By Antonio Squitieri (2/19/16)
Link to published article: http://nbcityjournal.com/archives/12515
The New Britain boys basketball team earned a come from behind victory on Friday night as they erased a seven point deficit at halftime to beat the Terriers by a score of 60-52.
The Hurricanes broke off on a 14-5 run with just over five minutes to play in the fourth quarter to capture the win. Senior Donavon Lighty led the way by attributing 10 of the 14 points to total a game-high 22.
Lighty put the nail in the coffin with his clutch free throw shooting in the final stretch. Following a string of intentional fouls, the Senior guard was able to make 7 of 8 from the line with just 43 seconds remaining to carry his team to their sixth win on the season.
“Donavon is our best free throw shooter,” said New Britain head coach Todd Stigliano of his late game performance.
The New Britain coach also had some words of confidence for Lighty in this critical point in the game.
“We said, look, it’s time for you to go,” Stigliano told him. “You’re a senior, you’re a captain, you’re our best player; you got to go get the ball. This is where you need to take over the game, and he took care of business.”
The win did not come easy for the New Britain team as they continued their season-long struggle on the defensive end, particularly in containing Rocky Hill guard Nick Casiano, who lead his team in scoring with 19 points.
In the first quarter, Rocky Hill opened up with 21 points to New Britain’s 10, including three consecutive field goals from beyond the arc for Casiano.
New Britain had a difficult time finishing at the rim as they faced a physical Rocky Hill front court that challenged a multitude of shots. Turnovers were also a contributing factor to the first half slump with a number of blocked shots and deflected passes.
In the second half, their weakness became their strength. The team effectively altered shots and locked down the paint to make the Terriers work even harder to find the basket.
As they stepped up on defense, the Hurricane offense was revitalized outscoring the opponent by 5 and 10 respectively in the final two quarters of the game.
“I think tonight showed for us that if we can dig in defensively, then we can be more successful because this year defense has not been a strong suit for us,” said Coach Stigliano. “That definitely needs to be a staple because you feed off of it, the energy of the team becomes more positive and then offense takes care of itself. So I think that that is still going to be a key for us moving forward.”
New Britain will next take on Newington at home in a CCC South matchup on Friday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.