Avon Eagles escape with win over Elyria Catholic Panthers

Avon’s Tina Petrillo, center, jumps for a rebound against Elyria Catholic during the third quarter on Saturday. Avon won the game, 48-46. MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE

Elyria Catholic guard Brittany McNamara, right, takes a shot during the second quarter against Avon on Saturday. MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE

Panthers guard Brittany McNamara drives along the baseline during the fourth quarter against Avon on Saturday. MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE

Avon celebrates as time runs out to an Eagles victory over Elyria Catholic on Saturday. MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE

AVON — In a game that neither team led by more than seven points, it was only fitting to see it all come down to one play at the end.

That play came with six seconds left and Elyria Catholic in bounding the ball down two.

Karissa McGrath had a good look at the potential game-tying basket, but unfortunately, for Elyria Catholic, the shot rimmed out and Avon came away with 48-46 West Shore Conference win on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m very proud of my girls today,” Avon head coach Meghan Banks said. “It was nice to win a close game like this against such a good team. We are pretty young, so pulling off a win like this can go a long way.”

The game was close from the beginning as the two teams traded leads throughout the first quarter and ended with Elyria Catholic leading, 9-7.

Action really began to pick up in the second quarter.

After a quick 4-0 spurt gave EC a six-point lead, Avon responded with the biggest run of the game.

Sophomore Jessica Yurkovich got the Eagles going with a 3-point play. On the next play, she stole the ball and took it coast-to-coast for an easy lay up.

Avon’s defense took it from there, causing four turnovers in a two-minute span to help the Eagles go on a 10-0 run to take a 17-13 lead. Avon used a 20-point outburst in the second quarter, taking a 27-21 lead into halftime.

“The second quarter was big for us, we really started to click on both ends of the floor,” Banks said.

The second half didn’t start the way Elyria Catholic had planned. Already playing without starting point guard Riley Schill (surgery), McGrath was forced to leave the game after hitting her head on the ground going after a loose ball.

Despite temporary losing McGrath, the Panthers still ran off four quick points to cut Avon’s lead to 27-25.

The teams traded baskets the remainder of the quarter and Avon took a 37-33 lead into the fourth quarter.

Avon got off to a great start in the fourth when Yurkovich hit a 3-pointer to take the biggest lead of the game, up seven, 40-33.

Elyria Catholic wasted no time answering back and within a two-minute span, the Panthers went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 40-39 with just under six minutes left in the game.

A technical foul against Elyria Catholic resulted in a four-point swing as Avon split the free throws and made a 3-point play.

The Panthers scored the next four points to cut the deficit to 44-43.

After Avon took a 46-43 lead with 1:45 left to play, Brittney McNamara hit a deep 3-pointer to knot the game at 46.

Avon answered back with a field goal from Sierra Davidson to grab the two-point lead.

That all set up the final attempt by McGrath, whose runner rimmed out and the Eagles escaped with the victory.

The win improved Avon to 11-6 overall and 8-2 in the WSC.

Elyria Catholic head coach Eric Rothgery was proud of his team’s effort.

“I knew it was going to be tough playing without our point guard, but I thought my girls did a very good job,” said Rothgery, whose team slipped to 14-3 overall and 8-2 in the WSC. “I always tell them it’s all about effort. Win or lose, if I feel like my girls gave it their all, I’m happy with that. Nice win by Avon, we will learn from this and continue to improve.”

@MJournalSports

Last Updated: 1/26/2013 8:17:35 PM EST

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