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The 2006 Torrington Boys Championship Season. Part One: Dropping the 2005 D-II semis to Wethersfield served as the rallying point for 2006.

POSTED February 29, 2016
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Part One of Ten. The 2005 Carryover Affect.

It all started the year before with a loss. How often do great stories of champions start with a defeat that sticks with a team that it becomes a rallying point?

Such was the case with the last game of the 2005 Torrington boys basketball campaign, one that ended in the Division II semifinals with a loss against Wethersfield.

That Raider team included standouts such as John Strawson, Jamieson Reynolds and David “Happy” Gilmore, Chris Moran and Pat Casey to name a few of the upperclassmen. It was a stacked team.

It was a team that posted only the third 20-win season (20-6) in school history along with the 1944 and 1948 squads.

“We thought we should have won it all that year,” head coach Tony Turina said. “We had an incredibly talented team that came up one game short, but we looked at it like we also had unfinished business going into the following season. These kids came into the season committed to getting to the final game. It was in their hearts and minds from day one.”

In the locker room after the loss, Turina made sure he went up to every player who was coming back and reminded each of them that they would be back to take the title just 12 short months later.

“We felt like we had the championship right at our finger tips,” Raider star Michael Fabiaschi said. “We felt it was our for the taking that next year.”

Fabiaschi would be the offensive force that drove the bus, but he had plenty of help from teammates Mark Woznicki, Dustin Waldren and Gary Robinson, just to mention a few. This was a deep team, rooted in a belief that they could take on and beat anybody if they simply played their game.

“We never worried about anybody else,” Fabiaschi said. “We knew what we had to do and if we executed, whoever the other team was never mattered.”

The Raiders made no excuses for their 57-52 loss to the Eagles even though they had played three games in four nights because of snow cancelations. They clearly had one of those nights at just the wrong time.

It would serve as the ultimate motivation though, as the rest of Division II would soon find out in 2006.

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