Eagles' experience and improvements could take them far

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Tolland - posted Thu., Jan. 17, 2013
Tolland's Taylor Fortin is helping to lead his team to a successful season. Photos by Steve Smith.
Tolland's Taylor Fortin is helping to lead his team to a successful season. Photos by Steve Smith.

Tolland High School's boys' basketball team is looking like one that will at least make some noise in the conference and state tournament. Coach Mike Lewis said his core of three starting seniors – Taylor Fortin, Dan Vareed and Mike Nesbit – provide a solid foundation of experience for the team and play a lot of minutes. The team is experiencing anything but a youth movement, as the number four and five players are juniors and the bench is all upperclassmen.

“We're getting consistent, and if we get a little better play in the post, we'll do well,” Lewis said, adding that the team could also improve at rebounding.

“We give too many second-chance opportunities. The teams we play are athletic, so we have to box out, pursue and rebound. You've got to do all of those things,” he said. “We can get all caught up in the emotion of the game and then not do the detail stuff. We have to do the detail stuff. We're not athletic enough to just jump over somebody.”

Lewis said the team has mostly mental fixes to work on, but that is improving. “To be really good, those things have to be corrected, and they will,” he said. “Over the next month, we'll get organized, and we won't make those same mistakes.”

Lewis said Fortin, an All-Conference player, is a great team leader and a “coach on the floor.”

Lewis said the team doesn't talk too much about the future, but is hoping to play in the CCC Conference tournament, and that will prepare them for the state tournament. “That's the small-to-intermediate goal we talk about,” he said.

The Eagles were 6-3 at press time, and were preparing to face E.O. Smith on Jan. 17, before traveling to Berlin on Jan. 22 and Fermi on Jan. 25.

For a complete schedule, visit www.casciac.org.

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