The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT)
Shepaug rolls to win over Gilbert
WINSTED — Shepaug’s boys basketball team came in smoking in a 67-51 win at The Gilbert School Thursday night.
Shepaug (12-6; 11-4 Berkshire League) looked like a winning track team for much of the game as four players — James Kersten, Phil Ostrosky, Reed Woerner and Andrew Konik — began their race to double figures in the first quarter.
The Spartan lead was 15-7 and growing at the end of the first quarter; 28-16 at the half; and 52-30 starting the final period when Shepaug substitutes began filling in.
Woerner, with a gamehigh 20 points, intensified the Spartan race with 13 of his points in the third quarter, then sat out the fourth. Kersten (15 points); Ostrosky (11); and Konik (10) were still contributing into the final period.
“We were playing selfish at the start of the season,” said Woerner. “Around midseason, we began playing together. Now we don’t care who scores.”
Midseason was when the Spartans laid the only BL loss on league-leading Wamogo and they’ve played tough ever since, despite narrow losses to Wamogo and Northwestern above them in the standings.
“We have five seniors, two significant freshmen and a sophomore,” said Coach Matt Lefevre. “We’ve worked hard to blend together.”
The blend was on full display Thursday night.
Woerner, the sophomore, often led the Spartan charge. Freshman forward Kersten joined seniors Ostrosky and Charles VandenBosch in a frontcourt Shepaug defense keeping Gilbert star center Adam Biraga under control until the final period. Freshman guard Konik fired off the bench for more energy on offense and defense.
Within the blending, they still have their senior leadership.
“(Senior center) Ostrosky is our glue,” said Coach Lefevre. “He averages 10 points and 13 rebounds a
Meanwhile, the Yellowjackets had three starters of their own in double figures with a fourth close behind. The Spartans were their biggest problem — literally — controlling the paint for multiple blocks on defense, offensive rebounds and putbacks on the attack.
Biraga, Gilbert's leading scorer, had 10 of his 18 points in the final period.
Blame a miserable schedule for its contribution to mediocre Yellowjacket shooting and a step or two lag in the face of Shepaug's whirlwind.
In the past 10 days, the Yellowjackets have faced (and beaten) NVL Iron Division Champion Torrington; hung in for a tough win against Litchfield; then took on all three Berkshire League teams at the top of the BL standings.
Thursday, Greyson Ursone showed his football toughness on the perimeter with 12 points and several steals; Nolan Adams regained the perimeter accuracy that helped down Torrington with all 11 of his points, including three treys in the second half; and John Devanney, the other half of the barrage against Torrington, chipped in eight.
Shepaug has two home games remaining next week against O'Brien Tech and Housatonic before the BL Boys Tournament begins a week from Monday.
Thursday's game was the regular-season finale for Gilbert.
“We're going to take three days off to get rested up and clear our minds. Then we can work hard to get ready for the Tournament,” said Coach Mark Douglass.
A rested-up Gilbert should be firmly back in the mix…Shepaug has worked out its blend… Northwestern, with its only two BL losses to Wamogo, is eager for another chance…Wamogo wants to prove its regular-season championship is no fluke…and every other team in the BL Tournament would trade its sneakers for a chance at an upset.