Panthers looking for tourney berth

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
East Windsor - posted Thu., Feb. 14, 2013
Junior forward Dajon Farley makes a fast break layup during East Windsor's 57-51 loss at East Granby on Feb. 12. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Junior forward Dajon Farley makes a fast break layup during East Windsor's 57-51 loss at East Granby on Feb. 12. Photos by Colin Rajala.

The East Windsor High School boys' basketball team entered its Feb. 12 match with the East Granby Crusaders after losing two straight games. The Panthers were desperate for a win, hoping to end the losing skid and cement themselves above the middle of the pack with the contenders in the tough North Central Connecticut Conference.

East Windsor could not overcome some long scoreless droughts brought upon by the tough-nosed East Granby defense, as it fell on the road, 57-51. With the loss, East Windsor’s record dropped to 6-10 on the season, good enough for ninth in the NCCC, while East Granby improved to eighth in the NCCC with a 6-9 record.

East Windsor head coach John Cessario was clearly disappointed with his team’s effort after the game and when asked if his team was going to reach its post-season aspirations, he said, “Not the way we're playing; it’s a funny game.” He added that his team’s play in the game was "the story of our season; Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

If the Panthers plan to clinch a berth in the Class S state tournament, they will have to turn around their three-game losing streak in a hurry and win two out of its final four games. Panther fans have to be cautiously optimistic about the post-season down the final stretch of the season, as the team’s final four games all come at home with three out of the four opponents having four or fewer wins on the season.

Despite the loss, the Panthers received strong contributions from a variety of players, with five players scoring six or more points. Leading East Windsor was junior forward Kevin Mocadlo with 15 points. Coming off the bench to give a spark to the Panthers was junior forward Dajon Farley, who contributed 10 points and three blocks, while junior guard Giovanni Wickham tallied eight points and three assists.

East Windsor looked sluggish early, falling behind 10-4 before Farley and Wickham came in to contribute on both ends of the court.

Ultimately, the East Granby defense proved to be too much for the Panthers, as they were held scoreless for long stretches of the game. They did not score a field goal from the end of the third quarter until one minute and 26 seconds left in the game. Over the course of the seven minutes down the final stretch of the game, the Panthers could only muster five made free throws. They scored 10 points in the final minute and 26 seconds of the game to draw the game closer, but the flurry proved to be futile.

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