By John Torsiello
The Simsbury High School boys basketball team is off to a torrid tart, winning its first five games of the season.
“We are really playing very well offensively,” said head coach Greg Stillman, whose club finished 18-5 last season. “E.J. Crawford is one of the top scorers in the state (he was All-State and averaged 21 points a game last year), but we have other scoring threats as well. E.J. has done a nice job trusting his teammates when the defenses double team him, and his teammates are making open shots.” In a fine display of balanced scoring the Trojans have had five different players score in double figures this year.
“Our two captains, Steve Herron and J.B. Hayes, are doing a great job as our glue guys…they do all the little things it takes to win–defend, rebound, take charges, set screens, and score when necessary,” said Stillman. “Sophomore Walter Whyte is coming off the bench and leading our team in rebounds (7 a game) to go along with 9 points a game, and Jack Patrina has been steady as our backup point guard.”
Simsbury has thus far posted wins over E.O. Smith (61-52), Newington (73-62), Bulkeley (74-60), Berlin (62-53) and Hall (85-69).
“Crawford, a junior, has emerged as one of the top schoolboy players in the state and is averaging 26 points a game. Senior Nate Medve has made 18 three-point shots through five games, is second on the team in scoring at 13 a contest and has also played well defensively. Sophomore point guard Rayon Christie is third on the team in scoring at 10 a game.
“There are things we need to work on,” said Stillman. “We need to be more consistent defensively. We have shown at times that we can clamp down on our opponent, but we need to do it on a more consistent basis if we want to be more successful as a team.”
Simsbury has some big games coming up, including a huge contest at home Friday (after press time) against New Britain, which also is 5-0 and ranked seventh in the state. The Trojans also play their local rivals Granby on the road on Jan 18.