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Avon Eagles senior Jack Poyle gets hot, scores career-high 29 points in victory over Vermilion Sailors
MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Avon’s Jack Poyle shoots a 3-pointer during the first quarter against Vermilion on Friday night.
MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Avon’s Brian Kelly takes the ball across midcourt during the first quarter.
MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Vermilion’s Anthony Rini drives to the basket on Friday night.
MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Vermilion's Ryan Miller looks for an open pass during the first quarter of the game against Avon on Friday.
Poyle erupted offensively to score 20 of his game-high 29 points in the final 8:05 of play, including a 3-pointer to end the third quarter, to help the Eagles pull away from the Sailors in a 69-58 win on Friday in West Shore Conference play. The Eagles are one win away from either sharing or winning the West Shore Conference championship outright, thanks to Poyle’s hot shooting.
“I just shot the ball really well,” Poyle said. “My teammates were getting me into a good rhythm. We were really playing really good D.”
Avon led 41-38 when Poyle hit one of his three 3s to end the third quarter, giving his team a six-point lead. After that, Poyle ignited the Eagles (15-6, 11-2) on an 11-2 run, including a stretch where he scored nine points in just 51 seconds, to put his team up 55-40 just two minutes into the fourth.
Three straight Vermilion (10-11, 3-10) turnovers allowed the Eagles to get out in transition, and Poyle finished all three times at the basket in the run.
“That’s what he does,” Avon coach Kevin Sapara said. “He’s a great player. He’s one of our leaders, a senior. I’m happy for him. He’s hit shots, but he got going with his defense. He was able to get a couple of steals and a couple quick buckets to get him going. I can’t say enough about him. He’s a great player.”
Two other Eagles scored in double figures — Matt Lawrence with 15 points and Brian Kelly 10 — as they shot 62 percent from the field as a team.
Avon started slow offensively, trailing 13-8 after the first quarter as Vermilion started strong in front of a raucous crowd on Senior Night and Induction Night for the Vermilion Hall of Fame. Those fortunes changed quickly as Avon outscored Vermilion 22-7 in the second, shooting 10 of 15 from the floor while limiting the Sailors to just one made field goal.
“We were rushing a lot of 3-point shots,” Vermilion coach Kurt Habermehl said. “I liked how we were pushing the ball down the floor. But I thought once we got down there, we rushed our shots a little bit.”
Avon’s defenders yielded some jump shots in the first quarter including a pair of 3s, but shut down the Sailors in the second to grab a 10-point lead going into the half.
“We knew they’d be riding high on emotion on a night like this,” Sapara said. “We were down five, but I was still proud of our guys for fighting and hanging in there. We knew it’s a game of runs. Second quarter, we started to play our game and adjust to the atmosphere.”
Vermilion closed the gap to three late in the third quarter. Avon had the ball for the last shot and got it to Poyle, who hit a big three to swing momentum back to the Eagles.
“We had all the momentum in the world,” Habermehl said. “Then Poyle hit the three at the buzzer in the third quarter. It went from three to six. That took the wind out of our sails a little bit.”
Avon pushed the lead out as high as 20 points, as the Eagles burned the Sailors’ aggressive half-court defense with great passes, finding open shooter after open shooter.
Vermilion had three players score in double figures as well, led by 17 from Cameron Kuhn who hit all nine of his free-throw attempts.
Avon’s win opens the door for an opportunity to win the West Shore Conference on Friday night when it hosts Midview.
“We’ve just got to worry about ourselves, obviously,” Sapara said. “We’ve got one more game, Senior Night next week. I’m proud of our kids. Vermilion beat us the first time. We were able to come back and get a little bit of revenge. We’re starting to play a little bit better, so I’m excited. I’m really happy for the guys. They really deserve it.”
Avon 69, Vermilion 58
West Shore Conference
AVON — Brian Kelly 4-0 10, Jack Poyle 11-4 29, Cordell Winters 4-0 9, Zach Torbert 3-0 6, Matt Lawrence 7-1 15. TOTALS 29-5 69.
VERMILION — Anthony Rini 6-0 13, Forrest Boyd 3-0 7, Kyle Nader 0-1 1, Ross Lewis 1-0 3, Austin Kazmer 1-0 2, Ryan Miller 4-1 10, Cameron Kuhn 3-9 17, Seth Konrad 2-1 5. TOTALS 20-12 58.
3-POINT GOALS — A: Kelly (2), Poyle (3), Winters; V: Rini, Boyd, Lewis, Miller, Kuhn (2).
Score By Quarters
Avon (15-6, 11-2) 8 22 14 25 — 69
Vermilion (10-11, 3-10) 13 7 18 20 — 58
Field Goals — Avon 29 of 47 (62 percent), Vermilion 20 of 48 (42 percent).
Free Throws — A 5 of 9 (56 percent), V 12 of 14 (86 percent).
Rebounds — A 23 (Lawrence 8), V 23 (Kuhn 7).
Turnovers — A 9, V 12.
J.V. — Avon, 47-38.
Last Updated: 2/15/2013 11:49:13 PM EST