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Avon doesn’t get rattled and beats Canton in triple overtime, 67-64

Avon’s Abby St. Onge had 19 points in the second half and three OT periods as the Falcons upset Canton Friday night, 67-64. St. Onge also pulled down 24 rebounds.

CANTON, Dec. 29 – The Avon High girls basketball team had a few early leads in the first minutes of Friday night’s game with Canton in the final game of the Canton Holiday Classic. But once the Warriors built an 11-point lead early in the second quarter, Avon never had the lead again – until the third overtime period.

Pesky Avon never quite went away and the Warriors didn’t finish them off. So, the two long-time rivals placed a classic contest with Avon finally beating Canton, 67-64 in triple overtime.

It’s certainly the first time that the two rivals have played a triple OT game. The two teams played a double overtime contest in December 1974 with Avon earning an eight-point victory. It may be the first triple OT contest in Canton girls history.

“It was a great game to be a part of,” Canton coach Brian Medieros said. “I’ve never been in a double OT game, never mind a triple OT game. There was a lot of energy in the gym. I think this game will pay off dividends moving forward for both teams.”

It was a great confidence booster for Avon (2-4), a team that had been held to under 25 points in three of their last four games including a 41-22 loss to Farmington two nights earlier in the tournament.

“This was really a team win,” Avon head coach Jamaal Lee said. “I knew going in, we had an advantage inside with Isabel Aguilar and Abby St. Onge. But if we were going to win, our guards had to play well and Kendra Hards and Ellie Powers both played great.”

In the first game of the tripleheader in the gym on Friday, Farmington’s Izzy Lipinski had 15 of her team-high 18 points in the second half as the Indians outscored Lewis Mills, 16-5, in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 46-35 victory and remain undefeated (7-0).

In game two, Tolland outlasted Suffield, 48-46 in overtime with Suffield’s Paige Anderson hitting a three-pointer with 1:08 remaining to tie the game at 41. In OT, Tolland’s Sophia Webster sank her only shot of the game – a three-pointer with 2:09 left – to lift the Eagles to the win.

Despite five defenders around her, Avon’s Isabel Aguilar scores two of her game-high 23 points Friday in a triple OT win over Canton.

Canton (4-1) had control of the game early with an 11-4 lead over Avon in the first quarter. The Warriors led 21-10 at one point in the second quarter before Avon cut the gap to five points at halftime, 31-26.

Canton’s pressure forced numerous Avon turnovers and led to many easy buckets – but not enough. Aguilar had 14 of her game-high 23 points in the first half to keep the Falcons in it. Slowly, Avon began to adjust to the pressure with some long passes downcourt, some steals and a few key rebounds. Aguilar had 28 rebounds while St. Onge pulled down 24 rebounds.

Canton never gave up the lead but Avon wouldn’t go away. The Warriors led by seven with 4:21 left in the game after Abby Charron hit a jumper for a 45-38 lead. But the game was tied 49-49 after regulation.

It was tied 53-53 after overtime and tied 59-59 after a second OT period.

Avon’s Kendra Hards scored nine points with a pair of three-point goals – all after halftime. Abby St. Onge had 19 of her 21 points in the third and fourth quarter and the three extra sessions.

“It was a crazy finish for sure,” Medeiros said. “We just didn’t make enough plays to keep them at bay. The only time (Avon) took the lead in the second half was in the third OT.

“We definitely showed our youth last night,” he said. “We didn’t take care of the ball, make our free throws or rebound the basketball down the stretch.”

Charron had a game-high 22 points for the Warriors along with nine steals and nine assists. Belle Magna had 10 points while Allison Celmer had eight points. Grace Treacy and Lauren Eschenbrenner had seven points each.

Yasmeen Eldah (41) battles for a rebound with Canton’s Maggie First (42) and Allison Celmer (22).

Farmington and Tolland each went 2-0 in the tournament while Avon and Canton were 1-1 with Suffield and Lewis Mills going 0-2.

The Warriors return to action on Thursday, January 4 when they host Coventry at 7 p.m. at the high school. Avon’s next game is at Granby on Wednesday, January 3 at 7 p.m.

Avon 67, Canton 64, 3 OT
At Canton
Avon (67): Isabel Aguilar 8 7 23, Abby St. Onge 6 9 21, Kendra Hards 2 3 9, Ellie Powers 2 2 6, Sophia Aguilar 2 0 5, Sophie Begleiter 1 0 2, Yasmeen Eldah 0 1 1. Totals 21 22 67.
Canton (64): Abby Charron 8 4 22, Belle Magna 3 4 10, Allison Celmer 4 0 8, Grace Treacy 3 0 7, Lauren Eschenbrenner 3 1 7, Morgan Walzak 2 0 5, Gabrielle Schinkel 1 0 2, Allie DelSanto 1 0 2, Paige Brown 0 1 1. Totals 25 10 64.
Avon (2-4)           10  16  7  16  4  6  8 — 67
Canton (4-1)        13  18  8  10  4  6  5 – 64
Three-point goals: Hards (A) 2, S. Aguilar (A), Charron (C) 2, Treacy (C), Walzak (C)

Farmington 46, Lewis Mills 35
At Canton
Lewis Mills (35): Abby Mills 0 0 0, Lauren Alvarez 0 1 1, Alyssa Wrabel 2 1 5, Brooklyn Murdick 1 0 3, Samantha Chadwick 2 4 10, Gabby Bagdonas 5 3 16, Brianna Pelchar 0 0 0, Emily Hunt 0 0 0, Nikki Ignatowski 0 0 0, Hannah Rich 0 0 0, Annika Fitzgerald 0 0 0. Totals 10 9 35.
Farmington (46): Izzy Lipinski 8 2 18, Carolyn Ives 0 5 5, Emma Novajaski 1 0 2, Molly McGuigan 0 0 0, Rylee Fountain 3 0 7, Chardae Saunders 4 0 8, Amanda Rodriques 3 0 6. Totals 19 7 46
Lewis Mills (3-3)                12  7  11  5  — 35
Farmington (7-0)              11  5  14  16  — 46
Three-point goals: Chadwick (LM) 2, Bagdonas (LM) 3, Fountain (F)

Tolland 48, Suffield 46, OT
At Canton
Tolland (48): Kacie Gallicchio 2 0 5, Annie Geitner 6 2 14, Sophia Webster 1 0 3, Lauren Janton 6 4 17, Megan Enman 3 1 7, Alison Enman 1 0 2, Madi Peasley 0 0 0, Amy Lumia 0 0 0, Rachel Lee 0 0 0. Totals 19 7 48.

Suffield (46): Maddie Dunnigan 1 0 2, Bella Plano 7 2 20, McKenzie Sullivan 2 2 6, Erin Carucci 4 2 10, Carly Matthews 0 0 0, Ava Mills 0 0 0, Paige Anderson 3 0 8, Malina Shea 0 0 0. Totals 17 6 46.
Tolland (6-1)         9  10    9  13  7 – 48
Suffield (1-4)      15    6  10  10  5 – 46
Three-point goals: Gallicchio (T), Webster (T), Janton (T), Piano (S) 4, Anderson (S) 2

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.

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