MIDDLETOWN >> Pomperaug rained three-pointers on Middletown’s parade in the first half and ran away to a 75-54 CCC interleague win over the Blue Dragons Friday evening at the LaBella-Sullivan gym.
The Panthers had six treys in the first half as they built a 31-20 lead. Then they sealed the deal with a 22-6 run in the third quarter, turning a 32-23 lead to 54-29. The Panthers were out of sight at 54-33 after three.
“I thought we were excellent,” said Pomperaug coach Steve Yactis. “We made the extra pass and we knocked down shots. We were able to play the game at the pace we wanted to play.”
Middletown played the game without its best player, Brandon Simmons.
“His parents took him off the team until his grades improve,” said Middletown coach Dave Sytulek. “I don’t know how long that’s going to be; they haven’t said. But we are obviously a very different team without him.
“We’re going to have to adjust our offense in light of his absence. We played without him in the tournament last year when he broke his thumb, but we had 10 days to prepare and we beat Naugatuck. But we had only one day notice this time and that makes it tough.”
Simmons had 20 points, eight rebounds and four blocks against East Hartford in the Blue Dragons season opening defeat.
Lucien Fortier, a three-year starter for Pomperaug, led all scorers with 24 points, including four threes.
“Lucien will shoot threes all day,” said Yactis. “We shot them very well tonight, but the rest of the guys are hot and cold.”
Sytulek knew all about Fortier.
“He’s a good player,” said Sytulek. “He had a good game against us last year. I knew they have good shooters; I knew they were capable of having this kind of night.”
Middletown had a dreadful shooting night, making just 18-of-70 shots for 26 percent. “I thought we played better offensively in the second half once we made some adjustments,” said Sytulek. “But we didn’t play good defense. We will have to play better defense. We were unable to stop them in the second half. We had some people play well in spots, but not enough.”
Savon Williams had 16 points and Jordan Robinson had 12 to lead Middletown (0-2), which trailed 16-9 after one.
Besides Fortier, Sam Rubinstein (14) and Cooper Mooney (13) were in double figures for Pomperaug (1-0).
Middletown plays at Bristol Eastern Monday