Gonzalez joins the scoring club, New London's never threatened in win over Hartford Public

New London's Jalen Benson (5) leaps over Hartford Public's Sherman Perry to the basket during Saturday's boys' basketball game. New London won the nonconference game 94-75. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
New London's Jalen Benson (5) leaps over Hartford Public's Sherman Perry to the basket during Saturday's boys' basketball game. New London won the nonconference game 94-75. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

New London — So much for the theory that peer pressure must bear a negative connotation. Take, for example, Eduardo Gonzalez, a senior at New London High, who has been paying attention to recent developments within the Eastern Connecticut Conference.

In recent days, he’s seen Mikey Buscetto of Waterford score 48 and Dev Ostrowski of East Lyme score 45. All of which gave Gonzalez some incentive to join the conversation Saturday at Conway Gym.

“I just had to,” he said with a grin, following his 34-point, four-assist afternoon that helped the Whalers inhale Hartford Public 94-75.

Gonzalez made them from everywhere, too.

“I think I’m just more confident in my shot,” he said. “My dad always tells me to just think like you are shooting outside or in AAU. Last year, I just didn’t feel as comfortable. This year is different.”

New London coach Craig Parker said, “Eddie is a senior now. We expect this. He is a very good shooter.”

Hartford Public, adjusting to a new coach after Kurt Reis left for New Britain, is still part of a challenging early season schedule for the Whalers. New London has already played Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference favorite Danbury and follows Hartford Public with Weaver, Ledyard, New Britain and East Lyme.

“We had to find eight (nonleague) games because of the way the league schedule works out,” Parker said, alluding to the way Division I teams in the ECC get fewer league games than teams in Divisions II and III. “Plus, we’re New London. We have to go find traditional teams to play.”

Gonzalez said, “We love it. It’ll make us better. We lost to Danbury the other night but we learned from it. We just have to keep working.”

It’ll help, too, if the Whalers can see a repeat performance from forward DeVonte Wrighten, who finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. New London is thinner up front this season following the graduation of 6-foot-6 center D. Major Roman.

“The thing I take from this game the most is how well DeVonte played,” Parker said. “He did a nice job. It was also nice just to get a game in.”

Jalen Benson had 18 points and eight assists for the Whalers, who were never threatened. Hartford Public is 1-4 with other losses to Wilbur Cross, New Britain and East Hartford.

m.dimauro@theday.com

New London's Gio Lopez, front, beats Hartford Public's Jaquan King to a loose ball during Saturday's boys' basketball game at New London High School. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
New London's Gio Lopez, front, beats Hartford Public's Jaquan King to a loose ball during Saturday's boys' basketball game at New London High School. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
New London's Eduardo Gonzalez (10) puts up a shot during Saturday's boys' basketball game against Hartford Public. Gonzalez finished with 34 points in the Whalers' victory. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
New London's Eduardo Gonzalez (10) puts up a shot during Saturday's boys' basketball game against Hartford Public. Gonzalez finished with 34 points in the Whalers' victory. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

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