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NEWS
Track gets new owner, new name
Track gets new owner, new name

DUNDEE--Tyler Siri, 40, of Horseheads announced last week he has purchased Black Rock Speedway in Dundee from former owner Dean Hoag. With the purchase, Siri announced several changes, including the name, with the track now being called Outlaw Speedway. The track was previously known as both Black Rock Speedway and Yates County Speedway. Hoag has owned the track since 2005. Siri discussed the purchase during a meeting at the Dundee American Legion Saturday morning, Feb. 6. Siri is the owner of Superior Crushing in Horseheads, where he also resides. During the meeting, he noted his experiences as both a racer and a business owner should help the track be successful under his ownership.

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Yates tables new drug officer position
Yates tables new drug officer position

YATES COUNTY--Following two lengthy discussions about the possibility of adding a drug investigator position in the sheriff's office, the Yates County Legislature decided they need more time. These talks occurred Monday, Feb. 8, during the regular session of the legislature, as well as Wednesday, Feb. 3, during the public safety committee meeting. The legislature decided Monday they would need more details on where they will find the money to fund this position. Much of this discussion stems from the ongoing issue with heroin and drug use in the community. Sheriff Ron Spike said his department is doing the best it can with drug investigations using its current staff at the public safety committee meeting. However, he added they used to have a drug investigator position that was cut a few years ago by the legislature in an effort to reduce its impact on the tax levy. Legislator Dan Banach made the motion during committee to bring this position to vote during Monday's meeting. The motion was seconded by Legislator Bonnie Percy. Both noted there was a public outcry for this position at the Dundee heroin forum, also adding it was one of the first proposed legislative actions listed by members of the Yates Substance Abuse Coalition during their presentation Monday.

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Keuka College backs away from 'Wolfpack'
Keuka College backs away from 'Wolfpack'

KEUKA PARK--Keuka College will drop the Wolfpack name from its athletic teams following pressure from North Carolina State University (NC State). According to a press release from Senior Director of Marketing and Communications Pete Bekisz at Keuka College, the change comes after the threat of legal action from NC State, who currently holds the rights to the Wolfpack name. At the start of next season, Keuka College's teams will be renamed as the Wolves. The college's mascot will remain the same, as will the wolf head image and much of the Keuka College athletics logos.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Yates Chamber celebrates community leadership
PHOTO GALLERY: Yates Chamber celebrates community leadership

PENN YAN--The Yates County Chamber of Commerce presented three awards recognizing community leadership, Saturday, Feb. 6, at the annual dinner and silent auction. Josh Trombley was presented the Robert Maxwell Memorial Director of the Year Award, The Hon. W. Patrick Falvey received the Emily Seager Memorial Pride Award and the group of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge 1722 was awarded the Norman Snow Memorial Spirit Award by Chamber President and CEO Mike Linehan and Kathy Waye. Exalted Ruler Jamie Sisson accepted the award for the lodge.

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Legislative package targets drug dealers
Legislative package targets drug dealers

FINGER LAKES--State Senator Tom O'Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) is co-sponsoring a series of legislative measures aimed at combating the heroin epidemic spreading throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, as well as statewide. O'Mara is a member of the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction. The legislative package seeks to build on existing state-level laws, programs and services enacted over the past few years in Albany to strengthen awareness, education, prevention and treatment efforts. These measures also target heroin traffickers and dealers. It includes legislation to allow law enforcement to charge a drug dealer with homicide, a class A-1 felony carrying a penalty of 15-25 years in prison, if a person dies of an overdose of heroin or other opiate-controlled substance sold by that dealer. The measure targets mid- to high- level drug suppliers who profit from heroin sales.

