HARTFORD - Innovation boys basketball head coach Matt Lance likes what All-State forward LJ Hazelwood and teammate Dashawn Hill bring to the court.
“They bring a toughness with them,” Lance said.
It’s part of the reason Lance was glad to have both players back in the Ravens’ lineup on Tuesday after missing time with injuries.
Hazelwood finished with 14 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and one block, while Hill contributed four and came up with some big defensive stops as Innovation beat Achievement First 52-43 on Tuesday.
“They make us better,” Lance said. “It was good to have them back tonight. This is a tough environment to play in.”
Gabe Matias and Clinton Allen also finished with in double figures with 12 points and 11 points respectively.
The two teams played a tight second half with both squads scoring eight points in the third quarter and the Ravens edging out the Royals 15-14 in the final eight minutes of play. The difference in the game, however, turned out to be the first two quarters.
Innovation (13-2) jumped out to a 13-10 lead after the first and held a 29-21 advantage at the break.
“I talked to the guys after [the game] and told them it wasn’t always pretty, but at the end, when we needed to make plays, we made those plays,” Lance said.
Jahvon Olmstead led Achievement First with 12 points.
Prince Tech 50, Goodwin Tech 35: The Gladiators held a moment of silence for the school’s co-op football team’s head coach Antonio Johnson, who died on Jan. 31.
Unfortunately, Goodwin Tech wasn’t able to come out with a win.
Shivani Roach and Ambrel Newman proved to be too much for the Gladiators.
Roach scored a game-high 19 points, which included five 3-pointers, and Newman wasn’t far behind with 17 points of her own as the Gladiators fell to 8-8 on the season.
Goodwin Tech led 20-15 at the break, but Prince Tech came out strong in the second half, scoring 16 points while holding the Gladiators to just four. Goodwin Tech was outscored 19-11 over the final eight minutes of play.
Ericka Aponte led the Gladiators with 18 points.
Innovation 52, Achievement First 43
At Achievement First
Innovation 13 16 8 15 - 52
Achievement First 10 11 8 14 - 43
Innovation: Michael Blackman 2-0-5, Gabe Matias 5-1-12, Timothy Fraylon 1-2-4, Clinton Allen 5-1-11, LJ Hazelwood 5-7-17, Dashawn Hill 1-2-4. 19-12-52.
Achievement First: Darius McKnight 1-2-4, Santino Neil 2-2-7, Jahvon Olmstead 5-2-12, Keondre Charles 3-0-6, Josh E 3-0-7, Deivone Tanksley 1-2-5, Amarie Schultz 1-2. Totals: 13-8-43.
3-Point Goals: Blackman (I), Matias (I).
Record: Innovation 13-2.
Prince Tech 50, Goodwin Tech 35
At Goodwin Tech
Prince Tech 9 6 16 19 - 50
Goodwin Tech 9 11 4 11 - 35
Prince Tech: Ashley Avila 4-0-8, Ambrel Newman 6-5-17, Jillian Gartell 1-0-2, Shivani Roach 7-0-19, Jayln Wood 1-0-2, Courtney Baker 1-0-2. Total: 20-5-50.
Goodwin Tech: Aiyana Montes 1-0-2, Ericka Aponte 6-6-18, Megan Lukeszewski 2-0-6, Abneliz Alamo 3-0-7, Ava Hernandez 1-0-2. Totals: 13-3-35.
3-Point Goals: Lukeszewski (GT) 2, Alamo (GT), Roach (PT) 5.
Records: Goodwin Tech 8-8, Prince Tech 9-7.