TORRINGTON – The Torrington High School Boys’ basketball team had another tough test against the state’s best Douglas Bearcats on Friday after a 65-33 loss.
Torrington entered the game with a six-game losing streak which started in their first matchup against Douglas away on Jan. 15.
The Bearcats jumped out to a quick lead on Torrington’s home court with their rapid transition game which opened up several offensive opportunities to go up 9-0 in the first two minutes of the game.
Torrington head coach Logan Barker said Douglas’s prowess as a 3-point shooting team opens up the rest of their offense.
“They’re a very good 3-point shooting team and I think that’s a testament to their time in the gym and its tough because it draws people out and they beat you off the dribble,” Barker said.
The Trailblazers got on the board after a time out as junior forward Ben Firminhac hit both shots from the free-throw line.
Senior Keiser Wolfe had a rare scoreless first quarter, largely due to picking up two fouls in the opening period and having limited time in the second quarter after picking up his third.
“It’s always a little bit of a bummer when your best player gets in foul trouble but that’s some things that we were working on being more aggressive in practice. I wasn’t upset with the fouls that he had it’s just a matter of the timing and the place,” Barker said.
Douglas continued to put on the pressure offensively by ending the quarter with a 13-point lead after a last second 3-pointer from sophomore Nate Halquist to go up 20-7.
The second quarter started with a 10-point run for the Bearcats. With 3:40 left in the half, senior Ryder Hackbarth scored Torrington’s first two points of the quarter from the charity stripe.
After another eight points from Douglas, Firminhac scored two more points before the Bearcats tacked on seven more to go up 45-11.
The second half marked the first points for Wolfe who scored two baskets in a row to keep the deficit within 40 points. Having the leading scorer on the court takes some pressure off the rest of the players, according to Barker.
“I think it helps them feel a little bit more comfortable so in turn it helps us defensively,” Barker said. “Every time you get a basket in, it makes you feel and play a little bit better.”
With a running clock, Douglas expanded its lead to 62-20 at the end of the third quarter.
The Bearcats were held to three points in the final quarter as Wolfe hit a pair of 3-pointers and junior Ryan Baker added one as well.
Coach Barker said his team put up a good fight against the best team in the state and expects to see them again in the postseason.
“They’re pretty deep. They got about 14 kids that can play, and our kids came out and we battled pretty well,” Barker said. “It’s just one of those learning moments for all of us and we’ll be ready for them when we come see them at regionals.”
Wolfe led the Blazers with 11 points, while Hackbarth had five.
The Trailblazers will face Wheatland (5-13) away on Friday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Barker is confident his team will be able to bounce back after the loss.
“Our kids will be ready to play,” Barker said. “Plain and simple.”