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Torrington girls look to make NVL Finals while boys look to finish strong and how about those UConn men?

POSTED February 21, 2017
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: It’s on to the semi-finals of the Naugatuck Valley League Tournament for the Torrington girls’ basketball team after gutting their way to a 55-54 win over Seymour in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Standing in their way for a spot in the finals on Wednesday at Kennedy High School is an old foe, who the Raiders should have beaten their first time around but let a big lead slip away late.

The Holy Cross Crusaders, who ran the table at 18-0 in the NVL this season, are a formidable foe who bring a trapping press and a tall front line to bear against the Raiders.

Torrington led by 14 at the start of the fourth quarter in the second game season at home but wilted under that famed pressure, being outscored by a 32-14 margin in the final eight minutes.

The Raiders have won six of their last seven and will go as far as senior standout Brie Pergola takes them.

On Saturday, Pergola scored 27 points in the win. Against Watertown on Senior Night last week, the Indians held her to just four points.

Count on the Crusaders to pursue a similar strategy against the Torrington star on Monday night.

Finding additional offense will be the Raiders biggest challenge as they look to make it back to the finals on Wednesday night.  

---The Torrington boys have an important game on Tuesday night as they look to do something they have not done all year.

Getting a win against a city school.

The Raiders are 0-4 against Waterbury schools with losses to Crosby, WCA, Sacred Heart and Wilby so far this year.

With the NVL Tournament set to start on Saturday, Torrington is currently ranked sixth (the top eight teams make the tourney) and would match up with number three Kennedy if the season ended today.

Playing under control, even at high speeds, will be critical for the Raiders on Tuesday night and during the post-season this year.

At 12-7, Torrington is ranked 17th in Class L and has an outside chance of hosting a State Tournament game with a win over the Crusaders.

---They might drive you nuts at times with their inconsistent offense but you must admit, the UConn men are certainly making things interesting down the stretch of their 2016/2017 campaign.

In a season when the Huskies had their share of devastating injuries, they have shown a resiliency that is making the end of the year something to look forward to for Huskies fans.

They have a tough schedule down the stretch, starting with a match-up with Houston (9-5, 18-8) on the road Wednesday night.

They host the top team in the American Athletic Conference, SMU (14-1, 24-4) on Saturday at the XL Center and in their regular season finale, they host Cincinnati (13-1, 24-3) in Gampel Pavilion on March 5.

Getting a win over one of those three teams would go a long way towards improving the teams outlook come AAC Tournament time.

The Tournament will be held in Hartford from March 9-12 and getting a first round bye would be nice, avoiding the scenario of having to win four games.

Winning the AAC Tournament is believed to be the best and perhaps only way for the Huskies to make the NCAA Tournament.

Their last two wins, a 64-63 win on a lay-up by Jalen Adams with 2.9 seconds remaining and a marvelous 17-point comeback against Memphis in Hartford were confidence builders for sure and energized the Huskies fan base.

Should be a fun couple of weeks.  



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