By JIM RUMBLE
The Avonworth boys’ basketball team extended their recent win streak to six games, capturing two wins over the past week.
The 'Lopes hosted Carlynton in a section game last Friday and defeated the Cougars 50-44.
"It was ugly but we'll take it," said coach Dan Bradley.
Avonworth jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter with three-balls by Mike Noethiger and Jake Harper and a basket in the lane by Matt Crilley, all coming on Avonworth's first three possessions to put them ahead 8-0.
Carlynton responded with a run of their own of 8-0 to tie the teams at 8-8 but both teams struggled from the field through the remainder of the quarter. The Antelopes connected on 4-12 from the field, adding a three-pointer by Garrett Day while the Cougars hit on 5-17 from the floor in the opening period as Avonworth remained on top 17-14.
The teams shot the ball slightly better in the second quarter, with Noethiger's seven points pacing the 'Lopes on offense. A basket by Darius Simmons late in the quarter gave the Antelopes a six-point lead at 28-22, but the Cougars connected from beyond the arc to keep it a one-possession game. Noethiger added a pair of free throws that put Avonworth up 30-25 at the half.
The 'Lopes took advantage of a 6-0 run that gave them their largest lead by 12 at 39-27 with 3:10 remaining in the third quarter. Noethiger and Crilley accounted for all of Avonworth's points, which produced an 11-7 advantage in the period and a 41-32 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Carlynton was able to cut into Avonworth's lead at 45-41, but it was as close as they would get with 3:00 remaining.
The 'Lopes still managed to hold off the Cougars despite a 3-10 effort from the free throw line down the stretch that helped to secure a 50-44 win.
Noethiger finished with 17 points, followed by Crilley with 14, Harper with 9, Day with 6 and Simmons with 4 points.
Avonworth continued section play traveling to Freedom this past Tuesday and winning handily 80-63. The 'Lopes took control early, leading 24-7 at the end of one quarter and 48-24 at the half.
Day had a stellar night with 30 points, connecting on six threes and pulling down 13 rebounds.
Harper had 13 points and Noethiger added 10 points.
The 'Lopes travel to North Catholic for a battle between section co-leaders this coming Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.