AVON LAKE, OHIO – The Shoremen tore through the press of Strongsville to pull away late tonight in a hard fought 70-60 victory at home. Avon Lake was up 52-40 with a little over 5 minutes to go when they went on a massive run to put the game away. Strongsville couldn’t stop the fast break as their full court press proved to be completely ineffective.
Avon Lake was led by Jordan Ball who scored 18 points and Nick Marsh who put up 14. Twelve of the 14 from Marsh came in the fourth quarter as he was the deep man as Avon Lake time and time again destroyed the Strongsville full court press.
Slicing in and out of the lane all night was Bologna who finished with 10. Also coming up big tonight was Tanner Russell who scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half, including hitting 3 from deep.
The leading scorers for Strongsville were Shaun Csire who finished with 15 points, including 11 during a second quarter rally for the Mustangs. The only other player to reach double digits for Strongsville was Bernie McGivern who went for 11 points. Tim Ruch had a rough shooting night and was held to five points as he missed several from long range.
It was a cold night outside, and a colder first quarter of shooting inside as well. No one managed to sink a field goal until the six-minute mark of the game. Avon Lake jumped out to a 9-4 lead when Strongsville inserted defensive specialist “Mosquito” Joe Lake. The move paid off instantly when Joe drew a charge with some tenacious defense, then sunk a three pointer to make it 9-7. Moments later it was Joe Lake striking again by setting up and easy layup with a beautiful pass that cut the Shoremen lead to 9-8.
Avon Lake would then go on a run again and make it 17-10 at the close of the first quarter. It was 17-8 until the final moments when another Joe Lake defensive play allowed the Mustangs to pull within 17-10 by gaining the final bucket of the quarter.
The Mustangs must have been motivated by the physical play of “The Mosquito” as they came out with a great amount of stingy physical defense all over the court in the second quarter. The bruising and physical play paid off, as Strongsville came all the way back and eventually took a 20-19 lead with a little over 3 minutes to go in the second. The game stayed close and it was Avon Lake once again pulling ahead by halftime, 31-29 as both teams headed to the locker rooms.
The Shoremen would once again build a lead to start the second half, this time they held a 46-38 lead mid-way through. Yet again, the Mustangs relied on physical defense to stay in the game as it was Joe Lake drawing another charge to halt the Shoremen run. The Mustangs would mount a small comeback as the score was 46-40 heading into the final frame. Avon Lake got the advantage of some close calls in the fourth quarter, and used a dominant full court fast break attack to put the game away for good.
Offensive player of the game: Nick Marsh (14 points with 10 coming in the fourth quarter)
Defensive player of the game: Joe Lake (drew 3 charges all at key moments in the game)