By Stephen Hall
For the islander
After struggling through a tough preseason schedule with eight losses and one victory the Avalon Boys Basketball team played their first league game of the season and came away with a thrilling 48-47 victory over Acaciawood at home on Friday, Jan. 13.
Leading the way for the Lancers were juniors Darren Hall and Aaron Castro on the offensive end of the court and senior Wallace Keppel and sophomore Manases Rubio on the defensive end. Hall had 14 points and Castro had 12, while Keppel contributed 10 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Rubio, coming off the bench, brought the energy that sparked the victory and Junior Brandon Moreno hit the clutch free throw that made the difference. It was great to see and hear a gym full of screaming fans. We hope to see that trend continue.
Avalon had gotten their first taste of victory two days before in a home game against a much weaker opponent, Magnolia Science Academy, by a score of 71-43. This game was a team victory with everyone playing and everyone contributing. The leading scorers were Aaron Castro with 17, Wallace Keppel with 15, sophomore Matthew Bastida with 13, in his first varsity game, and Darren Hall with 10. The player of the game was point guard Brandon Moreno who dished out 7 assists and grabbed 5 steals.
With not much time to rest the Lancers jumped on a rocky boat the morning after their league opener with Acaciawood and traveled to Fullerton to play Eastside Christian. The Lancers came out ready to play but so did Eastside, draining 3 pointers from all over the court. Avalon fell behind in the first quarter 21-14 and were down 37-22 at halftime.
However, the Lancers made a valiant effort to come back in the 4th quarter only to lose by a score of 60-54 in the end. Aaron Castro, who continues to lead the Lancers on offense had 16 points, while Darren Hall scored 12, Matthew Bastida had 10 and Brandon Moreno finished with 8.
The Lancers are now 1-1 in league play and will travel to the mainland this Friday, January 20 in a rematch against Acaciawood, who I’m sure will be gunning for us. Our next home games are on Saturday, Jan. 21 against AGBU at 2 p.m., Monday, Jan. 23 at 5 p.m. against Eastside Christian, and Tuesday, Jan 24 at 5 p.m. against Anaheim Discovery. Come on up and be a part of exciting high school basketball and cheer for your local Lancers!