Granby, East Windsor to Meet In NCCC Finals

Four schools played two diametrically opposite basketball games at East Windsor High School Tuesday night to determine the finalists for the NCCC boys basketball tournament.

Granby came back from a 14-point second-half deficit to upset Ellington 64-61 in the opening game, while host East Windsor and Windsor Locks engaged in an extremely slow-paced matchup that ended with the Panthers prevailing 41-25.

Granby and East Windsor will battle for the tournament championship Thursday at Suffield High School at 7:30 p.m. Prior to that, the third-place game between Ellington and Windsor Locks commences at 5:30 p.m.

Granby 64, Ellington 61

Jon Bassett and John Connelly combined for 19 first-half points to give Ellington a 31-20 lead at intermission, then Brian Gerber drained a three-point shot in the opening minute of the second half to give the Knights a 14-point advantage.

That’s when Granby began to duplicate the final game of last season, when the Bears overcame a 21-point deficit in the second half to stun Weaver in the Class S championship game at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Over the final 6:45 of the third quarter, Granby outscored Ellington 24-8 to assume a 44-42 lead. Highlights of that stretch included a dunk by Zach Quinn and a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Logan Brower.

Brower was fouled while scoring on the first possession of the final period, and a technical foul assessed to an Ellington player resulted in a rare five-point play to put the Bears up by seven. The Knights whittled the deficit back down to one with 1:48 to play, but Connelly’s last-second three-point attempt bounced off the back of the rim to send Granby to the finals.

Quinn and Brower each had 16 points for Granby, and Tanner Gibson scored 10. Bassett took game scoring honors with 23 points for Ellington, while Connelly contributed 17.

East Windsor 41, Windsor Locks 25

The Raiders’ game plan was to slow down the high-powered East Windsor offense, much as Stafford had done when dealing the Panthers their only loss this season on Feb. 7.

The first half concluded with East Windsor’s Dajon Farley holding the ball near midcourt for nearly three minutes while the Windsor Locks defenders sat back in a zone. Intermission came with the Panthers holding a 14-9 lead.

Frankie Wadsworth and Kevin Mocadlo opened the second half with three-pointers to give the Panthers a double-digit lead, then they scored 17 of its 21 fourth-quarter points from the foul line to secure their trip to the championship game. Overall, East Windsor sank 20 of 21 free throws.

Wadsworth finished with 16 points, Mocadlo had 13 and Farley added 11, while Nate Pierce led Windsor Locks with 10 points.

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