By Alan Pease
On Monday the 18th, the Coginchaug boys travelled to Enfield to take on the 14-3 Raiders. It figured to be a game that Coginchaug would have difficulty being competitive in.
But the Blue Devils came out strong, with a 14 all tie after one period, a 27-26 lead at the half, and actually had a 42-38 lead entering the final period.
Devin Rodrigue got things going in the last period, scoring off of a Jackson Doyle feed. After an Enfield bucket, Rodrigue hat a single free throw to put the Devils up 45-40. But the Raiders went on a 8-1 tear, with only a single Alex Kotrady charity hit interrupting the onslaught, putting the Devils behind by a 46-48 count with three minutes remaining. After trading missed baskets, Jack Granger made a steal, and drove the length of the court to tie the game at 48 with 90 ticks left on the clock. Enfield worked the clock on their next possession, then took a three with 45 seconds left, that missed the mark, and Jackson Doyle managed to corral. At the other end, Jackson took the ball hard to the basket, and though it rolled off the rim, it looked like Rodrigue had a good chance for the rebound, but Jackson was called for a travel on the drive, giving the Raiders another possession. Enfield got the ball to their end in good shape, but the Devils gave them trouble in getting an open look at the basket. Finally, just before time expired, Paul Lima of Enfield took a step-back three-pointer that swished through the net as the buzzer sounded, giving Lima a game high 18 points, and the Raiders a 51-48 win.
I had Devin Rodrigue down for 16 points to lead the Devils in scoring, but the official scorebook had both Rodrigue and Jackson Doyle for 13 points. Rodrigue added five rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal, while Doyle added four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Alex Kotrady led the team in both rebounding with seven, and steals with four, also contributing five points, a block and an assist. Mike Bongiorno led the team in assists with five, adding six points, three steals and a rebound. Jack Granger scored ten points, adding three steals, a rebound and an assist.
Off the bench, Jeff Grumm grabbed two rebounds, blocked two shots and had a steal, and Josh Smith scored a point.
vs. Valley Regional
On Wednesday, February 20th, the Devils hosted the Warriors of Valley Regional, who entered undefeated in Shoreline conference play, and left undefeated as well.
Coginchaug started strong, forcing Valley to miss shots, and ended the first period with a 7-7 tie. But from there on, it was all downhill. Valley scored 23 points in the second period, while Coginchaug managed only a single Devin Rodrigue basket in the period, giving the Warriors a 21 point lead at the half. Valley extended the lead by nine points in the third period and 13 more in the fourth, for the final score of 71-28, with Valley firmly and resoundingly on top.
With no post season play possible, this was the final hurrah for this year’s seniors, Mike Bongiorno, Jackson Doyle, Alex Kotrady and Jeff Grumm. This being senior night, Coach Salva gave Grumm the start, and had his seniors start the final period as a group, along with junior Jack Granger. With four minutes remaining, Coach pulled his starters for a final time for a passing of the torch to the next class. Next year’s leaders, Jack Granger and sophomore Devin Rodrigue, along with injured sophomore Josh Smith and the seniors, sat and watched as the players that will vie for time next year got their shot. Juniors Alex Markoski, Mike Decker and Taylor Sapia, along with sophomores Conor Doyle and Zach Terrill and even freshman Cam Powers will be in the mix for playing time next year, which will see a more experienced, and hopefully more successful boys team.
Jackson Doyle led the Devils in scoring with eight points, adding three steals, three assists and a rebound. Alex Kotrady led in rebounding with seven and blocks with two, also scoring seven and getting a steal. Jack Granger scored three, had three steals, and grabbed a rebound. Jeff Grumm had four rebounds, two points and an assist, while Mike Bongiorno had two rebounds, a steal and an assist.
Off the bench, Devin Rodrigue has three rebounds and two points. Both Alex Markoski and Taylor Sapia had two rebounds, a point and a steal. Conor Doyle had two points and a steal, Mike Decker scored two, and Zach Terrill stole the ball once.
The boys finished the season at 6-14, 6-12 in the Shoreline conference. Only three of those losses were by more than 15 points, so some hard work in the off-season sould make next year much more interesting.