Nowhere to go but up! Torrington boys hoops look to bounce back.
The bulk of the Torrington offense will again run through senior center David Canny. At 6'9", Canny is a big target who has improved his inside play after leading the team a year ago with a 14 ppg average.
TORRINGTON: The past few years have not been kind ones for head coach Eric Gamari and the Torrington boys basketball team.
A 7-13 record in 2009/2010 was followed up with a 4-16 mark a year ago.
Not the type of success Gamari or the Raiders expected or are willing to accept.
In his fourth year on the job, Gamari feels this years team is buying into what he is teaching and looking to get themselves back to the State Tournament, something they have failed to do the past two.
“This team seems to already have a chip on their shoulder.” Gamari said. “We have nowhere to go but up after last year.”
That 4-16 record looks worse than it was, the Raiders were in many of the losses until falling late in games.
“We just didn’t finish well, whether it was holding on to a lead or catching up.” Gamari said. “I didn’t really have one player I could just tell the team to get the ball too.”
If ever there was a senior laden team, this could be it.
Six of the top 10 players are upperclassmen and that could help their effort this season.
Nothing like a strong final year to help erase some of the past couple of years pain.
The Raiders bring back their top three scorers from a year ago in David Canny (14 ppg), Austin Kelson (9 ppg) and John McCarthy (7 ppg).
Canny, who looked strong in the teams first scrimmage against Farmington and in the practice on Wednesday, will see a good deal of the offense run through his 6’10” frame.
A newcomer may supply a spark for the Raiders and a surprise for the Naugatuck Valley League the first time around.
Senior Anthony Davis, who transferred from New York in February of 2011, is slated to start at the point and has shown quickness and good court vision so far.
To help him try to regain the mojo the Raiders sported a few years back, Gamari has welcomed back several ex-players such as Desmond Williams, Derrick Brockamer and Gary Robinson.
Robinson, who graduated from Western Connecticut last year after a standout career on the court and is helping Gamari with the coaching duties, brought something interesting on the teams first bus trip.
His 2006 State Championship ring.
Talk about a great goal to shoot for!
History in Torrington sports has always been critical to the success of all the programs and by bringing back some of the stars who led the way during their day, it gives this team a blueprint for how to get their.
“I tell the kids that they can do it.” Gamari said. “But they have to put the work in and dedicate themselves like those guys did.”
Seniors Anthony Classen, Jimmy Moran and Victor Diaz all figure to have major roles on how the team fares this season.
Juniors Nick Mancini and Mitch Zagrodnik and Desmond Langs will also see rotation time with Langs penciled in as one of the teams strong rebounders.
It’s time for Torrington basketball to get back to it’s rightful place amongst the leaders in the NVL.
Game one is slated for Wednesday, December 12 at “The Pit” against rival Holy Cross with the home opener two days later against a much improved Kennedy team.
A hungry Raiders team with something to prove could be just what the coach and the Raider faithful ordered.