The outcome of the girls basketball game between the Avon Eagles and the North Royalton Bears on Dec. 15 was really never in question.
From the opening minutes, the Eagles scored with ease and quickly created a double-digit lead that ultimately grew into a 20-2 first quarter advantage.
That type of free-willed scoring, combined with an intense defense that created numerous turnovers, was more than enough for Avon to secure a 59-20 win and move to 4-1 on the season. The loss drops North Royalton to 1-3.
“We were able to hit some outside shots, which was good,” Avon coach Meghan Larrick said. “I know, sometimes, when a team plays a zone defense, as a coach, you’re going, ‘Are we going to be able to execute? Are we going to be able to capitalize on it or are we going to be stagnant?’ I think we were obviously able to make some outside shots, which forced them to match up, which was a good thing.”
As if often the case for the Eagles, Abby Liber led the way for Avon. The senior do-it-all player and St. Louis University commit finished with 24 points, six rebounds and three steals, all in three quarters.
“She brings such versatility to the game,” Larrick said. “She’s a 5’11” guard, which makes it very challenging for people to match up with her and guard her. She’s not only versatile, she’s very physical from the guard position. Her leadership and her hard work is contagious. When she’s doing well, everybody around her begins to step up and play hard. You see that when teams begin to collapse on her, other people are wide open and we were able to hit those shots.”
Liber helped facilitate the offense as well, which she said makes her just as happy as putting up points herself.
“All of the shots we took were great shots,” Liber said. “I have confidence in myself and in my teammates that, if they have an open shot, I want them to take it. We know that if we keep shooting then it’s bound to go in. I’m always looking for the best opportunity. If I have a shot and my teammate has a better shot, I’d rather have them take it to help us win the game.”
Other leading scorers for Avon were Brooke Laub with nine points, Alexis Titas with eight and Natalie Santoro with six points. Altogether, nine Eagles scored, which Larrick said is indicative of the selflessness and experience her team possesses.
“It’s always nice to give everybody an opportunity,” Larrick said. “Everybody practices hard everyday so it was nice to be able to give everybody that opportunity out on the court today.”
As fun as a blowout win is – that included the new 35-point running clock rule being implemented with 3:30 left in the third quarter – both Liber and Larrick know they can’t rest on their laurels.
Next for the Eagles is a contest against Olmsted Falls on Wednesday before the group travels to Florida to play in a Christmas tournament.
“It gives us a lot of confidence when we can come out and compete well together,” Liber said. “We can’t look ahead, we have to take it one game at a time and one practice at a time.”
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