ELYRIA — Elyria Catholic coach Eric Rothgery thought getting Avon’s Sierra Davidson in foul trouble was a pretty good idea, but it only fouled things up for the Panthers.
“I thought it was good that we got their big girl in foul trouble,” Rothgery said of Davidson, Avon’s
6-foot-1 freshman post. “But all that did was allow (Emily) Julius to go down and post up low. I’m not sure which way you would rather have it. (Julius) really did some damage when she started posting low.”
Julius, a senior and Lorain County’s third-leading scorer at 19 points a game, scorched the Panthers for 29 Saturday as the Eagles pulled away late for a 68-58 win in West Shore Conference play.
The win raised Avon’s record to 10-5, 5-3 in the WSC. EC fell to 7-9 and 3-5.
The first time the teams met this season, Avon won handily. The rematch was a different story because, despite the score, this win wasn’t easy for the Eagles.
Elyria Catholic came out with renewed energy, taking a 21-19 lead in the second quarter and holding it until a Julius basket tied the game at 43 with 18 seconds left in the third quarter.
Shannon Hopkins’ buzzer-beater put EC back on top, 45-43, heading into the final quarter.
That’s when Avon started to take control.
The Eagles’ Brianna Smith scored four of her 10 points to tie the game at 47, then turned up her defense and got a steal that led to a pair of Julius free throws that gave Avon a 49-47 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
“Bri’s very athletic,” Avon coach Meghan Banks said. “She’s definitely our go-to girl when it comes to defense. We like to put her on the quick guard because she has long arms and she is able to contain them. She was able to step up on No. 4 (Danielle LoParo) and do exactly what we asked her to do.”
LoParo scored 14 points, but ended up fouling out. Karissa McGrath led EC with 22 points.
The foul line loomed large in the Eagles’ win as Julius sank eight free throws and Natalie Wilden and Brianna Conroy made three apiece to help put away the Panthers.
“We work on free throws every day in practice,” Banks said. “We talk about clutch free throws because they can win or lose games for you. Earlier in the season we lost a few games because of free throws.”
Contact Ron Nenadal at 329-7135
Avon 68, Elyria Catholic 58
AVON (68): Emily Julius 8-12-29, Michelle Janollari 1-0-2, Natalie Wilden 2-5-10, Morgan Smigel 2-0-4, Brianna Smith 5-0-10, Brianna Conroy 3-3-9, Breana Cain 1-0-2, Sierra Davidson 1-0-2, Kaitlin Nueman 0-0-0, Tina Petrillo 0-0-0, Rachel Poling 0-0-0. Totals 23-20-68.
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (58): Karissa McGrath 7-8-22, Brittany McNamara 3-1-8, Marissa Ternes 1-0-3, Danielle LoParo 5-2-14, Taylor Sieniawski 1-0-2, Shannon Hopkins 1-3-5, Grigid Griffin 2-0-4, Abbey Flowers 0-0-0, McKenzie Rozanc 0-0-0, Brooke Nedrich 0-0-0, Emily Millar 0-0-0, Therese Orsagos 0-0-0, Erin Herschelman 0-0-0. Totals 20-14-58.
Avon 15 12 16 25 — 68
Elyria Catholic 10 21 14 13 — 58
Three-point goals: Avon 2 (Wilden, Julius), Elyria Catholic 4 (LoParo 2, McNamara, Ternes). Field goals: Avon 23-52(56 percent), Elyria Catholic 20-58 (34 percent). Free throws: Avon 20-24 (83 percent). Elyria Catholic 14-21 (67 percent). Rebounds: Avon 22 (Davidson 5), Elyria Catholic 26 (McGrath 18). Turnovers: Avon 19, Elyria Catholic 27. Total fouls: Avon 19, Elyria Catholic 16. Fouled out: LoParo.
Junior varsity: Avon, 60-27