Boys basketball: Bethel dominates early

Joel Barlow High’s Jack Pantalena tries to get around a Bethel opponent during a boys basketball game on Saturday. Dec. 22. Barlow lost 75-47 in the finals of the Danbury Tip-Off Classic.—Scott Mullin photo

Perhaps it was the bus being late and the Joel Barlow High boys basketball team arriving late, or perhaps it was the late start time. Perhaps it was just bad luck.

Whatever the reason, it was clear that the Falcons were not ready for Division 1- bound Daniel Garvin and his Bethel High teammates in the finals of the Danbury Tip-Off Classic. The Falcons got blown out early, losing 75 -47 on Saturday, Dec. 22, at the War Memorial in Danbury.

Barlow had no answer for Gavin’s 25 point , eight rebounds, four steals, three blocked shots, and three NBA type dunks,

“We’ve got to contain Gavin,” said Barlow first-year head coach Matt Whelan before the game about what would be key to a victory. “We can’t allow him to dominate as he did vs. Immaculate. “We’ve got to play hard D, put a body on him, and out work the rest of his teammates.”

A 21-6 run in the first quarter put this game away quickly, as Barlow did not display the poise and determination it did against Abbott Tech in the previous game that got it to the championship.

“We have to be more consistent in our effort and determination,” said  Whalen. “VersusTech we had it for 32 minutes, tonight we were way too inconsistent. But the kid Garvin is, good, very good, Every time we tried to make a run, he was there to stop us. Bethel is going give lots of teams fits this season”.

Barlow, trying to win its second tournament championship, was led by All- Tournament selection Phil Moriber with 14 points. It will face another early season test when it visits the Hatters of Danbury High on Friday at 2 p.m.

“This will be a great test for us,” Whalen said. “I look forward to seeing how we will bounce back. I expect a great effort from everyone next time out, the kids are working hard. “We just need to bring it every night for 32 minutes.”

Notes: The last time Barlow won the tournament was when Matt Lisi (now its assistant coach) led them to victory back in 2006. Lisi an All-Tournamnet selection, had 23 points  in the championship game.

Friday’s crowd of 1,035 was a tournament record for attendance at the War Memorial. All ticket sales will go to repairs to the building.

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