NORTH RIDGEVILLE — While Lake Ridge Academy coach Lisa Medvetz is hoping to hold on until Jan. 10, Avon Lake coach Dave Zvara was more concerned with Nov. 23.
Senior Emily Nicholas scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while the Shoregals pitched a second-quarter shutout in their 49-21 win over the Royals on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
With just eight players on its roster, Lake Ridge (0-1) is playing short-handed until Jan. 10. That’s when Megan and Rachael Williams, transfers from Bay, along with Brianna Kirk, a transfer from Elyria, will be eligible.
Avon Lake (1-0) led 16-10 after the first quarter, then outscored Lake Ridge 16-0 in the second to put the game away before halftime. The Shoregals’ pressure defense held Lake Ridge to 0-for-10 shooting and forced eight turnovers in the pivotal period.
“We have a lot of aggressive girls that really go after the ball,” Zvara said. “We always tell the girls to do that, but when they do it on their own it makes it a lot easier to coach them. They go after the ball hard and they play together.
“When you press you don’t think about things as much … you just go out there and play. You just go down the floor and fire away. Sometimes when you shut the head off you play better.”
Avon Lake outrebounded Lake Ridge 50-36 and had 23 offensive boards. Nicholas had six offensive rebounds and blocked three shots.
“We knew we had to play aggressive to get the win,” Nicholas said. “We wanted to have an advantage with both offensive and defensive rebounds and we were able to get a lot of putbacks.”
The Royals started a senior, two sophomores and two freshmen. Those freshmen,
6-foot-3 center Pella Baker and 6-1 forward Maria Janasko, had impressive debuts. Baker ended with six points and game-highs in rebounds (12) and blocked shots (six), while Janasko scored six points, pulled down seven rebounds and blocked four shots.
Senior point guard Selena Benz had five points and six assists for Lake Ridge.
“You don’t see freshmen come out there and push and shove seniors and juniors like those two did,” Medvetz said. “Those freshmen and Selena’s leadership … that was big. I’m excited about that.”
Hannah Nicholas, a sophomore guard, scored eight points and snared 10 rebounds for the Shoregals. Senior Logan LeDuc added five points and six steals.
“Obviously Lake Ridge is not at full strength,” Zvara said. “They’re going to be good later this season, but we played them today.”
Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Avon Lake 49, Lake Ridge 21
AVON LAKE (49): Ali Balthaser 3-0-7, Kay Butrey 1-1-3, Logan LeDuc 2-0-5, Maggie Moore 3-0-6, Emily Nicholas 5-4-14, Michaella Frank 0-0-0, Hannah Nicholas 4-0-8, Madison Branch 1-0-3, Lauren Yurik 1-0-2, Sarah Hessel 0-1-1. Totals 20-6-49.
LAKE RIDGE (21): Selena Benz 2-0-5, Abbey Fossen 1-0-2, Jaden Carey 1-0-2, Pella Baker 3-0-6, Maria Janasco 3-0-6, Yana Miller 0-0-0. Totals 10-0-21.
Avon Lake 16 16 4 13 — 49
Lake Ridge 10 0 4 7 — 19
Three-point goals: Avon Lake 3-6 (Balthaser, LeDuc, Branch), Lake Ridge 1-3 (Benz). Field goals: Avon Lake 20-63 (31.7 percent), Lake Ridge 10-39 (25.6 percent); Free throws: Avon Lake 6-13 (46.1 percent), Lake Ridge 0-3 (0 percent); Rebounds: Avon Lake 50 (Emily Nicholas 11, Hannah Nicholas 10), Lake Ridge 36 (Pella Baker 12). Turnovers: Avon Lake 15, Lake Ridge 30. Total fouls: Avon Lake 9, Lake Ridge 11.