By Justin Whitaker
AVON — The Avon boys’ basketball team drastically needed a win and last night they made sure they got it.
The Orioles beat Martinsville 61-50 in their last regular season game of the season as 11 different Avon players scored.
Losers of six of their last eight games, Avon gained some much needed momentum in its defeat of the Artesians.
“We really needed to win a game,” Avon coach Jason Young said. “We needed to win a game, but we needed to play well and we did.”
Young and the Orioles coaching staff made it a premium in practice to take the ball inside after settling for too many jump shots the week before. The boys really took that message to heart.
Of Avon’s 61 points, 41 of them came strictly off of layups. The Orioles were able to get to the rim at will.
“They pressured us on the perimeter and they allowed some driving lanes,” Young said. “Our guys did a pretty good job recognizing when we had the ability to attack and we did.”
Martinsville shot 32 percent from the field and hit four of its six 3-pointers in the first quarter.
“I thought we were pretty good defensively, in the first quarter not so much,” Young said. “We got hung up on some ball screens but we defended those better in the second quarter and in the second half.”
The Artesians led 16-13 after the first quarter and the score was tied at halftime 24-24.
Avon outscored Martinsville 21-12 in third quarter, including six points from senior Aaron Bode’s 11 points.
In the fourth quarter, the Artesians did not go down without a fight. Two free throws from Aaron Tincher brought Martinsville within two points at 48-46.
Back-to-back layups from Bode and Logan White stretched the lead to six with three minutes remaining.
The Orioles then went on a 9-4 run and made seven of eight free throws down the stretch.
Junior David Griffth played in his first game since December 2011 after both a knee and ankle injury. Griffith scored seven points in his return game.
Junior Connor Funkhouser scored a team-high 12 points.
It was the final home for seniors Bode, Jordan Rhoades and Justin Hubbard who were honored before the game.
“This group of seniors have represented Avon basketball, Avon High School and Avon community with nothing but class,” Young said. “They are just first-class student athletes and the epitome of student athletes.”
Young respects his three seniors and is proud of the type of kids they are.
“It’s why you do this job,” he said. “You get to hang out with such great kids. I spend as much time with these guys as I do my own kids. It’s good for my sons to be around three great kids like this.”