Matt Gostkowski leads Litchfield to easy win over Bolton in D5 First Round game. Nonnewaug on deck.
LITCHFIELD: How confident are the Litchfield Cowboys in senior Matt Gostkowski’s ability to make shots at will?
“He never misses,” fellow senior Tom Brady said after watching his teammate torch Bolton for five, 3-pointers in an 80-51 romp in a first round Division V State Tournament game.
Gostkowski helped the Cowboys break open a tight 12-11 game after one quarter with 13 second quarter points, including three long balls.
That could seem to be a quiet frame for the sharp shooting senior, according to his coach.
“We had a scrimmage yesterday,” head coach Dan Goscinski said. “Matt had 7, three pointers in just 20-minutes. He’s got such confidence right now.”
With the opening round win, the Cowboys (#13) travel on Thursday for a second-round game against a familiar foe in Nonnewaug (#4), a team they split with during the regular season.
The Bulldogs, who came in ranked #20 with a 9-11 record, kept things tight for the first eight minutes thanks to an aggressive ball trap and three, 3-pointers while the home team was doing something they did most of the night in the quarter, they went to the foul line.
Litchfield converted on 26 of 33 free throw attempts in the game with junior Evan Fischthal leading the march to the line, converting 12 of 14.
With the visitors trapping, it left the lanes open and the Cowboys took full advantage by driving whenever they could.
Bolton was led by junior Aidan Obrien who had a tremendous offensive night, leading all scorers with 28 points, including four, 3 pointers.
Up one as the second quarter began, the Cowboys went 10-0 run before the Bulldogs scored their first points of the frame at the 6:25 mark.
Miles Chapman started the run with a pair of free throws which led up to back 3-balls from Gostkowski and Jared Guilmart.
Gostkowski would complete the run with two freebies and suddenly, it was 22-11 in a blink of an eye.
Bolton would take a much-needed time out and went on a 7-0 run of their own to pull back to within four at 22-18 but a pair a free throws by Fischthal (18 points) were followed by back to back three’s again by Guilmart and Gostkowski to put the lead back to double digits at 30-20.
Bolton would not get the deficit back under double digits the rest of the way, with Litchfield leading by a dozen at the half at 37-25 by 21 at 55-34 after three.
Playing against teams like Wamogo and their opponent on Thursday (the Chiefs) who love to press, had clearly helped the Cowboys on Tuesday night as they moved the ball very well to the open man left that way by the ball trap.
“We had two really good practices leading up to this game,” Goscinski said. “We got some good alumni and some guys that I know who are really good basketball players, come in and help us prepare.”
As for his senior sharpshooter who made the most of his open looks?
“Matty G is a really, really good shooter,” Goscinski said. “And a lot of people sleep on him. When he plays with confidence, he’s going to most of the ones he takes.”
So, it’s off to Woodbury on Thursday for the rubber match of the 2018-2019 campaign, this time though, someone’s season will come to an end.
Each team won on the others court during the regular season with Litchfield winning by a 55-46 final in early January and the Chiefs by a 69-52 margin in Litchfield in early February.
Division V State Tournament First Round
Litchfield 80, Bolton 51
Bolton 11 14 9 11 51
Litchfield 12 25 18 25 80
Bolton (51): John Tyrrell 2-0-5, Jack Gallacher 1-1-3, Aidan Obrien 9-6-28, Michael Barrett 3-0-6, Jacob Sondik 1-0-3, Cal Bulley 1-0-3, Samwell Pagani 0-3-3: Totals: 17-10-51
Litchfield (80): Mile Chapman 3-4 10, Tom Brady 1-2-4, Tripp Melk 3-3-10, Jared Guilmart 5-2-14, Matt Gostkowski 5-4-19, Zajans Crapo 2-0-4, Evan Fischthal 3-12-18 Brody Stevenson 0-1-1. Totals: 22-26-80
3-pointers: Bolton (7) Tyrrell, Obrien 4, Sondik, Bulley. Litchfield (8) Melk, Guilmart 2, Gostkowski 5
Records: Bolton 9-12, Litchfield 11-10