March 6, 2020 Tim Birney

LONG ISLAND — Waverly senior Mike Atanasoff advanced to Saturday’s finals in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle sprints, while senior diver Gage Streeter saw his career come to an end here Friday in Day 1 of the New York State swimming & diving championships here at the Nassau County Aquatic Center.

Atanasoff posted the sixth fastest time in the 50-yard freestyle, clocking in at 21.39 seconds, and will swim in the championship finals on Saturday. He had the third-fastest times among public school competitors.

Atanasoff will swim in the consolation finals of the 100-yard freestyle. He finished 11th in a time of 47.12 seconds.

Atanasoff is the school-record holder in the 50 free in 21.29 seconds, and the 100 free in 46.97 seconds.

Streeter, who broke the school record in a second-place finish at the Section IV meet, finished 47th in the 1-meter diving competition with a five-dive score of 151.7 points.

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February 29, 2020 Tim Taylor

NEWARK VALLEY — Newark Valley held the Waverly offense in check early and gradually pulled away for a 55-37 victory in the Section IV Class B girls basketball playoffs here Saturday evening.

The unbeaten Cardinals, ranked fourth in the state, grabbed a 12-6 lead after one quarter of action on the strength of four points from Mackenna Nechwedowich, and one 3-pointer each by Bri Beebe and Kendra Morris. Sidney Tomasso had four of the Wolverines' points.

Allie Wandell scored half of NV's second-quarter points as it built a 28-18 lead at the half. Gracie Gardner added four more. Paige Lewis sank four free throws to pace Waverly in the period.

The Cardinals came out of the break and threw down a trio of treys, by Beebe, Hannah Ferguson and Taylor Benjamin, to increase their lead to 41-28 heading into the final frame. Ferguson had five of NV's points. Lourden Benjamin had a three for Waverly.

Ferguson would knock down two more threes in the fourth quarter and Beebe added another, giving both players three apiece. The Wolverines received a trey from Emma Adams, and three points apiece from Tomasso and Lewis.

Tomasso led the Waverly scoring effort with 11 points. Lewis had nine, going 5-for-7 at the free throw line. Adams and Benjamin contributed five points each; Kennedy Westbrook recorded three, and Gretchen Sowle and Gianna Picco tacked on two apiece.

NV had four players score in double figures, including a pair of double-doubles. Nechwedowich blocked 12 shots and scored 10 points while Wandell pulled down 13 rebounds to go with 10 points. Nechwedowich also contributed seven boards, two assists and two steals, and Wandell had a blocked shot.

Ferguson had 11 points, five boards, three steals and two assists; and Beebe added 12 points and four rebounds. Morris pitched in with four points and three assists; Gracie Gardner had four points and a block, Taylor Benjamin added three points and a block; and Makana Gardner had one point and two blocks.

Waverly ends the season with a 15-5 record.

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February 29, 2020 Tim Birney

ALBANY — Waverly senior Ethan Stotler dropped a hard-fought decision in the semifinals, but bounced back for a fourth-place finish here Saturday afternoon in the 160-pound bracket at the New York State Division 2 Championships at the Times-Union Center.

“I am super-proud of Ethan,” said Waverly coach Devan Witman. “He came in here with a goal, and we didn’t quite get there, but that doesn’t take anything away from this tournament.

He did an awesome job (Friday), and he did a good job today.

“Ethan had an amazing season, and a great career, especially considering where he came from in 7th- and 8th-grade,” added Witman. “To place fourth here, in one of the toughest weight classes, is just awesome.”

Stotler, the 11th seed, dropped a 4-1 decision to second-seeded Eden senior Giovanni Schifano, in a match shrouded by a bit of controversy.

Schifano scored a takedown midway through the first period to take a 2-0 lead, and rode out the final 57 seconds of the period.

Schifano chose bottom to start the second period, and twice Stotler was penalized one point for an illegal slam on a mat return to extend Schifano’s lead to 4-1

Witman disagreed on both calls.

“It’s not a trapped arm if you don’t lock your hands,” said Witman. “The first time, he never left his feet, and (the official) called it an illegal slam, even though he returned him the way you’re suppose to. But, his head slapped off the mat and made it look worse than it was. I think that’s why they got the call.

“The second time is was a full-on lift and return to the shoulder, it wasn’t on top of the head,” he noted. “Everything was legal.

“Obviously the officials did not agree with me, and there’s nothing I could do about it, but I thought it was a poor job of officiating,” Witman added.

Witman notes it wasn’t just about the two points.

“It’s a huge change in the dynamics of the match,” he said. “It’s 4-0, instead of 2-0, and now we’re questioning whether we go top or bottom. It changes everything.”

Schifano rode Stotler for the majority of the third period, before the Waverly senior escaped for his only point in the match.

