WESTLAKE — So much for home court advantage.
No. 11 seed Avon went into the Westlake Athletic Center on Thursday and made it home away from home, upsetting the No. 5-seeded Demons 36-27 in a Division I sectional final.
On a night when Westlake shot a frigid 22 percent from the field, the Eagles went on a 12-4 run midway through the first half to take a 14-9 lead and dominated the rest of the way.
“We decided we had to come out and play one quarter at a time and win each quarter to make sure we stayed on top,” Avon junior Sierra Davidson said. “We were trying to be excited, but we knew we had to be patient and not make any big mistakes.”
Avon (16-6) extended its lead to 23-13 after Brianna Conroy scored the Eagles’ first three points of the third quarter. The Eagles then went almost five minutes without scoring, allowing the Demons to close the deficit to 24-20.
“We picked the worst time of the year to have a shooting night like this,” said Westlake coach Chip Weiss, after watching his team bow out of the tournament with a 17-5 record.
“We couldn’t get anything going. We missed four or five layups and some free throws. Avon is too good of a team to let you come back after you put yourself in a hole.”
Demons sophomore Monica Fury accounted for more than half of the Westlake offense, scoring 15 points.
The Eagles were led by junior Mackenzie Meckes, who scored nine points.
“We wanted revenge because the last time we played them we were winning the whole game and they came back to beat us. This feels so good right now,” Meckes said. “We played aggressive defense and we were switching on every screen. We knew we had to play our hearts out tonight.”
Sophomores Alyssa Douzos and Allie Bjorn each had seven points in the win for Avon, which will face No. 7 seed Wooster on Monday at Valley Forge in the Parma district semifinals.
“Every girl that stepped out on the court tonight for us has bought into our defense and contributed on the offensive end,” Avon coach Meghan Larrick said. “I’m so proud of these girls and I am so excited to continue this journey with them. We’ve prided ourselves all year on playing as a team and that’s what we did tonight.”
Avon’s defense was able to stop the Demons from penetrating, and was still able to get a hand in the face of Westlake’s 3-point shooters. Fury made both of the Demons’ 3-pointers.
A season ago the Eagles advanced to the district only to lose to eventual champion Magnificat.
“The goal is always to move one step ahead,” Davidson said. “That’s all you can ask for in the game of basketball. We’re making progress and growing as a team. That’s what it’s all about.”
The Eagles also had a 39-33 rebounding advantage. Davidson led the way with 12 rebounds, while Meckes had nine boards.
“We’ve put an emphasis all year on the fact that rebounding doesn’t just come from the posts, it comes from all five players on the floor,” Larrick said. “We battled for every loose ball tonight.”
None of Westlake’s seniors were able to break into the scoring column Thursday, as two sophomores and two juniors scored all of the Demons’ points.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avon 36, Westlake 27
AVON (36): Alyssa Douzos 2-3-7, Sierra Davidson 2-0-4, Regan Betts 1-0-2, Allie Bjorn 3-1-7, Catie Kelly 0-1-1, Brianna Conroy 2-2-6, Mackenzie Meckes 4-1-9. Totals 14-8-36.
WESTLAKE (27): Rebecca Essig 2-2-6, Monica Fury 5-3-15, Paige Rimko 1-0-2, Erin O’Neil 2-0-4, Taylor Hood 0-0-0, Kelly Laraway 0-0-0. Totals 10-5-27.
Avon 17 8 11 7 — 36
Westlake 5 8 7 7 — 27
Three-point goals: Westlake (Fury 2). Field goals: Avon 14-48 (29 percent), Westlake 10-45 (22 percent). Free throws: Avon 8-14 (57 percent), Westlake 5-11 (45 percent). Rebounds: Avon 39, Westlake 33. Turnovers: Avon 14, Westlake 13. Total fouls: Avon12, Westlake 12.