GENEVA — Another successful year for the Finger Lakes and Wayne County boys basketball leagues was cut short when the New York state tournament was canceled before the regional round had been played.
Before that point, the Finger Lakes East, Finger Lakes West and Wayne County conducted their season-ending meetings, at which time all-league teams were selected and players and coaches of the year were chosen.
Geneva’s Devon “Junior” Martin was named Finger Lakes East Player of the Year. The junior helped lead Geneva to a Class B1 sectional title and the program’s first berth in the state tournament.
The Panthers finished 20-4 overall and 12-2 in the league, with two losses to East champ Wayne Central costing them the league crown.
“Devon had a great season for us,” said Geneva head coach Matt Deisering, who was named Section V Class B1 Coach of the Year. “He is a great young man who always has a smile on his face.
“We had senior leadership this past season, and Devon was just able to play his game while the seniors were my leaders.”
Deisering said his squad played as a “team” all season long. Although Martin topped the Panthers in scoring and rebounding most nights, it seemed like a different teammate rose to the occasion in each game.
“These boys played for each other every single game,” Deisering said. “They felt early on in the season they didn’t get some of the press or respect that some other teams got early on, and they played with a chip on their shoulder. We knew what we had in the locker room from the first day of practice.”
Six Geneva players were honored among the East’s all-league selections.
Wayne, which placed four athletes on the all-league squads, graduated nine seniors from 2018-19. Few teams thought that junior Tyler Reynolds and sophomore Mason Blankenberg would lead the Eagles to a third straight East championship, but that’s exactly what they did.
Wayne is 39-3 in league play over the past three seasons.
Reynolds and Blankenberg were selected to the East’s first team.
“Mason and Tyler had outstanding seasons and were well deserved for first team,” Wayne head coach Bill Thomson stated. “Both have worked at their games year-round, and I’m looking forward to having them back next year, as well as Mason the following year.”
Thomson was named co-Finger Lakes East Coach of the Year after his Eagles finished the season at 19-3 overall and 13-1 in the league. He shared the honor with Waterloo’s Tim Darnell.
“I’m honored to receive this award,” said Thomson, whose team’s three losses came by a combined 6 points, including a 71-68 setback against NE Douglass in the Class A2 sectional semifinals. “I’ve received this three out of the last four years, but this year is really special since we lost nine seniors last year and we had nobody coming back with any varsity experience.”
Marcus Whitman was an independent this season after winning three straight West titles, so the Wildcats did not factor into all-league considerations. However, they won a Section V Class C1 crown, the program’s first championship in 44 years, and had senior forward Liam Prendergast selected to play in the Section V Ronald McDonald Exceptional Senior All-Star Game that wound up being canceled. Waterloo’s Mike Hubbard, Newark’s Josh Green, Red Jacket’s Chase Rizzo, Honeoye’s Dominick Trippi and Lyons’ Benji Kemp were the seniors from area leagues to be selected. Darnell was picked as a coach.