TORRINGTON >> Goodwin Tech’s boys basketball team beat Wolcott Tech 53-31 in a game that spotlights the challenges involved in the Constitution State Conference.
The CSC, largely composed of tech schools and magnet schools across the state, has very successful basketball teams in their midst, highlighted by Capital Prep in Hartford.
The two teams at Wolcott Tech Thursday night are not among them this year. The Gladiators are 3-6; Wolcott Tech is 0-10.
“We’re young,” said Goodwin Tech Coach Reuben Charles. That includes a 6-foot-8 senior who’s never played basketball before this year.
So, while some tech schools have trouble keeping their teams together, often because of work-study assignments, others have trouble getting athletes to come out to begin with.
Wolcott Tech is full of salt-of-the-earth kids who play hard with much to learn about what to do on the court. Many of Goodwin Tech’s young kids have much to learn about what not to do – i.e. throwing up garbage shots that work on the playground, but not against organized teams.
Nevertheless, there were bright spots on both sides Thursday night.
The Gladiators led from start to finish, but Wolcott Tech stayed close for the first quarter.
When Wildcat senior Brandon Oakes banked a three-footer to start the second period, the score was 10-6, Goodwin Tech.
Goodwin Tech’s gift is quickness. It helped bring them to the foul line four straight times in the next four minutes. When senior Keiyan Rivera (game-high 18 points) added an outside shooting touch on a halftime buzzer-beating 3-pointer, the Gladiator lead was 26-10.
For Wolcott Tech, the early bright spot was ball handling. Crisp quick passes gave the Wildcats scoring chances. Poise and good passes got them through a tight Goodwin Tech press. They had trouble with Gladiator traps and forced passes and shots underneath.
Goodwin center O’Shea McKenzie is inexperienced but makes life tough under the basket. When the Wildcats found their outside shooting touch in the third quarter, with three treys in a row, by Louis Perlotto and a back-to-back pair by Mitch Sorenson, there was hope for the Wildcats.
Then 6-4 sophomore Nick Barny came off the bench for his first layup and there was more – not for this game, but for the future. Goodwin Tech led 40-21 at the end of three quarters, but Barney’s eight-point fourth quarter performance lit up the Wildcat team.
“Mitch is coming along,” said Coach Rene Williams. “He plays with a lot of heart and he hates to lose as badly as I do.”
Better still, Barney spent the fourth quarter making good Tech passes look great. Jimmy Lamanna found him for one easy layup.
Barney did it on his own with a smooth left-handed move for another. Oakes fed him a great pass for still another layup. Barney finished the game with a nice-touch two-footer. Gladiator youth is a future asset for Coach Charles.
A young talent like Barney to build around puts veteran coach Williams back in the game as well.
Goodwin Tech 53, Wolcott Tech 31
At Wolcott Tech High School
Goodwin Tech 10 16 14 13 – 53
Wolcott Tech 4 6 11 10 – 31
Goodwin Tech (53): Francisco Santiago 5-5-15; Carlos Rivera 0-0-0; Keiyan Rivera 6-3-18; O’Shea McKenzie 2-0-4; Devon White 1-2-4; Josh Peeples 2-1-5; Damion Martin 2-0-4; Kevin Figueroa 0-0-0l Gabe Cruz 0-0-0; Tom Hughes 1-0-3; Totals: 18-11-53.
Wolcott Tech (31): Mitch Sorenson 3-2-10; Louis Perlotto 1-2-5; Chris Stewart 1-0-2; Brandon Oakes 2-0-4; Nick Barney 5-0-10; Jimmy Lamanna 0-0-0; Carter Wheeler 0-0-0; Totals: 12-7-31.
3-point goals: GT – K. Rivera 3; Hughes. WT – Sorenson 2; L. Perlotto.
Records: Goodwin Tech 3-6; Wolcott Tech 0-10.
Wolcott Tech 34, Whitney Tech 26
Wolcott Tech’s girls basketball team beat Whitney Tech in Hamden as the only other area team in action Thursday night.
Taylor Wheeler had 14 points, including a 12-for-12 night at the foul line. Allison Benson (7 rebounds), Shelby Lafferty (6 rebounds) and Tanesha Peterson (5 rebounds) controlled the boards for the 4-7
Wildcats. Whitney Tech is 3-8.