“(Schifano) was certainly tough on top,” said Witman. “If you’re going to wrestle at this level, you have to be able to get off the bottom.

“And, things certainly weren’t going our way with the calls,” he added.

In the consolation semifinals, Stotler ran into sixth-seeded Justin Smith of Marcus Whitman / Penn Yan. Stotler pinned Smith in 5:33 in the opening round.

After a scoreless first period, Smith scored a takedown 15 seconds into the second period, Stotler reversed him 25 seconds later to make it 2-2.

Stotler chose bottom to start the third period, and finally shook free from Smith with 6 seconds remaining for a 3-2 win.

“Ethan kept working hard on the bottom, and finally got his point,” said Witman.

In the third-place match, fifth-seed Andrew Englerth, who was 49-0 prior to a semi-final loss to top seed Jacob Null of Dolgeville, dominated Stotler in an 18-3 technical fall in 3:43.

“(Englerth’s) counters were on-point in that match,”” said Witman.

“Ethan got deep in on legs, and instead of following through, he was pulling back, and (Englerth) was able to suck in underhooks and take Ethan to his back three times,” added Witman.

Stotler wrapped up his senior season with a 44-3 record, and finished his career with 177 wins.

“It’s been him, to rebuild this program,” said Witman. “We get a lot of compliments on how far we’ve come, but really Ethan has to take a lot of that credit because he stuck with us when he was the only returning wrestler.

“He continued to get better year in, and year out,” added Witman. “Kids are going to follow that, he was a leader on our team for four years.”

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February 28, 2020 Tim Birney

ONEONTA — Senior Scott Woodring closed out his high school career with another monster double-double, but it wasn’t enough as fourth-seeded Oneonta ousted fifth-seeded Waverly from the Section IV, Class B boys basketball playoffs with a 65-53 win here Friday night.

Woodring, who knocked down 16 of 24 shots from the field, poured in 36 points, and pulled down 13 rebounds. Woodring finished the season with a single-season school-record 552 points.

“Scotty was huge tonight against a very good Oneonta big (man) inside,” said Waverly coach Lou Judson. “(Scotty) just manhandled their inside game tonight. He was dominant, and played one of his best games from the field. He was very efficient.

“He went out and ended his career on a high note,” noted Judson. “I can’t say enough about Scotty … he’s a class act. He goes about his business and is a leader.

“I know he’s going to do special things at the next level because of his work ethic, and his dedication to basketball and in the classroom,” he added.

It’s the fourth time in Judson’s tenure the Wolverines have had their season end in the postseason at Oneonta.

“Oneonta is good. They are really good on their home floor. It’s a very tough place to play,” said Judson.

Oneonta closed the first quarter with five straight points to take a 20-12 lead.

“To be honest, I subbed out some of our starters, and I don’t know if they weren’t ready to play, or the moment was a little too big,” said Judson of the mini-run to end the first quarter.

“We’re young and inexperienced at certain positions, and that kind of got us tonight,” he noted.

“(Oneonta) had an experienced point guard who made plays when they needed them, and we had some inexperienced guys commit some turnovers at inopportune times that hurt us,” Judson added. “We couldn’t maintain any type of momentum we had.”

The Yellowjackets stretched their advantage to 38-25 at the half, but Waverly chipped away at the lead in the second half

Woodring, who had 18 points in the first half, pumped in 11 points, including a 3-pointer, in the third quarter, and 8th-grader Joey Tomasso knocked down a 3-pointer in a 19-13 run that trimmed the deficit to 51-44 entering the final eight minutes.

The Wolverines trimmed the Oneonta lead to five points early in the final stanza, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Kevin Kurkowski and Graham Wooden pushed the lead to 11 points.

“We played a very good third quarter,” said Judson.

“We were playing great defense … they had a broken play, and a loose ball rolls to one of their role players (Kevin Kurkowski) and he hits a 3,” said Judson.

“We go down court and don’t score,” added Judson. “(Oneonta) goes down and hits another 3 (Graham Wooden), and that’s pretty much the nail in the coffin.”

“We had our chances, we just didn’t make enough plays down the stretch,” said Judson.

Tomasso had seven points, four assists, and three rebounds in the win, while junior Aidan Westbrook added four points, three rebounds, and two assists, and junior Peyton Bowen chipped in with three rebounds, three assists, and one blocked shot.

Wooden led Oneonta with 24 points, while Zyeir Lawrence added 16 points, and Khi Aitchison added 14, including a trio of 3-pointers.

The Wolverines finish off the season at 15-6.

“Before the season, I always write down what I think our record will be, and I was very close,” said Judson. “I would've liked to have thought we would win our division, and overall league title. We were probably one possession away from that happening.

“It was a special season. The kids played extremely hard.

