Sunday, January 31, 2016

St. Paul football senior Ben Pryor chooses Sacred Heart University

St. Paul senior football standout Ben Pryor has made his college choice, and he is staying in-state.
"Excited to announce I am committed to Sacred Heart University!" Pryor wrote in a Twitter post published at 7:11 p.m. Sunday. 
Pryor was converted to running back as a senior after the graduation of Eli Parks. All Pryor did was carry the ball 139 times for 1,622 yards and 28 touchdowns in St. Paul's wishbone attack. He had seven 100-plus yard rushing games in his senior year. Pryor's biggest game came against Wolcott, when he erupted for 352 yards and seven scores.
Pryor was an All-NVL selection at defensive back, was named All-State in Class S by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, and he was also Honorable Mention for the 84th New Haven Register All-State Team.
Pryor wrote this at 7 p.m. Sunday: "I'd like to start off by saying thank you to every coach that has invested their time to recruit me, it has been a long and at times stressful process. Playing Division 1 football has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. Thank you to everyone who has helped me get to where I am today. With that being said at the end of the day I have to go with the school of best fit for me. After discussing with my parents I have decided to commit to play Division 1 football at Sacred Heart University."
Pryor wrote on Twitter that he had been offered by both the University of Delaware (Dec. 11 post) and Assumption College (Dec. 11 post).
Here's Ben's senior highlight video.

A trip down 69: Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016

Bristol Central girls indoor track claims CCC South Blue Division title
The Rams claimed the division title at the CCC indoor championship meet with 43 points, well ahead of second place Wethersfield.
In the overall meet, Central's 4x800-meter relay of sophomore Paige Hinton, junior Christina Peabody, junior Ashley Cummings and junior Hannah Jones placed seventh. Junior Kailey Davis was sixth in the 55 hurdles while junior Olivia Savino took eighth. Jones was eighth in the 1600.
The Central boys were second in South Blue with 19 points, behind Wethersfield (58). Senior Jevon Smith was the lone area win, placing first in the 55 hurdles in a time of 7.87 seconds. Teammate Jorge Hernandez, also a senior, was fourth in that event. The 4x800 relay of senior Sean Suiter, junior Hunter Damon-Smith, junior Steven Behmke and senior Tyler L'Heurex finished eighth overall. The 4x200 relay of junior Sean Fitzgerald, junior Luis Medina, junior Kaynan Conrad and Smith placed 10th. The 1600 sprint medley team of Hernandez, Smith, Medina and Suiter took 10th.
Bristol Eastern finished fourth out of five teams in South Blue. The 4x800 relay of junior Michael Centoni, senior Chadd Bernier, junior Harrison Dayton and junior Chris LeBeau finished third. On the girls side, senior Paisley Tucker was eighth in the shot put. Senior Jack Murray took ninth in the same event.

Holy Cross boys swimming and diving wins showdown
The Crusaders took down Naugatuck 109-76 in a battle of NVL unbeatens on Thursday at Kennedy High School. Holy Cross dominated the meet, winning 10 of 12 events. The Crusaders improved to 6-0 in the NVL with the victory. Check out the article from the Waterbury Republican-American's Mark Jaffee for more on the meet.

Two Crusader girls score their 1,000th point in the same week
Chase Collegiate transfer Idalis Miranda has been working to fit in with her teammates at Holy Cross. Head coach Frank Lombardo is looking for Miranda to be more assertive, and she was in Monday's huge NVL win over St. Paul. Miranda scored 19 points, including a 3-pointer that put her over 1,000 for her career.
Ironically, Miranda wasn't the only Crusader to reach the milestone. Four nights later, senior Rashana Siders reached the magical mark, also on a three-point shot. 
Miranda and Siders are just two reasons why Holy Cross is the team to beat in the NVL, and one of the best in Class M. 

Crosby boys hand Kennedy second NVL Brass Division loss
The Bulldogs jumped into second place with the Eagles in the Brass Division after an 80-68 victory at Kennedy High School. Tyairus Sands led Crosby with 26 points, including 4-of-10 from three-point range (MaxPreps boxscore reported by Crosby). Dayquain Sinisterra (14 points), Jordan Booker (12) and Jeremiah Kendall (12) also reached double figures for the Bulldogs. Kendall was immense on the boards with 18 rebounds. Sands added 15 boards while senior Daniel Jones tallied 13. Kendall also had four assists in the game.

Kennedy girls playing well
Don't look now, because you might be blinded by the heat coming from the west side of Waterbury. Back-to-back wins over Crosby and Watertown pushed Kennedy to 11-3 on the season. After starting the season 1-3 overall, head coach Jenn Deeley's bunch has won 10 straight games. The Eagles have lost just once in the Brass Division, and that was to Holy Cross. The teams meet again on Feb. 9 at Holy Cross. 

Wolcott boys get big win
The Eagles dealt the St. Paul Falcons a 58-45 loss on Friday night at Wolcott High School to improve to 6-7 on the season. Shamari Thomas led the way with 19 points, and Matt Finke was just one point off of his pace at 18.
Wolcott started the season 1-4, but has been playing better lately. The Eagles need two more wins to make the state tournament.

