BRISTOL - With two of its key players lost for the season, the Bristol Eastern boys basketball was in midst of a six-game losing streak after a 3-1 start to the season.
Averaging just 38 points per game without Carter Dziedzic and Ariza Kolloverja, the Lancers were in need of an offensive spark.
They got that spark in the final two quarters against Bulkeley on Thursday, with a big reason being the performance of junior Mac Goulet.
He scored 27 points, including 10 in overtime, as the Lancers erased a big second-half deficit to win.
Bristol Eastern has relied heavily on Goulet since the losses of Dziedzic and Kolloverja.
“Mac has been the guy now that has really stepped up,” Bristol Eastern head coach Bunty Ray said. “He’s really shouldered the burden of being the guy in the middle that needs to take pressure release off of our guards and extend the defenses. He makes shots, gets to the basket and plays strong. We’re very small and he rebounds.
“I can’t say enough about what he does for leadership. He plays hard. He’s a competitor.”
With their first win since December, the Lancers hope Thursday night’s comeback will translate into a season turnaround.
“Time will tell,” Ray said. “I’d imagine it’s going to lift [our players].
“We were feeling pretty down. We’ve been battling every night and shots haven’t been going down.
“It’s been tough to get to practice every day, but I give them a lot of credit. They come to practice and through the adversity and through the injuries, they just keep going.
“It’s nice to see them come out with a win and start to believe that they can win.”
Now, with four wins on the year, Bristol Eastern has nine games remaining on its schedule and must win four of those to qualify for the state tournament.
The Lancers will face Derby (4-6) and Plainville (1-10) twice, and also take on Middletown (6-5), Maloney (4-9), Conard (6-5), New Britain (7-5) and Bristol Central (10-3) to round out the remaining games.
“This league is competitive,” Ray said. “We’re going to enjoy this win.
“Time will tell. I can’t predict what a high school kid is going to do. But I imagine knowing this group, that they’re going to come out and start to feel that success again that we had in the beginning and we’re going to work twice as hard.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or