CANTON, February 23 – While the North Central Connecticut Conference’s annual boys basketball tournament moved through the first two rounds, Canton sat and watched from afar waiting for their potential opponent to qualify.
Once the Warriors got on the floor, they didn’t waste any time, draining 14 three-points shots to run away from No. 12 East Granby, 77-57 Saturday afternoon and earning a spot in Monday’s NCCC Tournament quarterfinal at No. 4 Ellington.
Three other NCCC teams have already secured berths in Wednesday’s semifinals – No. 1 Hartford Classical, No. 2 Granby and No. 6 HMTCA. All three won their quarterfinal contests on Friday night.
Canton earned the No. 5 seed and was waiting for East Granby to qualify for the tournament. The top eight teams in the NCCC earn berths into the tournament. Any other team getting an invitation to play in the league tournament must also be qualified to play in the CIAC state tournament.
On Wednesday, when pairings for the NCCC tournament were announced. East Granby was one win shy with two games remaining to play in the regular season.
The Crusaders lost to Metropolitan Learning Center-Bloomfield on Thursday by a point. But East Granby secured their post-season tickets with a 75-51 win over Wolcott Tech on Friday. It is the first CIAC tournament berth in six years for the Crusaders, who will play in Division V.
On Saturday, Canton (14-7) began sinking three-point shots from the beginning. Jack Rose had two of his career-high eight 3-point shots in the first few minutes of the game as the Warriors raced out to a 9-0 lead.
But East Granby (8-13) finished the first quarter with a 12-6 surge led by Jackson Brigham with six of his team-high 25 points.
The Crusaders took the lead for the first time at 16-15 before Canton began sinking three-points shots from all over the floor. Jack Rose hit back-to-back three-point shots and then Grant Lange drained a three to give Canton a 26-17 lead they would never relinquish.
The Rose twins had an outstanding game. Jack had a career-high eight three-point shots and a game-high and career-high 26 points. Matthew Rose scored 19 points, converting on layups off nice feeds from his teammates and sinking seven of nine from the free throw line. Both ripped down plenty of rebounds.
Amazingly, Jack Rose had just 11 three-point shots in 20 regular season games and he drained eight three-point shots on Saturday. The 77 points was a season-high for the Warriors.
Grant Lange scored 14 points for the Warriors, who advance to face No. 4 seed Ellington on Monday in the tournament quarterfinals.
Canton 77, East Granby 57
East Granby (57) Keenan May 2-1-5, Jack Brigham 8-9-25, Jack Turbidy 1-5-7, Adam Newhall 2-0-5, Austin Phillips 1-0-2, Jameson Gill 3-2-9, Chris Walker 2-0-4. Totals 19-17-57
Canton (77) Josh Burke 2-0-6, Chris Tenczar 2-4-8, Matthew Rose 6-7-19, Jack Rose 9-0-26, Grant Lange 5-1-14, Ryan McGoldick 1-1-4, Logan Mansur 0-0-0, Dugan Lloyd 0-0-0, Sirus Sawtelle 0-0-0, Colin Mackin 0-0-0. Totals 23-13-77
East Granby (8-13) 12 11 14 20 — 57
Canton (14-7) 15 20 20 22 — 77
Three-point goals: Jack Rose (Ca) 8, Lange (Ca) 3, Burke (Ca) 2, McGoldrick (Ca); Gill (EG), Neahall (EG)
2019 NCCC boys basketball tournament
Thursday’s first round
Rockville 54, Coventry 39
Suffield 54, SMSA 49
HMTCA 81, Bolton 64
Hartford Classical 68, Rockville 61
Granby 48, Suffield 42
HMTCA 69, Somers 61
Saturday, February 23
Canton 77, East Granby 57
Monday, February 25
(5) Canton at (4) Ellington, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, February 27
Canton/Ellington winner at (1) Classical, 7 p.m.
(6) HMTCA at (2) Granby, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 1
At higher seed
NCCC boys basketball standings
As of February 22
x-won league championship
Paul Amrose contributed to this story