TORRINGTON – After Saturday’s 61-58 loss to the Douglas Bearcats, the Torrington boys’ basketball team has an us versus the world mentality.
Down 10 early in the fourth quarter, the Blazers battled back to give themselves a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, only to come up short.
“I love their battle. I love how they always fight back,” coach Neil Baker said. “Every game, there are chances when we are down 10, we could lose by 12 of 14, but we always find a way to battle back.”
With a second left on the clock Saturday afternoon, the Blazers forced a turnover on their half of the court, but a bobbled inbounds pass resulted in the Blazers not getting a game-tying 3-pointer off before the buzzer.
“They are battling their (butts) off, and we just keep making mistakes here and there and giving up a few easy baskets,” Baker said. “I feel for those kids. They are in that locker room hurting right now. It’s a frustrating evening. They did a lot of good things, but we just have to make more consecutive plays.”
However, before the 26-point fourth quarter by the Blazers, foul trouble, defensive miscues and missed shots mounted for the home team.
After the teams matched each other point for point in the first quarter, Douglas started to pull away in the second and third quarters.
The Bearcats limited Torrington to only five points in the second quarter, taking a 27-20 lead into half.
The visitors pushed that lead to 10 by the start of the fourth quarter.
“I told them tonight, we didn’t show urgency early enough,” Baker said. “We played that last three minutes with a lot of fire. It was a 10-point lead. We just couldn’t get the catch and shot off.”
The Blazers cut the deficit to 43-39 courtesy of a pair of free throws from junior Sam Firminhac, but Douglas pushed its advantage back to nine midway through the final quarter.
Torrington got 3-pointers from junior Jackson Jones and senior Jordan Malm in the final 10 seconds to cut the deficit to three.
Coming out of a Blazer time out, Douglas traveled near the Torrington bench, giving the home team one last attempt for the tie, but it failed as the final horn sounded on the game.
Lemmon scored a team-high 21 points, while Malm added 13. Firminhac tossed in 10.
The Blazers will look to end a five-game losing streak Friday at 7 p.m. on the road against the Wheatland Bulldogs.