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Division III boys basketball: Bloomfield loses to Waterbury Career Academy in state final

UNCASVILLE – The Bloomfield boys basketball team was in the Division III championship game until the final quarter Sunday afternoon.

And then the Warhawks unraveled.

Bloomfield, last year’s Division IV champion, lost to Waterbury Career Academy 74-58 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Sophomore Jaysean Williams led top-seeded Bloomfield (23-4) with 22 points. Andrew Williams had 36 points and 18 rebounds for WCA (24-3).

It was an emotional game for the Warhawks, who came in wanting to win for their former coach Kevin Moses, better known as “Coach Mo,” who led them to a state title last year but died in September of colon cancer.

“They won it last year and we got back here this year and it was a great run,” said Bloomfield coach Brooks Sales, who took over this season. “The spirit of Mo was with us strong. They were fighting for that identity and trying to manage the season well for him. Then with a new coach coming in…I’m very proud of what our guys were able to accomplish.”

Bloomfield led at the end of the third quarter, 46-39, before Sonny Pierce (17 points) hit a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left to cut the lead to four.

Then WCA opened the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run and Bloomfield couldn’t respond. WCA had scored nine points in the third quarter and had 32 in the fourth.

WCA outrebounded Bloomfield 53-31.

“They won the hustle plays, they got the 50-50 balls, they definitely killed us on the rebounds – I mean at halftime we had 15 rebounds and they had 14 offensive rebounds,” Sales said. “When you look at that, that’s our MO, our identity has been the extra hustle, the 50-50s and they beat us to it and they were just better prepared than we were today so hats off to WCA and what they were able to accomplish.

“When you wake up and you’re going against the No. 1 (seeded) team, they had a little bit more energy than we did and it showed from the start of the game.”

Senior Howard Simpson had an unknown injury to his leg in the first quarter and left the game, though he did return. Simpson, who had 23 points and 14 rebounds in the state championship game against Granby last year, had three points and three rebounds. Junior Davien Kerr, who shot 7 for 9 and had 16 points and six rebounds, fouled out in the fourth quarter on a technical foul after he pushed one of the WCA players after the whistle.

“For that second half of the game, they basically controlled the tempo and did what they wanted to do,” Sales said. (Andrew) Williams is a great player. They played solid basketball.

“We rushed. We went for steals we didn’t need to go for and they capitalized on our mistakes – that’s what it comes down to.”