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Chester County Press

Avon Grove cagers fall to Great Valley, 60-44

01/28/2020 02:44PM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

“Basketball is a game of runs,” said Avon Grove head basketball coach Ikeem Mayes, just moments after the Red Devils lost to visiting Great Valley, 60-44, in a Ches-Mont inter-divisional game on Jan. 25. “They made a run. We made a run, but in the end, they made one more run than we did.”

If in fact the adage is true, then Great Valley's run – one that the Red Devils could not overcome – took place in the first quarter, when the Patriots took advantage of Avon Grove's cold shooting to jump out to an 18-7 lead, mostly on the inside game of 6' 5” senior center Josh Stehle, who poured in 8 of his 11 points, and the shooting of forward Will Frederick.

Avon Grove was held scoreless until two free throws by Tyler Newman finally put the Red Devils on the board with 5 minutes left in the quarter. Down by 11 at the start of the second quarter, Avon Grove found its offensive fire on the power of the three-point shot, as Matt Gallagher and Reece Zeigler pumped in one apiece and Connor Lewin hit two to account for 12 of the team's 13 second quarter points.

Just as Avon Grove was about to go into their locker room down by just ten at halftime, the Patriots' Julian Steinbrenner launched a last-second three-pointer that gave Great Valley a 33-20 lead.

In order to stave off a scoring run by Great Valley midway through the third quarter, Mayes called a time out to encourage his team to do what it does best – play defense. Complimented by buckets by Newman, Tim Brown, Ben Houghton and Aidan Violette, Avon Grove force Great Valley into several turnovers.

It wasn't enough, as the Patriots began the fourth quarter ahead, 50-32, on their way to a 16-point victory. “We pride ourselves on our defense, and today, we had their moments when we showed flashes of good things, and then we also had moments when the communication on defense just wasn't there,” Mayes said. “Our communication is what is key for us, and we didn't demonstrate good habits on that.”

In addition to Frederick's 17 points, Great Valley was led by Steinbrenner with 15 points, followed by Stehle and Julian Thomas with 11 points, respectively. On the other side of the floor, Avon Grove was led by Newman's 13 points and Zeigler's 10 points.

Now 8-8 overall in the Ches-Mont American division, Great Valley traveled to Unionville on Jan. 28 and will travel to Downingtown West on Feb. 1. The loss dropped the Red Devils to a 4-12 overall record on the season, which will continue with a visit to West Chester East on Jan. 28 and a home game against Downingtown East on Feb. 1.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].