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Boys HS Hoops: Fitch’s Career at Avon Starts with 70-61 Win Over Amherst

AVON, OHIO – The Avon Eagles’ players wanted to start coach Mike Fitch’s varsity career with a win.

In convincing fashion, they defeated Southwestern Conference foe Amherst Steele Comets 70-61 at home to accomplish that feat.

“I’ve been with (Fitch) for a while..,” starting Eagles guard Niko Pappas said.

“He’s kind of been a mentor to me. He’s a good coach and he deserves this job and he deserved this win. We loved it.”

Pappas played critical in their win as he scored 20 points. He scored at crucial moments that set the tone with the first two scores of the game.

Avon (1-0, 1-0 in SWC) found themselves in trouble in the third quarter as they conceded a 12-3 run to Amherst Steele (0-1, 0-1 in SWC) cutting the 35-23 halftime lead to a 46-42 lead at the end of the quarter.

The highlight of Pappas’ night was the beginning of the fourth quarter where he scored seven-straight points to put Avon back in the driver’s seat.

“I felt like the team needed a little pick-me-up,” he describes the beginning of the fourth quarter.

“We got a little tired. We got into some old habits. We knew we had to bounce back. I knew we needed to score to turn the momentum. We needed the momentum on our side to finish out the game. I did what I could to put them back and it worked out pretty well.”

Pappas also had four steals.

Outscoring Pappas for the Eagles was Senior Dominic Rini who tallied 23 points. Other than the third quarter, he was a consistent scoring threat. He showed a variety of ways to score from sharpshooting from deep, slashing to the basket and making free-throws when he got fouled.

“(Pappas and Rini) stepped up,” Fitch said.

“This is their fourth year playing varsity basketball and it showed. Their experience showed. They didn’t back down and they aren’t afraid.”

The Eagles moved the ball around with purpose in the first half as they had 11 first half assists as a team. The playstyle led to a 17-7 first quarter lead and 35-23 halftime lead.

Other contributors for Avon were Max Emerine (six points, five rebounds, four assists) and Connor Allomong (seven points).

Comet’s Ty Weatherspoon led the team in scoring (12 points). He also had eight rebounds, three blocks and one steal.

Junior Jordan Koury scored 11 points for the Comets.

Avon’s next game will be on the road against Midview on Thursday, Dec. 18 and Amherst Steele will host North Olmsted on Wednesday, Dec. 16.

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