,” Zambito said.

Class C3

Defending Champion: Lyons

Top Seed: Fillmore

Contenders: Harley Allendale-Columbia, Batavia Notre-Dame, Arkport-Canaseraga,

Sleepers: C.G Finney, Mt. Morris, Northstar Christian

Championship Game: March 2nd

Another bracket Heavily affected by the Classification changes, a majority of these teams were class D last season including Class D2 Champion Mt. Morris and D1 runner-up Batavia Notre Dame. Defending Champion Lyons moved up to Class C1.

Genesee-Valley/Belfast, Harley Allendale-Columbia and Batavia Notre-Dame all lost to eventual State Champion Avoca-Prattsburgh in last year’s D1 Sectional Tournament. Mt. Morris fell to A-P in the Class D State Qualifier.

No.1 Seed Fillmore (18-2) from Allegany County is being led by recent 1,000-point scorer Zach Sisson who scored 33 points in a non-League game versus Franklinville to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The 6-foot-2 senior guard/forward is averaging 24.0 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 4.0 APG & 4,9 SPG, while shooting 44% from the field, 31% from 3, 89% free throws. 5’9” Freshman guard Jonah Bialek is already a captain and “Lockdown” defender who’s the team’s hardest worker. He’s a “team first” player who’s unselfish but scores as needed and another coach on the floor; He’s averaging 14.0 PPG, 8,0 RPG, 3.0 APG & 2.0 SPG while shooting 46% from the floor and 41% from 3; He hit six 3-Pointers in the second quarter vs. Byron-Bergen in an early Season Non-League game and seven 3’s versus. Cuba-Rushford. 6’3” Freshman Cam Mucher is a lockdown defender and big-time scorer with multiple 20-point games; He’s averaging 13.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.0 APG

The No. 2 seed Harley Allendale-Columbia (17-3) is led by Junior Guard Tyler Knapp who scored a career-high 31 points against Honeoye; He’s averaging 18.0 PPG, 2.2 SPG & 4.0 RPG. Teammate Ryan D’Aruduini another junior guard scored career-high 31 points against Marion and is averaging 14.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG & 3.4 SPG. Sophomore Forward Harlan Novy-Marx, had a huge 18 point, 12 rebound, & 9 block stat line in a non-League game against School of the Arts, and a 27 point, 14 rebound, & 5 block outing in a Finger Lakes West league battle against Bloomfield He’s averaging 12.3 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 3 SPG, & 1.8 BPG. HAC won the Finger Lakes West League Championship this season.

No.3 seed Arkport-Canaseraga (15-4) is having their best season since merging programs. In December they became the first Steuben County team to defeat Avoca-Prattsburgh, A-P avenged the loss later in the season. Freshman Caden Carey leads the way with 18.4 PPG 3.1 APG, 2.4 SPG, & 2.8 RPG. Junior Sharp Shooter Devin Moran (8.6 PPG) joins Carey in the Backcourt. Sophomore Ibra Ford (12.2 PPG) and the Vilkhu Brothers Alex (5.0 PPG) and Tim (8.7 PPG) have come up big for the Wolves this season. Losses are to A-P, Class B Dansville and Class B Canisteo-Greenwood without Carey who was out sick. Carey was named a Steuben County First Team All-Star. Tim Vilkhu and Ibra Ford were both named Second Team Steuben County All-Stars.

“This is our first time in the C-3 bracket. I think you can name 9 or 10 teams that are competitive and can knock anybody off on any given night. We know we will have to play our best basketball on both ends of the floor from here on out if we want to make a run to Rochester,” Arkport-Canaseraga Coach Max Houy said.

“To be a top three seed is an awesome feeling! It has been years in the making, especially during the off-season, trying to put the work in to make Arkport-Canaseraga into a contender again. We preach “winning culture” all the time and try to promote that John Wooden mindset of winning in practice especially those days when the gyms are empty and we just have each other to improve against. Community volunteers, parents, and coaches have all been working with these kids since they were young, so to see our boys program become a top three seed in a brand-new class is very cool. We don’t take it for granted, and I am very proud of the progress made so far. We hope we can make a run!” Houy Added.

No.4 Seed Class D powerhouse Batavia Notre-Dame (15-5) volunteered to move to Class C3 this season. The Fighting Irish are led by senior guard Jaden Sherwood with 19.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, & 3.6 APG. Senior Ryan Fitzpatrick adds 11.3 PPG for the Balanced Fighting Irish who play in the rugged Genesee Region and will be battle tested for the Sectional Tournament. Their losses are to Alexander twice, Pembroke, Attica and Class A Batavia. Fitzpatrick recently surpassed 1,000 career points.

