Wildcats' second-quarter run drops Raiders
By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Windsor Locks, Suffield - posted Fri., Jan. 25, 2013
You can throw records, home court advantage, and talent out the window when the Suffield Wildcats and Windsor Locks Raiders square off. The two teams did not fail to disappoint in a hard-fought game, with the Wildcats (7-5) earning a 47-33 road victory over the Raiders (1-10) on Jan. 22.
“Every year, no matter what, no matter the record, no matter who beat each other last time, it is always a good game, it is always intense,” said Suffield head coach Dan Gatto.
With the victory, the Wildcats’ post-season aspirations are looking good, just needing one more victory to clinch a fourth consecutive berth in the Class M state tournament. The win stopped a three-game losing skid for Suffield and placed them in a three-way tie for fifth place in the highly competitive North Central Connecticut Conference. If the Wildcats play well down the home stretch of the season, they should be eligible to participate in the NCCC tournament with as high as a four seed.
After trailing by one at the end of the first quarter, Suffield’s senior leader Tyron Williams scored nine of his game-high 21 points during the second quarter during an 18-3 run to give the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game. The Wildcats connected on three of the team's four three-pointers in the quarter to seize the momentum.
“He’s [Tyron] always going; it’s whether the other guys are there with him,” Gatto said. “He always gets us into our stuff, he never turns the ball over, he just controls the game. Whether he’s scoring or penetrating and kicking, he controls the game. He loves this, he loves the crowd, he loves the energy of this whole thing. Everything that we do sort of revolves around him.”
The Wildcats relied on careless turnovers from a Windsor Locks squad that gives the ball up more than 20 times a game. Despite being under-sized, Suffield controlled the boards, winning the rebound battle by a sizeable margin and connecting for many second-chance points.
“Tonight was a must-win in our eyes,” said Windsor Locks head coach Mike Mascaro. “We have three winnable games this week and it was a chance to go 3-0 and put ourselves in the position to play meaningful games in February. It’s still possible, but it’s not looking good right now. The margin of error is slim. We didn’t take advantage of an opportunity tonight. It was a disappointing loss.”