Avalon Lancers boys basketball team gets hot at just the right time
The Avalon Boys Basketball team has been working all season long on improving as a team and their work has finally paid off. They have won seven out of 10 league games and are returning to the CIF Playoffs. They defeated St. Michaels twice, TVT twice and Samueli Academy twice. They split with Southlands Christian and lost both games to undefeated league champs Fairmont Prep. They enter the playoffs as a second seed with a 7 and 3 league record.
In our first league game against St. Michaels at home, the Lancers started fast and never looked back. Avalon was led by Emme Amezcua with 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals; Cristo Hernandez with 14 points and 3 steals; and David Zeller with 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists. Javier Peguero contributed 7 points to the cause; while Jesus Alfaro, Pablo Chavolla, and Ruben Martinez all scored 6 points apiece. This was a total team effort against a lesser opponent and showed that the Lancers can put some points up on the board.
The following day, Avalon faced AGBU, again at home, in a non-league contest. AGBU is a top team in our division and the Lancers stayed with the Titans in the beginning and showed they can compete with the best teams of Division 5A. However, Avalon couldn’t score enough points to stay with the Titans. Defensively Avalon is playing solid basketball and once the shots start falling and points start being scored then the success should come. Unfortunately the Lancers came up short in this one 52-35. David Zeller led the way with 12 points and 3 steals while Emme Amezcua added 10 points.
In their next game on Tues, Jan. 17, the Lancers faced league rival TVT. Both teams started slowly and played sluggish in the first half. Avalon caught fire in the fourth quarter and pulled out a narrow 38-32 victory in the end. Emme Amezcua led the team with 11 points and 4 steals. Ruben Martinez had 9 points and 6 rebounds, while David Zeller scored 7 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Jesus Alfaro came off the bench to spark the victory, scoring 6 points and Javier Peguero contributed 5 points as he continues to improve as a player.
On Friday, Jan. 27th, Avalon traveled to the mainland to play Fairmont Prep in a battle for First Place. The Lancers came out of the starting gate ready to battle and jumped to an early 12-8 lead. The score at halfway was Fairmont 18, Avalon 16. Unfortunately, the Lancers went cold in the 3rd quarter and the Huskies jumped to a 10 point lead and never looked back. The Lancers lost in the end by a score of 49-38. David Zeller was the leader, scoring 15 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. Emme Amezcua scored 9 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Although the Lancers came out on the losing end, they showed once again that they can compete with the best teams in our league and in our division.
On Tuesday, Jan 31st Avalon traveled to the mainland once again to face St. Michaels. The Lancers were no match for the Archangels and emerged with an 86-56 victory. This was a team victory with everyone contributing. David Zeller led all scorers with 30 points, while Emme Amezcua and newcomer Chris Alcala each had 12 points and Cristo Hernandez had 9 points. The defense was stifling and the offense was productive. The Lancers were starting to look like a playoff basketball team.
On Friday, Feb. 3rd Avalon again traveled to the mainland for a rematch with TVT. The Lions came out ready and roaring to go. The crowd was into the game and the Lions jumped to an early 24-13 lead. However, in the second half the Lancers came roaring back and outscored TVT 20 to 8. They eventually won by a final score of 58-45. David Zeller had 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 steals. He was literally all over the court, willing his team to a very important victory. Emme Amezcua got hot from outside and drained 4 three pointers to help the cause as well. There was great team effort on defense, and this is the win that earned the Lancers a spot in this year’s CIF Playoffs.
With no time to rest the Lancers were back on the road again, Saturday, Feb. 4th to play against Samueli Academy. The Lancers were no match for the Eagles and came away with a 61-26 victory. Leading the way for Avalon were David Zeller with 15 points and Emme Amezcua with 14. Again the Lancers played team basketball at both ends of the court and showed that they really are a playoff team.
On Monday, Feb. 6th, Avalon returned to the mainland again, this time to play Southlands Christian in a battle of two teams tied for second place. The game started with both teams functioning on all cylinders. The Lancers really came out on fire and jumped to a 19 to 12 first quarter lead. The Firedogs came back in the second quarter and got to within one point by halftime. Southlands went into the 4th quarter with a 44 to 43 lead. However the Lancers took control of the game and their season in the 4th quarter, outscoring the Eagles by a score of 22 to 9 and winning the game 65 to 53. David Zeller was the man in this one, scoring 33 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. This was a performance for the ages, and just at the right time. Emme Amezcua added 11 points to the cause and Chris Alcala made a huge difference at the point guard position, scoring 9 points and dishing out 5 assists.
The following day the Lancers came out sluggish and lost to Southlands by a score of 50 to 45. Avalon fell behind early and was never able to recover. They never gave up but unfortunately ran out of time and lost an opportunity to play for a league championship later on in the week against Fairmont Prep.
Nevertheless their schedule allowed no time for rest as the Lancers returned to the island the next day, Wednesday, February 8th to face Samueli Academy. Avalon started out strong and jumped to a 38 to 18 halftime lead. Their defense let up in the second half and allowed the Eagles some easy points and unfortunately a rout turned into a close game. Luckily the Lancers came out on the winning side of a 65 to 51 score. Emme Amezcua led the team in scoring with a career high 29 points. David Zeller added 10 points and 8 rebounds, while sophomore Jesus Alfaro contributed 8 points to the cause.
The following day the Lancers played their sixth game in 7 days. This was a rematch with league champion Fairmont Prep. We honored our senior players and manager before the game in a pregame ceremony with parents and family members attending and participating in the ceremony. Emme Amezcua, Ruben Martinez, David Leyva, David Zeller, Chris Alcala and Jay Feagle have dedicated themselves to our program and have led us back to the playoffs after graduating eight seniors last year. Quite an accomplishment! Congratulations and thank you for your hard work and dedication.
In this game Avalon started strong and stayed right with the Huskies for three quarters, but unfortunately lost their energy in the fourth quarter and eventually lost 58 to 38.
David Zeller led the team with 20 points. The Lancers now prepare for the 2016-2017 C.I.F. Playoffs which began on Wednesday, February 15th. Avalon will play home against Newbury Park Adventist. If they win they will then play on the road against Providence High School from Santa Barbara, on Friday, Feb. 17th. Congratulations Lancers and good luck!