Ramblings from the desk of Mr. Gaff. Raider boys mature, Pergola reaches the top of the mountain and a night for Peter Wallace.
TORRINGTON: Hey, it’s still winter!
With Mother Nature preparing to drop some of the white stuff on us on Thursday that will require more than my broom to get rid of, I thought I’d take a minute and talk about what’s going on in the Litchfield County Sports world.
-It was a great win for the Torrington boys’ basketball team on Monday night as they came back from 14 down to beat rival Naugatuck and in the process, added the Iron Division title to their resume.
Not that it started that way or that the outcome was guaranteed until two sophomores, Tyreek Davis and Joel Villanueva took over late in the game and especially in overtime when they scored all their teams points in their 72-66 win over the Greyhounds.
Torrington had beaten Naugy by 20 (61-41) on the road in their first match up early this season but the ‘Hounds came out inspired and built that 14-point lead early in the third quarter.
Not much was working for the Raiders and the frustration was building to the point where they were snapping at each other as they came off the floor.
How they reacted to this unexpected challenge would be a good barometer of how mature or immature this unit was and with a spirited third quarter that saw them erase nearly all their deficit by outscoring the visitors by an 18-9 score was a good sign that the Raiders had taken a big step in the growing process.
Davis scored 17 of his team high 30 in the second half while Villanueva added 12 and remember the sophomore label. These two could turn out to be some kind of dynamic duo as the years roll on.
Now, while taking the Iron top spot is good, it comes in a year when the division sports just one team (the Raiders) with a winning record.
Making some noise in the upcoming Naugatuck Valley League Tournament and in the state tournament should tell us more about how far this team has truly grown.
The Raiders are on a three-game winning streak with five to play.
They host the Hawks on Friday, hit the road to face Watertown before hosting Seymour on Senior Night on Thursday, February 16 in a critical game that may determine their NVL tournament rankings.
The Wildcats are in the eighth spot at the moment, the Raiders are seventh with the top eight making the tournament.
-Congrats to Raider Senior Brie Pergola on scoring her 1000th point on Monday night on the road against the Greyhounds.
Entering the domain of 100 with ten other greats of Torrington basketball is one terrific accomplishment.
Imagine if she played all four years?
I’m working on a career story about this unassuming but brilliantly talented player who would much rather pass than shoot but still managed to get to the top of the mountain.
-Speaking of that Thursday night game against Seymour, plans are underway to hold a special ceremony during half time of the Raiders boys game against the Wildcats to honor a local legend in our industry, Peter Wallace.
Wallace was let go by the Register Citizen last week and the outpouring of thanks from a grateful community has been remarkable and well deserved.
So, let’s fill the Connie Donahue Gymnasium on Thursday, February 16 to help both the team on the court and the guy who will be back at the press table one more time.
Game time is 7 p.m.