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Defense helps Canton move past Somers and into NCCC semifinals

Nate Lincoln’s strong defense in the fourth quarter helped Canton beat Somers on Monday night in the NCCC quarterfinals. (Photo courtesy Paul Amrose)

CANTON, March 22, 2021 – Solid defense in the fourth quarter helped the Canton High boys basketball team finally stop the Palazzesi brothers and beat Somers, 66-60, in a NCCC Tournament quarterfinal victory Monday night.

Canton, the defending NCCC Tournament champion, advances to Wednesday’s semifinals and will travel to play Ellington (12-1), which won the NCCC East this winter. SMSA (12-1) will host Rockville (10-3) in the other semifinal with the championship game set for Friday night.

Brady and Cody Palazzesi scored 23 of Somers’ 30 points in the first half and it was a one-point game after three quarters. But Canton’s Nate Lincoln limited Brady Palazzesi to just four points in the fourth quarter and Brandon Powell, Silas Sawtelle and Colin Mackin took turns on Cody Palazzesi, limiting him to two points in the final quarter.

“We dug deep,” Canton High coach Craig Archambault said. “We played a lot of zone (defensively) but we went to man-to-man (defense in the fourth quarter) which helped us get more stops. Defensively, I am really proud of Nate (Lincoln). He did a great job on Brady (Palazzesi).”

Canton’s Josh Burke led all scorers with 23 points and three 3-point goals while Powell scored a career-high 13 points, eclipsing the 12 points he had in Saturday’s season-ending 59-54 victory over Granby.

“He has really stepped up with his scoring,” Archambault said. “He had a great third quarter with nine points. His energy and ability to rebound has really helped ignite our fast break.”

Canton’s Brandon Powell has had career-high performances in his last two games. He had 13 points Monday against Somers. (Photo courtesy Paul Amrose)

Colin Mackin, who tied his season-high with nine points, had a key three-point shot in the final minutes that provided Canton with some breathing room.

Brady Palazzesi also had 23 points for Somers while Cody Palazzesi chipped with 18 points. Colin McLeod added 13 for the visiting Spartans.

Canton 66, Somers 60
At Canton
Somers (60)
Brady Palazzesi 9-2-23, Troy Maia 1-0-2, Ryan Prucker 1-2-4, Colin McLeod 5-2-13, Cody Palazzesi 8-2-18. Totals 24-8
Canton (66) Brandon Powell 5-3-13, Luke Maher 0-1-1, Colin Mackin 4-0-9, Ryan McGoldrick 2-0-5, Silas Sawtelle 3-0-7, Nate Lincoln 3-2-8, Josh Burke 8-4-23. Totals 25-10
Somers (8-5)      11  19  19  11  — 60
Canton (11-2)    19  11  20  16  — 66
Three-point goals: Mackin (Ca), McGoldrick (Ca), Sawtelle (Ca), Burke (Ca) 3, B. Palazzesi (S) 3, McLeod (S)

2021 NCCC Tournament
Monday’s quarterfinals
Ellington 59, Windsor Locks 37
Canton 66, Somers 60
SMSA 74, Stafford 53
Rockville 53, Granby 45
Wednesday’s semifinals
Canton at Ellington
Rockville at SMSA
Consolation games
Friday’s championship
Two semifinal winners

Complete NCCC Tournament results

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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