Hardwood to gridiron: Blankenberg keeps Wayne moving forward

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Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.center_img Hardwood to gridiron: Blankenberg keeps Wayne moving forward By Paul Gotham on March 20, 2021No Comment Hardwood to gridiron: Blankenberg keeps Wayne moving forward added by Paul Gotham on March 20, 2021View all posts by Paul Gotham →FacebookTwitter分享by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksSponsor ContentAirPhysioThis All-Natural “Lung Cleaning” Device Helps Anyone Breathe EasierAirPhysioUndoTop Expat InsuranceExpat Living in Hong Kong without Health Insurance?Top Expat InsuranceUndoCosmoWomensTop 30 Most Beautiful Women in the WorldCosmoWomensUndoby Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksMore from Pickin’ SplintersBaron keeps Bonaventure close to his heart – Pickin’ SplintersUndoTah-Jae Hill, Zion Morrison and the Starting Five – Pickin’ SplintersUndo”If you had a Mount Rushmore of MCC baseball, he’s on there.” Longtime assistant Jack Christensen passes away – Pickin’ SplintersUndo Print This Post Mason Blankenberg (2) gets Wayne set at the line during Saturday’s contest at Don Quinn Field in East Rochester. Wayne defeated Palmyra-Macedon, 24-7.By PAUL GOTHAMEAST ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Eight days ago, Mason Blankenberg and his Wayne Eagle teammates celebrated a Section V Class B1 basketball championship. Saturday afternoon Blankenberg and the Wayne football team hosted Palmyra-Macedon.The field of play changed from hardwood to gridiron; the result didn’t.Well, almost.Blankenberg needed last-second heroics to secure a win on the court. Saturday, the junior quarterback scored a pair of touchdowns including one on the opening drive as the Eagles jumped to a 21-0 halftime lead and defeated Pal-Mac, 24-7 at Don Quinn Field.“It feels good,” he said. “My body’s a little bit sore but other than that it feels great to be outside playing football.”The 6-foot-2 signal caller capped the 11-play opening drive with an eight-yard rush for a touchdown and eventual 7-0 lead.“He’s like another coach on the field,” Wayne head coach Dave Marean said. “He gets it. The transition mentally, to go from winning a sectional championship to winning at football, he made it look easy.”Blankenberg rushed for more than nine yards per carry for the game gaining 47 yards on five carries.More importantly, he directed an offense which scored on three straight drives. Marean pointed to his player’s willingness to take responsibility for understanding the team’s offense.Football began practices on March 1st. Blankenberg physically attended two practices during the first week and the same the second week. Mentally, though, it was like he was there everyday at practice.“His passion is basketball and it has always been basketball,” Marean noted. “He’s a detail-oriented kid. He would call me on the phone or text our OC (offensive coordinator, Scott Briggs) and ask ‘Hey, what did I miss today?’ He’d watch film and when he stepped in there, it was like he never missed anything except physically taking reps.”The significance of executing on the first drive of this unusual season was not lost on Marean.“In a normal year, you’ve got a spring camp, and summer has double sessions,” Marean said referring to schedule adjustments caused by COVID-19 that moved the football season from fall to spring. “The first game every year is such a measuring tool for the kids. Everybody puts so much weight into that first game. Now you’ve got that first game and you’re wondering ‘is everybody ready?’“It really is the fear of the unknown. We know who we’re bringing back. We know who they’re bringing back, but we haven’t been with each other enough. What are they really bringing back? It was really the fear of the unknown. The butterflies went out for everybody after we had that first snap.”Mason Blankenberg on the keeper. 2:22 to go in the half: @WCSD_Athletics 21 @palmacsports 0 pic.twitter.com/V20yjBSqag— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) March 20, 2021Blankenberg completed 7 passes in 16 attempts for 94 yards. Of the nine incompletions, at least five were drops – evidence of the lack of practice that teams have had in preparation for the season. Any chance, that the quarterback allowed those shortcomings to impact his approach was non-existent.