Athletes of the Week: Harley Cleary of Mercy and Devin Zdanowski of Brighton

January 21, 2011

Harley Cleary, Mercy basketball

Age: 17.

Hometown: Irondequoit.

Class/position: Senior/guard.

Years varsity: 5.

The scoop: Averaged 17 points in three games, as Mercy went 2-1 and won its own Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament last weekend. She had 16 points against Aquinas, 20 points against Pittsford Sutherland and 14 against Holy Angels (Buffalo).
Family: Parents, Dan and Kris; brother Sean, 20; sister Danielle, 14.

Academics: 87.

Season averages: 17.2 points per game, 4.9 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 2.5 assists.

At Nazareth Academy: Member of three Section V basketball title teams and one in soccer at Nazareth Academy, which closed last spring.

Milestone: Scored a career-high 30 points in Tuesday's victory over East Aurora to eclipse 1,000 for her career. She has 1,017 points.
How tough was Nazareth closing last spring? "Probably one of the hardest things I had to go through. Yeah, I only went there three years but the teachers and students became like family, so leaving them and going our separate ways was hard."

You're a team captain with Tyler Guerrieri. What makes a good leader? "It's someone who is able to communicate well. I want everyone to feel like they can talk to me about anything, not just basketball."
Favorite sport and why: Basketball. "It's my release. If I ever have a stressful day at school or a lot on my mind, it makes things feel better."
Most memorable moment: Winning 2009 state basketball championship at Nazareth.

Is there a story behind your first name? "My Mom heard it on (the soap opera) The Guiding Light and liked it."

College: Considering Alfred University to major in engineering.

From coach Tom Vasey: "She's the ultimate leader on the court, keeps everybody positive. Her biggest strength is in the open court. A lot of teams try to press, but when we can break it she's really effective in the open court."

Senior Leaders, Time to Shine

March 8, 2010

Posted by Jeff Di Veronica • March 5, 2010 • 12:16 pm

I’ve seen the Greece Arcadia girls basketball team come up short, losing in the Section V Class AA semifinals, over the past few years and when No. 6 Aquinas took a six-point lead late in the third quarter of Thursday night’s Class A title game, well, those memories came back to me. I’m sure they came back to the Titans too, but they reversed their fortune this year and leading the way, to no one’s surprise, was the trio of Shy Britton, Jess Sexton and point guard Ashley Armstrong. Arcadia won, 60-55. Here’s my story.

Ah yes, senior leadership is great this time of year isn’t it?

I saw some more of it from Mercy’s seven seniors in the nightcap at Gates Chili’s great gymnasium, as the No. 1 Monarchs fended off No. 2 Greece Athena, 57-43. Just like Arcadia, Mercy needed a second-half rally and leading the way … you guessed it … senior point guard Mary Kate Tierney. It was the first time I got to see the All-Greater Rochester pick play and through the first two quarters I was wondering what all the fuss has been about. Sure, Tierney had a slick handle and fluidity in the way she dribbled and passed, but, I thought, how was this girl averaging a double-double? She had only four points in the first half.

Of course, that’s because Tierney was moved to point guard this season because the Monarchs had nowhere else to turn and Tierney has focused first on setting up her teammates. But when it came to crunch time, there she was, stealing crosscourt passes, nailing a pull-up jumper after one of them. Tierney and senior guard Sarah Hasenauer (three 3s) were huge in an 18-4 run that turned a game that was tied at 35 into a rout. And, after Tierney drilled a 3 right after Hasenauer hit one and I saw the adrenaline take over Tierney, who high-stepped it down the floor on defense, I knew Mercy’s 14-year wait to return to the winner’s circle was going to end. She finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.

