HARTFORD >> No. 2-seeded Sports and Medical Sciences Academy put No. 10 Terryville in a deep first-quarter hole the Kanagaroos never got out of in the Tigers’ 55-41 Class S quarterfinal win Monday night at SMSA.
For much of the 17-6 first quarter, the normally-deadly Kangaroos couldn’t buy a basket and the Tigers, in their own turn-around, couldn’t seem to miss.
“We don’t usually come out and hit four threes in the first quarter,” SMSA coach Milan Mraz said. “That’s not us. But we took what they gave us. They did a good job of packing the middle and wouldn’t let us in.”
On the other side, SMSA’s quickness never allowed the Kangaroos into their shooting rhythm.
“We had a slow start,” Terryville coach Mark Fowler said. “Their athleticism gave us problems.”
SMSA’s first-period threes came from four different people — Bernard Mason (9 points), Daquan Carr (8 points), Rashaun Mason (game-high 17 points) and Jon Mikal Riley (11 points).
Early in the quarter, two Tiger 3-pointers caused an 8-2 SMSA run. But the Kangaroos worked their own magic on SMSA’s full court pressure.
Three Terryville baskets in the first five minutes — one by Sean Huria (8 points) and two by Ariel Batista (8 points) came on great, press-breaking passes from Shea Tracy (team-high 12 points).
With 3:28 left in the quarter, Terryville trailed just 8-6.
“They forced us out of our pressure,” Mraz said. “Normally, we like to play it all game.”
The penalty for the Kangaroo success was the disappearance of easy baskets. Instead, hurried shot after hurried shot clanged off the rim. SMSA finished the quarter on a 9-0 run, including two more threes and led 17-6.
The Tiger 3s were gone in the second quarter, but Terryville’s shots stayed elusive also. A wicked pace held the teams to five points apiece for the quarter. Terryville stayed in its hole, 22-11 at the half.
“It felt like they were beating us by a lot, but it was only 11 points,” Fowler said.
An opening three by Kangaroo Jeff Dupaul (11 points) underlined the relative closeness, 22-14. Nevertheless, the Tigers wouldn’t stand still and a pair of hoops by Mason took the Tiger lead back to 12.
Dupaul, in a nine-point quarter went to the corner for another three, 28-22. Tracy brought the Roos to 33-25 with his first three of the game, from the same corner.
“That’s what we focused on in practice,” Mraz said. “Tracy’s a great player. What are we going to do to contain him?”
The answer was a 2-3 zone that stayed on him and hurried him all game. Even so, the senior guard broke free for a drive to 33-38 near the end of the third.
But for every Terryville basket, the Tigers seemed to make two.
Tracy had one more three in the final period with 5:19 to go, but that just brought the Tiger lead back to eight, 43-35.
By then, the Tigers had their penetration game back. Back-to-back SMSA drives faded the last Terryville hopes.
SMSA finished on a 6-2 run.
Terryville finishes the season 16-9. The Tigers, 19-2, meet Valley Regional in the semifinals Thursday.
No. 2 SMSA 55, No. 10 Terryville 41
Terryville 6 – 5 – 19 – 11 — 41
SMSA 17 – 5- 1 5- 18 — 55
Terryville (41): Ian Schmidt 1-0-2; Shea Tracy 5-0-12; Jeff Dupaul 4-1-11; Shawn Iwanow 0-0-0; Sean Huria 4-0-8; Ariel Batista 3-2-8; John Grimes 0-0-0; Totals 17-3-41.
SMSA (55): Dwayne Bernard 3-2-9; Rashaun Mason 6-4-17; Ryan Rivera 0-2-2; Daunte Brinkley 0-2-2; Daquan Carr 3-0-8; A’shon Harrigan 0-0-0; Johnathan Hernandez 1-2-4; Jon Mikal Riley 5-0-11; Lorenzo Aikens 1-0-2; Totals: 19-12-55.
3-point goals: T – Tracy 2; Dupaul 2. S – Bernard; Mason; Carr 2; Riley.
Records: Terryville 17-8; SMSA 19-2.