Perkins Pirates win Comet Holiday Tournament; Amherst Comets rebound

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Amherst senior Brianna Shagovac, right, drives toward the basket against Avon High School at the Comet Holiday Tournament consolation game.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Amherst senior Taylor Gibson, left, shoots from under the basket against Avon Amherst High School on Friday.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Girls from both Amherst and Avon struggle for a loose ball under the basket on Friday at the Comet Holiday Tournament consolation game.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Avon guard Jessica Yurkovich drives in along the baseline against Amherst at the Comet Holiday Tournament consolation game on Friday.

AMHERST — Whatever Perkins was missing early on in the season, they seemed to have found it.

Perkins completed an impressive two-day stretch and captured the 2012 Comet Holiday tournament championship with a 46-34 win over Elyria Friday. In the consolation game, Amherst rebounded with a 61-51 win over Avon.

“This is a great feeling,” Perkins senior Shannon Ebert said. “To come in and against some strong team and show them who Perkins is. I think we have found something. We are playing better. Whether it’s because we are playing with more heart or hustling harder, we have gotten our swagger back.”

Knowing the first three minutes were a key, the Pirates (7-2) used the same match-up zone defense they did in their win over Amherst. Much like Amherst, Elyria (5-5) struggled against it. They turned the ball over eight times and had only nine shots in the first quarter to trail 10-4.

A 6-0 run early in the second helped the Pioneers tie it at 10, only to see Perkins respond with a 15-0 run to close out the first half. Ebert, who had another outstanding game in the post, scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the second. Three of her baskets came after she grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the put back. For the game, she also corralled 10 rebounds.

“The first half was fun to watch,” Perkins coach Ray Neill said. “I think the girls intensity and passion was outstanding. Elyria is a very good offensive team and to hold them to 10 points is an outstanding job by them.”

After controlling the tempo for the first three quarters, Perkins saw things start to go awry with Elyria closing the deficit down to 39-27 midway through the fourth. Mary Jones, who had a team-high 15 points, had nine points during the run.

Perkins was able to compose itself and hold on for the win.

“We didn’t play well,” Elyria coach Mike Walsh said. “I was hoping we would play better in a championship game. We had more turnovers than shots in the first half and you can’t do that against a good team.”

Amherst came out strong in the first three minutes of the game and held a 10-point lead. They overcame foul trouble and used an outstanding night at the free throw line to hold off Avon to take third place.

“We knew we had to come out strong,” Amherst senior point guard Brianna Shagovac said. “We knew we had to come out play hard. We needed to get back on the winning track.”

In the first three minutes, Amherst forced nine turnovers while its offense took advantage of almost every one of them to take a 12-2 lead. The Comets (6-2) maintained their lead for most of the second and early of the third quarter before the Eagles (4-6) closed the gap.

A steal and ensuing layup by Brianna Smith cut Amherst’s lead down to 40-33, but Shagovac closed out the quarter with a three-point play and restored the double-digit lead.

Though playing almost the entire 32 minutes, Shagovac was pivotal down the stretch for Amherst. With Brooke Wallace (11 points) and Sydney Failing (12 points) both on the bench after fouling out early in the fourth quarter, it was Shagovac (game-high 20 points) who carried the Comets to the finish line.

She was 7 of 8 from the free throw line in the final minutes of the game. As a team, the Comets were 22 of 26 from the line. Conversely, Avon struggled at the line, going 8 of 22.

“The girls really brought their energy and their passion to the game,” Amherst coach John Rositano said. “When they do that, the offense happens. If you don’t play good defense, rebound or hustle, you aren’t going to get rewarded.

“The good start was important. If we didn’t, the energy is sapped and then we are in a dogfight. But, the girls made plays and played the right way.”

Avon didn’t have a player reach double figures, but showed its balance with nine players scoring. Jessica Yurkovich led the Eagles with nine points. Sierra Davidson, Tina Petrillo and Alexandra Bjorn each added eight.



Amherst 61, Avon 51

Comet Holiday Tournament

Consolation

AVON – Payton Mitchell 1-0 2, Sierra Davidson 3-2 8, Tina Petrillo 4-0 8, Catie Kelly 2-1 5, Brianna Smith 1-1 3, Brianna Conroy 2-2 6, Jessica Yurkovich 3-1 9, Alexandra Bjorn 3-2 8, Kaitlin Neumann 1-0 2. TOTALS 21-8 51.

AMHERST – Morgan Dziak 3-5 12, Brianna Shagovac 5-10 20, Sydney Failing 3-6 12, Megan Salisbury 3-0 6, Brooke Wallace 5-1 11. TOTALS 19-22 61.

3-POINT GOALS – AV: Yurkovich; AM: Dziak

Score By Quarters

Avon (4-6) 10 10 16 15 — 51

Amherst (6-2) 16 15 16 14 — 61

Team Statistics

Field Goals – Avon 21 of 47 (45 percent), Amherst 19 of 46 (41 percent)

Free Throws – A 8 of 22 (36 percent), AM 22 of 26 (85 percent)

Rebounds – A 31, AM 30.

Turnovers – A 25, AM 20

Perkins 46, Elyria 34

Comet Holiday Tournament

Championship

ELYRIA — Mary Jones 7-0 15, Alexis Middlebrooks 4-0 8, Jocelyn Spraggins 4-1 9, Alexis Roseboro 1-0 2. TOTALS 16-1 34.

PERKINS — Darcy Daniel 3-1 8, Shannon Ebert 9-0 18, Kayla Yost 4-1 9, Abbey Seeholzer 109 2, Emily Wagner 1-1 3, Ariana Burrows 2-0 6. TOTALS 20-3 46.

3-POINT GOALS – E: Jones; P: Burrows (2), Daniel

Score By Quarters

Elyria (5-5) 4 6 4 20 — 34

Perkins (7-2) 10 15 12 9 — 46

Team Statistics

Field Goals — Elyria 16 of 48 (33 percent), Perkins 20 of 40 (50 percent)

Free Throws — E 1 of 3 (33 percent), P 3 of 6 (50 percent)

Rebounds — E 29 (Middlebrooks 11), P 26 (Ebert 10)

Turnovers — E 21, P 20



@MJournalSports

Last Updated: 12/28/2012 11:56:45 PM EST

From the Bleachers

See All