MIDDLETOWN >> The Middletown girls basketball team took control with a 17-0 first half run and routed Bristol Central, 67-33, Thursday night at LaBella-Sullivan Gymnasium.
Senior center Brielle Wilborn netted a game-high 18 points, while Jenny Barbour and Sylvan Barcomb each had 10 points for the Blue Dragons, who have won four straight since a loss against Glastonbury on Jan. 14.
Middletown (14-1) was coming off an overtime win over Berlin on Monday.
“That was a tough game,” Middletown coach Rob Smernoff said. “Both Brielle and Dominique (Highsmith) fouled out and played limited minutes. The rest of the team really stepped up and they carried over that confidence tonight.”
Smernoff, however, wasn’t happy with the opening minutes against the undersized and undermanned Rams (1-13), who have dropped 11 straight. The Blue Dragons led just 8-6 when Smernoff signaled for a timeout.
“We weren’t playing poorly but we’ve really made it a goal that we don’t want to be good this year, we want to do everything we can to try and be a great team,” Smernoff said. “So I was just frustrated because we just weren’t playing at the level we’re capable of. The timeout got us focused and the last 12 minutes of the first half we played outstanding.”
The Blue Dragons responded with 17 consecutive points, capped by a 3-pointer from sophomore Mackenzie Dunn, and led 25-6 early in the second quarter.
“I really thought Mackenzie played an outstanding game on Monday night and tonight,” Smernoff said. “We can see the jmprovement in so many of the kids and that’s what makes me happy as a coach.”
The Blue Dragons built a 42-11 halftime advantage.
Barcomb’s short jumper in the lane and a fast break layup from Barbour gave Middletown a 52-19 lead with 2:38 left in the third.
Sophomore Ashley Watson finished with 13 points for Bristol Central.
“Coach (Steve) Gaudet is a terrific coach and we’ve had some great battles with them,” Smernoff added. “The last thing we were going to do was to keep pressing. It doesn’t serve any purpsoe. So we were able to work on some half-court things tonight.”
Middletown also improved to 11-0 in the Central Connecticut Conference’s South-White Division. The Blue Dragons have a two-game lead over Rocky Hill and will look to clinch their second straight division crown next week against Platt (Jan. 30) and Plainville (Feb. 3).
“That’s been our focus,” Smernoff said. “Let’s win the division and do it as quickly as possible.”