By John Torsiello
The Simsbury High School boys basketball team had a huge win over visiting New Britain last Friday night, 74-61.
Both teams came in undefeated but only the Trojans remained that way after the contest, moving to 6-0 on the campaign.
“It was a fun night,” said Simsbury head coach Greg Stillman, “We had a packed house with a good turnout of both teams’ fans.”
New Britain played without their All-Central Connecticut Conference center, Craven Johnson, but still brought a talented team led by Annuel St. Juste, who was averaging 26 points a game coming in.
Simsbury jumped out to an early 19-13 lead in the first quarter, led by E.J. Crawford’s nine points. Even with Crawford on the bench with two fouls, The Trojans stretched their lead out to 32-22 at half time.
New Britain made a run in the second half led by forward Curtis Hyman, who scored 19 points and added 15 rebounds in the contest, and took the lead, 56-55, with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
But Simsbury responded to the challenge on their home court as Rayon Christie made a huge three-point play off a nice pass from Crawford and Simsbury regained the lead. The Trojans seemed energized by the bucket and finished the game on a 19-7 run to win by 13.
“It was much closer than the score would indicate,” said Stillman.
Simsbury shot 19-of-22 from the line, which was crucial to the Trojans’ success. Crawford, who is having a big start to the new season after earning all-NCCC and All-State honors last year, led all scorers with 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds, followed by Christie’s 14.
Said Stillman, “J.B. Hayes did a tremendous job defending St. Juste throughout the game, holding him to 17 points. Steve Herron played strong defense on the interior and scored eight points.”
He added, “It was a big win, but we have a long way to go and a lot of tough games on our schedule. We have a game at Southington on Thursday and a rivalry game coming up at Granby, the defending Class S state champion.”