AVON — Playing in front of a few unexpected guests Monday, Avon made its final adjustments before tournament play begins by closing the regular season with a 60-50 win over St. Joseph Academy.
Avon used a strong second half to subdue the Jaguars as senior guard Elizabeth Flynn closed things out, scoring 10 of her 24 points in the fourth quarter.
“Flynn, I always say, looks like people are standing still when she’s playing,” Avon interim coach Joe Schafer said. “When she’s on the attack mode and just plays within herself and has confidence, she can take us anywhere we want to go.”
“The confidence Flynn has during her senior year, you know if you’re going to give her the ball, she’s gonna make the best decision with it,” Avon guard Ashlee Torbert said.
Those unexpected guests? The Amherst girls team, which was sitting behind the Jaguars bench doing a little scouting. The Southwestern Conference foes open sectional play against one another Thursday, Feb. 21, at Amherst. The Comets are the No. 4 seed and the Eagles No. 5.
“We’re definitely ready for next week,” Flynn said. “I feel like these next 10 days we have off before the game, it’s going to be a lot of practice, lot of preparing us for the game.”
The Comets have won both meetings this year but Avon feels ready for Round 3.
“It’s pretty hard to beat a team three times in a row,” Torbert said. “I’m feeling more confident with the way we finished the season. They (Amherst) were here cheering for Joe’s which gives us a lot more motivation to come out and play as hard as we can.
The Eagles (13-9) led the entire game Monday, though the Jaguars got the lead down to seven late in the game.
Avon led 28-17 at the half but St. Joseph scored six straight points to open the third quarter, cutting the lead to five. Less than three minutes later, a Flynn 3-pointer capped an 11-0 run that put the Eagles up 39-23 with 3:39 left in the third quarter.
Flynn and Torbert scored 25 of the Eagles’ 32 points in the second half. The Jaguars, who experimented with multiple full-platoon substitutions, got within seven on Gabbie Schafer’s four-point play with only 1:12 left, but they scored only two points the rest of the way.
“Me and Ashlee, I feel like we’re both just really good at weathering the storm,” Flynn said. “We’re not gonna play perfect all game, there’s going to be mistakes. We know that when us two are playing well, the team is going to play well.”
Avon 60, St. Joseph 50
ST, JOSEPH (50): Gabbie Schafer 3-1-10, Charlotte Adler 3-0-6, Lizzy Lenahan 0-2-2, Molly Neitzel 0-2-2, Ava Haddad 5-0-10, Ella Neitzel 2-4-10, Grace Flannery 1-0-2, Olivia Irvin 1-0-2, Megan Arnold 2-0-6, Sarah Scarpitti 0-0-0. Totals 17-9-50.
AVON (60): Ashlee Torbert 4-5-17, Elizabeth Flynn 9-4-24, Rachel Hapanowicz 0-0-0, Kelsey Gannon 2-1-6, Catie Geiger 0-0-0, Abby Liber 2-0-4, Alyssa McLellon 1-0-2, Jules Frombach 0-0-0, Caitlin Mone 1-0-2, Kiley Williams 1-3-5. Totals 20-13-60.
St Joseph 6 11 13 20 — 50
Avon 15 13 14 18 — 60
Three-point goals: St Joseph 7-23, Avon 7-20. Field goals: St Joseph 17-52 (33 percent), Avon 20-56 (36 percent). Free throws: St Joseph 9-9 (100 percent), Avon 13-19 (68 percent). Total fouls: St Joseph 15, Avon 11. Turnovers: St Joseph 19, Avon 9.
Junior varsity: Avon, 45-29