MOODUS >> East Hampton continued its torrid start to the 2013-14 season with a hard-fought 67-57 Shoreline Conference victory against Hale-Ray Tuesday night at Moodus.
Senior center Colin Parks powered the Bellringers with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Senior guard Matt Booth drained five 3-pointers for 15 points, while senior guard Matt Vasquenza (13 points) made some key plays down the stretch as East Hampton remained unbeaten at 6-0.
“We’ve been playing really well and this one was a tough game for us,” said East Hampton coach Parker Strong. “But any win on the road is nice, it doesn’t matter who you play.”
Despite having a huge height disadvantage and being decided underdogs, the Noises, who trailed by as many as 14 points early in the third quarter, closed the gap to 51-45 after a pair of free throws from Brian Johnson with 5:36 remaining.
“My kids don’t ever stop playing,” said Hale-Ray coach Gary Marineau. “They were a little embarrassed by the first quarter (the other night) at Cromwell when we were down 34-7. We fought tonight.”
Senior forward Jimmy Lucido poured in a game-high 26 points for the Noises, while senior guard Jason Traceski fueled a second half rally and finished with 24 points.
“They both had spectacular games,” said Strong. “We couldn’t find a way to stop them.”
Lucido scored 13 points in the first quarter. And when Traceski beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer, the Noises led, 18-17, after one.
Lucido’s top of the key trey early in the second quarter gave Hale-Ray a 24-19 advantage.
But Booth answered with a pair of corner treys and that sparked a 17-2 run. Junior forward Jake Vickery (nine points) capped the spurt with a 3-pointer with just 14 seconds left – Vickery had three treys in the first half – and the Bellringers led 36-26 at intermission.
“We settled down a little bit and we were able to withstand what Hale-Ray threw at us,” Strong said. “Hale-Ray’s had a tough start but they did a heck of a job tonight.”
The Noises (1-5) trailed just 54-49 after Traceski sank a pull-up jumper and a driving layup with 3:46 remaining. But Bellringers senior guard Marvin Gorgas (nine points) buried a 3-pointer and Vasquenza found Parks for a low post hoop and East Hampton led 59-51.
“We were with them,” Marineau added. “To be 1-5 right now is a little disheartening because I know how hard these kids work every single day.”
Sophomore forward Cody Bernard (10 rebounds) added a pair of baskets down the stretch, including a fast break bucket that gave the Bellringers a 63-54 cushion with 1:00 left.
“They’ve been beating teams by 30,” said Marineau. “East Hampton’s a really good team. They shoot the ball well. Their guards drove when they had to. They play defense. That’s why they’re undefeated.”