SOUTHINGTON - The Southington boys basketball team went into the fourth quarter of its game against Farmington trailing by one Thursday evening. Then, something clicked as the quarter evolved.
The Blue Knights went on a 6-0 run toward the end of the fourth quarter to take back the lead, clinching a 49-45 win over the Indians.
With five minutes left in the game, Colin Burdette collected a basket while teammate Andrew Lohneiss collected two for a 47-44 lead over Farmington.
“We were trying to control the ball best we could,” Lohneiss said. “They were getting up on their 1-3-1 press and I think we did a good job. We struggled a little bit but overall I think we did good. We hit some free throws, some threes and it was good.”
The Indians were only able to score three more points before they fouled Lohneiss. Lohneiss was able to hit not one, but two of his free throws to secure the Blue Knights victory.
Lohneiss was the leading scorer of the night with 16 points, but teammate Ryan Gesnaldo was right behind him with 15 of his own.
“Seniors have to be seniors,” Southington head coach John Cessario. “And when Lohneiss can do what he did by hitting some shots and then unbelievable point guard play from Burdette, but the guards need to do what they do then value comes to our sideline and those two guys definitely did it for us.”
The Blue Knights controlled a majority of the first quarter, it wasn’t until Southington brought Farmington the the foul line three separate times that they lost it. The Indians’ Makhi Hankins, Bube Momah and Conor Geary all shot 1-for-2 at the foul line bringing the score 8-5, Southington. Grayson Herr sank a three-point buzzer beater to tie the game up 8-8.
“Our guard play in the first half was a little suspect,” Cessario said. “And then in the second half they really didn’t turn the ball over much and when you have good guard play with possession, you get good things that happen.”
Lohneiss started the second quarter with a three-point shot for the Blue Knights. Another three was made by Southington’s Gesnaldo for a 16-12 lead over the Indians with 4:28 left in the half. Both teams traded basket, and the teams were tied again, 18-18.
But, just as the half ended, Farmington’s Nick Teixeira sent the ball right through the net, giving them a 20-18 advantage.
The Blue Knights were able to outscore the Indians by one in the third quarter (18-17). Gesnaldo hit his fourth three-pointer of the game, but by the 2:18 mark in the quarter, Gesnaldo sank another three, tying the game 34-34. As both teams traded baskets, the Indians lead 37-36 by the time the third quarter ended.
“It’s always a nip and tuck against Farmington,” Cessario said. “They’re well coached, they’re good athletes and we answered a very very big bell because it was our home opener.Obviously the game was a defensive battle but we pride ourselves on defense and we were one, two possessions better than them.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860)81-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org