Focus, depth among keys as Bristol Central boys basketball keeps on winning

Published on Friday, 2 February 2018 22:32


BRISTOL - For the Bristol Central boys basketball team, losing games hasn’t 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.

“We don’t want to lose again,” Rams head coach Tim Barrette said. “That’s what I like about the mentality of the locker room. Streaks are great, but we’re not talking about winning [11 in a row]. That’s never been said in our locker room. The thing that is said is ‘Let’s win tonight,’ and that’s what we want to live by. It’s not about how many we’ve won, it’s about the want to not lose that given night. We’re playing one game at a time.”

In Bristol Central’s 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.

“I think in the tournament it will help us a lot,” Rams senior Dathan Hickey said. “We should be a better two-half team, but we’ll 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 we’re down or up at halftime.”

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.

“The ability to go eight deep or nine deep is a huge advantage,” Barrette said. “When we’ve made our runs in the past in the state tournament, it’s because we have a bench. Everybody has a good starting five in the state tournament. You don’t make it if you don’t have five good players. But the ability to have eight is huge for us and I’m confident with anybody who goes in the game at any time.”

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.

“I told them that we had a tough schedule to begin the season,” Barrette said. “I called it murderer’s row to start with Maloney, Middletown and Manchester. Some of these guys weren’t ready for the speed of the game, but now we’re there. We’ve come a long way from the first two weeks of the season.”

Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol Central on Friday, 2 February 2018 22:32. Updated: Friday, 2 February 2018 22:35.