T’birds get by Fredonia

OBSERVER Photo by Joe Conti Chautauqua Lake’s Kyler Majka elevates to shoot over Trey Swartz (35) of Fredonia.

The Fredonia Hillbillies fell to Chautauqua Lake, 67-55, in a CCAA Div. 1 West boys basketball game at Fredonia High School on Friday night.

Fredonia (3-12, 2-8) fell behind early to the high-scoring Thunderbirds, but all night long, Fredonia kept battling, according to Fredonia coach Greg Lauer. As soon as Fredonia would cut the score to one possession, Chautauqua Lake (11-6, 5-4) would answer right back.

Fredonia cut the deficit to two points in the fourth quarter, but Chautauqua Lake went on a run shortly after to seal the victory.

Chautauqua Lake star guard Devin Pope, who has led the league scoring race for most of the year, finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunderbirds.

“Holding Pope to 25 wasn’t bad,” said Lauer. “It’s the others that really hurt us.”

OBSERVER Photo by Joe Conti Nico Pucci of Fredonia (23) gets a shot off over Chautauqua Lake’s Zach Fischer.

Kyler Majka added 20 points, while Bryan Anderson had 13.

“Majka shot the ball extremely well,” said Lauer. “He and Anderson both hit big shots at big times.”

Lauer said he has played against Pope and Chautauqua Lake coach Mike Putney for years and has “always had good games” against Chautauqua Lake. Now with Putney’s son, Devin, on the team, Mike’s brother, Mark, as a Fredonia assistant and Mark’s son Tyler Putney a freshman on Fredonia, Lauer acknowledged “the family ties just add another level to it.”

Fredonia was led by Nico Pucci and Brayden Myers, each with ten points. Pucci had eight of his 10 points in the second quarter, while Myers added eight rebounds, in what Lauer called a “strong game off the bench.” Reid Tarnowski added five assists.

Fredonia plays a pair of non-league games next, starting with Harborcreek today. The next league game for Fredonia is Friday, on Senior Night, when the Hillbillies host Falconer. Chautauqua Lake’s next game is also against Falconer, where they travel Tuesday.