Explosive WCA boys enjoying great season

There has been no better boys’ basketball team in the NVL than Waterbury Career Academy so far this season.

The Spartans (11-1 overall) have yet to lose a league game (10-0) entering tonight’s home contest against Seymour (8-4 overall, 6-4 NVL), which tips at 7 o’clock. A big reason for WCA’s success has been its balance on offense. There are four different players who can score 20 or more points in a game, and there have been occasions where more than one of those players has scored 20 or more in the same game.

Head coach Ronan O’Leary can turn to the likes of Sonny Pierce, Jason Canady, Zaire Lott and Drew Williams to carry the offensive load. All have versatile skillsets that help them put the ball in the basket. Those four players – all listed as guards on the CIAC roster – are starters, along with senior forward Dasani Yates. Pierce and Canady are seniors while Lott and Williams are juniors. The four guards all average double figures in scoring.

WCA’s lowest offensive output in 12 games is 58 points. That came in a 58-55 home win over Holy Cross on Jan. 6. Since that game, the Spartans have scored 89, 92, 87, 90 and 95 points in victories over Norwich Free Academy, Ansonia, Wilby, Derby and Crosby. The lone loss for WCA so far was at Danbury, 68-65, on Dec. 21 in the second game of the season. The Hatters, 10-0 and ranked fourth in the latest GameTimeCT Top 10 state poll, are from the tough Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference and boast a much larger enrollment than the Spartans. It was a good test for WCA, and it nearly passed it with a big victory.

For the season, WCA is averaging 81.8 points and allowing 57.9 per game. O’Leary would probably love for his team to stay more consistent when it comes to their defensive intensity. Nothing gets the eighth-year Spartan head coach more fired up than a strong effort on the defensive end.

There are still plenty of landmines for WCA to navigate during the regular season. The Spartans still have city games against Kennedy (2), Holy Cross (1), Crosby (1) and Wilby (1). Those two games against the Eagles come in an eight-day span, beginning on Friday inside the Jack Taglia Gymnasium at Kennedy High School. WCA also has games against Seymour, Woodland and St. Paul.

Caption: WCA’s Zaire Lott follows through on a free throw attempt during a home game against Wilby earlier this month. Lott is just one of four guards that can go off for 20 or more points in a game. The others are Drew Williams (left), Jason Canady (3) and Sonny Pierce (12). (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)