BRIDGEPORT -- Disappointed with his team's effort in its loss last Friday to Westhill, Bassick head coach Harrison Taylor made his team run numerous suicides in practices leading up to Tuesday night's matchup with Norwalk, another team that came in with a 7-2 record and shares hopes of being a postseason contender in the FCIAC and beyond.
"We came to practice yesterday, ran like 18 suicides," Bassick's Kobe Ancrum said.
Apparently the punishment got the Lions' attention, because they hammered Norwalk for a 17-0 run at one point in the second half and led by 26 points in the fourth quarter before Norwalk made it respectable. Bassick beat the Bears 76-69.
"We knew they were going to make runs, we had to try to sustain it, and we couldn't," Norwalk coach Tom Keyes said. "We couldn't make our own breaks."
Bassick led 15-9 after the first quarter, as Ancrum scored 5 of his 17 points. In the second quarter the Lions quickly pushed their lead to 13 points when Demetrius Young (team-high 18 points) connected from beyond the arc. Norwalk, meanwhile, couldn't get much going on offense.
"I don't think we attacked the zone well," Keyes said."I don't think we played well against the press. I don't think we kept our composure."
Frustration was definitely mounting throughout the game for the Bears. Ancrum and Norwalk's Nick Boccanfuso had to be separated at one point, and Keyes was assessed a technical foul in the fourth quarter for arguing calls. Every time the Bears got close, Bassick went on a run.
Norwalk cut the lead to 3 points, 27-24, in the second quarter, but Bassick responded with an 8-0 run to close the half, including the last five from Demetrius Young.
The second half belonged almost entirely to Bassick. Norwalk's Jabari Dear, who finished with a game-high 24 points, opened the second half with one of his five 3-pointers. But Norwalk couldn't shrink the deficit to less than 10. His pull-up jumper brought the Bears to within 11, 49-38, but Bassick exploded soon thereafter, going on a 17-0 run that bridged the final two quarters. A bucket from Ancrum pushed the deficit to 26 points, 66-40, early in the fourth quarter.
Keyes said the reasons for the huge run were simple.
"We turned the ball over and we didn't play defense," he said.
Still, Norwalk showed flashes of the team that beat Ridgefield last week, as Dear, Roy Kane (16 points) and Saeed Soulemane (13 points) finally got some rhythm on offense late in the game.
"They're a good team," Ancrum said of Norwalk. "Put up a good fight."
Curhone Baldwin 3 2-3 8 Kobe Ancrum 6 4-7 17 Devan Bramwell 4 3-5 13 Donald Young 3 2-2 9 David Steele 1 0-2 2 Anthony Brown 0 0-0 0 Dale Kirkland 2 0-2 2 Demetrius Young 5 6-8 18 Carl Brown 4 0-2 8 Totals: 28 17-31 76
NORWALK 9 15 16 29--69
BASSICK 15 20 22 19--76
3-pointers: B--Demetrius Young 2, Devan Bramwell 2, Kobe Ancrum 1; N--Jabari Dear 5, Jeremy Linton, Saeed Soulemane.