Compass Education Center has won eight straight games.
By SAL MARINO
MECCA -- Coach Richie Chapman of the Maplewood High boys basketball team predicted his team's game Thursday with Southington would be low scoring.
Coach Mike Karr of Southington said the same after the game.
Maplewood came on strong in the second half to turn back the Wildcats 45-35 in the East Suburban Conference.
"I felt it would be a close-scoring game," Karr said. "We played without senior guard Tim Grimm, who was injured, and although Dave Motz played, he was sick all week. Without the two experienced guards, that hurt us."
Only two players managed to score in double figures. Matt Chronister of Maplewood (10-5, 9-4 ESC) took scoring honors with 12 points, while Tom Plock of Southington (9-7, 8-5) tallied 10.
Regrouped: "We had to get our guys organized," Chapman said. "We weren't doing a good job of boxing out."
Southington held a 22-21 margin at intermission.
Early in the third period, Maplewood went on a 6-0 run, with Kevin Peterson scoring four points and Chronister making the other basket to put the Rockets ahead 27-22 with 6 minutes, 30 seconds remaining.
The Wildcats answered with four points of their own. Plock scored a basket and Max Slater tossed in two free throws to cut the deficit to 27-26.
Maplewood then scored six points to push its lead to 33-26. Josh Petty of Southington scored a basket, before Maplewood's Marty Hancharinko connected on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"The beginning of the third quarter, we came out and made some early shots and the kids gained some confidence," said Chapman. "A lot of guys came off the bench and helped a great deal. Our senior leadership did a nice job."
Karr said, "The middle of the third quarter, we had a tough time going inside to score. A game of this type, a couple of baskets would have helped us."
The Rockets out-scored the Wildcats 9-7 in the final eight minutes of action. Kevin Swiger of Southington made a basket and free throw and Chronister of the Rockets scored five points.
Bloomfield 76, Lordstown 59: NORTH BLOOMFIELD -- Cody Troyer scored 17 points and had nine rebounds, while Kevin Brzyscz added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinals (5-10, 4-8 ESC).
James Rook scored 23 points, while Jason Darocha was in with 16 points for Lordstown (3-12, 3-9).
Compass 55, Grand River Academy 45: AUSTINBURG -- Three players scored in double figures as Compass Education Center defeated Grand River Academy.
Jamar Scales scored 18 points for Compass, while Mike Curenton added 14 and Derrick Cowan 11. Scales also grabbed 12 rebounds.
Compass led 26-17 at halftime and pulled away with an 18-7 surge in the third quarter.
Grand River was led by Sean Weaver's 15 points.
Compass (11-4) has won eight straight games.