FARMINGTON - Newington boys basketball coach Ed Quick preaches â€śweâ€ť not â€śmeâ€ť to his players. So far, its worked for the Indians.
Aside from a few hiccups early, Newington used that philosophy Thursday night at the Farmington Holiday Tournament to pick up its fourth straight win to start the season.
Julian Ortiz finished with a team-high 14 points, Mason Romano had 12 and Nick Dummond added 10 as the Indians rolled past St. Paul 67-47.
â€śAs a team, we were playing as individuals at first,â€ť Ortiz said. â€śWe were going to our stats. Then in the second half, we talked about playing as a team. Weâ€™re dangerous when we play as a team.â€ť
Donavan Symes led the Falcons (1-3) with a game-high 15 points. He was the only St. Paul player to finish in double figures. Jack Noli was next with nine points, while A.J. Brooks, Christian Paterson and Noah Waters each had five.
But after St. Paul was able to jump out to an early lead, it was the play of Newingtonâ€™s bigs - Romano and Teddy Fravel who both helped the Indians take control of the game in second quarter and Ortiz in the second half - that made the difference.
Romano came off the bench and provided an immediate spark for the Indians at the start of the second quarter. The 6-foot-4 junior scored seven of the teamâ€™s first nine points to start the quarter and first five on a 7-0 run to help Newington build up a solid lead.
Fravel, meanwhile, provided four in the period, both on dunks, including a two-handed throwdown on an assist from A.J. Fair. He also had a key block.
Along with a 3-pointer from Jack Morris to answer a trey from the Falconâ€™s Noli and a pair of free throws from Fair, the Indians were able to build a 9-point lead heading into halftime.
For St. Paul, the second quarter was a bit more of a struggle. The Falconsâ€™ first basket didnâ€™t come until nearly three minutes in thanks to a layup from Brooks that ended the Indiansâ€™ run.
A free throw from Noli and a layup from Symes provided the other three points for St. Paul in the quarter. But by then, the damage had been done.
â€śI take full responsibility for my teamâ€™s performance,â€ť St. Paul head coach Steve Phelps said. â€śI didnâ€™t have them ready. I thought we prepared effectively for what we might see from Newington, but it was obvious my guys werenâ€™t confident in what we were doing and thatâ€™s my responsibility.â€ť
The Falcons appeared to make some adjustments to open the third quarter, scoring the periodâ€™s first eight points. But Newington once again was able answer with another key run, outscoring St. Paul 16-4 before Symes was able to close out the quarter with a layup.
The fourth quarter was more of a formality with the Indiansâ€™ lead at 15 points for more for the final eight minutes.
â€śIf we play together the way we play in the second half, we can go on these crazy runs,â€ť said Indians senior guard Jaden Morris, who finished with five points. â€śIf we do that, it can be scary.â€ť
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWINGTON 67, ST. PAUL 47
At Farmington High School
St. Paul 12 8 13 14 - 47
Newington 11 18 17 19 - 67
St. Paul: Donavan Symes 7-1-15, Jack Noli 3-1-9, AJ Brooks 2-1-5, Christian Paterson 0-5-5, Noah Water 1-2-5, Ryan Slyvester 1-1-3, Will Banton 1-0-2, Rydy Otero 1-0-2, Kevin Ashworth 0-1-1. Totals: 16-12-47.
Newington: Jullian Ortiz 6-2-14, Mason Romano 5-1-12, Nick Dummond3-2-10, Teddy Fravel 3-1-7, AJ Fair 1-4-6, Jaden Morris 1-2-5, Izayah Ciarcia 1-2-4, Louis Egbuna 1-1-3, Jordan Dolces 1-0-2, Donovan Price 1-0-2, Razik Amadou 0-2-2. Totals: 23-17-67.
Records: Newington 4-0, St. Paul 1-3.