Avon Lake Shoregals pull off upset of the Clearview Clippers

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Avon Lake's Ali Balthaser, left, gathers in the ball after knocking it away from Clearview's Sidney Wright in the fourth quarter Wednesday night.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Clearview's Katlynne Baker, left, reaches in and knocks the ball away from Avon Lake's Ali Balthaser in the fourth quarter Wednesday night.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Clearview’s MacKenzie Mielcarek, center loses the ball as she tries to get between Avon Lake’s Kay Butrey, left, and Anelise Kollias in the third quarter Wednesday night.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Clearview's Angel Blakely, right, jumps back from Avon Lake's Ali Balthaser in the fourth quarter Wednesday night.

AVON LAKE — Avon Lake managed to pull off the upset Wednesday night over the Clearview Clippers, 40-29.

The Shoregals looked in control doing it, too, in what has been a tough season.

“We haven’t had the easiest time,” Avon Lake coach Dave Zvara said, “but we’ve kept our heads up both in practice and during games. With the attitudes these girls have shown this year I feel like we’re 16-0.”

The early going was marked by turnovers from both sides, Some forced and some unforced. The teams elected to force shots outside with zone and mix in the half court trap.

Avon Lake point guard Ali Balthaser led all scorers with 10. The sophomore hit a three pointer and constantly found ways to set up her teammates with open looks.

“It’s always nice to have a point guard who can handle the ball and distribute,” Zvara said. “She has stayed positive all season and does all she can do every time out.”

Balthaser and her teammates took control of the game with efficient and accurate passing down low.

A benefactor of the ball sharing was junior Emily Nicholas, who finished with eight points and showed impressive technique in the post. Senior Anelise Kollias also finished with 8 but did most of her damage from the mid range and outside.

A controversial no call on a physical blocked shot among other things drew the ire of Clearview coach Nick Dimacchia.

“There wasn’t much balance in terms of the fouls called tonight,” Dimacchia said. “We can’t place the blame squarely on that because we need to make our foul shots as well. But calls like what were made tonight definitely affected the game from then on out.”

Clearview sophomore Angel Blakely and senior Desiree Ray led the Clippers team with nine points apiece. Blakely was on the receiving end of the no call on a physical play underneath, and showed the ability to hit shots in traffic the entire game.

“Angel and others have done a good job for us all season,” Dimacchia said. “January just hasn’t been kind to us so far. We have got to bounce back in conference play if we want the season to end well.”

The Shoregals pulled away from what was a close game in the third quarter by cleaning up the turnovers and switching to more of a ball control strategy when they got the lead.

“We we’re sluggish early, but made some good adjustments at the half with out half court defense,” Zvara said. “We have actually been good in the third quarter all season. Maybe I give a better halftime speech than I do in pregame.”

Both teams got to the line early and often. That trend continued throughout the game and was also a deciding factor late.

“I think we held them to six field goals in the second half, the rest was all foul shots,” Dimacchia said. “We just had a lot of general sloppy and lazy play tonight that is atypical of us.”

Avon Lake 40, Clearview 29

Non-Conference

CLEARVIEW — Angel Blakely 2-5-9, Desiree Ray 4-1-9, Sydney Wright 3-1-7, Raquel Santana 0-2-2, Katlynne Baker 0-1-1, MacKenzie Mielcarek 0-1-1.

AVON LAKE — Ali Balthaser 3-3-10, Emily Nicholas 4-8, Kay Butrey 1-4-6, Logan LeDuc 1-2-4, Molly Disbrow 0-4-4.

3-POINT GOALS — A: Balthaser.

Score By Quarters

Clearview (11-3, 9-2) 5 8 8 8 — 29

Avon Lake (2-14, 1-8) 8 6 14 12 — 40

Team Statistics

Field Goals — Clearview 9 of 35 (26 percent), Amherst 12 of 34 (35 percent).

Free Throws — C 11 of 20 (55 percent), A 15 of 23 (65 percent).

Rebounds — C 22 (Ray 8), A 19 (Nicholas 8).

Turnovers — C 22, A 18.

@MJournalSports

Last Updated: 1/23/2013 11:25:20 PM EST

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