By John Torsiello
The Simsbury High School boys basketball team’s record stood at 14-2 beginning play this week. The Trojans split two games last week, beating Hall, 61-57, and losing to New Britain, 75-75. Both games were on the road.
Simsbury got off to strong start against Hall, leading 20-13 after the first quarter, but went ice cold in the second quarter, scoring a season low five points and went into halftime tied at 25. After trading baskets for the next quarter and a half, the Trojans went on a run to take a six-point lead with four minutes remaining in the game, keyed by a three-pointer from All-Stater E.J. Crawford and a steal and layup by Rayon Christie. After Hall made a three-pointer to cut the lead to three, Crawford responded with a three-point play to bring the lead back up to six.
Said had coach Greg Stillman, “Probably the play of the game was an offensive rebound put back by Walter Whyte on a missed free throw with under two minutes left and our lead at four points.”
Simsbury had an uncharacteristically poor shooting night, shooting 44 percent from the field and 52 percent (11-of-21) from the line. Crawford led the way with 25 points, 12 coming in the decisive fourth quarter.
Said Stillman, “Against New Britain, we ran into a team that was focused and on a mission to avenge its loss to us earlier in the season. They jumped on us 7-0 in the first 40 seconds of the game, forcing us to play from behind for the rest of the night.”
Simsbury trailed by as much as 14 early in the first quarter, but continued to battle throughout the game, eventually cutting the lead to four, 41-37, early in the third quarter. In the end New Britain’s one-two punch of Annuel St. Juste and Craven Johnson proved to be much for the Trojans on this night, as the two scored 36 and 21 points respectively to lead the Hurricanes to victory.
Simsbury had four players score in double digits–Crawford (26), Nate Medve (16), J.B. Hayes (12), and Whyte (11).
The win gave New Britain a one-game lead over Simsbury in the Central Connecticut Conference West race.