NEWINGTON – New Britain boys basketball held off a late surge by Newington on Wednesday night, coming out on top 46-44.
An early run through the end of the first quarter and early second quarter helped push New Britain ahead, gaining a lead it did not surrender for the remainder of the game
12 straight points by the Hurricanes was part of a 22-3 run in the first half to put the Nor'easters behind 34-18 at halftime.
The lead extended to 20 points in the second half at 43-23, but slowly Newington started to close the gap on New Britain by using a pressing, full-court defense that created turnovers.
A 12-0 Newington run at the end of the third quarter through the midway point of the fourth quarter reeled the difference back slightly.
New Britain was able to work its way to the free-throw line to maintain the advantage, but in the final minute of action turnovers from the Hurricanes kept giving Newington second chances to cut the difference down to single digits, which it was able to in the final minute of action. Newington closed the game on a 8-0 run as New Britain scored only three points in the fourth quarter. The scoring differential was 17-3 in favor of the home Nor'easters in the last eight minutes.
The early advantage changed the tone for the Hurricanes, who improve to 1-2 with the win. Newington moves to 1-2 with the loss.
"It gave us some breathing room, for sure," said New Britain boys basketball head coach Kurt Reis. "We didn't have that lead, we don't know what would have happened down at the end of the game. We've been struggling the first two games with turning the ball over. Tonight we were a lot better. We were down a few guys so the bench was a lot shorter, but the guys that showed up and played tonight they did a great job."
The brand of basketball through the first three quarters is something Reis is hoping continues, but he knows with youth it'll take a little bit to get a full four quarters together.
"We've got a lot of new pieces, so it may take a little bit longer. We have to make a conscious effort to continue to get better," said Reis.
Leading the Hurricanes in scoring was Omarion Figueroa with 18 points. Newington was led by Nick Gagliardi's 14 points and Noah Tharaldson's 11.