Celebrating SMSA Boys Basketball, Currently 11-0 This Season!

Celebrating SMSA Boys Basketball, Currently 11-0 This Season!

Our Sport and Medical Sciences Boys Basketball team was featured in two Hartford Courant articles (see below.) They are undefeated with an 11-0 record!

Tonight they play East Granby 6:45 PM – Click here to Watch Live for a game webcast on the NFHS Network. (There is a fee to SUBSCRIBE to the NFHS Network.; To FOLLOW a team is free of charge.) You can also listen to Coach Erik Mckay’s podcast on YouTube with Christopher Saunders here.

Check out the SMSA Boys basketball season schedule and scores here, and all our amazing high school teams’ sports schedules and scores here.

SMSA hangs on, beats Ellington 66-60 in NCCC boys basketball to stay undefeated

ELLINGTON – — The SMSA boys basketball team was struggling in the third quarter against Ellington Tuesday night.

The undefeated Tigers had led by 10 at halftime and appeared to be cruising to a win at the start of the third quarter. But Ellington fought back and took the lead with 2:50 left in the third.

The game was close but in the end the Tigers prevailed to win their 10th straight, 66-60 in an NCCC game.

Junior Daniel Hernandez led SMSA with 18 points, including eight in the fourth quarter when the Tigers pulled away. King Shaw added 15 points for SMSA and Abijah Miller and Kemani Thompson had 13 each. Junior Cody Murphy led Ellington (7-4) with 27 points, including 13 in the third quarter, and Mike Bontempo had 17 points.

“Ellington is always well-coached, well-prepared,” SMSA coach Erik McKay said. “It’s tough to play in their place, it’s a tough environment. Those kids played a great second half.

“We could have made some better decisions and executed a little better, especially in the second half.”

SMSA led 34-24 at halftime and Thompson drove to the basket to start the third quarter to put the Tigers up by 12 points. But that’s when Ellington came alive. Murphy hit a long jumper, which began a 15-2 Purple Knight run. Murphy’s 3-pointer with 2:50 left in the third gave the Knights their first lead of the game, 39-38.

“We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole in the first half, which I think takes a toll on us,” Ellington coach Robert Freitas said. “The first half, we missed some open shots.

“That’s a real good team. We competed. We played well. That’s all I can ask.”

SMSA rallied, ending the quarter with a 47-43 lead. In the fourth, Hernandez converted two fast break layups and the Tigers were in control again. Nizayiah Bogar’s 3-pointer with 3 minutes to go put SMSA up 62-52.

“In the fourth quarter, we just started getting back to our basics, what it is we wanted to do, executing the game plan, looking to share the basketball, spread it a little bit, spread the floor,” McKay said. “We had some great plays with and-ones, got some loose balls, got out in the fast break and got some easy layups, easy finishes, easy looks. Daniel hit some shots. Nizayiah had that huge 3 on the wing in the fourth quarter.

“Just carrying some of that momentum – it was negative in the third quarter a little bit, we were struggling, to be able to turn it around going into the fourth quarter was critical for us.”

Lori Riley can be reached at lriley@courant.com.

SMSA included in the Players of the Week and the Games of the Week below!

Top boys basketball players, teams and storylines from Week 6: Manchester coach John Reiser gets his 500th win

Manchester boys basketball coach John Reiser won his 500th career game on Jan. 15 against Achievement First.

“I didn’t even tell my players I had gotten it, but where I teach, at Rocky Hill, the staff knew about it,” Reiser said. “Then Manchester found out about it. We were playing Cheney Tech. They announced it before the game, and the players were like, ‘Coach, we didn’t know.’ I said, ‘Yeah, let’s just focus on the game.’”

Reiser’s record spans 34 seasons of coaching both boys and girls basketball. He currently has 251 wins in each sport. Reiser is in his seventh season coaching the Manchester boys. Before that, he coached the Manchester girls for 14 years. He started coaching boys at Rockville High for eight years, then went to Rocky Hill for five years before moving over to Manchester.

His overall record is 502-273.

“You know what it means? It means I’ve been doing it a long time,” Reiser said.

The 64-53 win over Achievement First came in the middle of a five-game winning streak for the Red Hawks, broken Friday with a 62-49 loss to Middletown. Manchester is 7-3.

