Boys basketball comes close to conference bid

BY BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

After qualifying for the Class LL tournament back on Feb. 8 in an overtime win over Bulkeley, the Blue Knight basketball team came into last week with another goal in mind: clinch a spot in the CCC tournament for the first time since 2011.

A win over Conard in the middle of the week put the Knights in a tie with EO Smith for 16th place in the conference. Newington, Wethersfield, NW Catholic, Hall, and Manchester held the next five spots above the Southington and EO Smith.

However, a loss to Hall to close out the week ended Southington’s run at a conference tournament bid.

Loss at Tolland

FEB. 14—The Knights began the week on the road at Tolland on Tuesday where they suffered their second-straight loss, 58-43. The Eagles are currently seventh in the CCC and eighth in Class M.

Tolland led, 34-23, at halftime, but both teams scored just four points in the fourth quarter. As a team, the Knights finished the game with nine three-pointers.

Brendan Taylor paced the offense with 19 points on four threes and went 3-for-4 from the foul line. Andrew Lohneiss was not far behind with 17 points on four threes.

Win vs. Conard

FEB. 16—The Knights returned home to host Conard on Thursday, earning their ninth win of the season with a comfortable 63-29 victory. The Knights led, 32-15, at halftime, allowing the Chieftains to score just two points in the second quarter and four points in the third quarter.

Ten Southington players scored in the contest. Taylor paced the offense with 18 points on a triad of three-pointers and went 3-for-4 from the foul line. Jeremy Mercier was not far behind with 16 points, going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Tim O’Shea contributed with 10 points.

Loss at Hall

FEB. 17—The next day, the Knights dropped their 10th game of the season after suffering a 53-29 loss at Hall, which was their largest loss on the year. Hall is currently 14th in the CCC.

The Warriors led, 22-17, at halftime and outscored the Knights, 31-12, in the second half by limiting them to just three points in the fourth quarter.

Taylor paced the offense with 11 points on a triad of three-pointers. Mercier and Lohneiss contributed with five points apiece.

The Knights will be back on the court this week when they close out the regular season with a road game at Amity (13-6) on Monday, Feb. 20. Pairings for the Class LL tournament are to be announced by the CIAC by noon on Wednesday, March 1. Southington is currently 9-10 overall.

For this week’s box scores, click here: www.southingtonobserver.com/2017/02/21/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-feb-24-edition/. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.

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