Walter Wright with another big game for Montana

The Montana men's basketball team took on rival Montana State on the road Saturday night, and junior Walter Wright was ready to go.
The former Wilby standout had 24 points and 10 rebounds in a 80-72 Grizzlies victory over the Bobcats in a game known as the Brawl of the Wild. As the story on the Griz website pointed out, it was Wright's introduction to the rivalry. I would say he fared pretty well.
Wright, a junior college transfer, played 37 minutes, shot 12-of-13 from the foul line and dished out three assists. He was 6-of-15 from the floor for the game.
Montana improved to an impressive 8-1 in the Big Sky Conference, which leaves them in first place halfway through the league schedule. The Griz are 13-7 overall.
For the season, Wright has started all 20 games, averaging 32.4 minutes per contest (he's played a team-leading 648 minutes). He's shooting 41 percent from the field, 34.2 from three and 76.8 from the foul line. Wright leads the team in assists (86) and steals (26). He is second on the team at 12.7 points per game.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Michael Mallory has career day in double OT win for SCSU men

Those who got to watch or to listen the SCSU-Bentley Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball game on Saturday were treated to an instant classic.
When it was finally over, the Owls prevailed over the Falcons, 113-111 in double overtime at Dana Arena in Waltham, Mass.
The game itself was crazy, but the scoring effort put up by junior Michael Mallory, a former Holy Cross standout, was absolutely insane.
Mallory exploded for a single-game team record of 47 points in the SCSU victory.
Mallory did nearly half of his damage in the overtimes alone. Mallory scored an astounding 22 of his team's 26 points and connected on 7-of-12 shots from the field, including 5-of-8 behind the arc. He made 3-of-4 foul shots, grabbed three rebounds and dished out an assist.
For the day, Mallory fired up 42 shots, including 24 three-point attempts. He made 16 field goals overall, including 10 3-pointers. Mallory was 5-of-7 from the foul line. He played 46 of a possible 50 minutes, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists.
Fellow NVL standout Desmond Williams of Torrington torched Bentley for 36 points, including 23 in the first half. He shot 14-of-28 from the field, 3-of-6 from three-point range, and grabbed 15 rebounds. Williams dished out five assists and came up with three steals in 48 minutes.
The win was a huge one for SCSU (15-4, 12-2 Northeast-10 Conference). The Owls stay ahead of Adelphi (17-5, 9-5) by three games in the Southwest Division. Bentley (15-4, 12-2) fell into a tie for first in the Northeast Division with Saint Anselm (17-2, 12-2). SCSU doesn't play again until Tuesday, when it hosts the University of Bridgeport at 7 p.m. The Owls have earned the break from actual games.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Quick take: Siders hits 1,000 for career in Holy Cross rout of Sacred Heart

Rashana Siders became the second Holy Cross girls basketball player of the week to reach the 1,000-point milestone in her career.
After Idalis Miranda did it on Monday, Siders hit the milestone with a 3-pointer against Sacred Heart in The Pit. Here's video of the 3-pointer on Twitter from Felix Rodriguez.
The Crusaders won 75-33 and improved to 15-1 on the season.

Quick take: Holy Cross battles, but Sacred Heart boys come away with win

If you listened to Friday night's Sacred Heart-Holy Cross boys game on WATR AM 1320, or followed along on The Zone's live blog, you were treated to a great game.
Sacred Heart won 77-65 in the friendly confines of Alumni Hall, but Holy Cross made sure it wasn't easy by any stretch.
The Crusaders led -- that's right led -- the Hearts 16-14 after one quarter. A Justin Strielkauskas 3-pointer at the halftime horn put Cross' deficit at 40-35. That's the closest half Sacred Heart has seen in the NVL this season.
The Crusaders had a chance to get closer at the end of the third quarter, but a Mustapha Heron steal led to a Tyrn Flowers jam and a 60-54 Hearts lead entering the final eight minutes. 
At one point in the fourth quarter, reserve Courie Stevenson gave Sacred Heart its biggest lead of the game at nine points with a 3. It was just the second three made by the Hearts, with the other coming from Charles Fisher. Later in the quarter, Flowers returned the favor for Heron when he found him on a fast break for a dunk and a 67-56 lead. Holy Cross kept battling, but Sacred Heart had enough to pull away.
It was a GREAT effort by the Crusaders, but the Hearts remain undefeated in the NVL.
Heron led Sacred Heart with 23 points, though most of that came near the basket or at the foul line (he had a bad night shooting). Flowers ended up with 18 points while Raheem Solomon and J.T. Riddick hit for 10 points each.
Strielkauskas led Holy Cross with 14 points. Jonathan Mowatt scored 11 points while Dyllan Tyson added 10 points.
The Hearts improved to 12-2 while the Crusaders dropped to 10-3. Sacred Heart plays at Kennedy next Tuesday at 7 p.m. Holy Cross is on the road at Wilby next Tuesday for a 7 p.m. contest.

