Bunnell born to run

Matt Nolting scored 26 points, Isaac Vann had 22 points, and coach Pat Yerina’s Bunnell High unbeaten boys basketball team put four players in double figures for the third straight game to start the season when the Bulldogs turned back visiting Stratford High, 82-62, before a packed house of 1,100 fans on Saturday afternoon.
It was also the third straight games that Bunnell has broken the 80-point plateau, a fact that wasn’t lost on Stratford coach Paul Dudzinski.
“You have to look at them as one of the best teams in our league, definitely, and probably the area,” he said. “They have seven guys who can score.”
Ryan Pittman had 15 points and Adam Samuel 12, including a perfect 8-for-8 performance from the foul line.
Yerina pointed to senior guard Matt White as his team’s catalyst.
“Tim is our guy on defense,” Yerina said. “He comes up with the deflections and steals.
“This team has quickness and all five guys can run the floor.”
Bunnell showed off this aspect of its game after Stratford cut a 60-40 deficit to start the fourth quarter to 68-62 on Sam Breiner’s 3-pointer off a Bernard Brantley assist with 2:23 remaining.
In a span of just over a minute the lead was back to 78-62, and Bunnell closed the game on a 14-0 run.
Nolting earned a pair of three-point play chances during this stretch with power drives in transition, and the senior added a 3-pointer to boot.
Vann had the last of his handful of blocked shots to ignite a fast-break basket by Pittman, and then Vann slammed home his fourth dunk of the game.
“We made a mini-run to get back, but they get out to half court and they are gone,” Dudzinski said. “They’re very good, very athletic.”
Marcus Vereen scored six of his 12 points in Stratford’s 14-0 run early in the final frame.
Brantley, who scored 26 points, had seven points and two assists, while Nick DiIulio had a pair of putback baskets in the skein.

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