TORRINGON: And so, it ends.
On Monday night inside the storied Connie Donahue Gymnasium on the campus of Torrington High School, basketball for two teams ended.
In a rare day/night twin bill (boys at 4, girls at 7), the Raiders saw each teams hopes of moving on stopped but not before showing the fight that both teams brought with them every time they took the floor.
In the opener, a hot shooting Stonington team raced out to a 17-9 lead after one quarter, drinking three pointers at will on their way to seven for the game.
After falling behind 25-13 early in the second, the home team showed that grit by clawing their way back to 28-22 just before the half.
A 9-3 run in the middle of the third quarter would give the Bears a cushion they would maintain the rest of the contest.
It ends one of the most entertaining Torrington boys basketball season in recent memory with the Raiders proving along the way that on any given night, they could play with anyone.
Highlights from the year included this group of seniors’ first ever win over Crosby 76-70 at home on January 31 before an energized Connie Donahue Gymnasium crowd.
They would push Naugatuck Valley League regular season champions, WCA before falling 68-65 in Waterbury on January 3.
Kennedy escaped with a close 70-68 win at home on February 12.
The Raiders graduate a terrific group of student athletes as Jordan Harvey, Thaddaeus Kimberly, Allen Smith, Andre Story and Peter Duman move on after leaving their mark on the program.
Their cupboard is certainly not bear though, with a talented group returning next season led by sophomores Will Parkhouse, Logan Tucciarone and Adi Puskareevic.
Each played a big role with the 2022/2023 team.
Thanks for the memory’s boys, that was fun.
Boys Class L First Round
STONINGTON 66, TORRINGTON 54
Stonington (9-13): Luke Lowry 5 3 16, Aaron LoPresto 3 6 14, Robert Scavello 6 3 15, Alex DePerry 6 1 15, Dylan Cimini 2 0 4, Alexander Nowak 1 0 2. Totals: 23 13 66.
Torrington (11-11): D’Angelo Williams 0 0 0, Mickael Camara 0 0 0, Jordan Harvey 4 0 9, Allen Smith 3 3 9, Luca White 0 0 0, Thaddaeus Kimberley 6 5 18, Andre Story 0 0 0, Peter Duman 0 0 0, Michael Ahoua 0 0 0, Issac Fenn 0 0 0, Adi Puskarevic 0 0 0, Logan Tucciarone 4 2 10, William Parkhouse 3 0 8. Totals: 20 10 54.
Stonington 17 13 17 19—66
Torrington 9 13 18 14—54
3-point goals: S—Lowry 3, LoPresto 2, DePerry 2; T—Harvey 1, Kimberley 1, Parkhouse 2.
-For the THS girls, last night’s game was played with what you could describe as house money.
Not that they wanted the run to end at the quarterfinals but after earning three home game due to their higher seed in Class L, Torrington won their first two and had a shot at a semi-final run if not for one Ayanna Franks, who was all world with 35 points and nearly impossible to stop.
Windsor, a strong, fast and athletic team, was in head coach Mike Fritch’s estimation, “just a better team tonight”.
The Raiders managed to stay with the Warriors through the half, trailing by just a 24-22 margin but Franks asserted herself in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter when she scored 11 of her teams 19 points.
It has been an enjoyable campaign for Fritch, who told his team how proud he was of them with under two minutes to play during a timeout when it appeared this one was not going to go their way.
“I’ve never had more fun than I have with this group,” Fritch said after the game. “They’re fun, they enjoy coming to practice. They’re just good kids. This school should be proud of these girls. They’ve got great parents and they will all go somewhere in the future.”
The five seniors, Rachel Brewer-Karimi, Brianna Murelli, Amelia Builli, Leah Pergola and Julianna Latina can easily say they left everything on the court.
Most of them have been playing together since they were very young and some will switch to the softball diamond in a week or so.
Juniors Haley Burger, Leanna Harvey and Chelsea Cliff return and will be tasked with continuing the Raider tradition of winning basketball.
Well done, Lady Raiders, well done.
As Rick Wilson wrote in his story posted March 2, the sudden arrival of the ending of a season is always tough, especially when that season was one worth remembering.
Count the seasons these two teams had in that category.
While it seemed to end too suddenly, both the Torrington boys and girls basketball teams earned the right to look back with pride at the season that was.
Girls Class L Quarterfinals
WINDSOR 57, TORRINGTON 45
Windsor (16-7): Hailey Rivera 1 0 2, Amaiya Stevens 1 2 5, Mikaela Williams 5 1 11, Jordyn Bay-Kent 1 2 4, Ayanna Franks 15 3 35. Totals: 23 8 57.
Torrington (18-2): Rachel Brewer-Karimi 2 3 7, Amelia Boulli 2 1 6, Julianna Latina 3 0 6, Haley Burger 4 5 14, Leah Pergola 3 4 12. Totals: 14 13 45.
Windsor 15 9 14 19—57
Torrington 12 10 10 13—45
3-point goals: W—Franks 2, Stevens 1; T—Pergola 2, Burger 1, A. Boulli 1.