Bulldogs’ double OT loss spurs renewed energy

By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Wed., Jan. 18, 2012
Senior Tim Artruc tips one in for Stafford in the third quarter against Suffield. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.
Senior Tim Artruc tips one in for Stafford in the third quarter against Suffield. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.

Stafford High School’s boys’ basketball opened its season on Dec. 14 with a down-to-the-buzzer 32-28 victory over division rival Suffield.

On Jan. 10, the Bulldogs traveled to Suffield for an adrenaline-charged rematch, falling short in a heartbreaking double overtime loss (65-59). The Bulldogs left the court disappointed, but determined to attack the season ahead with renewed energy.

“Our guys showed tremendous resolve in the Suffield game, coming back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter,” said Stafford coach Mike Morhardt. “We defended hardest and communicated best when it was required the most, and that is a great sign as we move forward.”

At tip-off, Stafford took possession, with the first basket contributed by senior Tim Artruc (#33). “Artruc was key in the first half when we were really struggling offensively,” the coach said. “He scored 9 in the half to help us keep pace.”

Leading the Bulldogs on the scoreboard was senior David DeLeon (#3). “DeLeon was our leading scorer and hit some big shots for us late in the game, including a 3-pointer that gave us our first lead after trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter,” Morhardt said about one of the team’s key offensive players. “Junior Zach Rollins (#22) and Artruc also helped pace the offense with key baskets for us.”

On the defense, Morhardt once again singled out Artruc. “Tim was the key to our comeback defending Suffield's best player, Ed Danek,” he said. “Tim is an extremely physical, disruptive defender who is willing to do whatever we need him to do.” Morhardt commended defensive players Alex Hoss (#32), Jake Kalette (#14), Kyle Pallanck (#15) and Tim Ford (#21) on superior OT play. “They did a tremendous job in the second half and OT, limiting Suffield's point guard from penetrating to the basket and creating easy offense,” the coach said.

“We had certainly hoped to be in a better position than 3-4 at this point,” Morhardt said, “but overall, we are pleased with how hard this group of guys works. They are good people, and I’m proud to be able to work with them each day.”

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