Back from Friday night’s heated Bethel-Immaculate rematch at Bethel High, a game that featured three technical fouls and a pair of lengthy, order-restoring delays, here are some holdover notes/quotes:
- Bethel’s Dan Garvin is as good as the South-West Conference has to offer and should cruise to his second consecutive All-State selection. The 6-foot-5 senior forward, a Bryant University commit, scored 25 of his game-high 31 points in the second half and pulled down a season-high 23 boards as the Wildcats used a 20-0 run between the third and fourth quarters to surge to a 63-53 victory, their 11th. Garvin has fit the “man amongst boys” tag for three seasons now but has added polish to a versatile offensive repetoire. He sprung for a monster two-hand put-back dunk that would have been the highlight of the game if it weren’t for his ridiculous, Dr. J-esque, one-handed, up-and-under on the ensuing trip (sorry for all the adjectives; he does that to a writer).
- Both coaches alluded to a long history between the two teams when discussing the heated nature of the contest. Said Bethel coach Ray Turek: “A lot of these players, especially on the Immaculate side, are new to this rivalry. I think they understand it now.” Added Immaculate’s Nelson Mingachos: “We might be able to see them one or two more times. It’s always a great rivalry, you’re always going to pack the gym and this is the atmosphere you want the kids to be in. This used to be the old WCC (Western Connecticut Conference). Home and away series, packed gyms, rivalries — it’s what all the coaches loved. And it’s been like this since I’ve been at Immaculate.”
- The Mustangs (5-6) were bumped up to the Class M ranks following last season’s utter domination of the Class S tournament. Trouble is, none from this year’s group played signicant minutes on that squad. Should they score a berth in their first crack at Class M, a potential third meeting with Bethel (which won the season-opener, in the first round of The News-Times Tip-off Classic, 67-52) looms as appointment viewing for area hoops fans.