Five games on tap for Saturday’s showcase at Wayland-Cohocton

Upper left: Plattsburgh’s Mason Putnam (13) goes to the basket last March at the Blue Cross Arena. Putnam enter the 2019-20 with 1,737 career points (Photo: CHRIS BROOKS). Side: Cal-Mum’s Vinny Molisani (11) goes to the basket for two of his game-high 20 points in the 2019 Section V Class C3 championship game. Bottom l-r: Marcus Whitman’s Seth Benedict and Lima Prendergast combined to score 22 points per game in 2018-19 (Photo provided). Elba’s Colton Dillon averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds per game last season. (Photo provided).

Prattsburgh and York tip off at noon in the first of six games Saturday at the 2019 Wayland-Cohocton showcase. Caledonia-Mumford and Marcus Whitman follow at 2 PM. Avoca and Elba are scheduled for a 4 PM start with Hornell (Girls) and Elba to follow at 6 PM. Hornell and host Wayland-Cohocton cap the day. Here’s a team-by-team breakdown: 


 Coach: Brian Putnam

Last Season: Finished 19-4, lost to Belfast in Class D2 Championship game. 

Opponent: York

History 101: Have won 10 Sectional Championships overall most recently in 2015 and 2018. 1991 NYS Class D State Champions finishing 29-0. 1994 State Semifinalist.  

2018-19 Numbers: Averaged 71.2 PPG, Opponents 54.4 PPG, Averaged 34.2 RPG, 17.0 APG, 13.1 SPG, Shot 46 percent from the field as a team. 

Returning Starters: Five

Players to WatchMason Putnam-Senior, Guard-averaged 31.6 Points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.6 Assists, 4.7 Steals, Shot 55 percent from the floor as a Junior.  Was named Steuben County League Most Valuable Player in both his Sophomore and Junior seasons. Currently has 1,737 career points. 2019 Class D2 All-Tournament team selection. 

Kris Johnson-Junior, Forward-averaged 12.3 Points, 6.5 rebounds, 2 assists. Shot 41 percent from the floor. Named a Steuben County First Team All-Star as a Sophomore.  2019 Class D2 All-Tournament team selection. 

James Crowder-Junior, Forward-averaged 8.5 points, 9.7 Rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.1 Steals. Shot 43 percent from the floor. 

Ammon Anderson-Senior, Guard-averaged 7.3 points, 4.4 Rebounds, shot 41 percent from the floor. 

Fun Fact: Since 1975, Prattsburgh is fourth in all of Section Five with 714 wins.

Coach Putnam says: We are very excited about the upcoming season.  We didn’t graduate anyone from last year’s team, so we are hoping for another successful season.  We have an experienced core group, with some pretty good supporting talent.”


YORK GOLDEN KNIGHTS (Livingston County Division III)

CoachEd Orman Jr. 

Last Season: Finished 16-7, lost in the Class C3 Championship game to Caledonia-Mumford 

Opponent: Prattsburgh

History 101: Won Class B Sectionals in 1939 and Class C3 in 2012. 

2018-19 NumbersAveraged 60.8 PPG, Opponents 55.9 PPG 

Returning Starters: Four

Players to Watch: Riley Stella, Senior, Forward- averaged-17.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, First Team LCAA All-Star, 2019 Class C3 All-Tournament team selection.  

James Kennedy, Junior, Forward-averaged- 8.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2019 Class C3 All-Tournament team selection. 

David Cuozzo, Junior, Guard-averaged- 7.0 points, 3.0 rebounds

Josh Davis, Senior, Guard-averaged- 7.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists

Tim LaGeorge, Senior, Guard-averaged- 4.0 points

Lucas Garza, Senior, Guard-averaged- 2.0 points

Lucas Maggio, Senior, Guard-averaged-3.0 points

NOTE: York has eight returners who scored in double digits in a game last season.

Fun Fact: Since winning Sectionals in 2012, they have played in the sectional finals five times. 

Coach Orman says“Our expectations for the season are to build on execution throughout the season. Honestly, we just want to continually improve and hopefully be playing our best basketball at the end of the season. Saturday’s game against Prattsburgh is an incredibly difficult test to start the season. Coach Putnam and his guys are fundamentally sound, well coached and disciplined. We’re anxious to see where we are in our development and understand this is only the starting point of a long season. It should be a fun environment and great test to get our competitive juices flowing.”


