Before Tuesday’s game at Avon, DiFranco told his two big men the team needed 20 points from each of them, and they responded with 22 points apiece to lead the Middies to a 60-55 West Shore Conference win over the Eagles.
“We felt we had an advantage in the post,” DiFranco said. “We were able to get it down to them (Clark and Moore) and they were able to finish.”
Both Clark, a 6-foot-3 senior, and Moore, a 6-4 sophomore, were able to score repeatedly from the baseline, but that wasn’t their only strength. The Middies (6-12, 5-7 WSC) controlled the boards, 39-20.
“Rebounding was key,” DiFranco said. “We had a lot of second- and third-shot opportunities while holding them (the Eagles) to one shot for the most part. I’m really proud of their effort.”
Avon (9-9, 7-5) came out quickly to take a 7-0 lead, but Midview responded with an eight-point run, directed by Clark and Moore. After trailing 14-11 in the second quarter, the Middies went on a 9-2 tear to finish the first half up 20-16. They never trailed again.
“It always takes us the first minute-and-a-half or two minutes to get going,” Clark said. “But we knew we had to kick it into gear in order to win.”
Like his coach, Clark credited his team’s rebounding for the win.
“The whole team rebounded amazingly well,” Clark said. “We worked on that Sunday and Monday — crashing the offensive boards and boxing out. We knew if we kept them off the boards we could win the game.”
Moore felt the Eagles’ defense worked to the Middies advantage.
“If we went to the hoop we were able to get a lot of open layups,” Moore said. “They would come up and help on defense and we were able to get underneath. That was there all game.”
Avon coach Jim Baker gave plenty of credit to Clark for the Midview win.
“Clark played really well,” Baker said. “We had no answer for him, he does so much. Rebounding, passing, whatever, he’s a great player. We couldn’t guard him and their inside hurt us all game. He was the difference tonight.”
Midview’s offensive stats showed that 3-point shots aren’t always necessary. While missing all four 3-point attempts, the Middies still shot 50 percent overall (22-44) from the field. And a 16-6 advantage at the free throw line certainly helped, as well.
Those shooting figures, together with the huge rebounding margin, easily wiped out any effect from their 19 turnovers.
The Eagles kept coming back however. Midway in the third period they tied the game at 24 when R.J. Kauffman stole a pass and scored on a short jumper. But Clark and Moore each responded with a pair of buckets to put Midview up eight.
Kauffman, who finished with 20 points, scored six straight points near the end of the third period to pull the home team within three. But as often as Avon rallied, Midview responded.
“It was nice to see at the end that once Avon started pressuring us, we got layups,” DiFranco said. “At the end of the game we took care of the basketball, got to the right spots and finished things off.”
Midview 60, Avon 55
MIDVIEW (60): Nick Clark 8-6-22, Riley Moore 8-6-22, Eddie Brezina 2-1-5, Andrew Agee 1-2-4, Patrick Linn 1-0-2, Ryan Mains 2-1-5, Patrick Geyser 0-0-0, Jake Stracensky 0-0-0, Tyler Colangelo 0-0-0. Totals 22-16-60.
AVON (55): R.J. Kauffman 8-2-20, Brandon Mahaffey 1-0-2, Marvin Coleman 5-2-12, Matt Trnian 0-0-0, Claude Gray 6-0-13, Mike Maloney 0-0-0, Ryan Carge 0-0-0, Mike Mingo 2-0-6, Connor Friss 0-0-0, Alex Isaac 0-2-2. Totals 22-6-55.
Midview 8 12 19 21 — 60
Avon 12 4 15 24 — 55
Three-point field goals: Midview 0-4; Avon 5-16 (Kauffman 2, Mingo 2, Gray). Field goals: Midview 22-44 (50 percent); Avon 22-51 (43 percent). Free throws: Midview 16-25 (64 percent) Avon 6-11 (55 percent). Turnovers: Midview 19, Avon 12. Rebounds: Midview 39, Avon 20. Fouls: Midview 13, Avon 16.
Junior varsity: Avon, 28-21.
Contact Jim Jablonski at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.