NEW HAVEN — Contavio Dutreil said it was the first time he had ever done it in a game.
Block a shot? Dutreil has done that hundreds of times to his opposition in the FCIAC. No, the Trinity Catholic forward waved his finger after blocking a Career shot against the backboard. He waved his finger all the way down the court.
Think of former NBA center Dikembe Mutombo.
Dutreil’s block came a handful of seconds before having to make two clutch free throws in the final seconds of Friday’s game at Career High. The Crusaders still had to sweat out a long three-point attempt to escape with a 64-61 win.
“I knew he would drive the baseline. I had to help my teammate, I came to block the shot and that’s what I did,” said Dutreil, who finished with a team-high 25 points for Trinity.
— Joe Morelli (@nhrJoeMorelli) February 17, 2018
The entire fourth quarter was close, with Trinity Catholic having as much as a seven-point lead just once.
Two free throws from Rasheed Constant gave the Crusaders (14-4) a 61-58 lead with 30.2 seconds left. Career went for the driving layup and Dutreil came up with the block.
“At crunch time, that was a very big block,” Trinity Catholic coach Mike Walsh said. “He averages almost four blocks a game, just a blocking machine.”
Dimitry Moise (17 points) then made a free throw to put the Crusaders up 62-58. Kyle Daniels (team-high 25 points) answered with a 3-pointer with under 10 seconds left to pull the Panthers (12-8) within one.
After Dutreil was fouled and made his two free throws, Trinity Catholic called for timeout.
“I was arguing with my coaches, ‘I have to foul in that situation!’ I got out-voted three to one,” Walsh said. “Under 5 seconds I foul. They talked me out of it.”
Tamar Williams got the open look just over midcourt for Career. The shot bounced off the front rim.
“This is what I tell the kids, ‘It’s the little things that win the game, never the big things.’ End of conversation,” Career coach Larry Kelley said. “The dropped ball nobody gets (off a missed free throw by Trinity), one, two dribbles. Then you see open guys (off a steal) and you throw it too far. Those things kill you.”
— Joe Morelli (@nhrJoeMorelli) February 16, 2018
This was the fourth time the two schools have squared off this decade, but the first during the regular season. Trinity Catholic is 2-1 in CIAC state tournament play, including the 2011 Class M state final.
Walsh called Kelley because both needed a game. It was originally scheduled for Dec. 30 at Wilbur Cross, but inclement weather pushed it back to Friday.
“That was a great game for both Career and for us to get ready for our conference tournaments,” Walsh said. “That’s why I’m glad we came up to play.”
Said Kelley: “We played against some though teams in (CIAC) Division 1 (including Trinity Catholic). Those are the better teams around.”
Career led the entire second quarter, but was held to just six points in the third. Moise’s 3-pointer put Trinity ahead 41-40 with 3:33 left in the period.
Trinity Catholic 64,
(at New Haven)
T. CATHOLIC14 18 12 20—64
CAREER19 17 6 19—61
Trinity Catholic (14-4)
Stepfan McGill 3 4-5 10, Contavio Dutreil 10 5-8 25, Jack Soucy 0 2-2 2, Rahsen Fisher 0 0-0 0, Rasheed Constant 2 1-2 6, Xavier Ruillangs 1 0-0 2, Akim Joseph 1 0-0 2, Dimitry Moise 7 0-6 17. Totals 24 12-23 64.
Tamar Williams 3 1-1 9, Jalen Jones 6 0-0 12, Jordan Williams 3 1-4 7, Daquan Walker 3 2-2 8, Kyle Daniels 10 2-2 25. Totals 25 6-9 61.
3 Pointers: TC: Morse 3, Constant; Career: Daniels 3, T. Williams 2