No. 10 St. Bernard comes alive in 2nd half and beats Windham

Jan. 25—MONTVILLE — Mark Jones called timeout late in the second period Tuesday night, his team having just successfully blown a 14-point lead. He has several avenues available to him to convey his disgust.

He simply stared. Oh, and it was icy, too. Even after the game ended, Jones admitted he didn't say much at halftime either, indicating that perhaps explosions are overrated.

Jones certainly has trust in the boys of No. 10 St. Bernard, who shrugged off a bad second quarter with a beauty of a second half, rolling to an 82-65 win over Windham.

"We had a 14-point lead and just relaxed," said Jones, whose team is 10-2, losing only to Ridgefield and No. 3 Northwest Catholic. "We were turning it over. Windham was scrappier. We knew we just had to play harder and compete."

Nobody else illustrated that message better than sophomore guard Amyre Gray, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half.

"Coach just said to us (at halftime) we know how we have to play, now let's get it done," Gray said.

Amare Marshall led the Saints with 19 points, while Cedrick Similien had 18, Tyson Wheeler 12 and Ryan Outlow 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Windham's Julian Cruz hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter, leading the defending state Division V champs back from the deficit. Windham (7-4) had a two-point lead at halftime, 33-31, when Travis Mangual hit a three at the buzzer, all while having lost his sneaker in the process.

"We got complacent," said Jones, whose Saints would go on to score 51 points in the second half. "A lot of times when teams get leads like that they take their foot off the gas. Windham is a good team."

Travis Mangual led the Whips with 21. Cruz had 16, while Tahj Jones and Tyler Mangual had 13 apiece.

St. Bernard has defeated all of its Eastern Connecticut Conference rivals this season by at least 15 points through the first half of the season. Its second-half schedule also features games against teams from New York, Massachusetts and traditional state power Windsor.

"We have a lot of good players here who can play," Jones said, alluding to his depth. "We want to give them opportunities in big situations."

m.dimauro@theday.com