Print this story

Around the local area: Back to the courts

POSTED February 03, 2011
BY Patrick Tiscia
Twitter: @PatrickTiscia


The rumor mill is heavy right now that kids plan on using a round ball and will try to get it in an orange circle with a net tonight.

Believe it or not, that my friends is true. We will have basketball tonight.

As you know, and are probably sick of hearing, snow has played havoc with the scheduling of high school sports and it looks like, at least for the next few days, we’ll be able to get in some games.

Amongst the teams in action tonight is the Torrington boys basketball team, which will play host to Sacred Heart at the Connie Donahue Gymnasium.

The Red Raiders, who will also play at home Friday against Watertown, stand at 5-7, still three wins away from qualifying for the state tournament.

Torrington’s season on and off the floor has been a roller-coaster, starting off 4-1 and losing six of its last seven.  Thanks to this hideous winter, the Red Raiders have played only five games this calendar year.

Their last win came on Jan. 11, a 59-45 triumph at home over Naugatuck.

If you’re looking for plans Saturday, the Nonnewaug and Litchfield boys will battle in a highly-anticipated rescheduled game at Litchfield High School.

Nonnewaug has followed up its unbeaten 2009-10 Berkshire League season with an impressive 12-1 mark. The Chiefs held off Litchfield (10-2) in a slugfest, 46-39, in their first matchup on Dec. 23 in Woodbury.

***

A few observations from after attending two events in the past week at the XL Center:

First, I went to the Connecticut Whale AHL hockey game Saturday. If you don’t know, former Hartford Whalers owner Howard Baldwin now markets the team, formerly the Hartford Wolf Pack, in hopes of rebuilding the market to bring the NHL back.

Closely following the situation in Hartford since the Whalers left, I had a hard time taking this very seriously as we’ve heard this type of talk many times before. However, after watching nearly 11,000 fans into the game the whole night, a game that did not include any gimmicky giveaways to draw fans, it was a nice reminder of what we used to have.

If a new arena is ever built in Hartford, a bigger if than Shaq, I could see a team suceeding here.

On Wednesday night, I went to the brick-a-thon between the UConn and Syracuse mens basketball teams. Despite one of the dumber fouls committed in the history of basketball in the final minute, I loved what I saw from UConn freshman Jeremy Lamb and would not be surprised to see him in the NBA in two years.  Make sure you get a chance to see him in person before he leaves.

As for Kemba Walker, he’ll be in the NBA for sure next season, but you can bet NBA scouts will be watching the film from this game to see how to defend him. Syracuse’s zone was relentless and Walker was unable to drive to the hoop and couldn’t shoot over them because of his height.

If they could have made a lay-up, the Orange would’ve won this game by at least 15, instead of the seven it did.

***

On the subject of local college basketball, Torrington’s Jordan Williams continues to excel at Maryland, registering 20 points and 10 rebounds in a loss to Duke, his second 20-10 against the Blue Devils in as many games.

On the season, Williams is averaging 17.3 points and 11.8 rebounds a contest. He has 19 double-doubles, good for first in the Nation.

While it’s still early to think about June, Williams, a sophomore, has the potential to be a NBA first round pick right now. Like the NFL, the NBA is on the brink of labor problems and it will be interesting to see if potential early draft entrants stay in school to avoid possibly sitting around for a full year doing nothing.

***

Only a couple of weeks before Andruw Jones, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Mark Prior arrive to Yankees Spring Training. Who said you couldn’t travel back to 2003?

***

Because of the rule that requires everyone with access to a keyboard to make a Super Bowl pick, here is mine: Steelers 27, Packers 21.

You heard it here 268,956th.

For more from Patrick Tiscia click here