VERNON, December 14 — Canton High forward Grant Lange had an outstanding game to begin his senior season on Friday night.
Lange had a career-high 26 points and tied a career-high with four 3-point goals to lead the two-time defending NCCC champion Warriors to a hard-fought 55-51 win over Rockville.
Sophomore guard Josh Burke and 6-foot-3 junior forward Matt Rose each had eight points while junior Chris Tenczar added six points.
Canton was 20-5 a year ago and advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since 2007. The Warriors lost their three top scorers from that team – Ryan Enns (12.9 ppg), Luke Brown (12.1) and Tim Keating (6.3). But it was a balanced team with underclassmen having big nights throughout the season.
Lange’s previous career-high performance was 23 points against Hartford Classical last January. Rose had 11 points against Ellington in January while his 6-foot-3 brother Jack Rose had 15 points against Classical in the NCCC Tournament last February.
For just the second time in its basketball history that spans nearly a century, Canton will be looking to win a conference title for the third straight year. Canton shared the NCCC title with SMSA a year ago with 14-2 records. Canton won it outright in 2017 with a 15-1 mark.
Canton last won three straight league titles in 1925-27 when they captured three consecutive Farmington Valley League titles playing against teams such as West Hartford, Farmington, Simsbury, Gilbert, Windsor and Southington depending on the particular season.
Canton will play their first game at home on Tuesday, December 18 against Stafford at 7 p.m.
Head coach Craig Archambault, now in his seventh season behind the bench, has four challenging non-league contests for the Warriors. In a rematch of last year’s Division V semifinals, Canton will face Cromwell again on December 27 on the road.
Two days later, Canton will host Lewis Mills at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 29 and on Saturday, February 9, the Warriors will host Avon at 1 p.m. Canton closes out the regular season with a home game on Wednesday, February 13 against Lyman Memorial-Lebanon at 7 p.m.
The CIAC’s boys basketball committee stayed with their five-division alignment for the state tournament. A year ago, Canton was in Division V for the smallest schools in the state.
This year, Canton has been moved up to Division IV. Lyman Memorial, Cromwell, Suffield, Hartford Classical, Granby and Lewis Mills are in D4 along with FCIAC members New Canaan and St. Joseph-Trumbull among other teams.
Canton 55, Rockville 51
Canton (55) Josh Burke 3-0-8, Chris Tenczar 1 4-4 6, Michael Sullivan 0-0-0, Ryan McGoldrick 2-0-5, Grant Lange 9 4-5 26, Jack Rose 4-0-8, Matt Rose 1-0-2. Totals 19 8-9 55
Rockville (51) Javon Nelson 3 1-2 7, Ryan Walker 0-0-0, Jake Roy 0-0-0, Alex Deane 4-0-9, Zach Condon 2-0-6, Cam Bogli 2 0-1 5, Tommy Rhoades 1-0-2, Justin Collins 4 3-6 11, Andrew Main 3 0-0 9, Anthony Crawford 0-0-0, Sam Wheeler 0-0-0. Totals 19 4-9 51
Canton (1-0) 12 12 15 16 — 55
Rockville (0-1) 10 11 15 15 — 51
Three-point goals: Burke (Ca) 2, McGoldrick (Ca), Lange (Ca) 4; Main (Ro) 3, Condon (Ro) 2, Deane (Ro), Bogli (Ro)