Fredonia drops opener

OBSERVER Photo by Mary Ann Wiberg Fredonia’s Hannah Gullo dribbles while guarded by Lake Shore’s Lani Cornfield (2) during Monday’s non-league girls high school basketball game at Fredonia High School.

The Lake Shore Lady Eagles basketball team defeated the Fredonia Lady Hillbillies in each team’s season opener, 54-39, on Monday night.

Lake Shore jumped out to a fast start, beginning the game on an 8-2 run. The defense of Lake Shore, in full-court press, forced turnover after turnover early on, giving the Lady Eagles a 21-8 lead after the first quarter.

“Their pressure defense took us out of what we wanted to do,” said Fredonia coach Carol Zirkle.

The game looked like it would be a blowout early, but it all changed in the second quarter. Fredonia went on a 9-0 run of its own to begin the second quarter, cutting the 13 point lead Lake Shore held after the first, down to only four points, halfway through the second quarter. Fredonia’s comeback continued the remainder of the quarter, cutting the deficit to one one point at the half, 25-24. The Lady Hillbillies outscored Lake Shore 16-4 in the second quarter.

Fredonia tied the score at 27 early in the third quarter on a three-pointer by Madison Goss, and took its first lead of the game shortly after, leading 31-28 with close to five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Trailing 33-30, Lake Shore stormed back on a 10-0 run to close out the third quarter and regain the lead. The Lady Eagles took a seven point lead to the fourth quarter.

Fredonia scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to only one point once again. This time, however, Lake Shore would not budge.

The Lady Eagles scored the final 14 points of the game, en route to the 15 point victory.

Both teams look a lot different this year than when they faced off twice last season. Lake Shore has a new head coach, Danielle Arnone, while Fredonia lost four talented seniors from a year ago.

“First game out after losing four seniors, I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Zirkle. “I was very pleased with the effort we had tonight.”

Lake Shore was led by three sophomores, accounting for 50 of the 54 points on the night. Sophie Snyder led the Lady Eagles with 22 points, while Lani Cornfield had 20, including 12 in the game-ending fourth quarter run.

“Sophie was tremendous today,” said Arnone. “She was all over the place.”

Though the three sophomores are young in age, they are not inexperienced.

“We have a very young, but experienced team,” said Arnone. “They play like they’re seniors.”

Lake Shore’s coach, despite the win, was not pleased with how close the game got in stretches. Arnone characterized the game as “sloppy,” though she later added “There is a lot we need to work on, but at the end of the day, a win is a win.”

Fredonia was led by Katie Price with 11 points, while Gracie Morrison added 10.

Lake Shore’s next game is tonight at home against Sacred Heart Academy at 6:30 pm, while Fredonia hosts Franklinville on Thursday at 7:30 pm.

Twitter: @bradencarmen