Scott, Titans roll past Pats
Brandon Scott led three Titans in double-figures with a game-high 33 points, as Toll Gate controlled the game from start to finish in a 75-55 victory against rival Pilgrim on Wednesday night.
The Pats had no answer for Scott, with the Toll Gate junior spreading out his 33-point effort with 17 points in the first half and 16 in the second. Scott’s high point total continued his torrid start to this season. He’s now fourth in the state with 24.3 points per game.
“He’s one of our top scorers,” Toll Gate head coach Tom Rayko said. “He’s a lefty, which throws people off, and he finishes well and can shoot the 3. We’re working on a mid-range game for him too, so if he can add that piece of the puzzle, he’ll be deadly.”
Toll Gate was looking to feed off its big home crowd out of the gate, and that’s exactly what it was able to do. The score was tied at 5 less than two minutes in, before the Titans were able to manufacture a 22-0 run.
A steal and score from Scott gave Toll Gate a 10-5 lead, and an and-1 from Joel Roache seconds later upped the lead to 13-5.
Back-to-back fast break buckets from Scott pushed the advantage to 22-5, before senior forward Brandon Fogarty hit the offensive glass for a rebound and putback, giving the Titans a 27-5 lead with 9:17 to go in the first half.
“Every game, not just the intra-city rivalry game, every game that’s what I want,” Rayko said of the intensity that sparked his team’s strong start. “It’s a game of runs, so you have to keep pushing. We always have to show that intensity.”
Pilgrim was able to cut into its deficit a bit after that, with Matt Woods grabbing an offensive board and finishing an and-1 to make it 31-17 with 5:31 remaining in the first half.
But, Toll Gate’s pressure and offensive balance was too much for the Pats. Roache stole the ball and cruised in for a layup late in the half, and Austin Noon buried a 3 in the final minute of the half to send Toll Gate to the break with a 14-point lead, 42-28.
Scott continued his scoring prowess in the second half, as well. Pilgrim closed out on him from behind the 3-point line, but Scott was able to attack the rim and finish at the basket frequently. Two minutes in, Scott powered his way in for a bucket, and Orane Smith pulled down an offensive board and dished to Scott for a layup with 11 minutes left to give Toll Gate a 50-33 edge.
Toll Gate was able to dominate the glass. Fogarty and Scott both posted double-doubles. Fogarty collected a game-high 16 rebounds to go along with 12 points, while Scott added 10 rebounds to his 33 points.
“We definitely had a size advantage,” Rayko said. “When we’re quick to the ball too, we have some kids who can really jump.”
Toll Gate cruised the rest of the way. Joe Gionti scored 12 of his team-high 17 points for Pilgrim in the second half, but Toll Gate was still able to secure a 20-point win margin.
Woods, Pilgrim’s leading scorer, was held to 14 points on the night.
“Yes, I thought we did a good job,” Rayko said of limiting Woods. “He’s another great player, so that was our big key, to limit him as much as we could. He’s great at attacking the basket and finding people too. We just tried to limit his points and assists by getting in the passing lanes as much as we could.”
Roache was second on the Titans with 15 points, and Aiden Areson also had a solid game off the bench with nine points and seven rebounds.
Toll Gate is now 3-1 in Division II and 4-2 overall. It was set to host Cumberland (3-1) on Monday, but results were unavailable at press time. The Titans will also host East Greenwich at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
Conversely, Pilgrim, now 1-3 in Division II and 4-4 overall, was slated to oppose Moses Brown on Monday, but results were available at press time. The Pats will also travel to Middletown on Thursday and Prout on Friday. Both of those games will start at 7 p.m.