AMHERST — Amherst had the home court advantage Saturday in the finals of the Comet Holiday Tournament. But visiting Avon had Mackenzie Meckes.
Meckes, a 5-foot-8 junior guard, was calm, cool and collected helping her team withstand a frantic second half Comets’ rally as Avon held on to win the championship game, 53-42.
Meckes scored eight of her game-high 20 points in the final six minutes of the game. Each of those points proved crucial for the Eagles (7-3) after Amherst rallied from 16 points down at the half to pull within four late in the third period.
“I’m proud of my girls that they were able to overcome adversity, stick with it and finish out the game,” Avon coach Meghan Larrick said. “But we will be back in the gym Monday morning at 8 a.m. because we still have a lot to work on. We’re still trying to work on executing for four quarters.”
In the first half the Eagles showed that they are capable of shooting nearly 50 percent from the field and forcing 12 turnovers while building a 31-15 lead. Meckes scored 11 points over the first two periods and Alyssa Douzos scored all seven of her points in the first 16 minutes.
Amherst (3-6) came out to start the second half unfazed, chipping away at the Avon lead throughout the third period with Brooke Wallace, scoring eight of her team-high 16 points in that quarter. She also finished the night with 15 rebounds. Sophomore Sara Elliott had eight points for the Comets.
“Early in the game we went back into old habits,” Amherst coach Kevin Collins said. “At halftime we challenged the girls to show us what they could do and we came out in the third quarter and played probably the best eight minutes of basketball we played all year. I think we exerted to so much energy getting back into the game we just ran into the wall at the end of the game.”
Although it Meckes’ first appearance in the Comet Holiday Tournament, the transfer student from Magnificat High School knew how important the event was to her team.
“We were all looking forward to this weekend all season. This is important for us to build on this win with some tough games coming up,” Meckes said. “We need to work on our help defense and make improvements but we played well on the offensive end.”
Brianna Conroy, the hero of Avon opening round win over Elyria, scored eight points Saturday and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
Elyria 51, Perkins 29
Sybil Roseboro scored a game-high 22 points, including four 3-pointers as the Pioneers rolled to a 51-29 in the consolation game.
Elyria (5-7) held the Pirates to one point over the first six minutes of the game and nine points in the first half while forcing 17 turnovers on the defensive end.
“We came out and played two good games this weekend,” Elyria coach Brian Arth said. “We wanted to come out and get after them early, press the ball and take a big lead and that’s just what we did. I’m very happy with the team play I’ve seen the past two days. We didn’t turn the ball over and we played as a team. That’s the key for us right there.”
Middlebrooks scored Elyria’s first 11 points of the second quarter.
“My shot was really on tonight,” Middlebrooks said. “We really played together as a team and contributed to the win.”
Despite only scoring two points in the fourth quarter, the Pioneers still managed to get 10 different players in the scoring column.
Perkins (3-6) was led by Ariana Burrows who scored 13 points.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Avon 53, Amherst 42
AVON (53): Payton Mitchell 1-2-4, Alyssa Douzos 3-0-7, Sierra Davidson 1-1-3, Allie Bjorn 3-0-6, Rachael Poling 0-1-1, Zanny Sauter 2-0-4, Brianna Conroy 2-4-8, Mackenzie Meckes 5-9-20. Totals 17-17-53.
AMHERST (42): Sydney Roule 1-2-5, Mallory Sliman 2-2-6, Gabrielle Basinski 2-1-5, Sara Elliott 3-2-8,Brooke Wallace 8-0-16, Natalia Joseph 1-0-2. Totals 17-7-42.
Avon 14 17 7 15 — 53
Amherst 8 7 16 11 — 42
Three-point goals: Avon (Meckes, Douzos); Amherst (Roule). Field goals: Avon 17-48 (35 percent), Amherst 17-50 (34 percent); Free throws: Avon 17-24 (71 percent), Amherst 7-8 (88 percent); Rebounds: Avon 28, Amherst 35; Turnovers: Avon 18, Amherst 23; Total fouls: Avon 13, Amherst 20.
Elyria 51, Perkins 29
PERKINS (29): Hallee Smith 2-2-6, Abby Dresser 1-1-3, Angela Baumgardner 1-0-2, Haylee Dam 0-1-1, Ariana Burrows 5-0-13, Emily Wagner 2-0-4. Totals 11-4-29.
ELYRIA (51): Sybil Roseboro 8-2-22, Mikayla Christian 1-0-2, Shayla Middlebrooks 3-2-9, CiCi McIntosh 1-0-2, Samantha Harjar 1-0-2, Meaira Williams 1-0-2, Sierra White 2-0-4, Dierra Hammonds 1-0-3, Kelsey Brooks 1-0-3, Mariah Johnson 1-0-2. Totals 20-4-51.
Perkins 6 3 9 11 — 29
Elyria 15 14 20 2 — 51
Three-point goals: Perkins (Burrows 3) Elyria (Roseboro 4, Middlebrooks, Hammonds, Brooks). Field goals: Perkins 11-34 (32 percent), Elyria 20-54 (37 percent) Free throws: Perkins 4-8 (50 percent), Elyria 4-6 (67 percent); Rebounds: Perkins 21, Elyria 33; Turnovers: Perkins 17, Elyria 6; Total fouls: Perkins 6, Elyria 11.