Eagles’ bench leads them to win against Midview

EATON TWP. — With the state tournament on the horizon, Avon’s bench showed they are ready to contribute.

In the regular season finale for both teams, the Eagles’ bench combined to score 42 points and lead them to a convincing 62-22 West Shore Conference win over host Midview Wednesday.

Though the Eagles (13-7, 8-4) got off to a slow start leading 8-4 midway through the first quarter; the bench got into the act towards the end of the quarter. The bench brigade of Kaitlin Neumann, Brianna Smith and Meaghan Ronney combined to score eight points in the final two minutes to help the Eagles take an 18-4 lead.

Neumann had to come into the game early after freshman Sierra Davidson picked up her second foul. Neumann played solid defensively, while contributing on the offensive end. She finished the game with team-high 10 points.

“You have to be ready,” Neumann said. “You want to come in and help keep things going by doing what you can to help the team. This is a good confidence booster for us.”

It continued in the second quarter as Avon’s starters took a rest. A 10-3 run keyed by Rooney’s four points gave them a 28-7 lead. Rooney scored all eight of her points in the first half- six of which came in the second quarter.

“Their depth put us away,” Midview Coach Scott Plzak said. “We came out playing the way we wanted to, but we don’t have the depth they do. Once fatigue started to set in on us; their depth took over.”

The bench continued to shine at both ends of the floor for the Eagles. Though Midview scored 10 points in the third quarter, they managed only four in the fourth quarter. Junior Amanda House led the Middies (3-17, 1-11) with 12 points — eight of which came in the third quarter.

Avon’s starters did factor in the scoring early in the fourth quarter before giving way to the bench after only a couple of minutes.

Avon Coach Meghan Banks was glad to see the bench perform well as eight players of 12 players who scored came off the bench.

“This was a great team win,” Banks said. “Everyone contributed. The bench came in, worked hard and got some defensive stops when we needed them which allowed us to stay in the flow of the game we established. They also executed offensively which was good to see.”

The Eagles, who are seeded fourth in the Division I tournament at Elyria Catholic, will be off for 10 days before they face the winner of Elyria/Avon Lake. But Banks was also able to implement some new things which the starters and the bench did to near-perfection.

“We worked on some different things offensively and defensively which we can use in the tournament,” she said. “They were able to execute them.”

With the success of the game, the long layoff won’t be an issue according to Julius who tied Neumann for team-high honors with 10 points.

“This will help us especially in practice,” she said. “This is a morale booster and should keep everything working hard and hungry.”

The young Middies have gone through some bumps in the road, but Plzak was proud to see the way his team responded throughout the regular season.

“They hung in there,” he said. “They stuck with it and though the record doesn’t show it; they have gotten better. They have worked hard and now there are some building blocks in place.”

Midview will open up tournament action when they take on top-seeded Westlake Saturday.

Twitter: @MJournalSports

Last Updated: 2/15/2012 11:09:10 PM EST

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