LORAIN – Admiral King didn`t wait to be behind by a wide margin before starting to play with authority.
The Admirals did that almost from the get-go and kept it up on their way to a 64-38 victory over Avon in a non-conference game Tuesday.
It was so unlike the Admirals` loss to Elyria on Saturday. Admiral King found itself trailing by 18 points before turning on the jets and getting to within a point of the Pioneers.
“I told them, â€˜We`re down by 18 and they`re wearing red. They`re Elyria. Go get them,”` Admiral King coach Cheryl Bansek said.
Avon (0-2) wasn`t Elyria, but for a stretch of nearly eight minutes the Eagles must have felt like Elyria felt when its big lead was slipping away. Admiral King (2-1) went on an 18-2 run and never was in trouble again.
Pressure was the difference. Avon turned over possession 16 times in the first half to only four for the Admirals. Avon lost the ball 38 times. King committed 16 turnovers.
“Teams like ours play teams like (Admiral King) to learn how to handle pressure,” Avon coach Al Mielcarek said. “We didn`t do a good job. We stayed with them for a while early then it all kind of unraveled for us.”
Avon led 12-7 with 3:51 to play in the first quarter after Katie Maloney sank two foul shots. The Eagles didn`t score again until 4:28 of the second period. A layup by Ali Haldi with just under four minutes left before halftime ended a stretch of 8:11.
“We needed to play with intensity, but under control and not desperate” Bansek said. “We were hoping the pressure would work. Kinesia (Thorpe) was terrific. She`s coming into her own.”
Thorpe scored eight of her team-leading 14 points in the second quarter.Â Haldi had a game-high 18 points.
“I think there`s something to be learned here,” Mielcarek said. “We won`t see this level of speed all season.”
All doubt about the eventual outcome was erased in the third quarter. The Admirals scored the first eight points to build their lead to 18. Avon didn`t score in the second half until Haldi made a 3-pointer at 2:52 to go. The Eagles had 11 turnovers in the third period.
The final 26-point difference was the widest margin of the game.Â Jillian Van Wagnen and Derekia Mahone also scored in double figures for the Admirals with 12 and 11 points, respectively.Â
Admiral King made 26 of 75 field goal attempts and was 9-of-16 at the foul line. Avon was 11-of-38 from the field and 13-of-19 free throw shooting.
AVON (38): Julie Monteleone 2-0-5, Ali Haldi 6-4-18, Katie Dent 2-4-8, Morgan Schafer 1-0-2, Katie Maloney 0-3-3, Nora Skotko 0-2-2, Erin Entinghe 0-0-0, Loren Selestak 0-0-0, Erin Sammon 0-0-0, Jamie Meiser 0-0-0. Totals 11-13-38.
ADMIRAL KING (64): Derekia Mahone 5-1-11, Jillian Van Wagnen 4-2-12, Sharde Little 3-1-7, Shalanda Harvey 3-2-8, Kinesia Thorpe 5-4-14, Dominique Higginbotham 2-0-4, Ivory Smith 2-0-4, Sheral Robinson 2-0-4, I`esha Holley 0-0-0. Totals 26-10-64.
Avon Â 14Â 10Â 6Â 8Â – Â 38
Admiral KingÂ 16Â 18Â 13Â 17Â – Â 64
Three-point goals: (Av) Haldi 2, Monteleone; (AK) Van Wagnen 2. Rebounds: Avon 34 (Dent 9), Admiral King 36 (Harvey 8). Turnovers: Avon 38, Admiral King 16. Total fouls: Avon 16, Admiral King 19. Fouled out: None.
Junior varsity: Avon 42, Admiral King 34.