LITCHFIELD >> Feel free to check off the Wamogo boys basketball team as one of next year’s Berkshire League favorites right now.
Friday night, the Warriors (9-9) dismantled an athletic Housatonic team 59-37 while demonstrating the growth – up and together – a young team can make in a season under a good coaching staff.
“We’ve become one unit,” said six-foot freshman guard Garrett Sattazahn, arriving from Georgia just before school started.
“We started 0-3 when we didn’t talk to each other after practice,” said sophomore Garrett Coe, who began the season at 6-3, 200 pounds, and now ranges into an athletic 6-5, 220.
“We’ve pulled together and now we have pasta parties,” Coe said.
The two of them scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, but the team togetherness is at least as impressive as the two stars of Friday’s game.
Coe did the “big man’s job,” pulling in 13 rebounds, but he also made seven assists from the high post – not just pick and roll stuff, but pinpoint bullet passes to teammates getting open in the corners and underneath.
Friday, it worked the other way as well. With time running out in a quarter, many teams try to set up an open shooter or make a dash for the hoop.
The Warriors did it with rapid-fire passes ending in easy layups.
Coe was the beneficiary twice against Housatonic – on a great end-pass from freshman Eric Zappone with seconds left in the first period, then from junior Owen Hofmann to end the third.
Housatonic Coach Spike Magyar said, “We have young athletes that aren’t skilled; theirs are so skilled they don’t have to be athletic.”
Size and bench strength also helps the Warrior cause.
“We’ve been outsized all year and our lack of depth is killing us,” said Magyar, whose played most teams close this year, despite a 5-13 record.
Wamogo’s Coe is joined by 6-2 junior Max Loomis, a wide-body who can come outside as well as in. When Coach Gregg Hunt needs extra height, he can call on 6-3 senior Logan King.
Nevertheless, it still goes back to the team and its development. Quick passing and close defense are a Hunt team trademark, but this team has learned to use its talents.
“(Coe) has come a long way,” said Hunt. “He’s been a defensive presence all year. In the last four games, he’s begun to take on an offensive load as well.”
With fresh legs, the Mountaineers led for much of the first quarter before Wamogo found its rhythm.
Mountaineers Max Vadakin (10 points) and Jacob Shpur (11 points) hit a pair of threes. Pat Considine (11 points) hit a layup.
The Mountaineers led 9-4 with two minutes left in the quarter.
Coe scored the next five points for a 9-9 tie at the end of one, then started the second quarter with another athletic layup.
Housy’s Considine sank two foul shots. They were the only Mountaineer points of the quarter as the Warriors launched a game-ending string of togetherness.
Freshman Reid Turturo hit an eight-foot bank; Loomis made a steal; Sattazahn hit from the foul line; Coe found King underneath for a layup; Loomis grabbed his second steal; Coe hit a turn-around two-footer; Sattazahn, steal and layup off a Coe pass; Coe block/steal; Hofmann and Pete Schneider hit outside; Loomis, layup on his own put-back.
The quarter ended 27-11.
The only thing left for the Warriors was the applause.
And perhaps a suspicion that, despite an early-season drubbing by league-leading Nonnewaug and an upset by Thomaston Thursday, the Warriors aren’t willing to wait for next year.
Wamogo 59, Housatonic 37
At Wamogo High School
Housatonic 9 2 10 16 – 37
Wamogo 9 18 12 20 – 59
Jacob Schpur 4-0-11; Eli Bronson 1-0-3; Zack Larson 0-1-1; Hunter Lyle 0-0-0; Pat Considine 5-0-11; Max Vadakin 3-3-10; Kirk Sprague 0-0-0; Jaconb Johnson 0-0-0; Justin Dean 0-0-0; Alex Kellner 0-1-1; Totals: 13-5-37.
Sean Coffey 2-0-4; Reid Turtoro 2-0-5; Garrett Sattazahn 7-0-15; Pete Schneider 2-0-4; Nick Crowley 1-0-2; Eric Zappone 0-0-0; Owen Hofmann 2-0-4; Garrett Coe 6-2-14; Logan King 1-0-2; Luke Waldron 0-0-0; Spencer Birkett 1-0-2; Max Loomis 2-0-7; Totals: 27-2-59.
3-point goals: H – Shpur 3; Bronson; Considine; Vadakin. W – Turturo; Sattazahn; Loomis.
Records: Housatonic 5-13; Wamogo 9-9.