Mercy #14 in Latest NYSSWA Class AA Poll

March 4, 2010

New York State Girls Basketball

2009-10 NYSSWA rankings (through March 2)

Class AA

1: 24-0 Murry Bergtraum-PSAL
2: 21-5 Christ The King-CHS
3: 22-1 St. Peter’s-CHS
4: 19-3 Mount Vernon-1
5: 19-0 Binghamton-4
6: 19-2 Shenendehowa-2
7: 18-2 North Babylon-11
8: 18-2 Fairport-5
9: 18-3 Ossining-1
10: 17-3 Sachem East-11
11: 16-5 St. Michael’s-CHS
12: 17-3 Cicero-North Syracuse-3
13: 19-1 Syracuse Corcoran-3
14: 18-2 Mercy-5
16: 17-1 Kingston-9
17: 16-2 Minisink Valley-9
18: 17-2 Horseheads-4
19: 17-4 Shaker-2
20: 17-3 Lockport-6
21: 16-10 St. John Baptist’s-CHSAA
22: 18-7 Mary Louis-PSAL
23: 16-2 Colonie-2
24: 20-4 Bishop Ford-CHS
25: 16-4 Baldwin-8 *

NYSSWA Girls Class AA Poll

Red Penguin Athletics Section V Super 7 Coaches Poll for the Week of January 31

Section V Class AA
Rank Team Points Record at time of Vote Current Record
1 Our Lady of Mercy 57 13-1 14-1
2 Fairport 50 12-2 13-2
3 Greece Athena 44 11-3 11-4
4 Irondequoit 35 9-4 9-5
5 Hilton 23 10-4 10-4
6 Canandaigua 9 8-5 8-7
6 Gates-Chili 9 8-5 10-5
7 Churchville-Chili 8 9-5 9-6

Mercy Ranked # 6 In NYS Girls Basketball Poll

February 2, 2010
Girls basketball
2009-10 NYSSWA rankings (through Feb. 1)

Class AA

1: 17-0 Murry Bergtraum-PSAL
2: 15-0 Syracuse Corcoran-3
3: 14-4 Christ The King-CHS
4: 15-1 St. Peter’s-CHS
5: 13-3 Mount Vernon-1
6: 13-1 Mercy-5
7: 14-0 Binghamton-4
8: 11-2 Shenendehowa-2
9: 13-2 Colonie-2
10: 12-2 North Babylon-11
11: 13-2 Sachem East-11
12: 12-2 Fairport-5
13: 12-3 Ossining-1
14: 11-9 St. John the Baptist-CHS
15: 11-1 Lockport-6
16: 12-1 Kingston-9
17: 12-2 Minisink Valley-9
18: 12-3 Cicero-North Syracuse-3
19: 12-1 Horseheads-4
20: 18-3 Bishop Ford-CHS
21: 15-4 St. Michael’s-CHS
22: 15-3 Francis Lewis-PSAL
23: 11-2 Orchard Park-6
24: 15-4 St. Anthony’s-CHS
25: 13-1 Fayetteville-Manlius-3

New York State Sportswriters Association Girls AA Poll

Mercy Falls to #7 In NYS Sportswriters Poll

January 5, 2010

Girls basketball
2009-10 NYSSWA rankings (through Jan. 5, 2010)

Class AA
1: 8-0 Kingston-9
2: 9-0 Syracuse Corcoran-3
3: 6-1 Mount Vernon-1
4: 5-1 Shenendehowa-2
5: 7-1 Colonie-2
6: 7-0 Orchard Park-6
7: 7-1 Mercy-5
8: 7-1 Farmingdale-8
9: 2-1 North Babylon-11
10: 4-4 Massapequa-8
11: 8-0 Fayetteville-Manlius-3
12: 7-1 Warwick-9
13: 8-0 Binghamton-4
14: 5-3 Sachem East-11
15: 5-1 Lockport-6
16: 8-1 Ward Melville-11
17: 6-2 Fairport-5
18: 5-3 Ossining-1
19: 5-2 Greece Athena-5
20: 5-2 Williamsville North-6

Girls basketball 2009-10 NYSSWA rankings (through Jan. 5)

Bishop Grimes Tournament

December 29, 2009

The Bishop Grimes Holiday Tournament has traditionally had some strong teams in the field. This season the tournament appears to have the best set of teams in its history. It could prove to be one of Central New York's most entertaining two days of girls basketball. Here's why...
The undefeated #5th-ranked Class C Lady Cobras are the defending tournament champions, yet they cannot be considered the favorite this time around. Our Lady of Mercy from Rochester comes with high credentials. The Lady Monarchs are 5-0 and ranked #3 in the state Class AA poll. Immaculate Heart Central from Watertown returns to the tournament with an undefeated record. The Lady Cavs have won their first four games by large margins and are looking for revenge after losing the championship game by five to the Lady Cobras last December. Utica Notre Dame comes in with a 4-2 record in the highly competitive Tri Valley league, which consists of Class A and B schools Notre Dame is a 'C'. The Lady Jugglers are one of Section Three's most improved teams so far this winter and cannot be overlooked despite the resumes of the other teams.

