NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain Hurricanes’ swarming full court press might haunt the Rocky Hill Terriers’ ballhandlers in their dreams tonight.
The New Britain boys basketball team suffocated the Rocky Hill offense, forcing 27 turnovers en route to a 91-41 rout in New Britain on Tuesday night. The Hurricanes left no doubt in their second-straight win, with both victories coming via blowout after an 81-49 victory against Newington on Friday.
“It was pretty effective,” New Britain head coach Kurt Reis said of the full court press his team unleashed for most of the first half. “It’s something we’ve been doing more of over the last few games. With the speed we have on this team, it’s going to have to be a focal point of ours as the season goes on.”
Four different Hurricanes finished in double figures, with Tahmeen Dupree leading the way with 17 points, while senior Kaiyon Gunn poured in 15 of his own. Shamah Charles added 12.
“We’re really balanced,” Dupree said of New Britain’s offense. “Everyone can play. Everybody is fast and we can interchange anybody. We’re probably 11 deep.”
The Hurricanes were swarming the Terriers early, using the full court press to force six turnovers in the first four minutes of the contest. New Britain made the most of its takeaways, recording 12 points off early turnovers to race out to a 17-4 lead. Rocky Hill was forced to burn two timeouts by the midway point of the first quarter.
The timeouts did little to solve the Hurricanes’ ferocious defense. When the smoke cleared after a lopsided first quarter, New Britain held a commanding 25-6 lead after forcing nine takeaways.
Seven different Hurricanes were in the scoring column by the end of the opening period with 11 different players finishing with at least two points, further cementing the Hurricanes’ balanced attack.
“That’s kind of our nature, to spread the wealth a bit,” Reis said. “We had an opportunity for some guys to get additional minutes tonight, and we benefited on both ends.”
With the game seemingly already out of reach, Isaiah Jenkins ignited the New Britain crowd with a breakaway one-handed dunk late in second quarter, fittingly on the heels of another Terriers turnover, who saw their total climb to 17 by halftime, just three less than their first half point total.
“It’s fun playing because everybody is fast, and everybody can get their hands on the ball and get steals,” Dupree said. “That’s what we all look for, those fast breaks, because we know we’re faster than anybody.”
The Terriers’ only antidote for the Hurricanes’ defensive storm was Alex Boutin, who battled in the paint for eight first-half points in the rare event that Rocky Hill escaped the New Britain press. Boutin was held scoreless in the second half, while New Britain went into cruise control.