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Northwest Connecticut high school basketball news, stats, tidbits and analysis from the Register Citizen sports department.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Gilbert-Immaculate: Keys to the game

Here are the keys to the game for the No. 8 Gilbert boys in their Class S state quarterfinal against top-seeded Immaculate tonight in Danbury. 

  • Senior center Austin Brochu has been a force on the backboards all season, but he needs a lot of help tonight. Immaculate has seven players on its roster that are 6'2" or taller. Vitor Melo is 6'8" and will be a handful underneath. To stay in the game, the Yellowjackets must crash the glass as a team. Five Gilbert players must hit the defensive boards on every possession to try to eliminate second-chance opportunities for the Mustangs.
  • Brochu and Skinner have lit up opposing defenses all season, but they will need help from other players tonight for Gilbert to be in the game and have a chance to win. Brochu could have a tough night scoring inside against the large front line of the Mustangs, and it's a certainty that Skinner will garner plenty of attention. Luis Cordova, Dan Williams and Devon Molway are likely going to get more open looks throughout the game. They will need to take those shots and knock them down for Gilbert to have a chance.
  •  Brochu and Skinner absolutely have to stay out of foul trouble. Brochu is the only real height that Gilbert has inside, and Skinner is a game-changer from the outside. If either one gets in foul trouble, the Yellowjackets are in trouble.
  • According to what I've read about the Mustangs, they are a big, athletic team that tends to out-muscle their opponents inside. They also play tough defense. Gilbert must not allow Immaculate to dominate the game inside, and the Yellowjackets must also avoid big runs. The Mustangs have lost just once all season in the tough South-West Conference and are a very dangerous team. Gilbert must avoid having a small run turn into a larger burst, or it will be very hard to make a comeback. The Yellowjackets do have the ability to rally from large deficits - they trailed Northwestern by 15 or more points twice this season, including 20 in the first meeting, and won both games - but they don't want to fall too far behind against Class S's top seed.
- Kevin D. Roberts


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