Windsor Tops Stevens in Matchup of Short-Handed Teams
Windsor head coach Harry Ladue explains a play to his team during last night’s win over Stevens in Claremont. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap) Purchase photo reprints »
Windsor’s Russell Simonds and Stevens’ Daniel Croteau battle for the ball last night in Claremont. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap) Purchase photo reprints »
Ryan Napsey, 15, attempts a half-court shot during halftime at the Stevens boys basketball game against Windsor last night. Windsor won, 64-58. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap) Purchase photo reprints »
Claremont — The box score will show that Windsor’s Tanner Tibbits had a great 27-point game in a 64-58 win over Stevens last night at Carr Gym. That’s terrific, but box scores don‘t show everything.
It doesn’t show that Tibbits had the play of the game and it came on defense. With Windsor leading 60-58 Stevens had the ball in the offensive zone and looking to tie or take the lead. But Tibbits had other ideas as he stole the ball and fed the breaking Russell Simonds, who dashed down the court and somehow made the hoop even though he took a hard foul from Trey Dansereau.
This gave Simonds two shots — he made one — and gave Windsor the ball back. The Jacks held on after converting another free throw.
“Playing Stevens is always a big game,” Tibbits said. “It was nice to come out of here with a win.”
“We just can’t finish games,” Stevens coach Scott MacNamee said. “Until we learn how to finish games we’re not going to be successful.”
Both teams were dealing with depleted rosters. Windsor had two starters unavailable as Shawn Pinsonault was out with an ankle injury and Tyson Boudro is dealing with an academic issue. Stevens lost two reserve players last week and had to go without point guard Billy Brooks, who dislocated his shoulder in practice Monday.
“We have to reinvent ourselves every game,” MacNamee said.
All eight minutes of the fourth quarter were hectic. Stevens had a 55-51 lead with 5:05 to play and tried to slow things up, moving the ball around and looking for the good shot. That didn’t work out as Windsor forced two turnovers, and with 3:16 to play, it was a 57-57 game. Windsor’s Luke TanCreti put Windsor up 60-57 with 1:42 to go with a 3-point shot. Tyler Haines made a free throw for Stevens to make it 60-58. On Windsor’s next possession, the Jacks drifted to far back on offense and got charged with a backcourt violation. This gave Stevens the ball with 15 seconds left, but Tibbits stole the ball, Simonds made the layup and the Yellowjackets went back across the Ascutney Bridge wearing big smiles.
“That was a good solid team effort tonight, and we had to make some adjustments having lost two starters.” Windsor coach Harry Ladue said. “We did a better job of taking care of the boards in the second half and made some shots.”
Another pivotal part of the game came at the start of the second half. Stevens had taken a 32-27 lead at the break, but Windsor tied it in the first 35 seconds as TanCreti hit a 3-pointer and followed that with a layup at the end of a fast break. Windsor needed those early points, as Stevens hit a hot streak near the end of the quarter to take six-point edge into the final period.
It was the second tight game the two teams have played, Stevens winning in Windsor 65-60 on Jan. 8.
Other double digit scores for Windsor were TanCreti with 10 and Simonds with 12. For Stevens, Jordan Haines had a nice night with 23 points and some nifty assists. Ryan Tanguay had 14 and Logan Batchelder 15.
It doesn’t get any easier for Stevens, as it travels to Conant on Friday. Windsor hosts Fair Haven tomorrow.