Emily Costello

Wellsville’s Emily Costello (12) brings the ball down the court as Bolivar-Richburg’s Kelsey Ferris (20) gives chase on defense on Feb. 9 at Bolivar.

WELLSVILLE — Despite lacking a single senior, Michelle Alvord may have one of the deepest and most experienced girls basketball rosters in Allegany County.

After a sectional semifinal exit last season, Wellsville returns four of its starters, all of whom are now juniors.

“The depth of talent on this season’s roster may be one of the best I have had during my coaching career,” said Alvord, whose Lions team was bested by Avon in the Section 5 Class B2 semis a year ago. “Even without seniors on the roster, this team has a lot of experience and undeniable chemistry.”

Leading scorer Marley Adams returns for her junior season after averaging 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists a year ago. The 5-foot-7 guard/forward also had 35 steals.

Joining Adams is a trio of junior guards that combined to score over 15 points per game for the Lions a season ago.

Emily Costello averaged 8.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists to go with 74 total steals in her sophomore season. Jaylynn Mess averaged 3.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game last season, while now-sophomore Emily Robbins averaged 3.8 points and 1.4 rebounds per game a year ago.

“WE HAVE really good shooters, really good defenders and really great playmakers,” Alvord said. “Our team speed and athleticism is tremendous.”

Junior forward Kaylee Coleman returns to the Wellsville frontcourt after averaging 2.5 points and 6.7 rebounds last season. Alvord also pointed to juniors Jaelyn Knapp and Brooklyn Stisser as two other players that could play an increased role for the Lions.

“So far in this COVID-shortened season, I can tell that we are going to be a very dangerous team just because this group is focused and has bought in to what we are trying to achieve,” Alvord said. “We have so many different options on our team.”

After a season-opening loss to Bolivar-Richburg (where they played without Adams), the Lions have won three of their last four games. After rattling off wins over Cuba-Rushford, Andover and Fillmore, Wellsville fell to Section 5 Class B rival Hornell on Saturday. The Lions will get a rematch with B-R on Tuesday, however, with Adams back in the lineup.

“This team has determination, drive, and a team mentality that will allow them to be successful and make a strong run into sectionals,” Alvord said. “Things will definitely change as the season progresses, but this team is ready to play and will adjust as it needs to.”

IN BOLIVAR, the Wolverines return a tandem of seniors that coach Justin Thomas hopes can lead B-R deep into the postseason.

Aliyah Cole and Kelsey Pacer return to lead what Thomas called an “experienced team.”

Cole, a 6-0 center, averaged 17.2 points, 14.2 rebounds and 3.5 blocks a year ago. Pacer, a 5-8 forward, averaged 7.9 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.7 steals.

The duo is joined by 5-11 junior forward Jianna Nix, who averaged 3.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

“(Nix) has markedly improved an already solid game and should take a big step forward this year,” Thomas said.

The sophomore twin duo of McKinlee and Madigan Harris, who each averaged over five points per game their freshmen year, returns after missing the team’s first three games due to quarantining. Now at full strength, Thomas looks for his roster to be a blend of youth and experience.

“Last year’s JV team is sending some great pieces to mix with what we’re already bringing back,” Thomas said.

The Wolverines enter Tuesday at 4-1, their only setback a one-point loss to Belfast. B-R also owns wins over Wellsville, Andover, Cuba-Rushford and Fillmore.

IN FILLMORE, Tom Parks’ team looks to reload after losing six seniors from a 20-3 team that nearly won back-to-back sectional titles before being upset by Pavilion in last year’s Section 5 Class D1 championship.

The Eagles do return, Parks said, multiple returning players that have played key roles in the program’s recent achievements.

“This year’s group is no stranger to success,” Parks said. “We have returning players … who will be asked to take on bigger roles, and a group of freshmen who remind me very much or our departed seniors when they were in ninth grade.”

Junior forward Emma Cole, who averaged 11 points per game last season, returns to lead an Eagles roster that features four seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and eight freshmen.

“In a year of transition, we will look to build chemistry early as this new group of players begins to establish its identity,” Parks said.

After a 3-2 start, Fillmore will travel to Andover on Tuesday.

