ANSONIA – The Ansonia Tigers came out firing Tuesday night against the Russia Raiders, grabbing an 11-6 lead in the first quarter and kept it close at the half, trailing 21-16.
Russia would explode for 26 points in the third quarter to take control of the game, and the Raiders would go on to claim a 56-35 non-conference win.
Dane Wentworth pumped in eight points including two triples and Brayden Swabb tossed in a trey as well to give the home team an 11-6 first quarter lead.
Ansonia cooled a bit in the second frame from the outside and despite struggling offensively the Tigers were just a few plays away from tying the game at the half.
Russia grabbed the lead at the half 21-16 by pounding the ball inside for 15 second quarter points.
“We handled the pressure well in the first half, and even though we didn’t score much in the final four minutes of the second quarter we got really good shots. We just didn’t capitalize on them,” veteran coach Chad Cramer said.
“To beat good teams we have to make those,” the Tigers’ boys basketball coach added.
Coming out in the third quarter Russia brought full-court pressure that resulted in easy baskets in the open floor, and the Raiders exploded for 26 points.
Ansonia struggled to get anything going in their half-court offense, scoring just seven points, and the Tigers trailed 37-23 at the end of the third quarter.
“Physically, we are a young team playing against seniors and juniors, and they wore us down. Their pressure was intense, and mentally it was a grind for us,” Cramer said.
In the final stanza the Tigers found the range from beyond the arch again with Swabb connecting on two, and Lane Clark added another to help Ansonia win the quarter 11-9 … but the Tigers would fall short on the scoreboard 56-35.
“I was happy with our effort in the first and second quarters. We didn’t handle the pressure well in the third, but we responded and played a good fourth quarter, but we have to play well for an entire game,” Cramer concluded.
Wentworth led Ansonia with 14 points, and Swabb added nine for the Tigers.
Ansonia falls to 2-8 overall and is 2-3 in the Cross County Conference.
Ansonia will be back in action on Friday as the Tigers travel to West Alexandria to take on Twin Valley South in a CCC game.
Score by quarters:
ANSONIA …11…05…07…11 – 35
RUSSIA ……06…15…26…09 – 56
Devin Sink 2, Brayden Swabb 9, Ayden Sanders 2, Trevor Alexander 2, Dane Wentworth 14, Lane Clark 6 – Totals 6-7-3/7 – 35
Counts 2, Monnin 6, Monnin 4, Cordonnier 7, Gariety 4, Bell 4, Tebbe 8, Busse 2, York 15, Dapore 4 – Totals 4-19-6/14 – 56
Ansonia – 6 (Swabb 3, Wentworth 2, Clark 1)
Russia – 4 (Monnin 2, Cordonnier 1, Dapore 1)