“He has such a short-term memory,” Marean said when it comes to his player’s approach to the mistakes of others. “His character speaks volumes. His work ethic and athletic ability just go through the roof because of his character. Kids want to play hard for him. He understands that there’s not one kid who will intentionally drop a ball. He’s harder on himself than he will be on somebody else.”Dylan Vance led Wayne with 84 yards gained on 13 carries. Vance scored the game’s second touchdown on a one-yard rush to cap a seven-play, 59-yard drive.Dylan Vance pushes it across the goal line. 6:28 remaining in the second quarter: @WCSD_Athletics 14 @palmacsports pic.twitter.com/rcjWJxCjKM— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) March 20, 2021Alek Reynolds converted a 39-yard field goal six minutes into the second half to give Wayne a 24-0 lead.Alek Reynolds connects on a 39-yard field goal. 6:00 to go in the third. @WCSD_Athletics 24-0. pic.twitter.com/Oyuat4eOIQ— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) March 20, 2021Pal-Mac mounted a six-play, 87-yard drive for its only touchdown of the game with 6:05 remaining in the fourth quarter. Ivan Reynolds-Diaz had rushes of 62, 10 and 9 yards on the drive. Ayden Lonneville-Lent scored on a quarterback keeper from two yards out.Ayden Lonneville-Lent on the keeper gets @palmacsports on the scoreboard. Six-play drive goes for 87 yards including 3 rushes for a total of 81 yards from Ivan Reynolds-Diaz. 6:05 to go @WCSD_Athletics 24-7. pic.twitter.com/MgSC2RdNnj— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) March 20, 2021Blankenberg hit a 15-foot jump shot with 7.8 second remaining to left Wayne to a 56-55 victory over Batavia in the B1 boys’ basketball championship game. The title was the third in five years for the program. Wayne basketball finished the 2021 season 15-0.Blankenberg paced the basketball Eagles with 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game.“That’s what he does,” said Devon Forrest who started at center on the school’s basketball team and is the left tackle on the football squad. “His work ethic and his commitment for football is just there. That’s why he’s able to succeed.“Mason and I have been playing together a long time, basketball and football. We just got good chemistry. We’re hoping to bring what we did with basketball to football.”The game was played on East Rochester’s turf field. Wayne will not be able to play games on their home grass field for the early part of the season.The Eagles will host Batavia next Saturday for a noon kickoff.Pal-Mac travels to Geneva for a 1 p.m. Saturday start.last_img read more

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Devils punch Convo ticket with 58-41 win over Piketon

first_img Devils punch Convo ticket with 58-41 win over PiketonNorth Adams wins first sectional crown since 2013February 27, 2019Mark CarpenterSports0 By Mark Carpenter-It’s been six years but Coach Nathan Copas and his North Adams Green Devils are once again sectional champions, punching their ticket to the Convo in Athens for the first time since 2013 by virtue of a 58-41 win over the Piketon Redstreaks on Saturday night in a Division III sectional final played at Waverly High School.Continuing what has been an outstanding 2018-19 season, the Devils improved to 18-4 overall with the win over Piketon, using a big 13-0 run to close out the first half to pull away and coast home with the 17-point win that sent them on the road to Athens.“I thought that we executed our game plan really well tonight and handled their pressure,” said Coach Copas after the win. “We didn’t want them to dictate the tempo and we had some times that we got away from things but we also got a lot of easy baskets out of what we were doing. Defensively, we played our man really well early in the game and I think when we went zone it threw them off a bit.”