BURLINGTON, Dec. 28 – The Canton High boys basketball team has championship aspirations this season. They have an experienced team returning with seven seniors, including two that have earned three varsity letters – Cameron Lange and Rieley Hoffman.
Lange and Hoffman both were sharp in the first round of the Thomaston Bank Holiday Festival at Lewis Mills on Monday night. Lange scored a team-high 11 points and grabbed plenty of rebounds as Canton earned its first victory of the season with a dominating 46-24 win over Lewis Mills.
In the early game, Granby led by 19 at halftime and held off a furious Avon rally to win its first game of the season with a 65-58 victory. The Falcons (1-2) cut the lead to one with 5:24 remaining in the game but could never get any closer.
The round robin style tournament ends tonight with Canton (1-1) facing Avon in the early game at 6 p.m. and Mills (2-1) hosting Granby (1-1) in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.
Canton’s defense and rebounding was too much for Mills. The visiting Warriors ran out to a quick 7-3 lead and extended it to 20-7 with 5:52 left in the second quarter. Cam Neeley’s three-point shot with 2:37 left in the second quarter gave Canton a 13-point halftime lead, 25-12.
The lead swelled to as large as 23 points. Canton’s offense was pretty balanced with Jake Schaetzel chipping in with 10 points, Hoffman scoring seven and Luke Brown and Ethan Burke adding five points each.
“We’ve been moving the ball well and so far, the defense has been up to par,” Canton’s fourth-year coach Craig Archambault said. It’s the lowest points anyone has scored in the Canton/Mills series, which dates back to 1962. Mills didn’t have a single player score in double digits. Trent Millum and Josh Schibi had five points each for the Spartans.
It eliminates the previous record-low in the series of 32 points a year ago by Lewis Mills. It’s the biggest win in the series with Mills since a 22-point victory in 1982. Canton now takes a 29-24 edge in the overall series.
Granby 65, Avon 58
BURLINGTON, Dec. 28 – It all slipped away in a hurry for the Avon High boys basketball team Monday night in the first round of the Thomaston Bank Holiday Classic at Lewis Mills.
The Bears (2-1) led by seven points early in the first quarter, 11-7. A three-pointer by Jordan Williams cut the lead to five, 15-10 but Granby led by 10 after one quarter, 20-10. The Bears extended the lead to 19 points at halftime with a 35-16 advantage. Granby senior Connor Fallon had six points of his 10 points in the second quarter along with teammate Jaiden DeLaire.
DeLaire finished with a game-high 20 points. Williams and Bryan LaChance each had 16 to lead Avon. LaChance and Riley Welter each drained three 3-point shots – in the second half.
“We came out with no energy,” Avon’s first-year head coach Kris Pedra said. “We were still on holiday. Our boys weren’t ready to play. Granby came out hard and took it took it to us. In the end, it was too big of a hole to climb out of.
“We played better in the second half but if we start out games this, it’s going to be a long season (in the Central Connecticut Conference),” Pedra said.
Avon came out with some fire in the second half and started to create turnovers. Avon cut the lead to five points late in the third period when McDonald scored off a rebound and a few seconds later, Welter drained a three-pointer after a Granby turnover with 2:25 remaining in the third quarter.
Granby led by eight after three quarters but Avon kept coming at the Bears. After McDonald (seven points) scored on a nice inside move, Williams scored on a fast break, was fouled and sank the free throw to cut the lead to two with 6:13 remaining, 51-49.
A rebound and basket from Delaire pushed the lead back to four but a three-point shot from LaChance cut the lead to one with 5:24 remaining. But that was as close as the Falcons would get.
Canton 46, Lewis Mills 24
Canton (46): Rieley Hoffman 3-0-7, Azon Click 0-2-2, Luke Brown 2-0-5, Jake Schaetzel 5-0-10, Ethan Burke 1-3-5, Cameron Lange 3-2-11, Cam Neeley 1-0-2, Adam Eytan 1-0-2, Ryan Ennis 0-1-1. Totals 15-6
Lewis Mills (24): Ben Lewis 0-0-0, Trent Millum 2-1-5, Anthony Licata 1-0-2, Trevor Baker 0-2-2, Lorenz Gunzl 2-0-4, Will Ponte 0-0-, Jackson Lord 1-1-3, Kyle Alvarez 1-0-3, Joe Neary 0-0-0, Josh Schibi 1-2-5.
Canton (1-1) 16 9 9 12 – 46
Lewis Mills (2-1) 7 5 6 6 — 24
Three-point goals: Hoffman (C), Brown (C), Lange (C), Schibi (LM)
Granby 65, Avon 58
Avon (58): Dan Reagan 0-0-0, Ian McDonald 2-3-7, Charlie Reiss 0-1-1, Justin Olson 0-0-0, Jordan Williams 7-1-16, Riley Welter 6-0-15, Bryan LaChance 6-1-16, Jordan Bailey 1-0-2. Totals 22-6
Granby (65): Connor Field 3-2-8, Romelle Hardy 2-3-7, Tyler Disabella 8-3-20, R.J. Mooney 2-2-6, Connor Fallon 5-0-10. Fred Moffa 3-0-6. Totals 23-10
Avon (1-2) 10 6 27 15 — 58
Granby (2-1) 15 20 16 14 — 65
Three-point goals: Williams (A), Welter (A) 3, LaChance (A) 4, Disabella (G) 3, Delaire (G)