“I’d say the key moments were beating Athens in the Valley Christmas Tournament, and playing in front of some big crowds against Watkins Glen at home late in the season,” added Judson.

The longtime Waverly coach believes the future is bright for the Wolverines.

“I’d like to see some of our guards on the perimeter develop an overall game, from shooting to making some individual moves, and making plays off the bounce,” he said.

“I think we have some kids coming through the JV program that will help there as well.

“I look forward to the next couple years. I think we have some nice pieces that will fit in nicely with what we have returning,” added Judson.

Woodring isn’t the only senior Judson will miss.

“It’s bittersweet because we’re losing Scotty and Jalen (McCarty), who just three years ago was wrestling and who has made himself into a very good basketball player at the high school level,” noted Judson. “He’s a tenacious defender.”

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February 28, 2020 Tim Birney

ALBANY — After a slow start in his opening-round match, Waverly senior Ethan Stotler, the 11th-seed at 160 pounds, left little doubt in the quarterfinals of the 160-pound bracket, decking third-seeded Onteora junior Pat Ross in 67 seconds to advance to Saturday’s semifinals at the New York State Division 2 Championships at the Times-Union Center.

“Before he went out (on the mat), I told him ‘I need 12th-grade Ethan, not 8th-grade Ethan,’ and that’s what I got,” said Waverly coach Devan Witman.

“In the first match, he looked like 8th-grade Ethan for the first two periods, and I’ll attribute that to nerves,” he noted. “In the third period, though, he pulled it together.

“This time, he was cool, calm, and collected,” added Witman. “We were joking around while we were waiting for the opponent’s coach to get in the corner. Right then, I knew he was calmed down, and he was ready.”

The bout was delayed about five minutes while Ross waited for one of his coaches, who were busy coaching Ross’s brothers — junior Nick at 152 pounds, and senior Nate at 170 pounds — on two other mats.

Stotler made quick work of Ross, hitting on a takedown 24 seconds into the bout, and locking up a cradle, and maneuvering it into a fall at 1:07.

“He hit the shot right off the whistle, like he told me he was going to,” said Witman. “He didn’t get it, but nothing hurt.

“He hit one more, didn’t get it. Tried another, and it works. You just have to stay active, let them work — that’s what we drill for,” Witman added.

Witman noted Stotler was actually patient in getting to his cradle.

“Being on top, and getting that cradle is definitely something Ethan has become very good at.

“I knew (Ross) was pretty explosive off bottom,” said Witman. “(Ross) hit that switch, and Ethan’s arms are just so long he wrapped him up with that tight waist … once (Ross) starting turning in I knew it was time because that’s what Ethan is looking for. He wraps his long arms around his head and knee, and once he gets his hands locked there aren’t many people who can get out of that cradle.

“This one was a bit awkward,” noted Witman. “He didn’t get the cradle locked right away. He had the head and arm encircled and was pulling it to his knee. When he let go to try and get the leg, (Ross) kind of blasted into him a little, almost like a double.

“Ethan reacted really well, put pressure back into him, pulled the head to the knee, so he could lock up the cradle,” added Witman.

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February 28, 2020 Tim Birney

ALBANY — Waverly senior Ethan Stotler had faith in his cradle, and it paid off in a third-period pin of Marcus Whitman / Pen Yan senior Justin Smith in the opening round of the 160-pound bracket here Friday morning at the New York State Division 2 Championships at the Times-Union Center.

Smith, the sixth seed, scored a pair of first-period takedowns, and another midway through the second period to build a 6-1 lead.

Stotler, the 11th seed, scored a reversal with just 3 seconds remaining in the second period to trim the deficit to 6-3, and that seemed to spark the Waverly senior.

“He has incredible grit, you can never count him out,” said Waverly coach Devan Witman.

Stotler chose down to start the third period, and scored an escape to make it 6-4. Just nine seconds later, he scored on a double-leg takedown to tie the bout at 6-6, but was whistled for a “locked hands” violation to give Smith a 7-6 lead with 1:09 remaining.

Stotler chose not to cut Smith loose, instead he cinched up his cradle for a fall with 28 seconds remaining.

“Give credit to him, I asked him if we should take it back to the feet when we were down one … cut him to go down two and look for the takedown, but he shook his head no and said, ‘I’m gonna pin this kid,” and that’s exactly what he did,” said Witman.

“He knew where he was at, and where he’s at his best,” added Witman. “He had a minute to work and go after it, and he got it done.”

Witman noted the cradle is somewhat new to Stotler’s arsenal.

“He has really developed that move in the last year-and-a-half. He started working on it last year .. he’s doing a great job with it.

“His arms are so long, and he’s put in so much time in the weight room,” said Witman.

