TORRINGTON – The Bridgeport Bulldogs ended the third quarter on a 7-0 run, and over the final eight minutes, Torrington was unable to make up any ground in 59-53 loss on Thursday evening.
It was a seesaw battle for three quarters in the Blazers’ first home game of the season. The teams swapped the lead 15 times in the 24 minutes of the contest.
“Every quarter, Bridgeport had a different player who turned it on,” THS coach Logan Barker said. “We got one shut down, but another one would come out. We had too many defensive breakdowns outside of whoever our main focus was.”
With 2:11 left in the third, sophomore Ryan Moorehouse put Torrington in front 38-37, and on the ensuing possession, Bridgeport began a 7-0 run to end the quarter to take a 44-38 lead into the final eight minutes of the game.
It proved to be the 15th and final lead change as the visiting Bulldogs never trailed again.
“A lot of it boils down to how much gas we had in the tank,” Barker said. “Coming off only two days of practice between games is rough over Christmas. They did the best they could.”
However, Torrington got within three in the final 1:06 of the contest.
Senior Ben Firminhac’s field goal brought the Blazers back within three at 56-53, and seconds later, Bridgeport turned the ball back over to Torrington.
Unfortunately, the Blazers were unable to convert the extra possession into points, while the Bulldogs went 2-for-2 at the free-throw line in the final 25 seconds to secure the road win.
Firminhac led the team with 20 points and six rebounds, while Baker added 12 points and four assists. Senior Skyler Sargent tossed in 10 points.
As a team, the Blazers shot 36.8% from the floork.
“Our kids understand, as a group, we are better than our 2-4 record,” Barker said. “We’ve made progress every single game, and I’m proud how much these kids have really grown. As we move forward, it will show up even more as we move into conference play.”
Torrington travels to Newcastle on Friday for a 7 p.m. contest against the Dogies before returning to home to face Alliance, Nebraska at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“Playing up in Newcastle is always tough so we’ll need to be ready for that environment. We are excited to play against them. They are very well coached, and I have a giant amount of respect for what coach Allen Von Eye does there. He’s a great human being and runs a very tight ship. Those kids will be ready to play,” Barker said. “Alliance is also a good team as well. They have a great program and have lots of energy with what those kids are doing. I’m excited to throw our hat in and play.”