JAMESTOWN – Randolph may have had the better player, but Chautauqua Lake had the better team.
And it wasn’t close.
Randolph star Mckenna Maycock moved into fourth place on New York’s all-time scoring list Tuesday night but Chautauqua Lake moved another step closer to defending its state title in girls Class C basketball, winning 66-52 in their regional qualifier at Jamestown Community College.
Jenna Einink scored 22 points to lead Class C-1 champion Chautauqua Lake while Ashton Albanesius had 14 points and 18 rebounds. Maycock finished with 22 points for C-2 champion Randolph.
“This is a big step right here,” Chautauqua Lake coach Eric Schuster said. “We haven’t been playing to our potential, and I thought, seeing Randolph play the last two games before us, they were playing very well.”
The win sends Chautauqua Lake to the Far West Regionals on Saturday at Buffalo State against the winner of Wednesday’s Section V title game between Mynderse and Caledonia-Mumford. Tip is set for approximately 7 p.m.
A win there would send the Thunderbirds to the state semifinals at Hudson Valley Community College on March 21 against either III-Cooperstown or IV-Watkins Glen.
Maycock was guarded by a fierce double team Tuesday night, usually from senior Courtney Hewes and sophomore Taylor Phelps. The duo held Maycock to 22 points on 8 of 19 shooting, well below her season average of close to 30 points a game.
“We were going to double her with one, and any time she put it on the floor or any time they were ball-screening, we were gonna try to double her and work on forcing her to get rid of it,” Schuster said.
“She was certainly under her average,” he added. “She’s a great player. We knew she was gonna score her points. To play in this big game and limit her to 22 points, which is quite an accomplishment anyway, I’m proud of our kids.”
Maycock, who will play Division I for St. Bonaventure next year, finished her high school career with 2,919 points in six varsity seasons. She passed Red Jacket’s Beth Record for fourth place on the state scoring list in the first quarter.
“I thought we played really hard. They’re a great team. It’s hard to win. I thought we put it all out there,” Maycock said.
“We knew their big girls were going to do great, we just wanted to hold them down a little. I know they’re gonna score but we tried not to let them have a field day like last year.”
Katie Doyle got Chautauqua Lake started on the right foot Tuesday by hitting three three-pointers in a key 14-3 first-quarter run that gave the Thunderbirds a lead they’d never relinquish. Doyle finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
A 12-0 Chautauqua Lake run late in the second half made the score 38-20 at halftime before the lead was pushed to 24 points in the third quarter. Randolph fought back with a 10-0 run to open the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 59-48, but the Cardinals never got within 10 points.
“I think we had them scared, for at least a little bit,” Maycock said of the run. “I think we realized this was it, this was the last time on the court this year – and for me, ever. I just wanted to go out with something good.”