The Avon Grove High School basketball team hung on to defeat visiting Sun Valley, 68-64, in a nonleague game this past Tuesday night at Avon Grove High School.Avon Grove led comfortably, 57-44, going into the fourth quarter and survived a strong final eight-minute surge by the Vanguards. Sun Valley, led by Tom Brennan's game-high 28 points, had a three-point attempt to take the lead with under a minute to play in regulation, but it rattled out.
The Red Devils iced the game from there, and in the process improved to a perfect 2-0 overall on the young season.
Avon Grove received a balanced scoring attack, as they placed four different players in double figures. Center Adam Ahern led the way with 19 points, Jordan Harris added 17, Jordan Jones scored 14 and Joe Mulcrone finished with 11.
The Red Devils broke open a tight game at halftime by coming out of the locker room to outscore Sun Valley 25-14 in the third quarter.
"I thought we played well," said Avon Grove head coach Jeff Bowlby. "Right now it's important to just stay focused and get wins."
The Red Devils had opened their 2008-09 season four nights earlier with a 57-41 thrashing of rival Oxford.
This winter, Avon Grove is searching for its first winning season in over a decade.
Last year the Red Devils certainly made a run at ending that drought but in the end fell just short. Avon Grove opened 9-2 overall last season, but proceeded to lose 10 of its final 12 games to finish the year 11-12 overall. Out of those 12 losses, five were by four points or less.
Avon Grove isn't concerned with the past, however, as they know they can only focus on the future. And this is the most talented team Bowlby has had in his four years at the helm.
"Absolutely," Bowlby said. "The core guys have put the time in during the offseason.
"This group was the freshman class my first year, and every year we've gotten better. And that's what we want to accomplish this season, get better every day we take the floor. Wins are great, but improvement is better."
Avon Grove has upcoming games at Bishop Shanahan (Dec. 11), home against Kennett (Dec. 13), at West Chester East (Dec. 16) and home versus Downingtown West (Dec. 18).