"Events du jour" for Friday, Jan. 29

That's right, there's more than one event of the day today. Both involve Holy Cross, and both are big. The first one is swimming and diving at 4 p.m., followed by a boys basketball showdown at 7 p.m. Here are some details:

Naugatuck at Holy Cross boys swimming and diving
4 p.m., Kennedy High School
As pointed out by Mark Jaffee in his preview for the Waterbury Republican-American, this is a big meet. Both teams come in undefeated in the NVL, and Holy Cross senior tri-captain Zach Mason looked to drum up support from his fellow students on Twitter.
"Come support swimming at 4:00 tomorrow vs Naugy at Kennedy," Mason wrote Thursday. "This is our biggest meet of the season and we need the support!"
Holy Cross won the league title last year, but Naugatuck is looking to take it back for the first time since 2010.
On a side note, this meet is the first of two at Kennedy today. Sacred Heart hosts Torrington at 7 p.m.

Holy Cross at Sacred Heart boys basketball
7 p.m., Alumni Hall
Well, it's Holy Cross' turn to see where it stands against the best the NVL has to offer. The Crusaders are 10-2 and have won five straight games, but this will be the biggest challenge they have faced all season. Holy Cross has a very balanced scoring attack, led by six-foot-three senior guard Jonathan Mowatt's 13.4 points per game (MaxPreps stats). Six-foot-two senior forward Justin Strielkauskas comes in at 12.8, followed by six-foot-three sophomore guard Nyzair Rountree (11.4), and six-foot-two sophomore forward DeAndre Wallace (10.5), and those are just the guys averaging double figures. Two other players hit for 7.1 or more points per contest.
Sacred Heart also comes in with two losses (11-2), but both were against tough foes out of state. The Hearts have yet to be dented in the NVL, and there's a chance they could go undefeated through the league. They are that good. Auburn-bound senior Mustapha Heron leads the way, averaging nearly 30 points per game, but there's more to contend with than just him. There's UMass-bound senior Tyrn Flowers, a threat anywhere on the floor. Oh yeah, there's also senior guard Charles Fisher, sophomore guard Raheem Solomon, and senior forward John Riddick. The Hearts have one of the tallest teams in the state (Riddick 6-foot-9, Flowers 6-8, Heron 6-6, Solomon 6-2, Fisher 6-0), and their height and length will be difficult for any team to overcome.
It's the renewal of a city rivalry tonight, except this one has much more spark than games of recent years. We'll see if Holy Cross can hang with Sacred Heart. No one in the NVL has been able to yet.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The debut of the Sports on CT-69 Event du jour

I've been thinking about new ideas for his blog, and one I came up with is spotlighting an event, or events, of the day. I am calling it the Sports on CT-69 Event du jour. Du jour is a French phrase meaning "of the day" (I need to put my three years of French to use somehow).
It may be one event, or possibly more than one. It will depend on the day. Sunday is more than likely going to be absent, unless a game gets postponed to Sunday (or someone is playing in a state final on a Sunday). I hope you enjoy this new feature, and feel free to give a suggestion for an event du jour on Twitter @SportsonCT69 or via email at
Here's the first Sports on CT-69 Event du jour.

Thursday, Jan. 28
Plainville at Bristol Eastern girls basketball, 7 p.m.
Not much going on in the area tonight, but any time a local team can clinch a state tournament berth is a good thing. The Lancers (7-8) can do so at home against the neighboring Blue Devils. Eastern lost Marshall freshman Khadaijia Brooks to graduation off last year's team, but the Lancers have battled their way to the cusp of a Class L state tournament berth. Eastern has won three straight games, and another victory tonight gets the Lancers to the postseason.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Quick take: St. Paul's Joe Mone records 300th win

St. Paul girls basketball head coach Joe Mone secured his 300th career win on Wednesday night in Torrington.
The Falcons beat Torrington 51-39 to bounce back from their Monday loss to Holy Cross. Mone is in his 21st season as head coach.
St. Paul improved to 13-1 with the win. Lizzy Cretella led the Falcons with a game-high 26 points. Brigid Johndrow and Emily Sklenka each scored six points while Stephanie Speaker added five points.
The Lady Raiders dropped to 7-6.

Quick take: Eli Kennedy wins it at the buzzer for St. Paul over Torrington

The St. Paul boys basketball team won a wild one Wednesday night on Maltby Street, 63-60 over Torrington.
The Falcons prevailed when Eli Kennedy drained a 3-pointer from the left corner at the buzzer. Here's video of that trey, courtesy of St. Paul student Mike Dombrowski. The shot set off a wild celebration in the Falcons Nest, which you can see in Dombrowski's video.
Austin Jones led St. Paul with 20 points. Mike Palmieri and Jackson Hines each hit for 14 points for the Falcons.
St. Paul is back over .500 at 6-5 with the victory. Torrington drops to 6-6.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

