Boston High School: Jaquan Harrison

Recap: Windsor (Conn.) 74, New Mission 71

December, 30, 2012
BOSTON -- Junior phenom Jared Wilson-Frame led the way for Windsor (Conn.) with 28 points in their BABC Holiday Classic showdown against New Mission, and the Warriors were able to hold off a barrage of points from the Titans in the final minutes, escaping with a 74-71 win.

“Well it’s a tough environment to play in, it’s a good little gym and they’re a good team,” Windsor coach Ken Smith said following the game. “I’m pretty sure they’re going to make runs. I watched them play the other night [against Mansfield], that’s a good team you got there and I’m sure this is going to be a springboard for them.”

New Mission trailed by as many as 10 points late in the fourth quarter, but were given a nice boost by Isshiah Coleman in the paint. In the game’s final minutes, the senior forward cleaned up on the offensive boards and put back six of his 10 points on the afternoon.

The Titans (4-3) were able to cut the deficit all the way down to one in the closing seconds on a steal and fast-break lay-up from Percio Gomez, but were slow to commit a foul on the ensuing Windsor (5-0) possession and had to settle on sending Wilson-Frame to the line rather than senior Jaquan Harrison.

After Wilson-Frame hit both free throws to extend the lead to three, New Mission, with 7.3 seconds left on the clock, looked to leading scorer Juwan Gooding (18 points, six assists) to send it to overtime. Windsor was ready though, triple-teaming Gooding behind the line as the sophomore tossed up a prayer that found the backboard and the rim, but not the net.

Following the game, New Mission head coach Cory McCarthy attributed his team’s loss to their performance at the free throw line (7 of 21), and the effort on the boards by his bigs.

“I’m not upset about the loss at all,” McCarthy said. “That’s something that the players have to put on themselves. They have to say to themselves ‘I have to get better, I have to do better, I gotta help our team win’, and that’s what it came down to.”

“I like Windsor a lot, I like what they did, and I’d play them a hundred times if we could. At the same time, I feel like we didn’t stay true to who we were today.”

Guarding Windsor: Entering today’s game, Windsor averaged just under 80 points per game, including a 94-point performance two weeks ago against South Windsor (Conn.).

The Warriors are led by Wilson-Frame, a 6-foot-4 junior who is drawing interest from Miami, Providence, UConn and UCLA just to name a few.

Included in his 28-point performance was a put-back that put a halt to a 7-0 scoring run in the closing minutes for New Mission, two free throws that found nothing but net with the game on the line in the final seconds, and a silky-smooth drive to net throughout the game that is surely leaving scouts drooling.

“We came out in a diamond and one [press]," McCarthy said. "It was pretty effective against him but he hit some huge hero shots. He played Superman for them tonight and he delivered. I thought our diamond and one bothered him early, and then when Nate [Anderson] came out of the game we had less length on him.”

McCarthy was also quick to credit Windsor point guard Tyler Rowe who, despite being listed at just 5-foot-6, gave New Mission fits on the glass and on the floor through out the afternoon.

“He was tremendous, every decision he made was 100 percent right," McCarthy said. "He was totally efficient, and I have no problem with that.”

Grueling three-day swing: No matter what the future may hold for this year’s New Mission team, no one can look back at the end of the season and say they played a soft schedule.

For that reason, McCarthy likes his team’s chances going forward.

In the past three days, the Titans have taken on a Christ The King team thought by many to be No. 1 in the state of New York; beaten previously-undefeated Mansfield, ranked number No. 4 in's statewide poll; and hung until the final minutes against a Windsor team that is also ranking in at No. 4 in Connecticut.

“You will see in the middle of January, how much better we are because of this,” McCarthy said of the three-day stretch. “This is no disrespect to anybody else, but we won’t see three more teams as good as the three teams we just played for the rest of the year.

“If we can play above, or at that level that we played at for the last three days, I’m confident of where we will be in the end.”

Asked what his motivation was to schedule three straight games against three teams of that capability, McCarthy pointed to building his team’s character.

