WINSTED — Gilbert’s boys basketball team buried Litchfield 77-54 under the ashes of a blazing first half at The Gilbert School Friday evening.
In an ice-cold first quarter for the Cowboys, Yellowjacket Dylan Crowley (24 points, five 3s) scored the game’s first eight points, including opening back-to-back 3-pointers surrounding his block/steal at the other end of the court.
“He’s always been like that,” said teammate Hunter Smith. “When he starts hitting his shots, it’s just crazy.”
Carlos Sarmiento added all six of his game points in the quarter, leading the Yellowjackets to 14-4 lead moving into the second quarter.
That’s when Smith lit the Gilbert bonfire. Coming off the bench, Smith ran off 17 of his 31 points for the night, including two of his four 3s.
“I just want to win,” said Smith.
Together with two more treys from Crowley, the pair raced Gilbert to a 44-21 halftime lead and an early goodnight for the Cowboys.
Smith and Crowley kept the fire burning with all 15 of Gilbert’s third-quarter points, despite the Cowboys’ return to life behind Litchfield’s Daniel Dieck (18 points) and 6-for-6 shooting from the foul line by Matt Rousseau (12 points).
Nevertheless, the second half played dead-even and the Cowboys still smoldered.
Smith pulled down six offensive rebounds to go with his scoring. Sarmiento, playing under the weather, had 11 defensive rebounds. Sean Plourde added 12 more.
Yellowjacket coach Mark Douglass was in much better shape on the one-year anniversary of a heart attack following this same matchup, but, despite the score, still had some issues.
“We have to learn to be more patient on offense and work on our fouls,” said Douglass.
Still, it was a night to celebrate a healthy team and coach for Gilbert.
“We did a good job on the boards and got good play from our bench,” he grinned.