VONA ON ATTACK — Matt Vona (left) and Lake Shore nearly pulled off an upset of Maryvale in their ECIC III finale. Photo courtesy of Ron Larson.
It was a classic tale of two halves. The Eagles, who couldn’t seem to miss in the first half, led by 10 points at halftime, but the offensive momentum shifted to the Flyers in the second half, especially in a third quarter in which Maryvale outscored Lake Shore 28 – 14 en route to a 69 – 60 road win on Feb. 13.
“I think it was more our defense than anything,” said Maryvale head coach Mark Kensy. “I know [Lake Shore] has the ability to shoot. My kids know they also have the ability to shoot. We went to a different kind of defense in the second half and that seemed to do the trick. Plus, we made some shots.”
Ed Smith scored a game-high 32 points while Logan Jung notched 21, including nailing four 3-pointers. Smith and Jung came into the game averaging 17 and 16 points per game, respectively. Maryvale finished 9 – 5 in ECIC III play.
Lake Shore, which fell to 4 – 10, tried to hang around in the third quarter, keeping the game within two possessions, but an early run to open the fourth allowed the Flyers to reach their first double-digit lead.
“It seemed like we couldn’t miss in the first half, and they couldn’t miss in the second half,” said Lake Shore head coach Brett Lyford. “We played tight defense, I thought.”
With the Flyers leading 56 – 52, Jung connected on a 15-foot baseline jumper and Smith followed with a pull-up jumper from the free throw line. On the ensuing defensive possession, Smith came up with a deflection and steal and converted that for a fast-break finish plus a fee throw for an old-fashioned 3-point-play.
Lake Shore switched its defense midway through the second half in an attempt to limit the 3-point shooting barrage. The Eagles switched from a man-to-man to a zone but Maryvale’s shots continued to drop, and the Eagles deficit grew.
Matt Vona scored a team-high 20 points for Lake Shore which included 17 in the first half. Collin Fiutko scored 16 for the Eagles as their ECIC III upset bid fell short.
“When we play consistently and at our level, we play well,” said Lyford, whose team began Class A-2 playoff action as the eighth seed hosting No. 9 Riverside on Feb. 19. “When we let teams take control of us, and control the tempo, that’s when we start to fall apart. We hang tough with tough teams.”