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Dragons fight, but fall to Avondale

February 23, 2011 - By Gabriel Ouzounian

Review staff writer

Sophomore Chaz Miller dives into the Yellow Jacket defense and jumps to shoot unobstructed. Photo by Gabriel Ouzounian (click for larger version)
The Lake Orion Varsity Boys Basketball team squared off against the Avondale Yellow Jackets on Friday, Feb. 18 in Auburn Hills, and while the Dragons put up a good fight, they ended the night defeated, 71-45.

The first quarter began competitively with both sides pushing and pulling, but Avondale managed to score first for two points around the six minute mark. Yet thanks to some penalty shots and some strong offensive showing from Lake Orion, they came out ahead, 10-12 in the first.

Avondale went into the second primed, and scored twice in under minute to bring the score to 15-12. Lake Orion responded in kind, and with 50 seconds left in the quarter, the score was tied 20-20. Yet thanks to some last minute skill, the Yellow Jackets sunk a two pointer as the buzzer sounded, leaving the Dragons behind with a score of 22-20. The Dragons would only hold the lead once more in the game.

The third quarter started out less eventful with both sides unable to score. The Dragons retook the lead with 5:45 left in the quarter, but Avondale responded brutally, and with 4:15 left on the clock, the score was 26-24. The rest of the quarter was a slow downward spiral for the green and white, and when the buzzer sounded, the score was 43-34.

The final quarter saw the Dragons dwindle further as the Yellow Jackets pushed hard and strong, garnering nearly 30 points in the fourth alone. The Dragons put up a worthy effort, but only managed 11. The final score was 71-45.

Coach Mike Shafkalis said that the final score would probably be misleading to those who only looked at the final score.

"We played, for three quarters, really well, but we have a young team," said Shafkalis. "Having such young players, it really has to be a team effort, and we're not there yet.

"The burden of the loss falls on me"

Shafkalis also said Avondale, ranked seventh in the county, had a great backcourt, and that guard play in that type of defensive game was important.

The Dragons played again on Tuesday Feb. 22 against Birmingham Groves.

Of the remaining four games, Coach Shafkalis believes the Dragons can win every one.

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