By Alan Pease
The Coginchaug boys played two games this past week. On Tuesday the 22nd, they played a capable East Hampton team that had already knocked off two teams that have previously defeated the Devils – H-K and Cromwell. The Bellringers figured to be a very tough out, but the Devils proved to be up to the challenge in a heart-pounding 57-56 win.
On Thursday the 24th, they hosted the Raiders of Windsor Locks, in a non-conference matchup. The visitors had only one win in eleven tries, but against Coginchaug, they made it two, as they defeated an uninspired Blue Devil squad by a 41-31 score.
vs. East Hampton
In the East Hampton game, the boys looked like they could play with just about anybody in the Shoreline Conference – they rebounded, shot well, and took reasonably good care of the ball.
Playing Windsor Locks, they rebounded reasonably well, but 22 turnovers did them in, with relatively poor shooting (31% for the game) also taking a toll.
Against East Hampton, powered by seven points from Mike Bongiorno, they jumped to a 15-8 first period lead, and lead 27-21 with a minute left in the half. The Bellringers managed to sandwich two three’s around a two to finish on an 8-0 run, and took a 29-27 lead at the break.
Again in the third period, Bongiorno scored seven, as the teams tied for times, and exchanged the lead four times, with the Devils entering the final period with a 43-42 lead.
Early in the final period, Coginchaug extended their lead a bit, but East Hampton came back to take a 51-49 lead with three minutes left. Devin Rodrigue tied the game with two from the charity stripe, but the Bellringers again surged ahead with a two. The biggest basket of the game came on a Devin Rodrigue assisted trey from Mike Bongiorno that gave the Devils the lead for good, with both the front and back end of a one and one from Bongiorno making the lead three at 56-53, and a Rodrigue free throw making the lead four. This proved to be critical, as East Hampton dropped in their eighth three pointer of the night to make the final score 57-56, with the Devils pulling out the win.
Mike Bongiorno scored 19 points, and also led the team in assists with three. Devin Rodrigue scored 11 points, adding six rebounds. Jackson Doyle scored nine points, and had three steal to lead in that category. Alex Kotrady was the leading rebounder with eight, also scoring four points. Jack Granger scored six points, and both Jeff Grumm and Conor Doyle scored four.
vs. Windsor Locks
In the Windsor Locks game, the boys trailed 7-12 after one period, and 19-21 at the half, but in the third period, with the Raiders able to manage only single three point bucket, managed to take a 25-24 lead.
Despite six points from Devin Rodrigue and the final period, and three rebounds and a block from Jeff Grumm, Coginchaug could not hold off Windsor Locks, as the visitors hit eight of eleven free throws in the final minutes to salt away the 41-33 victory over the Devils.
Devin Rodrigue scored 14 points, and also led the team in rebounding with nine. Alex Kotrady scored seven, adding six rebounds, while Jackson Doyle had six points and five boards. Jack Granger had five rebounds and lead the team in steals with three, while Mike Bongiorno had four assists, along with two each of points, rebounds, and steals.
Coginchaug is 5-7, 5-6 in the Shoreline conference. The Blue Devils visited North Branford on Monday night and travel on Friday, February 1st to Valley, and next Tuesday the 5th they visit Old Saybrook.