Pictured: Elijah Wilborn had a monster night for Middletown with 15 points, 28 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. (Photo by Tina Frazer)

By Paul Augeri
middlesexcountysports@gmail.com

Middletown wasted almost all of an 11-point lead over the final 4:25 against Prince Tech, but the Blue Dragons went 4 for 4 from the free-throw line in the closing seconds to hold on for a 48-43 Wednesday night at LaBella-Sullivan Gymnasium.

Senior forward-center Elijah Wilborn scored 15 points to go with 28 rebounds, the last of which he grabbed from a missed Prince Tech 3-pointer with less than 6 seconds remaining. Nasir McDaniel, who also led the Dragons with 15 points, hit both foul foul shots in the bonus to seal the win.

Middletown was playing on back-to-back nights and for the third time in a seven-day stretch. Coach Eric Holley’s squad improved to 4-3 and ended the Falcons’ four-game winning streak.

The Dragons had a nine-point lead after three quarters and matched their largest advantage of 11, at 41-30, when Wilborn made the second of two free throws midway through the fourth quarter.

Elijah Wilborn throws down two of his 15 points in Middletown’s 48-43 victory over Prince Tech. (Photo by Tina Frazer)

Prince Tech started to dig into that lead from the free throw line. Middletown also turned it over on consecutive possessions, the latter leading to a 3-pointer by Javon Johnson that made it a 41-36 game with 2:57 left.

A Wilborn foul put Jordan Jackson on the line 30 seconds later, and he made both free throws to slice Middletown’s lead to three.

When Middletown’s Marshall Butler missed the second of two free throws with 1:12 to go, Prince Tech pushed the ball upcourt and Nelson — who finished with a game-high 23 points — buried a 3 from the wing with 57.8 seconds on the clock.

The Dragons ran their offense on the ensuing possession and, after a near steal by the Falcons, Matt Steuerwald drove to the basket and scored for a 44-41 lead with 30.7 seconds remaining.

Johnson answered with a bucket on the fast break with 20.8 to go, but that would be Prince Tech’s last field goal of the night. Butler (9 points, 7 of 8 from the line) made two free throws after being fouled on the inbounds pass to get the lead back to three before McDaniel’s game-clinchers.

Middletown is back in action Friday night, hosting Manchester at 6:45.

PRINCE TECH (6-2)
Jordan Jackson 2 4-5 9, Kanye Foster 2 0-0 4, Javon Johnson 2 1-2 5, Dajon Nelson 7 6-7 23, Zaid Langs-Meyers 0 1-4 1, Troy Steward 0 1-4 1, Norman Linton 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 13-22 43.

MIDDLETOWN (4-3)
Chace Petgrave 0 0-0 0, Matt Steuerwald 3 2-2 8, Tim Vaughters 0 1-2 1, Marshall Butler 1 7-8 9, Elijah Wilborn 6 3-7 15, Nasir McDaniel 4 4-6 15, Omar Gutierrez 0 0-0 0, Caiden Byrd 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 17-25 48.

Score By Quarters
Prince Tech….11 6   8 18–43
Middletown….14 6 14 14–48

3-pointers: Prince Tech–Nelson 3, Jackson 1; Middletown–McDaniel 3.

Elsewhere around the county on Wednesday:

Hillhouse 78, Xavier 58

XAVIER (4-5)
Ethan Bessoni 2 0-0 5, Colby Ciampi 2 0-0 4, Matt Bellavance 2 1-2 7, Vik Vakati 3 0-0 8, David Weston 0 0-2 0, Anthony Parker 11 0-0 25, Aidan Driscoll 3 3-4 9. Totals: 23 4-8 58.

HILLHOUSE (8-2)
Winston Hamilton 5 2-2 16, Joseph Williams 6 0-0 13, Matthew Gibbs 4 0-0 9, Senny Toure 1 0-0 3, Eddie Langs 1 0-0 2, Timothy Coleman 4 1-1 9, Karon Wilkens 2 0-0 6, Avery Sutton 2 0-0 5, Jalen Sullivan 2 0-1 5, Nikai Brookes 4 1-1 10. Totals: 31 4-5 78.

