Suburban jamboree a success for Greyhounds

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A pretty good crowd showed up for the first Edward Mariano Suburban Jamboree Dec. 13 at Naugatuck High School. Eight local teams participated in the event. -JIM SHANNON/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NAUGATUCK — The inaugural Edward Mariano Suburban Jamboree proved to be quite the success for the host Greyhounds.

Naugatuck put together the jamboree, which brought the Wamogo, Pomperuag, Oxford, Torrington, Watertown, Woodland and New Milford boys basketball teams together for a night of hoops at Naugatuck High Dec. 13.

“First time we had this tournament, and I loved the way it turned out, it was a success,” Naugatuck head coach Mike Wilson said.

There used to be a suburban jamboree when Wilson, a member of the Naugatuck High Class of 1999, played for the Greyhounds. Naugatuck’s junior varsity coach Jahmal Francis led the charge in organizing this year’s event, which the host Greyhounds won.

Each game was 10 minutes. The winners of the first two games played in one semifinal while the winners of the third and fourth games played in another semifinal. The semifinal winners played in the championship game.

The Greyhounds took on Wamogo, which finished the regular season undefeated last year and won the Berkshire League tournament, in their first game. Wamogo hit a pair of three-pointers to take the early lead, but the Greyhounds pulled out a slim 12-11 win.

Derrick Jagello hit two three-pointers to account for his six points and Keywan Edwards-Garris had five points.

“Wamago is a good team,” Wilson said. “They got up early on us but we focused on our defense and made a comeback on them.”

Naugatuck then faced Naugatuck Valley League rival Torrington after the Raiders scored 29 points against New Milford. The Greyhounds defense never let up, and Naugatuck came away with a 9-4 victory.

Avery Hinnant and Ese Onakpoma knocked down four points each against Torrington.

“It was a learning experience,” Wilson said. “Torrington came out and hung almost 30 in the first quarter they played, so it was nice to see our defense respond. But we have been focusing on our defense, and it showed.”

Naugatuck defeated Oxford, 21-15, in the championship. Edwards-Garris led the Greyhounds with eight points. Julaquis Minnifield added six points for Naugy.

“It’s early yet and it takes time to build that chemistry you need to get on a roll,” Wilson said. “But we are a work in progress. These guys are working hard and it was good to get out of here winning your own tournament.”

Naugy tops Oxford to start season: Naugatuck opened the season with a resounding 74-45 win at Oxford Dec. 19.

Hinnant led the Greyhounds (1-0) with 18 points in the season-opener. Robert Sanders and Edwards-Garris added 15 points each against the Wolverines (0-1).

The Greyhounds will play in the New Britain High Holiday Tournament Saturday and host Derby Dec. 30.