From staff reports
After an 11 day hiatus, the Hornell Red Raiders traveled to Avon on Tuesday night for a basketball matchup with the 3 time class C1 sectional champs, who proved to be a tough opponent downing the Raiders 70-56.
The Braves held the Red Raiders to just 16 points in the first half of play.
“The first half wasn’t us offensively. We struggled the entire half. We weren’t aggressive looking at the rim, we didn’t move the ball, and we didn’t make open shots.,” said Hornell coach Kirk Scholes.
Avon came out strong from the start and had a commanding 34-16 lead at halftime. The Red Raiders had a hard time containing #10 Hudson Volpe in the half where he scored 14 of his 19 points of the game.
For the Red Raiders, the second half was a different story both offensively and defensively, although not enough to overcome the 18-point first half deficit.
The Raiders made adjustments in their offense, and Gennaro Picco, who was held to just 1 point in the first half, went on to score a team high 16 points in the game. PJ Picco scored 9 of his 12 points in the second half.
“I thought we came out in the third quarter and played much better,” Scholes said. “We got the ball to the paint and played with more assertiveness and confidence.”
Hornell improved from shooting just 25% from the field in the first half to 60% in the second half.
“Give Avon credit,” commented Scholes. “I thought they played really well. They handle the ball extremely well. They don’t turn the ball over, and they have a lot of kids that can knock down shots. Hudson Volpe was the difference in the middle. I thought he dominated on the boards and in the paint.”
Volpe earned a double-double on the night with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Michael Rowland had the game high 20 points. Lee Hartke and Josh Harter also scored in the double digits with 14 and 11 points respectively.
Scholes saw some good signs from a few kids on Tuesday night.
“I thought Aaron McInerney and PJ Picco played really well,” said Scholes. “They are getting better in practice, and it’s starting to show in games. I always want those guys to be aggressive. They have the ability to get into the paint, play big, and either make plays for themselves or others.”
Hornell falls to 5-2 on the season, while Avon improves to 7-1. The Red Raiders host Canisteo-Greenwood on Jan. 3.
In JV news, the Raiders beat the Braves 65-37. Demayne Dixon had a stellar night with a game high 25 points. Marco Picco chipped in 15 points in the win. Avon’s Travis Hollada led the Braves with 8 points. Connor Smith and Jordan Murray added 7 each for the Braves.