Avon Lake Nick Marsh shoots over Avon's Max Torbert (42) and Dean Emerine Jan. 26. STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE
AVON LAKE – Though they were on the road, the Avon Eagles felt right at home behind the 3-point line in a 74-60 Southwestern Conference victory Friday night at Avon Lake High School.
Avon (7-7, 5-5) shot a toasty 52 percent from both sides of the arc, using its deadly 3-point shooting to take control of the game early. The Eagles put up a 25-point second quarter and hit 10 of 16 threes in the first half to take a 19-point lead into the locker room at halftime.
“We took a big step in the right direction today,” Avon coach Kevin Sapara said. “I feel like we’ve been playing a lot better these past few weeks. We still have a lot of basketball left to play. At least a third of the season is left.
“I’m proud of our guys today of how they came out on the road against a team that beat us the first game of the year and we showed them we are a different team. We’ve come along way but we’re not done.”
The Eagles got numerous open looks and they made them count, moving the ball well and pushing the tempo. Avon had four double-digit scorers led by their starting backcourt of senior Jacob Chasteen (21 points) and junior Ryan Maloy (18). Together, they also combined to hit 12 of 14 free throws on a night when the Eagles made 88 percent of their foul shots.
“I was really happy with the guys and how they followed the game plan and listened to what we wanted to do defensively,” Sapara said. “Ryan Maloy and Chasteen did a good job of leading us, just leading, being leaders for us, making good decisions with the ball.”
“I think that we just played a really good game because finally we are starting to get our shots,” Maloy said. “In practice we light it up every day, so we were expecting it to happen eventually in the game. Our approach was just push the ball in transition, because they try to get back on us on defense, so we just knew that we had to find ways to score with the fast break and pounding the ball.”
The Eagles got 10 points from junior Jake Parker and 14, including a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point-land, from guard Cole Warren.
“He can shoot it, we know that,” said Sapara. “He’s a sophomore and like a lot of sophomores that we have it just takes a little bit of time to get their feet wet, but we’re very confident in him that he can shoot.”
For the Shoremen (8-7, 6-4), it was the defense that broke down against the long-range shooting of Avon.
“That’s probably the worst defensive game we played this year, as far as aggressiveness and doing things,” Shoremen coach Eric Smith said. “It started out OK, but because we were passive defensively, we allowed them to get wide open looks. And, tip your hat to them, they knocked their shots down. They shoot the ball extremely well. You can’t lose guys like that.”
While Avon Lake isn’t uncomfortable in an up-tempo game, it isn’t built to play long stretches of that style. The Shoremen are more of a rugged team and no one embodied that spirit more than 6-foot-4 sophomore pivot Nick Marsh. Marsh was the game-high scorer with 23 points and Avon Lake’s leading rebounder with six, to go along with two blocks and two steals.
“Nick’s aggressive, he plays hard and he’s a tough match up,” Smith said. “He gets to the glass, he can finish, he can step outside a little bit. I mean he does a lot of things. We had some guys who competed.”
Contact Fred Steiner at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Avon 74, Avon Lake 60
AVON (74): Ryan Maloy 5-6-18, Jacob Chasteen 6-6-21, Jake Parker 4-0-10, Dean Emerine 3-0-7, Max Torbert 1-0-2, Ronier Barrett-Reed 0-2-2, Cole Warren 5-0-14, Brandon Doehne 0-0-0,Niko Pappas 0-0-0, Dominic Rini 0-0-0. Totals 24-14-74.
AVON LAKE (60): Cole Schraff 2-0-4, Nate Sidloski 4-0-9, Jordan Ball 3-2-8, Nick Marsh 11-1-23, Creed Bologna 2-0-4, Tanner Russell 1-0-3, Andrew Butrey 0-1-1, Hunter Simons 2-0-4, Nic Vittardi 0-2-2, Cristian Perry 1-0-2, Ryan Murtaugh 0-0-0. Totals 26-6-60.
Avon 19 25 20 10 — 74
Avon Lake 13 12 16 19 — 60
Three-point goals: Avon 12-23 (Warren 4, Chasteen 3, Maloy 2, Parker 2, Emerine), Avon Lake 2-7 (Sidloski, Russell). Field goals: Avon 24-46 (52 percent), Avon Lake 26-51 (51 percent). Free throws: Avon 14-16 (88 percent), Avon Lake 6-14 (43 percent). Rebounds: Avon 27 (Emerine 8), Avon Lake 23 (Marsh 6). Total fouls: Avon 19, Avon Lake 14. Turnovers: Avon 12, Avon Lake 12.
Junior varsity: Avon, 48-32