“Those arms are like anaconda coming around your neck,” added Witman. “I’ve been in that position, and it’s not pleasant.

Stotler, now 42-1, will now face Onteora junior Pat Ross (36-3) in the quarterfinals.

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February 22, 2020 Tim Birney

WATKINS GLEN — Sophomore Kaden Wheeler recorded four top-three finishes, and senior Mike Atanasoff and junior Ryan Bennett each had four top-six finishes to lead Waverly to third place in the team standings here Saturday at the Section IV, Class B boys swimming championships.

The Wolverines will advance two athletes to the New York State Championships at the Nassau County Aquatic Center on Long Island on March 6-7.

Atanasoff hit the state cut in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle sprints during the season, thus qualifying for both events, and senior diver Gage Streeter is also headed to States by virtue of topping the state cut at Thursday’s Section IV Diving Championships.

The Wolverines, who dominated the Class C meet last year, turned in a solid performance, according to longtime coach Dave Mastrantuono.

"Third place overall in Class B, which is a huge step up from last year when we dominated the Class C meet, so obviously this is an entirely different meet,” he said. “Going in, we believed that we could be a top-three team and we did that.

“Our 500 free guys, and our 50 free guys scored a lot of team points for us,” noted Mastrantuono. “They were big for us.

"We did not have our best performances throughout all the events, but overall a very solid team performance,” added Mastrantuono.

Wheeler placed second in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.89 seconds, and Bennett was fifth at 58.95 seconds. Junior Dillon Madigan finished 16th in 1:07.39.

Wheeler placed third in the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 1:00.07, and Atanasoff was sixth in 1:03.11. Freshman Jerrell Sackett finished 13th in a time of 1:09.21.

Atanasoff finished second in the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 22.13 seconds, and Bennet was third in a time of 22.93 seconds. Sackett finished 11th in 25.33 seconds.

The foursome of Wheeler, Atanasoff, Bennett, and Sackett placed second in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 1:32.52.

Wheeler, Atanasoff, and Bennett teamed with Brandon Clark to finish third in the 400-yard freestyle relay in a time of 3:30.21.

Freshman Oscar Williams placed fourth in the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 5:26.99, and  junior Collin Keefer finished sixth in 5:28.62. Eighth-grader Liam Wright was 13th in a time of 5:43.23.

Williams finished ninth in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 2:02.88, while Keefer was 11th in 2:04.23, and senior Nick Janzen was 14th in 2:07.42.

Brandon Clark teamed with Sackett, freshman Ryan Clark, and junior Max Pan to finish sixth in the 200-yard medley relay in a time of of 1:55.27.

Brandon Clark finished 10th in the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 56.34 seconds, and Janzen was 11th in 56.43 seconds.

Pan finished 13th in the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:1705, and Ryan Clark was 14th in the 200-yard IM in a time of 2:28.13.

Despite a large group of seniors, Mastrantuono expects the Wolverines to return a strong unit.

"We've got a lot of talent coming back next year, although we do lose five seniors,” he said. “That's the most seniors we've had in quite a few years, but we have a lot of underclassmen who are very, very strong."

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February 22, 2020 Tim Birney

WAVERLY — Freshman Victoria Houseknecht was less than 50 pins away from a berth at States here Saturday at the Section IV State Qualifier at the Valley Bowling Center.

Houseknecht finished 13th in the field of 55 bowlers, rolling a nine-game set of 1,757, while 8th-grader Rachel Houseknecht was 37th with a 1,587.

Victoria Houseknecht rolled a 564 series at the Class C Championships last weekend at Midway Lanes in Vestal that carried over to the State Qualifier. On Saturday, she rolled series of 612, which included a 253, and 585.

Rachel Houseknecht, who had a 530 last weekend, rolled series of 484 and 573 on Saturday.

Union-Endicott won the Division 1 team title, topping Elmira by 85 pints, while Maine-Endwell will represent Division 2 at the state tournament after topping runner-up Hancock by 99 pins.

Susquehanna Valley’s Lyndsie Jicha won individual gold at the State Qualifier with a nine-game set of 2,062, while Hancock’s Breanna Gleim won silver with a 2,015, and U-E’s Ashley Cicciareli won the bronze medal with a 1,985.

Jicha and Gleim will be joined on the Section IV all-star team by Lindsay VanAlstyne of Horseheads, Erin Howard of Greene, Alex Hutchings of Elmira, and Melissa Sturdevant of Corning.

The New York State Championships will be held at Strike ’N Spare Lanes in Syracuse March 13-15.

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February 22, 2020 Tim Birney

WAVERLY — Six-eight Waverly senior Scott Woodring, who had a potentially historic season derailed by a knee injury last year, bounced back this season to average a double-double and earn MVP honors in the IAC South Large School Division.

