South Windsor Comes Up Short At East

By Ken House

EAST HARTFORD – Like a glass of Pepsi left on the counter overnight, the South Windsor High boys basketball team came out flat against fourth-ranked East Hartford in a Central Connecticut Conference North tilt on Saturday night.

And, just as if they had taken a swig of old soda, the Bobcats were left with a bad taste in their mouths. Despite a 21-point effort by South Windsor’s Shane Young, East Hartford utilized several clutch defensive plays in the final minute to grab a 50-46 Blue Division victory. The Hornets (14-1) got 11 points from Isaiah Williams, including a pair of three-pointers in the final quarter. Kewan Smoot chipped in 14 points for the Bobcats (10-4).

The opening four minutes were rough ones for the Bobcats. East Hartford took an 8-0 on a dunk by Austin Nwafor on the way to a 15-2 lead.

“We always get ourselves in trouble in the first,” Young said. “We got down and they outplayed us. We couldn’t hit a shot and that screwed us over.”

The Bobcats settled down and went on a 7-1 run to end the first quarter. South Windsor wound up finally tying the contest 31-31 on a baseline layup by Young with 2:39 left in the third quarter. The Hornets never let the Bobcats pull ahead, though. Smoot’s shot with 6:35 left put South Windsor down 38-37, but East Hartford found a way to respond time and again.

The Hornets proved to be the more physical team in this matchup, just as they were in a 62-47 road win on Jan. 10.

“We talked about playing defense and boxing out,” Young said. “In the first matchup, they outrebounded us and we could not give them four or five shots. We got some fast break points and got more comfortable on offense.”

The Bobcats made the closing minutes quite uncomfortable for their host. After a dunk by Justin Nwafor with 3:32 left gave East Hartford a 46-39 lead, a three-pointer by Young and a bucket by Smoot made it 47-45 with 2:19 remaining.

The Bobcats could not get closer, however. A pair of blocked shots by Austin Nwafor in the final minute, including a swat into the stands with 3.4 seconds remaining, sealed the win.

“It sucks that we lost but it was a good matchup and I am glad we were able to hang tight with them,” Young said. “It’s a tough environment. We had to be strong with the ball and we were not. It kind of hurt us.”


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