Pictured: DeZiar Rose-Daniels (10) had two 3-pointers in the first minute of the second half to give Middletown a double-digit lead it would not relinquish.
MIDDLETOWN – After getting through an unspectacular first eight minutes, Middletown dominated Plainville in the second and third quarters to come away with another CCC South win Monday night.
Tyah Pettaway scored a game-high 15 points and DeZiar Rose-Daniels chipped in with 12 as the Blue Dragons defeated Plainville 45-27 in a CCC South game at LaBella-Sullivan Gymnasium.
Middletown (4-5) led by eight points at halftime, but Daniels’ hot hand – she drained consecutive 3-point shots from the wing in the opening minute of the second half – pushed the Blue Dragons’ lead to 27-13.
Plainville (3-6) quickly called a timeout, but the damage was done. The Blue Devils’ deficit remained at double digits the rest of the way.
“Overall I was pretty pleased with our performance,” Middletown coach Rob Smernoff said. “We got out of the gates a little bit slow. Once we got our feet under us, we played well.”
Out of the timeout, a jump shot by India Weston and one of two free throws from Aysia Henderson extended Middletown’s lead to 30-13.
Jaida Vasquez followed with Plainville’s first field goal of the third quarter on a drive to the basket with 2:22 left. The Blue Dragons held the Devils at bay for the rest of that stretch, with Pettaway scoring twice on the fast break and Alexa DeSena driving the baseline for Middletown’s final six points of the quarter
Middletown led 36-22 and wasn’t threatened in the fourth quarter.
Middletown’s combination of Pettaway, Rose-Daniels and Shadae Bushay (8 points) at guard accounted for 35 of Middletown’s 45 points.
I really feel like Shadae is coming into her own as well.
“When all three are out there on the court and playing with confidence, they are a tough matchup for anyone,” Smernoff said.
“I really feel like Shadae is coming into her own, and I thought DeZiar today had one of her better games,” the coach added. “Once she got through the beginning of the game, when we all collectively struggled, she was a good leader for us last 26 minutes of the game.”
The Blue Dragons are still adjusting without senior forward and captain Ayanna McCalla, who suffered a leg injury in a Dec. 27 loss to St. Joseph and hasn’t played since.
“The others are starting to get more comfortable in their roles,” Smernoff said. “Every kid knows where they fit in, but they are being asked to do things we didn’t expect them to do.
“One area we still need to get better in is fundamental things like taking care of ball and rebounding the ball. We struggled to finish in the paint tonight, but I thought the kids did a terrific job of creating opportunities close to the basket. The ball just didn’t go in.
Middletown plays twice more this week, with both games on the road — at defending CCC champion E.O. Smith on Thursday, and Simsbury on Friday. The Blue Dragons’ next home game is Jan. 21 against Rocky Hill (5:15pm).
Lilly Wazorko 3 0 7, Jaida Vasquez 6 1 13, Kori Jones 2 3 7, Katie Gagnon 0 0 0, Olivia Wazorko 0 0 0. Totals: 11 4 27.
Jenaya Salafia 1 0 2, Deziar Rose-Daniels 5 0 12, India Weston 2 0 4, Alexa DeSena 1 0 2, Aysia Henderson 0 1 1, Tyah Pettaway 6 2 15, Jada Bryan 0 1 1, Shadae Bushay 4 0 8. Totals: 19 4 45.
Score By Quarters
P 7 6 9 5—27
M 11 10 15 9—45
3-Pointers: P—Wazorko 1; M—Daniels 2, Pettaway 1.