After winning last year’s state Class C championship, the Bishop Kearney girls’ basketball team moved up to Class B for the 2013-14 season — and very nearly claimed another state title despite stiffer competition.
The Kings won the Section 5 Class B2 crown and then made a return trip to the state final, finishing with a spectacular 21-3 record. Not until a 71-36 loss to Utica Notre Dame, in the state Class B title game March 15, was BK finally quelled.
Kearney’s deep run in the states led a strong winter showing for Catholic high schools in the diocese, which collected numerous team and individual titles in a variety of sports.
Bishop Kearney girls’ basketball
Kearney reached the state final by winning 71-58 over Woodlands of Section 1 in semifinal play March 14. Kharysma Bryant scored 19 points to lead six BK players who totaled at least eight points.
The title matchup saw Utica Notre Dame, a Section 3 school, pull steadily away from the Kings, leading 16-11 after one quarter, 32-20 at halftime and 52-34 after three periods. Kearney’s leading scorers were Princella McCullough and Rosa Graham with seven points each. BK was hampered by the limited availability of star forward Emmanuella Edoka, who suffered a knee injury in the Woodlands game.
In previous state-tournament play, the Kings beat Tonawanda of Section 6, 69-48, in a quarterfinal game March 8 behind 26 points from Bryant. That was preceded by a 64-51 decision over Waterloo in state-qualifying play March 4 as Bryant had 21 points.
Earlier in the post-season, top-seeded Kearney won its third straight Section 5 title with a 55-31 triumph over No. 2 Batavia Notre Dame in the Class B2 title game March 1. Bri.Asia Mason scored 15 points to lead BK. In prior sectional games, Kearney scored a 96-24 quarterfinal win over No. 8 North Rose-Wolcott Feb. 22 as Bryant had 23 points, then went on to a 75-47 semifinal victory over No. 4 Le Roy Feb. 26 as Edoka poured in 20 points.
Sectional team champs
* Elmira Notre Dame boys’ basketball earned the Section 4 Class C crown with a 65-62 victory over No. 2 Moravia March 1 as Darius Garvin scored 20 points. The top-seeded Crusaders hung on for the win after watching a 25-point lead nearly evaporate. ND had reached the sectional final with a 63-46 semifinal triumph over No. 4 Watkins Glen Feb. 25 as Garvin had 21 points. That was preceded by a 74-52 quarterfinal victory over No. 9 Marathon Feb. 21 with Jonas McCaig’s 19 points leading the way. Notre Dame’s season ended in state quarterfinal play March 8, as Waterville of Section 3 won 61-55 despite 16 points each from Garvin and Tom Agan. The Crusaders’ final record was 20-2.
* McQuaid Jesuit boys’ indoor track claimed the Section 5 Class A team title Feb. 15. The Knights had 85 points, well ahead of runner-up Rush-Henrietta’s 53 total, with first-place finishes by Austin Peters in the 600-meter run and the 800 relay leading the way. McQuaid enjoyed further success at the sectional state qualifier Feb. 20 with state-qualifying finishes from Nick Ciolkowski, first place in the 3,200; Nate Howe, first, 1,000; Peters, first, 600; Tobi Tella, first, long jump, and fourth, triple jump; and David Ingraham, fourth, 300. Top-10 McQuaid finishers at the state meet, held March 1, were Peters, eighth in the 600; Howe, 10th in the 1,000; and Ingraham sixth in the intersectional medley relay.
* Our Lady of Mercy girls’ indoor track won the Section 5 Class B meet Feb. 15, scoring 107.5 points to squeeze past second-place Pittsford Mendon’s 105. Mercy got first-place finishes from Sarah Bronk in the pole vault, Kierra Carter in the shot put, Monica LaBorde in the race walk and the 1,600 relay. Carter went on to place second at the state qualifier in the shot put Feb. 20 to reach states, and LaBorde, who was third in the race walk that day, also made states.
* Elmira Notre Dame’s girls won the Section 4 Division 2 indoor track title Feb. 8, finishing first out of 18 teams. The Crusaders also placed third among 29 schools in overall scoring. ND’s Chase Yoder and Allegra Dawes finished one-two in the Division 2 1,000 meters; Jordyn Naylor won the race walk; Payton Yoder won the 1,500 meters; and the 3,200 and 800 relays also were victorious. At the Section 4 state qualifier Feb. 15, ND’s Jenny Smithers earned a spot in the state meet by placing second in the 55 hurdles, and the school’s 800 relay also made states. In addition, the Crusaders’ Chase Yoder and Deborah Diarra went to states as members of the Section 4 girls’ relay, which earned a top-10 finish at the state meet March 1 by placing ninth.
* Cassie Berry bowled a three-game series of 706 Feb. 7, leading Elmira Notre Dame’s girls to the Section 4 Class D team title. The Crusaders had a combined pinfall of 2,414, with Hancock finishing second in team scoring at 2,276. ND’s team games were 793, 785 and 836. Berry’s series was the highest among all four Section 4 classifications. In the boys’ sectionals, held Feb. 8, Notre Dame’s Matt Dieg rolled a 601 that was the high series in Class D and led the Crusaders a second-place team finish. Dieg went on to place fourth in the state qualifier Feb. 16, earning a spot on the Section 4 state team.
* McQuaid senior Nick Sertl claimed the Alpine combined title at the Section 5 championships held Feb. 10. Sertl placed first in the giant slalom and second in the slalom, leading the Knights to a second-place team finish in Class A. Sertl went on to finish second in the slalom and fourth in the giant slalom at the state meet Feb. 24-25.
* Bryan Hendrick of Bishop Kearney placed first in the Section 5 Class D boys’ bowling tournament Feb. 15 with a six-game total pinfall of 1,266. He helped the Kings place second in team scoring. Meanwhile, in the girls’ sectionals Feb. 14, BK finished second in Class D with Shakela Hartzog placing third individually with a 1,023 total.
* In Section 5 indoor track, the Aquinas Institute boys finished second in the Class C championships Feb. 15 behind a first-place showing from Andrew Hazelton in the pole vault. Also in Class C that day, AQ’s girls produced an individual sectional champ in Jaya Granger who won the 55 meters.
* Mercy girls’ basketball reached the Section 5 Class A1 final. The third-seeded Monarchs won 58-21 over No. 6 School of the Arts in a Feb. 21 quarterfinal game as Mia Caterisano had 14 points, then prevailed 66-51 over No. 2 Pittsford Mendon in semifinal play Feb. 25 as Danielle Cleary had 19 points. The Monarchs were edged 42-40 by No. 1 Pittsford Sutherland in the title game Feb. 28, falling just short after rallying from a 14-point deficit. Mercy’s final record was 15-6.