Local teams move on in CIAC play

By Tom Phelan - Staff Writer
enfield - posted Thu., Mar. 10, 2011
Guard Trechone Preston spots an opening to pass the ball to teammate John Cerrato. Photos by Tom Phelan.
Guard Trechone Preston spots an opening to pass the ball to teammate John Cerrato. Photos by Tom Phelan.

The Enfield Raiders moved up to the quarterfinal round of the CIAC Class M tournament with a convincing 68-38 victory over #20 Vinal Tech on Wed., Mar 8.

Coach Cory O'Connell felt better about his team's performance than he did in the second round game. “I felt like we came out more focused on the defensive end and forced some turnovers, which gave us some easy points,” said O'Connell. “We were flat vs. Norwich Tech, but I was pleased with how we responded last night.”

Trechone Preston once again led us with 28 points, Hugh Lindo turned in another double-double – 12 points and 12 rebounds. Tony Romano scored in double figures for the third game in a row.

Enfield is now 22-3, and moves on to the quarterfinal round, as they did last year. The Raiders will continue to be the host team, with the Chargers of Ansonia coming to town. Ansonia was an upset winner over #5 seed, Cromwell 51-39.

Enfield's second round contest could have been worse for Norwich Tech, but it also could have been a better performance by the Enfield Raiders. They thumped their first round opponent by 38 points. But their coach 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.” O'Connell said after that game that such a performance would not hold up against Enfield's second round opponent.

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.”

In Somers, the Spartans played a patient tempo against a spirited Westbrook squad to come away with a 57-48 win in the first round of the CIAC Class S Tournament on Tue., Mar 8.

“Westbrook played very well,” said Somers coach John Hostetler, as he left the court. Hostetler said he liked the Spartans’ chances going into the game, despite their opponent's credentials. “They come from a good conference, and they play a tough schedule,” he pointed out.

Somers moved the ball around the perimeter in the first half, and took outside shots, when they could not get a lane to the basket. That allowed Westbrook to keep it close. “Defensively, we were not quite where we wanted to be. They had some pretty good looks on us,” said Hostetler. “We’ll have to go back to the drawing board and make a few adjustments.”

The score was tied at 24, with 24 seconds on the clock in the first half. Then Somers managed a foul shot to take a one-point lead into the locker room.

It wasn’t until late in the third period that Somers began to pull away, scoring 12 unanswered points in the final three minutes to take a 42-30 lead. Westbrook was never able to catch up in the fourth, and was forced to foul repeatedly in the hope that Somers would miss their foul shots.

Evan Woicik finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, Josh Patsun had 16 and Jayce Haynes also finished in double figures with 10. Brendan Coverdill contributed three blocks to the defensive cause.

Somers travels to Classical Magnet School in Hartford for a 7 p.m. start of their second round game on Thursday, Mar. 9.

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