@SHHS_Hearts gets its second consecutive win over a New Haven school in the @ciacbbb division 1 tournament, this time defeating @Wilbur_Cross_HS 67-50 to advance to the semifinals. #ctbb pic.twitter.com/VOcxlr4k5A
— CT Sports Now (@CT_Sports_Now) March 13, 2018
WATERBURY — Think about this for a minute: no one in a Sacred Heart boys basketball uniform has ever lost to a CIAC school.
Granted, a number of the current Hearts haven’t seen much action, but the accomplishment is still quite incredible. The streak reached 106 straight games Monday night when the No. 4 seeded Hearts eliminated No. 5 Wilbur Cross 67-50 from the Division I state quarterfinals at Wilby
“That was a good team we just beat. They have great athletes,” Sacred Heart coach Jon Carroll said about Wilbur Cross.
Sacred Heart never trailed and kept a productive Governors’ offense under wraps — Cross score 11 points in each of the first three quarters.
The effort was there for Wilbur Cross (19-4), which reached its second quarterfinal in the last three years. But the Hearts’ defense, led by Connor Tierney, Sacred Heart’s 6-foot-11 center (six rebounds and six blocks), proved to be too tough for the Governors.
“He is one of those guys who doesn’t wind up on the stat sheet but definitely contributes to our success,” Carroll said.
“He changes the game. He had a couple of nice blocks to stretch the lead,” Wilbur Cross coach Kevin Walton said. “I think there was more to it than that. A couple of times, I thought our kids should have been shooting free throws but it was a hard game to officiate. Give credit to them for their defensive game plan.”
Sacred Heart (23-2) now faces Windsor, a double-overtime winner over previously-undefeated and top-ranked East Catholic, in the semifinals Thursday night, likely at the University of Hartford’s Chase Arena.
Other than the Sacred Heart-Cross game, it was a night of comebacks in Division I: Notre Dame-Fairfield rallied from 21 points down to beat Danbury in overtime, Hamden almost came all the way back against Bassick and East Catholic forced overtime, then fell to Windsor in the fourth matchup between the two CCC titans.
Cross was able to hang around through the midway point of the third quarter. The Hearts led 37-30 at the time, then went on an 8-0 run, with Isiah Gaiter scoring six of those points.
Putting 32 minutes together has been a challenge for us,” Carroll said. “Offensively we will put up numbers. It’s the second shots that concern me.”
Terrance Edwards (team-high 16 points) hit the first six points for Cross, but then picked up his second foul and had only two points for the remainder of the first half.
Will Antrum was in foul trouble as well, picking up three in the first half to match his point total. Kwane Taylor was shut out. They finished their careers with eight and five points, respectively. Jaykeen Foreman went out with a strong performance, 14 points and 12 rebounds.
“We are really grateful for what Kwane, Will and Jaykeen have done for the program past four years,” Walton said. “We will continue to build upon what they did. Our future success is directly related to those three seniors. They have given a lot to Wilbur Cross the over last few years.”
Cross got within two points in the second quarter, but then the Hearts ran off the next eight points and took a seven-point advantage, 29-22, into the locker room at halftime.
Gaiter (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Raheem Solomon (17 points, nine rebounds) led the way for Sacred Heart.
Sacred Heart 67, Wilbur Cross 50
W. CROSS 11 11 11 17—50
S. HEART 16 13 19 19—67
Wilbur Cross (19-4)
Kwane Taylor 3 0-0 8, Jaykeen Foreman 5 4-8 14, Will Antrum 1 3-6 5, Joel Pullen 2 0-0 5, Terrance Edwards 5 6-6 16, Enas Jones 0 0-0 0, Dereyk Grant 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 13-20 50.
Sacred Heart (23-2)
Raheem Solomon 6 5-6 17, Isiah Gaiter 10 3-6 23, Andre Anderson 4 1-4 10, Connor Tierney 2 4-4 8, Noah Francisco 2 0-1 4, Caleb Sampson 0 1-2 1, Zach Francisco 1 0-2 2, Nick Williams 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 14-25 67.
3-pointers: SH: Anderson; WC: Taylor 2, Pullen. Fouled out: Edwards, Antrum. Technical foul: Foreman.