ZIONSVILLE — Avon had a chance to pull out an impressive road win against Zionsville Friday night, but the Orioles fell to the 12th-ranked team in Class 4A, 54-42.
Both teams scored consistently in the opening quarter, as the host Eagles took a slim 16-15 advantage into the second period. Avon hit three 3-point attempts in the quarter.
The second quarter was also tightly contested. Avon senior Conner Funkhouser hit two from behind the arc to bring his first half point total to 15.
However, Zionsville’s Derrik Smits matched Funkhouser shot-for-shot. Smits, son of Indiana Pacers legend Rick Smits, scored a team-high 13 in the half, including a dunk in the second quarter that brought the home crowd roaring to it’s feet.
Smits is listed a 7 feet, and the size differential proved problematic for the Orioles. Avon’s tallest player is Funkhouser, listed at 6-foot-4. The Zionsville center scored five buckets in the paint in the first two quarters.
Funhouser said there’s no one way to attack a player of Smits’ caliber and athleticism.
“There’s not much you can do. You have someone who’s 7 feet (tall) and who can really compete,” he said.
Zionsville (11-2) took a 27-24 lead into the half, and Avon (6-9) stalled to begin the third quarter, facing a nine-point deficit multiple times in the period. However, Smits left with foul trouble with over five minutes to go in the quarter, and Avon took advantage.
Avon outscored Zionsville 18-16 in the third quarter, as Brandon Peters led the way with two 3-point baskets. Funkhouser hit a layup to close out the quarter, cutting the Avon deficit to one going into the final minutes.
Both teams stepped up defensively in the fourth quarter, as they combined for only 21 points in the final minutes. Sophomore Jack McCue netted six in the period for the Orioles.