Share this article

print logo

Northstar Christian ends Chautauqua Lake's season to remember

BATAVIA -- During Chautauqua Lake's past two playoff games, the dynamic duo of Devin Pope and Aaron Swan have shouldered the bulk of the scoring load for the Thunderbirds.

Saturday was no different during the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association Far West Regional Class C contest at Genesee Community College.

The problem for Chautauqua Lake: stopping the Brown brothers. The Thunderbirds had no answers for Northstar Christian's super sophomores.

Chautauqua Lake's season to remember is now history because of that.

The brothers combined for 54 points and 15 rebounds, with Miles scoring 23 of his game-high 38 points during the opening 16 minutes as the Knights seized control with a huge second quarter to defeat the Thunderbirds, 77-70.

Brown scored 19 points during the Knights' 27-15 second quarter, including 13 during the decisive 17-6 run that put the Thunderbirds (21-4) in an inescapable hole before an estimated 1,000.

Pope scored 22 of his 30 points during the second half, while Swan had 17 of his 26 in the opening half for the Thunderbirds, but the Browns took turns scoring timely baskets that blunted Chautauqua Lake's momentum as the Rochester-area private school advanced to Friday's state semifinals at the Floyd L. Maines Memorial Arena in Binghamton.

"At times we were able to stop him and at times he just tore us up," Pope said of Brown. "He's just a good player."

"Their guards were phenomenal, some of the best moves I've seen in a long time," Chautauqua Lake coach Michael Putney said. "My hat's off to them, boy they can put it in the hoop."

Both teams showed this would be a high-scoring affair early – with the Thunderbirds leading 10-6 before the halfway point of the opening quarter. The teams battled to a 14-14 tie through 8 minutes.

Chautauqua Lake trailed 24-23 after two free throws from Pope with 3:53 left in the second quarter.

Then Miles Brown – who had a 40-point game recently in a playoff game – got cooking, scoring off drives to the basket, a sweet fadeaway jumper off the dribble and a wide open three-pointer when he got lost in the right corner. Brown's drive and dish to Tray Roberts (six points) for a finish capped the run that gave the Knights (21-4) a 41-29 lead at the intermission.

"We started in that 2-3 (zone) and it worked at first and then they were able to penetrate the gaps," Putney said. "We made some adjustments. We were able to go toe to toe the rest of the way but we just could never get over the hump there."

Pope and Swan combined for 19 points in the fourth quarter, Pope scoring 10 of them. Chautauqua Lake pulled as close as five points but failed to get it to a one-possession game.

The Browns saw to it that the Thunderbirds didn't get any closer than 75-70 after Pope's three with 49.7 seconds left. They took turns milking the clock via the dribble – running away from defenders but not trying to score. The Knights didn't get points off that possession, nor were they fouled. When Tyler Meredith missed a three for the Thunderbirds after that stop with 8 seconds left, the conclusion was pretty much a formality.

Chautauqua Lake had to take solace in the fact that it's the first edition in program history to reach this round of the postseason.

That didn't ease the pain of defeat, with several players still in tears long after the final buzzer.

"We wish we could've kept going," Pope said.

There are no comments - be the first to comment