CANTON, March 12 – Facing elimination, the Canton High boys basketball team dug in their heels and played some defense to keep their season alive in the second round of the Class S tournament Thursday.
Trailing by eight points at halftime and 17 points in the third quarter, the Warriors didn’t allow visiting Old Saybrook to sink a field goal in the fourth quarter and gave up just three points in the final eight minutes as they outlasted the pesky Rams with a 58-53 victory in overtime.
“It was really good defense,” Canton coach Eric Deegan said. “We used some zone pressure and got a few steals and turned up the defensive pressure. Our defense got our offense going and we had them on their heels. We started being more aggressive and that helped.”
Chris Robitaille sank two foul shots with about a minute to go that tied the game at 47. In overtime, the Warriors outscored Old Saybrook 11-6. Robitaille, frequently double teamed, finished with a team-high 18 points. Andrew Crowely added 17 with three 3-point goals while James Rosshirt scored 15.
Old Saybrook (14-10) received 24 from Michael Carlson and 11 from Ian Rosser. “We started out really flat,” Deegan said. “Our offense was a major problem. We were having a tough time scoring.
For the third time in four years, No. 3 Canton (22-2) advances to the quarterfinals where they will be challenged by No. 11 Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport (15-10) on Monday night at 7 p.m. at Wilby High in Waterbury.
“They like to play 94 feet of defense,” Deegan said. The key for Canton will be handling the Kolbe pressure.
The Cougars throttled Windsor Locks on Thursday, 81-54. Ronnie Underwood led Koble with 33 points on drives, pull-up jumpers and a pair of three-point shots. Max Boynton added 19 points while Dominque Langston scored 16. Kolbe has played strong competition all season. In the recent SWC quarterfinals, Kolbe snapped Stratford’s school-record 34-game winning streak with an 82-81 OT victory. Stratford earned the No. 2 seed in Class L.