AVON — The last time Avon won a conference title “The Silence of the Lambs” was No. 1 at the box office, Adam Sandler had just made his debut on “Saturday Night Live” and it was 14 years before the West Shore Conference even came into existence.
The Eagles cut down the nets for the first time in 22 years Friday, clinching a share of the WSC title with a 54-50 come-from-behind win over Midview.
The Eagles (16-6), whose last conference crown came in 1991 in the Lorain County Conference, will share the title with Rocky River. Both teams finished 12-2 in the league.
“It’s feels amazing being my senior year and winning the West Shore for the first time,” Jack Poyle said.
Poyle scored 14 points and made two free throws with 17 seconds to play to make it a two-possession game.
“Our emotions were running really high,” he said. “We really wanted this game. We were down at halftime by one and we came out in the second half even more focused because this game was so important.”
Avon started the second half on a 16-6 run to take a 36-27 lead. Junior Brian Kelly hit a pair of 3-pointers during the run on his way to a team-high 17 points. Kelly also had nine rebounds.
“We were a little nervous at the start of the game because we really haven’t played in a game this big before,” Kelly said. “Once we settled down we started getting good looks and making shots and not forcing things. It’s just a great feeling to win the West Shore Conference. We’re going to enjoy this tonight then spend the next two days getting ready for the tournament.”
The Eagles open Division I sectional play Monday against Lorain a Midview.
Midview (11-11, 7-7) never trailed in the first half but fell behind by nine on three occasions in the second half only to battle back each time. Senior Wes Davic led the Middies with 20 points and 18 rebounds. Junior Dylan Eason also scored 17 points.
“First off, I would like to congratulate Avon and Rocky River on winning the conference,” Midview coach Troy DiFranco said. “I would like to think we made them earn it tonight. We played hard, we feel like we’re right there. They just made a few more plays then we did tonight. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the other team.
“Tonight was a tournament atmosphere. To take Avon to the final minute on their floor, on Senior Night, shows me we’re ready for Tuesday night.”
The Middies open Division I tournament play against No. 4 seed Midpark at Brecksville.
Avon coach Kevin Sapara led the team to the WSC crown in his first season after taking over for veteran coach Jim Baker, who led the Eagles for 12 years before stepping down after last season.
“I’m really happy for the kids and everyone involved with the Avon program,” Sapara said. “I’m not going to lie, when I first took the job everybody told me this might be a down year and that the program lost a lot of talent to graduation last year. This is great, the kids worked so hard for this and to see them accomplish it on Senior Night, I’m just so proud of them.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avon 54, Midview 50
MIDVIEW(50): Wes Davic 6-8-20, David Dombrowski 2-0-4, Steven Gott 1-0-2, Dylan Eason 6-3-17, Grant Overy 2-1-7, Jack Duffner 0-0-0. Totals 17-12-50.
AVON (54): Zach Gill 0-0-0, Brian Kelly 5-3-17, Jack Poyle 5-3-14, Cordell Winters 3-0-6, Zack Torbert 3-2-9, Matt Lawrence 4-0-8, Mike Pulice 0-0-0. Totals 20-8-54.
Midview 11 10 14 15 — 50
Avon 11 9 22 12 — 54
Three-point goals: Midview (Eason 2, Overy 2); Avon (Kelly 4, Poyle, Torbert). Field goals: Midview 17-39 (44 percent), Avon 20-42 (48 percent); Free throws: Midview 12-18 (67 percent), Avon 8-17 (47 percent); Rebounds: Midview 27, Avon 30; Turnovers: Midview 8, Avon 9; Total fouls: Midview 17, Avon13.
Junior Varsity: Midview 45-33