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Raiders boys basketball enters key stretch.

POSTED January 05, 2018
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Sometimes adversity brings necessity and on Wednesday night, the Torrington boys needed something extra from a player who has started to come on, five games into the 2017/2018 campaign.

When Raiders starting point guard Richy Rodriguez had to sit with two early fouls against Wolcott on the road, senior Chris Jimenez got his chance and made the most of it, scoring 16 points in a Torrington 89-65 win.

The win improves the Raiders record to 3-2 and showcased the diversity that head coach Eric Gamari has this year with nine or ten players able to contribute on a nightly basis.

“We played well,” Gamari said. “It was probably our best all-around team win so far this year. So many players contributed in different ways.”

The Raiders had a monster game on the boards, pulling down 46 with junior Kevin Dixon leading the way with 12.

Junior Joel Villanueva had his best game of the season with a game high 27 points on 9 for 14 shooting, including three from downtown and a perfect sis for six at the foul line.

“Joel had everything working,” Gamari said. “His inside game was great and his shots were falling from all over the court.”

When the Raiders are playing their best so far this year, it’s when they play an unselfish brand of basketball, not caring who scores but that at the end of the day, they have outscored their opponents.

Sounds easy but it doesn’t always work that way.

When Torrington gets the kind of leadership they did Wednesday night from Rodriguez (9 points, nine rebounds) and Jordan Henneberry (8 points, p rebounds), they are very tough to beat.

Their ability to have multiple scorers take over at different times in games, has been and will be key this year.

All teams make adjustments during the game so the Raiders ability to do the same gives them a distinct advantage because if the opponent focusses on one or two scorers, multiple options make it very hard to figure who they should key on.

The Raiders, now 3-2, will take on Ansonia (2-3) on Monday night at 7 p.m.

Their three following games are against Oxford (1-3), Woodland (3-2) and Watertown (1-3) before heading to Waterbury to face highly ranked Sacred Heart.

A key time in a season that has potential as one to remember but to get there, the word “Team” needs to stay front and center in the players minds.

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