AP NEWS

boys basketball: News-Times Tip-Off Tournament Mustangs run off with title

December 16, 2018

DANBURY — It’s their city now.

The Immaculate boys basketball team was the last team standing after the News-Times Tip-Off, as 21 points from tournament MVP Jack Woods led the Mustangs to a 50-36 win over Danbury on Saturday night.

The Hatters had won the previous several tournaments before the smallest school in the city prevailed at home. Immaculate also put the rest of Division I on notice after knocking off the No. 8-ranked team in the GameTimeCT/Register Top 10 Poll.

“It’s great,” Woods said. “It’s a lot fun coming out with your friends and be able to put everything together. It’s early in the season and not easy always playing well against a very good team. … It’s a cool feeling, it makes you appreciate basketball right from the get-go you get into it. Getting this many fans out here, it’s an experience you’ll never forget.”

A packed house. Fans rushing onto the court in celebration after a big win. A postgame team photo and trophies handed out. It all felt like a postseason win for the Mustangs, who won Division II last year and appeared to have picked up right where they left off.

“I think we just opened a lot of eyes around the state,” Immaculate coach Nelson Mingachos said. “To come here and beat a team like that the way we did, it could be a great year. How great? Time will tell, I guess.”

Intent was signaled early as Woods buried several 3s to lift Immaculate to a 21-10 lead in the second quarter. An aggressive defense did the rest as very few shots went uncontested by the hosts. The lead increased slowly before it became insurmountable.

“We always tell the kids we want 10 points or less every quarter,” Mingachos said. “To stop that team from scoring 40 points was amazing.”

“I thought we played really well in transition,” Woods said. “We have a combination of good guards and good bigs; we pushed the ball in transition, we hit shots and Mike Basile passed the ball well.”

A short 7-0 spurt pulled Danbury to within 41-29 early in fourth quarter, but it didn’t last. The Mustangs didn’t allow a basket for the next 31/2 minutes. Keyon Moore had 15 to lead the Hatters while Denali Burton added 13. Basile had 19 for the Mustangs.

“I thought we didn’t play together,” Hatters coach Casey Bock said. “Offensively if we played together more, we probably would have put more points up. Defensively we went zone first and they shot us out of it.”

Bock added that his group is a work in progress and will take time to develop a finished product.

“We have our senior leaders and we just have to find other pieces. It was a tough game and a little surprising but we’ll get there by the end of the season.”

PRIAR SHINES

Nazeer Priar stole the show in the opener as he scored 36 points to lead Abbott Tech to an impressive 50-47 win over Bethel. He canned five 3-pointers in the fourth alone as the Wolverines (1-1) notched their first win of the season.

Bethel overcame an 11-point first-half deficit to grab a commanding 37-29 lead early in the fourth, lbut Priar then entered his zone. He hit back-to-back triples to give the Wolverines a 46-41 lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish.

“We just played hard and stayed together as a team,” Priar said. “I was just feeling it so I kept shooting it. Coach always says I have the green light.”

Bethel kept it to within a score late on, but a pair of steals by Abbott Tech preserved the advantage.

“The coaches kept telling us to be aggressive no matter how many fouls we have,” Priar said.

Bethel grabbed the rebound after a missed free throw with time running out, and narrowly missed sending the game into overtime on a shot from midcourt. Luke Lacey scored 18 points for Bethel while Tyler Zegray — who was wearning injured teammate Chris Towey’s No. 10 jersey — also had 18.

rlacey@bcnnew.com, twitter.com/ryanlacey11

ABBOTT TECH 50, BETHEL 47

ABBOTT TECH (1-1): Nazeer Priar 12 6-11 36 Marcos Gonzalez 1 0-0 2 Stanley Roman 1 0-2 2 Derek Taveras 3 1-2 7 Blake Taylor 1 0-0 3. Totals: 18 7-15 50.

BETHEL (0-2): Luke Lacey 6 0-0 18 Tyler Zegray 7 1-3 18 Jack Carraturo 1 2-2 4 Dylan Breeland 0 0-3 0 Colin Florenz 2 0-0 4 Kevin Legnard 1 0-0 3. Totals: 17 3-8 47.

3-pointers: AT—Priar 6, Taylor; B—Lacey 6, Zegray 3, Legnard.

ABBOTT TECH1 3 10 6 21 — 50

BETHEL10 8 16 13 — 47

IMMACULATE 50, DANBURY 36

DANBURY (1-1): Denali Burton 5 2-4 13 Taylor Heady 0 0-0 0 Javon Hernandez 1 0-2 3 Jah Joyner 2 1-5 5 Keyon Moore 5 3-4 15. Totals: 13 6-15 36.

IMMACULATE (2-0): Mike Basile 7 4-6 19 Quinn Guth 2 4-6 8 Jack Woods 9 0-0 21 Joey Rios 0 2-2 2 Sean Guiry 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 10-14 50.

3-pointers: D—Burton, Hernandez, Moore 2; I—Basile, Woods 3.

DANBURY8 6 8 14 — 36

IMMACULATE14 15 10 11 — 50

AP RADIO
Update hourly