Eighth-grader Joey Tomasso and junior Aiden Westbrook received second-team all-star honors for the Wolverines.

Woodring, an athletic low-post player who can handle the ball and knock down the 3-pointer, as well as dominate in the blocks, averaged 25.8 points and 14.9 rebounds per game. He also averaged 2.2 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.

Woodring shot 56.9 percent from the field, and 69 percent from the free-throw line. He also had 10 3-pointers and shot 32.3 percent from behind the 3-point arc.

Woodring averaged 32.7 points and 16.9 rebounds per game through the first seven games of the 2018-19 season before suffering a season-ending knee injury.


Watkins Glen’s Isaac McIlroy and Owen Scholtisek headlined the first team. They are joined by Edison’s Jack Shaw, Notre Dame’s Brody Nemeir, and Newark Valley’s Donovin Beebe.

Joey Tomasso, 8th-grader, Waverly:
Poised beyond his years, Tomasso averaged 6.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.7 steals per game in his first varsity campaign. He knocked down 24 3-pointers and shot 33 percent from behind the 3-point arc.

Aiden Westbrook, junior, Waverly:
Athletic and energetic, Westbrook averaged 5.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. He shot 46.5 percent from the field.

Also named to the second team were Watkins Glen’s Mitchell Pike, Max Evans, and Adam Pastore, and Notre Dame’s Adam Ward and Joe Sheehan.

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February 21, 2020 Tim Birney

WAVERLY — Junior Matt Mauersberg finished in the top 20 to lead Waverly’s efforts at the Section IV State Qualifier here Friday. The Wolverines finishes fifth in the Division 2 team standings.

Hancock won the Division 2 title with a nine-game set of 3,355, topping runner-up Maine-Endwell by 105 pins. Waverly tallied 3,072 pins.

Mauersberg, who had a 592 that carried over from last week’s Class C Championship, rolled series of 652 series, and 660 for a nine-game set of 1,904 to finish 15th in the Division 2 individual standings. Mauersberg missed out on the final spot on the state team by 41 pins.

Freshman Zach Vanderpool, who had a 568 series last weekend, rolled series of 639 and 657 for a nine-game set of 1,874 to finish 22nd overall, and senior Derrick Canfield, who had a 530 at the Class C Championships, rolled series of 653 and 681 for a nine-game set of 1,864 to finish 24th overall.

Freshman Ashton Pritchard, who led the Wolverines with a 598 series last weekend, rolled a 651 series, and rolled two games of 327 for an eight-game set of 1,576.

Freshman Richard Stevens rolled four games for a 726, and freshman Ethan Roberts rolled a 149 in his only game.

Binghamton’s Tyler McNeill won the individual gold medal with a nine-game set of 2,224, while Hancock’s Anton Leonard won the silver medal with a 2,152, and Maine-Endwell’s Noah McNeill won the bronze with a 2,018.

The McNeills will be joined on the Section IV all-star team by Norwich’s Cameron Birtch, Greene’s Jakob Funnell, Maine-Endwell’s Liam Hadfield, and Susquehanna Valley’s James Pittsley. Binghamton’s Austin Murray is the alternate.

The New York State Championships will be held at Strike ’N Spare Lanes in Syracuse March 13-15.

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February 21, 2020 Tim Birney

WAVERLY — Waverly junior Sidney Tomasso was named the IAC South Large School Division MVP, and freshman Kennedy Westbrook was a first-team all-star selection in recent voting by the division’s coaches.

Seniors Morgan Adams and Paige Lewis received honorable mention recognition.

Tomasso, a smooth-shooting well-rounded player, led the Lady Wolverines with 19.8 points per game, and also scored her 1,000th career point in the final regular-season game.

Tomasso also averaged 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 deflections, 4 steals, and 1 block per game. She shot 85 percent from the free throw line.

Kennedy Westbrook, freshman, Waverly:
Westbrook averaged 10 points, 5 assists, 4 steals, 3 rebounds, and 2 deflections per game in her first varsity season.

Also named to the first team were a trio of players from unbeaten division champ Newark Valley in junior Mackenna Nechwedowich, and sophomore Hannah Ferguson and Grace Gardner, as well as Notre Dame junior Kahlia Rivera.

Newark Valley juniors Brianna Beebe and Allie Wandell headline the second-team selections, and are joined by Edison’s Makayla Bush, Notre Dame senior Taylor VanDine, and Watkins Glen senior Adrienna Solomon.

Honorable Mention
Paige Lewis, senior, Waverly: Lewis averaged 7 points and 7 rebounds per game, as well as 2 steals, 2 deflections, 1 assist, and 1 block per game. She also shot 72 percent from the free-throw line.

Morgan Adams, senior, Waverly: Adams averaged 8 points and 5 rebounds per game, as well as 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 deflection per game. She has also drawn a team-high seven charges.

