Blogs > High School Sports

Welcome to the New Haven Register high school sports blog where our talented staff of Chris Hunn, Joe Morelli, Dan Nowak and Mike Pucci will keep you up to date on everything to do with high school sports in Connecticut. Mike Pucci's Gridiron Glory blog for high school football remains. We hope you enjoy and feel free to join in the conversation.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


The girls' basketball state tournaments had their share of upsets, Cinderella stories and down-to-the-wire games.
The excitement is now over.
Here is a look at the bottom five teams in the Register Top 10 Poll...

10. Class S champion Old Lyme.

9. New Britain, which was ranked No. 2 heading into the state tournament

8. Wethersfield. The Eagles finished the season with just three losses. All came to teams in the top 10.

7. Career, the Class LL runner-up.

6. Avon, which fell to Hillhouse in the Class L semifinals.

Click here to see the top five teams...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bulkeley prevails in Class L

Brandon Jones' layup was the winning basket for No. 25 seed Bulkeley at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
DeShawn Hamlet finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs (16-10), the only team to beat both Trinity Catholic and Windsor this season.
Torrington center Jordan Williams finished a great career with 36 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocked shots. Not only did he become the NVL's all-time leading scorer, he also finished this season with 998 points.

Torrington up 32-22 at halftime

Jordan Williams has 17 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocked shots already.

Sacred Heart wins 65-59

Corey Andrews led the way with 21 points and 15 rebounds while teammate Josh Turner added 18 points for the Hearts, which held Bloomfield to just 2 points over the final 3 minutes for the win. Sacred Heart was the top seed in Class M
Rashad Moore had 20 points to lead the Warhawks.

Bloomfield, Sacred Heart tied

at 57 with 94 seconds remaining in the Class M state championship game. Stay tuned...

Sacred Heart, Bloomfield tied at 48

eight minutes to go in the Class M state championship.

Sacred Heart leads at halftime in Class M hoops

Josh Turner and Corey Andrews have combined for 21 of Sacred Heart's 35 points to lead 35-33 at halftime of the Class M state championship game at the Mohegan Sun Arena. This is the first of a nighttime tripleheader, with the Class L and LL games to follow. It's the battle of the Central Connecticut Conference vs. the Naugatuck Valley League to see which is best for 2008-09. Rashad Moore has 12 points for Bloomfield, last year's Class S champion and the CCC representative in this game.


Goalie Anthony Avitable made 23 saves and P.J. Vakos scored twice to lead No. 1Hamden to a 4-1 win over No. 7 Glastonbury in the CIAC Division I chmpionship game at Ingalls Rink.
It is the 16th title for Hamden and first since 1989.


Most of the second period was dominated by Glastonbury and at one point the Tomahawks outshot the Green Dragons 14-1 in the period. But the last four minutes belonged to Hamden, outshooting Glastonbury 5-1 and coming away with a 2-0 lead.
The Tomahawks wasted two power-play opportunities and four wide open shots that were rejected by Avitable.
It was almost as if Glastonbury ran out of gas the way Hamden dominated late in the period.
P.J. Vakos scored Hamden's first goal off a faceoff inside the right circle. He took a pass from C.J. Carignan and lifted the puck into the upper left corner for the 1-0 lead with 1:08 left in the period. And 37 seconds later Scott Walsh padded the lead at 2-0 on a shot from the left post.

Bacon Academy Wins

Brooke Bailey sank a turnaround in the lane with 3.9 seconds left to lift the top-seeded Bobcats over No. 3 Berlin 55-53 in the Class M Championship.

Brooke Bailey's Huge Shot

Brooke Bailey just hit a turnaround jumper in the lane to give Bacon Academy a 55-53 lead with 3.9 seconds left.

Tie Game

Alexys Vasquez just hit a 3-pointer from about 20 feet away to knot the game at 53 with 12.8 seconds left.

Bacon Academy Clinging

The Bobcats are clinging to a 51-50 advantage wiht 33.1 seconds left. Bacon Academy has possession.

Mahoney Coming Up Big

Katherine Mahoney went down with a leg injury in the third quarter, but has since returned and has been critical down the stretch. She hit a big 3-pointer from the right corner, grabbed a rebound and then hit a pair of free throws. Mary Corrado just picked up a technical foul for Bacon Academy. The Bobcats lead 47-46 with 2:41 left.

Free Throw struggles

Perhaps the Red Sea is getting to Bacon Academy. Piled in the stands behind Bacon Academy's basket, the Berlin student body is all wearing shirts that say "Red Sea." Bacon Academy is 1 for its last 6 from the free throw line. Berlin leads 43-40 with 4:35 to play.


As predicted, Hamden goalie Anthony Avitable and Glastonbury goalie Mike Ford are making it tough to get on the board. Hamden outshot Glastonbury 7-4 in the scoreless first period.
One of the best chances the Tomahawks had to score came off a break down the right wing. Alex Zlatkus was alone at the bottom of the right circle and wound up for a slap shot. Avitable stopped the riser with his pad and cleared it away with his stick at 3:10.
One of Hamden's best chances came 20 seconds later when Mike Berezecky took a wrist shot from about eight feet in front of Ford. The goalie kicked the puck and then swatted it away with his stick.


Coming out of a timeout with 6:26 left, Alexys Vaquez has a chance to put Berlin up double-digits. The junior heads to the line with the Redcoats up 41-33.

Bacon Academy, Berlin Head into Fourth

The Redcoats have a 39-33 advantage as the fourth quarter begins.

Injury Timeout

Bacon Academy sophomore Katherine Mahoney just went down with what appears to be a leg injury with 4:18 left in the third quarter. Berlin is up 34-26.


