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Williams has game-high 27 points to lead Avon to a season-opening win

Avon’s Jordan Williams (23), shown against Farmington last February, leads a senior-laden Falcon boys basketball team.

AVON, Dec. 18 – The Avon High boys basketball led by 18 points at halftime and survived a strong second-half surge from Conard to win their first game of the season Monday night with a 54-49 Central Connecticut Conference win over the Chieftains.

Senior Jordan Williams sank a game-high 27 points – the second-highest scoring performance in his career – to lead the Falcons. Williams, a two-time All-Conference selection, scored a career-high 32 points in a loss to Weaver in December 2015.

Brett Muni had 10 points for Avon while Riley Welter and Connor Harris had four points each. Casey Shane led Conard with 19 points while Jaye Fair added 12.

Third-year coach Kris Pedra hopes his veteran team can make a return to the CIAC state tournament. The Falcons have won just 11 games in the past two seasons with records of 5-15 in 2015 and 6-14 a year ago.

Williams, Charlie Reiss, Welter, Muni and Harris are all seniors and have had plenty of varsity experience over the past few years.

Avon will be competing in Division III in the CIAC’s newly realigned basketball tournament. The Falcons will need to win at least 40 percent of their games – eight – to earn a CIAC tournament berth.

Under the new format schools have been placed in divisions using a group of factors including recent success in CIAC tournament and league championship play, the overall strength of the league in which they compete and their power point ranking over the past three seasons (determined by sum of wins of opponents they defeated).

Avon won’t get much help from their schedule. As members of the CCC West Patriot Division, the Falcons will play Simsbury, Farmington and Glastonbury twice along with single games with Conard, Hall, Northwest Catholic and Southington.

Non-league contests include games with Nonnewaug, Pomperaug and long-time rival Canton on Saturday, Feb. 3, in Avon at 7 p.m. The rivalry with Canton is the oldest series in the Avon program and this game will be the 113th meeting between the two schools. The Falcons have won 15 of the last 16 games between the two schools.

Remaining schedule
December: 21, at NW Catholic; 27, vs. Pomperaug at Nonnewaug, 6:30 p.m.; 28, at Nonnewaug, 6:30 p.m.
January: 1: at Simsbury, 8, at Bristol Eastern;  9, GLASTONBURY; 11, ROCKY HILL, 16, at Hartford Public; 19, FARMINGTON; 22, BRISTOL CENTRAL; 26, at Manchester; 29, HALL
February 1: at Southington, 3, CANTON, 7 p.m.; 6, at Platt High; 9, at Glastonbury; 13, SIMSBURY; 16, E.O. Smith; 19, at Farmington
Games begin at 6:45 p.m. unless other listed

Avon 54, Conard 49
At Avon
Conard (49) Nilan Miller 3-0-9, Danny Manger 1-0-2, Jaye Fair 3-6-12, George Andrews 2-2-6, Connor Olechna 0-2-2, Casey Shane 7-4-18. Totals 16-14-49
Avon (54) Jack Hall 0-1-1, Brett Muni 3-4-10, Charlie Reiss 3-0-6, Marek Ciernewski 1-0-2, Jordan Williams 7-11-27, Riley Welter 1-2-4, Connor Harris 1-2-4. Totals 16-20-5
Conard (0-2)         8    2  15  24 – 49
Avon (1-0)           17  11    7  19 – 54
Three-point goals: Miller (C) 3, Williams (A) 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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