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Norwich Tech boys use 3-pointers to beat Grasso Tech

Norwich — The Norwich Tech boys’ basketball team digs the long ball.

The Warriors have the green light to shoot the 3-pointer from head coach Muhammad A. Hasan and don't hesitate to put them up. They made three in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to pull away from Grasso Tech on Tuesday, 67-51, in a Connecticut Technical Conference East Division game.

“If you look at the math, you make three (3-pointers) out of 10, that’s nine points,” Hasan said. “It works out for us scoring, but there are times when there are lulls, and I would love for us to get something easier or get to the line and stop the clock. We’re not there yet.”

The Warriors (7-4) never trailed and led by as much as 11 points (27-16) with over five minutes left in the first half.

The Eagles (5-6) managed to briefly tie the game late in the third quarter, but Norwich Tech outscored them in the fourth, 25-11.

“We played great in that third quarter to get us back in it,” Grasso head coach Gregg Antoch said. “The defense started playing harder, more sound team defense and then we got it tied up before the end of the fourth quarter. (We) kind of ran out of gas. Then (Norwich Tech) started to hit some big shots and they pulled it out.”

Jay Johnson had 16 points and six assists and Chace Davidson had 11 points and seven rebounds for Norwich Tech. Elliot Amedzakor added seven rebounds and Camren Topkin had five assists.

Donnel Brown had 12 points, five rebounds and four steals for Grasso and Jose Hernandez 13 points and nine rebounds. Jaivon Velez also had 13 points and four steals.

Two free throws by Velez and back-to-back layups by Brown tied the game at 40 with 17 seconds left in the third quarter. The second of Brown’s layups came after he stole the ball.

Bradley Saint-Louis was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer on the Warriors’ next possession with 3.9 seconds remaining in the quarter. He made his second and third free throws.

Topkin and Davidson made back-to-back 3-pointers to give Norwich Tech a 48-40 edge just 37 seconds into the fourth quarter.

R.J. Savoie added a three of his own to give the Warriors a 51-42 lead with 6:19 remaining.

“We shoot a ton of 3-pointers in general,” Hasan said. “Each player probably shoots 200 before the game, then we try to carry it over into the actual game.

“A lot of kids these days they step on the court and all day they’re shooting set shot threes, set shot threes.”

Jay Johnson managed to hit a contested 3-pointer to push Norwich Tech ahead, 60-46, with 2:39 left in the game.

“It’s been a thing with us this year,” Antoch said. “We play good in spurts. We’re preaching consistency and that’s something we need. ... We’ve played everybody at times really, really well. We look like a solid team, and then we kind of run out of gas a little bit at times.”

Norwich Tech has enjoyed a turnaround this season playing in the division's four-team “pod” along with Ellis Tech and Windham Tech. It finished 3-17 last season and has no seniors.

“Our team is more together than last year,” Johnson said. “Last year was good, but I like this team more.”

n.griffen@theday.com

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