The CIAC Division I final between No. 1 Hamden and No.7 Glastonbury is about to start in 10 minutes and Ingalls Rink is packed with boistrous fans on both sides. It is standing room only with an estimated 3,000 in attendance.
Part of the pre-game ceremonies include the introductions of former state championship players at the game, including former East Haven player Lou Pane of East Haven who coaches the Yellowjackets.
Also honored was the Hamden hockey team that won the first CIAC Division I championship in 1948.
Hamden has its usual section filled with students complete with faces painted green and yellow.
This game is expected to be dominated by goalies Anthony Avitable of Hamden and Mike Ford of Glastonbury. My prediction is Hamden 3-2.

Berlin Leads at Half

Brooke Bailey drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner in the closing seconds of the second quarter to cut Bacon Academy's deficit to 28-25.
Bacon Academy has had a balanced offensive attack led by eight points from Katelyn Zarotney. Bailey leads the Bobcats with 10 points. The difference has been turnovers. Berlin has three to Bacon Academy's 10.

Berlin On Run

The Redcoats are on a 9-2 run and have a 23-17 advantage with just under 3 minutes in the second quarter.

Bacon Academy Up Early

A runner from Katherine Mahoney in the closing seconds of the opening quarter gave top-seeded Bacon Academy a 13-12 advantage over No. 3 Berlin at the end of the first in the Class M girls' basketball championship.


Kevin Riley of Trumbull scored at 5:43 of the second sudden death overtime to lead St. Joseph to a 3-2 win over Staples/Weston in the CIAC Division III championship at Ingalls Rink. Wreckers goalie Luk Andriuk fell to the ice, leaving the right side of the net wide open and Riley took advantage of the opportunity.
The entire team and coaches mobbed him as soon as the red light went on and the goal was official. Goalie Zack Carrano of Milford made 53 saves in the game for the Cadets (15-8-1).

Cromwell wins S title

Hyde scored just four points in the fourth quarter as Cromwell spread the floor with 3 minutes to go. Hyde tried to pick up some steals, but ended up having to foul the Panthers because they had committed just three in the second half.

Hyde finally got to the seven-foul limit with 54.6 seconds left. Cromwell hit its remaining six free throws to win and beat Hyde for the third time in four tries this season.

Cromwell 34-32, 92 seconds left

Cromwell spreads the floor up two with Hyde only having committed three team fouls. Stay tuned...


Staples-Weston outshot St. Joseph 12-8 in the first sudden death OT. The story was the superb play of both goalies, St. Joseph's Zack Carrano of Milford and Staples-Weston's Luke Andriuk. Carrano stopped three one-on-none breakaways and Andriuk made stops on four. There are 98 total shots combined in the game - 55 for the Wreckers and 43 for the Cadets.

30-all, end of three quarters

Tyler Burkhart had six points for Cromwell in the quarter. Marquel Parker had four points for Hyde.

Hyde 20, Cromwell 17 at halftime

Joe Lambert leads a balanced scoring effort for Hyde with six points. Although the Howling Wolves are shooting 10 of 25 from the floor, they have grabbed 20 rebounds to Cromwell's 10.
Tyler Burkhart has seven points to lead Cromwell.


St. Joseph came out flying in the third period and didn't let their fans down, scoring two unanswered goals to tie the game at 2 and send the game into sudden death overtime.
St. Joseph's Pat Corcoran of Stratford scored at 2:16 to cut the lead to 2-1 and Steve Sheridan of Shelton sent the Cadets' faithful roaring to their feet with a goal at 7:01 to tie the game at 2.

Hyde 16-13, 5:25 left before halftime

Hyde has already grabbed 13 rebounds to Cromwell's 5 in the Class S boys championship game. Joe Lambert has six points for Hyde, which has applied full-court pressure throughout the game, but has already exceeded the seven-foul limit.


In the second period, Kyle Wehmhoff gave the Wreckers a 2-0 lead with a goal at 1:49. Staples-Weston outshot the Cadets 17-8 in the period.


Regarding the controversial ending in the Division II final on Friday, where Cheshire had five men on the ice with a player in the penalty box with 8 seconds left in the game: Connecticut Interscholaastic Athletic Conference officials were aware of the mistake Saturday morning.
"We know about it but there is nothing that can be done," CIAC hockey tournament director George Hall said. "The game is history."
CIAC hockey committee chairman Tom Neagle said it was unfortunate and that they always try to get the calls right.

Old Lyme Wins

It wasn't pretty, but No. 2 Old Lyme captured the Class S state championship with a 39-24 win over No. 13 Coventry at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Coventry's 24 points was the lowest total in girls' basketball state championship history.


St. Joseph dominated early on in the first period of the Division III final, outshooting Staples-Weston 7-3. But the Cadets came away with no goals thanks to some impressive saves by goalie Luke Andriuk.
As the period wore on, Staples-Weston picked up the pace and by the time the period was over the Wreckers outshot the Cadets 14-13 and led 1-0.
Wreckers' forward Jason Shapiro scored off a 2-on-2 breakaway down the left wing for the goal with 2:35 left in the first period.

Old Lyme Pulling Away

The Wildcats lead 32-21 with less than 3 minutes to play. A free throw from Sarah Machand is Conventry's only point in the fourth quarter.

Old Lyme Clinging

Heading into the final quarter, Old Lyme leads 23-20. A basket and a free throw form Kelly Myers gave the Patriots a 17-16. Margaret Douglas followed with a 3-point play, however, as Old Lyme regained the lead.


The CIAC Division III final started at 10:05 a.m. but the game clock above the ice didn't start for 30 seconds. St. Joseph took three shots before the clock even started.
With 13:34 to go, the game stopped and the scoring table notified the officials of the mistake. The clock was then brought down to 13:07 to go, both coaches were informed of what happened and the game resumed.


