McMahon shakes off slow start against New Canaan, wins sixth straight
Updated 5:27 pm, Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The McMahon Senators (15-4) picked up a 70-49 road victory over the New Canaan Rams (5-14) to pick up their fifth consecutive win on Monday night at New Canaan High School.
New Canaan managed to keep the game close and actually held a 22-20 lead with three minutes remaining in the first half. However, a 9-0 McMahon run to close out the half turned New Canaan's 22-20 lead into a 29-22 deficit heading into the locker rooms.
In the first quarter, McMahon took its first lead on a deuce from senior captain and forward Lamar Tate to take a 10-8 lead. Tate followed that up with a trey on McMahon's next possession to close out the opening frame with a 13-8 advantage.
New Canaan fought back with a 12-2 run to start the second quarter, a run in which senior captain and forward Chris Rama scored six of his team-high 12 points to put the Rams back on top, 20-15.
After another Rama bucket gave the Rams a 22-20 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the second, McMahon coach Mo Tomlin called a timeout.
"There's always a few things you've got to overcome, so I challenged them during the timeout, and they came out and did what they're supposed to do," Tomlin said. "We dug in a little bit on defense and started making them take tougher shots. And then on offense, we got a couple fast breaks, and that usually opens things up a little bit."
The Senators responded to their coach's challenge with a trio of 3-pointers (two by Tyler Shular and one by T.J. McCrae) to close out the first half with a 29-22 lead.
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"That really upset the momentum for us going into the second half. We tried to get it back, but unfortunately, we couldn't pull it out," New Canaan junior Nick Depuy said. "McMahon just started to make their shots, and we didn't really have an answer for that."
McMahon hit its stride in the second half and opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run to extend its lead to 37-22 and maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the game.
Tate and Tyler Shuler led the Senators with 22 and 20 points, respectively. Al Alzuphar chipped in with eight points.
Going into Monday night's game, New Canaan had already been eliminated from State playoff and FCIAC playoff contention, whereas McMahon came in needing a win in order to sustain momentum for both tournaments.
"We really just wanted to come out here and get the win early and get ready for the FCIAC playoffs," McMahon senior captain CJ Langley said. "We just had to run. We had to keep running and start scoring. We got a lot of 3-pointers on fast breaks and just kept it rolling."
New Canaan closed out its season with a home game against Westhill at on Wednesday. McMahon played its final regular season game on the road against Harding at on Wednesday.
"This was a tremendous win, and we're going to try to finish off the regular season with a tough game against Harding in Bridgeport," Tomlin said. "You can throw records out the window. In the FCIAC, you cannot take any nights off."
The Senators are currently sixth in the FCIAC standings. They would be playing at No. 3 Bassick to open the FCIAC tournament on Saturday at Fairfield Ludlowe High School.