MIDDLETOWN >> Plainville came into its game with Middletown with a plan: put the ball in the deep freeze, wait, wait and wait some more. Hope for a good shot and whatever happens, don’t run with the Blue Dragons.
Plainville executed that plan.
It made no difference.
Middletown (13-2) declared it, too, could play this game and parlayed patience, discipline and remarkable in-your-shirt defense that rarely gave Plainville a good look, to win its 13th in a row, 46-31, in a Central Connecticut Conference South game at the LaBella-Sullivan Gymnasium Wednesday evening.
“I was very pleased with our defense and our patience,” Middletown coach Rick Privott said. “Defensively we were very patient, we kept our man in front of us and we didn’t go for silly steal attempts.
“I thought we showed maturity in that their tempo wasn’t hurting us as we had the lead. I liked the way we played offensively in that we shared the ball and showed great patience, too. I was pleased with our effort.”
Plainville’s strategy seemingly paid off early as the Blue Devils raced to a 7-0 lead. But then, with four and a half minutes left in the first quarter, Middletown took off on a 27-6 run that ended with MHS leading 27-13 at the half.
“For about 25 minutes we played the game on our terms, at the tempo we wanted,” Plainville coach Jim DiNello said. “We were disciplined and I was pleased with our effort, but in the second quarter Middletown got some steals and they do such a great job in transition from defense to offense. Middletown is a really good team and they play very good defense.”
In the second quarter Middletown outscored Plainville 17-4.
Plainville continued to play slow-down, deliberate basketball through most of the second half, despite trailing from 10-18 points throughout. The Blue Dragons biggest lead came with under a minute to play at 46-28 and only a late three-pointer by Tim Dixon (10 points), enabled Plainville (4-12) to crack the 30-point mark.
Middletown was led by Tyshaun James’ 14 points — eight in the first quarter — and Ahmod Privott’s 12. Makai Hunter led with eight rebounds.
“I thought James played very well,” Privott said. “I was also very pleased with the job [Caylen] Williams did defensively and at point.”
MHS shot 41 percent for the night, making 19-of-46. James was 5-for-9 and Privott was 5-for-10 from the floor.
Middletown plays at Hartford Public Saturday at 4 p.m. The game is at Hartford High. Middletown is home with New Britain Monday at 3:30 p.m.