CANTON, February 13 – They can see it and nearly touch it. But a league championship isn’t in the grasp of the Canton High boys basketball team just yet.
The Warriors moved ever closer to winning a share of their second straight North Central Connecticut Conference championship Tuesday night with a hard-fought 54-47 win over Rockville.
Canton (16-3, 13-2) won their second straight game and can win a share of the NCCC title with a win over East Granby (1-17) next Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the high school. Sport Science Medicine Academy (15-4, 14-2 NCCC) won a share of the league title Tuesday night with a 85-80 win in overtime over cross-town rival Hartford Classical.
If Canton wins, the two teams would share the championship but Canton would get the No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCCC Tournament because they beat SMSA in January.
“We don’t take anyone for granted,” Canton coach Craig Archambeault said. “We have one game left (vs. East Granby). We haven’t won anything yet.”
Rockville (12-7, 11-4 NCCC) won their first 10 games in the NCCC but have dropped four of their last five in the conference. The loss of 6-foot-2 Lorenzo Percy about two weeks ago to an injury hasn’t helped the Rams.
“We still have to compete,” Rockville coach Michael Barile said. “Credit Canton. They played a great game. We have to rebound better. They outrebounded us by 20 rebounds. That was the difference tonight.”
Rebounding helped Canton outscore the Rams 13-2 to open the second quarter, erase a four-point deficit and take command of the game. Big rebounds also helped the Warriors survive in the fourth quarter as the Rams tried to rally. Rockville drained nine 3-point shots in the game.
“That’s been our focus (in practice –rebounding),” Archambault said. “We’ve been struggling to rebound. Our focus isn’t to outjump guys but box out, seal (off your defender) and get five guys to the glass.”
Canton dropped back-to-back games for the first time this year in losses to Avon and Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA). But they’ve now won two in a row with a win over New Britain-based CREC Academy of Science, 51-35, and Innovation and Rockville on Tuesday night.
Ryan Enns led the way with 15 points for Canton while Luke Brown added 12 including a pair of three-point shots. Zach Woods led Rockville with five 3-point shots for a team-high 15 points.
Rockville led 14-9 after one quarter but Canton used a 13-2 in the first seven minutes of the second quarter to take command of the contest. Matt Rose grabbed a rebound and put it back up and in before sinking a pair of free throws. Enns scored on a fast break from Jack Mansur to cap off a quick 6-0 surge that gave Canton the lead for the first time.
A few minutes later, Lange pulled down a rebound in the lane and put it back up and in. He was fouled on the play and sank the foul shot to complete a 9-0 run for the Warriors.
With Enns driving to the basket to score and Brown draining a pair of three-point shots, Canton’s lead swelled to 12 in the third quarter.
The Rams wouldn’t go away and cut the lead to three, 47-44, with 1:10 left in the game thanks to three-point shots from Mason Resendes and a basket in the lane from Nolan Storo. Another three from Woods cut the lead to four points, 51-47 with 9.3 seconds left but Brown and Enns hit three of four foul shots to secure the contest.
NOTES – Some nice plays in the game included Mitchell Cormier pulling down a tough defensive rebound in the third period. He sent a pass to his teammate and ran the floor. At the other end of the floor, Cormier drove into the lane and scored as part of a 9-4 run by Canton to open the third quarter. Late in the third quarter, Enns made a great play on an offensive rebound. As he was falling out of bounds, he fired back into Jack Rose in the lane who went to the basket and scored. …. Canton’s game against East Granby is scheduled for 5 p.m. because it may be the first game of a doubleheader with the girls basketball team. If Canton wins their quarterfinal game on Friday in the NCCC Tournament, they would host a semifinal game at 7 p.m.
Canton 54, Rockville 47
Rockville (47) Alex Deane 3-0-9, Nate Roman 0-0-0, Kevin Smith 0-1-1, Mason Resendes 2-1-6, Zach Woods 5-0-15, Justin Collins 4-4-12, Nolan Storo 2-0-4. Totals 15 6-12 47
Canton (54) Luke Brown 2 6-9 12, Jack Mansur 2 1-2 7, Ryan Enns 6 3-6 15, Grant Lange 2 1-1 5, Tim Keating 0 5-10 5, Matt Rose 1 2-2 4, Mitchell Cormier 1-0-2, Jack Rose 2-0-4. Totals 16 18-30 54
Rockville (12-7) 14 5 10 18 – 47
Canton (16-3) 9 15 14 16 – 54
Three-point goals: Deane (Ro) 3, Resendes (Ro), Woods (Ro) 5, Brown (Ca) 2, Mansur (Ca) 2
|NCCC boys basketball||NCCC||Overall|
|y-clinched share of championship|
|Classical 91, HMTCA 85|
|Monday, February 12|
|Granby 56, Coventry 34|
|Tuesday, February 13|
|Canton 54, Rockville 47|
|SMSA 85, Classical 80, OT|
|Granby at Suffield|
|Tuesday, February 20|
|East Granby at Canton, 5 p.m|