Sunday, January 14, 2018

BRASS CITY BOYS HOOPS: Holy Cross hands WCA first loss, Sacred Heart falls to one of nation's best teams

The Holy Cross boys handed WCA its first loss of the season on Friday night.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file)
The Waterbury Career Academy boys basketball team was undefeated entering Friday night's home game against one-loss Holy Cross.
The Crusaders landed an 11-0 first punch, and the Spartans spent the rest of the game trying to get up off the canvas. Holy Cross won 75-63 behind big efforts from the trio of DeAndre Wallace, Nyzair Rountree and Mikey West. The three-headed monster combined for 60 points, 24 apiece from Wallace and West and 12 from Rountree. 
Even more impressive was the all-around play, as shown in the statistics Joe Palladino of the Waterbury Republican-American had in his story. Wallace had eight rebounds, four assists, six steals and three blocked shots. West tallied eight assists and two steals. 
All Rountree did was nearly record a triple-double. He had 10 assists and nine rebounds.
Holy Cross welcomed starter Jack Greene back into the lineup, and it's still missing Marcellus Gomes and Will Guglielmo because of injuries. There's a scary thought for down the road when the Crusaders are at full strength.
Marquan Watson had his usual double-double, nearly a triple-double, with 24 points, 11 rebounds and seven steals. Matt Torres scored 14 points.
The Crusaders and Spartans are looking to see who will take up residence behind Sacred Heart, which is still undefeated in NVL play. Holy Cross won the first round on Friday. The second round comes Tuesday, Feb. 6 at The Pit.

Raheem Solomon (left) had 25 points for Sacred Heart at the Spalding
Hoophall Classic on Saturday. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file)
Sacred Heart made what has become an almost annual trip to the Spaulding Hoophall Classic on Saturday. The Hearts faced Gonzaga College High School of Washington, D.C., one of the nation's premier teams. The Purple Eagles won handily 86-51 behind dominant performances from Terrance Williams (26 points, 13 rebounds) and Miles Dread (25 points). 
Williams, a sophomore (yikes), told USA Today that he has offers from Georgetown, North Carolina State, DePaul and George Mason. And there are other schools that he has visited.
Dread, a senior, will play for Penn State.
Sacred Heart has solid players in its own right in Raheem Solomon and Isiah Gaiter. Palladino reported that Solomon has had interest from Niagara and Tulane. Solomon had a big game with 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting. Solomon knocked down 5-of-10 three-point attempts. Gaiter ended up with 13 points while 6-foot-11 freshman Connor Tierney added seven points.

Justin Davis (1) and Crosby got over .500 with a resounding win
at Kennedy on Friday night. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
Kennedy welcomed 6-foot-8 Lashawn Smith to the starting lineup for the first time this season Friday night, and Smith got off to a quick start at home against Crosby. Smith hit from the outside, scored on the fast break and swatted a shot. Smith finished with 18 points.
The Eagles jumped out to a 13-6 lead, but it was cut to 20-19 by the end of the first quarter. From there, the Bulldogs outscored the home side 54-30 and ran away with a 73-50 victory.
Crosby got the win in part because of a balanced offensive attack. Kerwin Prince and Kennedy transfer Tyler Spears led four Bulldogs in double figures with 18 points apiece. Markeese Days had 15 points and Justin Davis chipped in 11. Prince and Days each pulled down 10 rebounds.
On the defensive end, the Bulldogs had 16 steals, led by five from Spears. Crosby improved to 4-3 with the win and has two straight victories after starting 1-3.
PHOTOS: Click here to see my images from Friday night's Crosby-Kennedy game.

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