Glastonbury Earns Comeback Victory at RHAM

HEBRON-It’s every team’s goal to be playing their best basketball at the end of the regular season. While Glastonbury did not play their best in the first half at RHAM Friday night, it was a different story in the second half.

The Tomahawks, fueled by outstanding post defense and timely baskets, rallied from an eight point deficit midway through the third quarter to earn a confidence-building 54-50 win in front of a packed house.

The game’s final minute was packed with clutch plays. Ben Stone gave RHAM a 50-49 lead with 1:10 remaining with a turnaround jumper. Following a missed shot by Glastonbury, Tyler Brett had an opportunity to extend the Sachems lead at the line with 50 seconds left, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1. RHAM grabbed the rebound but then committed a charge.

On the following possession, the Tomaahwks got the ball inside to big man Jack Twardy, but he was quickly doubled. Twardy found Porydzy open at the top of the key, and the senior sharpshooter nailed a three-pointer with 29 seconds remaining, which proved to be the game-winning shot.

“We had an advantage with Jack in the post. I thought he would get a layup, but they doubled him and he made the right play in kicking it back out,” Glastonbury coach Jim Vaughan said. “Christian’s been doing that for us all year.”

The Sachems had two opportunities to tie or take the lead following Porydzy’s dagger. They pushed the ball down floor quickly, but Stone’s shot was blocked at the rim by Chika Chukwu. The score remained 52-50 following missed free throws by Twardy with roughly 12 seconds remaining. RHAM ran a very similar play to the previous one, and it had the same ending: a block by Chukwu on a contested shot by Stone in the paint, followed by a RHAM foul. This time, Max Hummel made both free throws to seal Glastonbury’s win.

“We just didn’t execute,” RHAM head coach Steve Emt said when asked about the final minute. “Up one with 50 seconds left, we tried to make a play instead of throwing the ball out and making them foul us. We ran two quality sets on our final possessions with the ball in our best player’s hands and we got blocked twice,” he said. “They stepped up when they had to and we didn’t.”

“We played great defense in the final minutes, ” Vaughan said. “Our offense could have been better, but a lot of that was us being tired.”

Porydzy led the way for Glastonbury, finishing with 17 points. Ian Halpin chipped in with 12. Brett and Stone both scored 11 for RHAM.

The Sachems played well in the first half, particularly on defense. They made it difficult for the Tomahawks to find open shots and get the ball inside. On offense, it did a good job of moving the ball and getting high-percentage shots, leading to balanced scoring. RHAM led 14-10 after the first quarter and took a 32-25 lead into halftime.

“They played good defense in the first half and took Max and Christian away,” Vaughan said. “We missed some shots and then started thinking too much.”

The beginning of the third was back and forth, and the Sachems led 37-29 three minutes in. From then on, the game did a complete 180. The Tomahawks defense completely shut down the paint with their physicality and size, forcing RHAM into poor shots. When it did get a good look outside, it failed to convert. The Sachems were held scoreless in the final five minutes.

Meanwhile, the patience of Glastonbury’s offense finally started to lead to baskets. A three by Halpin cut the deficit to three at the halfway mark, and a second three by Porydzy from the left corner tied the score at 37 with three minutes left. Twardy finally gave his squad the lead with two free throws a minute later, and the Tomahawks led 41-37 at the quarter’s end.

“We played great in the first half, but in the third quarter we didn’t come to play. We took one of our 5 minute breaks and it let them turn a deficit into a lead,” Emt said.

A minute into the quarter, Glastonbury extended its lead to 43-37 on free throws. However, the Sachems would not let them pull away. A Burke layup made the score 43-41 at the 6:10 mark, and he delivered again on the next possession with a three-point play, giving RHAM the lead. The next few minutes was very physical and featured outstanding defense on both sides. Ultimately, the Tomahawks outlasted the Sachems.

Vaughan praised his team’s defense inside in the second half, and singled out Chukwu.

Glastonbury and RHAM both play a final regular season game on Monday. The Tomahawks travel to Wethersfield, and the Sachems host Rocky Hill.

“This win will really help our confidence going forward,” Vaughan said.

“I want to see a good effort on Monday night and for us to make basketball plays,” Emt said. “You’re a basketball player, make basketball plays.”

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