Torrington boys basketball in good shape as regular season starts to wind down.
TORRINGTON: It's been a pretty incredible 2017/2018 campaign for the Torrington boys' basketball team so far with more potential good times ahead.
A year after posting a respectable 12-8 record, the Raiders start play this week with a 12-4 mark and a one game lead in the Naugatuck Valley League Iron Division, thanks to their 73-72 win over rival Naugatuck on Friday night on the road.
That win made up for one of the tough losses the team had suffered this season, a sluggish 49-46 loss at home on January 23 and with two games this week against Iron foes (Woodland tonight and Watertown on Wednesday, both on the road), they should be able to wrap up the division. Torrington takes on Seymour (8-7) for the first time this season, on the road Friday night.
Woodland (7-9) fell by an 83-38 score in Torrington on January 12 while the Indians fell hard as well in a 91-49 loss three days later.
In a season that saw them go back to the offense the Raiders of the early 2000's ran under former head coach Tony Turina, Torrington has done well when they stayed disciplined, out running and out gunning their opponents.
Head coach Eric Gamari has been able to play 8-10 players most night, keeping fresh legs coming each quarter and it's paid off.
There has been no one dominant scorer this year although familiar names fill the box scores like Joel Villanueva, Jordan Henneberry, Dontae Thomas or Hunter Murphy.
Senior Richy Rodriguez (even with a broke nose) has played the point well by starting the break that is designed to never end.
Chris Jimenez has shown the ability to catch fire from three-point land, as has CJ Root, when spelling Rodriguez at the point.
Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Dixon have been solid on the inside, Gonzalez can simply sky above the back board at times while Dixon has shown some touch on his mid-range jumper.
Senior Billy Cook may not light up the scoreboard but has played big on the boards all season by battling non-stop for rebounds and has the ability to keep the ball alive on the offensive end via a rebound or a tipped ball.
Torrington has one more home game left this season, the final game of the regular season when they host Holy Cross on Thursday, February 22.
The Raiders are 2-2 against city schools this year with wins over Crosby and Wilby and losses to WCA and Sacred Heart.
The Raiders hold the third spot in the NVL at this point and have themselves in good position in Division III at number six.
Could a State Tournament first- round bye and a home game be in their future?
There is much work to be done before that may come about but things continue to look up for the team that plays in the Connie Donahue Gymnasium.