Bacon Basketball Doesn’t Back Down
Bacon Academy senior Elijah Black controls the ball at RHAM High School on Jan. 21. The Bobcats lost to the Raptors, yet have won six of their last nine games.
Despite a 12-point loss to RHAM last Saturday, Bacon Academy boys’ basketball showed the resolve of a team that never quits.
The Bobcats trailed by as many as 20 points in the second half before cutting the deficit in half in the fourth quarter and battling until the final whistle.
“I’m proud of them for not giving up because they could have folded and they didn’t,” Bacon Academy head coach Craig Kupper said following the loss.
Trailing 43-23 in the third, senior Luke Grimord led a 12-2 run that bled over into the fourth quarter.
Grimord scored six straight points during the run –– hitting a spinning layup off glass and added two more buckets in transition –– and had a three-quarter-court assist to Troy Johnson to pull the margin to 45-35 with 6:23 to play in regulation.
It was the second time that the Bobcats had to claw their way back into the contest.
They fell behind 8-0 within the first few minutes of the game before Grimord drained a three-pointer and Elijah Black hit a pair of free throws on the following possession to cut the deficit to 8-5.
Grimord finished with a game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Black added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
RHAM’s defensive pressure, highlighted by the team’s full court press, gave the Bobcats fits throughout the game.
During the slow start, Kupper used a timeout to remind his team of game plan they designed to break the defensive pressure.
“We started making the extra pass and we got better shot attempts,” added Kupper. “We made more baskets because of it.”
Grimord, Black and senior Keegan Appleby are Kupper’s three court captains.
Kupper said each captain has a different approach, yet they have all been working towards the same goals in practice and in games.
“They all have different leadership styles and lead in different ways, but I think that had helped push the guys to where we are trying to be,” added Kupper.
The team entered the game against RHAM on a three-game winning streak — defeating Plainfield, Waterford, and Stonington within a six-day span.
Grimord had pair of monster games in the win over Waterford and Stonington, combining to score 58 points and grab 25 rebounds in the two-game stretch.
He scored a career-high 30 points against Waterford on Jan. 17 and grabbed 15 rebounds in the win over Stonington on Jan. 19.
After starting the season with four consecutive losses, Kupper said the team was doing all the right things during the three-game winning streak.
“We’ve been working so hard and everyone is sharing the ball,” added Kupper, whose team stands at 6-6.
The fifth year coach hopes to see that same execution as the team enters the stretch run, starting on the road at Griswold this Friday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.
Kupper added, “Offensively we have to get a little bit better and get better shot attempts, but everyone is being good teammates from the bottom of the bench all the way up to the starters.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin