By Ron P. Coderre
In a mad rush to bring the regular season to a conclusion, the boys’ high school and prep school teams were all on the hardwood in an action-packed week.
The biggest news of the week came out of Putnam Science Academy where the Mustangs, rolling on an 11-game winning streak were beaten in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.,  by Master’s School.  The Mustangs rebounded with a vengeance against Bradford Christian Academy from Haverhill, Mass.  In a contest that would prove if PSA was national caliber, they beat New Hampton Prep in the Frank Monahan Basketball Showcase.
The other surprise in the prep ranks was a victory by struggling Marianapolis over St. Mark’s School.  Pomfret School and Hyde School-Woodstock both played two games, each going 1-1 in the process.
The high schools all had a so-so week as Tourtellotte, and Ellis Tech lost both of their games, while Plainfield, Killingly and Putnam were all 1-1 on the week.  Woodstock Academy lost to Norwich Free Academy.
Putnam Science Academy Mastered
Putnam Science Academy, which was rolling at 24-2, rode into Dobbs Ferry and received a surprise losing to Master’s School 82-79 in a game they had been counting in the Win column.  The team’s were knotted 36-36 at intermission but the Mustangs couldn’t muster the drive and enthusiasm to pick up the win despite placing four players in double figures. “We didn’t come to play,” noted coach Tom Espinosa.
Point guard Jaheam Cornwall and Hamidou Diallo led the way with 16 points followed by Eric Ayala (14) and Mamadou Diarra (13).  
In a Meet the Mustangs Night event for the Mustangs Kids Club members, PSA put on an offensive demonstration for the huge throng and the kids on hand.  Jumping out to an early lead over Bradford Christian Academy the Scientists never let up as every player saw substantial action in a 136-64 victory. 
Following the game the team and kids enjoyed ice cream sundaes.  The treat was especially tasty to Darnell Brodie and Sean Delaney who led eight Mustangs in double digits with 18 and 16 points respectively.  Other double digit producers were Diallo (10), Tyere Marshall (14), Diarra (13), Ajiri Johnson (10), Brandon Steed (14) and Brandon Hurst (13).
The Sunday trip to New Hampshire was worth the ride as the Mustangs, led by Diallo with 16 points and Diarra with 12 and 11 rebounds beat New Hampton Prep 69-56.  Saul Phiri, fresh off a recruiting trip to LaSalle University in Philadelphia, contributed a dozen and Ayala added 11 in the crucial victory.  The Mustangs are 26-3. 
Marianapolis picked up its fifth win of the season with a 65-43 victory over St. Mark’s School.  Joe Del Ricci paced coach Andrew Vitale’s team with a sterling 25-point performance.  Tyler Burton chipped in 10 for the winners.  Del Ricci put on another 25-point show against St. George’s in a 64-59 loss.  Burton had another 10-point game and Audric Sandoval posted 11 points for 5-15 Marianapolis.
Pomfret School behind a double-double, 14 points and 10 rebounds by Gerald Blount beat Westminster 74-55.  John Long (15) and Christian Wilson (13) were also in double figures for the Golden Griffins.  Pomfret fell short in its next game, losing 63-55 to Loomis Chaffee School.  Blount had 13 in the loss for 11-6 Pomfret.
Hyde-Woodstock lost its opening game of the week 73-53 to the Wheeler School of Rhode Island.  Eamonn Joyce (13) and Jordan Burney (10) produced double digits for the Wolfpack.  Hyde turned the tables in its next game, an 82-71 win over Providence Country Day.  Joyce exploded for a career performance, posting 43 points.  Rodney Ray also had a good game with 22 markers for the 9-10 Wolfpack.
Putnam & Plainfield In CIAC Tourney
The Putnam Clippers qualified for the CIAC Tournament when they posted their eighth win of the year, a 75-50 victory over Grasso Tech.  Brevon Harmon and Dan Porcic with 20 points apiece assured the win and entry into the postseason.  Earlier in the week the Clippers lost to Vinal Tech on the road 64-58 despite 26 points from Porcic and 14 from Harmon.  Putnam is 8-7 on the season and 6-2 in the Constitution State Conference East Division.
Plainfield raised its record to 9-8 overall and 4-5 in the Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium Division when it slipped past Killingly 43-36.  Liam Jocobs and Dylan Horn with a dozen points each were the high scorers for the Panthers.  Chace Wood had 12 for Killingly.  Plainfield lost its other game of the week, a 74-60 decision to Waterford.  Jacobs was high man for the Panthers with 20, while Connor Davis added 14.
Killingly picked up a rare but satisfying win in its other game, beating Stonington 62-40.  Brendan Turner and Luke Desaulnier each had 13, while Wood had 12 for 5-11 overall Killingly.  The Redmen are 2-6 in the ECC Medium Division.
Tourtellotte lost 71-42 to Windham and 58-31 to Griswold.  The Tigers are 5-12 on the year and 1-7 in the ECC Small Division.  Ellis Tech remains in search of its first win of the year after dropping two games last week.  The 0-16 and 0-9 CSC East Division Eagles lost 66-41 to Norwich Tech and 72-36 to Parish Hill.
Woodstock Academy lost to Norwich Free Academy 60-50 despite a double-double – 14 points and 11 rebounds – by Sam Majek.  The Centaurs let a 26-20 halftime advantage slip through their fingers much to the disappointment of the home crowd.  Bryce Jarrett chipped in 11 and Nick Short 13 in the loss.  The Acads are 4-10 overall and 0-6 in the ECC Large Division.
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