NVL Indoor Track and Field championship meet held

The NVL held its indoor track and field championship meet last night at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.
The area had one individual winner, and that was senior Raymond Young of Wilby. Young won the 300-meter dash in 37.50 seconds.
The Wolcott boys 4x800 relay team of senior Justin Daly-Marshall, senior Michael Rapisarda, sophomore Alex Herren and sophomore Jonathon Maldonado was also victorious. The relay won their event in a time of 8:53.18.
Individual second place finishers from the area were: junior Cynthia Dias of Wolcott (55 hurdles); senior Asabi Ifafore-Angoy of Crosby (high jump); and senior Anthony Williams of Kennedy (55 dash).
Kennedy had the lone second place relay finish (senior Roshica Dehaney, senior Jadia Woods, senior Jessica JeanBaptiste and junior Leslie Dennis, 4x200).
Individual third place finishers were: senior Jonathan Serano of Crosby (55 dash); sophomore Kyle Hotchkiss of Kennedy (1000 meters); Maldonado of Wolcott (1600); sophomore Bryan Oliveira of Wilby (3200); 
Kennedy had the lone third place relay finish (Williams, sophomore Jaedon Wolfe, senior Shaheem Osbourne and Hotchkiss, 1600 sprint medley).
The top team finish from the area came from the Wolcott boys, who finished sixth out of 13 teams. Other local boys team rankings were as follows: 7. Wilby; t8. Crosby and Kennedy; t12. Holy Cross and St. Paul.
The top girls team finish was Wolcott, which finished eighth. Other local girls team rankings were as follows: t9. Kennedy and Crosby; 11. St. Paul.
Go here for full results from the meet.

For St. Paul girls basketball and its supporters, no reason to panic

OK, so last night wasn't a good one for the St. Paul girls basketball team against Holy Cross at The Pit.
The formerly undefeated Falcons turned the ball over too much, shot poorly, and had some defensive lapses in a 67-50 loss to the Crusaders.
Yes, it was a bad night for St. Paul. Yes, the Falcons lost for the first this season, and in rather convincing fashion.
Should St. Paul and its supporters panic? Absolutely not.
The Falcons have skilled players, a good coaching staff, and a will to succeed. They will get better after Monday's loss.
As head coach Joe Mone put it after the game: "I found out we're alright, regardless of the score."
St. Paul won its first 12 games of the season, and two-thirds of those have been without senior Jillian Kilmer, who is out the rest of the season following ACL surgery. 
When you turn the ball over and shoot poorly, the game likely won't go your way. That happens all the time in basketball.
Mone thinks the game could have gone better if the Falcons cut down on their turnovers. That's not an easy thing to do against Holy Cross' defensive pressure, but it's a crucial adjustment for St. Paul if the two teams meet again. 
Losing Brigid Johndrow to foul trouble was huge. Without her in the game, Lizzy Cretella had to bring the ball up and be the defensive anchor, while also being counted upon to take on the scoring load. That's asking a lot of one player, even one like Cretella. 
Others needed to step up. Stephanie Speaker provided some good moments, as did Amelia Sanchez, but it wasn't enough.
Mone noted that Holy Cross can be overaggressive on defense, leaving them vulnerable to cuts.
"We never took advantage of the overaggressiveness," Mone said.
There were times where Johndrow and Cretella were able to beat their defenders off the dribble, and the Falcons also looked backdoor for cutters, though they didn't do it anywhere near enough to slow down the pressure of the Crusaders.
St. Paul would love another chance to play Holy Cross. If you want to be the best, you want to play the best and beat the best.
"Hopefully we get another shot at them," Mone said.
Holy Cross head coach Frank Lombardo echoed Mone's sentiment.
"I hope so, because they're a competitive team that is coached well and plays hard," Lombardo said.
Here's the bottom line about was one game. Yes, if St. Paul wants a NVL title, it will likely have to go through Holy Cross.
There's too much time left in the regular season and too many other opponents to focus on to worry about that though. This was just one game, and the Falcons will get better because of it. The focus needs to be on the next task at hand, and that's tomorrow night at Torrington.

Holy Cross girls once again a tough team to beat

There's a tradition of winning and excellence that has been established by the Holy Cross girls basketball program under Frank Lombardo.
The Crusaders are a perennial NVL title contender, and they also take aim at state championships.
How does Holy Cross do it? Quickly.
The Crusaders didn't have their best shooting night Monday against St. Paul at The Pit, then again they didn't need it. Holy Cross got after every loose ball and rebound and worked its way to a convincing 67-50 win over previously undefeated St. Paul.
"They gave me great effort tonight and great hustle," Lombardo said.
Great hustle could be used to describe many an effort by the Crusaders. After all, it's the way they're told to play the game.
"Give 150 percent every day," junior Idalis Miranda said. "That's the only way to be successful."
At times, it seemed like every St. Paul pass was contested, every move restricted. 
"We were so ready," Miranda said. "All our coach told us was be ready."
"They play hard and they practice hard, and you see what all that hard work leads to," Lombardo said.
Holy Cross was ready, and for anyone else to claim the NVL title this season, they will have to go through the Crusaders. Holy Cross also has another goal, and that's a Class M state championship. The Crusaders are ranked third in the class, just behind undefeated Enfield and undefeated Cromwell.
With the weapons Holy Cross possesses, it could be playing well into March.

