CANTON, January 17 – For just the third time in team history and the first time since 2009, the Canton High boys basketball team have won their first 10 games of the season. The Warriors opened Friday night’s game with Suffield with a 19-2 run as they rolled to a 55-41 decision in North Central Connecticut Conference action.
Canton (10-0, 7-0 NCCC) is one of two teams left in the NCCC with an unbeaten record. Hartford’s Sport Medicine Science Academy (9-0, 6-0 NCCC) is also undefeated with Somers (9-1, 7-1 NCCC), Granby (6-2, 6-1 NCCC) and Ellington (6-1, 4-1 NCCC) close behind.
“We’re playing some really good basketball (right now),” Canton High coach Craig Archambault said. “What I am most proud of it how we’re locking in on defense. Coming into (the year), I knew this would be a growth area for us. But we’re playing some really good man-to-man (defense). The guys are buying into taking out the other team’s best guys.”
Canton limited Suffield to just five points in the first quarter while building the lead as high as 17 points. In the second quarter, the Wildcats scored nine points and trailed by as many as 20 points.
Suffield (5-4, 3-3 NCCC) never got any closer than 17 points until the final minute of the game when a 9-0 run cut the Warrior lead to 14 points.
“They have a lot of talented kids,” Suffield High coach Dan Gatto said. “They have size, shooting, speed, and strength. They have a lot of good pieces.”
Canton got off to a strong start with Josh Burke scoring 10 of his game-high 16 points in the first quarter, including a pair of three-point field goals. Ryan McGoldrick had two steals to begin fast break opportunities for the Warriors. Matt Rose muscled into the lane for two baskets while Jack Rose did the same for one basket. Thomas Amrose scored on fast break layup as Canton raced out to a 19-2 lead.
Matt Rose had 14 points while Jack Rose scored 12 points. Amrose scored six points off the bench.
Canton did well moving the basketball around the floor to the open man. The Rose brothers, both at 6-foot-3, did a good job controlling the boards by grabbing plenty of rebounds.
“We want ball movement. We want player movement. We want to share the basketball,” Archambault said. “We have a lot of guys who can shoot the basketball. We have a lot of guys who can make layups.”
The road won’t get any easier for the Warriors, who will be seeking their third NCCC championship in the last four years. Next week, Canton has a pair of road games at Ellington and Granby. The Bears handed Ellington their first loss of the season on Friday night.
“We’re going to face some adversity,” Archambault said. “The second half of the schedule is wicked tough.”
The final 10 games of the regular season include two games with Granby (6-2) along with contests against undefeated SMSA (9-0), Ellington (6-1) and Somers (9-1).
“We can still get better,” Archmabault said. “The goal is to have fun, to enjoy each other and to leave high school with (good) memories of your teammates. On the court, we want to play hard, play smart and play together.”
NOTES: Canton won the first 12 games of the season in 1963 and 2009. … Long-time Canton head coach Bill Mudano was back in the Warriors gymnasium on Friday to watch his grandson, Josh, who is a senior guard for Suffield. Josh Mudano had a team-high 11 points for the Wildcats, including a pair of three-point shots. Bill Mudano coached the Warriors for 15 seasons from 1974-88 posting a record of 173-155 over that time. The 173 wins is the most for a coach in team history. Archambault, now in his eighth season, currently has 117 wins. Eric Deegan is No. 2 on the all-time wins list with a record of 128-115 in 11 years from 2002-12. … This was Canton’s fifth straight win over the Wildcats, their longest run of success since taking six in a row from 2007-10.
Canton 55, Suffield 41
Suffield (41) Owen Liss 1 1-2 3, Brodie Nadeau 2-0-6, Josh Mudano 4 1-1 11, Dylan Kaselouskos 1-0-3, Riley Webb 0 0-2 0, Ryan Levis 0 4-4 4, Jahiem Woolery 3-0-6, Ryan Boudreau 0-0-0, Felix Antwi-Menu 0-0-0, Gabe Glua 1 4-6 6, Jack Pixton 0-0-0, Mark Laba 0-0-0 Ryan Gaffney 0-0-0. Totals 12 6-15 41
Canton (55) Andrew Cappabianca 0-0-0, Chris Tenczar 0 1-2 1, Colin Makin 2-0-4, Matt Rose 7 0-1 14, Silas Sawtelle 1-0-2, Logan Mansur 0 0-1 0, Thomas Amrose 2 2-4 6, Josh Burke 6-0-16, Ryan McGoldrick 0-0-0, Kyle Maher 0-0-0, Nathan Counean 0 0-1 0, Luke Winter 0-0-0, Jack Rose 6-0-12. Totals 24 3-9 55
Suffield (5-5) 5 9 11 16 – 41
Canton (10-0) 19 10 13 13 — 55
Three-point goals: Nadeau (S) 2, Mudano (S) 2, Burke (Ca) 4
NCCC boys basketball
Canton 55, Suffield 41
Granby 66, Ellington 47
SMSA 76, East Windsor 34
Rockville 49, HMTCA 48
Somers 60, Bolton 50