A slight followup to Friday's Division II final where Cheshire defeated Enfield 3-2 for the title apparently involving a bit of controversy.
With 8 seconds left in the third period, Alan Dagesse, who scored the game-winning goal, was called for interference and sent to the penalty box.
Cheshire coach Jim Riccitelli immediately called time out.
When the game resumed, Enfield coach Joe Bonfiglio also pulled goalie Justin Boice, which should have given him a 6-on-4 advantage. However, video replays on this morning (Saturday) showed that Cheshire actually had five players on the ice as time ran out and the game ended.
Although the result would have likely been the same, nothing can be done as CIAC officials always remind us that there are no appeals allowed in the playoffs.
Bonfiglio did not mention it after the game. On Friday, the only one who noticed the mistake was George "The Coach" DeMaio of ESPNradio1300.

Old Lyme Leads at Half

Following a mind-numbing first quarter, the scoring has began to pick up. Old Lyme leads Coventry 16-14 at halftime.
Margaret Douglas leads the Wildcats with 7 points. Kelly Myers has a team-high six points for Coventry. The Patriots are shooting just 25 percent from the field, while the Wildcats are at 19 percent.


It's 9:30 a.m., 30 minutes until No. 1 St. Joseph and No. 3 Staples/Weston face off in the CIAC Division III championship game at Ingalls Rink in New Haven. Both teams are in the finals for the first time.
The early crowd is predominantly from St. Joseph with a large group of students, many with faces painted half maroon-half white, gathering in one section adjacent to the penalty box.
It will be St. Joseph's depth front to back against the two solid lines of Staples/Weston. The difference in the game could very well be St. Joseph forward Conor Crouse of West Haven, the son of St. Joseph coach Marty Crouse. Crouse has been one of the dominant players in Division III with nearly 70 points this season.
The interesting thing about St. Joseph, from a New Haven area perspective, is that 18 of the 22 players on the roster are from the New Haven area, covering towns in West Haven, Stratford, Bethany, Shelton and Milford. That New Haven area flavor is certainly a big reason why the St. Joseph crowd is larger than the Weston/Staples crowd.

Old Lyme run

Cassie Algar's 3-point play just capped a 11-0 run for the Wildcats. A putback from Sarah Marchand ended the spurt. Old Lyme leads 16-7.

Key for Coventry

If the Patriots win this game, it will be because of Kelly Myers. The 6-footer hit a pull-up jumper late in the first for Coventry's first field goal. She came up with a block on the opening possession of the second quarter and then scored on a putback at the other end to give Conventry a 7-6 advantage.

Too Early

A 9 a.m. tipoff is obviously taking its toll on Old Lyme and Coventry. In the first quarter, there were a total of eight airballs and just nine points to go along with countless turnovers. Coventry struggled to get a shot off on most possessions. And when it did, it usually wan't a good one. The Patriots hit their first field goal with 1 minute, 17 seconds left in the first quater. Old Lyme leads 6-3 after one in front of a small crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Good Morning

Second-seeded Old Lyme and No. 13 Coventry are set to tip off the Class S girls' basketball state title game in about 10 minutes.
It is the first of six state championships (four boys' and two girls' titles) that will be on the line today at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hillhouse wins

The Hillhouse girls basketball team has defeated Fairfield Warde to win the CIAC Class L state championship 65-59.

Hillhouse Wins State Championship

Behind 21 points and 10 rebounds from freshman MVP Bria Holmes, No. 7 Hillhouse edged top-seeded Fairfield Warde 65-59 tonight in the Class L Championship at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Academics outscored the Mustangs 26-15 in the final quarter.
Sophomore point guard Andreana Thomas added 19 points, while senior Dannisha Pierce finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Sabrina Siciliano scored a game-high 22 points for Fairfield Warde.

Hillhouse Holding On

The Academics lead 63-59 following a pair of free throws from Bria Holmes with 23 seconds left.

Back and Forth

Hillhouse and Fairfield Warde continue to trade baskets as the Class L championship winds down. The Mustangs lead 55-54 with 2:48 left. The Academics began the final quarter with a 11-4 run.

Warde up 5 after three

Hillhouse took a brief lead in the third quarter, but the Mustangs forged ahead again to lead 44-39 in the Class L title game.

Fairfield Warde 26, Hillhouse 19 halftime

Hillhouse shooting just 7 of 27 from the floor and 4 of 12 from the line. The Academics have committed 11 turnovers.

They are fortunate to be down just single digits.


Defenseman Alan Dagesse scored at 8:46 of the third period to lead Cheshire to a 3-2 win over Enfield in the CIAC Division II championship.

Fairfield Warde up 8 after one quarter

Hillhouse has committed several unforced turnovers and the players looked like they were playing in the finals, trailing 14-6 after 8 minutes of action.

Kermit Carolina, R.J. Evans sightings

someone must have given the Hillhouse boys' basketball coach a press credential - he is sitting courtside intently watching Hillhouse vs. Fairfield Warde, which is 2-2 4 minutes in.
Carolina used to coach the Hillhouse girls before moving over to the boys job.

Also on sight is R.J. Evans, a Register All-State selection last year for NFA, who watched her sister Kastine win MVP honors in the first game tonight. He just finished his freshman year at Holy Cross, which reached the Patriot League tournament final.


Cheshire continued to dominate in the second period, but Christian McNair got the Raiders back in the game with a goal at 3:10 for a 1-1 tie.
Cheshire's Mike Diglio put the Rams back on top 2-1 with a goal at 12:18. But Robbie Baillargeon answered for the Raiders, tying the game at 2 at 13:43 to set up an exciting third period.

NFA 63, Career 42

Norwich Free Academy won its sixth state championship in school history Friday night, beating Career 63-42 at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Game MVP Kastine Evans had a game-high 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting, along with a game-high 15 rebounds for the top-seeded Wildcats (24-2). Stephanie Long added 17 poibts for NFA.
Tonique Adkins had 12 points while Anisha Wilson added 10 points and six assists for the second-seeded Panthers (22-5), who were the defending champions.


Cheshire dominated the offensive play in the first period, outshooting the Raiders 12-5 and taking a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.
Nate Gaudio picked up a loose puck at the right circle. He sent a rising shot that flew past Enfield goalie Justin Boice and into the upper left corner for the 1-0 lead with 1:36 left in the first period.