Also receiving honorable mention recognition are Newark Valley’s Kendra Morris, Edison’s Peyton Littlefield, Notre Dame’s Maddie Watts and Ellie Mustico, and Watkins Glen’s Kelsey Kernan and Aisling Klemann.

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February 20, 2020 Tim Birney

ENDWELL — Waverly senior Gage Streeter was not ready for his high school career to come to an end, and he kept it going in record-setting and dramatic fashion.

The Wolverine diver scored more than 100 points on his final two dives to end the 1-meter diving competition with 454.85 points, surpassing the State cut of 450 and qualifying for States at the Section IV Diving Championships here Thursday afternoon at Maine-Endwell High School.

In the process, Streeter, who finished second on the day, broke his own school record of 449.6 points, which he set here last year. It was a bittersweet record last year as Streeter missed the state cut of 450 by just 0.4 points.

After nine dives Thursday, Streeter had 350.5 points. On his 10th dive, he scored 51.5 points to up his total to 402.

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February 19, 2020 Tim Taylor

OWEGO — Waverly will be well-represented in the individual "A" finals at the Section IV Class B Boys Swimming & Diving Championships Saturday following top-eight showings in the preliminaries here Wednesday. The Wolverines will also have a pair of relays competing for titles.

Individually, Mike Atanasoff, Ryan Bennett and Kaden Wheeler qualified for "A" finals in two events apiece while Collin Keefer and Oscar Williams advanced to one "A" final each.

The top eight individuals qualify for the "A" finals and 9th-16th place individuals advance to the "B" finals. The top eight relays also move on.

Wheeler posted a pair of runner-up showings with times of 55.47 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly and 59.44 seconds in the 100 backstroke.

Atanasoff was second in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.18 seconds and fifth in the 100 back in 1:01.83.

Bennett was fourth in the 50 free in 23.49 seconds and fifth in the 100 fly with a time of 58.8 seconds.

In the 500 free, Keefer took fourth, clocking 5:29.16, and Williams was eighth in 5:35.41.

The Wolverines were runners-up in the 200 and 400 free relays as well. Bennett, Jerrell Sackett, Wheeler and Atanasoff clocked 1:31.63 in the 200 free, just 0.26 seconds behind Chenango Valley's winning quartet. Wheeler, Ryan Clark, Bennett and Atanasoff posted a time of 3:34.08 in the 400 free relay, trailing only CV.

Waverly also advanced in the 200 medley relay as Dillon Madigan, Max Pan, and Ryan and Brandon Clark placed seventh in 2:03.09.

Several Wolverines will be moving on to compete in "B" finals.

In the 200 free, Oscar Williams was ninth (2:04.3), Collin Keefer placed 10th (2:04.14) and Nick Janzen took 15th (2.10.25).

Ryan Clark placed 16th (2:31.85 ) in the 200 individual medley.

Sackett (24.9 seconds) and Brandon Clark (25.04 seconds) took 10th and 11th, respectively, in the 50 free.

Madigan finished 14th (1:07.89) in the 100 fly.

Brandon Clark took 10th (54.89 seconds) in the 100 free and Janzen placed 13th (56.69 seconds).

Liam Wright touched the wall 13th in the 500 free (5:48.56).

Sackett placed 12th (1:06.76) in the 100 back.

The finals will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. at Watkins Glen.

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February 18, 2020 Tim Birney

WAVERLY — With newly-minted 1,000-point scorer junior Sidney Tomasso on the bench after fouling out, senior Paige Lewis canned a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation to force overtime, but Vestal proved too much in the extra session, pulling out a 69-65 win here Tuesday evening in non-league girls basketball action.

Tomasso fouled out with 12.9 seconds remaining, and Emma Lewis made one of two free throws to give Vestal a 62-59 lead.

After a Waverly 3-point attempt came up short, the ball was batted toward the Lady Wolverine bench. Lewis retrieved the loose ball, turned and fired up a shot, hitting nothing-but net with 3.1 seconds remaining to tie the game at 62-62.

“Paige (Lewis) having the wherewithal to take that shot at the end, which we desperately needed … it was certainly exciting when it went in,” said Waverly coach Bob Kelly. “It was a pretty cool moment.

“It’s been a while since we played an overtime game,” he added.

In overtime, Vestal made seven of 11 free-throw attempts, with Emma Lewis converting four of six, to pull out the win.

Sophomore Olivia Nittinger drained a 3-pointer late in the extra session to pull Waverly within two, at 67-65, but Donlin iced the game with a pair of free throws with 6.5 seconds remaining.

The Lady Wolverines, who wrap up the regular season at 15-4, were one night removed from a 65-31 win over Class AA Ithaca, and Kelly said playing on back-to-back nights made a difference.

