By Jay Young
The No. 4 seed Chautauqua Lake Lady Thunderbirds (18-1) played well above their ranking on Wednesday night by routing top-seeded Olmsted (16-4), 72-40, in the Section 6 Class C-2 girls basketball semifinals at Jamestown High School's McElrath Gymnasium.
Chautauqua Lake’s Tara Hunt (14) and Taylor Phelps closely guard Olmsted’s Natassia West during Wednesday’s Section 6 Class C-2 semifinal basketball game at Jamestown High School. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Jay Young
Chautauqua Lake booted the No. 1 Owls from the postseason for the second year in a row, and will now meet No. 2 Randolph for the sectional title this weekend, back at JHS.
Jenna Einink of the Lady Thunderbirds added another stellar performance to her junior season with a team-high 21 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and eight blocks.
Despite the lopsided finish, Chautauqua Lake coach Eric Schuster still sees some flaws in his team's game that can be ironed out before heading back to ''The Mac'' on Saturday where it will meet No. 2 Randolph at 2:45 p.m. The Lady Cardinals advanced to the title game by virtue of a 41-34 victory over No. 3 Frewsburg in the other semifinal.
"Well, we just had the turnovers and the forced passes," he said. ''"I told the kids at halftime that sometimes you just have to hold on to the ball a little bit longer when we are on the break. You know, make that defender commit to you and then make the wide-open pass."
While Einink has spent most of the year beating up opposing teams in the paint, on Wednesday she showed a tremendous all-around game by making plays for her teammates as well as hitting the glass.
The Lady Thunderbirds began the contest with a steal and drive by Courtney Hewes, which was then followed by a nice dish from Einink to Tara Hunt for an easy bucket. Hewes put together a nice game of her own with 17 points and seven steals. Einink notched her first points of the night on a left-handed finish in the lane, which was added to by a pair of buckets from Ashton Albanesius.
Chautauqua Lake had already found 11 points by the time the Owls managed to get on the board with a baseline jumper from senior point guard Ericka Thompson. Thompson notched another deuce on a floater in the lane to end the period - the Lady Thunderbirds led, 13-6 - and provided most of the offense for Olmsted, ending the contest with 20 points.
Einink began the second quarter with another long pass to Hewes that resulted in a putback layin.
The Lady Thunderbirds then really started to stretch their lead on six consecutive points by Ashley Moulton, who had all but two of her 10 in the eight minutes leading up to halftime.
More fastbreaks defined the offense for Chautauqua Lake for the balance of the game, with Einink continuing to distribute as well as drive to the hoop.
Hewes found her shot from long range later in the evening and cashed in a trey to stretch the lead to 48-21, while the Owls continued to struggle on both ends of the court.
Thompson showed some flashes of brilliance during the start of the final quarter, but at that point Olmsted was facing an insurmountable lead.
The Lady Thunderbirds will now meet Randolph for the second time this season. In the earlier meeting, Chautauqua Lake prevailed, 52-37, and held Lady Cardinals' star McKenna Maycock to eight points.
CHAUTAUQUA LAKE (72)
Hawkins 0 0 0, Doyle 0 0 0, Hunt 1 0 3, Moulton 5 0 10, Phelps 0 2 2, Hewes 6 4 17, Barrows 1 0 2, Bauer 0 0 0, McCutcheon 0 0 0, Einink 6 8 21, Zenns 0 0 0, Albanesius 8 1 17. Totals 27 15 72.
Higgs 2 1 5, Taylor 0 0 0, West 1 0 2, Thompson 8 1 20, SDavis 0 0 0, DDavis 3 1 7, McDuffie 0 0 0, Burdick 1 0 2, Johnson 2 0 4, Gordon 0 0 0, Abel 0 0 0. Totals 17 3 40.
3-point goals: Thompson 3, Hunt, Hewes, Einink.
Chautauqua Lake 13 20 17 22-72
Olmstead 6 8 13 13-40