Torrington basketball gave their fans a reason to smile in 2018/2019.
WILBY HIGH SCHOOL, WATERBURY: It seemed like an attainable goal.
One more win and the Torrington boys’ basketball team would be heading to the Big Dance.
A trip to the Division III Finals at Mohegan Sun.
They had arrived at the Final Four, a place most teams would give a sneaker or six for and had one final obstacle in their way, the Amistad Wolves.
It seemed the stars were aligned correctly for the Raiders to head East on Sunday for a nice 1 p.m. game against, as it turns out, Farmington who disposed of the No 2 seed, Prince Tech by a 72-53 final.
Once in that final game, hey, you take your chances. You’re at the Big Dance.
But alas, tonight was not the Raiders night. Tonight, in a gym that they played so well in during the Naugatuck Valley League Tournament, Torrington ran into a team that played far above their listed heights and because of their efforts, it will be the Wolves against Farmington on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the land of the Sun.
Torrington fell by a 71-65 final.
Their season, the Torrington one, was a remarkable campaign that saw them post a 19-7 overall record, and included the return of the high-octane energy the Connie Donahue Gymnasium is known for and should be for the foreseeable future as this program has new found legs, thanks to the efforts of the five seniors who played their last game tonight.
Dontae Thomas, 22 points, goes out after being a point guard who will go down with the best to play here over the past 20 years. His skill and determination grew each game over the past few seasons.
Joel Villanueva, the mighty YMCA warrior with the 5 a.m. workout so many school mornings, also added 22 points and will be remembered for being one of the hardest workers THS has seen in many a day.
Tyreek Davis, who heads to The Gunnery next year, had 17 points and wraps a career in high school that saw him score over 1300 in his career.
Kevin Dixon and CJ Root may not have lit up the scoreboard on Wednesday night against a deceptively quick Wolves squad but leave a positive mark on the program and helped bring back the Crazies when inside the Connie.
Torrington finished with a 10-1 record at home this year and made their deepest runs in both the NVL and State Tournaments this season.
The program, led by head coach Eric Gamari and his assistants, has made it known that they will put up a fight against any comers, having played the best in the NVL very well during the 2018-2019 campaign.
They just came up a game short.
These players though, represent some of the best Torrington High School have to offer and can certainly hold their heads high when they think of what they accomplished during their careers.
Well done Raiders, well done.