ANDOVER

Coach: Jacob Bannerman

League: Allegany County Div. I

2019-20 record/postseason: 17-7; Mount Morris (W, 56-29, Sec. 5 Class D2 first round), Romulus (W, 60-45, Sec. 5 Class D2 quarterfinal), Whitesville (W, 38-28, Sec. 5 Class D2 semifinal), Elba (L, Sec. 5 Class D2 championship).

Roster: Ava Grice (5-0, fr., G), Olivia Hanks (5-7, jr., F), Gabby Terhune (5-5, fr., G), Makaila Brewster (5-8, fr., F), Kaitlyn Calladine (5-3, sr., G), Addison Morgan (5-9, jr., F), Livia Simon (5-10, sr., F/C), Kelsie Niedermaier (5-11, sr., F/C), Brynne Hunt (5-11, jr., C)

BELFAST

Coach: Jim Schneider

League: Allegany County Div. II

2019-20 record/postseason: 6-15; Houghton (L, 45-29, Sec. 5 Class D2 first round)

Roster: Abby Sullivan (fr., F), Alicia Borden (jr., G), Anna Drozdowski (so., G/F), Mary Hamer (fr., G/F), Kaitlin Sadler (jr., G/F), Harley Proctor (so., G), Emma Sullivan (sr., G/F), Cierra Wallace (sr., G/F)

BOLIVAR-RICHBURG

Coach: Justin Thomas

League: Allegany County Div. I

2019-20 record/postseason: 11-10; Dundee (L, 45-21, Sec. 5 Class C2 first round)

Roster: McKinlee Harris (5-3, so., G, 6.2 points, 4.3 assists, 3.3 steals), Madigan Harris (5-3, so., G, 5.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.1 steals), Jianna Nix (5-11, jr., F, 3.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.3 blocks), Kelsey Pacer (5-8, sr., G/F, 7.9 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.7 steals), Aliyah Cole (6-0, sr., C/F, 17.2 points, 14.2 rebounds, 3.5 blocks), Kelsey Ferris (5-9, sr., G/F), Trinidy Miller (5-5, sr., G), Kayli Giardini (5-7, jr., G), Braelin Bentley (5-9, jr., F), Jessica Majot (5-7, jr., F), Destiny Cantrell (5-5, jr., G)

From the coach: (see above)

CUBA-RUSHFORD

Coach: Aaron Wight

League: Allegany County Div. I

2019-20 record/postseason: 8-11; Warsaw (L, 60-42, Sec. 5 Class C1 first round)

Roster: Cameron Shaw (5-11, sr., 2.5 points, 5.2 rebounds), Taylor Searle (5-9, so., 8.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals), Ella Jaffe (5-10, jr., 2.6 points, 4.7 rebounds), Lillian Forward (5-7, jr., 3.4 points, 3.6 rebounds), Macie Demick (5-6, jr., 1.0 points, 1.5 rebounds), Elysa Taylor (5-4, jr., 2.1 points, 2.6 rebounds), Lauren Neu (5-7, sr.), Tara Duvall (5-10, so.), Brynn Lavery (5-9, 8th), Anna Belcer (5-8, jr.)

From the coach: “(We are) young yet experienced, only graduating two seniors from last season. We will be looking to our large group of underclassmen to step and provide scoring that was lost with the graduation of last year’s seniors.”

FILLMORE

Coach: Tom Parks

League: Allegany County Div. I

2019-20 record/postseason: 20-3; Jasper-Troupsburg (W, 59-37, Sec. 5 Class D1 quarterfinal), Batavia-Notre Dame (W, 55-49, Sec. 5, Class D1 semifinal), Pavilion (L, 50-37, Sec. 5 Class D1 championship)

Roster: Harley Miller (5-5, sr.), Raylynn Ryan (5-3, sr.), Morgan Byer (5-6, sr.), Shelby Beardsley (5-3, sr.), Emma Cole (5-11, jr.), Jadyn Mucher (5-7, jr.), Hannah Tanner (5-6, jr.), Emma Beardsley (5-5, so.), Madison Geertman (5-4, so.), Jenna Austin (5-3, fr.), Hope Russell (5-5, fr.), Grace Russell (5-4, fr.), Kylee Ellsworth (5-4, fr.), Oakley Frazier (5-2, fr.), Amelia Rose (5-4, fr.), Rachel Hatch (5-7, fr.), Preslee Miller (5-6, fr.)