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Warm winter may increase crop pests
Warm winter may increase crop pests

FINGER LAKES--While the warmer temperatures are heralding signs of an early spring, the abnormal weather could prove problematic for area farmers. Schuyler County Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Resource Educator Roger Ort provided information on the many ways a warm winter can negatively impact crops in the spring. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information the average temperature was above average in the area, as well as across most of the state. Ort highlighted the fact that pests and diseases that are normally regulated by freezing temperature may become more of a problem for crops in the spring. Pests like the flea beetle and the stinkbug could have higher populations once the winter is over, which could negatively impact the more pest intensive vegetable crops like tomatoes, corn and lettuce. Life cycles of beneficial insects may also get out of sync with the pests they help control.

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Parks group cites gas rail concerns
Parks group cites gas rail concerns

WATKINS GLEN--The Finger Lakes State Park Regional Commission unanimously passed a resolution outlining concerns over liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) rail traffic passing through the Watkins Glen State Park. The commission oversees the Watkins Glen State Park among other State Parks in the Finger Lakes. The resolution specifically addressed the transportation of LPG through the north entrance to the park and crossing the Watkins Glen Gorge on a trestle privately owned by Norfolk Southern. The commission expressed concern for the possibility of a severe accident in the park involving a rail car carrying LPG. "The Finger Lakes State Park Regional Commission discussed possible impacts of the rail line, including the possibility of a catastrophic event taking place in the park involving a rail car carrying LPG," the resolution reads.

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Speakers address problems with heroin use
Speakers address problems with heroin use

WATKINS GLEN--Some 40 people attended a community forum titled "Emerging Drug Concerns Part II: Heroin and Prescription Drugs," Monday, Feb. 1, at the Watkins Glen elementary auditorium. The meeting was sponsored by the Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs (SCCUDD) and featured a group of speakers ranging from law enforcement officials to recovering addicts. Many of the speakers noted the recent increase in heroin use in Schuyler County, noting the warning signs of heroin abuse and what friends and family can do to convince someone they need help. Watkins Glen Clinic Manager for Finger Lakes Addictions Counseling and Referral Agency (FLACRA) Danielle Tilden spoke about the recent uptick in heroin overdoses in the area, noting a lot of that is due to the heroin being mixed with fentanyl, which makes the drug more potent. She noted many of the first warning signs for drug use include a sudden change in a person's normal behavior.

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Middle school 'Cinderella' begins Feb. 4
Middle school 'Cinderella' begins Feb. 4

PENN YAN--The Penn Yan middle school Drama Club will be performing the Rodgers and Hammerstein production of "Cinderella"Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 4 through 7. All performances will be at the middle school auditorium, with show times at 7 p.m. Thursday,Friday, and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Under the direction of Becky Prine and Rachel Hucko, the cast and crew have been preparing, painting, and practicing for the weekend performances. The show has been "double cast" to allow more students to perform in lead roles.

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Yates, Schuyler see sales tax revenues up
Yates, Schuyler see sales tax revenues up

YATES, SCHUYLER COUNTIES--Despite state trends indicating a decrease in sales tax revenues for most counties, both Yates and Schuyler Counties had small increases in 2015. According to the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC), for all of 2015 compared to 2014, 30 counties experienced negative growth in sales tax receipts, with the average change per county down 0.3 percent. However, Yates County saw a 0.1 percent growth during this time, while Schuyler County saw a 1.5 percent increase. "We are fortunate to have a healthy improving economy in Yates County," Yates County Chairman Tim Dennis said. "We have estimated that the reduction in the price of motor fuels and the corresponding decrease in sales tax revenue had an impact of over $300,000. In light of that we still had a very modest increase."

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Area overrides cap less than state average
Area overrides cap less than state average

TRI-COUNTY AREA--New York State has implemented a mandated tax cap to help limit the annual growth of taxes collected. A state trend shows many municipalities have overridden these limits as tax caps have decreased. However, area towns, villages, counties and school districts have done a better job of staying within their limits. Last year, only four local municipalities voted to exceed the state tax cap for 2016, including the Dundee Central School District, the town of Torrey, the town of Milo and the town of Cayuta. This accounts for just 11.11 percent of the 36 area county, town, village and school districts. Meanwhile, according to the New York State Comptroller's Office 26 percent of municipalities across the state passed a tax cap waiver during this time.

