ANSONIA — The Ansonia boys basketball team was hungry for another win after Friday’s victory against Union City.
“We came out, and the guys were focused and ready to go. We regrouped from last night, and they did a great job,” Ansonia boys basketball coach Darrick Barga said.
But the Houston Wildcats proved difficult to contain, and the Tigers let their early lead slip for a 54-36 loss.
The night started out well for Ansonia with two from free throws and an Austin Bergman lay-up for an early four-point lead.
Derek Kaiser kept the momentum going with a trey, and the Tigers found themselves ahead 11-3 three minutes into the game.
“We ran our offense, shared the basketball, found the open players and were patient,” Barga said. “When you’re patient and when you’re not thinking about ‘my shot,” you’re just playing in the flow of the game.”
The Wildcats found their feet in the last few minutes and managed the lessen their gap 13-8 ending the first period.
Houston tied it up 15-15 on the backs of some solid perimeter shooting, but Kaiser put up another trey to keep the Tigers clawing back.
But it wouldn’t be enough to stay ahead, and the Wildcats tied again 18-18 going into halftime.
“We started thinking that we had the lead and started thinking too much. We also grew tired, which will happen,” Barga said.
The third quarter proved to be Ansonia’s undoing, as it only scored two points to the Wildcats’ 12.
Compounded by the fact that Ansonia was 0-for-4 on free throws for the third, and it was no wonder the Tigers ran into a late game wall.
“We needed to box out. We put ourselves in a rough position because we didn’t guard the ball as well as we could. It just works its way down the line when that happens,” Barga said.
Houston put up a 3-pointer to start out the second half and two more for quick a five-point ultimatum to Ansonia.
Kaiser answered with two, but the Wildcats countered with an eight-point run to take over the game. When the smoke cleared in the third, the Wildcats were leading 30-20.
Kaiser put up another trey early into the fourth to breathe some life back into the Tigers, but the Wildcats took over on rebounds to extend their lead to 14 points.
Five minutes left in the game, the Tigers bit into the Houston’s lead and only trailed by 10, but that was as close as they’d come the rest of the night.
Houston walked away with the non-conference victory 54-36, and Ansonia’s record notched to 2-6.
But Barga noticed his team put up great coverage against their skilled opponents and applauded the improved performance from their previous night’s game.
“From last night to tonight, we played a lot better, a lot harder,” Barga said. “We’re getting there. I like where we’re headed.”
Derek Kaiser led the Tigers with 18 points, followed by Logan Moody and Austin Bergman tying with eight.
The Tigers play their next game against National Trail on Friday where they’re preparing for more tough competition.
“National Trail’s always a tough team. You’ve got to come out ready,” Barga said.
In junior varsity play, the Tigers were blown out by the Wildcats, losing 58-22.