Coach: Greg O’Connor 

Last Season: Finished 20-3, lost in Class C1 championship game to C.G. Finney. 

Opponent: Caledonia-Mumford. 

History 101: Gorham won sectionals in 1947, Middlesex won sectionals in 1965 and 1966. The schools merged to become Marcus Whitman in 1969. Won Sectionals in Class A in 1976. 

2018-19 Numbers:  Averaged 63.7 PPG, opponents 41.8 PPG 

Returning Starters: Four 

Players to WatchLiam Prendergast –Senior, Forward-averaged 11.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, named to the 2019 Section V Class C1 All-Tournament team. Finger Lakes West Second Team All-Star. 

Seth Benedict –Senior, Guard-averaged 11.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists. Finger Lakes West Second Team All-Star. 

Ryan Herod –Junior, Guard/Forward-averaged 9.0 points 

Aidan Royston – Junior, Guard-averaged 8.0 points, 4.0 steals

Jordan Lahue –Junior, Guard-averaged 7.0 points, 5.0 assists

Fun Fact –Marcus Whitman went 47-1 in the Finger Lakes West the past three seasons. They will play as an Independent for the 2019-2020 Season.

Coach O’Connor says: “We expect to work and be pushed every single moment this year. Not only from each other at practice but from every opponent. Our goal is to put ourselves in the best position for post season success. We look forward to this unique opportunity.”


CALEDONIA-MUMFORD RED RAIDERS (Livingston County Division II) 

 CoachDan Dickens 

Last Season: Finished 22-2, Section Five Class C3 Champion, Lost to C.G Finney in State Qualifier. 

Opponent: Marcus Whitman

History 101Have four Sectional titles overall. 

2018-19 Numbers66.4 PPG, Opponents 52.9 PPG, school record 1,594 points for the season. 

 Players to Watch:  Vin Molisani Senior, Guard-averaged 15.6 points, 5.3 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 Steals per game. 2019 Class C2 MVP. Livingston County News Player of the Year. LCAA First Team All-Star.      Currently the third all-time leading scorer at Cal-Mum with 1,040 career points. Section Five Class C3 Tournament MVP. 

Joe Laursen Senior, Forward-averaged 10.3 points, 8.6 rebounds. LCAA First Team All-Star. Class C3 All-Tournament team selection. 

Kyle Wade Sophomore, Guard-averaged 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists. Class C3 All-Tournament team selection. 

Fun FactCal-Mum had two separate eleven game winning streaks in the 2018-2019 season. Winning their first eleven games before suffering a loss to Avon. They then won their next eleven games before falling to C.G Finney in the Class C State Qualifier. 

Coach Dickens says: “We have a nice core returning with Molisani, Wade and Laursen. They all provide the ability to score & defend. Molisani has as high a basketball IQ as I have coached. Laursen will need to have a big season in the middle for us as we do lack some size that we have had in the past. Wade can rebound with anyone and should be primed for a very big sophomore season.

We have a lot of players battling for playing time in the other two positions which is making practice very competitive, and should help us continue to get better all season

Our goal is to get back to the Blue Cross Arena and defend our title. We have a much harder schedule this season which should get us prepared for sectionals.”


AVOCA TIGERS (Steuben County) 

Coach: Mike Stowe

Last Season: Finished 20-3, lost to Mt. Morris in Class D1 Championship game. 

Opponent: Elba

History 101: Have won four Sectional titles overall, three straight from 1988-1990. NYS Class C State Semifinalist in 1988, NYS Class D State Champion in 1989 finishing 28-0. NYS Class D State Finalist in 1990. 

2018-19 Numbers: Averaged 72.6 PPG last season, Opponents 53.0 PPG 

Returning Starters: Three 

Players to Watch: Brady Brandow-Senior, Guard-averaged 11.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.2 Assists, 3.8 Steals. 

Tristan Stark-Senior, Forward-averaged 10.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.2 steals. 2019 Class D1 All-Tournament team selection.

Devin Stowe-Senior, Guard-averaged 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 3.2 steals. 