NFA Up Big

Looks like the Wildcats have this wrapped up. NFA leads 59-38 with 1:23 remaining. Both teams are starting to empy their bench.

Re-entry rule in effect

Fans at the Mohegan Sun Arena have mentioned that you can leave the arena between games - or during games - to go into the casinos or the many gift shops at the Mohegan Sun. That' something you see rarely at any sporting event these days.

Obviously, the casino would like to see the general public (adults) drop their money at the tables or slot machines. Or at Geno Auriemma's restaurant. Or Michael Jordan's.

Bring your ATM cards.

NFA Leads 41-26 Entering Fourth

Career did go on a 7-0 run and cut its deficit to 10. NFA quickly answered back 7-0 run and regained control.

In Attendance at the Mohegan Sun Arena...

New Haven coaches Michelle Cabaldon (Wilbur Cross), Catrina Hawley-Stewart (Hillhouse) and Hillhouse boys' coach Kermit Carolina are all sitting beside each other.
Also spotted Lauralton Hall standout Keylantra Langley. And the entire Hillhouse team is eated a few rows behind the Career bench. The No. 7 Academics will take on top-seeded Fairfield Warde in the Class L girls' championship at 8:30.

NFA Leads Career 28-13 at Halftime

Capped by Stephanie Long's 3-pointer from the left wing, the Wildcats outscored the Panthers 17-5 in the second quarter. The uptempo style appears to favor Career, however, the Panthers are struggling to hit shots. A 3-pointer by Teneka Jenkins ended a 5 minute, 15 second scoring drought for Career. The Panthers are shooting just 21 percent from the floor.
Anisha Wilson doesn't seem to be playing as aggressive offensively as she normally does. NFA junior Kastine Evans is clearly the best player on the floor. She finished with 13 points in the first half.


It's 30 minutes until they drop the puck for the CIAC Division II championship between No. 2 Cheshire and No. 1 Enfield and Ingalls Rink in New Haven is starting to rock.
While the Rams side of the rink is slowly filling in, the Enfield side of the rink has a section of about 50 boistrous students grouped together and belting out intermittant cheers of "LETS GO RAIDERS."
Cheshire coach Jim Riccitelli and his staff just made a brief appearance on the Rams' bench to survey the Rams crowd and was greeted with cheers.
Both teams report no injuries and came out of the grueling semifinals in good shape.
Following my unofficial and unscientific poll around the rink, the concensus is this will be a high-scoring game. The team with the best stamina in the third period will win.
Personally, I believe the difference in this game will be Cheshire goalie George Donnarumma who is an imposing presence between the pipes. Enfield has two high-scoring snipers who have speed and will certainly have their opportunities.
My prediction is Cheshire 5, Enfield 3.

NFA leads 19-10

The Wildcats has a nine-point advantage with 4:32 to play in the second quarter. Career coach Kevnin Walton just called a timeout as NFA is on a 12-2 run.

Let's Get It Started

Some early notes from the Class LL girls' basketball state championship...

Top-seeded Norwich Free Academy leads Career 11-8 at the end of the first quarter.

The Panthers had the ball for the first 1 minute, 25 seconds before the Wildcats gained posession.

New Haven Mayor John DeStefano is in attendance.

NFA junior Kastine Evans scored the first seven points for the Wildcats and has also held Miami-bound guard Anisha Wilson scoreless in the opening period.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blogging at the finals

Keep checking in here throughout the weekend for constant updates on the hockey (Dan Nowak), girls' basketball (Chris Hunn) and boys' basketball finals (Joe Morelli). The games begin Friday evening.

Now, a preview of the state boys' basketball championship games to be played at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday:

Class S: No. 5 Hyde vs. No. 2 Cromwell, 11 a.m.
Analysis: This is the fourth matchup between the two Shoreline Conference schools. Cromwell found success with the matchup zone, rather than man-to-man, in the Shoreline tournament final. Expect the Panthers to use it again.
Hyde will need to get out early in transition, build a lead, then make free throws down the stretch. This game will go down to the final minute and Hyde must, repeat MUST, make free throws, something the Howling Wolves have struggled to do in crunch-time situations.

Class M: No. 1 Sacred Heart vs. No. 2 Bloomfield, 4:30 p.m.
Analysis: Bloomfield plays like Hyde: Full-court defense where defenders would get in the opponents' shorts if they could. Sacred Heart has seen this type of pressure before against Crosby, so the Hearts will be prepared. Their stars, Josh Turner and Corey Andrews, need to stay out of foul trouble, otherwise, Bloomfield will prevail.

Class L: No. 25 Bulkeley vs. No. 11 Torrington, 6:30 p.m.
Analysis: Torrington center Jordan Williams is arguably the state's top player, averaging 38 points per game. He comes off just a 19-point effort against Lyman Hall in the semifinals, but should find Saturday's tempo more to his liking. Bulkeley will also use pressure defense, something Williams' teammates have struggled against all season. But those same teammates have played better at the most important time, and their leader should be ready to go in the final game of his storied career.
Speaking of leaders, this is the final game for Torrington coach Tony Turina.

Class LL: No. 2 Windsor vs. No. 8 Crosby, 8:30 p.m.
Analysis: What can Crosby point guard Anthony Ireland do for yet another encore? The defending champions ousted previously-unbeaten Hillhouse in the quarterfinals on Ireland's shot with five-tenths of a second remaining, then posted 29 in the semifinals against Stamford. Windsor will send plenty of defenders his way. Ireland will need to stay out of foul trouble for Crosby to win.
And the Bulldogs will need to hang close in the rebounding department against the likes of Steve Samuels and Adrian Satchell of Windsor in order to prevail. A fine way to end the first set of championship games at the Mohegan Sun.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

State Open Swimming set for Thursday

The State Open boys' swimming championship will take place on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Yale's Kiphuth Pool.

