Saturday, February 24, 2018

Local standouts Collins, Rodriguez, Johnson take the court in Little East semifinal matchup

Collins (ECSU athletics)
Rodriguez (WCSU athletics)
State rivals Eastern Connecticut State and Western Connecticut State met in the Little East Conference men's basketball tournament semifinals on Friday night.
A pair of former Bristol standouts went against each other, Jacob Collins for ECSU and Eli Rodriguez for WCSU. The Warriors got the better of the Colonials 92-82.
Collins, a Bristol Central graduate, poured in 19 points off the bench on 8-of-10 shooting. Collins knocked down three of his four three-point attempts, and he also pulled down eight rebounds and blocked a shot in 21 minutes.
Johnson (WCSU athletics)
The 19 points and eight rebounds are both career-highs for Collins, who has been strong off the bench for ECSU. He has shooting percentages of 60.8 from the field and 54.8 from three-point range.
Rodriguez, a Bristol Eastern alum, also had a big night with 18 points and seven rebounds for WCSU. He was 7-of-12 shooting, including a terrific 4-of-6 from three-point range. Rodriguez also had two steals in his 31 minutes of play. Rodriguez started the game for the Colonials. Rodriguez had eight of his points and four of his rebounds in 18 minutes in the second half. 
As if that wasn't enough, there was a third local who saw time in this game. Legend Johnson, formerly of Sacred Heart High School, played 25 minutes off the bench for WCSU. He had nine points on 4-of-11 shooting, grabbed five rebounds and recorded one assist and one steal.
Rodriguez and Johnson had solid nights for WCSU, but Collins and defending LEC champion ECSU are headed back to the final. The Warriors face Keene State today with an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament on the line.

Note: There's a great photo from Nick McAneny on the main page of the ECSU athletics website. Collins is attacking the basket as Johnson challenges him.

Wilby boys come up one win shy of state tourney spot

Wilby boys basketball lost at home to Seymour on Friday night and ended its season
one win shy of the state tournament. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
For Wilby boys basketball, it was a long and difficult 2017-18 season.
Still, the Wildcats had an outside shot of making it into the state tournament. Wilby was 6-12 entering its last two games against Wolcott and Seymour. Win both, and Wilby would qualify for the tournament.
Dezon Mayo's putback against Wolcott took care of the first win.
Wilby hosted Seymour on Friday night inside the Reggie O'Brien Gymnasium. It was Senior Night, and Wilby jumped out to a 9-3 lead. Wilby held a 13-12 advantage after one quarter, but a big second period from Seymour led to a 32-22 deficit at the half. Wilby didn't have enough to catch up and lost 64-59, ending its season at 7-13.
Rontay Williams scored 22 points to lead Wilby. Angel Gonzalez had 14 points and Antawuan Black added nine.

PHOTOS: Click here to see a few images from the game.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Kaynor Tech boys clinch spot in Division IV state tourney

Kaynor Tech boys basketball will be in the Division IV state tournament
after Friday night's win over Woodland. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file)
The Kaynor Tech boys basketball team had two games to get their eighth win and clinch a Division IV state tournament berth.
The Panthers took care of business in the first of those two games on Friday night, knocking off Woodland 63-52 in Beacon Falls. Kaynor is 8-11 in the regular season with one game left against Amistad on Saturday. The Panthers also won a Connecticut Technical Conference tournament play-in this week for a total record of 9-11.
James Hannon went off, nailing six 3-pointers on the way to 20 points. Sydney Asiedu added 19 points while Darren Guerrera and Saijon McIntosh each contributed eight points.
Kaynor was 7-7 after a win over Wolcott Tech on Feb. 1. The Panthers lost four straight games to fall to 7-11. Kaynor could have let that streak ruin its season.
Instead, the Panthers found their winning ways for the eighth time this season, and that was enough to get into the state tournament.