By Ron P. Coderre
Putnam Science Academy ranked #4 in the nation squared off in the championship game of the Founders Classic against #1 St. Thomas More in a game played in Oakdale on the Saints campus.  It’s probably the first time that two teams ranked so highly have ever played in the regular season in an Eastern Connecticut venue.  Unfortunately the Mustangs fell just short in their quest for victory
Prior to the title game that Mustangs won a pair of games and were on a six game winning streak.  Pomfret School, Hyde-Woodstock and Marianapolis were all active during the week.  Pomfret won a couple of games and Hyde won its only contest.  Marianapolis fell in an overtime game and also lost to Cheshire Academy.
The Plainfield Panthers enjoyed a banner week, beating two of their closest rivals, Killingly and Griswold.  Putnam , Woodstock Academy and Tourtellotte each picked up victories during the week, while Ellis Tech continues winless, dropping its only game of the week.  Killingly was also winless during the week, dropping its two contests.
Foul Troubles Plague Mustangs 
in Loss to Saints
In a game of prep titans St. Thomas More came out on top of Putnam Science Academy 86-75 in the title game of the Founders Classic.  The game was much closer than the final score might indicate as the Scientists were only down by two at intermission 45-43.
The second half was marred by six technical fouls, as the foul plagued Mustangs lost their two best players via that route.  Hamidou Diallo and UConn-bound Mamadou Diarra both sat out good portions of the game due to foul trouble and eventual disqualification by the five-foul route.
Playing in front of a jam packed crowd in the tiny and noisy St. Thomas More gym, the Mustangs gave it their all before falling.  They were led in the scoring department by Diallo and Saul Phiri, each with nineteen points.  Eric Ayala was also in double figures with 11 points, while Diarra finished well below his average with only six points. 
Prior to facing off against the Saints, PSA beat Cushing Academy in a road test 71-67.  The teams were knotted 30-30 at intermission and the Mustangs led by Tyere Marshall’s prodigious 17 point performance were able to secure the win.  Diallo (14) and Phiri (12) were also instrumental in the win. 
In the first round of the Founders Classic the Mustangs hit the century mark with a 100-78 win over Maine powerhouse Bridgton Academy.  PSA jumped out to a 59-37 first half lead and never looked back, as coach Tom Espinosa enjoyed the luxury of playing everyone on the squad and resting his starters.  Diallo led five players in double figures and 11 players who made the scorebook with 25 big points.  The other double figure scorers were Phiri (13), Marshall (10), Diarra (15) and Tyreek Perkins (14).  
The determined Mustangs faced Commonwealth Academy in a Sunday afternoon matinee.  They rebounded nicely, beating the hosts 89-76 behind a 30-point output by Diallo.  Diarra added 16 and Perkins 18 for the Mustangs who are 17-2 on the season.
Hyde-Woodstock led by a huge 34-point performance by Eamonn Joyce raised its record to 6-4 with a 59-49 win over Worcester Academy.  Pomfret School rode the coattails of Vince Conn (16) and Gerald Blount (12) in beating St. Thomas More 58-33.  The Golden Griffins are 8-3 on the season.  The Griffs continued their winning ways with a big 70-34 win over an outmatched Kingswood-Oxford as Cam Winston was the game-high scorer with 24 points.  Christian Wilson chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds and Blount added a dozen to the winning cause.
Marianapolis went to overtime before falling to Millbrook School 63-57.  Joe Del Ricci, who hit the basket that forced overtime, had 14 points to pace the Golden Knights, while Dominique Senat added 13.  In a Sunday matinee the Knights fell at home 72-49 to Cheshire Academy.  Del Ricci had 16 and Audric Sandoval 14 in the loss.  Marianapolis is 3-11 on the season.
Plainfield Enjoys Satisfying Week
Veteran Plainfield coach Bob Arremony enjoyed a week that brought a smile to his face as his Panthers beat rivals Killingly 58-51 and Griswold 77-64.  Liam Jacobs, Plainfield’s 6-foot, 5-inch versatile performer had a big 21-point performance in the win over the Redmen.  Jeff Nicolosi with a dozen markers contributed heavily to the offense, which jumped out to a 19-4 first period advantage that Killingly was unable to overcome.  Brendan Turner had 21 and Ben Desaulnier had 10 for 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium Division Killingly.
The Panthers used a 17-0 third period run in rolling past Griswold.  Jacobs with 21 points led four players in double figures.  Eli Malboeuf with 16 points, many from inside, Dylan Horn (10) and Nicolosi with (11) also were in double digits for 6-3 overall and 2-1 in the ECC Medium Division Panthers.
In its other game, Killingly lost to Lyman Memorial 64-54.  Turner with 18 was the lone Redman in double figures for coach Jimbo Crabtree.
Tourtellotte was busy, playing three games over a seven-day span.  The Tigers of coach Neil Bernier came out of the fray with one victory.  The North Grosvenordale entry opened the week with a big 59-50 win over former Quinebaug Valley Conference rival Putnam.  Evan Ware with 20 points was the big gun for Tourtellotte.  Putnam was led by Brevon Harmon’s 14 points.
The Tigers then dropped a pair 49-30 to Woodstock and 63-42 to Montville.  Nick Short with 13 points led nine Centaurs in the scoring parade in undoing the Tigers.  Against Montville, the Tigers were unable to get anyone in double figures for the second game in a row.
Woodstock’s other game was a 49-29 loss to Norwich Free Academy.  The Centaurs are 4-3 overall and 0-2 in the ECC Large Division.
In its only other game of the week, Putnam went to double overtime in beating visiting Windham Tech 69-65.  Sophomore Dan Porcic was immense with 29 points to pace the Clippers.  Harmon and Marcus Lewis were invaluable as each chipped in 11 markers for the 6-3 on the season and 2-1 in the Constitution State Conference East Division Clippers. Ellis Tech fell to 0-8 on the year and 0-3 in the CSC East when they were beaten 61-34 by Norwich Tech.  Trent Raymond was the lone bright spot for the Golden Eagles with 15 points.
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