Will Fairfield Prep be able to trump Greenwich for the team title? Greenwich defeated the Jesuits by over 100 points for the Class LL title on Tuesday.

Ridgefield, Pomperaug, New Canaan, Sacred Heart-Waterbury and Weston should also contend for the team title.

Click here to view the State Open psych sheet.

Lyman Hall, Hyde boys playing tonight

The Lyman Hall and Hyde boys' basketball are both trying to reach the championship finals on Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Lyman Hall faces Torrington in one Class L semifinal at the New Haven Athletic Center. Lyman Hall's defense has been the story, allowing 56 points combined over the last two games to Career and Hand, respectively. Holing down Torrington, led by 6-10 center Jordan Williams, will be much tougher.
Jefferson Lora and David Dempsey will have to try and hold their own inside against the Maryland-bound Williams. The guards, led by Jim Economopoulos, will have to win the battle against Torrington's guards if the Trojans are to advance to the Class L final for the second straight year. The winner faces either Bulkeley or Northwest Catholic

Hyde is the seeded favorite in the Class S semifinal tonight at New Britain. But St. Paul plays a good schedule in the final season of the Northwest Confrence (St. Paul moves to the NVL next season, along with Derby).
Capital Prep was willing to run with Hyde in the quarterfinals and got buried. St. Paul will pick and choose its spots to play uptempo because getting into a running game with the Howling Wolves is futile.
Hyde will still need to try and to push the pace as often as possible. The Howling Wolves will use their depth to press St. Paul. And they will need to make their free throws down the stretch in order to advance against the winner of Cromwell and Kolbe Cathedral.

Career, Hillhouse Friday night

Friday night's CIAC basketball doubleheader has been announced at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville:
Class LL girls final: Norwich Free Academy vs. Career, 6:30 p.m.

Class L girls final: Fairfield Warde vs. Hillhouse, 8:30 p.m.

The remaining two girls games and all four boys finals will be played on Saturday. Times will be announced late this evening.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fairfield Prep swimmers shatter five Class LL records

Fairfield Prep senior Andrew Grinalds won two individual events and was a member of two winning relays.

Grinalds won the 200-yard individual medley in a meet-record time of 1 minute, 50.11 seconds, and then took the 100 freestyle in 45.54 seconds, also a record.

The Jesuits placed second behind winner Greenwich.

Grinalds, who will swim at Stanford in the fall, also teamed with Andrew Golankiewicz, Brian Power and Eric Trotta to win the 200 medley relay (1:34.59, meet record), and with Ed Becker, Golankiewicz and Bart Platow to capture the 400 freestyle relay (3:07.50, meet record).

Becker, Platow, Trotta and Kristof Toth also placed first in the 200 freestyle relay in a record 1:26.95.

Amity placed third in Class L. Amity senior Tyler Champagne placed third in the 500 freestyle (in a personal-best 4:53.86). Freshman Eric Holden finished second in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.03) for the Spartans.

Seymour’s Chris Durette took third place in both the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke at the Class S Championship.

Durette swam a time of 56.08 seconds in the backstroke to break the school record previously held by Ben Michaleson. He completed the 100 freestyle in 48.93 and earned all-state honors in both events.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hillhouse to the Championship

Led by 25 points from sophomore point guard Andreanna Thomas and 24 from freshman Bria Holmes, the No. 7 Academics survived a late scare from No. 3 Avon and advanced to the Class L championship with a 75-70 win tonight.
Hillhouse will face top-seeded Fairfield Warde, which knocked off No. 4 Wethersfield tonight 68-57.
No. 2 Old Lyme edged No. 3 Capital Prep 44-42 to clinch a Class S state championship berth. The Wildcats will take on N0. 13 Coventry, which beat top-seeded Wamogo 43-41.


The CIAC Division II boys' hockey semifinals are 15 minutes away here at Ingalls Rink in New Haven and the anxious crowd is getting more boistrous with each passing minute.
We are looking at the potential of an All-SCC final with Cheshire facing Lyman Hall at 5:30 p.m. and defending Division II champion Amity playing Enfield at 7:30 p.m. Both games are expected to be as exciting as any Division I game with no prisoners taken in the heated SCC rivalry between the Rams and Trojans.
It should come down to the goalies - George Donnarumma for Cheshire, R.J. Negri for Lyman Hall.
The fans are erupting with cheers as the teams take the ice.

Manic Monday

The winter high school season enters its final week with plenty of games to go watch tonight featuring Greater New Haven Area teams:

in girls' basketball, Hillhouse continues its run to the Mohegan Sun with a semifinal-round match against Avon tonight at Xavier High in Middletown at 7.

In hockey, the Division II semifinals commence at Ingalls Rink in New Haven. There are three Southern Connecticut Conference teams still left, with Cheshire facing Lyman Hall in the early game at 5:30. At 7:30, defending champion Amity takes on Enfield. This final is Friday night at Ingalls at 7:30.

In boys' basketball, SCC foes Lyman Hall and Hand clash in the Class L quarterfinals at 7:30 (not 7) at Branford. Lyman Hall was an L finalist last season, but Hand will be a formidable opponent.
On that same side of the bracket, Jordan Williams-led Torrington battles Stratford, last year's Class M champ, in the quarters at Plainville at 7.

There is an intriguing matchup in Class S as Hyde faces Capital Prep at Maloney at 7:45 p.m. Capital Prep features 6-10 sophomore Andre Drummond, who is already getting looks from Division I schools, including UConn.

Although there are no area schools in the game, Trinity Catholic faces Bulkeley at Wilbur Cross at 7 in a Class L boys' quarterfinal.

On Tuesday, the New Haven Athletic Center will play host the Class LL boys' hoop semi between Crosby, which eliminated Hillhouse, and Stamford at 7.

