Lady ’Lopes fall short by a hair

The Avonworth girls' basketball team easily defeated Knoch 53-21.

By JIM RUMBLE

Despite all of the adversity that the Avonworth girls basketball team has dealt with this season, the team's focus was to pull off an upset when they traveled to Beaver this past Monday. The Lady ‘Lopes went down to the wire with on of the top teams in the section, but came up short, falling to the Bobcats 40-38.

Assistant coach Julie Moehring guided the team in the absence of coach Bob Schulz, and despite the loss seemed pleased with the overall effort.

"We ran out of time," said Moehring. "They did everything I asked and I can't be any prouder of how they played."

The loss leaves the Antelopes' bid for a playoff spot hanging by a thread, with the results to be determined by last night’s games, the results not available at press time.

In the first quarter, Beaver seemed to have their offense clicking on all cylinders as they jumped out to an early 9-0 lead. Montee'a Hunter finally got things going for the 'Lopes with two drives to the hoop for baskets, but Beaver maintained an 11-4 lead at the end of the quarter.

Hunter remained in attack mode on offense in the second quarter, scoring seven points including a three-ball to carry Avonworth's offense. Mackenzie Mayernik added a pair of free throws and Madison Sheehan scored on a spin move in the lane as the 'Lopes outscored the Bobcats 11-6 to trail 17-15 at the half.

Avonworth played well defensively, implementing a lot of man-to-man defense instead of their base 1-3-1 zone defense.

"That was a gamble on my part," said Moehring.

In the third quarter the teams exchanged scores on offense but Beaver was able to extend their lead to 26-21 with less than two minutes remaining in the period. Hannah Lapiska knocked down a shot from beyond the arc to cut the lead, but the Bobcats took advantage of a second chance opportunity with a put- back basket to claim a 28-24 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Beaver held a nine point lead twice in the fourth quarter, but Avonworth was not about to throw in the towel.

The Bobcats were up 37-28 with 1:04 left on the clock when the 'Lopes began to mount a comeback. A pair of free throws by Mayernik and a put-back basket by Caitlyn Miller produced a 4-1 run that had Avonworth behind 38-32 with :45 left.

Avonworth was forced to foul but Beaver followed with two missed free throws. Sheehan scored inside and was fouled, but was not able to convert on the free throw.

The 'Lopes came up big when Mayernik got the rebound off the miss and scored on a put-back basket that had Avonworth behind 38-36 with :23 left.

The Bobcats were able to take advantage of a 'Lopes turnover and an intentional foul as they moved to a 40-36 lead with :15 left.

Mayernik scored on a put-back again and was fouled to put the score at 40-38 with five ticks left on the clock. Avonworth's plan was to rebound the ball after an intentional miss, but came up empty to fall 40-38.

"There were a couple of times we needed a rebound and didn't get it, but they gave me everything they had," said Moehring.

Hunter led the 'Lopes with 13 points followed by Mayernik with 12, Sheehan with 6, Lapiska with 3 and Miller and Lauren Williams each with 1 point.

Avonworth played a nonsection make-up game the next day, hosting Knoch and winning easily, 53-21. Hunter led the offense with 17 points, followed by Mayernik with 12 and Sheehan with 11.

The 'Lopes hosted Northgate last night in a must- win game and needed OLSH to defeat Freedom to earn a playoff spot.

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