Litchfield rolls over Gilbert, 69-42, to even their record at 3-3.
LITCHFIELD: The Litchfield boys had been in search of a signature performance as they neared the half way point of the 2018/2019 season.
Coming into their game against the Gilbert Yellowjackets, the Cowboys sported a 2-3 record and were still looking to become the kind of consistent team their head coach, Dan Goscinski, had hoped they would round into.
“We need to make some shots,” Goscinski had said before the game.
Against a Yellowjackets team that came in on a three-game winning streak, the homestanding Cowboys seemed to find their groove in a 69-42 win that was a four-point game three minutes into the third quarter.
Senior Tripp Melk led all scorers with 18 points as the Cowboys went on a massive run from that point on, outscoring the visitors by a 33-10 score over the last 13 minutes.
Gilbert came in with a distinct height advantage inside with Gilbert junior Matt ma and Dylan Crowley on the inside, but the Cowboys were fearless in attacking the basket or turning turnovers into fast break points.
With the Cowboys up by three at 13-10 late in the first quarter, senior Tom Brady came off the bench and provided a spark to the offense with a pair of terrific assists on buckets by Melk and Guilmart, the latter a mid-air pass off a rebound to his wide-open teammate.
Brady would draw a charge after a Conor Bailey three-pointer brought the ‘Jackets to within two at 17-15 two minutes into the second quarter.
Litchfield would flex their muscles over the next two minutes thanks to five points from Fischthal (a three-pointer and a layup), a steal and bucket by Miles Chapman (8 points) and a great inside move from Brady for a bucket.
Brady even drew a foul on the much taller ma by being in a perfect position for a tough board underneath.
Gilbert went on a 6-0 run to get back to within 30-23 before Melk and Brady nailed three-pointers, the latter a step-back shot that just beat the half time buzzer.
“I’m fortunate enough to have a player like Tom (Brady),” Goscinski said. “who started for me the past two years, coming in off the bench.”
The Yellowjackets came back strong at the start of the third quarter as they looked to take advantage of their size advantage inside with ma and Crowley.
A 7-0 run brought the visitors within four at 36-32 after a long Crowley three ball and you could sense a change in the momentum at that point.
Fortunately for the home team, they have experienced upperclassmen who responded with a 7-0 run of their own, started by a trey by Melk with just under five minutes left in the third.
The visitors would sore just three more baskets the remainder of the game, just one in the fourth quarter when they were outscored by a 15-3 score.
Both teams now sport 3-3 records in the crowded Berkshire League standings.
Everyone is chasing Wamogo at the moment as the Warriors are 7-0, followed by Nonnewaug at 5-1, Shepaug at 5-2 and Northwestern at 4-3.
The Warriors destroyed Lewis Mills on Friday night by a final of 72-35 in Burlington and remain the number one ranked team in Division III.
Litchfield 69, Gilbert 42
Gilbert 12 13 14 3 42
Litchfield 17 19 18 15 69
Gilbert (42): Joseph Brugmann 6-1-13, Hunter Smith 2-0-4, Conor Bailey 2-0-5, Dylan Crowley 2-1-6, David Lukowski 1-0-2, Matt Ma 6-0-12: Totals: 19-2-42
Litchfield (69): Miles Chapman 4-0-8, Luke Parsons 1-0-2, Tom Brady 2-0-5, Tripp Melk 6-2-18, Jared Guilmart 6-2-14, Matt Rousseau 1-0-2, Matt Gostkowski 1-0-2, Zajans Crapo 2-0-4, Evan Fischthal 6-1-14: 29-5-69
3-pointers: (G) Bailey, Crowley. (L) Brady, Melk 4, Fischthal
Records: Gilbert 3-3, Litchfield 3-3