Also on Tuesday are all four class swim meets. The Class L (3 p.m.) and LL (7) will be held at Yale.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

One In, One Out And One To Go

Three city schools reached the state tournament semifinals.
Anisha Wilson scored 30 points today to lead Career, the defending Class LL girls' basketball champions, back to the title game. Wilson's 30 led the No. 2 Panthers to a 66-63 win over No. 3 Lauralton Hall. Keylantra Langley led the Crusaders with 33 points in the semifinal game at Central Connecticut State.
Career will play top-seeded Norwich Free Academy, who edged No. 13 Wilbur Cross 44-40. The Governors were ousted from the semifinals for the second straight season. Chantell Alford led Wilbur Cross with a game-high 17 points.
No. 7 Hillhouse will play No. 3 Avon in the Class L semifinals Monday at 7 p.m. at Xavier.
For a complete look at the state tournament fields click here.

Amity tracksters star at nationals

Amity's Ryan Laemel, Michael Bhatt, Adam Trofa and John Cocco combined to win the 4 x 1-mile relay at the National Scholastic Indoor Track Championship at the New Balance Track and Field Center at the armory in New York.
The Spartans finished with a school record time of 17 minutes, 48.99 seconds.

Amity senior Allison Barwise took fourth place in the pentathlon with 3,234 points at the the same event. The fourth place earned her All-American status (top six finishers named All-Americans).


With due respect to forwards Mike Pierne, Jim Burt, et al, how dangerous would Hamden be if it had a high-scoring line? The front line succeeds because of its chemistry but it rarely scores more than three goals a game, like it did on Saturday when it beat SCC foe Xavier 3-1 in the CIAC Division I quarterfinals.
One reason Hamden can succeed with a low-scoring output is goalie Anthony Avitable who has only allowed one goal in the last seven periods. He had 30 saves in the win over Xavier. The other reason is the on-ice defense that sacrifices body and soul in making Avitable's life as easy as possible between the pipes.
Guys like Pierne, forward P.J. Vakos and defenseman Mike Berezecky were throwing their bodies on the ice and blocking shots throughout the game for Hamden. In the defensive zone, Hamden plays with a passion and with little thought of being pelted with the puck in lying on the ice and blocking shots.
This kind of dedication, desire and passion on defense will bode well for the Green Dragons in the semifinals on Wednesday against Fermi at Ingalls Rink (at 5:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.).


As predicted, Division II is being dominated by Southern Connecticut Conference schools. No. 6 Lyman Hall faces SCC foe and No. 2 Cheshire in the semifinals on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Ingalls Rink and No. 4 Amity, the D-II defending champ, faces northern power and No. 1 seed Enfield in the other semifinal at 7:30.
Both games will provide a lot of excitement and Enfield won't have it easy. If it gets by Amity it will have its hands full with either Cheshire goalie George Donnarumma or Lyman Hall goalie R.J. Negri in the final.

SCC Baseball Playoff Expansion

The athletic directors of the Southern Connecticut Conference unanimously voted to increase its conference playoff system from six teams to eight beginning this year.
The field will include the four divisional champions, along with four wild-card teams. West Haven High School and Quigley Stadium will tentatively host the quarterfinals. For the 15th straight year, Yale field will host the semifinals and the championship game.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Roberts Named Gatorade Player of the Year

New Britain senior Symone Roberts earned Gatorade Connecticut Girls Basketball Player of the Year honors.
The 5-foot-7 point guard who will play at Providence next season, led the Hurricanes to a 19-6 record, while averaging 27.1 points, 5.5 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.3 steals per game. Roberts led New Britain to state titles in 2006 and 2007. New Britain fell to Mercy in the second round of the Class LL state tournament this season. She is the sixth-leading scorer in state history.

Classic lives up to its billing

It's not often games live up to expectations, but Hillhouse vs. Crosby did. Two heavyweights, the last four state champions in Connecticut's biggest class, going head-to-head to reach the semifinals.
Crosby dug down deep defensively, forcing two turnovers on foiled inbounds passes by Hillhouse, to come from behind to take a 73-71 lead with 41 seconds left.
Hillhouse ended up tying it on Freddie Wilson's driving layup with 16 seconds remaining, setting the stage for the final heroics by the best player on the floor, Anthony Ireland. His floater over multiple Academic defenders dropped in with five-tenths of a second left to send Crosby to the semifinals and Hillhouse to its first loss of the season.

Crosby was the best team Hillhouse faced and by far the quickest. It took plenty of time for the Academics to get adjusted. They did and the two titans went toe-to-toe in the fourth quarter until Ireland's heroics decided it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hillhouse knocks off No. 1 Kolbe Cathedral

Led by sophomore Andreana Thomas' 27 points, Hillhouse knocked off previously unbeaten, and top-ranked Kolbe Cathedral 75-68 in the quarterfinals of the Class L state tournament.

Seventh-seeded Hillhouse (23-3) will face Avon in the semifinals on Monday.

Kolbe Cathedral (25-1) won Class L last season, and Class S in 2007.

Senior Danniesha Pierce added 23 points and freshman Bria Holmes had 20 points for Hillhouse.

Lyman Hall, Hand, Stratford move on

Lyman Hall still has a chance to return to the Class L state championship game for the second straight year in boys' basketball.
The Trojans handcuffed Career 42-30 in the second round at home Thursday night. The Trojans, will face Hand, an upset winner at New London, in Monday's quarterfinals.

Stratford, the No. 2 seed, beat Harding 50-40 and will face Torrington in the semifinals on Monday as well.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Career, Cross girls' advance

Career defeated SCC rival Mercy, 46-42, to advance to the Class LL semifinals.

Second-seeded Career will face No. 3 Lauralton Hall on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Central Conn. State.

No. 13 Wilbur Cross got past St. Joseph, 52-39, to earn a berth in the Final Four. The Govs will battle No. 1 Norwich Free Academy at 5:30 p.m., also at Central on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Clem Batchelder to step down

Hamden boys' basketball coach Clem Batchelder will step down following this season, which could be Wednesday night at Norwich Free Academy or even further in in the Class LL state tournament.
Batchelder had a pretty good set of bookends for his career: he started in 1987-88 when Scott Burrell, the future UConn standout and current Quinnipiac University assistant coach, was a junior. He ends his career with Tobin Carberry, the younger brother of Tobe, the ex-Hillhouse standout, trying to help the Green Dragons continue their season.

