Bacon, finally healthy again, finds its way past Griswold 50-44

·2 min read

Jan. 19—COLCHESTER — There is no better illustration of a conference's depth than to suggest the following:

In a season where three schools from the Eastern Connecticut Conference sit in the top 20 of the latest state media poll, the team with perhaps the best chance to win a state championship just got to .500.

Don't laugh.

Bacon Academy, which will play in the state's smallest division (Divison V), just might hang around the longest in March. The Bobcats, finally healthy, defeated Griswold, 50-44, pulling to 5-5 this season.

"Hopefully," senior Sam Blumberger said, "we can get on a run this week and make the playoffs. Getting Quinn (Johnson) back and with Matt Lizotte coming off the bench hitting threes, we finally have everyone back. It's been amazing."

Blumberger led the Bobcats with 11 points.

Bacon trailed 13-3 early but led by eight at halftime thanks to buzzer-beating baskets from Ryan Claffey (a 3-pointer to end of the first period) and Blumberger (runner to the basket to end of second).

But Griswold used a 12-2 run to begin the third period to take the lead before the Bobcats did just enough at the end. Bacon forced two turnovers in the final minute.

"The resiliency was there," Bacon coach Craig Kupper said. "We knew Griswold wasn't going away. They're a tough and scrappy team. We made just enough plays down the stretch."

Claffey had nine for the Bobcats. Eight different players scored for Bacon.

Michael Strain and Evan Merchant had 11 apiece for the Wolverines (1-5), who have also lost to Killingly, Berlin and St. Bernard this season — teams with at least six wins already.

"It's really started in practice with us," Kupper said. "It's the first full week we've had everybody since the beginning of the season. Practices have been night and day. It showed on the court today. We're happy as heck to have everybody back."

m.dimauro@theday.com