SOUTHINGTON — Bristol Central started two freshmen Wednesday night in its CCC interdivisional boys basketball matchup with Southington, but one happened to be 6 feet, 10 inches tall.
And that was the difference as the Rams fended off a late rally by the Blue Knights to record a 47-39 victory that left both teams at 2-4.
The 6-10 freshman, Donovan Clingan, had “just” 11 points, but his inside presence — 21 rebounds and 11 blocked shots — forced Southington to rely on its outside shooting, and it was a bad night for the Blue Knights to be cold from behind the 3-point line.
Trailing throughout, Southington did tie the game 39-39 with 2:44 to play only to miss its last six shots as Central pulled away.
Along with Clingan’s triple-double, the Rams got a team-high 13 points from Austin Brown.
Jacob Flynn scored a game-high 15 for the Blue Knights. Jake Napoli added 9.
Southington, down 37-30 to start the fourth quarter, pulled even behind pressure defense that forced turnovers and bad shots by Central. A steal and layup by Flynn, coming in the wake of a Napoli 3-ball, forged the 39-39 tie.
Jake DelMonte also had a steal and layup in the 9-2 run.
Central, in winning its second straight game after an 0-4 start, held Southington’s top scorer, Colin Burdette (12 ppg.), to 4 points.
Sheehan 68, East Haven 56: The Titans put five players in double figures as they handed the Yellowjackets their first defeat in this SCC crossover game in East Haven.
Garrett Molampy scored 10 of his team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter, when Sheehan extended a 45-40 lead to the final 12-point margin.
Cameron Afanador added 14 points for the Titans (4-2). Kris Jackson put up 12. Jack McDonnell and Caden Cloutier had 10 apiece.
Defensively, Sheehan grabbed a quick upper hand by holding East Haven (3-1) to 2 first-quarter points. The Titans led 24-18 at the break.
East Haven’s Nate Furino finished with a game-high 22 points.
Wilcox Tech 24, Vinal Tech 17: The Indians snared their first win of the season by out-scoring the Hawks 12-1 in the fourth quarter in a CTC matchup in Middletown.
Ellianna Pennyman popped a pair of 3-pointers in the final frame to fuel the winning surge.
Pennyman finished with a team-high 8 points. Charisa Morales led the Tribe on the defensive end.
Kayla Ransom added 6 points and hauled down 13 rebounds as Wilcox, playing its CTC opener, improved to 1-3 after non-conference losses in December to Maloney, Platt and Northwestern.
Hailey Fowler had a game-high 9 points for Vinal (2-4).
Conard 49, Cheshire 39: The Rams fell to 2-3 with the non-conference loss to the Chieftains (3-3) in West Hartford.
The Rams were within 33-30 heading into the fourth quarter, but were outscored 16-9 over the final 8 minutes.
Kaylee Clark and Mia Juodiatis scored 10 points apiece for Cheshire. Azaiyah Felder (11) and Izzy Mocodio (10) were in double figures for Conard.
Plainville 65, Southington 41: Monster games from Caitlyn Barker (29 points) and Jaida Vasquez (22) carried the Blue Devils to the CCC interdivisional victory over the Lady Knights in Plainville.
Megan Mikosz led Southington with 12 points. Kristen Longley added 11, Sam Sullivan scored 10 and Kelley Marshall put up 9.
Plainville improved to 6-2. Southington fell to 2-4.
Sheehan 7, Milford Co-op 1: No crying about the chill at Choate’s Remsen Arena, OK? The Titans generated plenty of heat Wednesday night.
Fueled by a hat trick from Jake Festa and goals from four other players, the T-Men improved to 5-2 with the SCC/SWC Division III romp on their home ice.
Sheehan had three goals on the board midway through the first period and buried four more in the second.
The Romano brothers, Joe and Anthony Romano, had one goal apiece for the Titans. James Stratton and Joey Richo also found the back of the net.
The seven goals were the season high, so far, for Sheehan, which opened the night ranked No. 5 in the Division III state playoff rankings.
Milford fell to 0-5.
Lyman Hall Co-op 4, Staples 1: Three power-play goals powered the Trojans past the Wreckers in a non-conference Division III matchup at Northford Ice Pavilion.
Matt Pettit, Jack Roberts, Ryan Brockett and Aidan Weir had the goals for LH.
The one by Roberts, coming a man-up with 2:48 left in the second period, snapped a 1-1 tie and proved to be the game-winner.
Brockett and Weir scored in the third period. Pettit staked the Co-op to a 1-0 lead in the opening frame.
The Trojans improved to 3-2 while knocking Staples to 1-4.