Lyons edges York to take Silver lead
Avery Mezan attempted two shots in the first three quarters on Friday night.
She missed both.
But the Lyons freshman guard wasn't bothered by her misses, nor the big-game road atmosphere -- large crowd along with a band -- against highly rated York.
With the Lions clinging to a one-possession lead at the midway point of the fourth quarter, Mezan showed she was no ordinary freshman. Mezan drilled a corner 3-pointer and scored on a difficult drive on the following possession to spark the Lions to a 49-39 victory over the Dukes in West Suburban Silver action in Elmhurst.
The Lions (11-1, 5-0) won the first round between conference heavyweights by holding the Dukes (9-2, 4-1) to two points in the second quarter and nine in the fourth. Mezan scored all five of her points in the two-possession scoring spree that pushed Lyons' lead to 42-38 with 2:22 left in regulation.
"It felt really good making those shots because we were in a tight game," Mezan said. "We didn't want a lot of threes, but I think I was pretty open and shot it anyway. After that, I saw the opening and took it for the layup. It felt good after making that first shot, and really calmed my nerves down. I was able to settle down a bit and relax."
Mezan, who scored a career-high 12 points against Sycamore, admitted she didn't anticipate making key plays for the varsity in her first season.
"I was thinking I would maybe make junior varsity this year," Mezan said. "This feels really good. I'm really happy to support my school."
Lyons senior forward Ella Ormsby scored a team-high 11 points, including putting the game away with four free throws in the final 13.3 seconds. Junior guard Elin O'Brien canned three 3s for nine points, and Ally Cesarini, Kennedy Wanless and Nora Ezike each scored seven points to highlight a balanced attack.
Senior point guard Mariann Blass paced the Dukes with 13 points, but was held to two points in the final quarter. Hannah Meyers and Stella Kohl both scored eight points for the Dukes, who have lost two in a row heading into Tuesday's key battle against Benet.
Ezike, a second-year varsity player, played a big role in the comeback win with her defense, rebounding and tough play.
"We were able to make sure they didn't make too many shots and played good defense," Ezike said. "I feel more comfortable this year and a lot more confident with my performance and how I played, and that's helped me a lot."
The Lions did not allow a point in York's final four possessions to pull away following Mezan's five-point flurry.
"We knew it was going to be a battle," Lyons coach Meghan Hutchens. "Overall, I thought Avery Mezan came in and hit some major shots for a freshman. When we got our offensive flow going, we really did some damage and made them work hard ... We went cold (a bit) but Avery's three-pointer was dynamite. She had ice in her veins. I give her a lot of credit. She works every single day to make sure she understands and executes the game plan. She did a really nice job."