The Derryfield Cougars hosted Litchfield in the first game of the playoffs, and it was competitive from start to finish.
The Cougars started out slow, only making three shots behind buckets from Jake Larson, Obie Mousa and Nolan Chambers. The 2nd quarter got going when Owen Myers hit some three pointers, and Sam Krasnof worked the inside game to light a fire under the team. There was an offensive explosion of 24 points in the 2nd quarter, with Myers leading the way with 11 points, Krasnof right behind him with 3 awesome baskets in the paint, and Chambers found his rhythm making three buckets of his own, with one coming from beyond the arc. Derryfield stormed back to take the lead 30-21 by the half.
In the 3rd quarter Derryfield kept things going with Larson putting up 11 points in the quarter alone, while Adam Willett added a couple of solid buckets inside. Chambers and Mousa each added a basket, keeping the margin at 49-36. Litchfield did not give in, and the 4th quarter was a test of mental toughness and endurance for the Cougars. Litchfield went on a run, while Derryfield foul trouble allowed their opponent to get back into the game. Mousa made a couple of key baskets to maintain the lead, and Myers nailed another layup, but it was tight–the score was 56-53 with less than 30 seconds left.
A key offensive rebound by Ben Graham late in the game off a missed free throw prevented Litchfield from having enough time to set up a decent shot. Their buzzer beating heave from mid court was off the mark, and the Derryfield Cougars were able to hold on, and win their first playoff game 56-53. It was their toughest test yet, but the Cougars responded as a team with both starters and the bench playing the game needed to get the win. Coach Jason Barreto noted, “It was truly a team win, and a culmination of all of their hard work this season.” The Cougars will face the team from Hood Middle School on Tuesday, February 6.