BRISTOL – The junior varsity contest between the Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern boys basketball squads is always an excellent bout before the main event varsity tilt and on Monday, Feb. 18, the JV rematch did not disappoint.
The first game went in favor of the Lancers. But this time around, the Rams came away with the victory.
Eastern kept the event a two-possession game going into the fourth period. But once Central tallied a double-digit lead, the Lancers never caught up and eventually fell to the Rams 39-27 from the Charles C. Marsh Gymnasium in Bristol.
While no one scored in double-figures for the game, Central freshmen Carson Rivoira played well, coming off the pine for nine points while Roberto Negron-Cruz added eight as the bench netted 21 total points for the winning side.
Starters Mike Lorenzetti, Calvin Neal, and Dillon Hudson all scored six points for Central.
Defensively, Lorenzetti and Rivoira helped the Rams compile eight blocked shots on the afternoon and that defensive effort went a long way for the home team.
The Lancers, who couldn’t rip the invisible lid off the rim, got nine points from Trini Otero off the bench as he hit 4-of-8 field goals.
Tyler Donohue nabbed nine offensive rebounds in the game, getting 11 overall, stole the ball five and scored six points.
Dylan Woodsome tallied four points and four rebounds before leaving the contest with a nasty shoulder injury while Ryan Fradette added four points, five rebounds, and four steals.
Elijah Borgelin grabbed five rebounds; and Drew Fries had three points and two assists off the bench for the Lancers.
Eastern shot just 18-percent for the game, missing 16-of-17 three-pointers along the way.
The Lancers nabbed 18 steals in the game, forcing 24 turnovers overall, but lost the lead midway through the second frame and never got it back.
Neal hit a three to give Central an early lead in the game while Rivoira canned a lay-up but could not shake the visitors.
Donohue dropped in a floater; while Otero scooped up three points to end the first frame as the Lancers led by one, 6-5.
Matt D’Amato found Donohue for an early hoop in the second tilt and with 6:15 before the half, Eastern held an 8-5 push.
But Central went on a 9-1 run – highlighted by two threes from Negron-Cruz – to pace the home team to a 14-9 edge with 3:07 left before the half.
Fries then hit three foul shots and Donohue drained his final hoop of the game to knot the score at 14-14.
But Central ended the half with four quick points – getting a huge NBA range three-pointer by Tre Jones at the buzzer – to push the Rams to a 18-14 edge at intermission.
In the third quarter, Rivoira scored all seven of the squad’s points; while Fradette hit for four of Eastern’s seven as Central still led it by four, 25-21 through three completed frames.
The Lancers’ offense was held scoreless for nearly four minutes to open the final stanza; while Lorenzetti and Hudson dropped in lay-ups and floaters. With 4:41 left to play, it was a 10-point game at 31-21.
Otero hit three straight hoops for Eastern, attempting to jumpstart the offense. But with 1:40 to go, the Rams were still in charge at 35-27.
The home team drilled 4-of-6 free throws to ice the game as Central split the season series with Eastern 1-1, taking the final contest of the year by 12 points at 39-27.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Michael Letendre, email him at MLetendre@BristolObserver.com.