East Windsor Captures NCCC Tournament Title

It took some extra time, but when the North Central Connecticut Conference title game was over, the East Windsor Panthers were champions.

Trailing by nine points in the fourth quarter, East Windsor fought back – thanks in large part to Dajon Farley – to win the game 41-36.

East Windsor tied it at 33 with just under two and a half minutes to go. The Panthers had the ball for the final shot, but it was tipped and the teams headed to overtime.

In overtime, Adam Fisher put the Panthers up with two free throws. Frankie Wadsworth and Kevin Mocadlo each hit two free throws to put East Windsor up 39-33. With 17 second remaining, Granby’s David Eke hit a three to keep the Bears in it.

With 13 seconds to go, Farley headed to the line and put away two more free throws to seal the victory for the Panthers.

“We’re fortunate to get a couple of bounces, a couple shots, couple free throws,” East Windsor coach John Cessario said. “We played as hard as we could and sometimes good things happen to those who work the hardest and I felt like we did that tonight.”

Being down nine, especially in a low scoring game, can be a daunting thing to overcome, but it’s not something that got East Windsor down.

“This is the grind it out style of play we’ve had all year long,” Cessario said. “There’s not a comfort in being down nine, but we know that we can defend. When you can defend, good things can happen. When you have the opposing team miss three straight possessions, you have a chance. That was something that we were fortunate enough to do.”

He added, “When you’re going up against a team like Granby, you’ve got to be extra careful. We were very fortunate. We understand that there’s a lot of luck in winning these types of games. We had some good fortune tonight.”

The Panthers, who led 16-14 at the half, struggled throughout the second half and had to switch things up a bit.

“We decided to go a little full court pressure and defend with our legs and our hearts,” Cessario said. “It looked like we were getting some serious results so we decided not to change.”

In addition, East Windsor took care of the ball, not committing a turnover in the final eight minutes of the game.

“You give yourself great chances to win when you don’t give the ball back,” Cessario said. “It’s a tremendous effort to the guys.”

Frankie Wadsworth finished the game with 14 points and Farley had 12 for East Windsor. On the night, the Panthers hit 14 out of 15 free throws.

Granby was led by Eke who had 14 points and Curt Field who had 10.

East Windsor will now shift its focus to the Class S State Tournament. The No. 1 Panthers will play on Wednesday against the winner of No. 16 Whitney Tech versus No. 17 Litchfield.

Click here to see a full gallery of the NCCC championship game.

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