By Jake Thompson
PLAINFIELD — When the Avon and Plainfield girls’ basketball teams last met at the beginning of the month, the Orioles took a 59-52 victory over the Quakers.
Last night, Plainfield avenged that loss and after winning just one of its last five games, took a 40-26 victory over the Orioles.
“We played with a lot of effort defensively,” Plainfield coach Curt Benge said. “We implemented our defensive game plan very well. I thought we rebounded well.”
Plainfield held Avon to its lowest offensive output of the season at 22 points. The Orioles’ previous low was 31, coming against Mooresville on Dec. 4.
Avon shot just 18 percent from the floor, a statistic that makes any game hard to win.
“Compared to the first time we played when we shot the lights out of it, we couldn’t buy a basket,” Avon coach David Cupp said. “We played hard and that’s all I can ever ask of the kids, to give the effort.”
Neither team played exceptionally well, especially in the turnover department where both coaches agreed they struggled taking care of the basketball. The two teams combined nearly equally for 47 turnovers.
Plainfield’s full court press caused Avon some problems early on, but both teams were sloppy with the ball throughout the first half.
After a Quakers run extended their lead to 12-4, Avon answered at the end of the first, pulling within four at 12-8.
Plainfield began the second with a 7-0 run and took a 21-10 advantage into the half. Avon scored two points the entire quarter — a basket from Megan Price — then went scoreless for over seven minutes.
The Quakers came out in the third and scored nine unanswered points for a 30-10 advantage before the Orioles went on a mini 6-0 run. Plainfield closed the quarter with a 5-1 run and led 35-17 heading into the fourth.
It was like the second quarter all over again in the fourth for Avon as they scored just one field goal, and that was with less than 10 seconds left in the game. The other seven points were free throws.
Plainfield had nine players score on the night. Sophia Wilson led Plainfield with eight, Mackenzie Jeffries tallied seven and Betsy Gillenwater and Kyndall Spears each dropped in six. Gillenwater led Plainfield with nine rebounds.
Cupp offered no excuses in defeat, however, the loss of starter Brooke Peters whose right foot was in a boot, did not help any. Peters sustained the injury a couple of games back and should be back for the postseason.
“It makes it tough to get rhythm when you make changes at the end of the year,” he said. “I am making a rotation with seven kids and it is tough trying to get them to gel so late in the year.”
Shelle Daniels led all scorers with 10 for the Orioles and Rachel Griffin totaled six points while pulling down eight rebounds.
For the Quakers, it was also senior night and their last home game of the season. Graduating for Plainfield are Jeffries, Gillenwater, Katie Robertson and DeAnn Cowell.
“Mackenzie and Betsy have been here since they were little kids and I’ve watched them grow up and so forth,” Benge said. “DeAnn and Katie moved in when they were in high school and it’s a different perspective for them. Cowell has played a lot for us and Katie endured sitting last year and that showed a lot of commitment on her part. I truly appreciate all of the effort they’ve put in.”
Avon plays its last game Jan. 31 at Hamilton Southeastern while Plainfield has two more contests, Jan. 25 at Decatur central and Jan. 29 at Northview.