Wildcats' run comes to an end
Meriden - The numbers people didn't exactly have Old Lyme as a lock in this game, or maybe even within 20. Consider the facts: Old Lyme lost to Morgan of Clinton this season, Capital Prep buried Morgan in the Class S state tournament, 81-44; and well, Weaver whacked top-seeded Capital Prep by 19 earlier this week.
Old Lyme was facing Weaver in the Class S semifinals on Wednesday at Maloney High School in Meriden.
And the Wildcats were winning 44-43 with 2 minutes, 22 seconds left in the third quarter, when George Logan broke Weaver's game-long pressure and sidearmed a pass to fellow senior Andrew Tyrol, who it seemed as if by ESP, he knew would be charging to the basket at just the right moment for a layup.
Weaver, the No. 25 seed, eventually toppled No. 5 Old Lyme 69-59 to advance to Saturday's state championship game against Glastonbury at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Wildcats, who played overtime Saturday and another hard-fought game in the quarterfinals Monday against Terryville, finally wilted. First, they made an impression.
"Old Lyme was very well-prepared, very well-coached, very tough-minded, very organized," said Weaver coach Charles Silvan, who played his high school basketball at St. Bernard.
"Our heart is broken right now," Old Lyme Kirk Kaczor said. "We had designs on going to the Sun. In the end, we ran out of bullets. ... I've got a good group of boys in (the locker room); I could tell you stories for the next 10 hours. My heart's broken for them and for myself, too."
Logan scored 16 points, Tyrol 15 and Slater Gregory eight for Old Lyme, which finished 20-7 with its first state tournament semifinal appearance in program history.
Ke'Andre Fair scored 25 points for Weaver (12-12) and Nick Meadows had 13, including a pair of 3-point daggers in the fourth quarter as the Beavers built a 10-point lead and then pulled the ball out to the perimeter to chew some time off the clock.
Weaver took a 50-46 lead after three quarters on an offensive rebound by Meadows, just after Gregory had narrowed the gap to two on a drive that made it 48-46. Weaver then scored on a pair of free throws by Chris Burt to start the fourth quarter and the Wildcats would never get closer than five after that.
Old Lyme led by as many as five in the second quarter and the score was tied at halftime, 28-28, after Logan, in the midst of being jostled by several Weaver defenders, took a leaping 3-pointer which he banked in at the buzzer.
There were six lead changes in the third quarter, including a 42-39 Old Lyme lead on the strength of back-to-back 3-pointers by Zach Abrahamsson with 3:25 in the period. Weaver's physical play flustered Kaczor soon thereafter, however, and he was whistled for a technical foul, giving Fair two free throws and a 43-42 lead.
Weaver took the lead for good at 45-44 on a putback by Carlton Randolph. Joseph Brown followed that with a three-point play.
"We just knew we were right there with them. We worked so hard, but we couldn't pull it out," Tyrol said. "We could've played better. It was a physical game, but we were prepared for a physical game. We had a couple silly turnovers at the end. ? We have some good team chemistry. We knew we had a chance."
"The wheels fell off," Logan said. "But I wish them nothing but the best. It would be nice saying we lost to the champs."
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