NEWCASTLE – The Dogie Dome in Newcastle has proven be a difficult place for the Torrington High School boys’ basketball team over the years, but on Friday evening, the Blazers held on late for a 58-55 win over the Newcastle Dogies.
The win was the first for Torrington in three seasons in Newcastle.
“The Dogie Dome is one of my favorite places to play, but it’s one of the hardest places to win a game for a road team,” THS coach Neil Baker said. “It’s really loud, and their kids all seem to shoot better there.”
The Blazers looked to take the crowd out of the picture early, grabbing an 18-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Newcastle battled right back and made it a ballgame until the very end.
“We gave up a little bit of a run,” Baker said. “We got a little impatient on offense and took some early shots and didn’t make them play defense.”
The Dogies were carried by senior Dylon Tidyman, who scored 35 of the 55 Newcastle points, but Baker credited senior Sam Firminhac with a great game defensively.
“Sam Firminhac did a really good job on defensive on Tidyman. The stats don’t show that, but he hit numerous threes with Sam’s hand in his face,” Baker said. “He hit a tremendous number of difficult shots.”
The game was made up with a lot of runs over the course of the 32 minutes.
Torrington was able push the lead to double-digits, but Newcastle battled right back, cutting the score to a one possession game every time.
The Blazers were able to make enough free throws and get enough stops down the stretch to fend off the late run.
Sophomore Kieser Wolfe connected on a pair of free throws to give the Blazers a 54-50 lead before Tidyman drained his last trey of the game with under 20 seconds left.
Newcastle fouled Jackson Jones with two seconds left on the clock and the THS senior hit both, pushing the Torrington lead back to three.
The Dogies was unable to get one last shot off before the buzzer.
“Our seniors had never been on a varsity team that won a game there,” Baker said. “Cameron (Murphy) played really well defensively, and Jackson didn’t score nearly as many against Newcastle but rebounded well. It was a good team effort.
The Blazers host Mitchell, Neb. on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m. before traveling to Douglas for a 7 p.m. contest on Friday.