Bulldogs take down Red Devils
JIM TAYLORAVON PARK - It has been an up-and-down year for the Avon Park Red Devils girls basketball team. Their latest loss on Friday night more than solidified that point.
Published: January 13, 2013
Published: January 13, 2013
In a district game, the DeSoto Bulldogs came to Avon Park and beat the Red Devils 40-35. The loss dropped their record to 9-9 for the season and kept them in third place in the district with a 3-3 record.
This game exemplified the season for the Red Devils. They played solid defense throughout the game. Offensively, it was a different story. They would score at will for a few minutes, then not post another score for nearly a whole quarter.
"We have definitely been going through that mind game for quite a while now," said Avon Park coach Paulette Daley. "We have a good two and a half minutes scoring and doing what we are supposed to do, then all the sudden we are slumping and not doing what we are supposed to do. It is something that we have to make right and work on."
The scoring slump started early for the Red Devils as they only managed to post four points in the first six minutes of the game as DeSoto took a 12-4 lead. They would cut that lead in half by the end of the quarter, trailing the Bulldogs 12-8.
Both teams scored quickly to start the second quarter, the Bulldogs first, then Avon Park when Toryanna Jones hit for three points to make the score 14-11 in favor of DeSoto.
The Red Devils went nearly seven minutes without scoring a point as DeSoto went on a seven-point run and took a 10-point lead at 21-11 with a minute left in the half. Avon Park went into the half trailing the Bulldogs 23-15.
Avon Park started the second half with a steal and a quick basket, and then went two minutes without scoring as the Bulldogs put up eight unanswered points to increase their lead to 31-17.
Again, it would be Jones who broke the scoreless drought with two 3-point shots that sparked a 12-2 run by the Red Devils and closed the gap to four as they trailed the Bulldogs 33-29. The third quarter ended with DeSoto leading 34-29.
Both teams opened the fourth quarter trading 3-point shots. DeSoto went first, then Jones responded by hitting her fourth 3-pointer of the game. Johntavia Perry added another basket for the Red Devils with 5:50 left in the game to bring Avon Park within three, 37-34.
DeSoto scored again to make it 39-34 with 4:44 left in the game. From that point, the Avon Park defense only gave up one more point as DeSoto went 1-for-9 at the charity stripe.
The problem was that Avon Park only managed one point for the rest of the game as they went 1-for-4 from the line with no baskets. The result was the Red Devils falling short in the end to the Bulldogs, 40-35.
DeSoto coach Joe Davis said Avon Park is a good team and they knew it was going to be a battle all the way to the end; the Bulldogs just had to stay patient and do what they were doing.
DeSoto's Amelia Hamilton led the Bulldogs with a game-high 17 points. Jones led Avon Park with 14 points and Perry added another 11 in the loss.
As for the Red Devils, Daley said it is gut-check time for her squad, with a few games left in the season and a tough district matchup against Lake Placid next week.
Avon Park has two district games this week. On Monday, they travel to play Mulberry and Lake Placid will be at Avon Park on Friday.
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