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Defense, poise carry Avon past Brookfield and into Div. III quarterfinals

Charlie Reiss had 11 points and played some outstanding defense as Avon won their second Division III tournament game over Brookfield Thursday night.

BROOKFIELD, March 8 –  The Avon High boys basketball withstood the heat and played some outstanding defense Thursday night in a second round Division III tournament game in Brookfield.

Senior Jordan Williams had a game-high 33 points while Avon’s Riley Welter and Charlie Reiss played some suffocating defense as No. 9 Avon shutdown No. 8 Brookfield in a 72-46 victory.

The win puts Avon (14-9) into the Division III quarterfinals on Saturday against either No. 1 Guilford (20-2) or No. 16 E.O. Smith (11-10). The two teams will play on Friday night. The Falcons have won two games in a CIAC tournament for the first time since 2014.

“Talk about seniors going into a hostile environment and playing smart, composed and aggressively,” Avon coach Kris Pedra said. “The student section for Brookfield took up an entire section of the bleachers.”

“Riley (Welter) and Charlie (Reiss) took their two best players and really played physical defense on them,” Pedra said. “And they all really crashed the board hard to limit second chance possessions for Brookfield.”

Avon led 17-8 after one quarter and 30-21 at halftime. Williams had 16 of his 33 points in the first half including five 3-point field goals.

“Jordan might have played the best game of his career,” Pedra said. “He scored 33 efficient points. He worked to get open looks from (three-point range) and made an effort to get the ball to the basket. His aggressive play got him to the free throw line several times during the game.”

Williams sank 10-of-11 free throws in the game.

Avon led by nine at halftime and stretched it to 11 points after three quarters. The Falcons blew out Brookfield in the fourth quarter by 15 points.

Avon’s Riley Welter (24) and Charlie Reiss (11), shown earlier this year against Canton, played solid defense in Thursday night’s win over Brookfield.

Pedra also praised freshman Jack Hall who played some important minutes for the Falcons in the first half, hit a big 3-point shot and played well defensively.

Avon 72, Brookfield 46
At Brookfield
Avon (72) Ryan Bartkiewicz 0-0-0, Jack Hall 1-0-3, Brett Muni 4 0-1 8, Charlie Reiss 3 5-7 11, Marek Cierniewski 0 0-2 0, Noah Hay 0-0-0, Tyler LeBrun 2-0-6, Thomas Howard 0-0-0, Jordan Williams 9 10-11 33, Riley Welter 2 4-4 9, Ryan McGuire 0-0-0, Connor Harris 1 0-2 2. Totals 22 19-26 72
Brookfield (46) Zachary Ballard 1-0-2, Connor Gruda 3 1-2 9, David Walker 5-0-11, Jaichi Levi 0-0-0, Joseph Brown 1 2-2 4, Brian Rawlings 2-0-4, Billy Oldham 0-0-0, Cameron Gleichauf 5 5-9 16, Kenny Blick 0-0-0. Totals 15 8-13 46
Avon (14-9)                17  13  10  32 – 72
Brookfield (46)            8  13    8  17 – 46
Three-point goals: Gruda (B) 2, Gleichauf (B), Hall (A), LeBrun (A) 2, Williams (A) 5, Welker (A)

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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