AVON, Jan. 26 – Too many cold January nights traversing the state on yellow school buses can wear on anyone but the road-weary Avon High girls basketball team didn’t stumble against Tolland or Enfield last week.
All-State center Lindsay Horbatuck boxes out in a win against East Catholic. (Photo by John Primovic)
The Falcons, ranked No. 3 in the most recent Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance poll, remained undefeated with a hard-fought 43-39 victory over pesky Tolland and an easy 74-20 rout of Enfield. After playing five of its last six games on the road, the Falcons (12-0, 6-0 NCCC) come home to host East Granby on Wednesday and last year’s Class S finalist Coventry on Friday.
The Tolland game was for first place in the NCCC and the fired-up Eagles pushed Avon. However, the Falcons got off to a fast start with Lauren Primovic hit two quick three-point shots for an early Avon lead. Tolland rallied behind All-State forward Kelly Schatzlein (6 points in first quarter) to take a 12-10 lead after one quarter.
Tolland (9-3) clogged the lane with its defense to stop Avon’s All-State post player Lindsay Horbatuck. So Avon took its shots from the outside and converted. Jenni Marcus drained two three-point shots and Sam Riccio and Primovic each added another three. Ariana LaFrance’s 17-foot jumper gave Avon a 26-18 halftime lead. Tolland scored just six points in the second quarter.
Avon stretched its lead to 12 points in the second half but Tolland had one last charge. Using a ferocious full-court zone press to rattle the Falcons, Tolland clawed its way back into the game with freshman Kristen Schatzlein hitting a pair of 3-point shots. The Eagles cut the lead to three with 1:30 to go. But two free throws from Marcus, a driving left-handed layup from Primovic and a late free throw by LaFrance kept the Falcons ahead.
Marcus finished with 12 points while Primovic added 11. Riccio scored nine while LaFrance had five points. Horbatuck was limited to a season-low six points but she ripped down a game-high 15 rebounds.
On Friday, a spunky Enfield team stayed with the Falcons for a half before falling, 74-20. Marcus and Horbatuck led the way with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Titi Vanriel had nine points and played well off the bench along with sophomore Emily Jordan with six points.