“Our sectional bracket is loaded. Fillmore is going to be very good again this year, especially returning a player like Sisson. C.G Finney we have watched a few times and possibly getting them in the second round won’t be an easy task, if we get passed the first round. Arkport-Canaseraga is very good this year. They play up-tempo and like to pressure the ball. HAC also is very good this year and they have played some very good teams thus far. Northstar as a No.7 seed has to be one of the best 7 seeds in the tournament. The GR League was excellent this year and our non-league games, including a very strong Akron team and the Batavia Blue Devils, I think will have us ready for sectional competition. Many of the top teams in GR are top five in their respective classes. With the new classifications, many of the top teams from the D1 bracket we were in last year moved up to C3 with us, with the exception of Avoca-Prattsburgh,” Batavia Notre-Dame Coach Mikey Rapone said.

“We are hoping our senior leadership and younger life off the bench can help guide us back to the Blue Cross, but it will surely be a tough test!” Rapone added.

No.5 Seed C.G Finney (13-7) might be the biggest mystery in Class C3. They upset Lyons earlier this season and defeated Fillmore but have a couple of questionable losses on their record as well. However, the victory over Lyons proves they could win this bracket when it’s all said and done. Junior Ethan Krog leads the Falcons with 22.1 points per game while Sophomore Guard Braelen Broome is the Falcons’ second leading scorer averaging 15.0 PPG.

No. 6 seed Mt. Morris (13-7) is coming off their second Sectional Championship in five years but moves up to Class C this season. They recently won the Livingston County Division Championship for the only the second time in school history with the first coming in 1990. Several key players returned this season for veteran Coach Brian Stouts Blue Devils including Senior Center Mason Santini, who is averaging 12.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for a very balanced scoring squad with six players averaging between 8 and 13 points. Junior point Guard Anthony Hightower, is averaging 11.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.4 steals and 3.5 assists. Senior guard Chase Young is averaging 12.2 points, 6.2 assists and 3 steals. Senior Guard Bryson Constanino 14.1 PPG, playing in the Livingston County League the Blue Devils see some stiff competition playing Class C Powerhouse York and Class B2 Number one seed Avon.

The No.7 Seed Northstar Christian Academy (8-10) won Class C1 last season and lost most of their top players, however Sophomore Justin Robinson has emerged this season as a High Scoring Guard. NCA Lost to Wheatland-Chili by one-point, other losses are to Waterloo, School of the Arts and Rochester Prep. Robinson scored 21 versus Wheatland-Chili. Robinson also scored 21 in a 46-42 win over C.G Finney. Robinson is averaging 22.6 PPG. Senior Lorenzo Danesi adds 10.0 PPG and Junior Johnny Daby 8.6 PPG.

Class C2

Defending Champion: Pembroke

Top Seed: Byron-Bergen

Contenders: York, Alexander, Bolivar-Richburg

Sleepers: Wheatland-Chili, Cuba-Rushford, Honeoye

Championship Game: March 2nd

No.1 seeded Byron-Bergen (16-4) is led by Senior Big Man Braedyn Chambry he’s averaging a double-double and put up 41 points and 18 rebounds in a victory over C2 No.1 seed Fillmore. He recently scored his 1,000-career point in a win over Pembroke. He would later become the School’s All-Time Leading scorer. Senior Brody Baubie and Freshman Cody Carlson have been key contributors for the Bees this season. They split with Class B Attica, and split with Pembroke, Lost to Wheatland-Chili, & Batavia Notre-Dame. They defeated Alexander.

No.2 seeded Alexander (16-4) is also from Genesee Region and has scored some big wins over Batavia Notre-Dame, Pembroke and a non-League win over Rochester School of the Arts. Senior Trenton Woods (14.2 PPG 5.1 APG) and Junior Dylan Pohl (20.2 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.8 BPG) are two the top guys for the Trojans and first year Coach Jalen Smith

“I think playing in the GR will prepare us well for sectionals because it’s a very tough league. There are so many teams that have consistent programs and really teach discipline basketball so it’s always going to be a challenge no matter who you play in the GR,” Alexander Coach Jalen Smith said.

