Unbeaten Warriors nearly flawless in another win
Wamogo assistant coach Jeremiah Sattazahn greets his son, Garrett, as Garrett heads to the bench in the final moments of Saturday's win over Classical Magnet of Hartford. John McKenna photos
It was a juicy preview Saturday of what's to come for Wamogo's unbeaten boys basketball team as the regular season winds down and one of the most highly-anticipated postseasons in school history looms.
Before a packed house, the Warriors ran away from fellow unbeaten Classical Magnet of Hartford to score a 77-63 win and improve to 18-0 with two games left on the schedule. Barring a major upset, the first unbeaten regular season in school history is a sure thing.
Wamogo coach Gregg Hunt isn't looking ahead towards the Division III state tournament, however, not with a bit of the regular season left and the Berkshire League tournament to follow.
"The first goal is to finish the regular season unbeaten and the second is to win the BL tournament, because if we don't win that after winning the regular-season title, it would leave a bad taste in our mouth," Hunt said. "There are three seasons for us and we're taking them one at a time."
Saturday's win over the top-ranked team in the Division IV rankings served notice that Wamogo will be a dangerous team in Division III, which should be a fascinating tournament pitting the Warriors against much larger schools. Hunt's club is good enough to be a tough out in any tournament.
"If we play well, there's no one we can't play with," Hunt said.
Wamogo's tireless senior guard Garrett Sattazahn, who tortured Classical Magnet with 33 points, said Saturday's win served notice that the Warriors won't back down from anyone.
"People learned that we can play some serious basketball and to watch out for us in the state tournament," Sattazahn said. "I think we proved that we can play with anyone and make a run in Division III."
Led by Sattazahn, who overcame foul trouble, the Warriors scored 52 points in the second half to break the game open and overcome an outstanding 34-point effort from Classical Magnet's Robert Simmons. Wamogo scored on breaks, on the inside and from three-point range, where it rained 13 treys on the Gladiators.
The passing by Hunt's club was exquisite and infectious, with players giving up easy shots for even easier ones by teammates.
"We look for each other and do the things a solid team should do," Hunt said of the free-flowing offense.
Classical led 8-4 after one quarter as Wamogo was out of sync at the offensive end. But the Warriors began to heat up in the second quarter behind the shooting of Ethan Collins (19 points) and Reid Turtoro (11).
"We needed to slow down and settle in, and once we did we started making shots," Sattazahn said. "In the second half, we executed well and picked up a great team win."
Leading 25-23 at halftime, Wamogo drew a pair of offensive fouls on Classical to start the second half and key a surge that created some space.
"The two charges to start the third were big and gave us the momentum," Hunt said. "We took control for the rest of the quarter and hung on from there. It was great to play these guys at this point in the season because it gets us ready for what's to come."
Hunt praised Tutoro for the defense he played on Simmons while Sattazahn was on the bench with three fouls in the second quarter.
Ethan Collins drives the baseline against Justin Oller.
Sean Coffey rises for a shot over Justin Oller.
Garrett Sattazahn rains a three from the corner.
Wamogo coach Gregg Hunt addresses his troops in a timeout.
Reid Turtoro grabs a rebound in front of Matthew Rivera.
Eric Odenwaelder delivers a pass.
Ethan Collins fights through a double team.
Gregg Hunt and his assistants, Jeremiah Sattazahn, left, and Scott Parkinson watch the action.
Sean Coffey attempts to block a shot by Traimell Frank.
Reid Turtoro fires away from three-point range.
Garrett Sattazahn checks for a lane to the basket.
Ethan Collins lays one up as Tahj Russell defends.