Old Lyme boys' hoop learns about itself in loss to No. 9 Glastonbury

Glastonbury — It was during the offseason when Old Lyme High School boys’ basketball coach Kirk Kaczor was on the CIAC website, saw that Glastonbury needed a game, and figured, “why not?”

It didn’t matter to Kaczor that Glastonbury is one of the largest schools in the state.

It didn’t matter to Kaczor that Old Lyme is among the smallest.

Kaczor believed the Wildcats needed to play a team like Glastonbury this season.

“I knew we were going to have a pretty good team this year,” Kaczor said after Wednesday's 53-38 loss. “Other years, I might not want to schedule a game like this, but this year I wanted to challenge our kids and see what we can do against a big school.”

Old Lyme (15-2) wasn’t happy with the way it played. It shot a woeful 30.2 percent from the floor (13-of-43).

"We just really didn't match their physicality well," Old Lyme senior Olin Frederiks said. "We've never faced a team that physical, that amazing with on-ball defense. We didn't really know how to handle it. We didn't get a ton of shots off and that kind of showed."

Again, Kaczor was looking at the larger picture when taking on the challenge. The Tomahawks (16-2) are ranked ninth in the GameTimeCT/New Haven Register poll and second to only Waterford in the Division II rankings. They went on the road on Jan. 23 and beat East Lyme 73-67 when the latter was ranked sixth in the state.

Glastonbury also has the ninth-largest boys' enrollment (977) among CIAC schools.

Old Lyme has 220 boys, ranking it 153rd out of 183 schools.

Just 148 boys separate Glastonbury's boys' enrollment and Norwich Free Academy's, which has the fourth-largest (1,125). That's larger than Old Lyme's combined junior and senior class (101).

The Wildcats have their sights set on both a Shoreline Conference and Division V championship, though. They play next Monday at No. 8 and conference-leader Cromwell (19-0), last season's Division V champion (it was moved up to Division IV this season).

Old Lyme is second behind Innovation of New Britain (17-1) in the Division V rankings.

"You've got to get ready for the postseason by playing good teams, and this is a good team," Kaczor said.

The Wildcats led by three early in the second quarter when they went scoreless for almost five minutes. The Tomahawks went on a 16-0 run to go ahead for good, 24-11, with 2 minutes, 26 seconds left in the half. Old Lyme had seven turnovers in that quarter, too.

The Wildcats trailed by as many as 19 points (52-33) with 3:01 left in the game.

“There are things we need to work on,” Kaczor said. “We didn’t play as well as I would’ve liked.

“I learned a lot tonight. I learned things about us tonight that I can only learn from a team that’s as good as Glastonbury, as big and deep and athletic as they are.”

Junior Jared Ritchie scored a team-high 11 for Old Lyme and senior Quinn Romeo scored 10.

Senior guard Aaron Latham scored 19 for Glastonbury.

“Their guards are unreal,” Frederiks said. “They were all over the place. They were making us run our offense at the halfcourt line.

“This is the type of defense we’re going to have to face if we want to win some championships. (This game) is a good stepping stone.”

n.griffen@theday.com

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