I’ve had a chance to scout the other teams in our bracket. I actually coach a good amount of them in the spring so that’s always a bonus! I think myself, along with my assistants have watched majority of the games being a fan and supporting our players as well as scouting their team as a whole. For a first-year coach, I really can’t complain. I’ve thought the season has gone better than many may have expected. I knew we had a good team and roster, but for the guys to buy in and pick up so many principles so fast is truly impressive and they deserve all the credit for the success we have had this season sitting at 16-4,” Smith added

No. 3 Bolivar-Richburg (15-5) started the season 7-0 before suffering their first loss at the hand of Class B Canisteo-Greenwood. Since then, they’ve lost to C.G Finney and twice to league rival Fillmore. Senior Aydin Sisson (21.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG & 2.0 APG) Junior Landon Barkley (18.0, 5.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 2.0 SPG) and Senior Reiss Gaines (6.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 3.0 SPG) lead the Wolverines.

“All three of the C brackets are loaded, and ours is no exception. This will make for an incredible tournament that I couldn’t possibly be more excited for. So many teams have a chance at hoisting that block, and I know that there will be some incredible battles throughout. I don’t care what seed York ends up with, they are the team to beat. They put together the toughest schedule out of any of us, and will be battle-tested on top of being immensely talented. They can do it all, are well-coached, and have the horses to make a deep run. They are states-good in my opinion, and I’m sure that I’m not alone in that line of thinking! Byron Bergen is the No.1 seed for a reason. The Chambry kid is a match-up nightmare for anyone and looks like a man among boys at times. Wheatland Chili has played some incredible basketball this season, knocking off or at least competing with some excellent teams. Williams is tough, and will never allow his team to roll over. He is a leader and floor general, and I have enjoyed watching him play. And how about Alexander? From relative obscurity last year to an absolute revival this year. They believe that they can play with anyone, and they’ve certainly proved that as of late. Certainly, can’t count out Honeoye who has racked up a ton of wins this year, and I do not want to see Cuba-Rushford for a third time. Those games almost never end well,” Bolivar-Richburg Coach Justin Thomas said.

No.4 seeded York (14-6) lost to Pembroke 62-59 in last years Championship game. York loaded their schedule this season to make sure they’re ready for another run to the Championship game with different results this season. Victories over Defending D State Champion Avoca-Prattsburgh and Class C State Champion Randolph from Section VI along with Class A Powerhouse Bishop-Kearney. Losses to Avon twice, Wheatland-Chili and a double overtime loss to Class B LeRoy, as well as Class B Hornell and Lyons the last week of the regular season. Senior Jake Pangrazio has had a memorable season, The 6-foot-4 guard eclipsed 1,000 points and became the program’s all-time leading scorer this season. Pangrazio dropped 47 in a 76-60 win at Bishop Kearney. Pangrazio is committed to St. John Fisher; He’s averaging 21.0 PPG, & 9 RPG, while shooting 44% from 3. Seniors Joe Bauer (15.5 PPG 4.0 RPG, 4.0 APG 2.0 SPG, Tyler Brady (10.2 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, & Connor Rodwell (7.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.0 APG) are all looking to end their careers with a Sectional Championship and hopefully more.

Sophomore Parker Bonefede (10.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.0 APG) has come on strong the second half of the season.

“Parker is a very talented player, early on in the season I think he was still struggling with his confidence and his belief in himself. I’ve always had an immense amount of confidence in Parker and to watch him start to play with that confidence has been so fun. The best part is I really believe that Parker’s best basketball is a head of him this post season. I can’t wait to see how he plays down the stretch,” York Coach Ed Orman Jr. Said.

“I’m not sure how our regular season schedule will help us in the post-season. We put together a very difficult schedule and I really loved the way we competed, I wish we would have finished a few of the games a little better, but there is no doubt we put ourselves through some real stress. I’m hoping we will operate under tough conditions with confidence and a sense of calmness due to the adversity we’ve faced,” Orman added

“Our Sectional bracket like all the C’s is a meat grinder, all of the small school leagues have top teams represented and we will need to be on our A game each and every night. The key to this point of the season is to play with confidence and all-out effort every time we hit the floor. Only one team is going to come out of this bracket, and win or lose you want to make sure you have no regrets and that you played with as much effort, confidence and team work as possible. If you love High School basketball the next few weeks are the best weeks of the year, I can’t wait to get started and hope my guys feel the same way,” Orman concluded.

