Enfield falls short in CCC quarter finals

By Adam Betz

HARTFORD – Despite a hot start and a memorable performance by their junior sharpshooter the Enfield Eagles could not find a way past Bristol Central, falling to the Rams 74-69 in the quarterfinals of the CCC boys basketball tournament at Bulkeley.

Junior Jadon Archer scored the first nine points of the game for Enfield (17-4, 13-4) and had 14 in the first quarter

“I played pretty good,” Archer said. “I feel like my teammates helped me a lot, got me some open shots, set screens for me. When they are making shots, it really makes it easier for me. Coaches got the open shots for me.”

Head Coach Kevin Zalucki said it is a joy coaching Archer.

“ He loves basketball, and he loves to shoot the basketball,” said Zalucki. “His teammates and coaching staff love to watch him shoot the ball.”

 

After the fast start however, Enfield’s shooting began to cool. Bristol Central (17-4, 14-3) went on a 20-8 run to close the half and led 49-43 after three quarters.

 

Archer, who finished the game with 31 points, started the final quarter with an circus-style layup, and drew the foul. He connected on the free-throw to convert a 3-point-play.

 

Trailing 63-53, Enfield went on a 14-6 run, cutting the deficit to two points. During the ensuing timeout, Zalucki said to his team “believe, baby.”

With under a minute to go, Enfield was trailing 71-67. Archer injured his knee while attempting a rebound. Playing through the pain, Archer was able to hit two clutch free-throws, bringing the score to 71-69. The Eagles wouldn’t score again. With 13 seconds left, Noah Plantamuro hit two free-throws, sealing the game for Bristol Central. The Rams added one more free-throw in the win. Spencer led the Rams with 27 points.

Enfield now awaits the unveiling of the Division III CIAC Tournament bracket to see who they play next.

Zalucki is confident in his teams heading into the state tournament.

“It’s all about this environment that our kids have created and bought into, which is 0-0,” Zalucki said. “All we need to do as a team is tighten-up on defense when we can, box-out a little bit more, and get the ball to the hot hand.”

As for Archer, he knows what he has to do to help his team.

“I just have to keep getting my teammates the ball. Once they start scoring, it makes it easier for me, and we’ll win

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