Basketball team wins season opener

By Evan Pajer - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Dec. 14, 2012
The Hornets block a shot attempt by Bloomfield during the second quarter. Photos by Evan Pajer.
The Hornets block a shot attempt by Bloomfield during the second quarter. Photos by Evan Pajer.

Spectators filled the stands at East Hartford High School on Dec. 12, for the first game of the boys' basketball season. The Hornets, who recently ended their pre-season against defending state champion St. Joseph High School, won the season opener against Bloomfield by 17 points, giving them a solid start to a run for the state tournament.

The game marked an impressive effort for East Hartford on several fronts. The Hornets began to build a lead from the very beginning of the game, managing to maintain it through the next three quarters. For most of the game, they outpaced Bloomfield by 10 points or more. At the same time, the players exhibited a high level of coordination and communication, which allowed them to control the ball and get clean shots on goal.

Although Bloomfield came within one point of tying the game during the third quarter, they were largely hindered by a strong East Hartford defense. Just as Bloomfield began to get close, three fouls that resulted in successful free-throws by the Hornets brought East Hartford's lead back up to three points. At times, it seemed like Bloomfield could not get around East Hartford for a clean shot on the basket. In contrast, East Hartford's players were able to easily pass around Bloomfield's defense and score consecutive two-point goals.

Despite East Hartford's strong lead, the players never got comfortable with it. They largely played it safe, relying on two-point shots rather than threes, spurred by coach Ed Laboie, who told his players during a timeout in the fourth quarter to avoid taking risky shots.

During the final quarter, East Hartford continued to score as Bloomfield's score stagnated, adding only eight points to their side of the board that quarter. Two slam-dunks in the last four minutes combined with several two-point shots cemented East Hartford's victory, 71-54. The Hornets scored an impressive 18 points during the final quarter.

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