GFA routs Hamden Hall to return to FAA final
HAMDEN — Cole Prowitt-Smith could not be stopped.
The Greens Farms Academy boys basketball team will play for all of the marbles as a result.
The sophomore point guard poured in 28 points and dished out several assists to help send the No. 3 Dragons to a surprising 83-57 rout of No. 2 Hamden Hall in its own gym Thursday to advance to the program’s third FAA final in five years and first since 2014.
“It’s a championship in itself,” said Prowitt-Smith. “We now have the opportunity to play for a championship in the FAA, but winning that game meant the world. This Saturday is a big one, for sure.”
Sunday Okeke added 27 points for GFA, which will meet No. 1 St. Luke’s in the final Saturday — the eighth meeting between the schools in the last 12 months. All previous seven have gone to the Storm.
“We’re going to try (and) go into the king’s house and see what we can do,” Dragons coach Doug Scott said.
Prowitt-Smith, a transfer from Fairfield Ludlowe, made several off-balance 3-pointers, igniting an offense that the Hornets struggled to contain.
“In practice I play around with those shots, so I know I can make them,” Prowitt-Smith said. “Today was crazy, I wasn’t expecting that at all. It was definitely special.”
Between the nature of the playoffs and a 72-69 overtime loss to Hamden Hall on Feb. 14, the Dragons had plenty of motivation when they took the court. That translated into a fast start as the visitors began the game on a 22-12 run.
“We were lucky to get to play them eight days ago, and that sunk in,” Scott said. “And I think we got rattled out of our game plan, and we were really sloppy last time. Today we kind of leaned into it, and got it done.”
The Hornets closed to within 26-21 midway through the first half, but another surge gave GFA breathing room heading into the break. Prowitt-Smith controlled the offense from the perimeter and Okeke finished inside to outscore Hamden Hall almost by themselves.
GFA didn’t let up in the second half, putting the game away with flawless offensive execution. The Hornets took several timeouts in the final minute trailing by 25 points, giving the Dragons extra time to savior the victory.
“We knew we had to execute the plan to get the spacing and the angles,” Scott said. “That’s easier said than done; last time down we didn’t. This time we bought in; sometimes a loss can help you coach.”
Both GFA and Hamden Hall — which split the season series — will likely qualify for the New England Class C tournament, meaning a fourth matchup isn’t out of the question.
GREENS FARMS ACADEMY 83, HAMDEN HALL 57
GREENS FARMS ACADEMY (18-6)
Sunday Okeke 10 7-10 27 Evan Roteman 2 0-0 4 Mack Muller 0 0-0 0 Jacob Manton 0 0-0 0 Henry Holzinger 3 0-0 9 Bennett Close 0 0-0 0 Greg Lawrence 5 3-6 13 Cole Prowitt-Smith 10 3-5 28 Teddy Brown 0 0-0 0 Brady Reynolds 1 0-0 2. Totals: 31 13-21 83.
HAMDEN HALL (16-6)
TJ Rountree 6 3-5 16 Andrew Rice 3 2-4 8 Dan Draffman 7 4-5 18 Aiden Rountree 0 0-0 0 Vin Baker Jr. 5 0-0 12 Pasquale Villano 0 0-0 Chris Wright 1 0-0 2 Avery Brown 0 2-2 2. Totals: 22 11-17 57.
GFA 41 42—83
HAMDEL HALL 33 25—57
3-pointers: GFA—Prowitt-Smith 5, Holzinger 3; H—Rountree 2, Baker Jr. 2.