TORRINGTON >> Torrington’s boys basketball team used a huge second quarter to come from behind against Holy Cross, then hung on for a 72-70 win at Torrington High School Tuesday night.
Bench players were huge for the Red Raiders in a second quarter that featured six three-pointers, including four in a row by non-starters Spencer Mourges (11 points, three 3s) and Jerry Aguero (two 3s).
“Coach said we needed to have people on the bench step up,” said Mourges, a senior co-captain.
“What a good thing for the seniors,” said Torrington coach Eric Gamari. “Kudos for Spencer and Jerry.”
“Torrington has some great shooters,” said Holy Cross coach Ed Generali.
The Raiders buried nine 3s in the first half, none in the second.
The shots fell when Torrington needed them most.
Torrington won by 14 at Holy Cross (69-55). The Crusaders showed their improvement from the opening tip at Torrington.
Raider co-captain John McCarthy (19 points, two 3s) hit the first three he tried, for an early 3-2 lead. Then Holy Cross showed its quickness in 10 straight points, including seven of sophomore Jonathan Mowatt’s game-high 20.
In danger of a knockout run at 12-5, McCarthy, Connor Finn and Mourges delivered a 10-2 Torrington response, 14-13.
The Raiders couldn’t hold the momentum.
Crusader freshman Shawn Coles, a 6-10 center, showed up on the boards with a put-back and a dunk. Torrington’s Mitch Zagrodnik (19 points) made a pair of foul shots. Cross senior Chris Anderson closed the quarter out with a layup, 20-15.
Torrington needed its bench.
Zagrodnik, solid all game, carried the early second-quarter torch for the Raiders with a put-back.
Crusader Chris Lynch extended the Cross lead to 24-17 with four foul shots in a row.
Then Mourges and Aguero made their move. Mourges went first with back-to-back treys. Zagrodnik, with eight points for the quarter, worked for another put-back and a foul shot.
Aguero stepped up for his first three, earning the Raiders their first lead since the opening seconds, then hit another one from the corner to give it some oomph, 32-30, with 2:40 left in the quarter.
If anyone doubted Torrington’s first-half shooting touch, Zak Mancini buried the question with a buzzer-beating bomb from just past half court, banking off the backboard and in.
The score was 42-34, but the Crusaders weren’t done.
Cross’ Coles and Dom Mascolo delivered their biggest quarter in the third with six points apiece, trailing 59-53 going into the fourth.
A three from Mowatt had the deficit down to one point, 63-62, early in the period.
Zagrodnik and McCarthy carried it back to six, 68-62.
Mowatt and Coles tied it up, 70-70, 35 seconds left.
McCarthy drove for the winning layup with 7 seconds to spare.
Still, it wasn’t over until Raider Desmond Langs, off the bench, stole an inbounds pass, three seconds left.
Torrington 72, Holy Cross 70
At Torrington High School
Holy Cross 20 14 21 15—70
Torrington 15 27 17 13—72
Holy Cross (70): Ethen Mester 2-0-5; Jonathan Mowatt 6-6-20; Chris Anderson 4-0-9; Chris Lynch 0-6-6; Dom Mascolo 3-3-9; Joe Kalosky 0-0-0; Shawn Coles 7-0-14; Justin Strielkauskas 1-0-2; Totals: 24-18-70.
Torrington (72): Victor Diaz 0-0-0; Zak Mancini 3-2–9; Jerry Aguero 2-0-6; John McCarthy 5-7-19; Connor Finn 2-0-4; Mitch Zagrodnik 7-4-19; Spencer Mourges 4-0-11; Desmond Langs 2-0-4; Dom Sabia 0-0-0; Totals: 25-13-72.
3-point goals: HC—Mester; Mowatt 2; Anderson. T—Mancini; Aguero 2; McCarthy 2; Zagrodnik; Mourges 3.
Records: Holy Cross 6-8; Torrington 8-6.