PARMA HEIGHTS — Avon’s district championship dream ran into a roadblock named Sarah Cairnie.
The Wooster senior scored a game-high 26 points as the Generals ended the Eagles’ season with a 62-52 win in a Division I district semifinal at Valley Forge High School.
Avon (17-7) struggled early to deal with the Generals’ pressure defense, falling behind 14-4 and 18-8 by the end of the first quarter.
Eventually the Eagles found their rhythm and closed the deficit to 23-18 on a 3-pointer from sophomore Sarah Sprecher. By the time the halftime buzzer sounded, the Wooster lead was cut to three.
“We had too many unforced errors and when you do you’re not going to win the basketball game,” Avon coach Meghan Larrick said. “We came out playing more timid than we usually do. It took us awhile to get comfortable.”
When the Eagles finally got comfortable they stormed back to take their first lead of the game, 37-34, on a 3-pointer by Mackenzie Meckes with 4:05 to play in the third quarter. Avon eventually extended its lead to four but ran out of gas in the fourth quarter when it was outscored 18-8.
“We opened up our offense to spread them out so we could get looks inside but eventually their pressure got to us,” said Sprecher, who led the Eagles with 14 points. “We’re disappointed we lost tonight but everybody on this team is proud of the season we had. We pushed really hard in the second half of the year to get as far as we did.”
With just two seniors who didn’t play Monday on the roster, Larrick is already excited about the team’s future.
“Hopefully we’ll get back in the gym and be hungry for next year,” she said. “I’m excited to build upon the success we had this year. We worked hard this year and no one has anything to hang their head about. Seventeen and seven is a great season. We came up against another good team tonight and it just wasn’t our night.”
Wooster (17-6) faces the winner of today’s Berea-Midpark vs. Cloverleaf game in the final Friday.
Cairnie, who came into the game averaging 21 points, also had 22 rebounds. She is one of four seniors in the Generals’ starting five.
Gabrielle Cicolani added 18 points for Wooster, members of the Ohio Cardinal Conference. The Generals also forced 17 turnovers, while holding Avon to 33 percent shooting.
“I thought we did a good job of getting back into it before halftime, we got our momentum going,” Sprecher said. “Then we ran into another bad stretch and the game started to slip away from us.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wooster 62, Avon 52
AVON (52): Alyssa Douzos 4-0-9, Sierra Davidson 2-0-4, Allie Bjorn 2-4-8, Catie Kelly 2-2-6, Sarah Sprecher 5-1-14, Brianna Conroy 0-1-1, Mackenzie Meckes 4-0-10. Totals 19-8-52.
WOOSTER (62): Gabrielle Cicolani 7-3-18, Paige Dickenhoof 2-0-5, Sarah Cairnie 12-2-26, Erin Daugherty 3-0-6, Carla Stoll 1-1-3, Tirzah Talampas 0-2-2, Sydney Logee 1-0-2. Totals 26-8-62.
Avon 8 19 17 8 — 52
Wooster 18 12 14 18 — 62
Three-point goals: Avon (Sprecher 3, Meckes 2, Douzos), Wooster (Cicolani, Dickenhoof). Field goals: Avon 16-49 (33 percent), Wooster 26-49 (53 percent). Free throws: Avon 8-13 (62 percent), Wooster 8-16 (50 percent). Rebounds: Avon 24, Wooster 37. Turnovers: Avon 17, Wooster 14. Total fouls: Avon 14, Wooster 12. Fouled out: Davidson.