“It definitely had an impact. I know they’re young kids, but last night’s game was a hard-fought battle.

“I think early on, you could see the fatigue in us, but our girls battled,” said Kelly. “I’m proud of them.  Going into Sectionals, this was just the kind of effort I wanted to see.”

Prior to Tuesday’s loss, Waverly had picked up wins over Binghamton and Ithaca in the last four days.

“I think it can only help us,” said Kelly. “These teams have been physical, and we’ve had to match that physicality. For the most part, we have.

“Today, we were just a step behind at times,” he added. “There were some balls today, 50-50 balls, that we didn’t get, but I expect next week we will get.”

Vestal jumped out to a 15-9 lead after the first eight minutes, but for the second time in as many nights, Tomasso knocked down four 3-pointers in one quarter, this time in a 27-13 blitz that gave the Lady Wolverines a 36-28 lead at the half.

Tomasso’s third 3-pointer of the second quarter made her the ninth member of Waverly’s 1,000-point club. She joins Katie Histed, Rachel Sheppard, Rebecca Baker, Sabrina Bowman, Elle Nittinger, Jill Stolicker, Kelly Thomas, and her sister Alex Tomasso, who accomplished the feat last January, in the elite club.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Kelly. “It’s a testament to her hard work. With the help of her teammates, getting her in the right spots, and her having the guts to take those shots, and knock them down is pretty exciting.

“She been on quite a tear lately,” added Kelly. “It’s a nice accomplishment. I’m proud of her, and the teammates who have helped her to get to that milestone.”

With Donlin scoring nine points, and Lewis five in the third quarter, Vestal used a 16-10 spurt to trim the deficit to 46-44 entering the final eight minutes.

Vestal had five different players score in the fourth quarter, and led by as many as six points in the final stanza, but {age Lewis scored nine points and freshman Kennedy Westbrook added four to rally the Lady Wolverines.

“Their size gave us trouble, there’s no doubt about it,” said Kelly. “So, we tried to pack it in, and I thought we took that away in the second half, then (Madelyn Donlin) decided to shoot lights out — she knocked down a lot of big shots.

“I liked how we battled, and how we fought back, though,” added Kelly. “There’s a lot of promise there. It’s just the type of game we want to see before we go into Sectionals.”

Tomasso led Waverly with 24 points, including six 3-pointers, while Lewis scored 17 points, including a pair of 3-pointers and a 9-for-10 performance for the free-throw line, Nittinger added six points on a pair of 3-pointers, and senior Gianna Picco chipped in with five points.

Donlin led Vestal with 23 points, while Lewis scored 21, and Olivia Muse added nine.

Waverly now awaits word on its opening-round opponent in next week’s Section IV, Class B playoffs.

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February 18, 2020 Tim Birney

WAVERLY — Watkins Glen used a 16-3 run in a 7-minute span that bridged the first and second quarters to take a 10-point lead, and never saw its advantage dip below five points the remainder of the game on its way to a 60-50 win over Waverly here Tuesday night in a divisional playoff for the IAC South Large School boys basketball title.

The Senecas won 53-48 at Waverly two weeks ago to force Tuesday’s playoff game.

“To beat them down here twice in one season takes some character from your kids,” said Watkins Glen coach John Fazzary. “They stepped up to the challenge tonight.”

Six-eight senior Scott Woodring scored back-to-back buckets early in the first quarter to give Waverly a 4-2 lead, and a driving lay-up by junior Peyton Bowen gave the Wolverines their biggest lead of the game, at 9-4 ,with 4:01 remaining in the first quarter.

Isaac McIlroy canned a 3-pointer for the Senecas to trim the deficit to 9-7, but junior Griffen Stein answered for the Wolverines to make it 12-7 with 2:55 remaining in the first quarter.

At that point, the Senecas took control of the game with a patient “spread offense.”

“We did spread them out,” said Watkins Glen coach John Fazzary. “We have some quick guys who can get to the basket, but once you get there you have to make the right play. Do you have enough room to get to the rim? Or, does it close down and you have to pull up and shoot the mid-range shot, or do you kick it out for a 3?

“We did a pretty good job making those decisions tonight once we got in there,” noted Fazzary.

“Our team played well offensively tonight, better than we did the first two games against them,” he added.

After buckets by Owen Scholtisek and Adam Pastore trimmed the deficit to 12-11, Bowen scored on another driving lay-up to give the Wolverines a 14-11 lead with 1:29 remaining left in the opening stanza.

Pastore drained on a 3-pointer with 1:05 remaining, then gave the Senecas a 16-14 lead with about a minute later with a driving lay-up.

