WALLINGFORD — Lyman Hall graduate Jimmy Economopoulos, now head coach of the Daniel Hand basketball team, was always comfortable playing on the Frederick Schipke Gymnasium floor.
On Tuesday night, he looked at home on the sidelines, too, as his Tigers downed the Trojans 59-36 in a SCC Hammonasset contest.
Nicholas Donofrio netted a game-high 20 points and Michael Travisano added 11 for Hand in the victory.
The Tigers (4-6, 1-2 Hammonasset) never trailed. They held a 29-15 lead at the half behind a 15-0 run that spanned 5:55 from the first quarter into the second.
The Tigers led 17-5 after one quarter. Steven Tarantino capped it with back-to-back treys.
Hand’s Scott Testori and Travisano were all over the glass for the visitors.
“Those two killed us on the boards and made extra-effort plays,” Lyman Hall coach Rob Ruys said. “We don’t have that inside game that can make you go inside-out. We’re working at it. It’s a work in progress.”
Hand’s Jesse Lutz opened the second quarter with a trey and Testori and Travisano followed with back-to-back layups as the Tiger lead expanded to 24-5 with 5:29 remaining in the first half.
Lyman Hall countered with a 10-2 run that included five points from Ty Voisine and a trey by Evan Smith as the Trojans closed to within 26-15.
Travisano, though, capped the half with a bucket and 1-of-2 from the line to give the Tigers a 14-point halftime lead.
Voisine netted a game-high 11 points for Lyman Hall. Jayden Collingham scored nine points and Smith finished with eight.
The Tigers continued to attack in the third quarter. The visitors opened the quarter 4-for-5 from the field, resulting in a 8-0 run. The run pushed Hand’s lead to 37-15.
Hand knocked down its first six shots of the fourth quarter and that resulted in a 12-0 run in just 2:29 to open the frame.
Lyman Hall falls to 1-8 overall and 0-2 in the division. The Trojans opened the season on a seven-game losing skid. That streak was snapped on Friday with a win over Foran.
“We’re having growing pains right now,” Ruys said. “We’re changing lineups and are trying to figure things out.
“We played hard, but they played harder. They were more physical than us and quicker to the ball, and that’s how I want my guys to play. But I thought we did play hard. I’m happy with the effort I got out of my guys.”
Economopoulos said it’s still special coaching against his alma mater.
“It’s definitely weird to be on the visitors bench,” Economopoulos said. “But I’ve played here every year since I started coaching. It’s great to see a lot of familiar faces here. It’s nice to have a lot of friends and family here. It’s nice being back.”
The Tigers are halfway to qualifying for the state tournament.
“We had a tough schedule to start the season and we learned from those games,” Economopoulos said. “We didn’t win any of those games. We played hard, but at some point you have to win games. We played a good game against North Haven and we played well tonight.”