CHESHIRE – Things are much different than the beginning of the season for Cheshire.
The Rams started off the season with three tough losses – one on a 30-footer at the buzzer, another in double overtime and a third after blowing a 9-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Since then, Cheshire is 10-5 after leading the entire way Friday night in posting a 56-41 Southern Connecticut Conference Hammonasset Division boys’ basketball victory over Guilford.
Cheshire is now 10-8 overall and finished 4-4 in the Hammonasset, good enough for a tie for second place with Xavier. Guilford dropped to 12-5 and finished in fourth place in the Hammonasset with a 3-5 mark.
“We played well together tonight and everyone stepped up tonight,” Cheshire coach Dan Lee said. “They (Guilford) have quality shooters and we were able to limit them to one shot.”
With Mike Quint scored eight of his career high 20 points in the first quarter as Cheshire raced out to a 14-4 lead.
However, the double-digit lead didn’t last long as the Indians clawed back to within two, 20-18, at halftime.
“I knew they were going to make a comeback,” Lee said. “But we were happy to hold them to 18 points going into halftime.”
Drew Hart scored seven of his 13 points and Eric Angelone added five of his 12 points as the Rams started to pull away in the third quarter, grabbing a 36-30 edge.
Guilford posted its lowest scoring night of the season. Its previous low was 51 against Masuk on Jan. 28.
The Indians saw Cheshire score 20 points in the final eight minutes of the game to grab the 15-point victory. Quint did most of the damage again with eight points in the quarter.
“I give a ton of credit to Cheshire and their coach they were prepared organized and made shots,” DeMaio said. “We answered pretty well in the second quarter but they just executed so well. They got some leakouts at the end of the game and put us away.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well or compete hard enough. I’m not sure why, but it was a disappointing effort from start to finish. They out everythinged us tonight.”
Guilford only had one player in double figures as Jordan Krause scored 11 points, nine of them coming in the second half. Noah Rubino tacked on 8 points.
“From top to bottom this year, no matter what team you go against, the SCC is a tough league,” said Lee, whose Rams still have Shelton and West Haven remaining on their schedule. “Our approach all season has been that our next game is our most important game.”
Guilford had won six of its previous seven outings going into Friday night with the only loss coming at Fairfield Prep. The Indians have archrival Hand and two non-league opponents in Platt Tech and Amistad.
“If we play like tonight, everything is going to be a dogfight,” DeMaio said. “If we play like we can, we can have a successful finish. Tonight doesn’t change anything. We think we’re pretty good.”
CHESHIRE 56, GUILFORD 41
Guilford 4 14 12 11 – 41
Cheshire 14 6 16 20 – 56
Sam Dombroski 1 0-2 2, Matt Donlan 2 0-0 5, Sam Inchalik 3 0-0 7, Jordan Krause 4 2-2 11, Noah Rubino 4 0-0 8, Ian Slattery 3 0-0 6, Colin Kellaher 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 2-4 41
Eric Angelone 5 0-0 12, Jenson Bassett 0 0-0 0, Ben DeLabell 0 0-0 0, Derek Frione 1 0-0 2, Matt Geyda 1 0-0 2, Drew Hart 6 0-0 13, Will Graikoski 2 0-0 4, Evan Russo 1 0-0 3, James Pettit 0 0-0 0, Mike Quint 8 2-2 20. Totals: 24 2-2 56
3-point goals: Guilford 3 (Donlan 1, Inchalik 1, Krause 1); Cheshire 6 (Angelone 2, Hart 1, Russo 1, Quint 2); Records: Guilford 12-5; Cheshire 10-8.