’Lopes fall to N.C.

The ‘Lopes’ Jacob Harper (No. 24)Led all Avonworth scorers with 19 points. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

By JIM RUMBLE

The Avonworth boys’ basketball team finished up section play when they hosted undefeated section leader North Catholic this past Tuesday.The Antelopes, who held one brief lead early on, gave it one heck of an effort but fell short in the end 59-57.

“It was a great game – we battled back but we came up a little short,” said ‘Lopes coach Dan Bradley.

Despite the loss, Avonworth has already clinched a spot for the WPIAL play-offs and will finish off the regular season with two non-section games.

The Trojans came out on fire from the perimeter to start the first quarter. A basket by Darius Simmons and a pair of free throws by Matt Crilley cut into the lead but North Catholic went ahead 16-7.

Mike Noethiger scored 8 points in an 11-3 run for Avonworh that included two three-balls and one from beyond the arc by Garrett Day that had the ‘Lopes trailing 19-18 at the end of the first quarter.

Avonworth connected on 7-of-12 from the floor in the opening quarter but changed direction offensively with 3-13 from the field in the second quarter.

The teams traded baskets through a good bit of the third quarter but North Catholic came out on top 44-32.

The teams continued to put points on the board with the Trojans lead changing anywhere from six to three points throughout the fourth quarter.

The Trojans added a free throw before Harper was able to score on a put-back just before the buzzer to put the final score at 59-57.

Harper led Avonworth scorers with 19 points followed by Day with 14, Noethiger with 13 and Simmons with 10 points.