NEW BRITAIN - It will have to come against tougher competition in Division II, but the Innovation boys basketball team is officially going to get an opportunity to repeat as state champions.
The reigning Division V champs dominated Parish Hill in the first half on Wednesday night, taking a 40-17 lead into the locker room before cruising to a 66-41 win, qualifying the Ravens for the state tournament.
“I said to the guys in the locker room that it’s cool that we’re at that point as a program we don’t really celebrate those kind of wins anymore,” head coach Matt Lance said. “It’s expected.”
Still, Innovation left no doubt thanks to a game-high 23 points from Gabe Matias and another 14 from Clinton Allen. The Ravens disposed of Parish Hill like it was strictly business, and although it was a landmark victory in that it secured a postseason berth, Innovation is only focused on the next game.
“I love the fact that the boys are like, ‘yup it’s another win,’” Lance said. “We’re going to enjoy this for about 15 seconds and then it’s on to the next one.”
Innovation 66, Parish Hill 41
Parish Hill 9 8 16 8 - 41
Innovation 18 22 19 7 - 66
Parish Hill: Brandon Phouangphiarith 1-0-2, Noah Sweat 1-3-5, Zach Mihok 8-5-22, Parker Richard 1-0-3, Kyler Zaimoff 3-2-9. Totals: 14-10-41.
Innovation: Rafael Brown 2-0-5, LJ Hazelwood 1-3-5, Marvin Owusu 2-1-5, Michael Blackman 5-0-12, Gabe Matias 9-0-23, Clinton Allen 7-0-14, Tyvonn Thompson. 1-0-2. Totals: 27-4-66.
Records: Innovation 8-2, Parish 6-5.