No.5 Honeoye (14-6) has flown under the radar in the Finger Lakes West but has quietly put together a great season. Their twelve-man roster only features three seniors with three freshman and a sophomore and five juniors. They have won eight out of their last nine games and the loss was by one to Penn Yan on a 35-foot buzzer beater. Freshman Landon Washburn (19.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 3.0 SPG, 4.0 APG), Junior Owen Cuba (9.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG) and Junior Owen Reynolds (12.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.0 APG) have been key contributor for the Bulldogs this season. Washburn is Shooting 70% from FT line, 36% from 3, and 54% from floor. Reynolds is Shooting 32% from 3, 70% from FT line. He’s a lockdown defender and guarded other teams’ best player and held them under their season average.

“We brought up two freshmen in Braiden Schneider and Dylan Washburn during the Holiday tournament due to our team being depleted due to sickness for the Dansville game. Since they got called up, we have gone 12-3 losing to class B1 Dansville, and Penn Yan at the buzzer and Bloomfield. The team has also bought in to changes we have made mainly focusing on defense and playing at an up-tempo pace,” Honeoye Coach Robb Delisanti Said

“Our Bracket is loaded from top to bottom. Wouldn’t be surprised if a 11, 12, or 13 seed makes a deep run in the tournament with some Livingston County teams like Perry & Cal-Mum who have played a very tough schedule. Red Jacket with their balanced scoring and 6″8 Truman Hill could provide matchup problems for teams. I think the team no wants to play right now is Eugenio Maria at the No.8 seed. They play a tough schedule with teams from Rochester’s Private Parochial and could be a tough match up for many teams in this bracket

No.1 seed Byron Bergen is led by a big man Brayden Chambry who is the all-time leading scorer in the school’s history and has a core of seniors in Primm, Baubie, and Martin. They were semifinalists last year. The play solid defense and they do not turn the ball over. Are very well coached. Play in a very good Genesee Region. No. 2 Alexander is very good with a deep team and good combination of guards and bigs. Dylan Pohl is 6″5 and can score and defend. Alexander also has the Woods brothers who can score and provide outside shooting. A very well-balanced team. Also are battle tested playing in the Genesee Region.

No. 6 Wheatland Chili has two great scorers in Leighton Williams and Jaden Shwenebraten. They can score with the best of them and they play great man to man defense. They beat York earlier this year and have also had a tough schedule playing in the Genesee region.

No.3 Bolivar Richburg from Alleghany County is very good and has two great scorers in Aydin Sisson and Landon Barkley. Played one loss Canisteo Greenwood to a 4-point game. Played Fillmore very tough and beat Wellsville. They are fully capable of making a deep run.

Even though they are the No. 4 seed, I still think York is the team to beat. Very balanced with Jake Pangrazio who is the school’s all-time leading scorer as well as three others 3-year starters in Tyler Brady, Joe Bauer, and Connor Rodwell. They have played in Two consecutive sectional finals and I think their experience along with their balanced scoring will be too much for teams in our bracket. They also played a brutal schedule losing to LeRoy 1 (B2), Avon twice (B2), Hornell (B1), Lyons and Wheatland-Chili. They beat the defending class C state champs Randolph by 30. I think they are capable of making it to Glens Falls,” Delisanti added.

No.6 Wheatland-Chili (14-6) lost to Lyons in the C3 Championship game last season as the No. 6 Seed. The Wildcats play in the tough Genesee Region and are usually tested each night. Junior Leighton Williams recently went over the 1,000-career point plateau scoring 27 points in a loss to Class B Attica. Williams is averaging 23.3 PPG, Sophomore Jaden Shwenebraten adds 17.5 PPG. Senior Javier Ellington racked up 30 points on his Senior Night to lead Wheatland-Chili in a win over Lyndonville. The Wildcats losses are to Class B Avon, Class B Attica and one point loss to Batavia Notre-Dame. They have victories over York, Alexander and Byron-Bergen.

No.7 seeded Cuba-Rushford (12-7) has played a tough schedule and will be a tough out in this bracket. They’ve split with Class B Wellsville lost to Section VI’s Allegany-Limestone and lost to C.G Finney, Fillmore and twice to Bolivar-Richburg. Senior Forward Luke Brooks is averaging 10.5 PPG, 6.0 APG 7.6 RPG. He’s a great defender and always works extremely hard and does the dirty work. Senior Guard Braeden Wight on the season he is averaging 14.7 PPG. From his guard spot he also chips in 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals per game. Sophomore Forward Peyton Joy is averaging 9.5 PPG and is their leading rebounder at 11.2 RPG and 3 blocks. Against Wellsville he scored 16 points and had 14 rebounds.

