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Hall scores game-high 26 points to lead Avon past Canton

Canton’s Grant Lange looks to get to the basket in Saturday’s loss to Avon. (Photo courtesy Paul Amrose)

CANTON, February 9 – Sophomore Jack Hall scored a game-high 26 points as the Avon High basketball team snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 57-45 victory over Canton on Saturday afternoon.

The win keeps Avon’s slim playoff hopes alive. The Falcons (5-12) need to win their remaining three games to earn a bid in the CIAC’s Division III tournament. Avon hosts Glastonbury (14-2) on Monday night and has games remaining with Platt and Farmington.

“Jack Hall was a standout for us,” Avon High coach Kris Pedra said. “He is one of the best sophomores in the state.”

Hall led the way with 26 points and four 3-point shots while teammate Will Saucier scored 13 and hit three 3-point shots. Ryan Bartkiewicz added 11 for Avon.

“Both teams played tough, and we’re just happy to get the win,” Pedra said. “Canton plays with great energy and is very well coached”

Avon got off to a good start, leading 17-5 after one quarter and 28-17 at halftime. The Falcons extended their lead to 44-25 after three quarters.

It was Avon’s third straight win over the Warriors and their 16th win in the last 17 games between the two rivals who have played 114 games since the series begin in December 1959.

Canton’s Matt Rose (33) looks to block the shot from Avon’s Marek Cieniewski (5) in Saturday’s loss to Avon. (Photo courtesy Paul Amrose)

Canton (10-7) lost for the third time in the last four games. The slide began with a 63-40 loss to league-leading Hartford Classical and that was followed by a 58-53 loss to Somers in overtime a week ago. Canton survived a tough game with East Granby on Thursday with a 37-35 victory.

Jack Rose led Canton with 18 points against the Falcons while Grant Lange had 10 points. The Warriors return to the floor on Monday night when they host HMTCA.

The last two games for Canton have been competitive contests and right down to the final buzzer.

Against East Granby, Lange sank his fourth 3-point shot of the game from the corner with 2:06 left in the game for a 35-33 lead.

Jack Rose made what turned out to be the game-winning shot with 1:22 remaining on an inbound play. Rose spun around the Crusader defender, drove to the basket and made a reverse layup with his left hand.

Canton was up by four, 37-33, with 42 seconds remaining but a turnover led to East Granby scoring with 28 seconds left to cut the lead to two. Another turnover gave East Granby the ball with 17 seconds left but they missed a three-point shot and a second shot after an offensive rebound.

Lange led the way for Canton with 17 points while Jack Rose scored 12 points.

Avon’s Will Saucier (12) had 13 points including three 3-point shots in Saturday’s game against Canton. (Photo courtesy Paul Amrose)

Against Somers, Jack Rose’s layup gave Canton a four-point lead, 49-45, with 2:05 remaining in the fourth quarter. The lead was two points, 50-48 after Somers’ Alex Barresi hit one of two free throws with 35 seconds left.

With 13.3 seconds left after a turnover on a lane violation during a foul shot, Barresi drove the length of the court and made a basket over the outstretched arms of the Rose brothers with 5.9 seconds remaining to tie the game at 50-50.

In overtime, Canton had a 53-52 lead after Jack Rose sank a free throw with 1:30 remaining. Somers’ Colin Watt made a layup and was fouled with 1:08 left. He made the foul shot for the three-point play and a 55-53 lead for the Spartans.

Canton turned the ball on their next possession and Somers sank three of four foul shots in the final 30 seconds to secure the win.

Lange led the way for Canton with 14 points while Jack Rose scored 13 and Josh Burke added 11 points.

Avon 57, Canton 45
At Canton
Avon (57) Ryan McGuire 1-0-2, Ryan Bartkiewicz 4-3-11, Jack Hall 9-5-26, Marek Cierniewski 1-0-2, Henry McGrath 0-0-0, Will Saucier 4-2-13, Michael Messina 0-0-0, Tyler Lebron 1-0-2, Paul Waveru 0-0-0, Aarsh Moza 0-0-0, Romi Eldah 0-0-0. Totals 20-10
Canton (45) Josh Burke 2-0-5, Chris Tenczar 1-3-5, Colin Mackin 0-0-0, Dugan Lloyd 1-2-4, Ryan McGoldrick 0-0-0, Grant Lange 3-3-10, Matt Rose 1-1-3, Jack Rose 5-8-18. Totals 13-17
Avon (5-12)        17  11  16  13  — 57
Canton (10-7)      5  14    8  18  — 45
Three-point goals: Hall (A) 4, Saucier (A) 3, Burke (Ca), Lange (Ca)

Paul Amrose contributed to this story.

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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