STAFFORD, Dec. 19 – They all won’t be this easy. But Tuesday night’s season-opening contest against Stafford wasn’t much of a game.
Senior Ryan Enns scored a game-high 18 points while sophomore teammate Thomas Amrose had a career-high 15 points as the Warriors dominated in an 81-17 North Central Connecticut Conference victory over Stafford.
The 64-point victory was the largest ever for the Warriors on opening day and the second largest in team history. In the 1955 season, Canton beat Bacon Academy by 66 points with a 91-25 victory.
The Warriors led 26-7 after one period and 45-13 at halftime. Jack Rose had 12 points for the Warriors while guard Grant Lange added 10.
Canton begins the year as the defending NCCC champion after going 17-3 last winter and 15-1 in the league to win their first league championship in 35 years. The Warriors finished with a 20-5 record after getting eliminated in the Class S quarterfinals to Waterbury Career.
Head coach Craig Archambault is beginning his sixth season on the bench with Canton and the outlook is good for another good season.
The Warriors return a mixture of players with five seniors, a pair of All-NCCC players and 10 players who all got some varsity experience a year ago.
A year ago, Enns averaged 11.8 points a game and earned All-NCCC honors at forward. Guard Luke Brown returns as a starter for the third year. He also earned All-NCCC honors, averaging 8.4 points a game. Senior guard Jack Mansur, guard Tim Keating (6.7 ppg) and forward Mitchell Cormier also return.
The Rose brothers – Matthew and Jack – are sophomores along with Amrose and guard Christopher Tenczar. Junior Grant Lange is at guard. All saw some playing time in last year’s championship season.
Canton will be challenged in the league by Granby, Suffield and Ellington along with Hartford Classical and Hartford’s Sport Medicine Science Academy, who always play the Warriors tough. Rockville and Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy join the league this year.
The out-of-conference games are challenging, too. Canton renews its long-standing rivalry with a game against Avon and faces Lewis Mills, which went 19-1 a year ago. The Warriors will also host Cromwell High.
The Warriors return to the court on Friday night when they travel to Granby. The home opener will be Thursday, Dec. 28 against Cromwell.
NOTES: The 17 points allowed is the lowest amount for a Warrior opponent this century. But it is not a school record. The Warriors allowed seven points in a 20-7 win over Bloomfield in 1924-25. The 1920s, it wasn’t unusual to keep opponents under 20 points. The lowest amount points allowed by Canton in this century was 21 against Portland in 2009.
Canton 2017-18 schedule
DECEMBER: 22, at Granby; 28, CROMWELL; 30, LEWIS MILLS
JANUARY: 3, at Coventry, 8, GRANBY, 10, COVENTRY; 12, at SMSA; 16, at Ellington, 17, INNOVATION, 19, SUFFIELD; 22, BOLTON; 24, at East Windsor; 26, HARTFORD CLASSICAL; 30, WINDSOR LOCKS
FEBRUARY: 2, SOMERS, 3, at Avon; 7, EAST GRANBY; 9, at HMTCA; 13, ROCKVILLE
Canton 81, Stafford 17
Canton (81) Chris Tenczar 1-0-2, Luke Brown 3-1-7, Jack Mansur 1-0-2, Thomas Amrose 7-0-15, Ryan Enns 9-0-18, Grant Lange 3-2-10, Tim Keating 2-0-4, Matthew Rose 2-1-5, Mitchell Cormier 1-4-6, Jack Rose 6-0-12. Totals 35-8-81
Stafford (17) Sean Roethlein 2-0-6, Will Spellman 1-1-3, Yonatan Ohayon 2-0-6, Greg Estell 1-0-2, Evan Gardiner 0-0-0, Brandon Gardiner 0-0-0. Totals 6-1-17
Canton (1-0) 26 19 21 15 — 81
Stafford (0-1) 7 6 1 3 — 17
Three point goals: Roethlein (S) 2, Ohayon (S) 2, Amore (C), Lange (C) 2