NEW BRITAIN - The CT Heat (New Britain) knew they had the advantage once they stepped on the New Britain High School basketball court for the 7th grade girls basketball tournament Tuesday night.
The Heat relied heavily on an aggressive style of play. On multiple occasions, they pressured Trinity Eagles’ (Windsor) defense by making fast breaks or passing the ball from one end of the court to the other on their way to a 35-18 win.
“I told them the way we are gonna win this game is by being aggressive and beating them up and down the floor with our speed,” New Britain head coach Mark Mercier said. “If we can do that and contain their two guards, who are very good players, we will be in this game and win this game. And that's exactly what they did.”
At the halfway mark, the score was 16-12 in favor of the Heat. After the second half began, New Britain was finally able to pull away from it opponent. The Heat scored 19 points to Windsor’s six during the second half.
New Britain owed its dominance in the second half to several athletes who scored multiple baskets throughout the game.
Bria Block finished with four points - making a basket in each half. Waynitu Ciccarello ended the game with six points on three shots. Ciccarello hit one two pointer in the first half and two in the second.
Haileigh Orzel also collected six points against Windsor. Orzel was fouled twice throughout the game and recorded two points from the free throw line. The rest came from within the arc.
Orzel was impressed by the playing characteristics of the other team and their ability to communicate with one another.
“They had a lot of good team work and just really good players in general.” Orzel said.
Emily Arel, one of the team’s youngest and its highest scorer, tallied a total of seven points, including a 3-pointer and two foul points.
Her approach against the Eagles was to keep her playing style aggressive while also making sure to cover players she knew were good shooters.
“Just to play my hardest and have fun,” Arel said of her mindset. “We just kind of went for the aggressive part because we knew two people who were really good shooters and we tried to block them down.”
New Britain continues on in the tournament and will play the Savin Rock Ballers (West Haven) at the Basketball House in Plainville tonight at 5 p.m.