Hearst Connecticut Media file photo
Hamden Hall leading scorer Christian Adams drives the paint against St. Luke’s last year. Hamden Hall faces St. Luke’s at home Tuesday.
The last time Hamden Hall faced such an extended layoff in between boys basketball games, it was 17 days long, including the change of the calendar year.
Doherty had gone out and scheduled Canterbury because that team eliminated Hamden Hall in the opening round of the NEPSAC Class B tournament. After a close first half, Canterbury took over in the second half to win 75-65 and hand Hamden Hall (12-1) its only loss.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well in the second half. I’d love to play them in the NEPSAC (tournament) again,” Doherty said.
For now, the Hornets need to focus on defending their FAA title. Like Hamden Hall, St. Luke’s comes in unbeaten in the league.
Captains Tre Breland, Christian Adams and Tim Dawson have been “the rocks” as well as captains for the program. All three were integral parts of last year’s run to the FAA championship.
“Ever since they walked in the door, they have done everything we have asked of them: being good students, good citizens and hard workers on the court,” Doherty said. “Those guys have never let me down and I’m on them pretty hard.”
Jahkai Pettway is another starter, providing some necessary scoring and rebounding. Chris Cahill has been a valuable sixth man, providing some outside shooting when the defensive focus has been on the others.
Guard Jackson Benigni has a 40-point game and two others over 30, scoring in a variety of ways for the Hornets.
“He doesn’t take a crazy amount of shots to get those points. His shooting percentage is really good,” Doherty said. “He can get to the rim, he’s crafty around the basket. He’s not as athletic as Tre or Christian but he gets to the rim, he doesn’t miss free throws and gets fouled a lot.”
The one weakness for Hamden Hall is a lack of depth. It really hasn’t come into play yet.
“I think the 16-minute halves have helped us. Our style of play is up and down and it keeps the clock running. The guys have done a good job keeping out of foul trouble.”
The regular-season champion gets home-court advantage throughout the league playoffs, so Tuesday’s winner will have a leg up heading to the home stretch of the regular season.