“We have a very solid bracket all the way throughout. York is a very solid team as well as Byron Bergen and B-R. I would say any of the top six teams could win the bracket. 14 seed

Cal-Mum played Wheatland extremely tough this season as well so they are no slouch as a 14 seed. It’s a tough bracket. Alexander has played a solid schedule and beaten some very good teams when they are completely healthy,” Cuba-Rushford Coach Patrick Wight said.

“It’s a tough bracket, I would love to see us make a run but it’s the type of bracket where on any given night anyone can beat anyone. It’ll be fun to watch and see what happens for sure. We played a solid schedule and are looking forward to the challenges of a win or go home situation. It looks like we will draw South Seneca in the first round and they are a solid program with a good coach and some very good players. We’re going to go one game at a time and enjoy every chance we get to step on the court,” Wight added

Class C1

Defending Champion: Northstar Christian

Top Seed: Lyons

Contenders: East-Rochester, Pembroke, Gananda

Sleeper: Geneseo

Championship Game: March 2nd

No.1 seed Lyons (18-2) won class C3 last season and the overall Class C Championship before losing to eventual State Champion Randolph in the Far Western Regional. Despite losing some key players from their Championship team they’re right back in the hunt this season.6’5” Sophomore Center JJ Johnson is tough to stop. He worked over the summer on his game to prepare for a larger offensive role this season. Johnson constantly faces double and triple teams, but he’s still proven to be a solid scorer in the post and passing big man. His first dunk of the season came in a win over Avon. “He’s come a long way from his freshman year. He’s pretty dominant,” Lyons coach Dean Schott II said; Johnson is averaging 19.6 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 2.6 BPG, and is shooting 69% from the field. 5-foot-9 Senior Point Guard Mikey Briggs is averaging 13.2 points, 5.9 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 5.4 steals, and ran point during Lyons’ Section V Class C title run in 2023. Senior Guard Devyn Williams adds 11.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.4 APG, 2.5 SPG, Sophomore Stephen LeBrecht 10.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, & 2.0 SPG and Senior Dez Bell 6.5 PPG 4.0 RPG & 3.0 SPG give Lyons a powerful Starting Five.

“Last year we played outside in and focused on our perimeter game. We had the best player in the state, JC Walker on the wing and we played through him and our other wing players. This year we play inside out and through our Big Fella on offense and we really get after people defensively. This team is my best defensive team ever and it starts with our aggressive guards and forwards and a pretty good Eraser in the back in JJ,” Schott II said

“Some teams in our bracket have much improved records. I am familiar with a few of them. I have seen Pembroke a couple of times. Tyson Totten puts up good numbers and they are well coached,” Schott II added.

Lyons has victories over No.2 East-Rochester, No.4 Gananda and No.5 Sodus. Big Regular season victories over Marcus Whitman, Avon, Geneva and York.

No.2 seed East-Rochester (18-2) started the season 14-0 before losing a non-League game to Class A School of the Arts 48-45 and a 77-48 setback to Lyons. Sophomores Justice Allen & Ray Allen lead the Bombers Justice is averaging 12 points and 9 rebounds Ray is averaging 9 points and 6 rebounds across the Bombers’ last five games. Junior Captain Eli Tanner is a three-year starter and guided his Bombers to a 14-0 start. He leads the team on offense and defense; 13 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, 4.0 SPG, and gets in done in the classroom as well with a 97 GPA.

No.3 seed Pembroke (15-4) won Class C2 last season and returns high-scoring guard Tyson Totten, he’s averaging 26.4 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 3.9 APG, and is shooting 52% from the field. The Senior eclipsed Pembroke’s career scoring record earlier this season while leading the host Dragons to a 57-42 victory over Holley in Genesee Region League basketball action. Totten poured in 31 points for Coach Matt Shay’s team, it puts him over 1,200 points, moving him past 2023 graduate and teammate Cayden Pfalzer, who finished his career with 1,180 points.

No. 4 seed Gananda (15-5) has a great season their losses are to Lyons, East-Rochester twice, once in Overtime, Avoca-Prattsburgh and Wheatland-Chili. High-Scoring Senior Guard Miles Caviness and Freshman Cooper Grassell have been leading the way Caviness and Grassel each scored 27 points in a 71-69 victory over Red Jacket Twenty-one of Grassel’s points came in the third quarter and included all five of his three-pointers for the night, while Caviness was a perfect eight-for-eight from the free-throw line. On the season Caviness is averaging 21.1 PPG while Grassell is averaging 15.7 PPG. Sophomore Hunter Vogt is averaging 11.8 PPG. Caviness is shooting 86% from the Free Throw Line. Coach Jeff Thomson has won 329 games in his career.

