Trojans boys cagers fall to Newtown in tourney
Published 4:35 pm, Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Falling behind cost the Weston boys basketball team last Wednesday in the consolation round of the Newtown Holiday tournament. Weston never led in the game and finished last in the tournament after a 61-53 loss to host
Newtown (2-2) and dropped to 2-3.
"You can't dig yourself a hole and in each game [in the Newtown tournament], we had one quarter where we dug ourselves a hole," Trojans Coach Ryan Errico said.
The Nighthawks were lights out from the field as they drilled home seven 3-pointers, especially junior Kyle Wilcox (23 points), who knocked home five treys. Newtown also dominated the glass and complemented its outside game with layups and many points off the offensive glass in jumping out to a 16-6 lead
in the first quarter. Weston cut it to nine after one quarter, 16-7 but overall, had only 18 rebounds for the game with junior center Lyle Mitchell (four points, one rebound, one steal, one blocked shot, three forced turnovers), who is normally the team's leading rebounder, being held to just one board. Mitchell, who fouled out in the fourth quarter, spent an inordinate amount of time on the bench because of foul trouble.
"Of course you will have trouble rebounding when Lyle isn't in the game and you'll need others to pick it up," Errico said.
After Nighthawk senior Sean Maher (nine points) made it 18-9 with a layup, the Trojans started to show some life on offense. Senior tri-captain James Weitzman (five points, one rebound, two assists) was a spark off the bench and pulled Weston within four, 18-14 with 4:13 remaining in the half by swishing a jump shot and a trey from junior lefty point guard Max Molinsky. However, Wilcox answered by swishing a trifecta to make it 21-14.
Freshmen Asher Tyson, Grant Limone and Erik Dammen-Brower helped the Trojans inch closer by forcing missed shots and grabbing a rebound. Dammen-Brower (two points, two rebounds) and Tyson (three points, one rebound, two steals, two forced turnovers) both grabbed defensive rebounds
and Dammen-Brower and Limone (two points,
two rebounds, one assist, one steal, one forced turnover) each hit layups to
cut it to 21-18 with 1:30 left.
Weston couldn't further cut the deficit and Wilcox closed out the half with two 3-pointers and a blocked shot. His second trey was the most improbable one many people will see as he hit a prayer shot from 60 yards out off the glass and through the net to beat the halftime buzzer and made it 27-18.
Senior tri-captains Cole Roseman and Justin Mettel along with Molinsky sparked the Trojans in the second half. Molinsky (eight points, one rebound, seven assists, three steals, one forced turnvoer) opened the half with a steal and fed Mettel (19 points, two rebounds, two assists, three steals, one forced turnover, one tieup) for a layup. Mettel hit the free throw for the 3-point play.
Roseman (10 points, eight rebounds, one assist, six steals, three forced turnovers) was held scoreless in the first half but scored eight points in the third quarter.
Despite struggling on offense before the break, he sparkled on defense all 32 minutes and kept Weston in the game with his defense.
"I worked really hard on defense, I kept my man in front of me and I used my feet," Roseman said. "I worked hard on offense in the second half and my teammates got me the ball."
Roseman was on the all-tournament team and was the Trojans' lone presence on the glass and was especially productive getting the boards in the second half.
"They are a little bigger than us but we boxed out well and I was in the right place at the right time," Roseman said.
Despite Roseman's and Mettel's production, Weston wasn't able to cut the deficit. In fact, Newtown extended its lead to 15, 48-33 with 1:05 to go in the third quarter, with senior captain Josh Engler (12 points), who was on the all-tournament team, hit a layup and 3-point play and Wilcox and sophomore Connor Quinn each hit layups.
The Trojans remained in the game because
they forced 22 Nighthawk
turnovers, 13 in the second half. Weston only committed 12 turnovers with seven
coming in the first half.
"We did well in forcing turnovers but we needed to execute on the other end and convert them," Errico said. "We keyed on Wilcox and Engler and need to do a better job of anticipating contact and drawing it."
Following a Roseman layup and two Mitchell free throws, the Trojans cut the lead to 11, 48-37 after three quarters.
Mettel scored 10 fourth quarter points, including a reverse layup from Roseman to cut the lead to four, 55-51.
Molinsky hit two free throws to make it 57-53 with 32.4 seconds left in the game and Weston had a chance to inch closer after Tyson and Roseman forced a bad pass that led to Limone's interception, but the Trojans missed a layup. Roseman grabbed the offensive rebound but a Nighthawk stole it from him and Newtown closed out the game.