Score By Quarters
Xavier…….13 16   8 21–58
Hillhouse..17 18 22 21–78

3-pointers: Xavier–Parker 3, Vakati 2, Bellavance 2, Bessoni 1; Hillhouse–Hamilton 4, Wilkens 2, Williams, Gibbs 1, Toure 1, Sutton 1, Sullivan 1, Brookes 1.
Up next: Xavier vs. Notre Dame-West Haven, Friday, 7.

Portland 54, Simsbury 50

SIMSBURY (7-2)
Anthony Simpson 4 0-0 9, Aidan Riordan 9 0-2 20, Keenan Willison 1 0-0 2, Chris Kokines 4 0-0 8, Nate Beizer 1 2-2 5, Giovanni Marchetti 1 2-2 4, Alex Pepper 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 4-6 50

PORTLAND (5-5)
Joe Rusczyk 2 1-1 6, Harrison Collins 2 3-5 7, Jake Thompson 3 2-2 11, Evan Johnson 2 4-4 8, Eli Evison 7 1-2 19, Ryan Kerr 1 0-0 3, Ben Fecteau 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 11-14 54.

Score By Quarters
Simsbury……8 14 13 15–50
Portland…….7 16 16 15–54

3-pointers: Simsbury–Riordan 2, Simpson 1, Beizer; Portland–Evison 4, Thompson 3, Rusczyk 1, Kerr.
Up next: Portland vs. East Hampton, Friday, 7.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Westbrook 53, Norwich Tech 25

NORWICH TECH (2-9)
Kaylee Gray 3 2 8, Anna Maynaid 0 0 0, Autumn Lovett 2 1 5, Olivia Luurtsema 0 1 1, Autunm Hanks 1 0 2, Ashlyn Bill 4 1 9. Totals: 10 5 25.

WESTBROOK (5-4)
Adriana Stranieri 2 0 4, Leticia Pires 7 0 14, Jami Sacco 9 0 23, Alex Zanzalari 1 1 3, Gianni Salisbury 2 0 4, Sadie Susi 2 0 5, Allison Brajcezwski 0 0 0, Olivia Palumbo 0 0 0, Emily Downie 0 0 0, Tatiana Vallejo 0 0 0, Giovanna Silva 0 0 0. Totals: 23 1 53.

Score By Quarters
Norwich Tech….6   6  6  7–25
Westbrook…….19 15 6 13–53

3-pointers: Westbrook–Sacco 5, Susi 1.
Of note: Sacco had a double double with 11 boards, 6 assists, and 23 points for the Knights. Pires also had a double double with 11 boards and a career-high 14 points to go with 5 assists.
Up next: Westbrook at H-K, Friday, 7pm.

WRESTLING

RHAM 60, Middletown 9

106: Emma Heslin (R) by forfeit
113: Ben Fournier (R) by forfeit
120: Gavin Plourde (R) by forfeit
126: Claire Keene (R) by forfeit
132: Derek McMahon (M) by fall, 0:29, over Kyle Currier
138: Alexander Susman (R) dec. Christian Perez, 12-8
145: Mitchell Rosen (R) by fall, 2:59, over Connor McCune
152: Zackary Kanaitis (R) by fall, 1:30, over Michael Negron
160: Boden Landers (R) by fall, 3:40, over Sean McCall
170: Jeremy Devine (R) dec. Jesse Baldwin, 8-2
182: Mario Paige (M) dec. Michael Marques, 9-6
220: Brody Magnanini (R) by fall, 1:20, over Kayshawn Tatum
285: Thiago Delacruz (R) by forfeit

One thought on “Prince Tech Puts A Scare Into Middletown, But Dragons Prevail

  1. Sandra Vaughters says:

    You have to give Prince Tech that props the team was awesome they really played good ball even though it was streaked controlled ball but it was a good ball that gave Middletown a run. Middletown was awesome also it was a really great game tonight you boy said a great job.

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