Playing in the tough Livingston County Athletic Association No. 8 Geneseo (8-11) has played heavyweights York, Avon, Hornell & Leroy along with non-League games versus Canisteo-Greenwood, Fillmore and Alexander. So, their record is deceiving. Coach Gregg Heplers Blue Devils will be looking to play Bracket Buster. Junior Guard Jackson Willis leads the Offense with 17.4 PPG, Senior Kellen O’Brien chips in with 14.6 PPG. Sophomore Avery Hepler is averaging 8.6 PPG. O’Brien scored a career high 36 points versus York making a school Record 9 3-pointers.

Class B2

Defending Champion: Wellsville

Top Seed: Avon

Contenders: Canisteo-Greenwood, Attica, Leroy, Marcus Whitman

Sleeper: Wellsville

Championship Game: March 1st

Many of these teams were in Class C last season.

Avon (19-1) is the top seed and favorite in a very deep class,6-foot Senior Forward Michael Rowland averages 18 PPG & 11 RPG and “plays like he’s 6-foot-5” Rowland was forced to play the Big Man role since the team’s center tore his ACL in November, Rowland has excelled on both sides and guards their opponents “Big Man” He began his career as a guard and has evolved into one of the area’s best forwards for an Avon team with three Section Five titles in four straight Championship game appearances. Rowland recently became the school’s All-Time leading scorer. Avon lost to Northstar in the C1 Championship game last season 60-52. Juniors Josh Harter and Trevor Stroud lead the Backcourt Harter is averaging 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Stroud’s averages are 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Avon’s loss it to Lyons and has wins over York, Leroy, Hornell, Geneva & Wheatland-Chili.

No.2 Canisteo-Greenwood (17-2) has had its best season in years despite losing their first game of the season to Hornell. Sophomores Thomas Sirianni (10.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG) and Carson Chaffee (18.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG) lead the Chargers both Chaffee and Sirianni were named Steuben County First Team All-Stars along with Senior JJ Reese (13.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG) Reese will represent Steuben County in the Ronald McDonald All-Star game.

“The B2 bracket is a tough one. There are no easy games, the top seven teams are contenders. Avon is obvious the overall favorite, but it could be anyone’s title. As far as Avon, Whitman, Attica and Leroy, I have watched tape of them but haven’t seen them live. I get asked about those teams all of the time but we have other worries before we see any of them. It looks like our first sectional game could be either Wellsville or Rochester Academy. If people think that they can’t win then they don’t know what they are watching. Wellsville is a much better team now than they were at the start of the season. Rochester Academy has 7 wins but their schedule has them playing 4-class A, 2-AA, and 4-AAA schools,” Canisteo-Greenwood Coach Brad Hoyt said.

The No.3 seeded Marcus Whitman (14-6) Wildcats have played a brutal Schedule and are battle tested heading into Sectionals, their losses are to Lyons, Class A Newark, Class A Wayne twice Class A Geneva and Mynderse. They have victories over Newark, Batavia twice and Geneva. Juniors Brody Royston, (17.0 PPG) Logan Storms (11.0 PPG) and Myles Pendergast (11.0 PPG) lead the Wildcats. Storms can make it rain from 3-point land and Pendergast is a ferocious defender and rebounder. Royston does a little bit of everything.

“I’ve watched several games throughout the season of teams in B2 and it’s definitely going to be a competitive bracket. Avon has the guard play, Attica and Leroy have some big guys; Canisteo-Greenwood seems pretty balanced. I’m looking forward to all the matchups that could happen,” Marcus Whitman Coach Greg O’Connor said.

The No.4 seeded Attica (16-4) Blue Devils are having their best season in recent history and will be ready for a long sectional run. Seniors Clayton Bezon (14.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG) and Cole Harding (16.0 PPG, 13.0 RPG, 4.5 APG) lead the Blue Devils, the 6-foot-4 swingman Harding is a Genesee Region all-star, Harding also made the Batavia Lions Club all-tournament team. Harding has made over 115 career 3s and surpassed 1,000 career points in the regular season finale versus Holley. Senior Jack Janes has made 75 3s over his career; He’s averaging 16.0 PPG & 9 RPG. and Junior Carter Gorski (10.0 PPG) is a solid Role player. Losses are to Class A Batavia, Pembroke, Newfane (18-2) from Section VI and Byron-Bergen. Have Signature wins over Pembroke, Alexander, Wheatland-Chili, Batavia Notre-Dame and Byron-Bergen.