3:00 p.m. JV Game: Rochester Mercy vs. Watertown IHC
4:30 p.m. JV Game: Utica Notre Dame vs. Bishop Grimes
6:15 p.m. Varsity Game: Rochester Mercy vs. Watertown IHC
7:45 p.m. Varsity Game: Utica Notre Dame vs. Bishop Grimes

3:00 p.m. JV Consolation Game
4:30 p.m. JV Championship Game
6:15 p.m. Varsity Consolation Game
7:45 p.m. Varsity Championship Game

Bishop Grimes Team Website

Mercy Moves Up to #3 in New York State Sportswriters Poll

December 25, 2009
Girls basketball
2009-10 NYSSWA rankings (through Dec. 22; next update Jan. 6)

Class AA
1: 6-0 Kingston-9
2: 5-0 Syracuse Corcoran-3
3: 6-0 Mercy-5
4: 4-1 Mount Vernon-1
5: 1-0 North Babylon-11
6: 1-0 Massapequa-8
7: 4-1 Shenendehowa-2
8: 4-1 Colonie-2
9: 4-0 Greece Athena-5
10: 5-0 Orchard Park-6
11: 4-0 Farmingdale-8
12: 5-1 Williamsville North-6
13: 3-2 Cicero-North Syracuse-3
14: 4-1 Warwick-9
15: 1-2 Sachem East-11
16: 4-1 Lockport-6
17: 2-0 Northport-11
18: 4-0 Binghamton-4
19: 4-2 Fairport-4
20: 3-2 Ossining-1

Current New York State Sportswriters AA Poll

D&C Sportswriter John Boccacino’s Winter Blitz, Varsity Blog week 3

Posted by John Boccacino • December 19, 2009 • 1:55 pm The Winter Blitz roared on Friday night, as I got out to four basketball games, starting with Wilson’s surprisingly easy 72-49 win over Marshall. Ty’shaun Murrell scored 17 points with 12 rebounds and Cody Levans added 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists as the Wildcats improved to 6-0. In the girls’ Rainbow Classic between Mendon and Sutherland, Bridget Ryan scored 21 points, but it wasn’t enough to offset Shelby Fogarty (18 pts, 9 rbds., 5 steals) as Mendon won 57-48. Amarrae Stevens added nine points and 13 rebounds for the Vikings, who have won two straight since an 0-2 start. The Game of the Week, Mercy taking on Aquinas, turned into a blowout in the second quarter. Mary Kate Tierney had 21 points and 13 rebounds and shot 4-for-6 from 3-point range and Katie Strong (10 pts) and Greta Buerman (12 pts) had solid efforts as the Monarchs improved to 4-0. Finishing off back at the Rainbow Classic (at a sold-out University of Rochester Palestra), it was all Sutherland in the first half. The Knights led 31-22, but Mendon hung around. Sophomore Vaugh Boler (16 pts) scored on back-to-back possessions, part of an 11-3 run, and Nick Billow swished a ‘3' to tie it at 43 heading into the fourth. Sutherland senior Dylan Sherwood’s baby hook late in regulation tied it at 55, and Brad Kazka (15 pts) and Sherwood (11 pts) scored on layups in OT. Tied at 61, O’Keefe beat his defender and hit a layup with two seconds left as Sutherland hung on for a thrilling 63-61 win. The ninth Classic raised $21,450 for the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong, and has collected $221,450 in nine years. D&C Boccacino's Blitz

