TERRYVILLE — Terryville’s boys basketball team stunned defending Berkshire League Champion Wamogo 45-41 behind a breakout performance from Kangaroo newcomer Harold Garcia Tuesday night at Terryville High School.
Running track and two years of basketball at Kennedy High School before moving to Terryville for his senior year, Garcia saw limited action in Terryville’s first three games.
Tuesday, coming off the bench to climb the Kanagaroos back into the game after Wamogo ran to an 11-2 first-quarter lead, Garcia stayed on the floor for a game-high 20 points, including a key rebound and five of the final seven points that put Terryville over the top.
“It was definitely our best game,” Garcia grinned. “We played hard.”
“Harold played with great composure tonight, which he hasn’t done in our previous games,” said Terryville coach Mark Fowler. “He fits nicely into our team.”
The Kangaroos (3-1; 2-1 Berkshire League) are a fast, athletic team that needs a steadying hand in their individual races to the basket. Tuesday, Garcia was that hand.
In a well-officiated game in which most would-be drives through three defenders were not rewarded with a foul call, Wamogo began as the picture of composure in the early going.
Sophomore Charlie Coffey (team-high 15 points) scored six of the Warriors’ points on the way to the 11-2 lead signaling an early Wamogo blow-out. Cole Higghins and Ethan Collins (11 points) chipped in. It looked like old times even without several of last year’s stars.
But Fowler called time out and the whole world changed for Terryville. Garcia came in, acting as point guard for most of the rest of the game.
In the first quarter, he scored six of Wamogo’s final nine points, along with a three by Dylan Matulis, outscoring the Warriors 9-3 for a 16-13 deficit.
Garcia dinged a leg and the second quarter was a disaster for Terryville, with another five points from Coffey leading Wamogo back into control with a 29-17 lead at the half.
Sean O’Donnell’s three was Terryville’s only second-quarter field goal.
Nevertheless, Garcia was back in the second half, along with a wicked Kangaroo defensive effort.
“You can’t win when you only score 12 points in a half,” said Wamogo coach Gregg Hunt. “We had open shots. We were just off-balance when we shot them.”
With his teammates clearing the way, Garcia poured in 7 points in a 13-4 third quarter edge and another seven in the fourth.
With four minutes left, the Warriors still led 39-36. O’Donnell (11 points) drove the baseline, closing it to one. Garcia grabbed the rebound from a missed Kangaroo foul shot, turning it into Terryville’s first lead of the night, 40-39.
Odenwaelder took it back for Wamogo with a layup. Garcia completed a three-point play at the other end, 43-41, Terryville. With four seconds left, O’Donnell iced it with a pair of foul shots.
The Kangaroos were in control.