Stein tied the game with a baseline drive just 12 seconds into the second quarter, but Pastore scored the first four points, and Scholtisek the last four in a 10-1 run that gave the Senecas a 27-17 lead with 2:34 remaining in the first half.

“Watkins Glen is a very good team,” said Waverly coach Lou Judson. “They’re 17-2 for a reason.

“They have a senior shooting guard / point guard (Isaac McIlory), who is one of the best guards in the IAC, and they have point guard Owen Scholtisek, who has been on varsity for three years now,” he noted. “You can’t rattle them, they are a very good backcourt.

“And, they have weapons all over the floor,” Judson added. “If their guards can get by you, and they can get by you because they are quick, you have to help a little bit, and they make you pay.”

The Senecas also limited Woodring, who hauled down 18 rebounds, to 15 points. More impressively, they limited Woodring to just 11 shots from the field.

“Playing a team a third time, you become very familiar with your opponent,” said Judson. “I knew they were going to front Scotty in the post, and have someone over the backside, and that we were going to have to move the ball quickly to get open shots.

“They did what they needed to do against (Scotty),” he added.

“We know Scotty (Woodring) is their go-to guy, and (Joey) Tomasso is their best shooter,” said Fazzary. “We know they have a couple other guys can make shots here and there … we knew we were going to sag in, but we were not going to leave Tomasso to do it.

"Jake DeJong did a super job on Scotty," noted Fazzary. "It had to be one of his lowest point totals of the season.

“We made enough plays, we got some deflections and steals, and got some easy lay-ups, which helped,” added Fazzary.

Watkins Glen stretched its lead to 30-19 late in the second quarter, but Tomasso knocked down a long 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to trim the deficit to 30-22.

Any momentum the Wolverines may have had to open the second half went out the window on an errant pass that Pastore turned into an uncontested lay-up just 25 seconds into third quarter to push the lead back to 10 points.

“When we made a run, whether it was a 4-0 run or a 6-0 run, we would always shoot ourselves in the foot with a turnover,” said Judson. “We could never keep the momentum on our side.

“We made a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes throughout the entire game,” he added.

Waverly trimmed the lead to six points, at 39-33, with 2:02 remaining in the third quarter, after Bowen scored and was fouled on a driving lay-up. Woodring rebounded Bowen’s miss on the free throw, then rebounded his own miss and scored on a putback to complete the four-point play for the Wolverines.

Moments later, however, Michell Pike was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer, and drained all three free throws to push the lead back to nine points, at 42-33, with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter.

Senior Jalen McCarty drained a 3-pointer in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter to pull the Wolverines back within six, at 44-38, but Pike answered with a 3-pointer just 30 seconds later to make it 47-38.

The Senecas took their biggest lead at 51-38 with 5:45 left in the game, and led 53-40 a minute later.

Moments later, junior Ryan Lambert scored on a scoop shot in a crowded lane to make it 53-42, and McCarty made the Senecas pay for a turnover with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 53-45 with 4:06 remaining in the game.

Leading 55-45, Watkins Glen missed the front end of back-to-back one-and-ones, and the Wolverines made them pay. Woodring made two free throws after the first miss, and then knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner after the second miss to close the gap to 55-50 with 49 seconds remaining in the contest.

“I’ll tell you what, (Waverly) never dies,” said Fazzary. “We missed those free throws, and gave them a chance to come back … we were up 10 with a little over a minute left, and with 49 seconds left, it was down to five, and the crowd was getting loud.

“We couldn’t make a free throw, but we forced a couple turnovers and finished it off,” he added.

The Senecas made just 5 of 11 free-throw attempts in the final eight minutes, but made 5 of 8 in the final 40 seconds to nail down the win.

“I was extremely pleased with how we competed down the stretch,” said Judson. “We could have easily lost that game by 18 or 20 points. We competed right to the end, even when we didn’t have our best.”

Bowen had 11 points, four rebounds, and two assists for the Wolverines.

“We’re always looking for guys to step up and be that second or third scorer for us, and I was really pleased with how Peyton Bowen stepped up tonight offensively,’ said Judson. “It was by far his best game of the season, and hopefully, he can continue to be aggressive offensively for us because we’re going to need it in Sectional play.”

McCarty had six points and four rebounds for the Wolverines, while Tomasso scored six points, Stein added five points, and junior Aidan Westbrook grabbed seven boards.

McIlroy led the Senecas with 18 points, five assists, four rebounds, and four steals, while Pastore scored 18 points, Scholtisek had 10 points, three rebounds, and three assists, and DeJong added eight points, nine rebounds, and four assists.

Waverly now awaits word on its opponent for the opening round of the Section IV, Class B playoffs, which begins next week, while Watkins Glen takes on Whitney Point Friday night in the overall IAC Large School championship game at Tompkins-Cortland Community College.

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