Tucker Hadden, Essex

Essex junior Tucker Hadden releases a shot, Tuesday, Dec. 3 in the season opener against Bedford.

ESSEX – The Essex Trojans opened the season against a Bedford team who is likely one of the better teams they will see all season and the Bulldogs cruised to a 65-13 win, Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Bedford’s pressure man-to-man defense caused all sorts of problems for the Trojans in the first half as Bedford built a 26-4 lead after one quarter and a 51-9 edge at halftime.

Both teams slowed down in the second half, and with the running clock rolling there weren’t many points scored.

With a short bench and quite a bit of inexperience, first-year coach Chase Heinold said his athletes just need to trust themselves going forward.

“The hesitation on taking shots and moving the ball,” Heinold said on the main thing he saw in the loss. “It’s stuff you can expect with some of the younger guys and their first experience on the varsity level. Unfortunately with the numbers we have we’re going to have to grow up fast.”

Wesley Johnson is the most experienced of the Trojan athletes and he led the team with five points. Heinold said he wants shots to go up from everybody.

“There were a few times we were moving the ball and had a shot we could take,” said Heinold. “I give these guys the green light. We put up a lot of shots in practice. With what we’re trying to do we need to put up shots and if we’re not doing that it’s hard to see what we’re going for.”

Heinold opened the season with four athletes that possessed varsity experience and they have led the team well so far.

“They are showing fight and leadership,” said Heinold. “They tell the young guys to move up or get back on defense, move the ball, put up a shot. Some of the guys coming back I’m not worried about, they are good kids and had circumstances where they played minutes as a freshman or sophomore. They were leaders even before they were upperclassmen.”

It was a historic night for the visitors as senior Brennan Sefrit broke Max Dougherty's 67-year old career scoring record at the school with his first basket of the night.

The Trojans travel to Fremont-Mills, Friday, Dec. 6 for their first Corner Conference game of the season.

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