Clingan drops triple-double, Bristol Central over comes foul trouble in Hoophall Classic win

Published on Friday, 14 January 2022 23:44
Written by MATT HORNCK

@MNHornick

SPRINGFIELD - Bristol Central boys basketball took its undefeated record out of state to the Hoophall Classic at Springfield College in Massachusetts and were fortunate enough to head back home to Connecticut still without a loss on their record. 

The Rams handed local powerhouse Springfield Central its first loss of the season with a hard-fought 53-44 victory. Senior center Donovan Clingan anchored Bristol Central’s performance with a triple-double of 24 points, 16 rebounds and 10 blocks despite dealing with foul trouble in the second half.

Trailing by 16 at halftime, the Eagles increased their defensive pressure in the third quarter and gained some ground on the Rams, who were forced to play much of the period without Clingan and fellow senior Damion Glasper. The scoring picked up on both sides late in the game as Springfield Central made a final push, but Bristol Central held on with strong shooting from the free throw line and Clingan back on the floor. 

“This was going to be a game of men,” Bristol Central coach Tim Barrette said. “We were going to see who were men tonight, because they were grown men and we knew that. My guys withstood that, came out strong and took the initial punch. From there, we held the lead pretty much throughout and we were able to stem that tide [and] push it out. [We] lost the third quarter by [five], but really stemmed the tide there.”

Likely the most athletic team on the Rams’ schedule, Springfield Central put the most on-ball pressure on the Rams’ guards they’ve seen all season. They handled it well early on, but struggled later in the game when Clingan was sitting and the pressure intensified. 

“We practice a lot on pressure, so we know how to handle the ball,” senior guard Steven Alseph said. “This was the first time this season, we really had pressure like that, so we had a lot of turnovers. But we got our stuff together and got it done.”

Bristol Central jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start the game as the Eagles found a feel for how they wanted to defend Clingan, who picked up his first block on his first defensive possession of the night and it immediately fed into a fast break layup for Alseph. 

Clingan finished the first half with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks as the Rams led 32-16. Three-pointers from seniors Carson Rivoira and Victor Rosa ignited a short run for Bristol Central just before halftime with their working as a catalyst for quality offensive play. 

“I can’t be prouder of my guys, we prepared hard for this week,” Clingan said. “Just to be here and just to have the opportunity to play here, it means a lot.”

Springfield Central punched back in the third quarter with a full-court press that started to bother Bristol Central’s guards. The additional pressure forced the Rams to play faster and make more mistakes that gave the Eagles more offensive possessions. 

Glasper picked up three fouls in the quarter, which kept him on the bench for an extended period of time. Glasper and Clingan were the keys for Bristol Central to break the Eagles’ press, so with both of them out of the game, the Eagles were able to force turnovers and cut into the Rams’ lead.

Bristol Central’s defense remained consistent primarily, allowing 12 points in the third period, which was Springfield Central’s highest total in any quarter so far but erased just five points off a 16-point lead.

“I feel like we were going too quick in the second half,” Clingan said. “I feel like, we could’ve slowed down a little bit. We were turning the ball over a lot in the second half, dribbling the ball out of bounds, passing it away to the other team. I just feel like we could’ve slowed down. At the end of the day, the guards took care of the ball decently well and I’m proud of them.”

The foul trouble persisted in the fourth quarter as Clingan earned his fourth foul with more than six minutes remaining in the game and an 11-point advantage. The Eagles took four points off the lead during his three minutes on the bench, but could not get much closer once he returned.

Junior Julius Powell put forth another solid effort in relief of Clingan, asserting himself in the middle of the paint and grabbing rebounds on both ends of the floor. Powell finished with four rebounds and one block in 10 minutes of play. 

“I’ve had to go to the bench in the two biggest games [of the season] and if you can play in these games, you can play in any game,” Barrette said. 

The Rams’ next contest comes after the weekend when they host Maloney on Monday at 6 p.m.

Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or mhornick@bristolpress.com.

BRISTOL CENTRAL 53, SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL 44

At Springfield College

Bristol Central         14 18  7  14 - 53

Springfield Central   7   9  12  16  - 44

BRISTOL CENTRAL: Donovan Clingan 10-4-24, Victor Rosa 3-0-7, Carson Rivoira 5-0-12, Steven Alseph 3-3-9, Julius Powell 0-1-1. Totals 21-8-53.

SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL: William Watson 0-2-2, Deaven Reynolds 3-2-9, Antonio Richardson 2-1-5, Joe Griffin Jr. 7-6-20, Josiah Griffin 3-0-6, Jayden Bass 1-0-2. Totals 16-11-44.

Three-point goals: Reynolds (SC), Rivoira (BC) 2, Rosa (BC). 

Records: Bristol Central 8-0, Springfield Central 4-1.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol Central on Friday, 14 January 2022 23:44. Updated: Friday, 14 January 2022 23:46.