December 22, 2014

Elyria
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High school basketball: Elyria uses strong first half to down Shoregals

AVON LAKE — Elyria senior Mary Jones has been waiting almost a year for a chance to finally beat Avon Lake.

Good things come to those who wait.

Jones had 14 points and sophomore Sybil Roseboro added a game-high 15 as the Pioneers avenged last year’s sectional loss with 48-35 win Monday in a non-league game.

Jones scored 10 of her points in the second quarter after missing most of the first after spraining her right ankle.

“We got our payback tonight,” Jones said. “Before the game all I could think about was how they beat us last year and we knew we had to come in here and beat them on their home court.”

Elyria (3-0) came out of the gates like a team on a mission, scoring the first seven points, building a 17-4 lead after one period and extending the lead to 33-17 at the half.

However, the Pioneers came out flat in the second half, scoring just 15 points over the final 16 minutes.

“We just didn’t play with the same intensity in the second half,” Elyria coach Mike Walsh said. “I told them we played a great first half but they gotta learn that can’t happen. When we get into the league, if we don’t play four quarters we’re going to get blown out of the gym.”

With Jones in the locker room getting her ankle treated, Roseboro made three of five field goal s and scored 11 of her points in the first half. She also finished the night with three steals.

“Mary is one of our main go-to people so I knew when she went out I had to help the team and try to fill her role on the court,” Roseboro said. “In the first half we were really working together as a team and talked to each other on the court. Coach talked to us in the locker room about how we need to keep doing those things for the entire 32 minutes.”

Alexis Middlebrooks led the Pioneers with nine rebounds.

Avon Lake got 10 points each from Molly Disbrow and Anelise Kollias. The Shoregals shot just 24 percent from the field while dropping to 0-3. They have yet to score more than 37 points in a game this season.

“In the long run I think this stretch will make us a better team,” Avon Lake coach Dave Zvara said. “We came out and played real well in the second half. This was the best second half we’ve played this season.

“We’re still a young team and we’re learning from every game. I see the girls are beginning to gain confidence. Anelise did an excellent job tonight of driving to the basket. I’m seeing improvement with this team every day.”

The Shoregals went on a 7-2 run to end the game and if not for missing a number of easy shots in the fourth quarter could have really put the pressure on Elyria.

Both teams will begin conference play later in the week and Walsh knows his team will have to take advantage its strengths, such as free throw shooting.

“We were 4-for-4 in the second half but when you’ve got a 15- or 16-point lead you need to get to the foul line more than that,” Walsh said. “We were trying to do things too quick and not even giving them a chance to foul us.”

Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.