AVON — A poor start cost Avon the first time it played Lakewood this season.
In Friday’s rematch, a big finish gave the Eagles a 57-38 win over the Rangers and a tie for first place in the West Shore Conference.
Avon blew what had been a close game wide open in the third quarter to pick up its signature win of the season, while improving to 8-5, 6-2 in the league. Lakewood fell to 9-4 and 6-2.
“We put four quarters together and the kids played good defense,” Avon coach Kevin Sapara said. “We contested every shot. Beginning to end, this was our best overall game this season.”
Lakewood edged Avon 63-55 in the first meeting on the Rangers’ home court, jumping out to a 20-point lead in the first half and then holding off an Avon rally.
Friday was a different story. Both teams started out well with Avon holding a 16-14 lead after the first quarter and clinging to a 25-24 lead at the half.
But the Eagles took control in the third quarter thanks to an early 12-0 run. The lead soared to 44-29 going into the final quarter.
Lakewood connected on just two of nine shots in the pivotal quarter, while the Eagles connected on 8 of 12, while also outrebounding the Rangers 10-3.
Avon continued to pour it on, building a 55-36 advantage with just 1:37 left before both coaches cleared their benches.
Brian Kelly, a 5-foot-10 junior, and 6-1 senior Jack Poyle led the Eagles. Kelly scored 12 points and Poyle 10 and they shared the rebounding lead with seven each. Zach Torbert was also in double figures with 10 points.
“For the most part it was defense that won the game,” Kelly said. “We stayed with the man-to-man.”
“I just played within myself,” Poyle said. “My teammates were great, everyone played really well tonight. We knew they (Lakewood) would press us and we worked on that during practice all week. Tonight was definitely one of our best games of the year. We played all four quarters.”
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avon 57, Lakewood 38
LAKEWOOD (38): Shawn McDonald 5-1-12, Aaron Donahoe 3-0-7, Pete Nelson 2-0-6, Muhammad Amawi 2-2-6, Nick Porter 1-1-3, Mike Angers 1-0-2, Zach Fehrenbach 1-0-2, Ben Toole 0-0-0, Yusaf Suleiman 0-0-0, Cameron Silver 0-0-0. Totals 15-4-38.
AVON (57): Brian Kelly 3-5-12, Jack Poyle 2-5-10, Zach Torbert 4-1-10, Matt Lawrence 4-0-8, A.J. Kistler 3-0-7, Cordell Winters 2-2-6, Jordan Lawrence 1-0-2, Brad Sprecher 1-0-2, Zach Gill 0-0-0, Alec Warren 0-0-0, Mike Pulice 0-0-0, Walter Rauterkus 0-0-0. Totals 19-15-57.
Lakewood 14 10 5 9 — 38
Avon 16 9 19 13 — 57
Three point goals: Lakewood 4-14 (Nelson 2, Donahoe, McDonald), Avon 4-11 (Kelly, Torbert, Poyle, Kistler); Field goals: Lakewood 15-64 (23 percent), Avon 19-41 (46 percent); Free throws: Lakewood 4-11 (36 percent), Avon 15-22 (68 percent); Rebounds: Lakewood 40 (Nelson 5), Avon 43 (Kelly 7, Winters 7); Turnovers: Lakewood 16, Avon 22); Total fouls: Lakewood 22, Avon 11.