WETHERSFIELD - The Maloney High School basketball team (2-2) withstood a fourth quarter Ryan Peterson-led Wethersfield (2-2) comeback to seal a 70-61 win on Eagles turf last Thursday night, Dec. 27.
The Eagles played well, turning a 12-point third quarter deficit into a fourth quarter tie, but their Spartan opponents were just a little bit better. Maloney’s offensive onslaught was fueled by a 32-point effort from senior guard Jahlil Askew.
“He passes the ball too, it’s not just like he’s out there shooting on every one [possession],” said Spartans head coach Howard Hewitt after the game. “He got into the lane. He passed the ball inside to the bigs. He was obviously our best player out there.”
Peterson had 27 points for the Eagles, including a fourth quarter run in which he hit three-pointers on two back to back possessions, and proceeded to sink the game tying free throw.
The Eagles surged in the third quarter after finishing the first half down 34-23. When Wethersfield began catching up-they closed the deficit to six at one point-Jahlil just put his foot through the accelerator. He hit a three-pointer with about 4:55 left in the third to make it 39-30, and then another at around the 7:40 mark to put the Spartans up by 12, at 47-39.
“Shooters have to shoot,” Jahlil said after the game. “I was confident.”
But Wethersfield would not go quietly, and Peterson was the Eagles’ loudest player. It started when he stole a pass going up top and took the rock to the rack to make it 42-34. Next he showed off his shooting with back-to-back threes of his own putting the Eagles within two, at 49-47, and Peterson would hit a couple of free throws on the next Wethersfield possession to make it 49-49.
“They’re tough,” Hewitt said. “They keep coming at you. Then they started knocking in the threes.”
Wethersfield foul trouble, along with tenacious Spartan rebounding, would eventually help Maloney pull away, and stay ahead to seal the win. The Eagles face undefeated Newington (3-0) at home this Saturday at 7:30 p.m.