ENFIELD - No LJ Hazelwood, no problem for the Innovation boys basketball team.
Resting their All-State forward due to an ankle injury, the Ravens still exploded for 27 points in the first quarter to spark an 86-55 rout of Civic Leadership on Friday night. If there was any emotional hangover after clinching a state tournament spot two nights before, Innovation didn’t show it.
Gabe Matias eclipsed 20 points for the second straight game, scoring a game-high 22 points while teammate Clinton Allen added 20 and grabbed nine rebounds in just 15 minutes of action.
“Clinton stepped up exceptionally well without LJ in there,” head coach Matt Lance said. “To go 10-for-11 from the floor in just 15 minutes, this was his best performance of the season in just half a game.”
Michael Blackman also filled the stat sheet, scoring 13 points while adding seven assists, eight rebounds and four steals.
“He played really well,” Lance said. “He stepped up and I was happy with how he was able to facilitate.”
Justin Oquendo led Civic Leadership with 16 points, while Dior Powell added 15 in the losing effort.
Middletown 58, Berlin 52: The Redcoats fell behind early on Friday night, and couldn’t quite complete the comeback. Trailing 23-14 after one, Berlin battled through a tough fourth quarter before coming up short in a 58-52 loss to the Blue Dragons.
Jeff Madeia paced the Redcoats with a double-double, logging 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Justin Piskorski led Berlin with 16 points. Middletown’s Mekhi Toller matched Piskorski with 16 of his own to help the Blue Dragons avoid the upset.
Berlin 56, Middletown 46: The Redcoats grabbed their second win in a row on Friday night thanks to an explosive third quarter, dropping 24 points to move to 11-1 on the season.
Lyzi Litwinko led the Redcoats with 19 points while grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out seven assists. Carly Grega added 14, and Wynter Yovan scored five points while securing 10 rebounds.
Middletown’s Tyah Pettaway led all scorers with 20 points.
Aerospace 37, Goodwin Tech 31: The Gladiators tried to mount a second-half comeback on Friday night, but ultimately, they had dug themselves too deep a hole early on.
Goodwin Tech managed just two points in the first quarter and trailed by 11 in a 37-31 loss to Aerospace, knocking the Gladiators below the .500 mark. Abneliz Alamo did her best to quickly make up ground by knocking down four 3-pointers for Goodwin Tech, but her game-high 16 points wasn’t enough.
Megan Lukeszewski hit a pair of triples of her own to finish with eight points. Aerospace was led by Ashanti McLean, who dropped 10 points.
Innovation 41, Civic Leadership 30: The Ravens fell behind early after scoring just three points in the opening quarter, but as it turns out, they were saving their offense for the second.
Innovation erupted for 21 points in the second quarter while allowing just five in a 41-30 win at home. Ariana Rivas led the Ravens with 12 points and 12 rebounds, her second straight double-double, while Te’ijah Roberts logged nine points and blocked seven shots.
Veronica Sanchez led Civic Leadership, and all scorers, with 15 points.
Berlin 96, Windsor 85: The Redcoats finished first in all three relay events to pick up a win over Windsor on Friday and move to 4-1 on the season.
“It was definitely a highlight for us today,” head coach Dan Thurston said of his relay teams.
The 200 medley relay team of Pat Lukens, Adam Kajzer, Andrew Roberti and Kiernan Jennings took first, as did the 200 freestyle relay team of Marcel Dabek, Matt Uryga, Roberti and Ryan Hunt. Uryga, Roberti and Jennings also shined in the 400 freestyle relay team along with Nathan Snyder.
Jennings had a strong day overall, winning the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke, qualifying for states in the process. Roberti won the 100 butterfly, while Matt Dennis took first in the 500 freestyle.
Kajzer and Snyder qualified for states as well in the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley, respectively.
“It was a lot of back and forth and a tight meet today,” Thurston said. “But what really capped off the meet for us was the backstroke. We took first, second and third. The guys really brought the energy to Windsor today.”
