The Penn Yan Mustang boy’s basketball team hosted the Geneva Panthers Feb. 2 in another key Finger Lakes East contest with the regular season rapidly drawing to a close. After dropping two straight league games to Mynderse and Wayne, the Orange and Blue needed to find a way to get back on the winning track. The Mustangs find themselves battling Wayne and Mynderse for the top spot in the Finger Lakes East, and every game has an impact on seeding position in the upcoming Section V tournament. At this point of the season, every game counts. The Mustang boys needed to respond against Geneva. And respond they did. Penn Yan rallied in the 4th quarter to defeat the visiting Panthers 47-43.
The Mustangs jumped out early and grabbed an 11-point advantage at the half 28-17. But the stubborn Panthers battled back in the second half to take a 37-35 lead with 5 minutes remaining in the game. Penn Yan regained their composure at that point and went on a 12-6 run to pull out the crucial victory. Two factors keyed the win for the Mustangs. They stepped up their defense and shut down the Geneva attack. Cade Curbeau had a stellar night, pulling down some huge rebounds on both the offensive and defensive boards. He also recorded some important blocked shots at critical times. Penn Yan also converted 15 out 16 attempts from the charity stripe. Defense and making foul shots are a formula for winning for sure.
Penn Yan’s offense featured a balanced effort with seven players scoring points. Desmond Battin tallied 13 points to top the Mustang scoring ledger. Dylan Stape added 11 points while Derrick Rivello and Ben Emerson added 9 and 6 points respectively. The win improved Penn Yan’s Finger Lakes East mark to 7-3. They are 12-4 overall.
Friday night’s Mustang win was important because it cancelled out a two game losing streak for the Orange and Blue cagers. Penn Yan dropped a 42-36 decision to first place Wayne Tuesday evening in Ontario Center. The Mustangs were in this game most of the way until the hometown Eagles pulled away at the end. Dylan Stape was Penn Yan’s top scorer with 14 points. Penn Yan and Wayne will meet in the final regular game of the season. This game will be played in Penn Yan Feb. 15.
Marcus Whitman 56 HAC 39
The Marcus Whitman Wildcat boy’s basketball team solidified their hold on first place in the Finger Lakes West Feb. 1 in Brighton. In a showdown game with the second place Wolves, the Whitman five walked off with a solid 56-39 victory. They improved their Finger Lakes West to 11-0 with the win and are 13-2 overall. Riley McLoud led the Wildcat offense with 13 points. Jon Donovan added 10 points and also had 7 steals. Ian Prendergast chipped in 10 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in the Wildcat win.
Dundee 56 Red Jacket
The Dundee Scot boy’s basketball team picked up a Finger Lakes West League win Feb. 1 in Dundee. The Scotsmen defeated Red Jacket 53-49 to break a long losing streak in league play. Dundee is 2-10 in Finger Lakes West action and 4-10 overall.