By KEN MORSE
The Plainville boys basketball team came out in Tuesday’s season opener battling on every possession and where very much in the game with Maloney at the half. The Spartans turned up the pressure and pulled away to an 80-46 win over the Blue Devils.
“The turnover ratio was 9-8 in the first half and the shots taken were basically even,” said Plainville head coach Jim DiNello, in describing his teams effort in the first half.
Plainville worked the offense and did a good job containing the Spartans as they went into the second quarter trailing 12-11. The Blue Devils led by Ben Dougherty (14 points) attacked the lane and put 13 points on the board ending the first half facing a 33-24 deficit but still very much in the game.
Maloney began to spread the damage around with four players hitting double figures. Romello Samuels led the Spartans with 14 points; Damien Pantoja had 11 points; Jose Roman added 11 points; and Bryan Saguay added 10 points.
“We managed to keep the ball in the middle of the floor early on,” said DiNello. “Not so much in the second half. But the guys played hard and were engaged. We are a work in progress.”
The Blue Devils had a couple of scorers as well with Brady Callahan dropping seven points through the cylinder along with Pierre Ramirez and Nathan Johnson knocking down six points each.
The Spartans broke the game open putting on a frenzied pace outscoring Plainville 28-12 in the third quarter to open up a commanding 61-36 advantage.
“The full court pressure got to some of us in the second half,” said DiNello. “We turned the ball over 16 times in the second half. Our shot selection for the most part was good but we didn’t keep the ball in the middle of the floor like we did in the first half.”
“If there was one thing that I would say was the biggest issue, it would be our perimeter containment. We were forced to help too much and eventually that catches up to you.”
Maloney closed out the game with a 19-10 advantage in the fourth quarter holding a 47-22 edge in the second half.
Plainville got three points each from Dane Stephens and Alec Couture. Sam Lestini, Jailen Lindsey and Ryan Snyder added two points each and Alec Karal closed out the scoring total adding one point for the Blue Devils.
Plainville is back in action at home on Friday Dec. 22 when they take on Berlin. Next week, the Blue Devils will host the Rybczyk Memorial Holiday Tournament on Wednesday and Thursday.