Hall snapped a three-game skid with a win Norwich Free Academy on Thursday.
By Marlon Pitter
The Hall boys basketball team was not going to have another close game slip away on its home court.
Onyx Erazo made sure of that, scoring a game-high 17 points and relentlessly attacking the rim en route to a 65-59 win over Norwich Free Academy Thursday night in West Hartford.
Without the help of consistent outside shooting, Erazo remained determined to find the basket, even in a paint crowded by Wildcats. Hall head coach Bryan Moretti lauded Erazo’s efforts to get to the basket consistently.
“He’s just so tough,” Moretti said. “No one can really stop him going to the rim. Everybody knows where he’s going, but it [doesn’t] really matter. He just keeps going, keeps battling.”
Erazo started the game with a couple of baskets to put the Warriors up 4-0, but NFA (2-2) held an 18-13 lead after the first quarter.
The Wildcats led by as much as eight in the second, but a 9-2 Hall run in the last three minutes of the half – capped by a timely 3-pointer by James DeCrisantis – cut NFA’s lead to 32-31 heading into the break.
The Warriors scored the first 10 points of the third quarter, but the Wildcats clawed their way back, taking a 46-43 lead late in the third. A DeCrisantis 3-pointer, however, deadlocked the game at 46 after three periods.
Hall entered the bonus 10 seconds into the fourth quarter and didn’t waste their chances at the line. The Warriors shot 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the final minutes to pull away.
NFA threatened with a 57-53 advantage with 3:10 to play, but Hall went on a 6-0 run to get past the Wildcats for good.
Along with Erazo, DeCrisantis, Matt Walker, and Max Boyd scored in double figures for Hall with 16, 11, and 10 points, respectively.
Nicholas Hay led NFA with 17 points, while Mason Jackson chipped in 10.
After allowing 70-plus points in their last three contests, keeping their opponent under 60 points was a step in the right direction for the Warriors, who improve to 2-3.
“Our defense this game helped us a lot,” Erazo said. “Since the last [home] game we lost close, we worked a lot harder in practice. We worked on our defense, and we came out with a win, so that was good.”
Moretti hopes the momentum of this win continues for his team after being battle-tested early in the season.
“I thought our focus was really good tonight. I thought it was really good for 32 minutes,” he said. “We’ve just gotta continue on that. Hopefully this will get us over the hump a little bit, a quality win over a really good team.”
Hall continues its season at Bristol Eastern Wednesday night at 6:45 p.m.
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