Batchelder had hoped to retire a year earlier and go out with his son Scott, but wanted one more go-around after Hamden finished 7-13, one game short of qualifying for the Class LL state tournament.

This year, Hamden is 19-6 and reached the finals of the SCC tournament. The Green Dragons never did win an SCC or state championship under Batchelder's tenure, but there were some great teams.

In seven years on the boys' basketball beat, I have not met too many nicer, down-to-earth coaches than Clem. Very direct, very honest. I wish him well.

His assistant, Jared Beck, definitely deserves the opportunity to try and win the job. But after the success the football team had when Hamden went outside the school system to hire Scott Benoit, I believe, in the end, Hamden will make the same move for basketball.

Believe me, there will be a long line of candidates itching to become the next head coach. And the names you will hear through the rumor mill will be pretty familiar ones from the Greater New Haven area coaching fraternity, assuming the job is offered outside the Hamden school system.

Feel free to add your commentary who should be the next coach at Hamden High.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Best hoop player in Connecticut

So who do you think is better: Tevin Baskin from Trinity Catholic or Jordan Williams for Torrington? Or do you think someone else is the best boys' basketball player in the state?

You can still visit our website to vote on our online poll at:

Both Williams and Baskin begin play in Class L on Tuesday. The Class LL and M tournaments begin this evening.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

NE Wrestling Results

Robert Lonergan of Law and Brian Onofro of Hand both finished in fourth place at the New England Championships held at the New Haven Athletic Center Saturday.

Lonergan fell to Sam Shames of Newtown, Mass., to finish fourth in the 103-pound class.

At 152, Onofrio lost to Matt Dehney of Dracut, Mass.

Shelton’s Rob Ferrante finished sixth at 125 after losing to Josh Gerry of Quincy, Mass. 12-1.

Find the full results here

Friday, March 6, 2009

Girls' Basketball Postseason Update

Seventh-seeded Hillhouse jumped out to a 45-24 halftime lead and coasted to a 70-56 win over No. 10 New Canaan in the second round of the Class L tournament. Dannisha Pierce finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds. That sets up a quarterfinal matchup between the Academics and No. 2 Kolbe Cathedral.

Four players scored in double figures for No. 2 Old Lyme as the Wildcats coasted to a 72-33 win over No. 15 Derby in the second round of the Class S tournament. The Red Raiders were without their top player Shae Harding, after the senior point guard picked up three first-half fouls. That changed the complexion of the game.

Hamden Hall's season ended with a 55-35 loss to Canterbury in the semifinals of the NEPSAC tournament. Dreisen Heath had 17 points in a losing effort.

Other notables... Fairfield Warde, the Class L top seed, knocked off No. 17 Hand 67-47. No. 6 Kennedy edged No. 11 E.O. Smith 70-66 in Class L play. In Class S action, No. 13 Coventry upset No. 4 Thomaston 55-36 and No. 3 Capital Prep dismantled No. 14 Platt Tech 72-27.

For a complete look at the state tournament brackets click here.

Amity's Gamble sets state record

Amity senior Annelies Gamble placed second in the 600 meter run but broke a 17-year old record by finishing in 1 minute, 33.43 seconds at the New England championships at Roxbury, Mass.

The old record of 1:33.87 was set by Waterford’s Liza Mueller in 1992.

Teammate Allison Barwise won the high jump with a persona-best leap of 5 feet, seven inches. Barwise also placed seventh in the long jump (16-8).

Wilbur Cross’ Cas Loxsom won the 600 meter run and set a meet record. Loxsom finished in 1 minute, 18.72 seconds, eclipsing the old mark by almost a full second previously set by Russell Brown of Hanover, New Hampshire in 2003.

For results, click this link


High school boys' hockey tournaments will wrap up this weekend and one of the tasty selections on the menu is the SCC Division II tournament. Semifinals start tonight with No. 1 seed Cheshire vs. No. 4 Amity at 5:30 p.m. and No. 2 Lyman Hall vs. No. 3 Branford at 8 p.m., both at the Northford Ice Pavilion in North Branford. The final is Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Northford Ice Pavilion.
This shapes up as an exciting event with a peak at four of the favorites heading into the CIAC Division II tournament that starts next week.
All four teams are strong front to back with high-scoring forwards, 2-4 solid defensemen and quality goalies. Experience is on the side of Amity, Branford and Cheshire.
Amity is the defending champion and last season went on to win the CIAC Division II championship. Cheshire has the most appearances in the final with a title in 1999 and runner-up finishes in 1997, 1998 and 2008. Branford has been runner-up in 1999 and 2007.
The only team in this group that has never advanced to the championship game is Lyman Hall who qualifies for the post season for the first time in two seasons.
The FCIAC, SWC, NHC and CCC South and North will also wrap up their tournaments this weekend.
-Dan Nowak

Boys' hoop Thursday night showdowns

The battle for the Naugatuck Valley League championship was not decided until the final seconds on Thursday night, but Crosby did prevail for its sixth straight league title at sold-out Wilby High School.

Crosby point guard Anthony Ireland was named the tournament MVP, getting a key steal at midcourt in the final seconds to help preserve the win. Torrington center Jordan Williams had another ho-hum performance: 52 points, 20 rebounds. It was the fourth time Williams had gone for 50 or more this season, the third time against Crosby.

In other action...
Stamford came from 11 points down in regulation to force overtime in the FCIAC tournament final. Then came a second overtime.
When that overtime finished, Stamford had emerged with a 65-63 win over previously-undefeated Trinity Catholic in the game played at Fairfield Warde. This was Stamford coach Jim Moriarty's first FCIAC championship in 31 years of coaching.