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Miller earns eighth Firefighter of the Year
Miller earns eighth Firefighter of the Year

DUNDEE--Past Dundee Fire Chief Ray Miller was honored as the department's Firefighter of the Year for the eighth time during the annual awards banquet Friday, Jan. 22. More than 70 people attended the banquet, which was at the Dundee Fire Hall. This is also Miller's second consecutive Firefighter of the Year Award from the department. "[Miller] drives quite a bit for the ambulance calls, makes more fire calls than anyone, and last year he had the top hours for meetings, department drills and total calls," Fire Chief Steve Warriner said. "That's just what we [have] on paper. The rest of it is a huge amount of time spent here on a lot of things. You look around this room and you see a lot of what he does, [including] trucks out in the ambulance building [and] trucks out in the truck bay."

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Residents vent frustration with drug problem
Residents vent frustration with drug problem

DUNDEE--Nearly 200 people attended the community forum to combat heroin Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the Dundee school auditorium. After several recent heroin overdoses in the Yates County area, many residents came together at the meeting to learn what they can do to stop the problem. However, many are also learning the difficulties and frustrations that come with attempting to catch those who are distributing the illegal substance. The meeting was sponsored by the Yates Substance Abuse Coalition (YSAC). The panel of speakers included Sheriff Ron Spike, District Attorney Valerie Gardner and Director of Public Health Deb Minor. Environmental Prevention Specialist at Council on Alcoholism and Addictions of the Finger Lakes Mike Ballard, also spoke during the meeting, along with Kris Schiek, a parent of a person in recovery, and Susan Wager of the Finger Lakes Addictions Counseling and Referral Agency (FLACRA).

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Schuyler home prices up 10 percent
Schuyler home prices up 10 percent

SCHUYLER COUNTY--The median price for a single family home in Schuyler County increased 10 percent in 2015 over 2014. Terrie Burke, president of the Elmira-Corning Association of Realtors, said the median sales price for a Schuyler County home in 2015 was $139,000. Overall in 2014, it was $125,750, up 10 percent. "The outlook for this coming year is pretty steady. A balanced market is anticipated for much of the area for the foreseeable future," said Burke. "Improved inventory and affordability are keys to the continued success of the local area." Meanwhile, the number of homes dropped slightly by 4 percent. The Elmira-Corning realtors reported 109 Schuyler homes were sold in 2015, versus the 114 sold in 2014.

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Speakers highlight Walk of Fame drivers
Speakers highlight Walk of Fame drivers

WATKINS GLEN--The Watkins Glen Drivers Walk of Fame features the names of international racing stars who have competed at Watkins Glen since automobile racing in the area began in 1948. The granite markers are located in the east and west sidewalks along Franklin Street, beginning at Smalley's Garage running north and looping back around to the other side of the road, ending at the Watkins Glen State Park. A few drivers also have markers at the International Motor Racing Research Center at 610 S. Decatur St. The Walk of Fame currently includes 116 people and is an important part of motor racing history in the area.

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Guitar duo starts 2016 tour with Dundee concert
Guitar duo starts 2016 tour with Dundee concert

DUNDEE--The third annual Dundee Winter Concert is set for Friday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Dundee Baptist Church. The featured performers for the night include Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb. The show is sponsored by Our Town RoCKS along with 36 area businesses, with all proceeds from the ticket sales going to benefit the Dundee Food Pantry. "They are two of the best guitarists of our time," organizer Robert Sisbarro said. "They have a very unique musical chemistry between them seldom found amongst musicians."

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Yates dog park location still a topic of debate
Yates dog park location still a topic of debate

PENN YAN--The location for a proposed community dog park in Penn Yan is still up in the air. The Penn Yan village board discussed potential sites during their Tuesday, Jan. 19 meeting, where they suggested the site be located along Cherry Street. However, the 20/20 Vision Committee had previously recommended the park be located at Indian Pines Park. 20/20 member Brian Zerges said this was due to feedback from a community survey, which indicated a strong support for the Indian Pines Park Location. Mayor Leigh MacKerchar said the village's parks and recreation committee did not feel a dog park was the best use of the area at Indian Pines Park. He also noted there was more space available for the park at the Cherry Street site. MacKerchar said people heading to the Cherry Street dog park would be able to utilize the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail, adding it is a more walkable location than Indian Pines Park.

