BRISTOL - With its 10-game win streak on the line and hosting Platt, the Bristol Central boys basketball team got off to a slow start.
The Rams turned the ball over 12 times on offense and were being outhustled by the Panthers.
“That was probably one of our worst first halves of the season,” Bristol Central’s Noah Plantamuro said.
“We gave up like six offensive rebounds and had 12 turnovers. But in the locker room we had to come together and play as a team in the second half.”
Bristol Central quickly turned it around, though, and dominated the second half en route to a 76-61 win over Platt on Thursday night.
“We didn’t execute [in the first half],” Bristol Central head coach Tim Barrette said. “You can’t have 12 turnovers in the first half and give up four or five offensive rebounds to [Justin Radford] in the first quarter and expect to win the game. That’s why we were tied [after the first quarter]. [Platt] is much better than their record indicates.”
Senior center Alex Lape and Jaekwon Spencer led the Rams in the second half.
Lape finished with a career high scoring with 18-points, 14 of which came after the first half.
Spencer added a game-high 21 points for the Rams, 15 coming in the second half.
“We shared the ball [in the second half],” Barrette said. “We hit the middle and we attacked. Dathan Hickey had a couple great assists to Alex [Lape]. We moved the ball.”
Bristol Central point guard Isaiah Miller had seven points, but impacted the game in different ways.
“I think [Isaiah] did a fantastic job rebounding the basketball tonight,” Barrette said. “That was a key for us. He was our team leader in rebounds tonight. He did a great job.”
Plantamuro was strong from behind the arc, leading the team in three-pointers.
The game was still a four-point lead early in the third quarter before the Rams went on an 8-2 run, six of the eight points coming from Lape.
That stretch in the third ended up being a turning point in the game for Bristol Central as it escaped against the one-win Platt group.
“They’re talent level isn’t that of a one-win team,” Hickey said. “They’re a very good team and they have athletes. Coming into a team like that is scary because you always will overlook them and then they come out and shock you.”
Hickey added 12 points in the game for the Rams.
“We never let them get back in the game in the second half,” Barrette said. “We had control pretty much from the start.”
Moving forward the Rams are looking to get out to faster starts but the win streak continued as they extended it to 11 games.
“We’ve won the last 11 games but for the last five I don’t think we’ve played that well,” Barrette said. “We haven’t played to our potential.”
Bristol Central moved to 12-3 on the season and will be back home Tuesday night against Hall at 6:45 p.m.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org