BASKETBALL: Maloney motors past LH riding balanced attack

BASKETBALL: Maloney motors past LH riding balanced attack

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MERIDEN — The Maloney boys basketball team opened 2019 Wednesday night with a big non-conference win behind some red-hot shooting and production up and down the roster.

The Spartans used a 16-3 run in the final 6:31 of the first half to knock off Lyman Hall, 66-51, at the Benjamin P. Nessing Gymnasium.

Maloney used a balanced attack paced by the trio of Vincent Martinez (19 points), Divine Ransom (15) and Elliot Good (11). Ransom and Good’s scoring totals were season highs.

The 16-3 run gave the Spartans a 34-21 lead at the half.

Maloney was lighting it up from distance. The Spartans canned four of their six first-half 3-pointers during the key span. In all, Maloney shot 7-for-9 in the opening 16 minutes and 44 percent (20-for-45) for the contest from the floor.

Ransom, typically a starter, provided a major spark off the bench for Maloney, with 12 of his 15 points coming in the first half. He swished the first two shots he took and never looked back.

“I’m used to coming off the bench; that’s what I did last year,” Ransom said. “I think it showed the team no matter what role you come in, you can step up and always play hard. It felt good to contribute to the win.”

Good registered 8 first-half points, including a pair of treys.

Martinez also chalked up 8 points in the opening half, including back-to-back treys as Maloney began to build some separation. On the second, he broke free of the Lyman Hall man-to-man defense with two dribbles to his right and arced a shot off the back iron. The ball went straight up, then swished through the twine.

“Martinez is getting a better feel for the offense and James Tarver is always looking to get the ball inside,” Hewitt said. “Trevor (Santiago) was showing good touch around the basket and making foul shots. A lot of guys contributed to this win.”

Austin Ruiz, who poured in a team-high 19 points, highlighted Lyman Hall’s offense. He had 11 points and 4 rebounds in the opening half. His trey with 7:06 left in the first half tied the game, 18-18.

Then Maloney made its run.

Junior guard Sergio Muniz (6 points) and Trevor Santiago (8) both gave valuable minutes for Maloney, in particular in the second half. Muniz scored the bulk of his points in the third quarter, including a steal and coast-to-coast layup.

Meanwhile, the main big men, Lyman Hall’s Cam Regan (10 points) and Maloney’s Anthony Forbes (2), cancelled each other out in the post and were both held well below their scoring averages.

Shakespeare Rodriguez added nine points for the Trojans.

Lyman Hall dropped to 1-3 with the loss. This was the Trojans first game in nearly two weeks, but head coach Rob Ruys said the time off had nothing to do with the defeat.

“This is a tough loss for us, but the credit has to go to Maloney,” Ruys said. “We tried to take Martinez out of it and then other guys stepped up and hit shots. They had two or three guys hitting their shots and that makes them hard to defend. We have to get ready for our next one.”

That next contest for LH is a home date with crosstown rival Sheehan at 5 p.m. on Friday night.

Maloney (4-4) opens its CCC South-Colonial Division schedule on Friday night at home against Middletown.


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