Chautauqua Lake falls in semifinals to Lady Gators

Photo by Scott Reagle Chautauqua Lake’s Lexi Jacobson saves the ball from going out of bounds in Wednesday’s Class C semifinal against Allegany-Limestone at JCC.

JAMESTOWN — With four seniors in the starting lineup, Allegany-Limestone does not want its girls basketball season to end.

On Wednesday night, Morgan Davis made sure the Gators will have another game — almost single-handedly.

Davis scored nine points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked 12 shots as No. 2 Allegany-Limestone beat No. 3 Chautauqua Lake, 47-38, in a Section VI Class C semifinal at Jamestown Community College’s Physical Education Complex.

“She’s huge for us in the back of that,” Gators coach Frank Martin said. “We were playing in a diamond-and-one, and for her able to go block-to-block … you have to think about her if you are somebody driving to the basket.”

The win, which was Martin’s 300th in his career, advances Allegany-Limestone into Saturday’s 2 p.m. final against No. 1 Holland, which beat No. 5 Maple Grove, 63-45, in Wednesday night’s second semifinal.

“I have a bunch of seniors who are so wonderful. They didn’t want it to be over,” Martin said. “That has driven us most of the season. They don’t want to be done.”

Senior Brooke Giardini led the Gators with 11 points while senior Shaelynn Maley had 10 points and four steals to go along with eight rebounds. Senior Molly Wolfgang added eight points.

Eighth-grader Lily Woodis led the Thunderbirds with 13 points while junior Abigail Henry added 10 points and a game-high 18 rebounds.

“She’s going to be a great player for us. I’m looking forward to four more years of basketball with her,” Chautauqua Lake coach Bill Persons said of Woodis. “She’s a really good kid at both ends of the floor.”

Allegany-Limestone took a 14-6 lead late in the first quarter Wednesday night and never trailed, although the Thunderbirds kept it close throughout.

Trailing by four entering the fourth quarter, Chautauqua Lake turned to a full-court press that produced turnovers on four of the Gators’ first six possessions of the period. But the Thunderbirds were only able to turn that into three points from Woodis on a free throw and a bucket.

“We were probably only getting a handful of full-court pressure attacks,” Persons said. ” … It really comes down to the offensive end. We just did not get people to score that we were looking to.”

Giardini then hit a 3-pointer to put Allegany-Limestone back up four with 5:04 left. Henry then answered a pair of free throws from Maley to keep Chautauqua Lake’s deficit at six, but a Henry basket was the Thunderbirds’ only two points over their final six possessions allowing the Gators to put the game away at the free throw line.

“Points were at a premium tonight. That’s a very good team and they are very well-coached,” Martin said. “It was exactly what I thought. There were no surprises.”

Chautauqua Lake junior leading scorer Katelyn Fardink scored her only basket with 1:29 left in the second quarter to make it a one-point game before Giardini and Zenns traded buckets. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Wolfgang made her only 3-pointer of the game to give Allegany-Limestone a four-point lead at halftime.

“They did a nice job of a box-and-one and triangle-and-two on us,” Persons said. “It didn’t let our shooters get open looks.”

Woodis made a 3-pointer with 3:46 left in the third quarter to make it 29-26 in favor of the Gators, and the eighth-grader’s 3-pointer with 1:45 left in the period made it 33-31, but Morgan Davis scored on Allegany-Limestone’s final possession of the third to make it a two-possession game going into the final eight minutes.

“Those 3s were big for us,” Persons said. “I was trying to open her up for more in the fourth just to keep things close, but unfortunately we just couldn’t get her going again.”

The Gators put the game away late by holding Chautauqua Lake to just three field goals in 15 fourth-quarter possessions.

“We didn’t do everything as well as we would’ve liked, but we talk about it all the time: we want to play with intensity and poise,” Martin said. ” … Our motto has been all year long ‘One heartbeat.’ … We have the capability to achieve many of our goals, but we have to stay together and play as one.”

NOTES: Sophomore Tierney Hemphill grabbed 10 rebounds for the Gators. … Senior Jesse Zenns blocked four shots while eighth-grader Lexi Jacobson handed out eight assists and picked up four steals for the Thunderbirds.