ANSONIA — The first day of the NVL boys basketball season had its share of excitement, especially at Ansonia High School.
With a second left in the fourth quarter, Naugatuck forward Jarron Chapman flew in for a put-back basket off a missed jump shot by Dayvon Russell to give the Greyhounds a 58-56 victory Dec. 17 in a back-and-forth battle with the Chargers.
Chapman knew that he could end the game as soon as he saw Russell’s shot bounce off the rim.
“I was thinking that I needed to finish,” said Chapman, who had a double-double with a game-high 15 points and 10 rebounds. “If we went in to overtime, I feel like we would have had to work harder than we should’ve. I just had to finish the job.”
It was a big win for Coach Mike Wilson, especially since it was such a close game.
“These are the kind of games that we lost last year,” Wilson said. “The character that these boys showed tonight was awesome.”
The character really showed in the fourth quarter, where the ‘Hounds (1-0) outscored the Chargers 17-12. Naugatuck finished the game strong after a sloppy third quarter in which the Greyhounds were held to 11 points while giving up 16.
It was surely a game with a lot of lead changes and a lot of tied scores. Wilson described the win as a high-quality one over what he feels is an underrated Ansonia (0-2) team.
“This Ansonia team was a good ball club,” said the Naugy coach. “It kind of caught me off guard. I was very surprised at how athletic some of their players were.”
Chapman thought, however, that the ‘Hounds could have made this a more lop-sided victory.
“Ansonia gave us a hard battle because of turnovers, lack of offense and lack of defense,” said the senior transfer. “Everybody had an important role and some of us were slacking.”
One of the things that Naugy slacked on was field goal percentage. The Greyhounds shot just 32 percent from the field, including just four of 20 from the three-point line. Wilson said it was lack of quality of the shots being taken that led to the low shooting percentage.
“The shot selection could have been better. We took good shots, not great shots,” Wilson said.
Overall, however, Wilson was not disappointed with his team’s performance, but he does know his Greyhounds have lots of areas in need of improvement.
“I would have to sit here for a long time to list the negatives right now from this game. Our execution was sloppy tonight and we didn’t carry over a lot of things from practice, but a win is a win is a win in the NVL. To get a win on the road in the first NVL game, we’ll take it and run,” Wilson said.
The Greyhounds visit Wolcott Monday and will face Crosby Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. in the home-opener for the ‘Hounds.