“This year’s B2 bracket is as top heavy as it has been in several years. Avon is fantastic, Canisteo-Greenwood plays a really nice brand of ball. Marcus Whitman is as steady on both sides of the ball as they come, and well organized. Leroy has its obvious matchup advantages in most games they play with some top-level talent in the section. Each one of those teams provides a different challenge because they are not alike. Each one of us in the top 5 are all quality teams who just do things a little differently. There won’t be an easy pass for anyone, that is for sure,” Attica Coach Rob Crowley said.

“We are really excited for sectionals. Great opportunity ahead of us and just looking to make the most of our chance,” Crowley added.

No.5 seeded Leroy (15-5) lost in the Championship game last season and bring back one of the top big men in Section Five in senior forward Merritt Holly who recently became the program’s all-time leading scorer surpassing Brendan Fulmer’s (1999-2003) mark of 1,554. Holly scored 21 points against Avon and needed just six points to break the record. He finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds, ending the night with 1,575 and counting. On the Season Holly is averaging 30.9 PPG, 12.7 RPG and is Shooting 63% from the Field. They’ve lost to Avon twice and lost to Class A Batavia, split with York and lost to Warsaw.

The Defending B2 Champion Wellsville (7-13) enters Sectionals in an unusual position, as the No.7 Seed they will play the underdog. You’re probably not going to find a better 7-13 team in Section Five. Most seasons they’re near the top. In fact, they’ve entered sectionals as the number one seed six times. Losses to AAA Corning from Section IV, Hornell, Bradford, PA, Attica, Allegany-Limestone & Olean. Juniors J.J Howard (16.0 PPG, 11.0 RPG) and Tyler Vogel (12.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG) lead the way for the Lions who could easily pull and upset or two and play for another Championship. Junior Aiden Cowburn (6.0 PPG & 5.0 APG) is also a Key Contributor. Senior Cooper Brockway is their shooting specialist and biggest 3-Point threat.

“I think B2 looks incredibly tough this year with several teams who could make a run. It’s nice to avoid some teams such as Avon or the bigs that LeRoy & Attica have, but Rochester Academy, Marcus-Whitman and Canisteo-Greenwood look as good as they have in years. We are just looking to win the next game in front of us and see how far we can extend this season. We won the last two titles as 4 seeds that could easily have been a 7 if one or two games go another way. We are just excited to compete for a chance at another memorable year,” Wellsville Coach Tom Muska said.

Class B1

Defending Champion: Newark

Top Seed: Hornell

Contenders: Mynderse, World of Inquiry

Sleeper: Livonia, Dansville

Championship Game: March 1st

Most of the teams in this bracket last season have moved to class A while the teams this season were in Class B2 last season.

Hornell (17-3) is the top seed with high scoring Senior Guard Gennaro Picco (24.0, 5.0 RPG, 4.0 APG) recently became the program’s all-time leading scorer Picco scored 18 points and didn’t play in the fourth quarter in an 81-38 win over visiting Pavilion. He needed just three points to break the previous mark of 1,375 career points. Heading into Sectionals Picco has scored 1,544 career points. Picco has scored at least 30 points three times, and scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter against rival Wellsville in the Barkley Showcase. He scored 40 in a LCAA Division 1 victory over Livonia. His younger brother P.J Picco (14.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.0 APG) a Junior and Sophomore Wyatt Evingham (9.0 PPG, 3.0 APG) are also key contributors for the Number one seed Red Raiders. Evingham is known for his defense but can score when needed. He also leads the team in charges taken. Junior Aaron McInerney (8.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG) is another key player for the Red Raiders. Hornell has played a tough schedule to help prepare them for Sectionals, defeating Canisteo-Greenwood, AAA Corning and Class C powerhouse York, while dropping games to Avon, Class A Newark and AAA Aquinas.

“Our sectional bracket is challenging for many reasons. First it has teams from many different counties. We have a few from the Finger Lakes such as Mynderse, Penn Yan, and Waterloo who have a very good league. There are a couple city teams in World of Inquiry and Greece Odyssey. Then there are opponents from our own league such as Livonia, Dansville, and Bath who know us quite well. They all present different problems for us that we will have to be prepared for. We have seen all the teams, but right now we are only focused on who we could possibly get from the No.8/No.9 game,” Hornell Coach Kirk Scholes said.

