CLCS drops Olmsted in Class C-2

JAMESTOWN – The No. 4 seed Chautauqua Lake Lady Thunderbirds (18-1) played well above their ranking on Wednesday night by routing top-seeded Olmsted (16-4), 72-40, in the Section 6 Class C-2 girls basketball semifinals at McElrath Gymnasium.

Chautauqua Lake booted the No. 1 Owls from the post-season for the second year and a row, and will now meet No. 2 Randolph for the sectional title on March 1 at Jamestown High School.

Jenna Einink added another great performance to her junior season with a team-high 21 points, 17 boards, five assists and eight blocks in the victory.

Despite the lopsided finish, coach Eric Schuster still sees some flaws in his team’s game that can be ironed out before heading back to McElrath Gymnasium for the finals.

“Well we just had the turnovers and the forced passes,” mentioned Schuster after the win. “I told the kids at half time, that sometimes you just have to hold on to the ball a little bit longer when we are on the break, you know, make that defender commit to you and then make the wide-open pass.”

While Einink has spent most of the year beating up opposing teams in the paint, on Wednesday she showed a tremendous all-court game by making plays for her teammates as well as hitting the glass.

The Lady Thunderbirds began the contest with a steal and drive by Courtney Hewes, which was then followed by a nice dish from Einink to Tara Hunt for an easy bucket.

Hewes put together a nice game of her own with 17 points from the floor and seven steals as well.

Einink notched her first points of the night on a left-handed finish in the lane, which was added to by a pair of buckets from Ashton Albanesius.

Chautauqua Lake had already found 11 points by the time the Owls managed to get on the board with a baseline jumper from senior point guard Ericka Thompson.

Thomspson notched another deuce on a floater in the lane to end the period and provided most of the offense for Olmsted, ending the contest with 20 points.

Einink began the second quarter with another long pass to Hewes that resulted in a putback lay-in.

The Lady Thunderbirds then really started to stretch their lead on six consecutive points by Ashley Moulton, who had all but two of her 10 points on the night in the eight minutes leading up to halftime.

More fast breaks defined the offense for Chautauqua Lake moving forward, with Einink continuing to distribute as well as drive to the hoop.

Hewes found her shot from long range later in the game and cashed in a trey to stretch the lead to 48-21, while the Owls continued to struggle on both ends of the court.

Thompson showed some flashes of brilliance during the start of the final quarter, but at that point Olmsted was facing an insurmountable lead.

Adding to the Owls offense was Diamond Davis with seven points.

Schuster was unsure whether his team would face off against No. 2 Randolph or No. 3 Frewsburg following the win, but was glad to play a semifinal game that forced his players to concentrate on a dominant opponent like Thompson.

“We’ve obviously played against both (teams) and we’ve had some success. That’s what their players do, they want the basketball and whoever we face, Frewsburg or Randolph, we’re obviously going to face that type of player.”

Now Schuster knows that he’ll see the area’s most prolific scorer in Mckenna Maycock in the finals, but luckily history is on his side.

In their first meeting during the regular season the Lady Thunderbirds prevailed 52-37 while holding the junior star to just eight points.