Lancers fail to overcome difficult first quarter in loss to Lewis Mills

Published on Friday, 18 February 2022 23:56


BRISTOL ― Bristol Eastern boys basketball started its night by honoring long-time former coach Mike Giovinazzo for his 75 seasons of coaching on King Street, but failed to close the celebration with a victory over Lewis Mills.

The Spartans handed Eastern its 15th loss of the season as the campaign nears its end. The Lancers will finish their season Monday at home against Bristol Central, which they lost to by 49 points early in the season.

Eastern trailed by 20 points at halftime and struggled to find the bottom of the basket against a team they already lost to 24 earlier in the season, but kept the contest more competitive this time. The Lancers came as close as 12 points in the second half behind an improved defensive effort from the first half.

Brayden Dauphinais’ offensive performance was a bright spot for Eastern, finishing with 19 points to lead his team. The sophomore took on the responsibility of anchoring his team’s offense with several players missing.

“He’s been outstanding,” Eastern head coach Bunty Ray said. “In the second half of the year, him and Luke [Sward], unbelievable efforts they’ve been putting out. You can see the maturity, and that’s all you want to see when you’re playing young kids. By the end of the year, are they knocking off the simple mistakes that they’re making, are they playing through some adversity. That to me is a big testament to what they’re doing this year.”

The Lancers trailed 23-6 after the first quarter, primarily because they could not stop Lewis Mills’ Brice Waldron. He notched 12 points in the quarter as the Spartans cohesive play gave them an advantage on both sides of the floor.

Waldron erupted for 21 of the Spartans’ 39 points in the first half, as they took a 20-point lead into the mid-game break. Waldron and Eli Pelletier each drilled two triples in the first two quarters and created scoring opportunities with strong passing.

“He was able to find open shots everywhere on the court,” Ray said. “We gave them a big lead early, but we didn’t quit.”

A less destructive opening period would have completely changed the complexion of the game, as Eastern outscored Lewis Mills by one point over the final three quarters. The Lancers played better on both sides of the floor and continuously challenged the Spartans even as they protected their large lead.

Lewis Mills scored fewer points in the second half than Eastern did in the first half as the Lancers played their best directly out of halftime. They held Waldron to two points in the quarter while cutting five points off their deficit to enter the fourth quarter, where neither team did much scoring.

Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or


At Bristol Eastern

Bristol Eastern 6 13 14 6 - 39

Lewis Mills      23 16 9 7 - 55

BRISTOL EASTERN: Lukas Sward 3-0-7, Isaiah Lawrence-Bynum 1-0-2, Nate Fries 1-0-2, Ben Jeremiah Tatum 1-2-4, Brayden Dauphinais 7-4-19, Dante DePass 2-0-5. Totals 15-6-39.

LEWIS MILLS: Jon Schibi 1-0-2, Eli Pelletier 3-0-8, Brice Waldron 12-1-28, Logan Cowger 5-3-13, Jack Stanislaw 2-0-4. Totals 0-0-55.

Three-point goals: Sward (BE), Pelletier (LM) 2, Waldron (LM) 3, Daphinais (BE), DePass (BE).

Records: Bristol Eastern 4-15, Lewis Mills 11-8.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol Eastern on Friday, 18 February 2022 23:56. Updated: Friday, 18 February 2022 23:59.