“We know we have to take it one game at a time and just play our best. We will prepare for each opponent as they come, but the biggest thing is just trying to be the best version of ourselves. We have many guys who are capable of having an impact and helping us through the tournament. We know it will take everybody working together as a team to accomplish the goal that we have set,” Scholes added.

Many of these teams were in Class C last season. 

Avon (19-1) is the top seed and favorite in a very deep class,6-foot Senior Forward Michael Rowland averages 16.6 PPG & 9.8 RPG and “plays like he’s 6-foot-5” Rowland was forced to play the Big Man role since the team’s center tore his ACL in November, Rowland has excelled on both sides and guards their opponents “Big Man” He began his career as a guard and has evolved into one of the area’s best forwards for an Avon team with three Section Five titles in four straight Championship game appearances. Rowland recently became the school’s All-Time leading scorer. Avon lost to Northstar in the C1 Championship game last season 60-52. Juniors Josh Harter and Trevor Stroud lead the Backcourt Harter is averaging 15.9 ppg, 4.7 RPG, 5.7 APG. Stroud’s averages are 17.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Avon’s loss it to Lyons and has wins over York, Leroy, Hornell, Geneva & Wheatland-Chili. 

“Our bracket is very challenging.  Canisteo, Attica, and Leroy are all big and athletic.  They will challenge us with their size and rebounding in the post.  Marcus Whitman has a very balanced team with great guard play and RAC is very skilled and has shooters all over the court.  We always just try and focus on the team in front of us and how to prepare the best we can for them each night.  We need to deal with the winner of Addison and Williamson before worrying about everyone else,” Avon Coach Rob Fries said.  

The Mynderse (12-8) Blue Devils from the Finger Lakes East are the No. 2 Seed have been getting production from Junior Center Alan Plummer (11.0 PPG) junior Guard Griffin Hilimire (10.0 PPG) Junior Guard Anthony Luffman (12.0 PPG) and Senior Guard Jake Prayne (12.0 PPG) in a 73-69 Overtime victory over World of Inquiry Plummer scored 22, Hilimire 18 & Prayne 11. Losses are All League Losses to Class A Wayne twice, Geneva, Pal-Mac, Newark and they split with Marcus Whitman.

“This is a Very tough bracket on both sides, we played World of Inquiry just a few weeks ago and have seen Hornell play. They are both very tough and athletic,” Mynderse Coach Pat Prayne said.

“It’s single elimination, every game, every practice could be your last there is an excitement in the gym. For fans, players and coaches. I also like seeing other teams, outside our league that may play a different style of basketball,” Prayne added

No.3 World of Inquiry (9-11) is another team with a deceiving record, playing AA and AAA City Schools in Rochester they’ve only played a handful of teams their size. The recently lost to Mynderse 73-69 in Overtime. Yacoub Tarawally The 6’4” senior power forward/center is averaging 13.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1 block per game. Junior guard Jaedon Adams-Griffin has been shouldering the load for the Griffins with his backcourt partner out with an injury. Adams-Griffin is closing in 1,000 career points, and is averaging 20.6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 2.0 blocks per game.

No.4 Livonia (10-10) is a dangerous team who just took Hornell to the Final minute with the Red Raiders winning 68-66. Senior Tommy Stewart leads the Bulldogs, he recently scored a team-high 21 points including four, 3-pointers as the visiting Bulldogs defeated Dansville 56-51 in LCAA D-I play. Senior guard Conner Feehan added 12 points while Junior Guard Nick Coyle and Senior Forward Jackson Cook both scored 10 points for the Bulldogs in the victory over Dansville. In the regular season finale over Bath Coyle scored 25 points and Cook scored 16. The Bulldogs finished the regular season on a three-game winning streak.

No.5 Dansville (9-11) plays in the Livingston County Athletic Association Division one and is another team that could make a run. Senior Point guard Zaidan Vandurme-Blackmon led the Mustangs with 15.4 PPG, unfortunately he was sidelined with an illness over Christmas break and wasn’t able to return. Small Forward Reese Dixon leads the Mustangs with 12.9 PPG Small Forward Reid Martin averages 8.8 PPG and 7.4 RPG. Playing Hornell Twice, Livonia Twice and Avon in the LCAA plus non-League games versus Canisteo-Greenwood, Marcus Whitam, Rochester Prep and Arkport-Canaseraga. The Mustangs could play the spoiler role.

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