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Falcons survive OT test against Windsor Locks

AVON, Feb. 13 – After an emotional win over Canton, the Avon High boys basketball team found themselves in trouble on Tuesday night against Windsor Locks. The Falcons trailed by nine points with just four minutes left in regulation.

However, Windsor Locks wilted under the fourth quarter pressure from the Falcons, who erased the deficit and prevailed in overtime with a 58-53 victory in overtime. Avon made it 13 straight wins on Friday night by pulling away from Bolton in the third quarter in a 70-55 victory.

With three games left in the regular season, Avon (13-4, 10-0 NCCC) maintains its one-game lead over Canton (15-1, 9-1 NCCC) in the race for the NCCC championship.

A loss against Windsor Locks could have tied up the NCCC race. “We put some good pressure on them,” Avon coach Tim Curtis said. “Their offense became a bit stagnant at that time so we were able to get some turnovers and hit some big shots down the stretch.”

Joe Ives was fouled attempting a three-point shot and sank all three foul shots. Jack O’Brien hit a big 3-point shot and Tyler D’Onofrio got some key steals. Will Brisco came off the bench to energize the Avon defense, which held the opposition to under 10 points in the fourth quarter for the fourth straight game.

It left Avon tied and with the ball with a minute to go. The Falcons held the ball and waited for the last shot but it missed. In overtime, Ives hit two quick shots and the Falcons never looked back. He finished with a team-high 17 points.

Against Bolton, Avon used a strong third quarter effort sparked by Ives to blow open the contest. Ives hit a pair of 3-point shots and finished with 29 points, one shy of his career-high of 30 points.

“The last two games (Canton and Windsor Locks), we didn’t come out strong after halftime in the third quarter,” Curtis said. “We emphasized coming out and playing hard in the third quarter to take control of the game. The guys responded and did a good job.”

The Falcons host Suffield on Tuesday (Feb. 17) and travel to Enfield on Friday (Feb. 20) before closing the regular season with a home game against Tolland on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

Avon’s last conference title came two years ago in 2007 when they ran the table in the league, going 13-0. They also shared conference titles in 2005, 2003 and 2002.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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