AURORA — Looking sluggish and completely discombobulated, the members of the Aurora girls basketball team didn’t make their coach particularly happy when they retreated to the locker room.
Let’s just say Greenmen head coach Erika Greenberg felt much better after the game.
Thanks to a big second half, host Aurora improved to 9-3 after earning a convincing 60-35 victory over Painesville Riverside Saturday.
The Greenmen, who led 27-18 at halftime, committed some careless turnovers and got lost a few times on defense.
Aurora turned it up a few notches in the second half, though.
With All-Ohio junior point guard Shyanne Sellers leading the way, the Greenmen picked up the pace considerably to dominate the rest of the game.
"We came out flat," Greenberg said. "We had one out of position because we’re missing a starter. It kind of throws everything off. They played hard. I thought Riverside played really well."
Aurora had to make some adjustments on the fly due to the absence of a key player. Senior guard Dylynn Lasky, the Greenmen’s non-stop motor on both ends of the floor, did not play due to what Greenberg said was a "hurt muscle near her ribs."
"She’s probably one of our best defensive players," Greenberg said of Lasky. "When she’s out, that really hurts us with all switch positions and guards or someone we would normally not be switched up with. Offensively, it throws everyone into different spots."
Fortunately, Aurora still had its dazzling magician operating the controls.
Sellers scored a game-high 31 points, mostly on drives to the basket, and also had 14 rebounds, four blocks and two steals, to go along with several assists.
Whenever the ball left Sellers’ hands, good things always seemed to happen. Her teammates had a "hand," as well.
Several Greenmen had easy layups in transition or wide-open jumpers because of the otherworldly playmaking skills of Sellers.
As a result, seven of her teammates scored at least two points.
"I thought she looked to move the ball more [Saturday]," Greenberg said of Sellers. "I thought she did a good job trying to distribute. She played well."
Sophomore guard Ava Ryncarz was Aurora’s other double-digit scorer with 12 points. Isabella Bozic led the Beavers with 10 points.
Besides turning on their lethal fast-break attack up a few notches, the Greenmen also unlocked their vaunted defense.
This defense was actually their Plan B. That’s because the original plan didn’t materialize quite as beautifully as Greenberg hoped.
"Our man-to-man defense is not very good," she said. "We switched into our zone [2-3], which was more effective. I think it helped. It enabled us to run a little more on offense.
"I would rather run man-to-man, but we’re not containing the ball right now. We have to clean some things up."
Greenberg will take a .750 winning percentage from a squad that is still finding its way after losing four starters the previous season. However, she also knows her mighty "green" machine has a tendency to malfunction a bit too much for her taste.
"We have yet to put a full game together where we’ve really dominated both ends of the floor," Greenberg said. "Hopefully, it will come soon. Hopefully on Wednesday."
Aurora is scheduled to host reigning Suburban League National Conference champion Stow-Munroe Falls Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.