Warriors remain top of the class
By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Wed., Jan. 16, 2013
The Windsor and Manchester high school boys' basketball teams took the court on Jan. 15 like two heavyweight prize fighters stepping into the ring ready to duke it out. The two juggernauts did not disappoint, as they traded blows, leaving it all on the court. This one would not end in a split decision, as Windsor junior swingman Jared Wilson-Frame landed the knock-out punch with a layup and one to break a tie game with the clock winding down in the fourth.
With the 79-74 victory, Windsor (9-1) remains as the top team in the Central Connecticut Conference with a 7-1 conference record and a 5-1 record in the North Division, all of which is overshadowed as the Warriors are the fourth-ranked team in Class LL. With the loss, Manchester (6-2) dropped into a second-place tie in the North Division with East Hartford and they are out of the top 10 in Class LL.
“This is the CCC, the big CCC North, without a doubt this is one of the toughest conferences in the CCC, top to bottom,” said Windsor head coach Ken Smith. "Our program has been very good and we try and be the best in the conference year after year. The standards are set by Windsor. We have young kids and they are not used to the standards that we are used to, so they are trying to get better. We are not good but we are getting better, every day.”
Not too many coaches can complain with a 9-1 overall record and their lone loss coming on the road in overtime to a tough East Catholic team, but Smith expects consistent execution and perfection from his Warriors day in and day out.
“Practice is great, practice is better than the games,” Smith said. “They play hard in practice and get after it. That’s why it’s surprising to me because when I get to the games, sometimes I do not remember this team. We’re just not playing as hard. We’re not giving that effort.”
The Warriors are propelled by Smith’s "three amigos" - Wilson-Frame, Chaunce Dunbar and Tyler Rowe. Against Manchester, the junior trio came up huge, scoring almost 75 percent of Windsor’s points, including all 23 of the Warriors’ points in the fourth quarter. Wilson-Frame netted 29, Dunbar tacked on 21 including three from beyond the arc, and Rowe chipped in eight points and eight assists.
The Warriors have missed senior center and constant double-double threat Jaquan Harrison, out with a broken left foot. Smith has rearranged his lineup and used a multitude of combinations to replace the big man down low. Against Manchester, Smith thought junior Tynique Woods-Culver did a good job holding his own in the post and said his 12 points sparked the Warrior offense when it was in a rut.
Smith hopes that senior center Marquis Caudill’s return after having been out sick will help solidify the paint for Windsor, as they work through their schedule towards the state tournament.