Holy Cross junior Idalis Miranda connects for her 1,000th point

Idalis Miranda hasn't been herself at points this season at Holy Cross.
You can forgive her, given she was adjusting to a new school, new team, new coaches and new teammates after playing at Chase Collegiate.
To say the least, Miranda looked comfortable on Monday night in a NVL showdown against St. Paul at The Pit.
Holy Cross junior Idalis Miranda poses with head coach
Frank Lombardo after scoring her 1,000th career point
in Monday night's game against St. Paul.
Miranda tied with Rashana Siders for a game-high 19 points, and she connected on a 3-pointer to reach the 1,000-point mark in her career. Head coach Frank Lombardo has been looking for Miranda to shoot more, and she wasn't shy about it Monday when teammates like Siders and Century McCartney struggled with their shooting.
"She definitely had the best game of the year tonight," Lombardo said.
Miranda understands how much she adds to Holy Cross if she's confident shooting the ball.
"I think it would [help], because it's very hard to guard everyone when they're going full speed at you," Miranda said.
Miranda is part of a three-headed monster backcourt attack that includes Siders and McCartney. Miranda getting more comfortable with her surroundings means the Crusaders become that much more dangerous a team.
And the worst news for the rest of the NVL...Miranda is a junior. Yikes.

Monday, January 25, 2016

PHOTOS: Holy Cross-St. Paul girls basketball, 1/25/16

Holy Cross girls beat St. Paul in battle of NVL titans

Monday night's NVL girls hoop showdown had everything you wanted, going into the game.
St. Paul entered McDonald Gymnasium, more commonly known as The Pit, with a perfect 12-0 record. Holy Cross came in with as many wins and just one loss (13-1), and a No. 9 ranking in the New Haven Register/GameTimeCT Top 10 media poll. 
The Crusaders took the drama out of the battle with the Falcons on Monday and walked away with a 67-50 victory. The hosts improved to 14-1 on the season with the victory.
Actually, Holy Cross never did much walking. When there wasn't a timeout, an end of a quarter or a halftime break, the Crusaders were running. They came after the Falcons with relentless pressure and forced nearly 20 first half turnovers. They attacked the offensive backboards with gusto, creating second and third chances.
Holy Cross' Rashana Siders (24) and Kaitlyn Grimshaw (11)
look to force a turnover with defensive pressure.
Things were going so well that junior Idalis Miranda, the smallest player on the floor, grabbed an offensive rebound in the lane and scored. Don't let her size fool you by the way. Miranda is a heck of a ballplayer.
Holy Cross didn't shoot the ball well, but it did many other things well. St. Paul, on the other hand, had an off night and paid the price.
Miranda led the Crusaders with 19 points, and her 3-pointer in the third quarter gave her 1,000 for her career, which started at Chase Collegiate.
"I didn't know I was going to make it," said Miranda, a sometimes reluctant shooter.
Miranda said head coach Frank Lombardo has encouraged her to shoot more, and if she continues to do that with the confidence she displayed Monday, the rest of the NVL and Class M better watch out.
Besides Miranda, Rashana Siders tallied 19 points and Century McCartney added 18 points.
"We have three great ball-handlers in Idalis, Rashana and Century," Lombardo said.
On the glass, the Crusaders had Caitlin Cipriano to grab boards.
"She's our anchor on defense, and she rebounds like an animal," Lombardo said.
Holy Cross burst out to an early lead, and even an early deficit seems large against the pressure of the Crusaders.
"I give credit to them," St. Paul head coach Joe Mone said of Holy Cross. "They came out intense right from the beginning."
The Crusaders led 17-12 at the half, then extended the advantage to 32-25 by halftime. In the third quarter, Holy Cross turned up the heat and outscored St. Paul 26-13 to build a 20-point lead, 58-38.
Some big problems for the Falcons were foul trouble for point guard Brigid Johndrow, other players not playing the way they are capable, and unforced mistakes.
"When you turn it over unforced, it's really bad," Mone said.
St. Paul lost for the first time Monday night, but Mone isn't worried.
"I found out we're alright, regardless of the score," Mone said.
St. Paul's Brigid Johndrow backs down
against Holy Cross' Idalis Miranda.
 The Falcons just had a bad night, and it was a bad time to have such a performance. St. Paul is better than it was on Monday, and it will learn from the loss. Johndrow had a team-high 14 points before she fouled out in the fourth quarter. Lizzy Cretella and Stephanie Speaker each scored 12 points.

What was learned on Monday?
- Holy Cross is a very good team. With three capable ball-handlers/scorers, solid rebounders, relentless defensive pressure and a deep lineup, the Crusaders are the NVL favorite and a Class M contender.
- St. Paul is better than what it showed on Monday. The Falcons had a bad night, which happens to everyone. St. Paul has plenty of senior leadership, and it will be back. Don't be surprised if the Falcons reach the NVL Tournament final.

