In an exhilarating and heart-stopping fashion, the Avon View Avalanche senior girls basketball team dropped a 58-57 game to the Cobequid Education Centre Cougars in the final game of the Bill Dompierre Memorial Basketball Tournament in Fall River Dec. 11.
Going into the game against the Cougars — a team they lost 97-65 to 10 days earlier — the Avalanche knew a win would give them the tournament championship title, while a loss would provide the host Lockview Dragons with the championship.
At the start of the CEC Avon View game, the Cougars took an aggressive in-your-face approach. They enjoyed double-teaming, especially the Avalanche scoring duo of Breagh Newcombe and Allison Boyd.
The game opened with a quick steal by Avon View’s Amanda Forsey but the Cougars quickly opened up a 5-2 lead with Avon View missing a number of shots early in the game. Boyd attempted a three-pointer and was fouled, sending her to the free-throw line for three shots. She connected on all three to tie the game 5-5.
Ashley States then made a nice move inside and put the Avalanche up 7-5.
With the double-teaming, which essentially existed the entire game, the Avalanche moved to within two points at 11-9 when States sent a pass to Allanah Rendell for a basket but CEC came right back with a three point shot for a 14-9 lead, and the lead after the first quarter.
The Avalanche got off to a quick start in the second quarter and moved to within one point with Rendell scoring under considerable pressure from the Cougars. Rendell was the most effective player when it came to playing inside. However, the Avalanche left CEC wide open at times for easy scores before States to Boyd on a fast break brought the Avalanche to within three points 20-17. The first half ended with the Truro school leading 28-23.
Avon View threw the ball away to begin the second half and CEC pressure became seemingly more intense as the Cougars opened up an 11 point lead (37-26). Then the Avalanche went on an incredible 16-1 run. Rendell made an incredible rebound after a three-point miss, putting Avon View out in front 47-42. The Windsor school led 47-43 after three quarters, outscoring the Cougars 24-15 in the third.
Boyd made her fourth foul of the game to begin the final quarter and CEC connected on both shots to move to within 47-45. It was a seesaw game, with CEC and Avon View battling for the win.
With 12.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Newcomble connected on both foul shots to bring the Avalanche to within one point at 58-57. Boyd attempted a steal with 5.6 seconds left but fouled out, leaving CEC controlling the ball. The Avalanche could not tie it up.
Newcombe connected for 16 points and was the Avalanche star player of the game. Boyd had 13 points, Rendell, 10, Chambers, six, States, five, Forsey, four and Sara Veinot, two.
Coach Kevin Newcombe said at the beginning of the tournament that his plan was to have more players bring the ball up court other than Boyd and Newcombe, hoping his top two scorers would be more refreshed in the late stages of the game.
Avon View's opening game of the tournament was similar to their final with the exception that it was the Avalanche who built up a significant lead and hung on for a 62-58 win over Lockview.
Boyd was named the tournament offensive MVP.
Avon View returns to action in Bridgewater at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15 when they play the Parkview Panthers. It will be their final game prior to the Christmas break.
The Avalanche is looking forward to their rematch with Cobequid as they will play in a CEC tournament the first weekend of 2011.