“A lot of guys stepped up for us tonight, one through seven that played most of the minutes, all contributed. At this level to win sectional and district games that has to happen. It’s a good win for our program and I’m ecstatic for these guys and now we have a week to prepare for the next one.”That action began rather slow on Saturday night, with the Redstreaks holding the ball for over a minute on their opening possession, then turning the ball over. The streaks did get the game’s first basket on a steal and score by senior Alex Blanton, matched by North Adams on a put back by Cody Rothwell. Piketon attempted to disrupt the North Adams offense with full court pressure but that strategy backfired early when the Devils continually handled the press and got three easy layups from big man Austin McCormick, the last resulting in a three-point play and a 9-6 North Adams lead.A three-point play by Blanton tied the game at 9 apiece, but a three-point goal by Elijah Young plus baskets by Rothwell and Seth Meade propelled the Devils to a 16-13 advantage after the first quarter.Baskets by Rothwell and McCormick to open the second stanza stretched the North Adams lead to seven and their defense for the second eight minute was impressive, holding the Redstreaks to just a single basket, a score by Scott Lightle that cut the Devils’ lead to 20-15, and that was as close as Piketon was going to get. Two McCormick free throws, a drive and score by Jayden Hesler, a basket by Cameron Young, an easy layup off an out of bounds play by Seth Meade, a steal and score by Hesler, a put back by Meade, and a Hesler free throw all combined as part of a 13-0 North Adams run to end the first half that deflated the hopes of the Redstreaks and their faithful and sent the Devils off to the intermission with things comfortably in hand and a 33-15 lead.After the break, the Redstreaks showed some early third quarter signs of life, scoring the first six points to cut the North Adams lead back down to 12, but the Devils responded with back to back scores by Elijah Young and Rothwell to take back control. The Rothwell-Young combo struck again later to extend the Devils’ lead to 43-24, before the Streaks scored five straight to again creep closer. A free throw by Elijah Young closed out the third quarter scoring and though they had won that eight minutes, the Redstreaks still faced a mighty uphill climb, trailing 44-29 as the fourth quarter began.“We lost a little focus at the beginning of the third quarter, maybe that’s part of being a young team,” said Copas. “We gave them a little bit of life by then we fought back.”The large contingent of North Adams fans that filled the Waverly gym began to get a little antsy when Piketon scored the first three points of the final period, but Elijah Young calmed those fears with a big three-point shot and a couple of later free throws that kept the lead at 49-35. After a Piketon basket, any lingering doubts disappeared when the Devils reeled off six straight to up the advantage to 18 with 4:10 to play.With the comfortable lead, Coach Copas was able to empty his bench for the final minutes and the quintet of Seth Vogel, Jentry Crawford, Ethan Campbell, Dalton Gardner, and Isaac Young were on the floor as the final seconds ticked away, Gardner handing the ball to the referee to officially put the final touch on a sectional championship win for the Devils, earning their first net-cutting ceremony since 2013 and the school’s 21st overall sectional title since 1975.In the win, the Devils placed three players in double figures, led by Elijah Young and Austin McCormick, who each tallied 15 points., with Cody Rothwell adding 10. Jayden Hesler’s speed and ball handling were keys tot he win and he also added 8 points, as did sophomore Seth Meade.Piketon was led by their talented senior guard Alex Blanton, who led all scorers with 23 points, with teammate Scott Lightle adding 10.The next stop for the Green Devils will be at Ohio University on Saturday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m. where the road will get a little tougher as they will match up with a number one seed in Division III, the Wheelersburg Pirates, the first time the two schools have ever met in boys basketball.Piketon13 2 14 12 —41North Adams16 17 11 14 —58Piketon (41): Blanton 10 2-5 23, Nichols 1 0-1 2, Lightle 3 4-9 10, Potts 0 1-2 1, Chandler 1 0-0 3, Harris 1 0-0 2, Team 16 7-17 41.N. Adams (58): Hesler 2 4-7 8, C. Young 1 0-4 2, Rothwell 5 0-1 10, S. Meade 4 0-0 8, E. Young 4 5-6 15, C. Meade 0 0-2 0, McCormick 6 3-3 15, Team 22 12-23 58.Three-Point Goals:Piketon (2)- Blanton 1, Chandler 1N. Adams (2)- E. Young 2Closely guarded by a Piketon defender, North Adams’ Cody Rothwell looks for an open teammate during action from the Feb. 23 Division III sectional final game at Waverly. Rothwell scored 10 points as the Devils took down the Redstreaks 58-41. (Photo by Mark Carpenter)North Adams’ Elijah Young cuts down the nets after the Devils’ sectional title win on Feb. 23. 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