Lady ’Lopes remain at top

Avonworth’s Hayden Robinson goes in for the score, backed up by Harris Robinson and Lexi Mankey. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

By JIM RUMBLE

With the first half of the regular season in the books this week, the Avonworth girls’ basketball team remains in a three-way tie atop their section after hosting Freedom on Monday.

The front court duo of Hayden Robinson and Kat Goetz combined for 46 points and 22 rebounds as the Lady ‘Lopes ran past the Bulldogs 68-47.

"We played with a lot of intensity, communicated well on defense and played with a lot of energy," said Avonworth coach Mark D'Alessandris.

The Lady ‘Lopes started off slow in the opening quarter, but a couple of forced turnovers defensively lent a hand in Avonworth's surge to a 10-2 lead early on. Freedom was able to find themselves on offense as they closed the gap with a 7-2 run to end the quarter with the 'Lopes ahead 12-9.

Avonworth went right to work on offense to begin the second quarter, with four points coming from Hayden Robinson and perimeter baskets from beyond the arc by Alexia Heinold and Lexi Mankey that came in a 10-1 run to move the Lady ‘Lopes ahead 22-10. The 'Lopes converted on 7-9 from the free throw line in the second quarter and finished out the period with a 15-9 advantage to lead 37-19 at halftime.

Back-to-back baskets by Harris Robinson and Hayden Robinson came off of Freedom turnovers to begin the third quarter, and that allowed Avonworth to claim their largest lead to that point at 22 points. The teams traded scores a couple of times before Freedom put together a 10-2 run that included consecutive three-balls to trail 47-33. The Bulldogs held a 21-16 point advantage in the period to cut the lead by the Lady ‘Lopes to 53-40.

Avonworth spent a considerable amount of time at the free throw line in the fourth quarter, connecting on 8-12 from the stripe while out-pointing Freedom 15-7 on the way to the 68-47 win.

Hayden Robinson finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds and Goetz netted 20 points and nine rebounds.

Avonworth traveled to Riverside Thursday, Jan. 10, and managed to escape with a 50-45 win against the Panthers, who are winless in section play.

D'Alessandris said that “especially in a new conference you don't know what to expect on the road. With the Riverside band playing, that created a rowdy environment.” He added, “It was loud in there, but we got [a victory]."

Goetz led the way with 19 points and 13 rebounds and Hayden Robinson had 10 points.