Saturday, February 3, 2018

Bristol Central boys ride balance, senior leadership to 11-game win streak

Jaekwon Spencer (25) has been a force Bristol Central, winners of 11
straight games. He has plenty of help from a senior-laden Rams squad.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file)
There may be no hotter team in the area than Bristol Central boys basketball.
The proof can be found in one number...11.
As in the number of consecutive wins the Rams have accumulated since a loss in the championship game of their own holiday tournament back in December.
Home games, trips as far as Tolland and Groton (Fitch). It hasn't mattered. Beginning with a 56-48 home victory over Southington on Jan. 2, Central has taken on and met every challenge placed in front of it.
The Rams are 12-3 with the last quarter of the regular season ahead of them.
How has Central done it?
Balance certainly had something to do with it in win No. 11 in a row, a 76-61 home victory over Platt on Thursday. Six different players scored for the Rams in that game against the Panthers, led by Jaekwon Spencer's 21 points. Senior forward Alex Lape tallied a career-high 18 points while Noah Plantamuro (four 3-pointers) and Dathan Hickey each scored 12. Central also got contributions from Isaiah Miller (seven points) and Ryan Rodriguez (six).
Senior leadership is another good thing for head coach Tim Barrette and his staff. Of the six players mentioned above, five are seniors. Rodriguez is a junior.
Spencer has been the leading scorer, but others have helped out in that department. When Central secured win No. 10 in the streak against Berlin, Spencer scored 29 points. Lape, Plantamuro and Miller all had eight or more points in that game. Miller hit double figures with 12 points on Jan. 22 at Avon, when the Rams won 51-44 to extend the streak to eight games.
Spencer has had some huge games himself. One in particular was Jan. 25 at home against Hartford Public, the ninth win in the streak. The Rams took that game by a score of 61-50, and Spencer erupted for 35 points and 18 rebounds. 
Central has been terrific during its 11-game winning streak, and the Rams would love to keep that momentum going. The next game is Tuesday at home against Hall at 6:45 p.m.

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