PLAINFIELD — The Plainfield Quakers and Avon Orioles boys’ basketball teams closed out the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with their joint season opening on Saturday night as the visiting Orioles jumped out to a double digit lead in the first half and rolled on to a 72-48 win over the Quakers.
Both sides showed some opening night anxiety in a turnover plagued first quarter. However, Avon sophomore reserve guard Jack McCue popped a 3-pointer late in the period and initiated the start of a 20-3 surge for the Orioles, an outburst that proved decisive for Avon.
Avon coach Jason Young was happy to see the Orioles take a positive performance from their opening victory.
“Overall, I was really pleased,” Young said. “Our effort was there ... from where we were last week going to Martinsville in the scrimmage, we showed great improvement.”
Meanwhile, Plainfield coach Andy Weaver got a baseline check on his squad as the Quakers continue to seek upward momentum in building their program.
“Avon’s pressure on the half court really got to us,” Weaver said. “We had way too many turnovers, and that got us in a deficit. We had five straight possessions where we didn’t get a shot. (For that), you had to tip your hand to Avon and coach Young.”
The Avon bench, paced by McCue, played a big role in creating the scoring gap. The Orioles’ bench produced 17 of their 36 first half points, a 17-2 scoring advantage from backups. That bench scoring provided 15 of the 16 points that Avon held as a halftime lead (36-20). By the end, the Avon bench delivered 26 points.
“Those guys that checked in — Sam Bloom, Andrew Short, Jimmy Simms, and Jack McCue — gave us a huge lift,” Young said. “They made some baskets and applied some good ball pressure. When you can play nine or 10 guys, it’s a huge asset.”