Irish rally late to edge past Tigers

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 19 February 2020 at 9:14 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman — Lyndonville’s Nate Dillenbeck puts up a shot as Notre Dame defender Mark Sanders flies by to try to block. The action took place during the Irish’s win over the host Tigers this evening.

Avenging an early season (71-67) loss, Notre Dame put together a big fourth quarter rally to edge past host Lyndonville 48-46 in the Genesee Region League basketball season finale this evening.

Trailing by 11, 40-29, at the three-quarter mark, Notre Dame rallied to outscore Lyndonville 19-6 down the stretch to claim the win and earn Fighting Irish Coach Mike Rapone his milestone 700th career victory.

Three straight threes by Mark Sanders ignited the Notre Dame comeback and Gabe MacDonald followed with a layup to rally the Irish back to within two, 42-40, with four minutes to go.

Notre Dame’s Cody Henry drives by Lyndonville defender Casey Winiecki heading toward the basket.

A jumper by Nate Dillenbeck gave Lyndonville a little breathing room at 44-40 but Notre Dame answered right back with a three by Ryan Fitzpatrick followed by two clutch free throws by MacDonald to rally the Irish into a 45-44 lead with 58 seconds remaining.

The Tigers regained the lead for what proved to be the last time at 46-45 on a rebound basket by Nathan Hydock with 42 seconds to go.

However, the Irish answered back one last time on a layup by Cody Henry with 21 seconds to go to regain the lead for good at 47-46. Henry then scored the final point on a free throw with 2.9 seconds to go.

Sanders finished with 14 and MacDonald 12 to lead the Irish as Henry added 9 (click here to see a layup by Henry), Colin McCulley 6, Keith Szczepanski 4 and Fitzpatrick 3.

Dillenbeck had a game high 21 (click here to see 2 of Dillenbeck’s points) and Hydock 16 for the Tigers as Russ Stephens chipped in with 4, Noah Poler 3 and Casey Winiecki 2.

Turnovers and missed shots dominated the action in the first half which saw Lyndonville hold narrow leads of 13-9 after one period and 19-18 at the half.

Hydock scored 8 in the opening period on three layups and a rebound bucket and MacDonald netted 7 to keep the Irish close.

Lyndonville looked to be about to break the contest open in the third period as the Tigers outscored the Irish 21-11 to move out to an 11 point, 40-29, advantage.

Dillenbeck spearheaded that Tigers uprising with 12 points on two threes, two jumpers and a pair of free throws. Poler also hit a three to close the period.

However, Notre Dame came storming back in the decisive final stanza putting together a big 19-6 scoring surge highlighted by three threes by Sanders and one by Fitzpatrick.

Notre Dame finishes the regular season at 16-4 and Lynodnville 12-8.

Oakfield-Alabama 59, Holley 45
Building up a 36-17 half-time advantage, Oakfield-Alabama went on to defeat host Holley 59-45 in another G-R finale.

Kameron Cusimano scored 15, Joey Burdick 13 and Travis Wiedrich 11 to lead the Hornets.

Kohl Morgan had 15 points and 14 rebounds and Carson Major 10 points for Holley.

Notre Dame’s Gabe MacDonald puts up a shot as Lyndonville’s Nathan Hydock tries to block.