What's next?
- Holy Cross goes to Derby on Wednesday night for a 7 o'clock game.
- St. Paul continues a tough week Wednesday night at Torrington in a 7 o'clock contest.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Holy Cross girls host undefeated St. Paul

It's the showdown of the season on Monday night at The Pit when Holy Cross (12-1) hosts undefeated St. Paul (12-0) at 7.
The Falcons come in blasting opponents by an average of just over 28 points per contest. St. Paul's closest game so far was on Jan. 13, when it bested Woodland 44-39 on the road. Through the first 11 games, Lizzy Cretella was the leading scorer for the Falcons at 17.2 points per game. Lizzy Ferraro was averaging 10.1 points through 11 games.
Holy Cross has won seven straight games since falling to Mercy in that school's holiday tournament. The Crusaders are beating opponents by over 32 points per outing. Holy Cross is led by RaShana Siders, who averages 17.8 points per game. Century McCartney comes in at 12.2. Holy Cross has been rolling recently with winning margins of 40, 42, 27, 40, 42 and 40 in its last six games.
The teams met once last season, with the Crusaders claiming a 64-43 win over the Falcons at St. Paul. These are the top two teams in the NVL, so this should be a good game.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

"A trip down 69": Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016

Tyrn Flowers gets his 1,000th career point
The Sacred Heart senior and recent UMass commit reached the 1,000th point of his career in Friday night's 79-29 win over Naugatuck. Flowers needed six points to reach the milestone, and he ended the night with 14.

Holy Cross boys continue to impress
The Crusader girls are having another great year, but so are the boys. The Holy Cross boys ended the first half of the season at 8-2 with a 70-49 home win over the Waterbury Career Academy. Go to The Zone to see a cool video of Crusader Jack Potter burying a three-quarter court shot. Justin Strielkauskas led Holy Cross with 18 points.

Kennedy boys end first half on a high note
The Eagles concluded the first half of the regular season with a 9-1 record after beating Seymour 84-28 at home on Friday night.
Darryl Flowers led Kennedy with 25 points while Jaivaun McKnight added 22 points.

Good night for Kaynor Tech's Terry
Allison Terry tallied 20 points for the Kaynor Tech girls basketball team in a 47-36 home win over Warren Harding High School of Bridgeport on Friday. The Panthers improved to 6-7 and moved to within two wins of qualifying for the state tournament.

St. Paul girls now 12-0
The undefeated run continues for the Falcons, who slammed Wilby 63-26 at home Friday night. Lizzy Cretella had 13 points while Lizzy Ferraro added 12 points for St. Paul, which has a major showdown looming Monday night at 12-1 Holy Cross.

Speaking of the Crusader girls...
They won their seventh straight game by pasting Oxford 61-21 on the road on Thursday night. RaShana Siders led Holy Cross with 16 points. Idalis Miranda scored nine points while Kaitlyn Grimshaw and Century McCartney added eight points each.

Trelli having a great year for Bristol Central wrestling
The sophomore improved to 12-3 on the season with wins in dual meets against Manchester and Fairfield Warde on Friday at Warde. Trelli is one of the better wrestlers in the state in his 106-pound weight class.

Other wrestling postponed...
Unfortunately, the weather had plans for Saturday, so no one will be wrestling. Bristol Eastern was supposed to be at the New Milford Invitational, which is a great tournament, but that was cancelled. Holy Cross was supposed to go up against Platt Tech/West Haven, New Haven and New Canaan in New Canaan, but that was also postponed by the snow. Fairfield County is supposed to be hit particularly hard by the storm.  


City Series: Eastern and Central both pick up a win in first go-around

The annual City Series kicked off this week between Bristol Eastern and Bristol Central.
On Thursday, the Lancer and Ram girls faced off at Bristol Eastern High School. Eastern ran away with an easy 77-36 win over Central and moved to within two wins of the state tournament (6-8). The Rams dropped to 1-10.
Jamilla Shoultz tallied 14 points to lead Eastern. Gianna D'Amato scored 11 points, Hannah Maghini added 10 and Miya Laprise chipped in nine. Miranda Janick and Anna Kelley both scored six points. The Lancers led 39-17 at halftime.
Allie Martel paced Central with 15 points. Brianna Hamel and Ashley Watson both scored six points.
The Rams host the Lancers on Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.
On Friday, the boys played at Bristol Central High School. The Rams claimed victory in that game over an injury-depleted Lancer squad, 53-33. Jamil Hornesby led the way with 17 points (5-of-9 FG), six assists and three steals. Jaekwon Spencer scored 14 points while Aaron Collins had 11 points. Central improved to 4-7 with the win.
Darieyn Tate led Eastern with 15 points. Tyler Tefoe had six points while Mike Rivera added five for the Lancers, who dropped to 2-9. 
The Eastern boys host Central on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Quick take: Bristol Central wrestling rolls past Plainville

Bristol Central wrestling improved to an impressive 11-2 in dual meets this season with a 54-17 pounding of Plainville Wednesday evening at Plainville High School.
Kuba Kreciglowa was named "Animal" of the match by the Rams. 
The competition level goes up Friday when Central travels to Fairfield Warde for dual meets against Warde, Manchester and Westhill. A dual meet against first place division foe Middletown looms next Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Keigwin School in Middletown.

