T’Birds fall to Cardinals, 74-59, at JCC

Photo by Valory Isaacson Chautauqua Lake star Devin Pope (23) drives to the hoop attempting to finish a tough basket during a playoff game at Jamestown Community College against the Randolph Cardinals.

JAMESTOWN — With 1:39 left in Monday’s Section VI Class C semifinal, Chautauqua Lake senior Devin Pope walked off the floor at Jamestown Community College’s Physical Education Complex, pulled on his long-sleeved orange warmup shirt and draped a towel over his face.

While the career of one of the area’s greatest scorers of all-time was coming to an end, a Randolph sophomore at the other end of the court was ready to step into the spotlight.

Ty Hind scored 33 points, including 22 in the first half, as the top-seeded Cardinals advanced to Friday’s championship game by virtue of a 74-59 win over the Thunderbirds.

After beating the defending sectional champions last night, Randolph will take on No. 3 Tapestry Charter on Friday night at 7:45 p.m. back at Jamestown CC.

Freshman Gabe McCoy added 17 points and 18 rebounds while junior Andrew Bernard had 10 points and six rebounds for the Cardinals.

Pope finished with 16 points to lead No. 4 Chautauqua Lake and ended his illustrious varsity career that began in eighth grade with 2,023 points — good for fourth all time in Chautauqua County history behind Jamestown’s Maceo Wofford, Fredonia’s Michael Heary and Maple Grove’s Chris Secky.

The Cardinals led 23-20 after the first quarter, but took over the game with a 22-5 second quarter in which Hind scored 12 points, including a pair of his game-high five 3-pointers. He hit a 3-pointer to give his team a 34-22 lead and then hit a teardrop in the lane to cap a 9-0 run.

McCoy hit a pair of buckets down the stretch and Bernard also scored before Hind lost control on the final possession of the half, picked up the ball, spun off his defender and buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 45-25 halftime advantage.

Pope took on the mission of stopping Hind in the second half, and did a pretty good job by holding him to 11 points, but the large deficit proved too much to overcome.

Twice in the third quarter, the Thunderbirds cut Randolph’s lead down to 14, but a Bernard three-point play and a Hind 3-pointer with 10.5 seconds left pushed the Cardinals’ advantage back up to 20 entering the final eight minutes.

Again in the fourth quarter, Chautauqua Lake cut it down to 14 as junior Kyler Majka hit a 3-pointer and then made another bucket on back-to-back possessions with 2:14 remaining, but McCoy’s fifth putback of the game pushed Randolph back in front by 16.

The Cardinals hope the result signals a changing of the guard after they lost to Chautauqua Lake, 58-48, in the overall Class C final last year following a win over East for the C2 championship.

NOTES: Zach Fischer was second to Pope with 13 points while Majka had 11 for the Thunderbirds, who shot 21 of 57 from the floor, including 3 of 17 from 3-point range, and turned the ball over 12 times. … Randolph was 29 of 46 from the field, including 7 of 15 from 3-point range, and turned the ball over 13 times. … Dorian Plummer had 22 points, Mike Towns added 12 and Emanuel Truehart had 11 as Tapestry beat No. 2 Allegany-Limestone, 62-59, in the first semifinal. Sam Flanders led the Gators with 26 points, Michael Wolfgang had 12 and Conner Golley had 10.