Thomas Derick-Senior, Forward-averaged 6.0 points per game as the 6th man last season. 

Top Newcomers: Pacey Hopkins-Sophomore, Guard-averaged 17.0 point per game on J.V. last season. 

Jonathan Jensen-Senior, Guard/Forward-Foreign Exchange student from Denmark. 

Fun Fact: Avoca Coach Mike Stowe was a Sophomore on Avoca’s 1989 State Championship team. He helped lead them back to the State Championship game his Junior year. 

Coach Stowe says: “This will definitely be a year of unknown for the Tigers. When you lose two players that averaged a combined 40 points per game in LaDre Stanford and Nathan Nunn there is going to be a transition that takes place. One very good thing is we are a senior heavy team and all of these boys have had a lot of success throughout their years at Avoca in all three sports. I have three returning starters that are a year older and a couple of new faces that will help soften the loss of our two big guns from last year, so we will see what happens at the end of the season but I’m excited to see what this group of boys can do and hopefully they can compete at a very high level.”

ELBA LANCERS (Genesee Region Division II) 

Coach: Ciaci Zambito 

Last Season: Finished 16-6, lost to eventual champion Belfast in Class D2 Semifinals. 

Opponent: Avoca

History 101Have won four Sectional Championships, most recently in 2017. 

2018-19 Numbers: Averaged 58.8 PPG, Opponents 50.7 PPG 

Returning Starters: Three 

Players to WatchColton Dillon– Senior, Guard, averaged 22.0 points, 13 rebounds as a junior. Two-Time Genesee Region First Team All-Star. 2017 Sectional Champion. 

Collin O’Halloran – Senior, four year starting point guard, was the 2017 MVP for the Section Five Class D2 tournament, 2017 sectional champion

Greyson Huntington –Senior Guard

Fun Fact: Avoca fell to Elba in the Class D2 Semifinals in 2017. Avoca then eliminated Elba in the quarterfinals in 2018 in Elba. 

Coach Zambito says“We have a very deep team this year that is made up of seniors, juniors and sophomores. We have three senior captains in Collin O’Halloran, Greyson Huntington, and Colton Dillon.  We are going to try and rely on our defense, depth and athleticism to win us games this season, just like every year we want to contend for a Sectional Championship.  We are really excited about playing an extremely competitive non-league schedule this year, which we are sure will help us come sectional time.” 


HORNELL LADY RED RAIDERS (Livingston County Division I) 

Coach: Brian Dyring 

Last Season: Finished 14-6, lost in the first round to Greece-Odyssey 

Opponent: Elba

2018-19 Numbers: Last Season Hornell attempted 1,080 3-pointers and made 271 for 25 percent

Hornell attempted 83 shots per game, 55 3-point attempts per game and still were able to get to the line 14 times per game. As a team, they had a total of 450 steals in 20 games for 23 steals per game.

Averaged 72.7 PPG, Opponents 55.6 PPG.  

History 101Still seeking first sectional title in program history, have finished as runner up twice. 

Returning Starters: Four 

Players to Watch: Leah HarkenriderSenior, guardaveraged 19.6 points, 5.2 steals, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Went 86-for-311 from 3-point land on the season for 28 percent. Set the school record for 3’s in a season with 86. LCAA First Team All-Star. 

Jaden Sciotti-Junior, guard-averaged 15.7 points, 3.9 steals, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Went 66-for-264 on 3-pointers for 25 percent. LCAA First Team All-Star. 

Dezi MountJunior, guard-averaged 7.3 points, 2.6 steals and 3.5 assists per game. 

Fun Facts: Harkenrider is already the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made with 128. As a team, they hit a program record 271 3 pointers last season, hit a program record 22 threes in one game and scored 91 points in a game, also a program record. 

Coach Dyring says: “We will look to push the tempo again and get up as many shots as possible.  We will Continue to play a fun out of the box way of thinking style of basketball.  We have more size this year which will give us a little more variety in the style of play but we won’t stray from what we are best at which is putting pressure on teams at both ends of the court.  I’m looking forward to another exciting season!!!”


ELBA LADY LANCERS (Genesee Region Division II)  

Coach: Tom Redband

Last Season: Finished 22-2, Section V Class D Champion, lost to eventual state champion Franklinville in Far Western Regional. 

