TORRINGTON: Ok, that was fun.
In a game that harkened back to the days when the Torrington and Crosby boys basketball teams put on a show for anyone lucky enough to be in the stand, the Raiders picked up a huge win in a 76-70 final.
Will Parkhouse, a sophomore shooting phenom, led the home team with a 25 point effort, one that included seven, 3-pointers, two off the school record.
The Bulldogs got a super human effort from senior Jason Robinson who led all scorers with 37 points, 16 in a frenetic fourth quarter that saw big play after big play by both teams.
Parkhouse sank six of his long distance shots in the second half, four in the third quarter when the home team pushed a 36-32 halftime lead to a 57-48 margin starting the final frame.
This was far from a one man show though.
The Raiders won this game with a combination of hard work, grit and a mindset that told them never to give in, no matter the pressure.
Crosby plays one of the best half court trap defenses you will see and it kept them close the entire game.
It’s a tiring effort, playing against that trap but behind the leadership of senior Jordan Harvey, the home team figured it out more times than not.
You had a feeling something special was at hand in the opening quarter, when Parkhouse connected on his first trey to give Torrington an 11-10 lead.
That basket sparked a 9-3 run with senior Thaddaeus Kimberley (12 points) coming up with a pair of steals that translated into baskets and an offensive put back that electrified his team and the crowd.
It was 19-15 after one but the Bulldogs pulled even at 22 midways through the second quarter.
Two players who came in off the bench in the second quarter made their presence felt as Isaac Fenn, a junior and senior Peter Duman helped the Raiders keep the visitors at arm’s length.
Fenn scored on a tough move inside, was fouled and converted the free one.
Duman scored all six of his points during that stretch in the second quarter when the Raiders imposed their collective hustle will on the visitors.
No loose balls escaped the Raiders, no rebound was undisputed. Every time the Bulldogs got closer with their press; Torrington had an answer.
It was 36-32 at the break but a 6-0 run to start the third quarter put Crosby up, 38-36. The two teams went back and forth as the pace sped up to the breakneck level.
When Robinson scored at the 3:41 mark of the third, it gave Crosby their last lead of the night at 42-41.
And then the Parkhouse show took over all streaming devices.
The smooth shooting lefty connected on his first of four in the frame to put the Raiders up 44-42.
Next possession, same result, from the same spot in the left corner. 47-42.
After an Adi Puskarevic (10 points) bucket made it 49-44, Parkhouse found the range again as the Connie Donahue gymnasium exploded.
The lead went to double digits when DJ Williams scored off a fast break for a 54-44 lead.
Robinson, who by now was nearly all the Bulldogs offense, did what he does by scoring on a pair of jumpers to make it a 54-48 game as time ran down in the quarter.
Parkhouse would have one more three left in him this quarter, even with heavy pressure in his face, sending the home team to the fourth quarter with a 57-48 lead.
With the Crosby pressure now extended to full court, the Raiders never let the visitors get closer than five in the final eight minutes.
Parkhouse would score off a nice feed from Harvey for an 11-point lead at 59-48.
Robinson was doing his best to score every possession but two more three pointers by the sophomore shooting sensation kept them at bay.
Kimberley would add a dagger and-one along with a drive for a basket halfway through the fourth.
Torrington would make just enough free throws (5 of 10 late, 8-16 for the game) to ice the victory.
The Raiders are now 7-6 while the Bulldogs fall to 8-6.
Like I said at the start, that was fun.