Quick take: Bristol Eastern wrestling with big road win over Simsbury

Road wins can be very satisfying.
When those road wins come against programs with great tradition, that's just another feather in the cap.
Ninth-ranked Bristol Eastern picked up one of those victories Wednesday when it defeated Simsbury 42-35 at Simsbury High School. The Trojans may be struggling this season, but they're still a tough out. It took Eastern until a pin in the final match to secure the win.
Hidekel Mangual came up with a huge pin for the Lancers. Also grabbing wins for Eastern were Jordon Champagne, Josh Wilson, Noah Corliss, Justin Marshall, Zac Thompson and Anthony Circosta.
Eastern goes to New Milford on Saturday for what should be a very competitive tournament.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Giovinazzo humbled by CHSCA Hall of Fame honor

He may be a graduate of Bristol Central High School, but Mike Giovinazzo will be forever associated with Bristol Eastern.
Giovinazzo has been a coach and mentor to student-athletes as a baseball and basketball coach with the Lancers for many spring and winter seasons. This year is his 34th as head basketball coach, baseball will be his 42nd. He has led league champions, and he has led state champions.
Another teaching moment for CHSCA Hall of Fame coach
Mike Giovinazzo, left, who is in his 34th season at the helm
of Bristol Eastern boys basketball.
Last year, Giovinazzo received a huge honor when he was elected to the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
"Any time you join a select group of coaches like that, it's an honor," Giovinazzo said after coaching the Bristol Eastern boys basketball team on Saturday against Glastonbury.
Giovinazzo said he was contacted about the award last summer. He was honored on the field at halftime of the UConn-Navy football game on Sept. 26 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, along with fellow coaches Theresa Napolitano, George Suitor, George Beaudry (posthumuously), Michael J. Fritch, Gerry Chester, athletic director/coach John Capone, athletic director/coach David E. Schultz, former CAS-CIAC executive director Michael H. Savage and media member George DeMaio Jr. 
"I'm extremely humbled and I'm extremely proud to be a part of it because there are some legends in there," Giovinazzo said.
A banquet was held in November at the AquaTurf in Southington.
Giovinazzo has accumulated over 500 wins as baseball coach and over 300 as basketball coach. For that success, he joined a very accomplished and select group, and he more than earned his place.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Another tough loss for Sacred Heart boys

The Sacred Heart boys basketball team will return to Connecticut with something it hasn't had in a long time -- a losing streak.
The Hearts lost their second straight game, 73-72 to Long Island Lutheran of New York, in the final game of the Big Apple Basketball High School Invitational Monday evening at Baruch College. Sacred Heart falls to 8-2 with the loss while "LuHi" improves to 13-2.
Mustapha Heron, who was given the Sportsmanship Award after the game, led all scorers with 41 points. NY RENs AAU teammate Devonte Green had 39 to lead L.I. Lutheran.
Heron and Green both went nuts in the third quarter, according to an account from Ari Kramer of Newsday.
"Very interesting quarter as Devonte Green and Mustapha Heron each go for 15," Kramer tweeted. "LuHi takes a 52-50 lead into the fourth."
The game stayed close in the fourth quarter and went back and forth in the final minutes. After L.I. Lutheran made a shot to go ahead 73-72 in the final seconds, Heron drove the ball up the floor. His 3 from the right wing came up short, as did Sacred Heart.
Heron had 13 rebounds and shot 12-for-12 from the foul line, according to final game statistics posted by Kramer on Twitter. No other Heart reached double figures. Tyrn Flowers was in foul trouble, according to game accounts. John Riddick and Raheem Solomon also ended the game with four fouls.
Charles Manning scored the game-winning bucket for LuHi. He ended the evening with 13 points.
Sacred Heart outrebounded LuHi 35-34, but had 13 turnovers to just nine for their opponents.
For full accounts of the game, check out the Waterbury Republican-American's Joe Palladino on The Zone, CTHoopsNews, and Newsday's Ari Kramer.
Sacred Heart returns to NVL -- and in-state play -- on Friday at Alumni Hall against Naugatuck at 7 p.m.

