Bunnell-Norwalk game story

The Bunnell High boys basketball team lost to Norwalk High, 78-70, in the championship game of the 15th annual Masuk Holiday Tournament in Monroe on Friday.
“I thought we played hard,” Bunnell coach Pat Yerina after his team lost for the first time in five starts.
“We never could get over that hump. We were down by nine at the half and scored five quicks points, but then we missed a layup, they scored quick, and it was back to nine. They shot the ball very well.”
Norwalk (5-1) was led by tourney MVP Jabari Dear (21 points) and the inside-outside 6-5 tandem of Saeed Soulemane (19 points) and Roy Kane (12 points).
Bunnell’s Matt Nolting (24 points) and Isaac Vann (16 points) were named all-tournament.
Norwalk showed it could run with Bunnell in the opening quarter, when six players scored points.
Adam Samuel and Nolting scored five points each, and Samuel matched Norwalk’s intensity inside with five boards, but the Bears took a 22-13 lead into the second period.
Despite an 18-point offensive effort, Bunnell couldn’t stop Norwalk from matching baskets and the locals went into the half down 40-31.
Ryan Pittman scored five points, including a rain-drop over the outstreched arm of Soulemane to make it 25-21.
Vann then blocked one of his four shots, but Bunnell missed three shots inside on a single possession and Norwalk scored on a run out.
The Bears ended the half on a 15-10 run to maintain its nine-point advantage.
Pittman spotted up for a 3-pointer to open the third quarter. After Samuel rebounded a Bear miss, Vann ran the floor as a trailer and tipped in a putback to make it a 40-36 game.
Vann scored on a leaner and from the baseline off a Pittman assist to keep the deficit at four. Over the next three minutes, Bunnell went cold and Norwalk stretched its advantage to double digits.
Nolting scored 11 points in the final period, but the Bulldogs were never able to draw closer than the final nine-point margin.
Nolting scored 26 points, breaking the 1,000-point mark for his career, and Bunnell defeated Shelton High, 80-70, in the first round on Thursday.
Nolting, who now has 1,030 points, had plenty of help as Vann scored 26 points with six blocks, Pittman scored 13 points and handed out 11 assists, and Samuel scored 10 points to go with his eight rebounds.
Bunnell will visit Stratford at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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