Roller coaster season continues for Lady ’Lopes

Despite an improved performance over Avon-worth’s first meeting with OLSH this season, the Lady ‘Lopes still lost 44-25 in a game played Monday. Pictured above, Mackenzie Mayernik (No. 32) -- who had her best game of the season the week before, scoring 21 points and grabbing nine rebounds against Sto-Rox -- fights to get off a shot against a strong OLSH defense. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

By JIM RUMBLE

It was a week that began with a section win for the Avonworth girls’ basketball team, but the grind of the schedule - eight games in 17 days - began to take its toll as the Lady ‘Lopes followed with back-to-back section losses.

On Thursday, Jan. 23, Avonworth traveled to Sto-Rox and rolled to a 55-28 win.

Forward Mackenzie Mayernik just missed a double-double, finishing with 21 points and nine rebounds.

"Mackenzie had her best game of the year," said coach Bob Schulz.

In the first quarter against the Vikings, Montee'a Hunter scored eight points, six of them coming in transition as the 'Lopes took an early lead. Mayernik added six points, but Sto-Rox stayed close, benefitting from two three-pointers as Avonworth led 16-10 at the end of the first quarter.

The Vikings opened the second quarter knocking down two baskets from beyond the arc to tie the game, but Mayernik took control on offense, scoring 8 points in the period.

"We made some adjustments to what we were doing defensively and that solved the problem," said Schulz.

Guard Molly Rind added a basket and did a great job out on the point of working the ball inside as Avonworth took a 26-18 lead at the half.

Rind scored two baskets on fast break opportunities in the third quarter, but continued to do a good job getting the ball down low against the Sto-Rox defense.

Mayernik and Madison Sheehan combined for 12 points as the 'Lopes outscored the Vikings 19-5 to take a 45-23 lead at the end of the quarter.

Meagan Guest scored four points in the fourth quarter while Avonworth went to their bench for support on their way to a 55-28 victory.

Following Mayernik's 21 points were Hunter with 12, Sheehan with 8, Rind with 6, Guest with 4, Katelyn Rudzik with 2 and Katie Gould and Lauren Williams each with one point.

Avonworth hosted Freedom this past Saturday in a game that was rescheduled from the start of the season, and fell to the Bulldogs 42-28.

The contest remained close throughout the first three quarters, but the team suffered from one of its noticeable collapses in the fourth quarter. Freedom outscored Avonworth 16-2 in the final quarter to hand the 'Lopes a 42-28 loss.

Avonworth hosted OLSH this past Monday, playing better than they did the first time around this season, but still came out on the short end of a 44-25 loss.

Both teams had a tough time getting their offenses going, but OLSH held an 8-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Mayernik's free throw tied the teams to start the second quarter, and Hunter followed with a three-pointer to put the 'Lopes ahead 11-8.

The Chargers made 2-4 from the line to make it a one-point game when Hannah Lapiska drained a three-pointer from out front to give the 'Lopes their largest lead at 14-10 midway through the quarter.

OLSH took over from there, doing a great job of finding the open player, especially down inside, to reclaim the lead. The Chargers took advantage of a 10-2 run to lead 20-16 at the half.

A basket by Sheehan, a pair of free throws by Gould and one from the stripe by Hunter were all of the offense Avonworth could muster in the third quarter as they were outscored 10-5 to fall behind 30-21 going into the fourth quarter.

For all intents and purposes, Avonworth was still in the game - that was until OLSH opened the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run to lead 40-21. Hunter scored off her own steal and Mayernik added a pair of free throws, but the 'Lopes were outscored 14-4 in the final period to absorb a 44-25 loss.

Hunter led Avonworth scorers with 9 points followed by Mayernik with 7, Sheehan with 4, Lapiska with 3 and Gould with 2 points.

Avonworth's record dropped to 4-6 in the section and 9-8 overall.

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