Despite the raging thunderstorm in Trumbull, Conn., it was nothing but tropical within the Insports Centers.
“It’s expected, I mean, we’re Flint, baby,” Dom Migliaro said. “We try to stay on top no matter what. We lost to [Run] TMC two weeks ago I think, so it’s a good bounce back to win against a really good team.”
“We were rested up,” Mike Bozzuto. “We took it easy in that first game, no disrespect to [the Brick Layers]. We were ready to go.”
For much of the game, the Flint Tropics remained in control. Bozzuto had a team-high 19 points as well as a game-high five three-point shots. He was able to take several open shots throughout the match.
“Too much room, Pratt,” Bozzuto said to Shocker City defender Davon Pratt after banking another one from beyond the arc.
Although Bozzuto could hardly be stopped, Pratt, who had a game-high 20 points and six rebounds, helped engineer a late-game rally for Shocker City. Having been upset by Scotts Tots during their respective 7 o’clock game, 59-58, they showed no signs of fatigue.
What was once an 11-point lead for the Flint Tropics had evaporated in the closing minutes of the game. With a three-point shot from Jason Hernandez, Shocker City tied it, 50-50, with just over five minutes left in regulation.
With Shocker City hot on their tails for a comeback, the Flint Tropics held out, making key defensive stops and hitting crucial free throws.
“Carmine (Santorelli) is one of the best players in the league,” Migliaro said. “But, you know, we bring a really good defense and we held him to whatever he scored, and the same with Jason (Hernandez). We do what we do, baby. We play defense.”
Santorelli, one of the stars of the Connecticut League, was held to just 2 points, shooting 1-for-6. Hernandez went toe-to-toe with Bozzuto in the final minutes, each trading three-point shots to gain an edge. Bozzuto was able to compensate for Shocker City’s three-point game, being the distinguished shooter for the Flint Tropics.
With the two victories in Week 8, the Flint Tropics have closed out their regular season, pulling ahead to the No. 1 seed in the standings. If Run TMC wins their final game in Week 9, Flint nation will have to settle for the No. 2 seed. But for now, the Flint Tropics will enjoy their Monday off.
“Half the team is going to Vegas (for a) bachelors party, so hopefully they come back in one piece for the playoffs,” Bozzuto said.