For anyone interested, this game is scheduled to be be replayed at 11 a.m. Sunday morning on MSG.
This also means that Hillhouse, the lone remaining undefeated team in the state, should take over the No. 1 spot in the poll. Hillhouse beat Hamden in the SCC tournament final on Wednesday. Anyone interested in viewing that game, tune in at 8 p.m. Saturday night on WCTX/MyTV9.

Check out Monday's edition of the New Haven Register for the top 10 things to watch for in the state tournament, the poll and predicitions on who will make it to the finals at the Mohegan Sun Arena March 20-21.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Boys' basketball state tournament breakdown

Here are some early thoughts from the CIAC state tournamwnt pairings released today:

Hillhouse is the top seed in Class LL and, along with Windsor, received a bye into next Wednesday's second round. Hillhouse will host the winner of Greenwich and Danbury played Monday in Greenwich. A quarterfinal matchup looms against either Crosby or Hartford Public if seeds hold to form.
Of the eight area teams in the division, two from the Southern Connecticut Conference will face off on Monday: No. 23 Wilbur Cross at No. 10 Notre Dame-West Haven. These two teams faced one another in the Class LL opening round two years ago, won by Cross. If Notre Dame wins, it could set up a rematch with Holy Cross in the second round Wednesday in Waterbury. Notre Dame won a dramatic second-round game at home last year.
SCC tournament finalist Hamden drew the No. 11 seed, followed by Xavier (No. 12), St. Joseph (No. 15), West Haven (No. 20) and Cheshire (No. 29).
Stratford, last year's Class M champion, is the No. 2 seed here after a 20-0 regular season. But the Red Devils lost in the opening round of the South-West Conference tournament. They could face No. 18 Harding in the second round.
In all, 35 teams qualified, so there will be playdown games on Friday night, including No. 30 East Haven hosting No. 35 Wethersfield.
Lyman Hall, last year's Class L finalist, is the No. 6 seed and could draw No. 11 Career in the second round. Notre Dame-Fairfield faces No. 23 North Haven in the first round. Notre Dame has lost opening-round games each of the last two years to SCC teams East Haven and Hand, respectively.
Speaking of Hand, the Tigers are a dangerous team at No. 14 and could get No. 3 New London in the second round.

Sheehan is one of just two area teams in Class M. The Titans, seeded seventh, will receive a bye into the second round and host No. 10 Immaculate. If the Titans prevail, they will likely get No. 2 Bloomfield in the quarterfinals.
Ansonia was a Class S semifinalist last season, but is the bottom seed here at No. 24 and will travel to Winsted Monday night to face No. 9 Northwestern.
Eleven Shoreline Conference teams qualified, including No. 2 Cromwell and No. 5 Hyde, so the schools could not meet for a fourth time again until the finals. The two schools will play for the Shoreline Conference championship on Friday night after splitting during the regular season.
Hyde, the No. 5 seed, opens against Shoreline foe Old Lyme and could face Valley Regional in the second round and Capital Prep in the quarterfinals. Undefeated Terryville is the top seed in this division.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Five Area Teams Head Home

In the opening round of the girls' basketball tournament tonight, Southington edged Cheshire 49-47 in Class LL action. In Class M play, North Branford fell 34-18 to St. Bernard, Tolland knocked off Foran 45-38, Berlin coasted past Sheehan 64-35 and Montville topped Law 57-42.
Class LL winners
Chantell Alford scored 24 points to lead Wilbur Cross to a 71-38 win over Newington.
Bianca Simmons and Rachel Roberts combined for 41 points as Mercy doubled Westhill 72-36. The Tigers face Symone Roberts and New Britain in the second round of the Class LL play Thursday at New Britain (7 p.m.).
Hamden knocked off Hall 60-47. The Green Dragons outscored their opponents 24-9 in the final quarter.
Class M winners
Shelby Van Huysen scored 15 points to lead Haddam-Killingworth, the Shoreline Confernece champions, to a 60-48 win over Woodland. Morgan also beat Stonington 51-37.
For a complete look at the updated brackets and schedule, click here.

SCC boys' basketball tournament final

Hamden and Sheehan played one for the ages, at least as far as the SCC goes, Tuesday night. The two teams battled into double overtime with Hamden prevailing 77-74.
Hamden guard Tobin Carberry had 33 points and now has 67 for the tournament. But the most interesting thing was Hamden being able to win despite Carberry fouling out with 3:07 left in the second overtime.
Now the sixth-seeded Green Dragons move onto Wednesday's final against top seed Hillhouse. Carberry will need to have another monster game and get plenty of help in order for Hamden to pull the upset.
But Freddie Wilson, Jeremy Moore and the rest of the Academics look to be on one of those missions again to win Class LL. Wednesday looks to be another step in that direction.

Morelli's pick: Hillhouse 65, Hamden 50.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday's high school schedule postponed

Monday's CIAC Class LL and M girls basketball games have been postponed to Tuesday.
The L and S first rounds have been postponed to Wednesday.
The second rounds will remain on Thursday (LL and M) and Friday (L and S).
Complete brackets and schedules for all divisions can be found at

The Southern Connecticut Conference boys' basketball tournament has been moved to Tuesday. The schedule now is as follows:
SEMIFINALS, at East haven
#6 Hamden (17-5) vs. #7 Sheehan (16-6) - 6 p.m.
#1 Hillhouse (20-0) vs. #4 Career (16-6) - 7:45 p.m.

* The All-Division pictures and presentation (during halftime of the second game) will be done on Tuesday.
Wednesday, 7 p.m. The game will be televised by MyTV9 (tape delayed to Saturday at 8 p.m.).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

State Tournament Preview

Check tomorrow's Register for a list of things to look for and players to watch in this year's girls' basketball state tournament slated to begin tomorrow. Click here to see the latest postponement list.
Also, conference tournament finishes caused four teams to play musical chairs in the latest Register Top 10 poll.