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Boys Basketball

Defense helps lift Falcons past Rocky Hill for third straight victory

Senior Charley Reiss, shown in action last year, had nine points Thursday night as the Falcons won their third straight game.

AVON, January 11 – Senior Jordan Williams had a game-high 22 points while Charlie Reiss added nine as the Avon High boys basketball team won their third straight game Thursday night with a 55-44 Central Connecticut Conference victory over Rocky Hill.

The Falcons improved 4-2 – the first time they’ve been two games over .500 since they began competing in the CCC three years ago.

“It all starts with the defensive end with us,” third-year head coach Kris Pedra said. “Our five senior starters – Jordan Williams, Charlie Reiss, Brett Muni and Connor Harris – have really taken ownership of the team’s defense.

“Charlie is our floor leader during games and in practice,” Pedra said. “Riley Welter has taken on the role of being our lock down defender and Connor Harris has really been (the tough defender) in the post we’ve needed this year. Brett Muni’s improvement this year has been a real difference for us.”

After giving up an average of 54 points a game in the first three games, the Falcons have allowed an average of 42 points in the last three contests – victories over Nonnewaug, Glastonbury and Rocky Hill.

“Our wins are a result of the team buying into the defensive mentality that we haven’t had in the past couple of years,” Pedra said.

Against Rocky Hill on Thursday night, the Falcons outscored the visiting Terriers, 11-4 in the first quarter and led by five at halftime. They extended the lead to nine after three quarters.

Earlier in the week against Glastonbury, Avon gave up just 16 points in the second half of a 55-46 decision – an impressive victory against the Tomahawks (4-2), one of the larger schools in the CCC.

“Offensively, we are effective when we are patient and get good shots,” Pedra said. “Jordan Williams and Charlie Reiss are our most talented (offensive) players. But they have come in with the attitude that it is the team first. Their unselfish play has not only made the players around them better but shown the younger guys what it takes to win in the CCC.”

Williams had a season-high 27 points in the season-opening win over Conard in December, 54-49 and 25 points in a 57-53 loss to Pomperaug at the Nonnewaug Holiday Tournament in late December. Reiss had a game-high 15 points in the win over Glastonbury and nine against the Terriers.

Harris had 13 points in the win over Glastonbury while Jack Hall had a season-high 18 points in the big win over Nonnewaug. Muni had 10 points in the win over Conard and loss to Pomperaug.

The Falcons also have an eye on returning to the state tournament for the first time since 2015. Avon needs another four wins to qualify for the Division III tournament.

There aren’t a lot of easy wins to find in the CCC.

The Falcons return to the court on Saturday for a rare 1 p.m. start at Bristol Eastern followed by a pair of games next week. Avon travels to Hartford Public on Tuesday night for a 7 p.m. and then host Farmington on Friday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. for the first of two Taft Cup contests between the two long-time rivals. The winner of each game retains possession of the Cup.

Avon 55, Rocky Hill 44
At Avon
Rocky Hill (44) Ryan Robinson 1-1-3, Will White 3-0-9, Christian Castanho 1-0-3, Riley Donovan 4-1-9, Andrew DiMatteo 6-3-11, Jordan DeMastro 1-4-7, Diamante Baker 1-0-2. Totals 17-9-44
Avon (55) Brett Muni 1-3-5, Charlie Reiss 3-3-9, Marek Cierniewski 1-0-2, Jordan Williams 8-1-22, Riley Welter 2-1-5, Connor Harris 3-1-7, Ryan Bartkiewicz 1-3-5. Totals 18-12-55
Rocky Hill (3-4)                    4  15  10  15  — 44
Avon (4-2)                           11  13  14  17  — 55
Three-point goals: White (RH) 3, Castanho (RH), DiMatteo (RH) 2, Williams (A) 5

Avon 55, Glastonbury 45
At Avon
Glastonbury (45) Gianni Zarrilli 2-0-6, Aaron Latham 8-1-19, Drew Daniels 1-0-2, Andrew Sullivan 1-0-2, Adam Zak 1-0-2, Jack Shea 3-4-10, Cameron Stiepock 2-1-5. Totals 18-6-46
Avon (55) Brett Muni 2-3-7, Charlie Reiss 4-6-15, Jordan Williams 4-5-14, Riley Welter 2-2-6, Connor Harris 5-0-13. Totals 17-16-55
Glastonbury (4-2)            20  10    7    9  — 46
Avon (3-2)                           16  10  10  20 – 55
Three-point goals: Zarrilli (G) 2, Latham (G) 2, Reiss (A) 3, Harris (A) 3

CCC West standings

Teams play teams in their division twice and team in opposite division once.

CCC West Patriot

Division Overall
Simsbury 3-0 6-1
Glastonbury 3-1 4-2
Avon 2-1 4-2
Farmington 1-3 4-4

CCC West Colonial

Team Division Overall
NW Catholic 3-1 4-3
Southington 2-2 5-3
Conard 1-3 3-5
Hall 0-4 4-7

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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