Published January 03. 2013 4:00AM
New London — The first five minutes of this game was exactly the way Craig Parker envisioned New London High School basketball, 2013:
They spread the floor, shooters placed strategically. The shooters — Collin Sawyer, Seth Lake, Josh Maynard — were accurate, which opened the floor for everyone else.
And then the rest of the game happened.
The Whalers didn't share the ball very much and Wilbur Cross began to pressure New London's ballhandlers to everywhere but the restroom and rallied for a 69-60 win.
Cross (5-1) trailed 19-5 in the first period.
"Give Wilbur Cross credit," New London coach Craig Parker said. "They made some big shots, outside shots, against our zone. They really picked up the intensity in the second quarter and they had all the momentum going into the second half."
Cross used a 12-0 run to close the third period and took a 50-41 lead. Josh Fleming's 3-pointer with 4:17 left gave Cross its biggest lead, 59-46.
New London got as close as five with 1:22 left and had possession after some missed free throws. But Keith Porter missed a shot in the lane and fouled on the rebound, giving the Governors possession and essentially the game.
"We started playing better in the last five or six minutes," Parker said, "because we were desperate to some extent so the intensity picked up."
Porter led the Whalers with 28 points and sophomore DeAnte Bruton had 14 before fouling out.
Chan Williams Bey led Wilbur Cross with 24 points and Fleming had 22.
"Under the circumstances, I thought we did some good things," Parker said. "We're young. We have two sophomores as our primary guards and Collin (Sawyer) is a sophomore as well. It's not easy to play a quick, athletic team like that."
New London plays back-to-back games this weekend against East Lyme on Friday and versus St. Raphael of Pawtucket, R.I. on Saturday at the Community College of Rhode Island.