Boys basketball: Defense helps stop six-game skid

Joel Barlow High’s J.R. Richetelli looks for an open teammate during a boys varsity basketball game against New Milford last Thursday, Jan. 24. Barlow won 55-44.—Kathy Hickling photo

Defense wins games, and championships. Last week, playing perhaps its best defense of the season, the Joel Barlow High boys basketball team held the Green Wave of New Milford to only 16 first half points in winning for the fifth time, a 55-44 victory at home on Thursday, Jan. 24.

The win also stopped a six-game losing streak.

“We got after them early,” Barlow coach Matt Whelan said. “We knew they can hit the three, so our perimeter D had to get after it, and we did.”

Finn Cohane’s 12 first-half points and Phil Moriber’s 10 of his game high 23 helped give the Falcons a commanding 29-16 advantage at halftime, But the Green Wave would not go away easily, and at the 3:56 mark of the fourth quarter the Wave had cut Barlow’s lead to nine.

Jack Gallagher’s seven fourth quarter points and Barlow going for 10 from the free throw line dashed any hopes that the Wave may have had of a comeback win,

“We came out ready to play tonight,” Moriber said, “We know going down the stretch we need to win, we have high expectations of states and the SWC tournament. Defense, we need to play at this intensity much more consistent.”

“Phil was a monster tonight, by far his best overall game of the year,” said Whelan. “But what I liked best was the team all came to play tonight, it was a nice team win.”

The Falcons host Newtown on Friday and are at Weston on Tuesday. Both games start at 7 p.m.

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