Category: Sports

Retiree Golf League now registering

The 5th Annual Retiree Golf League is getting ready for another season. It is open to all retiree area residents- including Southington, Terryville, Farmington, Burlington, Plainville, and Plymouth residents. Participants play atPequabuck Golf Club, 56 School St., Terryville. The league…

In home opener, Bristol Central prevails



BRISTOL – Any type of high scoring hoopster that competes against the boys basketball team from Bristol Central better be prepared for a bit of an off-shooting night.

That’s exactly the situation Conard’s Aidan Maloney experienced in his squad’s battle against the Rams on the first night of the Bristol Central Holiday Tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Maloney – a 29 point-per-game scorer for Conard – notched only 12 as Central downed the Chieftains 50-34 from the Charles C. Marsh Gymnasium in Bristol on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

It was the first game for Central at home this season.

Conard (1-2) was held to a season low 34 points, started the game with 13 straight misses from the field, and could never get a foothold in the showdown thanks to another stingy defensive effort by the Rams.

“I asked the guys [in the locker room] what was the first drill we did all year at the first day of tryouts? They said we did defensive work,” said Central coach Tim Barrette. “And I told [the players] that’s what’s going to win you games and right now, I attribute our 3-0 record to defensive play.”

“We have a goal right now of keeping teams to 40 points or less. We’ve done a pretty good job of that through the first three games.”

But despite all the miseries for Conard, Central couldn’t stretch out the lead with any significance because of poor shooting and several miscues on its own part.

Seventeen turnovers foiled the home team offensively and the starting unit just shot under 35-percent from the field for the game, allowing the Chieftains to hang around in the affair.

“We didn’t perform offensively,” said Barrette. “We were in a rush tonight. You know, it was the first home game. I think people were excited, trying to score, making aggressive moves but we couldn’t finish near the hoop. We were rushing our possessions. We didn’t let our offense run through and tonight, we forced a bunch [of shots] but our defense on the other end bailed us out.”

It wasn’t all bad offensively as the bench, led by the hustle and guile of Mike Lemke and Eddie Irizarry, went a long way in keeping Conard at bay.

Lemke once again provided his usual spark, collecting six points, five rebounds while dishing off three assists over the winning effort.

“I think Mike did nice job,” said Barrette of Lemke. “That’s why he’s not in the starting lineup because Mike provides a sixth man’s energy. We really like what he provides off the bench, offensively and energy wise.”

Irizarry posted six points as the bench canned seven-of-11 field goals overall.

But the biggest contributor of the affair was the overall play of Central guard Dathan Hickey.

Hickey played a smart offensive game, hitting five-of-six field goals for a season high 10 points.

Defensively, he contributed a couple of steals and had the loudest block of the night, rejecting a Maloney three-point bomb attempt that quickly sailed out of bounds.

His defense on Maloney made all the difference in the showdown and that effort is becoming a staple of what the Bristol Central program will be all about all season long.

“Dathan Hickey did a heck of a job on a hell of a player,” said Barrette. “I don’t know what Maloney finished with tonight but I know he’s been averaging 29 points-per-game and he wasn’t anywhere near that. He worked for every point he got tonight.”

With Conard misfiring on its first 13 shots, missing 19 of its first 24 shots overall from the field, Central captured and kept the lead throughout game play.

Irizarry came off the bench for two quick hoops to end the first period as his final lay-up gave Central a 10-4 edge after eight minutes of play.

Early in the second stanza, Hickey cashed in on an offensive rebound put-back and when Spencer canned a lay-up, it was a 15-4 game with 6:30 left to go in the first half.

The Chieftains remained pesky and when Maloney hit two charity tosses with 2:01 remaining before intermission, the Central lead was chopped to 20-13.

But Irizarry then tallied his final hoop of the game and Spencer splashed home a three to propelled Central to a 25-16 halftime push that felt more like a 20-point lead than nine.

The Rams’ lead reached 14 in the third period when Hickey dropped in another lay-up and Lemke posted a three-pointer but consecutive buckets from Conard made it a 36-26 contest with eight minutes to play.

In the fourth tilt, Central still couldn’t shake Conard but with 4:26 to go – and the Rams carrying a 44-32 edge – Barrette went to his stalling tactics and the Chieftains were held to just two points the rest of the way.

“I was proud of them because we haven’t really had to do that yet and we haven’t done a good job (at those stalling tactics),” said Barrette. “Last week at Wethersfield, we didn’t close the door. We kept turning the ball over. We didn’t do that in the final three minutes tonight. And we took good shots.”

“We took lay-ups or we went to the free throw line.”

The Rams attacked the hoop with zest and when Spencer came down the lane for a loud tomahawk dunk, the gymnasium exploded with 1:48 left and the Central lead ballooned to 47-32.

Luis Diaz ended the scoring with a lay-up and a free throw and at the final horn, Central won the contest by 16, keeping the high scoring Maloney and the Chieftains in check.

“That’s the margin of victory tonight,” said Barrette about keeping Maloney 17 points under his average. “We won by almost 17 and we held him 17 points below what he’s been scoring. So I give my guys a lot of credit for following the game plan.”

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