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Hall Boys Defeat Conard, Earn State Tournament Berth

James DiCrisantis. Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall defeated crosstown rival Conard to extend its win streak to six and clinch a spot in the state tournament.

Daidrien Ramos (no. 20) was the high scorer for Hall. Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Marlon Pitter, Photos by Ronni Newton

Less than a year removed from finishing 3-17, the Hall (8-4) boys basketball team earned its eighth victory of the season and clinched a state tournament berth with a 56-40 win over Conard at home in West Hartford Saturday afternoon.

The Warriors controlled most of the game and never trailed in the contest. Dadrien Ramos scored a game-high 19 points for Hall, followed by Onyx Erazo and James DeCrisantis with 13 and 12 respectively. Arsen Shtefan led Conard (2-7) with 15.

“I’m just happy with our effort,” said Hall head coach Bryan Moretti. “I thought we were a little sloppy today. Especially at the beginning, we were a little sloppy, but I thought effort was there.”

Leading 8-7 halfway through the first quarter, DeCrisantis hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it a 14-7 game. The Warriors took an 18-9 lead into the second.

Conard narrowed the margin to 21-18 with 5:03 remaining in the half, but Hall’s offense extended the gap with an 11-6 run heading into the break.

Max Boyd scored five of his nine total points in a low-scoring third quarter, as the Warriors led 41-30 heading into the fourth. And just as Conard began to miss more shots in the final eight minutes, Hall found the basket more often.

Erazo scored 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. He tallied all of Hall’s last five buckets, including a layup to increase the lead to 55-35 at the 2:31 mark, sealing the victory for the Warriors over their crosstown rival.

After a rough start to the game, Erazo said his performance late in the game was sparked by his teammates.

“I was really stressed out that I was not scoring at all in the first three quarters,” he said. “I messed up in the first half and they helped me, had my back in the second half, and I did great, so it was good.”

For Conard head coach Jared Leghorn, his team’s struggles in the second half were more about shooting than executing.

“[In] the second half, I thought we were getting stops and we were getting good looks,” said Leghorn. “We went on a cold streak. We didn’t make shots, whether it was in the paint, wide open looks from Arsen or Connor (Olechna) – our guys who make shots for us – they didn’t go in.”

Despite a resurgent group, Moretti said there is more for Hall to improve on in its final nine games of the regular season.

“We’ve gotta get way better,” he said. “This is high school basketball. There’s always stuff to work on. It’s high school boys. They change from one day to the next, so we’re going to continue to do the things that we’re doing and reinforce some different things that we need to get better at.”

Sporting a six-game winning streak, Ramos said he feels the Warriors can do much more than simply make the state tournament this year.

“We’re very confident this year,” said Ramos. “We know what we can do, we know what we’re capable of, and we’re looking to go all the way.”

Conard will continue its season at Plainville (5-6) Tuesday night, while Hall will host E.O. Smith (3-6) on Friday. Both games are set for 6:45 p.m.

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Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Hall vs. Conard boys basketball. Jan. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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Marlon Pitter

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