Antelopes fight hard for win

Avonworth's Kyle Cr8illey takes a shot as the Antelopes fight to stay ahead of OLSH. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

By ANDREW DOMENCIC

The Avonworth Antelopes capped off this season's home campaign with an exciting game against the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers last Tuesday evening. It was senior night, and the team was set to send their seniors off with a victory against their section rivals, and they were able to do just that by getting a hard-fought 57-52 win.

Avonworth stormed out on fire in the first quarter. After giving up an early three-pointer, Avonworth responded, got the ball back, and senior Jordan Helbling hit the go-ahead three-point shot that sent the crowd into a frenzy only two minutes into the contest.

Avonworth wouldn't trail for the rest of the game.

"I was proud of the effort from Jordan there in the first quarter. He came out, and he played hard, and he really gave us an emotional lift. Everyone in the stands was cheering for him, so I was happy to see that, and I think it carried over," said Avonworth head coach Dan Bradley.

Avonworth continued to dominate for the majority of the first quarter, and they continued their scoring streak, putting up 13 unanswered points - eight by senior Kyle Crilley - until OLSH responded with just over a minute to play to make the score 13-7 at the end of the first.

In the second quarter, Avonworth increased their lead to 16 points - their largest of the night - at 27-11, and it seemed that the Antelopes could be on their way to a blow-out victory.

But the Chargers were having none of it. They were able to close out the first half strongly and put some pressure on Avonworth at halftime, as they cut the lead down to 31-22.

The Chargers continued to mount a come-back in the third quarter, holding Avonworth to only seven points and cutting the lead to 38-33 going into the last quarter.

After Avonworth increased its lead back to seven on their first possession, OLSH promptly responded with seven unanswered points to tie the game at 40 with just under six minutes to play.

Avonworth, however, was not going to let this one slip away. They maintained their poise and fought off the Chargers’ strong rally, pulling away for the eventual 57-52 victory.

"Leadership came through with the seniors. We did keep our composure, and I credit that to our senior leadership," said Bradley. "These seniors have been through a lot, and it's been a tough season, but this group has qualified for the playoffs for three years in high school, and they've had a great career."

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