VERMILION — With an offensive explosion folks are likely to remember for years, Avon senior Jack Poyle powered the Eagles to a big victory Friday night.
The 6-foot-1 Poyle scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, 24 in the second half and 29 for the game in a 69-58 West Shore Conference win over Vermilion.
It was a remarkable show on Vermilion’s Senior Night and the school’s Hall of Fame induction.
“That’s what Jack does,” Eagles coach Kevin Sapara said. “He’s a great player and he’s one of our leaders. He also got going with his defense. He was able to get a couple of quick steals and a couple of quick buckets. I can’t say enough about him.”
For example, the Sailors were hanging within six points early in the fourth quarter. At that point, Poyle went on an extraordinary one-man, 9-0 run that took just 51 seconds. It put the Eagles in command 55-40, and as a practical matter, the outcome had been decided.
During this outburst, he made back-to-back steals about 12 seconds apart and converted them to baskets. He modestly deflected attention about his play to his teammates.
“We just really picked up the tempo,” he said of the decisive second half. “We wanted to open up our lead. We wanted it to get bigger. I just tried my hardest and was able to get going. I just shot the ball really well.
“My teammates had a lot to do with it. We were playing great ‘D’ and they were getting me open looks.”
Poyle’s performance helped keep the first-place Eagles (15-6, 11-2 WSC) ahead of Rocky River in the WSC race. They have one WSC game to play. River (11-8, 10-2), which is at Midview tonight, downed Elyria Catholic on Friday.
The win also avenged a loss Vermilion pinned on the Eagles earlier in the season.
As conspicuous as Poyle’s scoring was, it was not a one-man show. The Eagles shot 58 percent from the field and went 10-for-11 in the fourth quarter. Also, they put two other players in double figures, senior Matt Lawrence with 15 and Brian Kelly with 10.
Poyle nailed three of the team’s 3-point baskets and Kelly made two. Avon shot 46.2 percent
(6-of-13) from 3-point range.
Although Vermilion shot poorly in the first half — 6-of-28 and 1-for-15 in the second quarter — the Sailors played well. They made nearly half their second-half shots and made 12 of 14 free throws for the game. The teams were even on the backboards (26) and in turnovers (11).
If the Sailors could have gotten some first-half shots to fall, the outcome could have been different. They also had three players in double figures, led by Cameron Kuhn’s 17 points. Anthony Rini scored 13 and Ryan Miller 10.
Vermilion coach Kurt Habermehl said he thought the Sailors were impatient on offense the first half.
“We rushed a lot of 3-point shots,” he said, “but I liked how we were pushing the ball down the floor. But once we got down there, we kind of rushed our shots. I think they were a little too pumped up for the night’s festivities. They came out a little nervous, but you know what? Give Avon all the credit in the world.”
Avon’s Sapara was delighted with the outcome.
“I’m proud of the kids,” he said. “Vermilion beat us the first time and we were able to come back and get a little bit of revenge. We’re starting to play a little bit better and I’m really happy for the kids. They really deserve it.”
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avon 69, Vermilion 58
AVON (69): Zach Gill 0-0-0, Brian Kelly 4-0-10, Jack Poyle 11-4-29, Cordell Winters 4-0-9, Zack Torbert 3-0-6, Matt Lawrence 7-1-15, Jordan Lawrence 0-0-0, A.J. Kistler 0-0-0, Alec Warren 0-0-0, Mike Pulice 0-0-0, Walter Rauterkus. Totals 29-5-69.
VERMILION (58): Anthony Rini 6-0-13, Forrest Boyd 3-0-7, Kyle Nader 0-1-1, Ross Lewis 1-0-3, Austin Kazmer 1-0-2, Ryan Miller 4-1-10, Zach Myracle 0-0-0, Cameron Kuhn 3-9-17, Joe Karres 0-0-0, Aaron Dawson 0-0-0, Seth Konrad 2-1-5, John Austin 0-0-0. Totals 20-12-58.
Avon 8 22 14 25 — 69
Vermilion 13 7 18 20 — 58
Three-point goals: Avon 6-13 (Poyle 3, Kelly, Winters), Vermilion 6-16 (Kuhn 2, Miller, Rini, Boyd, Lewis); Field goals: Avon 29-50 (58 percent), Vermilion 20-57 (35.1 percent); Free throws: Avon 5-9, Vermilion 12-14; Rebounds: Avon 26, Vermilion 26; Turnovers: Avon 11, Vermilion 11.
Junior varsity: Avon, 47-38