Week 7: Windham pulls away from Centaurs in 3rd quarter
The Woodstock Academy boys basketball team liked what was happening in the first half on Friday.
Despite playing without their top scorer and rebounder due to illness, the Centaurs hung tough with Windham at the Alumni Fieldhouse.
But the visiting Whippets changed their defense and the course of the game in the second half and walked away with the 78-50 win over the Centaurs.
“The guys came out and played hard. We got down by (five points) early in the first but we fought back, tied it and made it 0-0 going into the second half,” said Woodstock Academy coach Donte Adams. “We had a chance.”
The Whippets (8-3, 4-1 Eastern Connecticut Conference Division II) led 11-6 early but the Centaurs rallied as junior Hunter Larson (14 points, 7 rebounds) hit a basket and senior Carter Morissette (13 points) hit a 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 11 seconds left in the first quarter to tie things up.
Windham would take a 14-11 lead by the end of the first quarter but the game remained close throughout the second quarter.
Windham did forge ahead 23-18 with 3:45 to play in the half but the Centaurs (3-10, 1-5) kept fighting back.
A Teddy Richardson basket with 16 seconds left off an offensive rebound cut Windham’s lead to 1-point, 27-26.
Travis Mangual Jr., who led four Whippets players in double figures with 27 points, hit a pair of free throws with 13 seconds to play to make it a 29-26 Windham lead.
But with just three seconds left before half, Richardson floated one in from the right side for a 3-pointer and a tie game at half.
“That was a momentum builder. A guy like that coming off the bench making shots like that, keeping the team in it. It was a big shot for Teddy,” Adams said.
But the momentum did not carry into the second half as the Whippets changed up their defense, going from a zone to man, and that increased energy fired up their offense.
The Whippets scored the first 14 points of the third quarter.
“They were in a 1-2-2 (in the first half) which slowed us down but we got shots out of it. When they went man, they were a little more aggressive and the shots stopped falling for us. We started settling for 3’s instead of trying to get to the rim. That (defensive)switch hurt us a bit,” Adams agreed.
The first point for the Centaurs in the quarter came with 2:47 to play on a Larson free throw.
The Whippets led by 17 at the end of the third quarter and pulled away with a 9-2 run to start the fourth.
James D’Alleva-Bochain added eight rebounds for the Centaurs who clearly missed having 6-foot-6 sophomore Brady Ericson in the paint.
He scored 27 points in the first meeting of the season against Windham but an illness kept him on the sidelines.
“We missed him,” Adams said. “We missed him on the boards, in the interior. He’s just a force out there and a matchup problem. He makes it hard for teams to defend us.”