MANCHESTER - While some might have wondered how the Innovation boys basketball team would handle the success it had last season this year, one that was filled with plenty of program firsts, head coach Matt Lance was not one of them.
“I think the way last season ended [in the Division V quarterfinals] was a huge motivating factor for our players,” Lance said. “A lot of guys were playing together all summer, lifting throughout the offseason. We had a bunch of guys in the gym the day after the loss. They were hungry and put in a lot of work in the offseason.”
It’s only been two games into the season, but the results are showing.
On Friday, the Ravens beat Cheney Tech 78-41, just a night after beating Bolton 71-50.
Lenny Okonya and Ramiesh Bogle each scored a game-high 14 points, while Lester Emanuel III added 12 of his own in the win. In total, 11 different players recorded at least one basket for Innovation (2-0), Carlos Gonzalez, the team’s leading scorer from a season ago, scored nine points with Gabriel Matais and LJ Hazelwood adding eight apiece.
“Offensively, we were really unselfish tonight,” Lance said. “And that’s kind of our mindset. We try to find the best shot. There were stretches tonight where we were moving the ball around so well. On this team, it really doesn’t matter who scores.”
That ability to spread the ball around helped Innovation put up 25 points in the first quarter with the rout going from there. The Ravens hit double-digit points in the both the second and third. Their lowest output was seven points in the fourth quarter after the game was already out of reach and they put on the brakes.
But as good as the offense was, the team’s defense played just as well if not better.
The Beavers (1-1) were held to just five points after the opening quarter and 17 by halftime. None of their players reached double figures with Elijah Quiles scoring a game-high nine points.
“Defensively, I thought we were really good,” Lance said. “Lester had 6 steals. Ramiesh had five steals and played great on the ball tonight.”
Prince Tech 70, Innovation 30: It was a game that got out of hand early for the Ravens.
Nyah Jenkins scored a game-high 26 points for Prince Tech (2-0), which opened the game with 21 points in the first quarter. By halftime, Innovation trailed 36-13.
Ariana Rivas scored a team-high 11 points for the Ravens (0-3) with Chelsea Wray-Brown adding nine.
Areospace 39, Goodwin Tech 25: A slow first quarter is what ultimately doomed the Gladiators Friday night.
Goodwin Tech (2-1) was held to just two points and was held to single digits in the other three quarters as well.
Joarielys Martinez (13 points) and Abneliz Alamo (12 points) were the only two that scored for the Gladiators. All of Alamo’s points came off of 3-pointers.
Ashanti McLean led Aerospace (1-1) with a game-high 18 points, while Deseray Chapman added 10.
Innovation 78, Cheney Tech 41
At Cheney Tech
Innovation 25 16 30 7 - 78
Cheney Tech 5 12 11 13 - 41
Innovation: Armani Alonso 2-0-4, Carlos Gonzalez 4-1-9, Lester Emanuel III 5-2-12, Michael Blackman 1-0-3, LJ Hazelwood 4-0-8, Lenny Okonya 5-3-14, Charlie Lugo Jr. 1-0-2, Gabriel Matias 3-1-8, Ramiesh Bogle 5-2-14, Clinton Allen 2-0-4, Julian Figueroa 1-0-2. Totals: 33-9-78.
Cheney Tech: Pedro Rios 2-1-7, Elijah Quiles 3-1-9, Mack LaRoche 1-0-3, Anthony Lazure 3-1-8, Jared Holbrook 1-1-3, Zaid Lang-Myers 3-1-8, Jason Starkweather 1-1-3. Totals: 15-4-41.
Records: Innovation 2-0, Cheney 1-1.
Prince Tech 70, Innovation 30
At Prince Tech
Innovation 7 6 13 4 - 30
Prince Tech 21 15 16 19 - 70
Innovation: Brianna Santana 2-1-5, Chelsea Wray-Brown 3-3-9, Ariana Rivas 5-1-11, Lydia Bishop 1-1-3, Armanie Colon 1-0-2. Totals: 12-6-30.
Prince Tech: Nyah Jenkins 10-2-26, Ashley Avila 6-2-12, Shivani Roach 1-1-5, Jaylin Woods 2-0-4, Ambriel Neuman 4-3-11, Jillan Gartrell 3-0-6, Eireon Gilbert 1-0-2. Totals: 32-3-70.
Records: Innovation 0-3, Prince Tech 2-0.