ELLINGTON, January 21 – Four days ago, the Canton High boys basketball team found plenty of success against Suffield racing out to an early 21-point lead. The Warriors found success in the lane and from the perimeter.
It was a bit tougher on Tuesday night against Ellington. The host Purple Knights limited Canton to just 14 points in the first half and the Warriors were having a tough time hitting shots from the outside.
So, Canton turned to their 6-foot-3 senior Matt Rose driving to the basket. Rose scored a career-high 32 points, including 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Warriors remained undefeated with a 56-50 win over Ellington.
Not only did Rose play well in the paint, he was clutch on the free throw line, sinking 16-of-22 shots from the charity stripe including six in the final 14 seconds to lift Canton (11-0, 8-0 NCCC) to the victory.
Ellington’s Gavin Laughlan hit a three-point shot from the top of the key with 1:26 remaining to cut Canton’s lead to two points, 46-44 before forcing a Warrior turnover. Ellington’s Ryan Zahner scored on a fast break layup to tie the game with 40 seconds to go.
Rose put Canton ahead with 32 seconds left on a reverse left-handed layup, 48-46. Ellington’s Brandon Zahner missed a floater with 19 seconds and Rose pulled down the rebound. He was intentionally fouled and went to the foul line, sinking both shots for a 50-46 lead.
Zahner went coast-to-coast and scored on a layup with 13 seconds remaining, cutting the lead to two, 50-48. He was fouled on the play but missed the free throw. Rose pulled down the rebound and was fouled. He missed both but on his second miss, Tenczar tipped the ball back to Rose, who was fouled again. This time, Rose didn’t miss, sinking both free throws for a 52-48 lead.
Ellington’s Tommy Garrow hit a long two-point shot with seven seconds left to cut the lead to two, 52-50 but when Canton tried to inbound the ball, Ellington swatted the ball out of hands of the Canton player for a technical foul.
Rose hit one of two free throws for a 53-50 lead and Canton kept possession. Rose hit a layup and sank another free throw at the buzzer for the final six-point margin of victory.
Jack Rose had eight points and a team-leading eight rebounds while Silas Sawtelle had six points.
Canton trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half before rallying. The Warriors played some tough defense in the second half.
In a nine-minute stretch that ended with 4:36 remaining, Canton gave up just one field goal and four free throws in a 19-9 run that turned a six-point deficit into a five-point lead. Sawtelle and Thomas Amrose helped fuel the defensive pressure. The run ended with Jack Rose draining a three-point shot off a nice assist from Ryan McGoldrick for a 41-37 lead with 4:36 remaining. McGoldrick had a team-high five assists.
Laughlan had 19 points to lead Ellington (8-2, 4-2 NCCC), which dropped their second straight game after winning the first seven contest of the season, while Ryan Zahner added 14 points.
NOTES: Canton is off to an 11-0 start for just the third time in team history. The Warriors won the first 12 games of the season in 2009 and 1963. … Matt Rose’s previous career high was 31 points in a win over Hartford Classical. Rose sank eight-of-14 shots from the floor against the Purple Knights.
Paul Amrose contributed to this article.
Canton 56, Ellington 50
Canton (56) Chris Tenczar 0-0-0, Matt Rose 8 16-22 32, Silas Sawtelle 3-0-6, Logan Mansur 1-0-3, Josh Burke 1 1-2 4, Ryan McGoldrick 1-0-3, Jack Rose 3-0-8, Colin Mackin 0-0-0, Thomas Amrose 0-0-0. Totals 17 17-23 56
Ellington (50) Ryan Zahner 5 6-9 14, Brandon Zahner 1 2-2 4, Tommy Garrow 3 0-1 7, Zach Killoran 0-0-0, Braeden Shea 2-0-4, Gavin Laughlan 6 4-4 19 Totals 17 12-16 50
Canton (11-0) 7 7 19 23 — 56
Ellington (8-2) 16 6 10 18 — 50
Three-point goals: Mansur (Ca), Burke (Ca), McGoldrick (Ca), J. Rose (Ca) 2, Garrow (Ell), Laughlan (Ell) 3
NCCC boys basketball
Canton 56, Ellington 50
SMSA 70, East Granby 50
HMTCA 57, Suffield 48
Somers 61, Rockville 33
Suffield at Somers
Canton at Granby
Bolton at SMSA
Ellington at HMTCA