Foran rolls over Platt Tech
MILFORD — The Foran boys basketball team broke into the win column with a 52-32 victory over Platt Tech Monday night at Platt Tech in Milford.
The Lions improved to 1-4 with the win. The Panthers, who opened the season with three straight victories, fell to 3-3.
Both teams started out as cold as the weather outside the Tech gym.
Platt missed its first five shots and had three of those tries blocked by the Lions.
Foran also missed its first five tries from the floor. The only scoring during the first 4 minutes, 12 seconds of the contest was a pair of successful free throws by the Lions’ Rick Festa.
The Panthers’ Bruno Chima hit the game’s first field goal to tie the game at 2-2 with 3:48 left in the first quarter.
That proved to be the last and only time that Platt Tech was tied with Foran.
Tucker Schumitz hit a 3-pointer at 3:22 to put Foran on top 5-2. From that point on, the Lions never lost that lead.
After Wes Robinson hit a pair of foul shots to make it 5-4 with 2:33 to go in the first quarter, Foran held the Panthers scoreless for more than 3 minutes. During that span, the Lions scored 11 points in a row and jumped ahead 16-4.
Following its 0-for-5 start from the floor, Foran was good on five of its next six shots.
Platt Tech closed out the first quarter hitting only one of its 10 shots and also committing five turnovers.
By the end of the first half, the Lions connected on half of their 26 shots and extended their lead to 30-14.
Platt shot only 29 percent (7-of-24) in the first half.
“I don’t want to make any excuses for our sluggish start, but we had no chance to practice the last two days because of the weather. We missed a lot of shots in the early going but our shooting got better as the game went on. We played an excellent game against New Fairfield but unfortunately, we came up a little short (in a 56-50 overtime loss). We had a lot of defensive lapses but I thought we played OK tonight. I liked our hustle and fortunately, we finally got our first win. That should give us some confidence.”
Following an ugly third quarter in which the two teams combined to shoot only 27 percent (6-of-22) and score only 15 total points (eight by the Lions who also recorded seven of their 11 total turnovers), Foran took a 37-24 lead into the fourth quarter.
“Foran executed well and played well all game,” Platt Tech coach Chris Burnham said. “They have some guys that jump really well. I thought our effort was poor, especially in the first half. We did play better in the second half. I thought our guards played hard. They scrambled and hustled but our shot selection was poor. We took too many perimeter shots, but the Foran’s defense didn’t give us much inside. Scoring is at a premium for us this year. We can’t go into a game where we are less talented and not battle for every 50-50 ball.”
Foran outrebounded Platt Tech 40-28.
Guard Kyle Lydem came off the bench to lead the Panthers with 14 points, while Chima added 12 points.
“Our guards (Lydem and Chima) are doing all our scoring,” Burnham said. “We can’t live and be successful that way. We need our (big guys) to be involved, get the ball, and do some scoring.”
Lydem and Chima combined for 26 of the Panthers’ 32 points. In addition to his 14 points, Lydem also grabbed off a team-best six rebounds.
Al Torrens led the Lions with 12 points, while Festa added 11. The Lions’ 6-foot, 5-inch sophomore forward Darren Payen grabbed eight rebounds and scored four points. Freshman Austin Woods had six rebounds.
Foran finished the game shooting 42 percent (21-of-50) from the floor, while Platt Tech was good on only 13-of-46 attempts (28 percent).
“I thought we rebounded well tonight,” Swaller said. “Our goal for every game is to get at lead 30 rebounds. Our big guys (Payen and Woods) are young but they are giving us the effort under the glass. Both of them stepped up and played hard in the second half. Our team has to get to a point where everybody plays hard for the majority of the game.
“Tonight, we had a lot of defensive lapses. Our rotation wasn’t good. At times we had trouble stopping the ball and we didn’t box out well.”