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BL boys basketball game of the week: Litchfield (8-1) visits Gilbert (8-0) on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

POSTED January 18, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

WINSTED-Before his teams 74-67 win over cross town rival Northwestern on Friday night, Gilbert boys basketball head coach Mark Douglass thought he would learn a lot about his team over their next three games.

“We have beaten the teams we were supposed to beat so far,” Douglass said, “Now, with this stretch, we will see what kind of team we really are.”

The Yellowjackets passed the first test behind a monster game from Austin Brochu, who scored 21 points while ripping away 22 rebounds, an impressive double-double if their ever was one.

Test two comes to town from the west as the Litchfield Cowboys and Jason Harlow invade Winsted on Tuesday afternoon, in a rare 4 p.m. start.

Between the two teams, they have lost but one game; Gilbert is 8-0, Litchfield 8-1.

The Cowboys only loss came to the opponent the ‘Jackets get next, the Nonnewaug Chief’s, who start the week with an identical 8-0 mark .

Nonnewaug takes on Housatonic at home on Tuesday night before traveling to face the same Highlanders who gave Gilbert all they could handle in the Friday night rivalry game.

Northwestern, Litchfield and Nonnewaug in a 10-day period.

Now that’s a tough stretch of basketball for any team.

On Tuesday, the Yellowjackets will have to deal with the relentless pressure the Cowboys bring.

A Harlow coached team never stops that in-your-face defense that fuels an offense that has been picking up steam of late.

In their last game, a dominating 63-36 win over Wamogo, their defense was on top of it’s game, holding the Berkshire League scoring leader Mike Odenwaelder to just 12 points, seven off his average coming in.

Mike Andrulis, who is in the top five in scoring in the BL, led his team with 21 but it was a balanced attack.

Quinn McKenna added 19 (including a trio of trey’s) while Caleb Buck scored 16 points.

Gilbert has also gotten a balanced effort on offense behind Brochu, Guillermo, Elide Romero and Robert Skinner in their eight wins to date.

In a game like this, it’s all about who can handle the pressure for Gilbert and do they have enough players who can handle the ball against the relentless forces they will encounter.

The Highlanders pressed the ‘Jackets on Friday night and Skinner, easily the teams best ball handler, had little problem breaking the press.

We will see how they handle it for 32 minutes.

NAUGATUCK VALLEY LEAGUE BOYS BASKETBALL- It’s a short schedule for the Torrington boys this week as the Raiders (5-5) host Ansonia on Friday night.

After starting the year 4-1, Torrington has lost four of five and where beaten by Wilby by a 66-47 score at home on Friday night.

NAUGATUCK VALLEY LEAGUE GIRLS BASKETBALL- It’s the same story for the Torrington girls basketball team, who have not played since beating up on Naugatuck by a 60-19 margin on January 11.

The Raiders (10-1) travel on Friday to face off versus Ansonia before coming home on Monday, January 24 for a make-up contest against Wilby.

Two nights later on the 26th, an out of conference game against a tough Lauralton Hall team should tell the Raiders a bit about where they are as a team with the stretch run of season drawing close.

BERKHIRE LEAGUE GIRLS BASKETBALL- With the race in the BL all but over with the domination of Lewis Mills very apparent, the battle for second and third is one worth watching.

The Thomaston Golden Bears (9-1) sit alone in second for the moment but have several teams on their heels.

Northwestern and Nonnewaug each sport 8-3 marks while Wamogo is right there at 7-4.

The Bears will visit Litchfield to take on the Warriors on Friday night.

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