TORRINGTON – The Torrington High School boys’ basketball team overcame a 10-0 deficit to start the game before coming up short in overtime to the Douglas Bearcats, 57-53.
It took the Blazers five and a half minutes before senior Sam Firminhac put his team on the scoreboard.
However, it wasn’t until midway through the second quarter before Torrington really got going on the offensive side of the floor.
Senior Jackson Jones dropped in seven straight points for Torrington, cutting the deficit to 18-12.
“He’s worked so hard the last couple years to become the guy he is today,” THS coach Neil Baker said. “He’s earned the right to be confident in his ability.”
Torrington kept chipping away at the deficit, eventually tying the game at 33 on a Jones’ 3-pointer with 6:52 left in the game, but it wasn’t until three minutes later that the Blazers took their first lead of the evening.
Sophomore Deagan Keith hit the first of two free throws, but Torrington grabbed the offensive rebound and found Jones for a 3-pointer.
The four-point possession gave the Blazers a 44-40 advantage with 3:24 remaining.
A minute later, Douglas tied the game at 44 apiece, but Torrington didn’t surrender the lead until 19 seconds were left.
The score put the Bearcats in front 48-47, but Baker decided to not call a timeout.
“I thought Jackson can make the play, and we didn’t want them to set up their defense,” he said.
Jones did just that putting Torrington back in front 49-48 with 3.5 seconds remaining.
Torrington was whistled for a foul with less than a second to play, and Douglas’ Cam Spence went 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to force overtime.
Douglas struck first in the extra period and never trailed again.
“I told the kids, I’m disappointed in getting beat, but I’m not disappointed in the way we played,” Baker said. “It would have been nice to hit a couple more free throws. We missed some down the stretch that could have put it away, but so did they. You can’t replicate those free throws for your players.”
Jones led the Blazers with 22 points, while Firminhac added 15. Senior Cameron Murphy tossed in seven.
The Blazers now turn their attention to the 3A Southeast Quadrant for the second time this season.
“We need to get a win or two there,” Baker said. “Wheatland is going to be tough in their gym, and then Burns here. We want to send our seniors out on a positive note.”
Torrington (6-9 overall and 1-2 3A Southeast) travels to Wheatland (11-6 and 2-1) for a 7 p.m. contest on Friday before returning to Willi Gym on Saturday to face Burns (2-16 and 0-3) at 4 p.m.