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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.

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.


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