Top seeded Lewis Mills boys stunned by Ansonia
After tearing through the Berkshire League the Lewis Mills boys basketball team appeared primed to make a nice run come tournament time. It wasn't meant to be.
Hurt by foul trouble and missed free throws the top-seeded Spartans were bounced from the CIAC Class M state tournament on Monday night with a 78-73 overtime loss to No. 32 Ansonia. The Chargers, better known for their football exploits than for anything they have achieved on the hardwood, move on to face NVL rival No. 16 Seymour in the second round on Wednesday.
The Spartans (21-3) won their first Berkshire League title in 20 years after going through league play undefeated. That run ended with a Berkshire League Tournament loss to Wamogo in the final and Monday's loss capped a tough ending to what was a standout season.
Ansonia (8-13) beat Wolcott in its regular season final just to get the No. 32 slot and made the most of the tournament bid and Mills' inability to close out the game.
Senior Trevor Baker (17 points) made a pair of free throws with 1:11 to play to give Mills a 66-63 lead but he fouled out eight seconds later on a questionable call on a blocked shot. Ansonia missed both free throws and Mills came down and Kyle Alvarez, who led the Spartans with 25 points, missed the front end of a one-and-one and a chance to extend the lead was wasted.
Demetrus Robinson led all scorers with 27 points and pulled Ansonia within 66-65 with 33 seconds left when he made both ends of a one-and-one. Mills guard Joe Neary then split a pair to put the Spartans up 67-65 but Robinson responded by drawing Josh Schibi's fifth foul and making two free throws with 8.9 seconds to play to tie the game, 67-67.
Mills entered overtime down Baker and Schibi but managed to get to the foul line on four straight trips but went just 4-of-8 from the line and opened the door for Ansonia. The Chargers took advantage. Jadon Richardson converted a three-point-play to give Ansonia a 72-71 lead. Alvarez responded for the Spartans with a bucket to make it 73-72 but it was the last points they would score.
Robinson scored on a drive and then hit four free throws in the final 42 seconds to ice it.