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Despite injuries, Canton still able to roll over SMSA

Canton’s Ryan Enns drives to the basket for two of his game-high 18 point in Friday night’s win over SMSA in Hartford. (Photo courtesy Paul Amrose)

HARTFORD, Jan. 12 – The Canton High boys basketball team wasn’t at full strength on Friday night.

Mitchell Cormier was unavailable due to an injury in a previous game. Tim Keating was suffering from flu-like symptoms and played just a few minutes. And guard Chris Tenczar turned an ankle during the game and never returned.

Yet, the Warriors found a way to win. Canton didn’t allow a point in the first quarter and gave up just six points in the first half as the Warriors went on the road to beat Sport Medicine Science Academy, 58-42 in a North Central Connecticut Conference contest.

“The kids played a great game and they showed a ton of heart,” Canton coach Craig Archambault said.

Canton led 21-0 after one quarter and 27-6 at halftime.

The Warriors celebrate a great play in Friday night’s big win over SMSA in Hartford. (Photo courtesy Paul Amrose)

“It was one of the best, if not, the best defensive quarters I have ever seen as the Canton coach,” Archambault said. “Credit SMSA as they never quit and never went away.  They turned up the pressure and pressed us throughout the remainder of the game.”

Canton (6-1, 4-1 NCCC) was led by Ryan Enns with a game-high 18 points with Luke Brown adding 16 including a pair of three-point goals. Eight Canton players scored in the game.

“Luke Brown and Ryan Enns brought a great deal of heart and energy and they led the way on the offensive and defensive end,” Archambault said. “Jack Mansur was tremendous defensively and taking care of the ball.  Grant Lange stepped in as a starter and did a great job on both ends.  Jack Rose and Matt Rose were also tremendous, especially on the interior with solid defense and rebounding.  And Thomas Amrose gave us great minutes.”

Grant Lange had eight points in Friday night’s win over SMSA in Hartford. (Photo courtesy Paul Amrose)

SMSA (4-2, 3-2 NCCC) was led by Nasir Williams with 13 points and Justin Wright with nine.

“It was a great road win for our team given the adversity we are facing in terms of health and injuries,” Archambault said.

It was the third straight win for Canton over the Tigers and the Warriors took a 6-5 lead in the overall series that began in 2002. The 16-point decision was the biggest win in the series for either team. The Tigers won by 15 in 2015.

The Warriors return to action on Tuesday night when they travel to Ellington for a 7 p.m. start.

Canton 58, SMSA 42
At Hartford
Canton (58) Chris Tenczar 2-0-4, Luke Brown 3-8-16, Jack Mansur 0-1-1, Thomas Amrose 0-2-2 ,Ryan Enns 9-0-18, Grant Lange 3-1-8, Michael Sullivan 0-0-0, Tim Keating 0-0-0, Matt Rose 3-1-7, Jack Rose 0-2-2, Tristan Witzgall 0-0-0. Totals 20 15-19 58
SMSA (42) Nasir Williams 3-7-13, Tre Bailey 3-1-7, Justin Wright 4-1-9, Devon Daniels 2-0-4, R.J. Doucette 0-0-0, Jake Gallo 1-1-4, Jishaun Sierra 1-2-5, Nasim Harrison 0-0-0. Totals 14 12-24 42
Canton (6-1)                     21  6  14  17 – 58
SMSA (4-2)                         0  6  19  17 – 42
Three-point goals: Gallo (S), Sierra (S), Brown (C) 2, Lange (C)

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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