After losing a tight game to Jamestown in the opening round of the United Way Tip-Off Classic, Chautauqua Lake (4-1) responded strongly with a 53-32 win over Olean (0-5) on Saturday, Dec. 21 in McElrath Gymnasium.
The Lady Thunderbirds were forced to change up their game midway through the evening when point guard Courtney Hewes was forced to leave after being injured, but the adversity did nothing to slow down the Chautauqua Lake offense.
The same dominant post play that gave the Lady Red Raiders trouble proved decisive against the Lady Huskies as Jenna Einink and Ashton Albanesius posted 12 and 14 points respectively. Both centers were named to the all-tournament team.
Photo by Jay Young
Olean’s Destiney Portlow (left) and Chautauqua Lake’s Katie Doyle try to get the handle on a rebound. Chautauqua Lake would eventually go on to win 53-32 to improve its record to 4-1 overall.
Size was the theme of the night, as Olean was led in scoring by their center, Courtney Martin, who had 10 points, and added five boards and three blocks. She was also awarded all-tournament team honors.
"In the first half I thought we played pretty well," said Eric Schuster. "We came out with some good intensity, but our composure changed when Courtney went down."
Hewes was a crucial part of the Lady Thunderbirds' quick beginning as she recorded a rebound, a steal, and a layup in a start that favored Chautauqua Lake, 14-7.
Monica Moses did her best to give Olean a chance against the size inside from Einink and Albanesius. She notched three crucial rebounds in the opening period, but was quiet on the glass the rest of the way.
"It's tough to play when you are down obviously," noted Olean coach Randy Samuelson. "How do you fix your game when the problem is inexperience? You have to get the girls out there to play more."
In the face of pressure from the inside, the Lady Huskies held their own in the post, thanks to the play of Martin and Moses. destinys Portlow also added two vital defensive blocks early on as well as two boards.
Offense proved to be the killer for Olean. The Lady Huskies managed only three points in the second quarter, while seven Lady Thunderbirds combined for 22 points. By halftime, Chautauqua Lake led, 36-10.
Offensive cohesiveness improved for Olean in the final 16 minutes. Martin managed to score four baskets in the third quarter while Moses shifted her focus to scoring with six points in the fourth.
Ky Andreano and Mary Pazzimenti also got into the mix, helping the Lady Huskies to put up 12 points in the last eight minutes.
Danielle Barrows lead the Lady Thunderbirds on the defensive glass with six boards, while Einink totaled eight rebounds.