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Crime lab reveals tainted heroin
Crime lab reveals tainted heroin

ROCHESTER--What's in those illegal bags of heroin being sold in Central New York? In nearly half of sampled cases, according to the Monroe County Crime Laboratory, it's not just heroin but a mixture of drugs. Heroin users are often putting themselves at risk of consuming a mixture of powerful and potentially fatal substances. The Monroe Country Crime Lab, located in downtown Rochester, is tasked with analyzing drugs seized by law enforcement agencies in eight central New York counties (including Yates). Of the nearly 8,000 "decks," or bags, of heroin tested in 2014 (the latest year for which figures are available), 54 percent of them contained heroin alone. The rest tested positive for varying amounts of other drugs, the deadliest of which is the pain medication fentanyl.

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SPORTS
Dundee boys defeat Penn Yan
Dundee boys defeat Penn Yan

PENN YAN-The Dundee boys varsity basketball team topped Penn Yan in a close game, Thursday, Feb. 11. The final score was 55-53. Ryan Sprague led with 19 points, while Andrew Clark earned 14. Bobby Strait scored 11 points. With the win, the Scots' record is now 14-6. For Penn Yan, Sean Emerson scored 17 points. Dylan Stape added 12, while Desmond Battin recorded 10. The Mustangs have a 11-9 record.

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Senecas suffer a loss, 65-41
Senecas suffer a loss, 65-41

WATKINS GLEN-The Watkins girls varsity basketball team lost to Susquehanna Valley, 65-41, Thursday, Feb. 11. Leading the Senecas was Amanda Pike with 18 points, which included four three-point shots. Mariah Gonzalez scored 12 points, with five rebounds. Emmie Bond and Clara Chedzoy both added four points. Chedzoy also earned six rebounds. Maggie Bond scored two points. With the loss, Watkins' record is now 13-6.

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Watkins Glen tops Odessa
Watkins Glen tops Odessa

ODESSA--The Watkins Glen boys varsity basketball team beat Odessa-Montour, 65-35, Saturday, Feb. 6. Parker Pangallo led with 18 points, followed by Justin Kelly with 17. Jacob Carocci and Michael Doane both recorded eight points. Max Schimizzi scored seven points. Michael Taylor added five. For the Indians, Chris Foote led with 12 points. Tyler Clark and Bryce Elliott both scored seven points. Nick Sgrecci recorded six. Zach Elliott earned two points.

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Dundee basketball loses, 56-41
Dundee basketball loses, 56-41

DUNDEE-The Dundee boys varsity basketball team fell to Naples, Friday, Feb. 5. The final score was 56-41. Ryan Sprague and Talon Wright both scored 10 points for the Scots. With the loss, Dundee's record is now 12-6. The Scots will play next at Honeoye, Tuesday, Feb. 9.

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Watkins swimmers beat Odessa, 91-76
Watkins swimmers beat Odessa, 91-76

WATKINS GLEN-The Watkins Glen boys varsity swim team posted a win against Odessa-Montour, Thursday, Feb. 4. The final score was 91-76. For the Senecas, Matt Doppel, Lucas Wickham, Aidan DeBolt, and Jacob Slater were first as the 200 medley relay team (1:48.21) and first as the 200 free relay team (1:36.36). Doppel also placed first in the 50 free (22.73, a new pool record) and first in the 100 free (48.65). DeBolt was first in the 100 butterfly (1:00.29) and second in the 50 free (23.23). Wickham took first in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.37), while Will Fitzsimmons finished first in the 100 backstroke (1:09.79).

