MIDDLETOWN >> Middletown’s boys basketball team played well enough to win.
“It was one of those games in which we did enough,” said Middletown coach Rick Privott after Middletown’s 62-48 win over Berlin at the LaBella-Sullivan Gymnasium Monday evening. “But we didn’t play very well. We didn’t shoot well, we missed a lot of layups and we didn’t shoot free throws well.
“But we rebounded very well and when we had to, we played very good defense.”
The Central Connecticut Conference South win was Middletown’s 10th in a row.
It was a game of runs.
Berlin (5-6) jumped out to a quick 14-7 lead with two minutes to play in the first quarter, but from that point until the 2:45 mark of the third, the Dragons blasted Berlin to the tune of 41-12 to take a 48-26 lead and appeared about ready to blow Berlin out of the gym.
But the Redcoats got off the deck and hit the Dragons with a 13-0 run and just like that were within sight down 48-39 with 7:16 left in the game.
Markevious Snead and Jayden Bermudez restored order with two quick hoops and Middletown (10-2) opened up a 17-point lead at 58-41 with just under four minutes to play and coasted home.
“I thought we got lazy,” said Privott. “It was like we came out of the locker room thinking ‘we got this, so we can coast.’ But after that, we went to our pressure defense and I thought the kids worked very hard from that point on.”
The star of this night was Daquan Singletary, who got his first start of the season. He was the game-high scorer with 17 points, 12 in the first half, and had a double-double with 10 rebounds.
“I was glad to get a start,” said Singletary, a first-year transfer student. “It gave me a chance to prove something, but what’s important is I was able to help my team. I love it here in Middletown.”
“Daquan continues to play well,” said Privott. “He works extremely hard and he’s the one guy we know who is going to sprint the floor and go after balls. He’s been doing it all year. He’s very consistent.”
Middletown, which is ranked No. 7 in the Register/GameTimeCT poll, dominated the backboards as Snead had nine, Ahmod Privott had eight and Tyshaun James had seven.
But all too often, the Dragons didn’t convert those rebounds into points. The Dragons were just 8-for-18 from the free throw line.
“We’re going to get rebounds; just a bad shooting night,” said Privott. “DeAaron [Lawrence] didn’t have good shooting night [five points] but others stepped up.”
Privott was also in double figures with 15 points.
After Berlin opened that 14-7 lead, a three-pointer by Lawrence and a basket by James cut the Berlin lead to 14-12 after one.
The Dragons had a big second quarter, outscoring Berlin 22-6, a run highlighted by two treys from Singletary and another by Privott.
Middletown began the third with a 14-6 run and held its biggest lead at 48-26 when Jordan Council buried a trey with 2:45 remaining in the quarter.
Isayah Bailey led the Berlin rally with eight of his 10 points, but Middletown responded and led 58-41 on a basket by Singletary with less than four to go and the Dragons lead was never less than 13 the rest of the way.
Jack Lynch led Berlin with 13 points.