BERLIN - It was a game the Berlin boys basketball team never had to worry about.
The Redcoats entered halftime of their game against Conard up 11 points and by the end of the third quarter, which they outscored the Chieftains 20-18, that lead grew to 13.
Dylan Frisk scored 12 of his team-high 17 points in that stretch and at that point, the game was nearly over. Berlin went on to win Wednesday evening 75-63 over Conard.
But while the Redcoats were putting points up on the scoreboard, they felt the key to their victory was the effort on the defensive end.
“We just played good as a team,” Redcoats senior Mike McCarthy said. “We moved the ball around, we made the back door cuts that we needed and we just played really good defense.”
“Everyone contributed tonight,” Berlin head coach Mike Veneziano added. “Everyone who played had a rebound.”
The Redcoats had nearly 20 rebounds in the duration of the game.
McCarthy tied Frisk to lead Berlin with 17 points, while fellow teammate Holden Murphy had 14. But it was Conard who had the leading scorer of the evening. The Chieftans’ Geo Andrews scored a total of 20 points.
“We shot pretty good which helps, you always do better when you shoot the ball well,” Veneziano said. “Much better than our last outing we took care of the ball a lot better. We try to tell them to value every possession and I think today they did that a little better than they did last game.”
Berlin had control of the game early on as the Redcoats outscored the Chieftains 18-11 in the first quarter, scoring four 3s. Murphy scored two of the 3-pointer goals were scored by Murphy with McCarthy and Gianni Farelli scoring the others.
Berlin took its lead into the second quarter as it started with a 12-2 run. Conard answered almost immediately back with a 9-2 run of its own. By the end of the half, however, the Redcoats maintain their double digit lead and led 34-23.
The third quarter, it turned out, though, would be the most competitive with Berlin winning the period 20-18.
The Chieftains did make it close, going a 6-0 run with 3:20 left in the third quarter. Frisk had an answer. He shot back-to-back baskets to start the Redcoats on an 11-2 run. But before the quarter would end, Conard’s’ AJ Ajetfair hit a 3-point buzzer beater.
Berlin still remained in the lead 54-41 going into the fourth, but began to fall into some foul trouble as the game evolved, especially in that final quarter.
“We’ve been fouling a lot to be honest with you,” Veneziano said. “In the two games that we lost, the other teams shot more foul shots because we put ourselves in a bad situation foul wise. We work on it every day, we just have to work a little harder on moving our feet.”
In the remaining eight minutes, the Redcoats sent the Chieftains to the foul line five times. Even though the Redcoats were outscored 22-21 in the final quarter, it wouldn’t be enough to even come close to a win for Conard.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org