Sattazahn, Warriors, romp over Shepaug to improve to 4-0.
LITCHFIELD: Okay, so that just happened.
When Thursday night began, this game had been billed as an early season Berkshire League battle between two teams who were being dubbed the class of the league.
After the opening eight minutes of play ended, only one team, the Wamogo Warriors was in any conversation about who the top dog in the BL is right now.
The Warriors steamrolled to an 28-9 lead out of the gate against Shepaug, who came in with a 3-0 record but left as the latest victim of a team on a mission.
The final; Wamogo 80, Shepaug 44 and it wasn’t even that close.
With their sparkling new gym as their backdrop, the home team played about as well as they possibly could in the first quarter, running out to a 12-0 lead before the visitors broke into the scoring column with 3:59 left in the frame.
Let’s step back a minute and flash back to a season ago when the Warriors went on a magnificent run, all the way to Mohegan Sun in the Division V finals where they fell to Cromwell.
For their efforts Wamogo, considered a School of Choice by the CIAC, was bumped up two divisions to D III while the team that won the title moved up just one to IV but that’s an argument for another day.
That meant their post season hopes and aspirations got a whole lot more challenging which leads us to this season.
From the looks of things four games in, the Warriors are looking to make a statement early and often and on Thursday night, they did just that.
“We were riding high coming off the season we had last year,” senior Reid Turtoro (15 points) said. “We wanted to make sure we carried it into this season. Tonight, we wanted to send a message to the rest of the league that we’re number one, we’re here to stay.”
Head coach Gregg Hunt knew coming into the season that his team had a couple of choices when it came to how to deal with the two division bump up.
“We told the team that we could either play the victims or we can play basketball,” Hunt said. “We’ll choice to play basketball and we’ll see what happens”
Think about what the Warriors returned from that game in Uncasville.
All-World senior Garrett Sattazahn, who dazzled with 19 first half points on his way to a game high 21.
Sattazahn is as talented as he is smart on the court and makes everybody around him better.
Senior Ethan Coffey had a monster game with 16 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and in the area of eight blocks (officially 4 but it appeared several where missed) and single handily disrupted anything the visitors tried to do on the offensive end.
Sean Coffey, also a senior, rounded out a night that saw four players score in double digits with 10-points.
It was a 30-point game at 47-17 at the half.
Can they play better?
“Not the way we played in the first half,” Hunt said. “I’d like to think we can, but we definitely played better tonight than we did the last two nights out. We were tied with Gilbert at the half but outscored them 32-10 in the third quarter and were just up one going into the fourth quarter.”
The final against the Yellowjackets was 72-53 while the final against Housy was 66-48.
It’s a long, long season and the road ahead will not be easy for the team on the hill in Litchfield but for one night, their head coach was happy with their effort but also understands the effort it will take to face off against some tough Division III teams down the line.
“We know we have to come to play every night,” Hunt said. “We can’t get complacent at any point. If we keep getting better, we will be a tough out.”