Thursday, March 17, 2016

Heron leads Sacred Heart to third straight state final

The Sacred Heart boys basketball team has had a great season, led by several different standout players.
In Wednesday night's Class M state semifinal game against Bloomfield at New Britain High School, there was one star who shined brightest for the Hearts.
Sacred Heart super senior Sacred Heart was incredible in
Wednesday night's semifinal win with 46 points.

His name is Mustapha Heron, and he is the best player in the state. Heron showed why he deserves that title with a 46-point explosion against the Warhawks. Sacred Heart needed every point of it, given fourth-seeded Bloomfield challenged the top seed like no one else on its state schedule had this season. The Hearts finally pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 71-60 victory, but it was a well-earned win. Sacred Heart will play Notre Dame-Fairfield for the state title on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena. It's the third straight semifinal victory for the Hearts over the Warhawks.
The Warhawks scrapped and clawed their way into contention time and again on Wednesday night in a packed Chick Shea Gymnasium. Bloomfield showed why it produces one of the state's best teams, year in and year out.
On this night, however, NO ONE was stopping Heron. His first three baskets were 3-pointers, but he scored 10 of his 16 hoops in the paint, in some cases against a whole bunch of contact.
In his post containing Heron's shot chart on Twitter, Brass City Hoops' Rob Maia called Heron's performance "great". Incredible, amazing and sensational would also work.
Heron scored his team's first 11 points and ended the half with 27. In face of double and even triple teams, he didn't stop.
Seniors Tyrn Flowers and Charles Fisher can't be left out of the conversation. Flowers scored several huge baskets in the second half, including a pair of emphatic dunks, one a two-hand putback of a teammate's miss. Charles Fisher had a big three-point play, and he also sank a huge 3-pointer. Flowers had 13 points, 10 rebounds and five steals while Fisher added 10 points, five rebounds and three steals, according to Joe Palladino of the Waterbury Republican-American. 
Bloomfield head coach Gary Barcher said what everyone feels when on the court against Sacred Heart.
"They are such a match-up nightmare, my God," Barcher told Derek Turner of GameTimeCT. "I just told the kids, we don't have 6-9, 6-10, 6-7, we don't have that. We have a bunch of little guys that work their tail off every day. I wouldn't trade them for anybody."
Barcher has every reason to feel that way after the effort his Warhawks gave on Wednesday. Bloomfield dove, scrapped and clawed its way into contention, and even the lead.
In the end, Sacred Heart had Mustapha Heron, and he proved to be too much. The Hearts go for their third straight state championship on Saturday. 

Of note: Heron went over 2,000 points in his career on Wednesday. He has done that in a little less than three seasons. 

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