It’s been quite the turnaround in two seasons for the Ansonia boys basketball team.
After going 5-15 two years ago, the Chargers went 13-9 last season and stands at 13-4 this year, having swept the Naugatuck Valley League’s Copper Division for the second straight year.
“We had some key pieces coming back,” Ansonia coach Shane Kingsley said. “Our goal was to improve upon last year’s success a little bit. At this point of the season, I’m pleased with where we are at.”
Those key pieces were also coming off yet another successful football season. Tajik Bagley, who will play football at Central Connecticut State next fall, and Tyler Bailey, both all-area football selections this past fall, are averaging 16.2 and 9.7 ppg., respectively and Angel Falero, another All-Area pick, is at 12.9 ppg.
“All of them of them are great athletes and ultra-competitors,” Kingsley said. “That makes it easy to coach guys like that. Tajik is one of the best guards I have seen over the past two years in the state. He can do it all for us.”
Additional help from Jhouruce Rascoe, Chrystian Clase and Demetrius Robinson has put the Chargers in position to have a high seed in the NVL tournament and host a game in the Class M state tournament.
Last year, the Chargers lost to Kennedy in the opening round of the NVL tournament and fell to Classical Magnet in the opening round of Class M.
“I think with the one-and-done situation once you get into the tournament, you need a lot of mental focus,” Kingsley said. “A lot of it is being able to execute like we did all year on a game-to-game basis. You have to be able to rise to the occasion in those games. Every possession becomes so important (in the postseason). Sometimes, kids feel pressure a little knowing it’s win or go home.”
Ansonia completes its regular season against Waterbury Career, Wilby and Holy Cross. Its losses thus far are to Sacred Heart, Crosby, Kennedy and Watertown.
“Hopefully at tournament time, we will be a lot more competitive against the upper teams in the NVL,” Kingsley said.