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Canny, Kelson carry Torrington over St. Paul

POSTED January 18, 2013
BY Patrick Tiscia
Twitter: @PatrickTiscia


BRISTOL - Some of the statistics were not pretty for the Torrington boys basketball team Friday night at St. Paul.

The Red Raiders committed 28 turnovers and converted only eight of 18 free throws attempts, a combination that usually spells doom on the road against a team with a winning record.

But on this night, Dave Canny, Austin Kelson and the rest of the Red Raiders were not going to be denied. Canny dominated the paint with 32 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks, while Kelson notched 20 points and 11 rebounds in leading Torrington to an impressive 84-66 triumph over the Falcons.

Torrington is now 5-6 with its second straight victory and is three wins from clinching a state tournament berth.

Despite the bevy of turnovers, the Red Raiders never relented and eventually outlasted a St. Paul squad that had no answer for the 6-foot-10 Canny in the paint. All of Canny's 15 made field goals came at the basket, including three dunks in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

"This win feels great," said Canny, a senior captain. "We had a great group of fans come here tonight and to hear them go nuts (after the dunks) fired us up and gave us momentum."

The Red Raiders struggled in a fast pace first quarter and had difficulty catching passes in transition, losing 10 turnovers. However, St. Paul was only able to secure a one-point advantage at the end of the period, 18-17.

With under two minutes left in the second, Anthony Davis had a big sequence, making a lay-up and stealing the Falcons' inbounds pass. He quickly made another basket, sending Torrington to a seven-point halftime lead. It would not trail again.

"In the middle of the quarters, we focused on just calming down," Torrington head coach Eric Gamari said. "We did a much better jobs on our reads and getting in the right spot to convert."

The Falcons (5-4), who were led by Kyle Dube's 20 points, pulled within four midway through the third. Kelson, playing with unlimited energy, quickly put an end to that spurt, scoring the next six points, including a three-point play, to give Torrington a 10-point lead.

"Coach told us in practice the last two days that St. Paul was going to come at us with non-stop energy, from the beginning of the game until the end," Kelson said. "Even when things didn't go our way tonight, we never let it bother us and kept going, kept fighting. We really wanted this."

"We made a lot of mistakes, but didn't quit on plays," added Gamari. "You could see (St. Paul) tugging on their shorts in the fourth quarter. It was a fast game. We've worked hard on conditioning and it paid off tonight."

Canny put the exclamation point on this one with a two-hand tomahawk dunk in transition, opening up Torrington's cushion to 69-54 with 5:54 left.

John McCarthy added 10 points for the Red Raiders, including two three-points at the start of the third. Zak Mancini chipped in with seven points.

Jacob Kawiecki and Brendan Carroll had 12 points apiece for the Falcons.

After beating Ansonia earlier this week, Torrington will look to make it three in a row Saturday against Gilbert.

"Tonight has been our highest point so far," Kelson said. "We've had a couple of close losses at home and we really feel we're better than a 5-6 team. Winning these last two games definitely feels good."

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