AVON — Two of the Southwestern Conference’s best faced off Saturday afternoon and the game lived up to the hype.
Avon and Olmsted Falls went blow for blow until the final buzzer, which just happened to be the moment the game was decided.
Avon’s Amari Davidson hit a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Eagles a 42-39 victory over the previously unbeaten Bulldogs.
Davidson found herself open at the top of the key with just seconds left after a bit of a scramble. The 6-foot-2 post squared up and hit nothing but net as the bench rushed the court with the buzzer still sounding.
Both teams had records of 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the SWC after the game.
“I set a screen and popped out and ended up with the ball,” Davidson said. “I had a good look and was just hoping that it was going in, and it’s great that it did.”
Kaylee Clements gave the Eagles a 39-36 lead with a driving layup with less than three minutes to play.
Olmsted Falls responded with three free throws from Sarah Balfour, who led the Bulldogs with 16 points, to tie the game with 2:09 remaining.
It was all defense from that point, as both teams came up with big stop after big stop.
Avon secured the ball with 40 seconds remaining and milked the clock to ensure they got the last shot.
It worked out.
“It ended up being the shot that we took, and it went in so we’re going to say that’s exactly what we drew up,” Avon coach Meghan Larrick said. “No, the girls did a good job of finding what was open and we got a good look.”
The game was a slugfest from the beginning.
Olmsted Falls got off to a slow start, falling behind 8-0 within minutes of the opening tip.
Behind a valiant effort from Clare Kelly, the Bulldogs rallied to take a 15-11 lead early in the second quarter. They held an 18-15 lead at the half.
“I thought we did a lot right defensively and we did a really good job of getting deflections and even some turnovers,” Olmsted Falls coach Jordan Eaton said. “But when it came down to it, we needed that one last stop and we didn’t get it.”
Davidson provided a consistent presence in the post throughout the game, finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Her offensive rebound and strong put-back layup gave Avon a 31-25 lead midway through the third quarter.
Avon’s defense helped it take control of the game in the third quarter, holding Olmsted Falls to eight total points.
“Our team really focuses on winning games with our defense,” Davidson said. “We try to keep teams off the 3-point line and limit second chances, that’s always our goal.”
Avon looks to stay hot Wednesday when it hits the road to take on rival Avon Lake.
Contact Paul Williams at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avon 42, Olmsted Falls 39
OLMSTED FALLS (39): Danielle Stevens 2-0-4, Allison Milligan 1-0-2, Clare Kelly 4-0-12, Shannon Carr 1-0-2, Lauren Galaska 0-0-0, Brittany Roman 0-0-0, Sarah Balfour 4-6-16, Grace Simon 1-0-3. Totals 13-6-39.
AVON (42): Alyssa Peganoff 0-0-0, Karlee Clements 2-2-7, Jules Frombach 2-0-4, Amari Davidson 6-0-13, Shea Kane 0-0-0, Maggie Beatty 2-0-4, Juliann Walker 4-0-9, Elizabeth Flynn 2-0-5. Totals 18-2-42.
Olmsted Falls 7 11 13 8 — 39
Avon 8 7 20 7 — 42
Three-point goals: Olmsted Falls 7-22 (Kelly 4, Balfour 2, Simon), Avon 4-11 (Clements, Davidson, Walker, Flynn). Field goals: Olmsted Falls 13-39 (33 percent), Avon 18-42 (42 percent). Free throws: Olmsted Falls 6-8 (75 percent), Avon 2-9 (22 percent). Rebounds: Olmsted Falls 29 (Kelly 10), Avon 33 (Walker 12). Total fouls: Olmsted Falls 11, Avon 13. Turnovers: Olmsted Falls 14, Avon 15.
Junior varsity: Avon, 29-28.