Notes from the Desk of Mr Gaff. Basketball and a Care Closet update.
TORRINGTON: As we dive headfirst into 2019 (but not into any snow piles) I thought we would take a look around at what’s going on in and around the sports scene in Litchfield County.
---The Torrington boys basketball team lost a tough one on Wednesday night to Crosby by a 77-72 final in their first contest of 2019, but head coach Eric Gamari has loftier goals for his team than an early January match up with the Bulldogs.
“We beat them the first game of the season a year ago,” Gamari said, “And then they whacked us in the Naugatuck Valley League quarterfinals. Our goal is February and March this year.”
The Raiders can play with teams like the Bulldogs, they showed it most of Wednesday night, if you take away a couple of minutes where a ball trap blew up any offensive opportunities at just the wrong time.
Here’s what we know. When on and playing as a cohesive unit, this team can play amongst the upper levels of the NVL, maybe not the Sacred Heart levels of the league but most others.
The standings in the NVL are deceiving and here’s why.
Sure, the Hearts sit in the top spot with their 6-1 mark (6-0 in league play) followed by Wolcott and Holy Cross at 4-1.
The Crusaders were run out of the Connie Donahue Gymnasium on December 18 by a 90-59 final but have won their next four against team with records under .500 but they beat the teams on the schedule as they should have.
The Eagles may be the surprise team in the league this year so far with wins against WCA (59-53) and Wilby (62-59) under their belts.
Torrington travels to visit Wolcott next Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The Raiders, the Bulldogs and Ansonia all sit with 3-2 records after action on Wednesday night, followed by Naugatuck (3-4), Kennedy (2-3) and WCA (2-3).
Be careful when looking at the WCA record though. They lost games to ND Fairfield and Weaver in tough out of conference action before toasting the Bulldogs by 20 last Friday.
Tomorrow night, Torrington travels to Bristol to take on St Paul who sport a 2-4 mark but come off a game on Wednesday night that they led Sacred Heart by a 37-30 score entering the final quarter.
The Hearts outscored the Falcons by a 20-4 margin in the final frame, but St Paul had to have done something right to slow down the top team in the NVL.
---The results are in (and still coming) from the Drive to 100 Gift Card Drive for the Torrington High School Care Closet and the numbers show just how generous this community can be.
Claire Pepper, a key social worker at the school, sent me the good news on Wednesday and I was astounded to find we had raised over $5000 for needy students at THS in the form of gift cards or cash.
These gift cards will be given out, when needed, not like candy, to students who need them and thanks to the outpouring, Pepper is well stocked in both the clothing and gift card department for the coming months.
Things are looking up throughout this community and it starts with leaders like Pepper who care for the children in this community like they were her own.
The Care Closet (or Claire Closet as it has been nicknamed) is organized, has a new rug on the floor and looks terrific.
Great work by all involved. Makes you proud to be a human!
---In the Berkshire League boy’s division, the Wamogo Warriors improved to 6-0 with a 60-51 win over Shepaug in Washington Depot on Wednesday night.
Head coach Gregg Hunt knew the second time around against the Spartans was not going to be as easy as their first meeting, six days ago in an 80-44 rout in Litchfield.
Last night, got behind by seven after the first quarter (18-11) and were never able to fully comeback but made it a much more competitive game then the last meeting.
We have spoken about how the Warriors need to win as many games as they can during the regular season so the get a good seed in the Division III State Tournament after being bumped up two levels after going to the Class S Finals a year ago.
As Hunt said after the last Shepaug game, “We can play victims, or we can play basketball.”
So far, it’s been all basketball.
---On the girls’ side of the BL, the Housatonic Mountaineers pulled ahead of the Northwestern girls in the standings, thanks to a 37-32 win at home Wednesday night.
The Mountaineers (6-0) held the Highlanders (6-1) to just five points over the second and third quarters then held off a late Northwestern rally to secure the win.
Gilbert is now tied with their cross-town rivals at 6-1 with Lewis Mills next at 5-2.
The Yellowjackets host the Mountaineers next Tuesday, January 8 in the Hive at 7 p.m.