MERIDEN — Maloney opened the boys basketball season Saturday with a 77-54 CCC crossover loss to East Hartford.
The Spartans were never really in this one as East Hartford jumped out to a 20-10 lead after the first quarter. Maloney head coach Howie Hewitt was not pleased with the final result, but liked the way his team competed on Saturday afternoon.
“I’m happy with the way we came out in the second half and played hard,” said Hewitt.
East Hartford’s full-court press is what turned this game into a lopsided affair. The Spartans simply could not break the press and turned it over time and time again in their half of the court.
Hewitt knows that if his team is going to have success moving forward, that is something the Spartans are going to have to fix.
“It’s hard to prepare for something that you can’t duplicate,” said Hewitt, referring to East Hartford’s press. “If we had the players to press like that, we would.”
One bright spot for the Spartans was senior Damian Pantoja, who rebounded the ball well and made timely shots. Hewitt was pleased with what he got out of his senior guard.
“I thought he was the best player out there. He rebounded like crazy, made some shots and some drives,” said Hewitt.
Senior guard Romello Samuels also played well. He poured in 13 points for the Spartans.
Maloney will look to rebound on Tuesday on the road at Plainville.
“We have to start trying to do the things that we do best,” said Hewitt.