Enfield escapes upset to advance

By Colin Rajala
Enfield - posted Fri., Mar. 9, 2012
Senior guard Trechone Preston about to shoot a free throw in the fourth quarter to preserve the Enfield victory. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Senior guard Trechone Preston about to shoot a free throw in the fourth quarter to preserve the Enfield victory. Photos by Colin Rajala.

The number one-seeded Enfield Raiders defeated the 16th-seeded Weston Trojans 75-64 to escape the upset in the Class M State Tournament March 8 at Enfield High School. “We survived, we advanced to play another game,” said Enfield Head Coach Cory O’Connell.

The Raiders were led by senior guard Trechone Preston with 34 points. Junior guard Paul Lima and senior forward Hugh Lindo scored 16 and 11 respectively to support Preston’s strong effort.

“He [Preston] showed why he’s the best player in the area tonight,” O’Connell said. “He’s an unselfish player but sometimes he needs to be selfish for us to win.”

The Trojans were led by senior guard Evan Blitzer’s 26 points.

Enfield jumped on Weston from the tip, tearing off seven straight points. The Raiders forced a timeout with four minutes left in the quarter, taking a 12-3 lead after senior guard Tony Romano blocked a three pointer and finished the play with a fast break lay in, assisted by a Lindo outlet pass. Enfield finished the quarter on a Preston lay in to lead 17-11.

The Trojans battled back in the second quarter. Senior Lyle Mitchell was fouled making a layup, bringing Weston within four, 26-22. Mitchell missed the free throw but Weston rebounded the ball and kicked it out to senior Max Molinsky who sunk the three pointer, cutting the Raider lead to one 26-25.

“I didn’t call a timeout on purpose,” O’Connell said. “I wanted to see how the guys would handle it.”

Enfield held its composure and went on a 13-2 run, capped by a Lindo steal and assist to Preston followed up right after by a Preston fade away jump shot to end the quarter. Preston scored 10 of the team's 13 points to give Enfield the 39-27 advantage at halftime.

“We kept our adrenaline pumping,” Lindo said. “Tre [Preston] was tremendous tonight; he really gave us a spark.”

Weston would not go away starting the third quarter on an 11-4 run to cut the Raider leader to four, 43-39. Enfield would respond, ending the quarter on a 13-4 run, capped by Preston converting a contorted layup for the 56-43 lead.

Weston would not go down quietly, starting an 11-4 run narrowing the Enfield lead to 60-56 and forcing O’Connell to use a timeout with just under four minutes left in the game.

“We didn’t get flustered,” Lindo said. “We stayed focus.”

Enfield proved to be too much for Weston down the stretch making baskets and converting free throws to outscore the Trojans 15-8 in the final four minutes.

 


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