The Griswold Boys basketball team, coming off of a win on Saturday against Plainfield, in Plainfield, is looking to start it’s first winning streak of the year. The Wolverines started off the season with a win at home against the Putnam Clippers at home, then went on a 5 game skid.
Going forward, the Wolverines are going to be very busy. Tuesday’s game against Montville is the first in a 7 game in 11 day stretch. Some of these games were already scheduled and some are re-scheduled games due to covid protocols.
Griswold is already revved up a bit after Evan Merchant scored a season and career high 27 points in Plainfield, but the Wolverines are going to need someone else to step up as a consistent scoring threat if they are going to continue to win.
Coming into the game, it was obvious that these 2 teams, with similar records, were going to be an even matchup. Griswold 2-5, Montville 3-6. The prediction of a tight contests didn’t disappoint as the score was deadlocked at 18 at the end of the first quarter. Griswold spread the court, having 6 different Wolverines score, including Jacob Strain who had the opening bucket with only 6 seconds elapsed from the game clock. The Indians were not going to be intimidated by anyone in their house as senior Chas Terni and junior Anthony Barbuto established themselves as an offensive and defensive threat right away, combining for 13 first quarter points. The 1st quarter was very fast paced and if we said that it was hard hitting, that would be an understatement as both teams were playing very aggressive basketball from the opening bell.
The Wolverines tightened up their defense starting in the 2nd quarter after getting good looks at Terni and Barbuto. Griswold again spread the scoring around, with 5 different players moving the scoreboard including 7 second quarter points by Evan Merchant and 6 by Lucas Strain. Griswold outscored Montville 17-9 in the 2nd, giving them a 35-27 lead at the half.
Then, Evan Merchant took over.
Solid defense in the 2nd half saw the Wolverines increase their lead and force turnover after turnover. The difference? The Wolverines were converting those turnovers into points which was something that they had trouble with (along with difficulties at the stripe) this season. Merchant scored 11 of the teams 14 3rd quarter points. But, Merch wasn’t done.
The Griswold defense remained tough, although Chas Terni did give them fits throughout the entire game, scoring 22 points for the Indians. Barbuto added 13. Tyler Howard had a great 2nd have in the middle contributing 9 points.
Merchant scored a total of 23 points in the 2nd half, combined with the first 2 quarters, a career high 35 points for the junior, topping his performance in Plainfield.
Griswold’s stretch continues on Wednesday night with a home contest against Ellis Tech and home against Killingly on Friday. Griswold lost to Killingly earlier in the season 45-36. Montville travels to Putnam on Thursday.