From the coach: (see above)

FRIENDSHIP

Coach: Deb Warner

League: Allegany County Div. II

2019-20 record/postseason: 3-17; Lima Christian (L, 42-10, Sec. 5 Class D2 first round)

Roster: Aaliyah Harmon (5-9, sr., C), Bethany Gardener (5-7, sr., F), Caitlin Stewart (5-1, sr., G), Keely Sisson (5-7, jr., F), Logan Roberts (5-1, so., G), Claire Calhoun-Mullen (5-5, so., F), Kaydence Donohue (5-6, so., G, 6.5 points), Nevaeh Ross (5-5, fr., G, 7.6 points), Grace Drumm (5-3, fr., G)

From the coach: “We have three seniors, but overall, we are still pretty young. Two out of (our) three seniors have not played in awhile. For many, it is their second year at the varsity level. They are striving to improve on the individual goals they have set for themselves to help the team as a whole. It has been tough preparing for the season with only six practices, but we continue to work and are determined to improve.”

GENESEE VALLEY

Coach: Bill Horn

League: Allegany County Div. II

2019-20 record/postseason: 2-19; Batavia-Notre Dame (L, 59-17, Sec. 5 Class D1 first round)

Roster: Addison Grusendorf (5-5, fr., G), Emera Aquila (5-6, fr., G), Lizzie Bentley (5-11, jr., F/C), Addy Herring (5-7, so., F), Paige Cochran (5-4, jr., G), Morgan Bentley (5-3, fr., G), Sierra Burrows (5-7, jr., G/F), Katie Bartlett (5-6, jr., G/F), Kendra Bigelow (5-5, fr., G), Ashley Burrows (5-8, so., C), Rhea Bentley (5-4, so., G)

SCIO

Coach: Diana Phalon (1st year, 0-0)

League: Allegany Co. Div. II

2019-20 record/postseason: 1-19; none

Roster: Emily Stilson (5-8, sr.), Celina Warboys (5-5, sr.), Camryn Wiech (5-5, sr.), Brooke Crossley (5-1, sr.), Melana Davenport (5-6, jr.), Kiara Grover (5-10, so.), Sophie Bolzan (5-7, fr.), Alexis Crossley (5-1, fr.), Jennifer Dickens (5-6, fr.)

From the coach: “Five letterwinners return, and we will be looking to them to set an example for our younger players and help to lead the team on and off the court. Our younger players will be asked to play a big role for our team this year, as well. It will be tough for them to learn a new system with the shortened preseason, but I am excited to see the progress of the work they have put in to prepare for this season.”

WELLSVILLE

Coach: Michelle Alvord

League: Independent

2019-20 record/postseason: 16-6; Williamson (W, 57-49, Sec. 5 Class B2 quarterfinal), Avon (L, 48-39, Sec. 5 Class B2 semifinal)

Roster: Marley Adams (5-7, jr., G/F, 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists) Jaylynn Mess (5-5, jr., G, 3.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists), Emily Costello (5-5, jr., G, 8.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists), Jaelyn Knapp (5-6, jr., G), Brooklyn Stisser (5-6, jr., G/F), Emily Robbins (5-4, so., G, 3.8 points, 1.8 rebounds), Kaylee Coleman (5-7, jr., F, 2.5 points, 6.7 rebounds), Sara Reitz (5-6, so., G), Ashden Hyslip (5-7, so., F/C)

From the coach: (See above)

WHITESVILLE

Coach: Aaron Rawady

League: Allegany Co. Div. II

2019-20 record/postseason: 16-7; Chesterton (W, 63-9, Sec. 5 Class D2 first round), Northstar Christian (W, 46-39, Sec. 5 Class D2 quarterfinal), Andover (L, 38-28, Sec. 5 Class D2 semifinal)

Roster: Kennedy Bledsoe (so., G), Rachel Jackson (jr., F), Serena Ainsworth (jr., F), Vanessa Hall (so., G), Aislinn Hamilton (so., G), Gabbi Hall (so., G), Brynn Scholl (so., F)

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