The Barnum Bombers advanced to the next round of the Section 5A boys basketball playoffs with a 52-35 victory over the Cromwell Cardinals.
BY JAKE KACHINSKE
BARNUM –Josh Hogan drained 21 points, guiding the Barnum Bombers to a 52-35 opening round boys basketball win over the Cromwell Cardinals in Section 5A Thursday night.
“I felt if we could take care of the ball and shoot well, we would have a chance to win,” said Cromwell head coach Bill Pocernich. The Cardinals shot 28% from the field and committed 21 turnovers. Despite the dismal shooting performance and the turnovers, Cromwell trailed by only five at the half, 24-19, and was within 28-26 with twelve minutes to go in the game. Seven minutes later the deficit was twenty at 50-30.
Pocernich added. “That has happened to us against the really good teams this year, where we go 5-8 minute stretches where we don’t score and turn the ball over and that’s what happened to us tonight.”
In addition to Hogan’s 21 points, Justin Newman was in double figures for Barnum (21-6) with 12 points. Jacob Naslund added nine.
Nic Cahoon, who scored 10 on the night, led Cromwell. Barnum’s defense kept the Cardinals’ five other scorers were under double-figures. “I was proud of the effort and thought we defended well. We got beat by a better team,” Pocernich commented.
As for the season, the Cardinals finished 11-15 overall and a tie for fifth place in the Polar League with a 7-9 mark. Pocernich said it was definitely a tough season…the team set a goal to win ten games, and they ended up winning eleven. “In the final 13 regular season games, we went 7-6, with the six losses coming to teams with a combined record of 138-25, so we played much better down the stretch,” he said.
Pocernich went on to say that seniors were a great group of kids. “They helped pick the team up when we were struggling, and all five (Nic Cahoon, Jordan Suhonen, Mike Hedin, Pat Dahl and Tyler Sulkowski) have been great to coach.”
Coach Pocernich is also looking forward to next season. “I like the players we have coming back. If they commit themselves to improving their skill level in the off-season, we have a chance to have a very good team next year.”
BARNUM — 24-28 — 52
CROMWELL — 19-16 — 35
BARNUM — Brandon Newman 2, Josh Hogan 21, Daniel Warpula 3, Justin Newman 12, Jacob Naslund 9, Luke Chalberg 1, Andrew Youngren 4. FG 20, FT 10-18. TOTAL 52. 3-point goals: Hogan, Naslund.
CROMWELL — Nic Cahoon 10, Jordan Suhonen 2, Jared Hutar 7, Michael Hedin 6, Patrick Dahl 6, Jake Ramberg 4. FG 13, FT 6-11. TOTAL 35. 3-point goals: Hutar, Hedin, Dahl.