New London senior guard Kris Dunn scored his 2,000th career point Friday as the Whalers’ boys’ basketball team cruised to an 89-54 victory over Woodstock Academy.
The game closed out the regular season for the team with an 18-2 record. This ensures that New London will have a place in the East Coast Conference tournament, whose quarterfinals start on Feb. 25, as well as the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference state tournament.
“For us, the real season starts: tournament time,” said New London head coach Craig Parker. “This is what we look forward to.”
Dunn’s milestone point came in the third quarter and was the 29th and final one he scored for the Whalers during the game. Dunn said he broke the previous New London High School scoring record a few games before Friday’s competition.
“That’s the story of the night,” said Parker. “He’s only the 18th player in the state of Connecticut history to accomplish that feat.”
“It felt great,” said Dunn. “I’m just trying to start a new record right now for someone else to break.”
The game got off to a slow start in the first quarter, with the teams tying at 6-6 before the Centaurs twice took the lead. New London was able to close out the quarter with a lead of 19-12 and capitalized on a number of offensive drives in the second quarter. Woodstock was able to find some gaps in the Whaler defense, but New London closed the half with a comfortable lead of 43-21.
In the third quarter, New London again kept the heat on the Centaurs’ basket and built up a lead of 65-28 before Woodstock made a push to close the gap to 65-36. Dunn’s 2,000th point ended this rally, and the quarter ended at 69-40 New London. The Whalers scored several three-pointers and foul shots to close out the game.
Dunn was the top scorer for the Whalers, followed by Keith Porter with 22 points. For the Centaurs, Justin Rapose had 13 points and Tristan Welch had nine.
Parker said the team had some strong performances during the game as well as some areas where he feels improvement is needed.
“It’s been taking a little while to get it going,” he said. “We need to stop that.”
“We’re going to have a great run,” said Dunn. “Everyone just has to stay focused and play hard every game, and hopefully we’ll make it back to Mohegan Sun.”
New London’s losses this season were against Hillhouse and St. Joseph, the top two teams in the Class LL division. Both teams are undefeated, with Hillhouse at 19-0 going into its final regular season game against Career Magnet on Monday and St. Joseph 18-0 with final games against Ridgefield on Monday and Fairfield Warde on Wednesday.
CIAC will announce the pairings for the boys’ basketball state tournaments at noon on Feb. 29.
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