Innovation 86, Civic Leadership 55
At Civic Leadership
Innovation 27 13 25 20 - 86
Civic Leadership 9 21 7 18 - 55
Innovation: Luther Nowlin 2-0-4, Alonzo Hill 1-0-2, Marvin Owusu 1-1-3, Charlie Lugo Jr. 2-0-4, Michael Blackman 6-0-13, Gabe Matias 6-4-22, Willaguy Luxama 2-0-5, Timothy Fraylon 4-2-13, Clinton Allen 9-2-20. Totals: 33-9-86.
Civic Leadership: Deeshawn Feliciano 6-0-12, Justin Oquendo 6-2-16, Dior Powell 5-3-15, Brysen LaSalle 3-2-9. Totals: 21-7-55.
Records: Innovation 9-2, Civic 0-10.
Middletown 58, Berlin 52
Berlin 14 10 13 15 - 52
Middletown 23 12 12 11 -58
Berlin: Mike Ciarcia 1-0-3, Justin Piskorski 6-0-16, Danny Lynch 2-0-6, Sal Dastoli 0-1-1, Jeff Madeia 5-5-15, Ben Lincoln 5-0-8, Cam Murphy 1-0-3. Totals: 20-6-52.
Middletown: Mekhi Toller 6-1-16, Kenny Fountain 2-0-4, Jonathan Nkonoki 4-1-10, Roy McKeithen 1-0-3, Erin Strong 1-1-3, Richard Rivers 1-0-2, Donte Pope 6-6-19, Elijah Wilborne 0-1-1. Totals: 21-10-58.
Records: Middletown 9-2, Berlin 2-9.
Aerospace 37, Goodwin Tech 31
Goodwin Tech 2 9 12 8 - 31
Aerospace 13 9 7 8 - 37
Goodwin Tech: Aiyana Montes 1-0-2, Tomoya Bennett 0-1-1, Ericka Aponte 2-0-4, Megan Lukeszewski 3-0-8, Abneliz Alamo 6-0-16. Totals: 12-1-31.
Aerospace: Ashley Renoldi 4-0-8, Ashanti McLean 3-3-10, Julia McLean 4-0-8, Eden Hyatt 4-0-8, Vanessa Wer 1-1-3. Totals: 16-4-37.
Records: Goodwin Tech 6-7, Aerospace 7-5.
Berlin 56, Middletown 46
Middletown 12 7 14 13 - 46
Berlin 14 9 24 9 - 56
Middetown: Jenaya Salafia 1-3-5, Alexa DeSena 1-0-2, Aysia Henderson 1-1-3, Tyah Pettaway 8-2-20, Jada Bryant 1-1-3, Zanee Bushay 6-2-13. Totals 17-9-46.
Berlin: Lyzi Litwinko 6-6-19, Ashley Wenzel 3-3-10, Wynter Yovan 2-1-5, Carly Grega 6-0-14, Clare McGeever 0-2-2, Callie Gendron 2-0-6. Totals 20-12-56.
Records: Berlin 11-1, Middletown 5-8.
Innovation 41, Civic Leadership 30
Civic Leadership 9 5 11 5 - 30
Innovation 3 21 10 7 - 41
Civic Leadership: Ariell Cuyler 1-1-4, Vilmarie Gonzalez 0-1-1, Rosie Rivera 1-1-3, Veronica Sanchez 7-1-15, Daynaisha Cruz 0-1-1, Leah Coleman 2-0-6. Totals: 11-6-30.
Innovation: Chelsea Wray-Brown 3-0-7, Ariana Rivas 4-4-12, Te’ijah Roberts 3-3-9, Leanna Abraham 3-1-7, Annalyees Hill 1-2-4. Lydia Bishop 1-0-2. Totals: 16-10-41.
Records: Innovation 4-8, Civic Leadership 4-7.