“I just want my guys to get tougher," he said. "I want to deflate some egos. If we start reading the clippings, and thinking that we’re better than everybody else...It humbles guys.

“So we see that sort of level. Can we match that level? Can we win on that level? I think we can, I think we have some little things that we can work on to get it done."

Hoophall: Windsor (Conn.) 61, Spfld. Central 55

January, 14, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Up by four points with about a minute and a half to go Saturday against Springfield Central, Windsor (Conn.) High's Andrew Hurd dribbled the ball up over halfcourt.

Together with his teammates, they worked the ball around the floor, bringing the shot clock down to five seconds. Two seconds later, Jaquan Harrison hit a layup to put his team ahead 59-53 with under a minute to go.

That proved to be the dagger, as the Warriors went on to win, 61-55, to kick off day three of the Hoophall Classic, at Springfield College's Blake Arena.

Windsor (8-1) led the whole game until 1:33 left in the third quarter, when Central senior guard Chris Prophet (16 points, 7 rebounds) converted a three-point play to put his team ahead 43-40. Windsor quickly answered back with a basket of its own, but Central (8-1) took the 1-point lead into the final quarter.

It was then that Windsor went on a 10-2 run to take the lead right back.

“We didn’t play as good as we could have played, I thought we could have played a lot better,” said Windsor coach Ken Smith. “Springfield Central is a very good team. They’re the best team, they say, up in this area, so I thought we fought real hard. We didn’t give up.”

One could not help but think of the slogan on the back of the shirt Smith wore on the sideline during the game: “How bad do you want it?” When things got tough for Windsor, was when it picked its game up the most.

“The third quarter was that adversity. They fought to the bitter end, and that’s what we ask them to do, and they did it.”

Central almost caught a break with 4:12 left in the game. Down 52-50, Windsor committed its seventh foul of the half, meaning that for the last half of the fourth quarter, Central would be shooting foul shots. Almost on cue, Windsor stretched its lead to 8, negating any effect its foul troubles might have gave them.

“That’s just how Windsor is,” said freshman Jared Wilson-Frame, who contributed 15 points and five rebounds off the bench for the Warriors. “If we get down, we’re going to come back. We’re going to come back and pick our heads up. We never get down on anything.”

Central's Tyrell Springer was just behind Prophet in the scorebook with 15 points and 7 rebounds of his own.

Controlling the glass: One of the biggest reasons Springfield Central kept the game close was its success on the defensive glass. Early on, not only did the Golden Eagles prevent Windsor from getting second-chance scoring opportunities, but its big men allowed the guards to get out in transition and create plays. When it pushed the ball up the floor, it lead to missed Windsor defensive assignments and easier baskets. Windsor tried to match the pace, but Central just ran its breakouts more effectively.

Although Central out-rebounded the Warriors 53-44, it was Windsor that was better on the glass down the stretch, preventing Central from getting those tip-ins and other opportunities it was getting in the first half.

“We don’t really have a big, strong guy this year,” said Wilson-Frame. “One of them is a junior (Jaquan Harrison) and one of them is a senior (Theodore Lee) who wasn’t even on the varsity last year. We’re working with them to get them tougher, but to me they played a strong game today.”

“They killed us on the glass in the first half, so we had to make an adjustment,” said Smith. “What really helped us we got their big guy (Kamari Robinson) in foul trouble. When he got in trouble, that limited it, but sometimes with kids, they relax. That’s what hurt us also.”

Fab Frosh: Wilson-Frame made a statement for himself as a freshman with his performance on a big stage. With his 6-for-12 showing from the floor, he turned a lot of heads and proved himself to be someone to watch as he moves forward in his high school career.

“He has a lot of upside,” said Smith. “My thing is building his character. He needs to have good character if he’s going to play for me, and he needs to work hard and have a good work ethic. I don’t think he realizes how good he really could be. If he even felt like he was a lot better, he would have played a lot more and did a lot more things. But he has to play defense first. If he’s not going to play defense, we’re not going to play him.”