BRISTOL - Bristol Central forward Jaekwon Spencer needed 13 points to eclipse 1,000 in his illustrious career with the Rams.
Spencer knew he was close, but didn’t know exactly how many points he needed in order to reach it until Bristol Central head coach Tim Barrette called a timeout in the third quarter to let him know that his 3-point basket had put him over the mark.
“I didn’t think I was going to get it,” Spencer said. “I didn’t expect to get it and I wasn’t worried about getting it. I was showing my friends the showcase of who had [1,000] points and it made me ask [about how close I was]. That’s the only reason I asked, because I didn’t think I was going to get it at all.”
His 33 points paced the Rams in their 53-51 victory over visiting Hall on Tuesday night.
For Bristol Central, it was another close game that went its way.
“If you have empty possessions because you’re shooting 20 percent from 3-point land and you’ve turned the ball over 10 times, it’s hard to get into [our] pace [of play] because [we’re] not scoring,” Rams coach Tim Barrette said. We tried traps, we tried man-to man and I told my guys at the half that I think that was the worst defensive performance we’ve had all year. We didn’t rotate well, we looked sluggish tonight and honestly that’s how we’ve practiced these last few days. We deserved to be in a dog fight tonight with the way we’ve been practicing.”
The game could have easily gone to the Warriors.
The Rams trailed by two at the half, but extended their lead to as high as seven points in the fourth quarter.
With the game on the line, Bristol Central committed some crucial turnovers, as Hall was looking for any ounce of momentum.
The Warriors got that momentum in the fourth led by Kachi Onoh, who scored all five of his points in the quarter.
Onoh also made the key mistake that helped Bristol Central, as he stole the ball and had nobody near him, but missed a wide-open dunk.
Directly after the miss, Spencer took it to the other end and laid it into the hoop to extend the lead back to five.
“We turned the ball over too many times,” Barrette said. “To turn the ball over against a team that’s not forcing pressure on you is trying to make the perfect pass. We’re not thinking before we catch the ball. It’s killing us.”
With Isaiah Miller at the line for a one-and-one and the Rams leading 51-50, he missed the first shot, but Onoh committed a lane violation. Following that, Miller knocked down both opportunities, making the Warriors pay for the mistake.
The 53-50 lead would be too much as Spencer had a big block on James DeCrisantis, the shooter Hall was looking for to tie the game up with time ticking down.
With some help and a pair of big mistakes from Hall, the Rams were able to once again find a way to escape with a win, in what has become a theme for Bristol Central of late.
“It was shaky and scary,” Spencer said. “We kind of played down to their level. We made a lot of mental mistakes. We’ve been getting a lot of ugly wins, but a win is a win.”
Alex Lape (7 points), Dathan Hickey (6), Miller (4) and Noah Plantamuro (3) also chipped in for the Rams.
Bristol Central moved to 13-3 on the season and will travel to take on Plainville Friday night at 6:45 p.m.
Dan Orencole can be reached at or