BRISTOL - Following its 83-75 loss to unbeaten East Lyme, the Bristol Central boys basketball team was sitting at 1-3.
Then the calendar flipped to January and with it the Rams have been a different team, though against a weaker schedule thus far.
This month, Bristol Central has played against Southington, Fitch and Plainville, with the three having a combined record of 6-14.
In December, the Rams allowed 70.3 points per game in three losses to Manchester, Middletown and East Lyme, which have a combined record of 15-3.
With the weaker schedule this month, Bristol Central has turned it around defensively, giving up 51.7 points per game.
The 59 points allowed against the Blue Devils (1-4) was what Bristol Central head coach Tim Barrette pointed to following the game as a weakness.
“We can’t turn the clock back and take those games back, but we’re sharing the basketball better than we have,” Barrette said. “We’re rebounding better. We just gotta play better defense than we did tonight.”
Still, the Rams sit at 3-0 on the month and seem to be finding a rhythm.
“I think we’re getting on a roll,” Bristol Central’s Dathan Hickey said. “Our goal is to go undefeated in the month of January. We’re on the right track.”
With six seniors scoring for Bristol Central against Plainville, led by Jaekwon Spencer’s 29 points, the offensive ability is there; but for a team looking to stay unbeaten this month, the defense against stronger teams isn’t.
As a senior, Spencer believes this year’s group has the chance to be special.
“I think this is the best team we’ve had since I’ve been in high school,” Spencer said. “So I’m looking forward to it.”
The three early losses are in the past for Bristol Central.
“We were 0-2,” Barrette said. “We had a tough early schedule. We have games coming up that we can win. We have team goals of obviously trying to win the conference and tonight was a good start. Every game is the next game. We’re playing for the next game. Right now we’re above .500 and we wouldn’t like to get back to that mark.”
Bristol Central remained unbeaten for the month with a win Wednesday over Maloney.
“We’re doing good,” Spencer said. “I told the team we have to go undefeated in January and we’re doing that and we’re going to keep doing it. That’s the plan.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org