Season recap: Chloe Pavlech
Chloe Pavlech's junior season got off to a rocky start this winter, but the Sycamore High star finished strong.
Pavlech, a 5-foot-9 point guard from Cincinnati who committed to Maryland last June, had her wisdom teeth taken out and had an operation on her eardrum right before the start of her season.
While recovering from those procedures, Pavlech – who was coming off a back injury as a sophomore – got bit by the injury bug again with nagging hip and ankle ailments.
“She was laboring,” said Aviators coach Paula Hayden. “With those nagging injuries, she was missing a ton of practice. The first few weeks of the season, she never put in a full week of practice. She’s the type of kid that stays after practice and works on her shooting. She comes in Sunday to work on shooting. She couldn’t do that.”
Pavlech endured and finally got back to full strength by “the last seven or eight games of the season” – save for a bout of strep throat in Sycamore’s two-point, season-ending loss in the district finals. The future Terp came up big for the Aviators in the sectional finals with a game-winning bucket with 12 seconds remaining.
Hayden said Pavlech faced stiff competition on a nightly basis, thanks in large part to her status as a future ACC player.
“I think that the pressure of her verballing to Maryland had a lot to do with it in the beginning of the season,” Hayden said. “I think that everyone … didn’t look at her like a teenager or a 16-year-old anymore. They looked at her as a Maryland Terrapin. And she’s obviously going to grow much more. … I think that the outside put more pressure on her than she put on herself.”
Pavlech excelled for Sycamore (17-6) when she was healthy, averaging 11.8 points. She led the team in rebounds (5.4 per game), steals (2.6) and assists (2.4). She improved her shooting percentages across the board from sophomore to junior year, including 10-percent increases at the foul line (80 percent) and beyond the arc (34 percent). Pavlech also shot 43 percent from the field, an increase of five percentage points.
For her efforts, Pavlech was a first-team all league, first-team coaches association, and second-team Southwest District – composed of players from the Cincinnati and Dayton areas – selection. Hayden has high hopes for Pavlech's senior season at Sycamore.
“I just think next year she’s going to have an amazing year,” Hayden said. “We have a big core of our team coming back. I think next year is her year. We had a couple seniors on our team. It was almost like she didn’t want to step on their feet sometimes. But next year, I think she’s going to have an amazing year. The kids get along really great. I’m excited about it. It could be the best group I’ve ever had next year. And she obviously will be one of the big reasons for that.”