Reiser joins the ranks of other state coaches who have won over 500 games coaching both boys and girls, most notably Bacon Academy’s Dave Shea, who coached the boys for 23 years and the girls for 25 and went 788-308 overall, and Pete Shuler, who won 528 games coaching the Westbrook girls for 17 years, the North Branford boys for 11 years and the Griswold boys for three years.

Players of the week

Gianluca Albert, Cromwell: Albert had a career-high 32 points in a 71-47 win over Old Saybrook on Friday, then had 20 in a 43-31 win over Valley on Saturday night. He also had 20 in a 55-51 victory over Portland last Tuesday.

Jaydon Buckle, Windsor Locks: Buckle hit 12 free throws and had 26 points in a 57-47 victory over East Granby on Friday.

Michael Coggins, Suffield: Coggins had 27 points in a 67-52 win over East Windsor on Friday.

Quintin Floyd, Windsor: Floyd made four free throws in the last 21 seconds of the game to give Windsor a 67-64 win over Ridgefield on Saturday. The sophomore point guard had 18 points in the victory. He had 10 points, seven assists and seven steals in an 88-46 win over Glastonbury last Monday.

Jamie Leggett, St. Paul: Leggett had 27 points in a 43-33 win over Watertown last Tuesday.

Abijah Miller, SMSA: Miller had 22 rebounds and 10 points in a 58-46 win over Bulkeley to boost SMSA to 8-0 last Tuesday.

Favour Okeke, East Hartford: Okeke had 34 points and five rebounds in a 76-62 win over New Britain on Friday.

Cody Palazzesi, Somers: Palazessi scored 39 points, including five 3-pointers, as Somers knocked off Granby 62-52 on Friday.

Dylan Resendes, Rockville: Resendes scored 28 points and hit nine free throws in a 65-50 win over Bolton on Friday.

Chris Wilson, Weaver: Wilson had 23 rebounds and 14 points in a 69-65 win over Hartford Public last Monday and 12 rebounds and 10 points last Tuesday in a 69-28 win over MLC.

Teams of the week

Cromwell: The Panthers are 8-0 after a 55-51 win over Portland and victories over Old Saybrook and Valley Regional last week. They have another busy week with games against Old Lyme, North Branford and Hale Ray.

RHAM: The Raptors are 11-0 with wins over Putnam and Rocky Hill last week and games with Wethersfield and Bulkeley coming up this week. Their next big test will be Jan. 31 when they host East Catholic.

SMSA: SMSA went to 9-0 on Friday after a 83-71 victory over HMTCA behind King Shaw’s 27 points and 12 rebounds. Daniel Hernandez added 23 points for SMSA.

Storylines of the week

— Bristol Central tied a school record with its 24th straight win last Monday, a 74-30 victory over Maloney, and broke the record with an 80-50 win over Middletown last Tuesday.

— After losing to Rockville 59-46 last Tuesday, Somers (6-2) handed Granby its second loss, 62-52, Friday night behind 39 points from Cody Palazzesi in a key NCCC game.

— Windsor (8-1) kept rolling with a 65-62 win over Ridgefield (8-1) in a game between two of the state’s top teams. It was another game down to the wire, just like the East Catholic game on Jan. 11, which Windsor won in overtime 70-66. Point guard Quintin Floyd fouled out in the fourth quarter of the East Catholic game, and the offense was disjointed but found a way to win. On Saturday, Floyd stayed in the game and had 11 fourth-quarter points.

Games to watch this week

SMSA at Ellington, Tuesday: The Purple Knights will try to bounce back from a loss to Stafford on Friday night that snapped their seven-game winning streak as they host undefeated SMSA (9-0).

Farmington at Windsor, Friday: Farmington (7-3) is on a four-game winning streak. After games with New Britain and Tolland earlier in the week, the River Hawks will be tested on Friday with an away game at Windsor.

Prince Tech at Windham Tech, Friday: Prince Tech (7-2) will travel to face Windham Tech (10-1), which has won six in a row. Prince Tech’s only losses have come to Middletown and Greenwich.

Lori Riley can be reached at lriley@courant.com.