MIDDLETOWN >> It was a good way for Middletown to end the regular season.
In its finale, Middletown High’s boys basketball team blasted Rocky Hill 68-52 in front of 500 at the LaBella-Sullivan Gymnasium Monday. The win clinched a spot in the top four of the CIAC Class L ratings, which means if they keep winning, the Dragons will host their first three state tourney games.
Middletown (17-3) dominated throughout and the final score was much closer than the game really was. The Blue Dragons jumped out to an 11-0 lead, led 16-8 after one, 38-15 at the half and 58-32 after three.
Three times Middletown led by 28 points — 43-15, 46-18 and 62-34 — before coach Rick Privott sent in the JVs for the final five minutes.
“I am very happy with how we played,” Privott said. “I told the kids their defense was great tonight and I thought we rebounded well and we shared the basketball very well.”
He left out that the Dragons shot very well. The Dragons were 26-for-43, just over 60 percent.
The ball distribution of which Privott spoke resulted in balanced scoring. Ahmod Privott, who was 7-for-11, had 19 points. Tyshaun James, who was 5-for-8, had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Dayquan Singletary had eight points and six rebounds. DeAaron Lawrence, Jordan Council and Charles Sprowl had six points each.
“I think that all the rust from football is off for James,” Privott said. “He is playing with a lot more confidence and played very well tonight. I thought for a long time he played with some hesitancy. It’s tough to transition from football to basketball and he had that injury that kept him out for most of December, too.”
Privott also praised two of his guards, Aveon Woods and Jordan Council.
“Council did a very nice job,” he said. “He made good passes and heck, he’s just a good player. I also thought Woods played very well. He was under control and did a very good job on defense — along with Sprowl — against [Alex] Sikorski.”
Sikorski had 25 points, but Privott said “We made him work and some of his three-pointers were from far out beyond the defense. He’s a very good player and you’re not going to stop him.”
Sikorski also had 25 the first time the teams played.
“Middletown played well, but they always play well,” Rocky Hill coach Josh Dinerman said. “Coach Privott does such a great job with them. They are disciplined and well-organized and when they hit their shots, they’re very tough to beat.
“Sikorski was great; he’s an all-state caliber player. But it can’t be just him, although he’s a tremendous player.”
Middletown held Rocky Hill (13-7) scoreless for the first 4 minutes, 50 seconds before Will White hit a three-pointer. The Terriers responded to Middletown’s opening 11-0 run with an 8-0 run of their own, but the Dragons essentially ended the game with a 14-0 run capped by a Privott trey to take a 25-8 lead two minutes into the second quarter.
The Dragons had nine 3-pointers, but Rocky Hill managed to stay within sight by making 10 treys, four by Sikorksi. White was also in double figures for Rocky Hill with 14 points, including three 3-point baskets.
Middletown added five points to its 38-15 halftime lead on a trey by James and a Privott hoop to lead 43-15 some 30 seconds into the second half. After that, the only question was the margin.
MHS will host a Central Connecticut Conference playoff game this Thursday against an opponent and time to be determined.