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

Monday, March 12, 2012

No. 5 Northwestern faces top-seeded Immaculate in Class S semifinal

Photo credit: Jennifer Royals
The No. 5 Northwestern boys basketball team takes on a big challenge on Tuesday night when they face top-seeded Immaculate of Danbury in a Class S state semifinal at Plainville High School. The game starts at 7.
The Highlanders have spent plenty of time in practice working on rebounding fundamentals, most of all boxing out. They will need to do plenty of that against a Mustang team that has seven players 6’2” or taller. That includes 6’8” senior center Vitor Melo, 6’7” Connor Holbrook and a well-built Sheldon Irving at 6’5”.
In last Friday’s quarterfinal against No. 8 Gilbert, Immaculate pounded the glass on the way to a 92-54 rout of the Yellowjackets. The Highlanders would like not to see the same thing play out against them.
Northwestern (20-4) will need to pressure Immaculate (24-1) and create turnovers. The Highlanders also hope that the Mustangs aren’t hitting from the outside.
With Immaculate, it’s a case of pick your poison. The Mustangs can pound opponents inside and Dan McCorkle showed he can shoot from the outside.  Northwestern will need to limit offensive rebounds, but they also need to be aware of where McCorkle is.
Northwestern fared well against the pressure defense of No. 4 Classical Magnet in last Friday’s quarterfinal, so they’ve had experience dealing with tenacious defense. What’s different about Immaculate is the height it brings to the table.
There’s not much the Highlanders can do about the height of the Mustangs. What Northwestern must do is get the best position and force Immaculate to go over the top of them.
On offense, the Highlanders look to knock down more shots than their counterparts from Gilbert did.
The bottom line is Northwestern needs to get off to a good start and keep it going.
To read  and watch  what Northwestern’s Connor Guiheen, John Stevens and Jake Plitt had to say about tonight’s game, click here.
To read more about Northwestern’s exciting win over Classical, click here.
For more on Immaculate’s impressive effort against Gilbert, click here.
Reporter Peter Wallace will be covering the game. Follow his updates on Twitter @PWallaceSports and @nwctsports.

- Kevin D. Roberts


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