BRISTOL - For the Bristol Central boys basketball team, losing games hasnât been the story for a while.
Rather, the Rams have put together a dominant 11-game winning streak and have the pieces needed to make a deep run in the state tournament.
Depth on its roster, ability to play through adversity on the court and a winning mentality has all served Bristol Central as the postseason nears.
âWe donât want to lose again,â Rams head coach Tim Barrette said. âThatâs what I like about the mentality of the locker room. Streaks are great, but weâre not talking about winning [11 in a row]. Thatâs never been said in our locker room. The thing that is said is âLetâs win tonight,â and thatâs what we want to live by. Itâs not about how many weâve won, itâs about the want to not lose that given night. Weâre playing one game at a time.â
In Bristol Centralâs most recent game, against Platt on Thursday, the ability to play through adversity was showcased as the one-win Panthers were in the game through most of the night.
The Rams, though, turned it on coming out of the locker room at halftime, which is something the group has been comfortable doing this year as a tight-knit group.
Playing from behind or in close games and coming out on top is something that will serve Bristol Central well moving forward.
âI think in the tournament it will help us a lot,â Rams senior Dathan Hickey said. âWe should be a better two-half team, but weâll continue to work on that. As of right now, being a second-half team is going to help us, knowing that we can bounce back, whether weâre down or up at halftime.â
Bristol Central has depth on its roster, as the Rams have secondary players that come in and produce.
Ryan Rodriguez stood out against the Panthers, with six points off the bench.
Other than leading scorer Jaekwon Spencer, Bristol Central can attack a defense in different ways.
Isaiah Miller has the strength to drive the paint and get points down low. Miller also looks for Noah Plantamuro for an outside shot.
Hickey is a fearless player attacking the paint. Lape and Bernier are two bigs that impact the game each night.
âThe ability to go eight deep or nine deep is a huge advantage,â Barrette said. âWhen weâve made our runs in the past in the state tournament, itâs because we have a bench. Everybody has a good starting five in the state tournament. You donât make it if you donât have five good players. But the ability to have eight is huge for us and Iâm confident with anybody who goes in the game at any time.â
The Rams may have started the season slow, but with the postseason nearing, Bristol Central is ready to take the floor and put up a fight against any opponent.
âI told them that we had a tough schedule to begin the season,â Barrette said. âI called it murdererâs row to start with Maloney, Middletown and Manchester. Some of these guys werenât ready for the speed of the game, but now weâre there. Weâve come a long way from the first two weeks of the season.â
Dan Orencole can be reached atÂ 860-973-1811 orÂ firstname.lastname@example.org