The Wildcats and Red Devils conquered Bloomfield and Ledgemont.
By DOUG CHAPIN
MIDDLEFIELD -- The Southington and Lordstown boys high school basketball teams completed three-game sweeps of East Suburban Conference opponents Tuesday, in the opening round of the Division IV sectional at Cardinal High School.
Southington (13-8) defeated Bloomfield for the third time this season 63-47, while Lordstown defeated beat Ledgemont 71-64.
At 6-15, Lordstown lists half of its victories over the Redskins.
Both winners face difficult tests in the sectional final round. Southington goes against top-seeded Bristol Friday, while Lordstown faces second-seeded Windham Saturday.
Southington-Bloomfield: Southington jumped out to a 19-8 first-quarter lead Tuesday and extended it to 41-23 at halftime.
Though Bloomfield got back to within 12 in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats never were seriously threatened.
"It's tough sometimes to play a team you've beaten twice," Southington coach Mike Karr said. "We knew they could score. In the second half we did not play well, but at this point of the season we'll just take Ws."
Tom Plock led a balanced Southington scoring attack with 17 points. Max Slater added 15, David Motz had 13 points and five assists, and Tim Grimm contributed six rebounds and five steals.
Bloomfield was paced by Cody Troyer with 12 points and 18 rebounds and Kevin Brzyscz with 13 points.
Southington is on the other side of the beat-a-team-twice-already picture when it comes to Bristol.
No.3 ranking: The Panthers (19-1), who finished third in the state in the Associated Press poll, beat the Wildcats twice on the way to their ESC title.
"The main thing against Bristol is to take care of the basketball and not get rattled by their pressure," Karr said. "And the pressure will come for 32 minutes and it will change; it won't be the same type of press all the time.
"If we can take care of that and rebound, we can stay with them," Karr said. "Our problem in the two losses was we had a four- to five-minute drought in each game. We have to play four quarters."
Lordstown-Ledgemont: It wasn't until the fourth quarter that Lordstown put away Ledgemont. Trailing 59-56 with 3:22 remaining, the Red Devils went on an 11-0 run to take a 67-59 advantage with 1:20 to play.
Jason Darocha's 3-pointer tied the score. James Rook then scored five points and Nathan Czech three for Lordstown. The closest Ledgemont could come after that was five points.
Adam Sidley, a 6-4 senior, had a monster game for the Redskins with 33 points on 15-for-17 shooting, nine rebounds, four assists and five blocked shots.
He was supported by Bryan Wolcott with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Forced 22 turnovers: The smaller, quicker Red Devils held their own on the boards, trailing just 30-26 in that category, but forced 22 turnovers while committing just 11 themselves.
Lordstown was led by Rook, a sophomore, with 22 points and Darocha, a junior, with 21.
Junior Dwayne Flenoury had a solid game with 10 points, six rebounds, six steals and four assists. Nathan Czech added 10 points and five steals.
The fact Lordstown will play for a sectional title fulfills one of the goals coach Tom McClary set for the young Devils.
"The chance to play for a championship of some sort was one of the goals we set at the start of the year," McClary said.
Winning that title against Windham could be another story.
"They are physical and strong and probably will be the best team we play all year," McClary said. "They've got a bunch of seniors and they've got a 6-7 sophomore inside who is real good."