Aven Jones Helps Lead Beverly Over Salem

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Aven Jones Helps Lead Beverly Over Salem
Aven Jones - Beverly

by Jan Taylor

Beverly Senior Aven Jones scored 15 points to help the Panthers boys basketball team come from behind and beat the Salem Witches, 60-55, at Salem High School on Friday night. The game featured two arch rivals schools who will both be playing in the upcoming state tournament.

Salem, who were playing without star player Marvin Baez due to suspension, dominated in the first quarter and were ahead by as much as 12 points to start the game. They scored the first six points of the game when Taylor Norris, Emilio Beato and Christian Dunston scored two points each. Dunston scored seven of his 13 points in the first quarter. Beverly hit the scoreboard when Chris Keaton scored two points from the free throw line early. The Witches were ahead 16-9 after the first quarter.

Beverly picked up their game in the second quarter. Jones scored 10 of his 15 points, including two 3-pointers in the second, to help his team keep pace with Salem. The Panthers also played better defensively in the quarter. Zach Zigelbaum, who had been out a number of games recently, blocked several Salem shots to lead the defense. Despite Beverly's defensive effort Salem led 28-23 at halftime.

Beverly started teh second half as they picked up where they left off in the first and earned their first lead of the game halfway through the third quarter. Dom Abate scored five straight points, including a 3-pointer, to make it a one point game. Keaton then hit a 3-pointer to give Beverly their first lead of the game. Salem then score eight straight points and were ahead by as many as five points in the third quarter. Beverly regained the lead and went ahead for good on a Zigelbaum basket at the end of the third. Beverly led 43-41 after the third quarter.

Beverly put the game out of reach for Salem in the fourth quarter. They received key contributions from Ty Suggs, who scored five of his 12 points and Abate, who scored five of his 10 points in the fourth quarter. They were ahead by as many as eight points in the last minute of the game. Salem’s Randy Valerio nailed a 3-pointer at the end of the game, but it was too little too late for Salem.

We played sloppy in the first quarter but we really stepped up in the second half,” said Jones. “Having Zach (Zigelbaum) back in game shape after having his appendix removed really helped us out, since he has been our best defensive player.”


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