JAMESTOWN – Two teams with redemption on their minds earned just that Saturday, and will now face off next week for the overall Class C girls basketball title.
Chautauqua Lake defeated the team that ended its season last year, Allegany-Limestone, 57-50, in the Class C-1 final, while Frewsburg claimed the Class C-2 title over Randolph, 57-37, after falling in the title game last year. They’ll play for the class championship Tuesday at the same venue at which they earned victories Saturday, Jamestown Community College.
Chautauqua Lake first-year head coach Bill Persons felt his team’s win over the Lady Gators brought it out from “under the shadow” of the team that won the state title three years ago. He told his team before the game that although he was glad they’d made it further than last year’s second round loss, he was not content.
“I really truly believed they wanted redemption and it showed on the floor,” he said.
After trailing 18-17 at the end of the first quarter, the Thunderbirds retook the lead for good in the second quarter. Allegany-Limestone was able to cut it to 48-44 late in the fourth, but a subsequent Taylor Phelps three-pointer helped close it for Chautauqua Lake.
“From late in the second quarter, really through most of the third, they were better,” said Allegany-Limestone coach Frank Martin. “We made a run at the end. … If we could have changed it to a one-possession game, everything changes. When you’re up four or five, there’s not as much pressure on those free throws than if you’re up two.”
Morgan Davis was again a standout for the Lady Gators, as even in a losing effort she pulled down 20 rebounds.
Martin said he fully expects his team to be back in the C-1 final next year.
Frewsburg had an easier time against Randolph. Coach Jeffrey Collver had three answers for why his team dominated from start to
“Defense, defense, defense,” Collver said. “We shot horrible in the first quarter. I told my” assistant coach and “brother, ‘Don’t let anybody see that shot chart. They need to focus on playing defense.’ And our shooting continued to get better and better.”
The Frewsburg offense, which finished 21 of 66 from the field, did its part with a boost from senior Olivia Lynn, who had 26 points and 18 rebounds. Lynn was particularly dominant during a third quarter sequence in which she scored seven straight points to give the Bears a 19-point lead, at the time its largest of the game. Frewsburg never again led by less than 17.
Lynn said she took advantage of Randolph’s 3-2 defensive scheme on her way to her third straight double-double.
“When they went to a 3-2 I was wide open and I could go to the hoop whenever I wanted,” she said.
Lynn is on a playoff run the caliber of which her coach says he has not seen in a long time.
“She has just been completely dominant,” Collver said. “She is absolutely peaking at the perfect time.”
After the win, Collver recalled the heartbreaking feeling he had talking with his team after last year’s Class C-2 final loss to Holland. This year’s postgame speech was much different.
“It’s a lot easier to find the words after a win rather than a loss,” he said. “This year it’s awesome. We’re still playing. We’re still in it.”
Randolph coach Shawn Huntington said while he felt his team hustled, he didn’t feel they were physical enough at times.
“We had to come out of our comfort zone and be a little bit more physical and it didn’t work out today,” he said.
Persons said both his Chautauqua Lake squad and Frewsburg are fresh and executing.
“So I’m sure Tuesday will be a really good matchup between the two of us,” he said.