Red Devils cruise past Eagles
JIM TAYLORAVON PARK - The Avon Park girls basketball team utilized an aggressive defense and its athleticism to force numerous turnovers in rolling past Walker Memorial Academy in Tuesday night's Preseason Tip-Off Tournament.
Published: November 8, 2012
Published: November 8, 2012
The Red Devils jumped out to an early lead and never trailed in a 52-40 win over the Eagles.
"We were trying to work on a few things," said Avon Park Coach Paulette Daley. "See what chemistry works best. We knew we were going to see quite a few mistakes out there, but it's the first game and you try some things that are a little different."
Avon Park wasted no time putting pressure on the Eagles as they scored the first nine points of the game. The Eagles would not go away easy as they scored the next eight points as the first quarter ended with the Red Devils holding a slim lead of 9-8.
The Red Devils responded by matching the Eagles eight-point run with one of their own to take a 17-9 lead. Both teams played evenly for the rest of the first half as Avon Park went into the intermission with a 21-13 advantage.
Walker Memorial got the ball first in the second half and Avon Park immediately went into a full-court press that caught the Eagles off guard.
Avon Park was able to force four quick turnovers and converted them into easy baskets to increase its lead to 29-13.
Walker Memorial Head Coach William Farmer, who was down to only two timeouts left for the game, called one to settle his team down.
The result was that the Eagles kept pace with the Red Devils as the third quarter ended at 39-24.
"We're young and it showed," said Farmer. "When the pressure came on we did not handle the ball well. We had about 20 turnovers in the first half and another 10 in the third quarter. We have to take better care of the ball."
Daley noted that she started the second half in the full-court press to dictate the tempo of the game. She also wanted her players to move their feet while still working on the chemistry of working together as a team.
Though Avon Park started the fourth quarter on a 7-1 run, the Eagles outscored the Red Devils 16-13 for the quarter, as Avon Park held on to win the game.
Kristelle Lagabon led Walker Memorial with 12 points and Kiana Vassell came off the bench to add nine points in the loss.
"I wanted to get our young kids a chance to play tonight," said Farmer. "So we got them in there. Avon Park is always a good test and I want to thank Paula for letting us come to get ready for our regular season by playing some top notch competition."
Despite a slow start, Avon Park's Johntavia Perry scored 12 of her game-high 17 points in the second half, while Toryana Jones hit double digits with 11 points. Kayla Wilson, Imani Tate, and Otisha Smith each added 6 points.
"We had a few turnovers," said Daley. "But we are a young team and we're going to have some growing pains, but that's something we will work on."
Avon Park will have the opportunity to do that tonight as they face the Clewiston Tigers in the tournament finale to be played at 7:30 p.m.