Enfield cruises to CIAC first round win
By Tom Phelan - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Tue., Mar. 8, 2011
It could have been worse for Norwich Tech, but it also could have been a better performance by the Enfield Raiders. Coach Cory O’Connell watched his team thump their first round CIAC tournament opponent by 38 points Monday, Mar. 7, but he wasn’t totally satisfied with the win.
“They definitely out-worked us, out-hustled us, got more loose balls than us,” O’Connell said, after talking to his team in the locker room. “That’s what I was kind of disappointed in tonight.”
Although the Enfield players dove for balls, drained shots from the perimeter, and took the ball to the hoop, O’Connell saw things he didn’t like. “Our margin of error is pretty slim – from being a good team to being a bad team,” he said. “When we’re clicking, we’re pretty good. But we can also look pretty average at times.”
The Raider coach said that the performance his team showed against #29 Norwich Tech would definitely not cut it in their second round game. “If we play like this on Wednesday [in the second round], we’ll lose,” he said.
O’Connell had words of praise for Norwich. “They hustled. They did good things,” he said. “They just don’t have the offensive weapons. When you can’t put the ball in the hoop, it’s kind of tough sometimes.”
Norwich displayed some team speed, and dogged Enfield ball handlers through four periods of play, but Enfield’s defense stifled them. “They did the right things,” O’Connell said, “they just couldn’t convert some of those easy chances they had.”
Enfield kept its starters in for the most part, rotating in the sixth and seventh man. They also continued to press Norwich right through the third period, not content with a 27-point lead. At the end of three periods of play, Enfield held a 31-point lead 54-23.
Twice during the second half Norwich Tech opted for platoon substitution, keeping fresh legs on the court to pressure the Enfield speed. The tactic gave the starting players some rest, but the outcome on the court was the same.
With the score 64-25, starters Tre Preston and John Cerrato took a seat on the bench for good, and with 1:34 showing on the clock, O’Connell emptied his bench.
Three Raiders finished with double digit scoring contributions. Tre Preston had 22, Tony Romano 13 and Hugh Lindo 11.