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Raider boys basketball in midst of a special season. A look ahead.

POSTED January 24, 2019
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: With their 61-49 win over Waterbury Career Academy on Wednesday night, the Torrington boys’ basketball team improves their record to 9-3 with eight games left in the regular season.

It was an important win for several reasons. One, it kept their win streak alive at five games and second, marked their second win in three tries over a city team (beat Holy Cross and WCA, lost to Crosby).

At 9-3, the Raiders find themselves in second place in the overall Naugatuck Valley League standings as we wind down the regular season with only Sacred Heart in front of them at 13-1 (12-0 in the NVL).

In Division III, Torrington is the sixth seed at the moment, trailing the leader, Wamogo who remain perfect at 12-0.

The Big Three for the Raiders, Joel Villanueva, Dontae Thomas and Tyreek Davis all played key roles in their Wednesday night win over WCA.

For the year to continue as head coach Eric Gamari hopes it will, those three will need to continue to play at a high level. The trio combined for 58 of the teams 61 points in the win (CJ Root added a three-ball).

Let’s take a look at their remaining schedule.

On Friday night, Torrington heads south to take on a rival, the Naugatuck Greyhounds who are playing very well themselves, having won four in a row and gave the Raiders all they could handle in the first meeting between the two, a 47-46 win by the home team that night in the third game of the year.

Standout Jean Lukau didn’t start that game but made an impact in a Greyhound (8-5) second half rally and just went off for 33 points in his teams 65-63 win over Holy Cross on Wednesday night.

It’s one of three games left on the Raiders schedule that should pose a significant threat.

A rematch against Wolcott (a 93-87 loss on January 8) comes up in Torrington on February 7th and the Raiders will be looking to avenge that loss, a tough one because the Raiders had a 14-point first quarter lead before falling.

Torrington travels to Waterbury to take on the Hearts the last game of the regular season on February 19 and would certainly prefer a 16-3 mark when they face off against one of the top teams in the state.

It is possible, although as seen on Wednesday night, their margin of error is small without a wide variety of scorers.

Torrington will also be home for contests against St Paul (Tuesday, Jan 29) and on Senior Night against Kennedy (Thursday, Fed 14).    

Aside from the Naugatuck and Sacred Heart games, the Raiders take to the road and face Watertown (Friday, Feb 1), Ansonia (Tuesday, February 5) and Derby (Tuesday, Feb 12).

---There will be a girl-boy double header at THS next Tuesday with a special event in between at the Connie Donahue Gymnasium.

The Raider girls will lead things off at 5:15 when they face off against St Paul at 5:15 before the boy’s game against the Falcons at 7:30.

In between, the Torrington Unified Sports program will show off their award-winning moves in an exhibition that will sure to please.

Don’t miss that middle game, it will leave you smiling ear to ear!

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