Third quarter surge leads Avon Grove to 50-31 victory
● By Richard Gaw
The Avon Grove Boys basketball team used a 19-2 scoring explosion in the third quarter last Saturday night to defeat Unionville, 50-31, in a game held at Avon Grove High School.
Head coach Roy Blumenthal's Red Devil squad, now 5-8 overall this season, came into the game as the underdog to a Unionville team that had jumped to a 7-3 overall record coming into the game, led in part by the hot shooting of junior guard Bo Furey-Bastian. As the game got underway, Furey-Bastian confirmed his status as one of the Indians' go-to players. The left-hander connected on three three-pointers in the first quarter to kickstart Unionville, including a jumper from beyond the circle as time expired in the first quarter, giving the Indians a 9-4 lead.
Needing someone to light the fire for Avon Grove, Blumenthal called senior guard Joey Borcky off the bench in the second quarter, who connected on a three-pointer and a layup that helped carve into Unionville's slim lead. With 5:30 left in the first half, an Aldred Russo layup cut the Indians lead to 13-11, and after a short jumper by Drew Lankaitis pushed the lead to four points, Avon Grove's Scooter Whiteside made two free throws to bring the Red Devils to within a bucket.
A jumper by Andrew Brady closed the lead to 16-15 with two-and-a-half minutes remaining in the half, and Borcky's free throw with 1:05 left sent both clubs into the locker room with the score tired at 16.
As the second half got underway, however, Avon Grove went on a scoring tear, reeling off 19 points while holding its opponent to a lone two-point basket by Shawn Rafferty deep in the third quarter. While Blumenthal implored his team to slow the pace of the game, the Red Devils demonstrated a fast-break fluidity that broke the game open: Two early layups by Russo; a layup off of a steal by Destin Murphy; and a gorgeous pass from Will Petrison to a driving Borcky that gave Avon Grove a 29-16 lead with 1:20 remaining in the quarter.
With time ticking away in the quarter, Unionville's frustration reached a melting point when Joe Zubillaga was called for a technical foul for attempting to flick the ball out of Petrison's hands after a whistle was called. Murphy promptly sank the two technical free throws, which he followed up with a layup, staking Avon Grove to a 33-18 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
Avon Grove was led by Whiteside's 14 points, including seven for 11 from the line; Murphy with 12 points and Borcky with eight points. Furey-Bastien's three two-point jumpers and two free throws in the fourth quarter helped him finish with 17 points, while Rafferty chipped in with 10 points.
Beginning on Jan. 17 with a game at Henderson, Avon Grove embarks on a five-game road trip before returning to play host to Downingtown West on Jan. 30. Unionville plays home against Sun Valley on Jan. 18, and then travels to West Chester East on Jan. 20.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.