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East Catholic knocks off Glastonbury to advance in CCC tourney - TheSportsDept.com

East Catholic knocks off Glastonbury to advance in CCC tourney

By Adam Betz

HARTFORD – East Catholic coach Luke Reilly knew a game that looked like a certain victory on paper was likely to be anything but easy. He was right.

Top seeded East Catholic defeated rival Glastonbury 75-61 in the quarterfinals of the CCC boys basketball tournament, Saturday at Bulkeley High School. The Eagles improved to 22-0 (18-0 CCC) while Glastonbury dropped to 16-6 (13-5).

“It’s a CCC rivalry game, there’s a lot at stake, we’re playing in a seven o’clock game. Those guys are a good team,’’ Reilly said. “Look at their record; they’ve won a lot of games. You get into tournaments, the CCC is a very competitive league, and they did great. They did a wonderful job.”

The game started off as a duel between East Catholic senior Jamil Hornesby and Glastonbury Junior Jack Shea. Hornesby scored nine of the Eagles’ first 12 points, while Shea scored four of the Tomahawk’s first 6. Hornesby finished with 12 points in the quarter, as the Eagles led 17-12 going into the second.

In the second quarter, East Catholic was able to jump out to a 34-23 lead, thanks to the shooting of Joey Reilly and senior Matt Veretto.

The Tomahawks kept battling and closed to within 34-31 at the half. But that was a s close as the Tomahawks would get. East Catholic began the second half with a 7-0 run to take command for good.

The shooting of Glastonbury junior Aaron Latham kept GHS within striking and he scored 10 of his team-high 30 points in the third quarter.

“I think the team really helped me out,” Latham said. “We were moving the ball really well, everyone was setting screens, they found me in open spots and I just had to knock down the shots.”

Reilly scored seven of his 20 points in the quarter. Hornesby scored five of his 18, and Veretto scored three of his 13 as the Eagles slowly began to extend their lead.

“They wore us down towards the end,” said Glastonbury Head Coach James Vaughn. “But I couldn’t ask for more.”

“I’m just so proud of this team,” Latham said. “Such a good game, such a great environment. I’m so happy we hung with them for that long.”

Vaughn echoed Latham’s sentiments.

“I’m extremely proud of them,” Vaughn said. “We executed our game plan. The reason why they (East Catholic) are so good is because they can score from five different places on the floor, and they did that. We took away Reilly for a while, and we battled. We’re down a couple kids, a couple of starters, and we played our hearts out.”

Glastonbury will get another in the Division II CIAC Tournament.

“We need to get some rest, try to get healthy, and keep playing as hard as we did today.”

Latham feels that this game did nothing but boost the team

“I think this gives us a lot of momentum going into the state tournament. I can’t wait to see what we can do later on.”

As for East Catholic, they will play Bristol Central in the semifinals of the CCC Tournament at Bulkeley on Tuesday

“I know that we are going to prepare as hard as we can prepare,” Reilly said. “I know the guys are going to be hungry, because they are going to be a little disappointed with their performance tonight. Although thankfully we got the win. We’re going to do the best we can to get ready; they are another good club. There’s only four teams left in a 32-team league, so you know they’re good. And they’re going to be hungry to beat us, that’s a fact. So, we have to go into the game knowing that.”

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