TERRYVILLE >> In a battle between the first and second place teams in the Berkshire League, it was the Terryville Kangaroos who rolled over the Lewis Mills Spartans 70-45 to remain atop of the league.
“Yes it was definitely a statement game,” said Terryville junior, Shea Tracy. “It’s the only word for this game.”
In the small yet packed Terryville High School gymnasium, fans packed the stands and stands had to added behind the basket after the first quarter, the energy was high and both teams came in pumped up, especially the Kangaroo’s’ Tracy had another reason to be jacked up for the game.
“That’s my old school, I went to middle school there,” said Tracy. “I had to make a statement.”
Lewis Mills head coach, Todd Kozak, though a big fan of high energy thought that some of his players weren’t ready for this big game. Unlike Terryville, none of the Spartans players have played in a State Tournament game let alone a Berkshire League tournament game, he said.
“Definitely nerves, had some guys who weren’t ready for it,” said Kozak.
After the tip and a missed Spartans (6-2) basket, Tracy nailed the first of his seven three-pointers, right in front of the Mills’ student section and stared them down as he ran down the court.
“They can’t bring a crowd like that into my gym,” said Tracy, who finished with a game high 24 points.
The rout was on after that as the Kangaroos (7-1) took a 20-6 lead into the first quarter, Tracy scored seven points in the opening frame.
“We let their shooters get open shots and get into a rhythm,” said Kozak. “Shea has buddies on the team and he had something to prove.”
Other than the sharp shooting early, the Kangaroos were able to contain the Spartans offense.
“It was a statement for us on defense, we grew up and really played defense,” said Terryville head coach Mark Fowler. “We set the tone in the gym with great defense.”
“We knew they had some shooters, so we cut off passing lanes and did our job on help defenses,” added senior Jake Johnson.
By the end of the second quarter the Kangaroos had extended their lead to 16 points and had the ball for the last shot. Tracy again lined up behind the three-point line and sank another three-pointer at the buzzer to give them a 19 point lead going into the locker room.
“Shea hits that three and the end of the half and now they are looking at a 19 point deficit,” said Fowler. “That’s a hard hole to climb out of.”
At halftime Fowler told his team to keep on playing good defense, to keep attacking and hitting the boards.
“Mills takes so much time on offense,” said Fowler. “We had a lot of patience and didn’t let up.”
At the start of the third quarter Tracy went back to work hitting three three-pointers to open the half and extend the Kangaroos lead to 28 points and lead them to a 35 point win.
“He was really pumped up for this game,” said Johnson. “He loves beating them.”
Along with Tracy’s 24, Johnson scored 18 points and Tyler Trillo added 12 points for the Kangaroos’ Big 3. Johnson finds himself eight points away from breaking the 1,000 point plateau.
Spencer Maloney led all Spartans scorers with 17 points in the loss.
With the loss Lewis Mills falls to 6-2 on the season and drops to third in the Berkshire League, after Gilbert (4-1) beat Nonnewaug, 63-50 on Friday night.
“This game was a measuring stick to see where we are in the league,” said Kozak.
Terryville now 7-1, a two-point loss to out of conference opponent Cromwell, will play the second place team in the Berkshire League for the second game in a row next Tuesday when they host Gilbert at 7 p.m.
“It’s the second place team again, we got to be ready and bring the same energy,” said Fowler. “We’re playing for first place.”
Terryville 70 Lewis Mills 45
At Terryville High School
Terryville: 20 15 16 19 – 70
Lewis Mills 6 10 9 20 – 45
Terryville (70): Tyler Trillo 5-0-12; Ian Schmidt 1-1-3; Luke Boylan 0-0-0; Shea Tracy 7-1-24; Taylor Donofrio 0-0-0; Jake Johnson 7-4-18; Rich Moschini 0-0-0; Sean Huria 2-0-4; Jeff Dupaul 2-0-5; Zack Graham 2-0-4; Totals: 26-7-70.
Lewis Mills (45): Spencer Maloney 6-3-17; Alexander Daigle 1-2-4; Dan Kryzanski 1-2-4; Nate Cook 2-7-11; Max Waddington 0-0-0; Justin Pease 0-5-5; Danny Wilcox 1-2-4; Totals: 11-21-45.
3 – point goals: T – Shea Tracy 7; Tyler Trillo 2; Jeff Dupaul. LM – Spencer Maloney 2.
Records: Terryville 7-1, Lewis Mills 6-2.