Lady Hillbillies lose to C-Lake in hoops rematch

OBSERVER Photo by Mary Ann Wiberg Fredonia’s Gracie Morrison attempts a layup during Thursday’s Div. 1 West girls basketball game against Chautauqua Lake in Fredonia.

Basketball, at its heart, is pretty simple: Move the ball and get open looks on offense, and stop the other team from doing so, and you’ll probably win.

That was pretty much the formula the Chautauqua Lake Lady Thunderbirds used in avenging a loss to the Fredonia Lady Hillbillies earlier this week, beating them 57-37 Thursday in a CCAA West 1 girls high school matchup.

The game started out really close, like Monday’s 53-47 Fredonia victory was throughout the contest. There were ties of 2-2, 4-4, 6-6 and 8-8.

But after Kazlin Beers made it 12-8 for Fredonia (5-9, 5-3) with 3:07 left, the Lady Billies endured a long scoreless stretch of almost 10 minutes straddling the first and second quarters, only ending with Katie Price’s three-pointer with 1:30 left in the first half.

Chautauqua Lake coach Bill Persons said some first-quarter defensive tweaks he made threw off Fredonia’s rhythm. ‘It really caused their offense to go a little stale,” he said. “They weren’t getting inside shots on us and it forced the to go outside.”

The Lady Thunderbirds (11-6, 7-2) took full advantage of Fredonia’s offensive woes, scoring 21 points during the Lady Billies’ drought. Lexi Jacobson spurred the Chautauqua Lake run with nine of her game-high 14 points to give her team a 19-12 lead after a period.

“Lexi running the point…really did a nice job of controlling the tempo of the game,” Persons said.

Katelyn Fardink’s last-second shot gave the Lady Thunderbirds a 36-19 lead going into halftime, and the visiting team’s fans stood and applauded their squad’s effort. They had more to cheer about in the second half as Chautauqua Lake extended its lead to 52-30 after three quarters, continuing to play smart team basketball and harassing Fredonia out of running its own offense.

“We did not shoot well. We didn’t do as good a job (as on Monday) running our offense to get good shot selection,” Fredonia coach Carol Zirkle said. “We need to improve that. Give it to Chautauqua Lake, they came out and played hard and you could tell they really wanted this game. We just didn’t execute as well as we could have.

“They crashed the boards harder this game than they did last game,” Zirkle added of the Lady Thunderbirds.

The fourth quarter was anticlimactic and defense-oriented as the visitors joined the Lady Billies in shooting cold. Fredonia ended up shooting a miserable 14-for-59 from the field for the game, a 24 percent success rate.

Chautauqua Lake, on the other hand, got the win while scoring 10 more points on Thursday then they did on Monday.

“The other night against them I told the girls, our defense was not the problem, our offense was, we just could not score,” Persons said. “Tonight was just a different story. They really can shoot well when they get good looks.”

NOTES: Price led Fredonia’s scorers with 12 points. She tied A’Cetta Farriat for the team lead in rebounding with seven. … Jacobson just missed a triple-double, pulling down nine rebounds and making nine assists. She also had four steals. … Jesse Zenns had 10 points and six rebounds for Chautauqua Lake, while Abigail Henry added eight points and eight rebounds to the team’s cause. … Fredonia’s next game is a non-leaguer at home against Franklinville on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Chautauqua Lake hosts Falconer on Monday, for a CCAA West 1 league game.