TORRINGTON – The Rawlins Outlaws outscored the Torrington High School boys’ basketball team 22-8 over the final seven and a half minutes en route to handing the Blazers a 62-49 home loss on Friday evening at Willi Gym.
The Blazers survived an 11-0 Rawlins run late in the quarter to answer with a 7-0 run to take a 41-40 lead with 7:38 left in the game courtesy of a bucket from senior Jackson Jones.
Jones’ score proved to start a six-minute field goal dry spell for the Blazers.
“They stepped their pressure up another notch, and they got us to speed up a little bit,” THS coach Neil Baker said. “It felt like we were in a pretty good spot, and then we got ourselves going a little bit too fast. We turned the ball, and we didn’t get back on some of those turnovers.”
Rawlins went on to score the next 12 points to put away the Blazers, but Baker said after the game, he didn’t want to be too down about the loss.
“The first three quarters, we did a lot of good things, and they are a solid basketball team. They have shooters all over the place and are athletic,” he said. “If you would have told me down one after three, I would have taken that. They just finished better than we did.”
Rawlins looked to take control of the game early, jumping out to an 8-1 lead, but midway through the first quarter, Torrington senior Sam Firminhac jumped started the Blazers rally with his first points of the game.
Torrington held a 12-11 lead by the end of the opening frame, and from that point, neither team held more than five-point advantage.
Blazer senior Jackson Jones gave his team a 34-29 before the visiting Outlaws made their comeback attempt.
Over the next three minutes, Rawlins went on an 11-0, taking a 40-34 lead before one last gasp by Torrington.
“The kids played hard, and I’m happy with three quarters of effort,” Baker said.
Jones led Torrington with 21 points, while Firminhac added 13. Sophomore Keiser Wolfe tossed in seven.
The Blazers are still looking for their first home win of the season, and Baker hopes to remedy the situation this weekend when Torrington hosts Newcastle at 7 p.m. Friday.
“They have one of the best players in the league. Dylon Tidyman is a great player. He had 35 of the 55 when we played them the last time,” Baker said. “We are going to try to make it tougher on him with a couple methods of making his night harder.”