By Patrick Dalahan
December 10, Wellesley, MA - The 2-1 Avon Old farms WInged Beavers shipped up to Boston to take on the 0-0 Phillips Exeter Academy in the National Prep Roundball Classic, hosted annually at Babson College.
Exeter, led by Davidson Commit and transfer from BC High, Mike Loughnane, looked to start their season on a positive note. And in the 1st half, it certainly looked like the Big Red were well on their way to do so.
Exeter torched the nets in the first half, drilling seven 3-pointers. Loughnane finished the first half with 18 points, and without a single miss, too. As a team, Exeter shot 58% from deep, with UMass commit Rollie Castierya adding on with two threes of his own. However, Avon Old Farms battled back to end the half, as they were down by as many as 13 points, cutting the Big Red lead down to 3 heading into the break.
In the second half, Avon Old Farms continued their rhythm from the end of the first, with Jeff Akintolu taking over. Akintolu, the England Native, dropped 13 second half points. The Big Red did not have an answer for the 6’8” stretch four, who was rising up and making tough shot after tough shot, as well as grabbing six boards.
Not far behind Akintolu was his roomate, and Fairfield Commit, Matt Curtis. Curtis, who played witn a blister on his hand, struggled to adjust to the wrap on his hand in the 1st. However, in the second half, Curtis was back to his normal self, drilling jumpers left and right, finishing with 19 points total. Akintolu finished with 21, with Christian Moore also in double digit scoring himself, finishing with 10 points.
For Exeter, Mike Loughnane finished with one of the most efficient 27 points anyone will see in the NEPSAC this season, shooting and absurd 71% from the field, and 75% from three point land. Rollie Castierya finished with 19 of his own, shooting 50% from the field, and 40% from three, going 2 for 5 from beyond the arc. Andy Houghton finished with 8 points and Aidan Burke finished with 9, playing excellent defense on the perimeter all game.
Following a defensive clinic by AOF in the second half, holding a dangerous Big Red offense to 20% shooting from beyond the arc, the Winged Beavers found themselves victorius for the second straight game, improving to a 3-1 record, and 3-0 against Class A competition. The Winged Beavers take on Brunswick this Wednesday, December 12th, looking to create a win streak heading into the Holiday Break.