WATERBURY >> After the Holy Cross Crusaders cut the deficit to single digits, Torrington senior John McCarthy took over, scoring 12 of the final 15 points the Red Raiders scored leading them to a 69-55 win on the road.
“John showed senior leadership,” said Torrington head coach Eric Gamari. “He played like a senior.”
The Red Raiders led by 15 points going into the final quarter when the Crusaders press began to force Torrington to turn the ball over.
“We started to panic late,” said McCarthy who scored a game high 24 points. “I just told them to calm down.”
McCarthy was able to get open and get into the lane.
“Our main goal is to get me or Zak (Mancini) the ball,” said McCarthy. “I was able to get to the hoop, draw contact and get to the line.”
He made seven free throws in the final quarter alone to put the game away. Mancini added 17 points in the win.
“He has a lot of experience,” said Holy Cross head coach Ed Generali. “When we got it to single digits, he really stepped up.”
Early on the Red Raiders were getting beat on the boards and Gamari turned to freshman Dom Sabia for help underneath.
“Dom, he’s right where he should be, he has a nose for the ball,” Gamari said.
“He doesn’t play like a freshman, he knows how to play basketball,” said McCarthy.”
Both teams came into the game with a 2-0 record on the season and traveling down to Waterbury to play Holy Cross is never an easy task.
“Never confident coming down here,” said Gamari smiling.
“It’s hard to play here, but we knew we could play here and beat them.”
After a slow first quarter for both teams, 12-8, the Red Raiders picked it up outscoring the Crusaders 19-10 in the second quarter and after a big put back by Desmond Langs at the buzzer, they were able to take a 31-18 lead into halftime.
“All good things happen when we do what we’re supposed to do,” said Gamari.
In the third quarter the Red Raiders jumped out to a comfortable 42-24 lead before the Crusaders began its comeback.
“I told them to just forget about the scoreboard and just play,” said Generali. “I think we played as hard as we could.”
Torrington though was able to weather the storm late in the third, with Mancini scoring nine points in the quarter and Langs making plays under the hoop.
“Des played great in the third,” said Gamari. “He helped on defense.”
The Crusaders took the momentum from the end of third into the fourth before McCarthy was able to take control of the game.
“We just needed to be patient and not get too excited,” said Gamari.
With its first loss of the season, Generali isn’t worried.
“We’re counting on some young guys to win games, I think it will get better, we are still figuring out our roles,” he said. “It’s a long season and we have to move forward from this game.”
Torrington is 3-0 on the season and though happy with the start they will play Crosby, who is ranked No. 3 in the latest New Haven Register/GameTimeCT poll.
“It gives us confident to compete with anyone,” said McCarthy of his teams start. “We have Crosby on Friday so we will see where we stand.”
Torrington 69 Holy Cross 55
At Holy Cross High School
Torrington 12 19 16 22 – 69
Holy Cross 8 10 14 23 – 55
Torrington (69): John McCarthy 7-10-24; Zak Mancini 6-5-17; Dom Sabia 3-3-9; Victor Diaz 2-1-5; Connor Finn 2-0-5; Mitch Zagrodnik 2-3-5; Desmond Langs 2-0-4; Jake Boccio 0-0-0; Spencer Mourges 0-0-0; Tim Consodine 0-0-0; Totals: 22-22-69.
Holy Cross (55): Ethen Mester 5-2-15; Jonathan Mowatt 2-3-7; Dom Mascolo 3-1-7; Joe Kalosky 1-4-6; Chris Lynch 3-0-6; James Thorpe 2-0-5; Chris Anderson 2-1-5; Shawn Coles 1-0-2; Chris Cipiriano 0-2-2; Justin Stielkauskas 0-0-0; Eric Prates 0-0-0; Justin Witherspoon 0-0-0; Totals: 15-13-55.
3-point goals: T – Connor Finn. HC – Ethan Mester 3; James Thorpe.
Records: Torrington 3-0 Holy Cross 2-1.