CHESHIRE — The Cheshire boys basketball team was on a roll, having won three in a row. The hot streak, though, wasn’t hot enough to cauterize the one Guilford has been enjoying all season long.
Guilford remained unbeaten with a 56-46 victory Friday night in Ramland.
It isn’t hard to see why Guilford is now 10-0. The Indians have players with height and versatile skill sets.
Both teams played at a very slow pace in the first quarter. Cheshire played smart throughout the first eight minutes, not making any risky passes against a Guilford team very good at forcing turnovers. James Pettit got off to a good start scoring five points in that first quarter.
Guilford worked to pick apart and penetrate Cheshire’s zone defense throughout the first half. Guilford’s half-court game was very unselfish. Seemingly everyone on the Indians got a touch before a shot went up. They also rebounded effectively, giving them several second-chance opportunities.
“They’re a big team,” said Cheshire coach Dan Lee, his team now 7-4. “The key to the game was the amount of second-chance opportunities they got, especially their guards. We had a tough time limiting them to one shot.”
The Indians led 15-11 going into the second quarter. Guilford continued to find holes in the interior of Cheshire’s defense, forcing the ball inside.
Cheshire began to push the pace more and make riskier passes. This led to turnovers that Guilford converted into transition points. Matt Donlan led Guilford in first-half scoring with seven points.
For the Rams, hitting their shots kept them in this game through the first half. Will Grailkowski had six second-quarter points and Pettit hit his second three on the night. Still, Guilford led 29-24 at the half.
To begin the second half, Guilford began to spread the floor on Cheshire’s defense with lethal three-point shooting. Five of the six shots Guilford made in the third were 3-pointers.
Cheshire began to work the ball inside more in the third quarter. Matt Roasldino showed off his speed, slipping by his defender on more than one occasion and scoring five points in the third quarter, which ended with Guilford up 46-35.
Cheshire got off to a hot start in the fourth and played stifling defense throughout the quarter. The Rams hit their shots and Aidan Godfrey seemed to be in on contesting every Guilford shot on defense.
Guilford’s slow-paced offense is what halted Cheshire’s fourth quarter comeback attempt. The Indians milked the clock on every possession. When they got an offensive rebound, the Indians would kick the ball back out to take more time off the clock.
Cheshire had to begin fouling with more than a minute left. In the end, Guilford hit the majority of its free throws and that was it.
For Guilford, every player that got minutes in this game scored. Donlan had a team-high 16 points. Center Noah Rubino had 10. Josh Krause hit three treys for nine points.
Godfrey and Pettit each scored 12 points to lead Cheshire. Grailkowski and Rosaldino each scored nine.
“We played a really good opponent,” said Lee. “They played well tonight and there were some things we could’ve done to increase our chances of winning, but when it came down to it we just gave up too many second chance baskets.”