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Lady Mustangs fall to Geneva
Lady Mustangs fall to Geneva

PENN YAN-The Penn Yan girls varsity basketball team fell to Geneva, 59-37, Wednesday, Feb. 3. Leading the Lady Mustangs was Sydney Bloom with 20 points. Hannah Keech recorded nine points, while Emalee Rose Brockman added four points and four rebounds. Brooke Dinehart had two points and three rebounds, while Cassidy Prather and Emily Wunder both scored one point. Prather also contributed six rebounds, while Lizzy Lafferty added five. With the loss, Penn Yan's record is 4-13.

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Gould, Chedzoy claim IAC titles
Gould, Chedzoy claim IAC titles

WATKINS GLEN-The Watkins Glen varsity wrestling team placed third in the Interscholastic Athletic Conference championships, while Odessa was ninth, Saturday, Jan. 30. Newark Valley was first of the 14 schools in attendance. Two Watkins Glen wrestlers won in the championship finals. Brandon Gould (132) and Ian Chedzoy (182) both won by decision for first place. Gould beat Max Johnson of Tioga 14-9 and Chedzoy topped Moravia's Hunter Talbot 8-2. Avery Watson (126) finished second for Watkins, while Kurtis Edwards (195) was third. Kameryn Sheldon (220) took fifth. Dylan Bradley (120) and Ethan Voorheis (285) both finished sixth. For Odessa, Jeremiah Lynch (152), Shawn Minnier (170), DeShawn Johnson (182) and Alex Repass (220) all took third. Dylan Houseknecht (285) finished fourth.

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Penn Yan wrestlers defeat Dundee, Marcus Whitman
Penn Yan wrestlers defeat Dundee, Marcus Whitman

PENN YAN-The Penn Yan varsity wrestling team topped both Dundee and Marcus Whitman, Thursday, Jan. 28. The Mustangs beat the Scots, 57-24. For Penn Yan, Damien Snyder (99) pinned Paul Knapp in 0:35. Jarred Calice (120) pinned Julian Ortiz in 3:37. Caleb Plain (126) pinned Nick Medina in 1:36. Cole Kirch (132) won over Logan Thompson in 1:59 with a pin, while Coty Bailey (152) topped Jared Jayne in 1:44. Gage Ponsetti (160) pinned Leif Hoyt in 0:44. Alvaro Chavez (170) beat Braydon Eatherton by decision, 8-2. Riley Brittingham (106), Michael Peacock (113), and Leonardo Chavez (182) won by forfeit. For Dundee, Jayson Lovejoy (145) pinned Penn Yan's Dakota Miller in 3:04. Harry Nice (220) won over O`Brien Dailey with a pin in 1:34. Joseph Dillon (285) and Damon Empson (138) won by forfeit.

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Dundee bowlers blank Naples
Dundee bowlers blank Naples

PENN YAN-The Dundee boys and girls varsity bowling teams defeated Naples, 7-0 on Senior Night, Wednesday, Jan. 27. Dustin Anderson led the boys with a 618. Ryan Goodman added 590, while Zach Kaufman recorded a 579. Devon Forman bowled 535. Ronny Nissen had 496. For the girls, Caitlyn Cornish had a 480. Laura Miller earned a 379. Krista Fultz bowled a 351, followed by Liz Medina with 284.

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Lady Mustangs fall to Waterloo
Lady Mustangs fall to Waterloo

PENN YAN-The Penn Yan girls varsity basketball team suffered a loss to Waterloo, 69-66, Friday, Jan. 22. Sydney Bloom scored 22 points to lead the Lady Mustangs. Lizzy Lafferty added 18 points and 13 rebounds. Hannah Keech recorded 12 points, while Cassidy Prather had six. Brooke Dinehart and Emalee Rose Brockman both scored three points.

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Dundee wrestling team loses to Waterloo
Dundee wrestling team loses to Waterloo

DUNDEE-The Dundee varsity wrestling team lost to Waterloo at home, 60-18, Thursday, Jan. 21. Recording wins for the Scots were Trenton Lane (120), Damon Empson (138) and Harry Nice (220). All three Dundee victories were by pins. Lane beat Isaiah Cottman in 0:51, Empson topped Jesus Delacruz in 3:40 and Nice won over Jake Dewall in 0:45.