Mercy Ranked #6 in New York State Girls Basketball Rankings

December 18, 2009
Girls basketball

2009-10 NYSSWA rankings (through Dec. 15)

Class AA
1: 4-0 Kingston-9
2: 2-0 Mount Vernon-1
3: 4-0 Shenendehowa-2
4: 4-0 Syracuse Corcoran-3
5: 1-0 North Babylon-11
6: 3-0 Rochester Mercy-5
7: 1-0 Massapequa-8
8: 3-1 Colonie-2
9: 4-0 Greece Athena-5
10: 4-0 Williamsville North-6
11: 3-1 Cicero-North Syracuse-3
12: 4-0 Farmingdale-8
13: 2-0 Minisink Valley-9
14: 1-2 Sachem East-11
15: 1-0 Canandaigua-5
16: 3-0 Horseheads-4
17: 2-1 Ossining-1
18: 2-1 Lockport-6
19: 2-0 Northport-11
20: 3-0 Binghamton-4

Current New York State Girls Basketball Rankings

A rivalry with more meaning: Mercy at Aquinas

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle-
JEFF DIVERONICA • STAFF WRITER • DECEMBER 18, 2009 Mercy and Aquinas are rivals in every sport, but tonight's girls basketball matchup has extra meaning because they're each off to fast starts and will battle for the Private-Parochial League crown.

And for the first time in several years, each could contend in sectionals.

The Class AA Monarchs are 3-0 under first-year coach Tom Vasey, and last Friday's 56-44 win over Monroe County Division I favorite Fairport opened plenty of eyes around Section V.

Aquinas (Class A) has won three straight since a 51-50 loss in its season opener to reigning Class AAA champion Penfield. The Little Irish are in their second year under Dan Johnson. He and Vasey were teammates on the 1989 Greece Arcadia squad that upset Aquinas for the Section V title.

"When I watch (Aquinas) tapes I think, 'We used to run that play (at Arcadia),'" Vasey said with a laugh while noting the influence retired coach Doug Childs had on him and Johnson.

Despite losing two would-be starters to transfers, including freshman guard Teja Reaves, who is now at Aquinas, Mercy has been solid. Senior Mary Kate Tierney, a 5-foot-10 guard, is the catalyst. She scored 36 points in the opener, a 68-65 win over St. Mary's.

An All-Greater Rochester pick last year who averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds, she's playing the point now.

"She's really getting everyone involved," Vasey said. "So far, everyone has stepped up and played their roles."

Guard Greta Buerman (12 ppg) is the other returning starter, but Mercy has found a secondary scorer in each win. Sarah Hasenauer (8 ppg), Katie Strong and Liz Geen round out the lineup. All five seniors are 5-8 or taller.

Aquinas' Kelly Legg, a 6-1 senior forward, has dominated at times over the past two seasons. The Irish also picked up sophomore Nicole Bini, a Greece Athena transfer who was one of Monroe County's top shooters the past two years.

"We thought Aquinas was the team to beat (in the league) going into the season and they still are," Vasey said.
Game of the Week: A Rivalry with More Meaning

Mary Kate Tierney Honored by D&C as Female High School Player of the Week

December 18, 2009
Mary Kate Tierney, Mercy basketball

Age/class: 17/senior.

Position: Forward/guard.

Height: 5-feet-10.

The scoop: The 2009 AGR pick scored 19 of her game-high 26 points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Monarchs (3-0) knocked off Fairport 56-44. She added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists during a 59-32 win over Nazareth and is averaging 26 points and 12 rebounds.

Family: Parents, Sonya and Steve Tierney; sisters, Caroline, 15, and Elizabeth, 13.

Academics: 93 average.

Other sports: Soccer (forward).

Transition: After Mercy lost two point guards during the offseason, Tierney switched from shooting to point guard, and with her running the show, the Monarchs have averaged 61 points.

AAU: Western New York Lady Titans.

Accuracy: Has hit 22 of 25 free throws (88 percent).

Quotable: “After beating Fairport, our confidence is pretty high,” Tierney said “That’s a big win, but we’re pretty determined to show everyone else that we’re ready to play this year.”

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle High School Athlete of the Week Dec. 18,2009