Opponent: Hornell

History 101Have won three straight Class D2 Sectional Championships and 13 overall, 2012 NYS Class D State Champions finishing 25-0. 

2018-19 Numbers: Averaged 60.8 PPG, opponents 35.8 PPG

Returning Starters: Four 

Players to Watch: Taylor Augello-Junior, guard-averaged 9.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, two assists and two steals per game for the Lancers as a Sophomore, while she shot 48 percent from the field. 

Leah Bezon-Junior, forward-averaged 14.4 points, eight rebounds, 2.2 assists, two blocks and two steals. As a Sophomore while she shot 45 percent on 2-point buckets and 32 percent from 3-point range. 

Madison Muehlig-Junior, point guard-averaged 12 points, 5.6 assists, 3.2 steals and 3.2 rebounds per game in her third varsity season.

Brynn Walczak-Junior, forward-averaged 10.7 points, 6 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game, while she shot 47 percent from the floor.

Top Newcomers:   Miah Werth, Laci Sewar, and Kelsea Augello

Fun Fact: Since the 2016-2017 Season Elba is 63-10 overall. 

Coach Redband says: “As a program, we have a philosophy of preparing to the best of our ability mentally and physically, and this includes not simply during the season, but the off-season as well, while bringing our very best on game day so we have no regrets.  The players may talk about winning and what tangible success means to them between each other, but we rarely talk about it collectively. Some teams create tangible smart goals such as winning sectionals, winning states, etc., and there’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever; it’s simply not our style, and frankly, too much pressure and perceived failure of a season if not achieved, which is totally not the case for a high school team.  We can live with the results if we put the time in and max out our abilities.”


HORNELL RED RAIDERS (Livingston County Division I) 

 CoachKirk Scholes 

Last Year: Finished 14-7, Lost to Newark in the Class B1 Semifinals. 

Opponent: Wayland-Cohocton

History 101: Won A Sectionals in 1931, Class AA in 1945, 1953 & 1988. Won Class B2 in 2013 

2018-19 Numbers: Averaged 50.1 PPG, Opponents 48.8 PPG

Returning Starters: Four 

Players to Watch: Jackson White Junior, Guard-averaged 14.3 points, 2.0 rebounds. 

Chase Freeland Senior, Guard-averaged 9.8 points, 5.1 assists, 4.3 rebounds. LCAA First Team All-Star. 

Timmy Smith Senior, Forward-2019 Class B1 All-Tournament Team Selection.

Top Newcomers:  Derek McCumiskey, Jonas Sciotti and Eli Dunn

 Fun Fact:  Hornell opened the 2018-19 season winning five straight games and closed the season winning five straight before falling in overtime to Newark in the Semifinals.

Coach Scholes says: “We are deep and experienced, if we can gel and play together, I think we can be a very tough team. I’m hoping our defense will lead the way.  I know our schedule will challenge us and I think we are going to be up to the task to compete every night.”



Coach: Mike Fields

 Last Season: Finished 13-10, Lost to Wellsville in Class B2 Sectional Championship game. 

Opponent: Hornell

History 101: Class CC Sectional Champion in 1995. Class B2 Champion in 2012.

2018-19 Numbers: Averaged 64.6 PPG, Opponents 57.7 PPG 

Returning Starters: Four

Players to WatchDeandre Green, Senior, Guard-averaged 12.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 1.0 block.  LCAA first team All-Star. Second team Spectator Great 8 Selection. 

Cameron Huber, Senior, Forward-averaged 15.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.4 steals. LCAA First Team All-Star. Third team Spectator Great 8 Selection. 

Jamie Carman, Senior, Forward-Section Five Class B2 All-Tournament team selection. 

Fun FactThe Golden Eagles opened the 2018-2019 losing their first four games, but closed the season winning seven of their last eight games and advanced to the sectional finals. 

Assistant Coach Jake Kenney says: Our goals for this season are set pretty high. We have a veteran group returning four starters from last year and have eight seniors in total. Last year this group made it to the sectional finals and we hope to build off of that experience and have even more success this season. Losing in the finals left a bad taste in the mouths of our players and hopefully that continues to motivate them moving forward.”


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