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Watkins Glen tops Whitney Point
Watkins Glen tops Whitney Point

WATKINS GLEN-The Watkins Glen girls varsity basketball team topped Whitney Point, 53-31, Wednesday, Jan. 20. Amanda Pike led with 18 points, including a pair of three-pointers, eight rebounds, and six assists. Emmie Bond scored 12 points, with seven rebounds. Mariah Gonzalez added 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Allison Teed had nine points. With the win, the Senecas' record is now 11-2.

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Odessa-Montour girls win, 39-35
Odessa-Montour girls win, 39-35

ODESSA-The Odessa-Montour girls varsity basketball team defeated Spencer-Van Etten, Wednesday, Jan. 20. The final score was 39-35. With 2:39 to play, Kennedey Heichel secured a three-pointer to make the score 37-31. Spencer closed the gap to 37-35, but with 5.9 seconds left in the game, Olivia Grover hit two free throws to seal the game for the Indians. Grover led with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and six steals. Heichel and Gillian Clark both had six points, while Clark also added eight rebounds. Alexis Saunders scored five points.

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Hammondsport girls defeat Bradford/Dundee
Hammondsport girls defeat Bradford/Dundee

HAMMONDSPORT-The Hammondsport girls varsity basketball team topped Bradford/Dundee, 48-45, Friday, Jan. 15. Tanessa Whitney led the Lakers with 24 points and seven rebounds. Emily Eckel added 15 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and seven steals. Katelyn Hoyt scored four points. Paige Easling scored 16 points for the Braves. Tayler Morrison added 15.

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Dundee wins 60-45
Dundee wins 60-45

DUNDEE-The Dundee boys varsity basketball team defeated South Seneca in a home game, Thursday, Jan. 14. The final score was 60-45. Devin Jensen and Ryan Sprague both recorded 14 points. Kyle Cratsley added 10. The Scots move to 9-4 on the season.

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Penn Yan bowling tops Newark
Penn Yan bowling tops Newark

PENN YAN-The Penn Yan varsity bowling teams both topped Newark, Thursday, Jan. 14. The boys won, 7-0. Bryce Johnson led with a 712, followed by Alex Gurba with 627. Jacob Whitford had a 615 and Victor Sutton a 614. Steven Ottaviano added a 575. The girls won, 4-3, led by Sabrena Parsons with 560. Stephanie Ayers bowled a 512. Kari Ayers added 496, while Emilie Thomas had 437 and Emily Augustine 376.

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Senecas top Indians, 49-37
Senecas top Indians, 49-37

ODESSA-The Watkins Glen girls varsity basketball team defeated Odessa-Montour, 49-37, Wednesday, Jan. 13. Watkins' Amanda Pike scored 21 points, with a trio of three-point shots, five rebounds, and six steals. Allison Teed followed with 12 points, six rebounds, and six steals. Mariah Gonzalez added 10 points, while Katherine Meehan, Emmie Bond, and Clara Chedzoy each scored two points. Gillian Clark led Odessa with 12 points. Olivia Grover added six points, eight rebounds, and five blocks. Nikki Crout and Alexis Saunders both scored five points, while Kennedey Heichel had four. Alyssa Crout added three points and Maddie Lodge two.

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Watkins boys beat Odessa
Watkins boys beat Odessa

WATKINS GLEN-The Watkins Glen boys varsity basketball team topped Odessa-Montour, Tuesday, Jan. 12. The final score was 58-43. Leading the Senecas was Parker Pangallo with 19 points. Justin Kelly scored 14 points, followed by Jacob Carocci with 10. Max Schimizzi added six. Michael Doane and Connor Seeley-Ion both had three points. For the Indians, Zach Elliott recorded 11 points. Curtis Harris had seven, while Joel Kelly added six and Tyler Clark five. Byrce Elliott, Chris Foote, and Nick Sgrecci all earned four points.

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