NEWINGTON >> Newington jumped out to an early lead, but was outplayed in the second half falling to No. 8 New Britain 64-58 in the Richard E. Rogalsski Gymnasium in Newington.
Four minutes and 13 seconds into the game, Newington led 14-0 thanks to four 3-pointers, two from Edwin Gomez and one each by Evan Mach and Jared Simmons. New Britain coach Todd Stigliano called a timeout and the Golden Hurricanes began their comeback.
“It’s just an energy thing for us,” Stigliano said. “It’s twice in the last three games we just come out flat and assume everything is going to go the way we want it to go>”
A layup by Ronday McCray got New Britain on the board with 2:34 left in the first quarter.
“I thought early on we did a good job of controlling the ball and taking care of the ball and getting some real quality shots,” Newington coach Scot Wenzel said.
The game was won during the middle two quarters. The Golden Hurricanes outscored the Indians 37-19 in the second and third periods.
Annuel Saint Juste led the way in the second for New Britain scoring seven points as the Hurricanes cut the deficit to three at the break, 30-27.
“Unfortunately in the second half we got a little out of control,” Wenzel said. “Shots weren’t falling for us, we were rushing shots and that’s where they made their big jump at us.”
New Britain took its first lead of the game early in the third quarter on the second free throw by Saint Juste and it didn’t give it away. The Hurricanes started going inside and dominated the glass.
“They’re not a big team, we have good length so we started to get back to what we wanted to do,” Stigliano said.
Curtis Hyman got the visiting crowd jumping when he threw down an emphatic dunk over a Newington player while also getting fouled on the play. The senior finished the game with 21 points, leading all scorers.
A flurry of 3s came again in the final quarter. Simmons hit his second and third of the game around two by Marcus Guadarrama.
Gomez knocked down his third of the game with just over a minute left to cut the lead to six, but time was not in favor of the Indians, who did most of their damage in the very beginning and very end of the game.
“They scored 34 of their 58 points in the first four minutes and the last four minutes of the game and all of that has to do with the level of energy we play with,” Stigliano said. “They never play flat, coach Wenzel gets those kids to go 100 miles per hour, they work harder than probably every team in the league.”
Simmons led Newington with 19 points and four assists and Gomez added 14. Saint Juste scored 14 for New Britain and Mike Robinson had 13.