Conard junior Ajaye Fair took control of the offense, leading the Chieftains with 13 points in the game.
By Marlon Pitter
Despite being within one possession for most of the game, the Conard High School boys basketball team fell to Glastonbury High School 39-33 at home in West Hartford on Saturday afternoon.
The Chieftains entered the fourth quarter leading 28-27, but successive baskets by the Tomahawks and foul trouble, which put the visitors in the bonus, helped Glastonbury pull away late in the game.
“This is our third straight game where it’s come down to the final couple possessions, and we’ve lost each one of them,” said Conard head coach Jared Leghorn. “There’s just some little details that we need to do better. This one, it’s penetrating the zone a little bit better, so it’s these little details that are determining the game.”
Conard trailed 8-6 after the first quarter, as Glastonbury started the game on a 6-0 run. The Chieftains got on the board with 4:31 left in the first quarter with a layup from senior Casey Shane, who scored all six of his points in the first eight minutes.
Junior Ajaye Fair emerged as Conard’s offensive threat, leading the team with 13 points from the second quarter onward, as the Chieftains trailed 20-19 at halftime.
Conard took its final lead of the game in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Peter Simplicio that put the Chieftains ahead 28-25. Glastonbury took a 30-28 advantage to open the fourth quarter and never relinquished the lead.
The Chieftains’ final chance to extend the game – which they were trailing 37-33 with 14.5 seconds remaining – slipped away on a backcourt violation during the inbounds pass.
Glastonbury shot just 61 percent from the free throw line, making 17 of 28 attempts, but capitalized on enough opportunities to seal the victory. Conard, meanwhile, made four of its five free throw attempts.
The loss brings Conard’s record to 0-3 on the season.
“We had 12 or 13 days off. I thought there’d be a little bit of rust, but it was almost like another preseason to get better, and we are getting better as a team,” said Leghorn. “We just need to get one [win], and then the second one’s easier, and the third one’s easier. We’ve got 17 competitive games, and we’re gonna be fine. We’re still 0-3, but we’re gonna be fine.”
The Chieftains take the court again on Tuesday at 7 p.m. when they visit the Metropolitan Learning Center in Bloomfield.
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