COLUMBIA TWP. - The Avon Eagles did their best New England Patriots impression Saturday night, routing the Columbia Raiders 72-45 in non-conference action. Avon coach Jim Baker played the role of Bill Belichick, barking out instructions and wearing a scowl most of the night. The only thing missing was Belichick`s trademark hoodie.
"I was smiling on the inside," said Baker. "For a first game of the year, we did a lot of things right. I thought we got out of the gate quick, we played with a lot of energy and tried to establish a tempo that we want to play at this year.
"So, I`m happy with all of that."
The Eagles (1-0) grabbed control of the game from the opening tip, scoring the first 12 points. A bucket by Columbia`s Richie Bics with 4:01 to play in the opening quarter stopped the Eagle streak, but only momentarily. Following the Bics bucket, the Eagles ran off 11 unanswered points to extend the lead to 23-2.
Another Bics basket, this one a free throw, stopped the Avon streak, but the Eagles still took a 25-3 advantage into the second quarter.
Leading the charge for Avon in the first quarter was the duo of Mike Carge and Marques Harrell. Carge tossed in 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, while Harrell chipped in with nine.
"We had a good week of practice and we carried it over into tonight," said Carge, a 6-foot-1 senior. "The coaches had us ready to play. A lot of times in the first game of the year teams tend to struggle. Tonight we got in a rhythm early and just rode it."
"Coach Baker stressed that we need to push the ball up the court," said Harrell. "He wanted us to establish ourselves and play our type of game. We were able to produce points on the offensive and we carried that momentum over onto defense."
Avon held Columbia to 1-of-15 shooting from the field in the quarter and forced the Raiders into eight turnovers.
"They were bigger, better, faster, stronger," said Columbia coach Brian Kelley of the opening quarter. "They took us out of anything and everything we wanted to do. They played like a varsity basketball team. We played like a team trying to be a varsity basketball team."
Columbia settled down in the second quarter and matched Avon on the scoreboard, 15-15, and entered the intermission trailing 40-18. Columbia opened the second half with a 10-5 run behind the play of Bics and James Magda, but any hopes of a comeback were dashed as Avon closed the third quarter with an 11-1 run.
Carge and Harrell finished with 24 and 14 points, respectively. Teammate Steve Isaac chipped in 12 and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Bics (13) and Magda (10) paced the Raiders
Avon 72, Columbia 45
AVON (72): Mike Carge 10-1-24, Marques Harrell 6-1-14, Steve Isaac 5-0-12, Ryan O`Rourke 4-0-9, Matt Logan 2-0-4, Josh Bediako 1-1-3, John Harrison 1-1-3, Andrew Wimmer 1-0-2, Matt Joseph 0-1-1. Totals: 30-5-72.
COLUMBIA (45): Richie Bics 5-1-13, James Magda 3-2-10, Anthony Fabrizi 3-0-7, Brett Doutt 2-0-4, Jerry Karl 1-1-3, CJ Shope 1-0-3, Josh Kovacs 1-0-2, Ricky Wake 1-0-2, Kevin Augaitis 0-1-1. Totals: 17-5-45.
Avon Â 25 Â 15 Â 16 Â 16 Â - Â 72
Columbia Â 3 Â 15 Â 11 Â 16 Â - Â 45
Three-point goals: Avon 7 of 14 (Carge 3, Isaac 2, Harrell, O`Rourke); Columbia 6 of 17 (Bics 2, Magda 2, Fabrizi, Shope). Free throws: Avon 5 of 18 (28 percent); Columbia 5 of 11 (45 percent). Rebounds: Avon 38 (Isaac 9), Columbia 26 (Bics 8). Turnovers: Avon 13, Columbia 16. Total fouls: Avon 12,Â Columbia 15.
Fouled out: None.
Junior varsity: Avon, 54-17.
Contact Hans Schneider at 329-7137 or email@example.com.