By Daqwan Hill and Joseph Maddox
Avalon brothers Brendan and Conor Sloan combined for 35 points Thursday as the Black Knights defeated The Heights Cavaliers 64-52 in Potomac, Md.
The Avalon School’s varsity basketball team had never beaten The Heights on the Cavaliers home court in the 12-year history of the school. This was a very meaningful and exciting game for everyone in the Avalon community.
“It was all business, no joke time,” said coach Kevin Davern.
Brendan, the younger Sloan, was on fire all night, especially from behind the 3 point line. The guard finished with 17 points, and hit three 3-pointers.
Meanwhile, older brother Connor controlled everything in the paint. The senior finished with 18 points, six rebounds and two blocks. He also drew a couple of charging calls on defense to help swing the momentum for Avalon.
At the beginning of the game, both teams started off trading buckets, but Avalon began to steadily move ahead. However, The Heights finished the first half strong and narrowed what was once a sizable lead for Avalon down to single digits.
Looking for a spark, Brendan hit a 3-pointer to open the second half and was fouled on the play. The junior guard hit the free throw to complete a 4-point play which set the tone for the Black Knights to open the new half.
Later in the fourth quarter, with The Heights once again cutting into the Black Knights lead, junior Trevor Diggs stepped up to thwart the comeback.
The guard completed two dunks, each to breath new life into his teammates, and the many Avalon fans who attended the game. He was fouled on one of the dunks, and made his free throw for a 3-point play.
“There is no better feeling than dunking in a big game to give your squad even more momentum,” said Diggs.
The junior small forward scored 10 points in the victory.
Defensively, Avalon stayed in their 2-3 formation, which they have used all season. The style contributed to keeping the Cavaliers inside game in check, where the Potomac private school team had a significant height advantage.
Additionally, a strong week of practice and a commitment to focus on an opportunity to win for the first time at The Heights drove the team in the days leading up to the game.
“The team had a great week of practice and the game plan was to come out and execute all the plays,” said Conor.
The crowd also played a crucial role in the game. Even players such as guards Khaamal Ricks and Michael Gladney said the student section had a big effect on the victory.
“We haven’t had a crowd like that all season,” said Gladney.