WOODBURY – Wamogo graduated several of its stars from an undefeated Berkshire League season but not its look in an opening-night 49-32 win over fellow preseason favorite Nonnewaug Thursday evening at Nonnewaug High School.
“It was a good opening game,” Wamogo coach Gregg Hunt said. “Our press was especially effective, holding them to 14 points in the second half.”
“It’s good to be back here,” said senior guard/forward Ethan Collins, one of the remaining stars from last year and the Warriors’ Division V state runner-up finish two years ago.
“We don’t have as much talent this year, so we have to put in a lot of hard work and do things together,” said Collins, leading the Warrior charge with 18 points and 8 rebounds, including four 3-pointers, three of them at key points in the second half.
“Cole Higgins (15 points) was also a key for us,” said Coach Hunt. “Last year, he was mainly a force on offense. Tonight, he dug in on offense and defense.”
Both teams contributed to a foul-fest with pressing, trapping defenses, but the Chiefs visibly succumbed to the constant Warrior pressure by the second half, offensively and defensively.
Before that, it was a five-point Wamogo game for two quarters, drawing up to a single point with a little over two minutes left in the half on a pair of foul shots by Jon Khazzaka (team-high 13 points).
That’s when the Warriors were most reminiscent of previous editions, reeling off a 7-2 jet stream into the half on a give-and-go from Ben Roy to Collins; a steal and three-point play by Eric Odenwaelder (10 rebounds); and a baseline drive by Matt Mazzarelli.
With Collins opening up from outside in the second half and energy flowing to the Warriors, Wamogo looked back in its familiar Berkshire League spot.