Hartford sports round-up, Jan. 13, 2022

Hartford’s ‘dynamic duo’ reunited in win

By Keith Harrington

Like the Peaches and Herb song says, “Reunited and it feels so good.” For the last few weeks, Hartford junior guard Ray Harrington has put the Tanagers on his back as his partner in the team’s dynamic duo, senior post player JP Lavin, has been sidelined with an ankle injury.

Lavin returned last Tuesday night for the first time since the second game of the season and combined with Harrington for 32 points as the Tanagers defeated Salem, 45-32, in an Adirondack League game.

“My partner in crime was back after five long weeks,” Harrington said after the contest. “It felt good getting JP back. A double-double his first game back. I sure missed that.”

Things didn’t go the way Hartford planned early on. The Generals were set on spoiling the return of Hartford’s standout big man, leading 10-7 and using an 8-7 advantage in the second quarter to lead 18-14 at halftime.

The Tanagers got rolling in the second half, outscoring the Generals 31-18 over the final 16 minutes to claim the victory.

“I knew it would be tough down there,” Harrington said. “Mark (Salem coach Eastman) does a great job with his kids.”

Harrington finished with 22 points for Hartford. Lavin recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Connor Chilson and Patrick Stone had 11 points each for Salem. Zachariah Miller added 10.

“We started off slow then JP, Drake (Stewart) and Austin (Wells) took over the boards in the second half and we got in going. They were the turning point for us,” Harrington said of his teammates.

Hartford is now 3-3, 5-4. Salem fell to 1-4, 1-5.

Hartford girls win two on hardcourt

By Keith Harrington

Whenever a high school basketball team has a 1,000-point scorer you expect it’s a team that contends for championships. Hartford has a player who has accomplished the goal this season, with another closing in on the milestone, and that makes the Tanagers extra dangerous.

Seniors Gabrielle McFarren and Karlee Nims scored 16 points each as the Tanagers held off Warrensburg 51-38 in an Adirondack League showdown of two of the circuit’s strongest programs. McFarren needs just 54 points to join Nims on the Tanagers’ 1,000 career point list.

The Burghers are coached by Hartford alum and former Tanager player Scott Smith, which always makes for an intense game between the rivals.

The Tanagers raced out to a 16-2 first quarter lead and it appeared that it might be just another night at the office for coach Jason Johnson’s team.

“We were hitting on all cylinders,” Johnson said. “We were putting the ball in the hoop and our press was able to force a few turnovers.”

Warrensburg settled down after that and gave Hartford all it wanted, using a 16-7 second quarter to pull within 23-18 at the half.

Warrensburg narrowed the gap in the third, pulling to within 32-29 heading to the final stanza.

The Tanagers recovered to outscore the Burghers 19-9 in the fourth and pull away for the win, keeping their league record perfect on the season.

“I’ve had them as players from fourth grade on up, working through the offseason,” Johnson said. “They give me everything they’ve got, defense and shooting. The whole team really stepped up tonight.”

Alawnah Dunda chipped in eight points for Hartford and Cassie Wade seven.

Hope Sherman paced the Burghers with 14 points. Olivia Frasier added 10.

Hartford is now 6-0, 10-1. Warrensburg is 4-2, 4-3.

On Wednesday night, Hartford held an advantage in every quarter as they gradually pulled away from Salem to remain unbeaten in league play.

The Tanagers led 17-8 after a quarter and 39-26 at the half. Hartford scored 43 second-half points to secure the victory.

McFarren led Hartford with a career-high 29 points. Nims added 21 points. Dunda also hit double-digits with 15 points for the Tanagers.

Amber Terry had 19 points for the Generals. Katy Sweenor added 10.

Hartford raised its mark to 5-0, 9-1 with the victory. Salem fell to 1-4, 2-4.