SUFFIELD – The Avon High boys and girls lacrosse teams pulled off the double on Thursday, defeating their respective Granby Memorial High counterparts in the NCCC tournament finals at Suffield High.
The Falcons girls took care of business first, defeating the Bears 11-8. The Avon boys then dismantled Granby Memorial 12-3 in the late match.
The Avon girls were powered by four goals from Britt Douglass and three more from Olivia Hammick. Game MVP Riley Hagan added two for the Falcons, while Ali Condon and Hannah Durey each had one.
Falcons head coach Sean Cole, however, did not sound like a coach whose team had won the NCCC tournament.
“I’m happy we won, I’m not proud of the way we won,” Cole said. “We played a whale of a game last night against Simsbury for three quarters of the game. For a team that played the first half of the game, I didn’t recognize who they were.”
The Falcons took an 8-3 lead midway through in the second half, only to see their five goal cushion shrink to one at 9-8 with 7 minutes left.
But Avon scored two more goals late to salt the game away.
Olivia Johnson scored three goals for Granby in the losing effort, while Mackenzie Brower had two and Sam Fairman, Cailene Gunn and Mia Olsen each had one.
Granby Memorial head coach Terri Ziemnicki said that she was proud of the way her team played and responded after trailing by such a large deficit.
“Some of the mistakes we made were a little costly,” Ziemnicki said. “When you make them against a skilled team, they’re going to capitalize. That was the difference.”
Avon Boys Romp
SUFFIELD – In the boys tournament final, the Bears held a 1-0 advantage after the first quarter, only to be outscored 12-2 in the final three periods.
Anthony Gruttadauria and Colin Moore each scored three goals, while Tyler Mattioda, Taylor Maniatty, Jackson Davey, Nick Weiler, Graham Welter and Jeff Demers all added one apiece in the victory.
Avon head coach Scott Kossbiel said that the offensive explosion was the result of some extra work.
“We practiced a lot on shooting this week,” Kossbiel said. “We probably over-practiced on shooting this week. It definitely paid off. Our shooters were good today. All of them.”
Gerry Maroney, Zach Brown and Brendan Leonardi scored for the Bears, while Nick Burgio had 13 saves.
It was a tough way for the Bears to close out what had been a terrific run in the conference. But head coach Dave Emery put the loss in perspective.
“I have a phrase that I like to use: ‘This is what we do. We’re competitors. We play. And if you’re a competitor, you’re going to have good days and bad days,’” Granby Memorial head coach Dave Emery said. “They’re a very good team. And they have some players who played exceptionally well. Their goalie was simply outstanding tonight.”
Indeed, Avon goalie Cameron Dowd was exceptional, making 13 saves and earning the game’s MVP award.
Dowd wasn’t the only reason why the Bears had difficulty scoring. The Falcons’ defense was, to put it mildly, magnificent.
“That’s nothing new for them,” Kossbiel said.
“Defensively we know they have excellent poles and they shut us down tonight,” Emery said. “I thought we had some good looks at the cage and they stopped them. …
“I’m not happy with the outcome, but I think the better team tonight won.”