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Raiders fall to Crusaders 70-59 in regular season finale. Battle Crosby on Saturday in NVL's at 2:30.

POSTED February 23, 2018
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


TORRINGTON: The Torrington boys' basketball team finished the 2017/2018 with a more than respectable 14-6 record after dropping a 70-59 decision to Holy Cross inside the Connie Donahue Gymnasium on Friday night.

Thanks to Mother Nature and some lousy weather though, they won't have much time to ponder about what went right during the season or for that matter, what went wrong against the Crusaders in the season finale.

The Naugatuck Valley League Tournament gets underway on Saturday and the Raiders will travel to Waterbury and Wilby High School to take on Crosby in the quarterfinals of the tournament which features four games, starting at 11 a.m.

# 3, WCA battles #6 Naugatuck in the breakfast game, followed by a match up between the top seed, Sacred Heart and the # 8 seed, Seymour at 12:45.

The Raiders (#4) get the Bulldogs (#5) for the second time this year at 2:30 with the Crusaders (#2) taking on St Paul (#7) in the final game of the day at 4:15.

All times are approximate, based on how long the game in front of them takes.

The semi-finals will be held on Monday, February 26 and the finals two nights later on February 28.

Torrington ends the regular season with a 2-3 record against city schools, that win over Crosby stuck out early as a potential season changer for the Raiders who also beat Wilby at home.

The lost to WCA and Sacred Heart on the road before dropping Friday nights decision to the Crusaders who got 19 points from DeAndre Wallace and 12 from Michael West.

For a team that has lived and died by the long ball this year, the latter was in play on Friday night as the home team made just two three-pointers after averaging nearly double digits the rest of the year in games they won.

Cross is long and big and gave the Raiders sharp shooters trouble all night long in a game that the Raiders never led.

Wallace scored eight points in the opening quarter and the Crusaders connected on three from downtown early to stretch their lead out to 21-15 after one.

The home team was just a moment slow on their releases from the corners throughout the game as the athletic and long Crusaders altered many a shot.

Torrington was led on the scoreboard by senior Jordan Henneberry who had 11, followed by Dontae Thomas who was the only other player in double digits with 10.

The home team kept things within striking distance at the half, down just 11 at 36-25 and after starting the second half on a 6-0 run, got within five at 36-31.

Henneberry, Joel Villanueva and Kevin Dixon fired up the home crowd with buckets out of the break, but the visitors went on a 9-2 run to put the lead back into double digits.

Thomas started another run for the Raiders with one of their two three-pointers, this time early in the fourth quarter as the home team ran off a 9-0 run to pull within six at 55-49.

After the run, Wallace skied high above the rim for a key tip-in and the Raiders would not get back and closer than six points the remainder of the contest.

Now the task at hand is to head south on Saturday to take on a Bulldog team that will certainly have revenge on their minds after the teams last battle in game one of the regular season.

Crosby has been playing much better of late, having won four in a row and eight of their last ten as the team matured under the guidance of long-time coach Nick Augelli. 

It's post season time.

Teams can rest later, time to make it count.

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