AVON — The Avon girls’ basketball team hung on to an early lead on the road at Cal-Mum Tuesday night, to earn their first Livingston County Division II victory of the season, 47-42.
The Braves, who were without two of their post presences, Rachel Mignemi and Colleen Lagonegro, due to sickness, pulled out the victory after surrendering a comfortable nine-point halftime lead.
Early on, the Braves’ focus was on controlling the shooters of Cal-Mum with their 1-3-1 zone defense.
“Caledonia has some girls who can really shoot the ball,” head coach Peter Leone said. “We have been able to slow some teams down with 1-3-1 so far this year. We figured we could play some games with their shooters by daring them to shoot some bad shots.”
This tactic worked for the Braves early, holding Cal-Mum to a mere five points in the second quarter. However, Cal-Mum made some halftime adjustments and came out firing immediately after the third quarter buzzer sounded.
Led by Emily Philips’s game high 15 points, the Red Raiders came all the way back tying the score at 31, with 2:19 left in the third quarter. After trading baskets, the score remained tied after three quarters, 33-33
Despite their lead vanishing, the Braves roared back in the fourth. Grace Brinkerhoff, who stepped in for both Mignemi and Lagonegro, led the Braves in scoring with 12 points, over 11 points higher than her average thus far this season.
Then, as the minutes wound down, a clutch three pointer off glass by Mindy Mazurowski and two free throws by Jenna DiPasquale put the game out of reach.
“I thought we scrapped pretty well tonight,” Leone said. “To get a division win under these circumstances is huge.”
Both teams, now 2-3 overall, play again Thursday night at 7 p.m. Avon travels to Livonia, while Cal-Mum also goes to the road playing Bath-Haverling.