BRIDGEPORT — Kevin Crawford spent one season at Seymour before returning this year to the high school from which he originally transferred.
On Tuesday, he was reminded just how much he missed being at Bassick.
The Lions put on a show during their visit to Harding-Miska Gymnasium, rolling to a wire-to-wire 69-51 victory over the rival Presidents.
“I missed the atmosphere,” Crawford said. “I know I wasn’t here last year, but when I came back today, I don’t know why I left.”
Crawford, who left Bassick after his freshman season, matched fellow guard Qualon Wilkes with a game-high 18 points.
“Both of them are quick, both of them are athletic, and both of them finish well,” Bassick coach Bernie Lofton said of his heralded backcourt.
The Lions, the No. 7 team in the GameTimeCT/Register poll, put their stamp on the game early, racing out to an 18-3 lead to stun their struggling rival. They led 30-7 after the first quarter, and took their largest lead of the night, 43-17, into halftime.
“Unfortunately,” Harding coach John Bagley said, “that’s been our trademark with most teams. We get down early. Sometimes we’re able to battle back, but lately it’s been a real tough time.”
Harding dropped to 3-7 while Bassick improved to 8-1.
“That was pretty much our game plan, was to try to jump on them early,” Lofton said. “We’re a little bit faster than them.”
Jordan Gallimore had nine points for Bassick, and Emery Linton scored seven. Jordan’s brother, Jaelin, made life difficult for Harding on the other end of the court, notching nine blocks.
Harding outscored Bassick 18-12 in the third quarter, but it did little to change the outcome. Sixteen points was as close as the Presidents would get of Bassick in the second half.
Markis Christie and Jose Rivera Pacheco each finished with 10 points to lead Harding.
“They’re a really strong team,” Crawford said of Harding. “But I guess today was just our day.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kevin Crawford, Bassick, G: The junior shared the team lead with 18 points.
BACK AT IT
Harding will have to make a quick turnaround from its latest loss, with Fairfield Prep visiting on Wednesday. The Presidents have lost six straight games since a 3-1 start, five of those by double digits.
“My expectations are always high. I tell the kids, ‘You work all summer, you work all fall, you work all spring, this is what you do it for — right here in the winter time, this is it. This is where it all happens.’ Again, when we get better and make it a more competitive game, this whole place will be wall-to-wall (with fans).” — Harding’s John Bagley on what he expected of his first city rivalry game since returning to coach his alma mater
BASSICK 69, HARDING 51
Kevin Crawford 7 3-7 18 Teron Griffin 2 0-0 4 Jace Darby 0 2-2 2 Qualon Wilkes 6 6-12 18 Emery Linton 2 3-3 7 Jaelin Gallimore 2 0-1 4 Jordan Gallimore 3 3-4 9 Isaiah Sullivan 1 0-0 3 Sheemie Payne 2 0-0 4. Totals 25 17-29 69.
WARREN HARDING (3-7)
Isaiah Hanley 2 0-0 4 Keith Bush 3 0-2 7 Xavier McBride 1 0-0 2 David Council 0 0-1 0 Zamir Hairston 2 0-1 4 Tra’Vel Upchurch 4 0-0 8 Markis Christie 5 0-0 10 Tae’Ron Womack 1 0-1 2 Josue Rivera Pacheco 4 1-1 10 Leon Hanley 2 0-1 4. Totals 24 1-7 51.
BASSICK 30 13 12 14 — 69
HARDING 7 10 18 16 — 51
3-pointers: B — Crawford, Sullivan; H — Bush, Rivera Pacheco. Fouled out: H — Upchurch.