Torrington boys basketball opens strong with 73-50 win over Derby.
TORRINGTON: Most teams around the state are going through the same process that the Torrington Raiders boys basketball team are as the 2014/2015 basketball campaign gets underway.
Some teams may be stocked with upperclassmen who have played together most of their basketball lives while others, like the Raiders, are just starting to figure out who is going to do what when they step out onto the court.
Torrington took a good step forward on Wednesday night when they opened against the other Raiders in the Naugatuck Valley League with an impressive 73-50 win in the Connie Donahue Gymnasium.
In his inaugural appearance at the varsity level, junior David White led five Torrington players in double figures with 17 points, including three from downtown.
This is a team that lost a good deal of talent to graduation a year ago but also lost a key inside player in Dom Sabia (who decided to concentrate his efforts in baseball all year) and are waiting for junior Zak Mancini to return from an injury he sustained during the football season.
Turns out, after a painful first couple of minutes in game one, that Torrington head coach Eric Gamari has some weapons who just needed a little time to get started and to put the game plan into action against Derby.
“We followed the script, followed the game plan and the kids executed,” Gamari said. “We’re not flashy but guys like David White, Jason Vinisko and Stephon (Dailey), they can shoot the basketball.”
Torrington’s two big men Jason Vinisko (6’0”) and Jacob Boccio (6’2”) won’t be throwing down many dunks this season but played tough on the boards against Derby with Vinisko pitching in with 14 points.
A light scoring first quarter ended with the home team up 12-6 behind seven points from Vinisko but in the second frame, Torrington found their range led by senior Timmy Considine, who had the hot shooting hand.
“Timmy Considine had a great first half tonight,” Gamari said. “He was huge and I think that relaxed us.”
Considine scored nine points in the frame, two from three point land as Torrington stretched their lead to 36-13 at the half.
That 24-7 second quarter featured a little of everything that Gamari had seen in the limited practice time teams have early in the season.
“We have only had ten guys at practice,” Gamari said. “So everybody is getting a lot of reps. Practice is getting better. Sunday was eh, Monday was a little better and yesterday we were spot on. So I kind of figured we were going to come out and play like this.”
When the Torrington offense ran well, it started with great ball movement that led to open looks that they didn’t miss on.
Considine finished with a dozen points while Stephon Dailey had 11 and Alijah Phillips added 10 as Torrington prepares for a big early season test on Friday night in Waterbury against Sacred Heart.
“This is huge for our confidence,” Gamari said. “Now we can go down to Holy Cross on Friday and I think we can challenge them. If we do what we have to do, we can be in that ball game.”
There’s no clear cut roles on the 2014/2015 version of Torrington boys’ basketball but they took steps in their opener towards defining who will do what down the line.