Sacred Heart boys play in Big Apple this evening

The Sacred Heart boys basketball team once again ventures out of state this evening for a in-season tournament game.
The Hearts play Long Island Lutheran of New York at Baruch College at 5:45 p.m. in the final game of the Big Apple Basketball High School Invitational. Sacred Heart gets a great opportunity to play at a school within view of the United Nations on the east side of Manhattan.
Come game time, however, the Hearts will be looking to avoid something very unfamiliar to them in recent years -- a losing streak. Sacred Heart lost for the first time in its last 41 games on Saturday, 82-80 to Foothills Christian of California. Foothills lost by two points earlier this season to top-ranked Chino Hills, also from California.
Long Island Lutheran comes into the game with a 12-2 record, including a loss to former USA Today Super Top 25 school Wheeler of Marietta, Ga. LuHi, as they are also known, is led by Indiana commit Devonte Green. MSG Varsity listed Green as one of its three stars from Long Island last year as a junior. He was the tema's leading scorer, rebounder and had a knack for stealing the ball.
It should be another interesting game for Sacred Heart this evening. After a three-day break from games, the Hearts return to NVL play on Friday with a 7 p.m. home game against Naugatuck.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

"A trip down 69": Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016

St. Paul girls still undefeated...
The Falcons had a tough schedule this past week, with games against Crosby, Woodland and Naugatuck. St. Paul took care of business in each game and improved to a perfect 10-0 on the season.
The toughest win of the week came Wednesday at Woodland, where St. Paul scratched out a 44-39 victory. The Falcons used a 12-4 third quarter to take a solid lead, then held on when the Hawks rallied in the fourth. Woodland had one loss entering the contest. Lizzy Cretella had a big night for the Falcons with 22 points.
This week, St. Paul is at Derby Tuesday and plays home Friday against Wilby. The following week, the Falcons have their showdown at Holy Cross on Jan. 25, followed by a trip to Torrington on Jan. 27. A Jan. 29 game at home against Wolcott rounds out that tough week. 

...And the Falcon boys are over .500
The St. Paul boys improved to 4-3 Friday night with a 60-54 road win over Naugatuck. Austin Jones had a big game with 14 points and 13 rebounds, but it was a balanced effort for the Falcons. Ben Mazzone hit double digits with 12 points, while Mike Ranagan (9), Eli Kennedy (8) and Jackson Hines (8) weren't far behind.
St. Paul is home to Derby Tuesday before hitting the road Friday at Wilby.

Bristol Eastern wrestling downed by Middletown
The Lancers have an uphill climb to claim a sixth straight division title after losing 33-25 at home to a strong Blue Dragons team Wednesday in a battle of Top 10 state squads. Seniors Josh Wilson and Zac Thompson each had pins for Eastern.
"These guys are building toward a team title and individual title come states," tweeted Bristol Eastern's John Stavens that night.
The Lancers bounced back with a solid effort at a tournament in Cumberland, R.I., on Saturday.

Bristol Central wrestling tops Berlin
The Rams beat up the Redcoats 52-17 behind "Animal" Jack Hale for another dual meet win.
Central has been wrestling well this season, and they headed to Daniel Hand in Madison Saturday for some dual meets against Hand, Newington and E.O. Smith.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sacred Heart rally comes up just short at Hoophall Classic

Sacred Heart boys basketball appeared to have met its match on Saturday night at the 15th annual Spaulding Hoophall Classic inside Blake Arena on the campus of Springfield College.
The Hearts were down 19 as late as the start of the fourth quarter against Foothills Christian from California, yet rallied to tie on a Mustapha Heron 3-pointer. Heron's foul with four seconds left put Foothills freshman Jaren Nafarrete at the line. Nafarrete drained both free throws, Heron missed from halfcourt, and Foothills walked away with a 82-80 victory.
The stars had big nights for both teams. Heron, headed to Auburn, dropped 31 points and connected on four 3-pointers while UMass-bound Tyrn Flowers tallied 18 points. Raheem Solomon, getting interest from several Division I schools as a sophomore, scored 15 points.
For Foothills, 6-foot-10, UCLA-bound senior T.J. Leaf had a team-high 30 points. Leaf hit two of Foothills' 15 3-pointers in the contest. Foothills shot a ridiculous 15-of-22 from three-point land on the night. Luis Salgado made 6-of-8 from behind the arc, and teammate Jordan Van Ommering was 4-of-4.
Foothills had a double-digit lead for much of the game, and Sacred Heart trailed 69-50 entering the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Hearts almost pulled off the improbable. Trailing 79-71, Tyrn Flowers canned a 3-pointer. Mustapha Heron followed with one of his own to pull Sacred Heart within two points at 79-77. After Foothills made a foul shot, Heron drained a long 3-pointer to miraculously tie the game at 80.
The fans were going nuts inside Blake Arena, but Foothills had a chance to win. The Hearts made it a little easier for them than it should have been. Heron aggressively went after the ball and fouled Nafarrete, and his two foul shots with four seconds left were the difference.
Heron got one last chance, but his halfcourt shot was wide left.
It's the first loss for Sacred Heart in its last 41 games. The bottom line, however, is that the Hearts showed that they can compete against a great program from a basketball-rich state such as California.
The madness is far from over for Sacred Heart. On Monday, the Hearts travel to Baruch College in New York for the Big Apple Classic High School Invitational. Sacred Heart plays Long Island Lutheran at about 5:45 p.m.

Bristol Eastern-Glastonbury boys basketball photos: Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016

Bristol Eastern boys facing an uphill climb

The Bristol Eastern boys basketball team has been bit hard recently by the injury bug.
Within a short amount of time, the Lancers have lost sophomore leading scorer Tyler Arbuckle, second-leading scorer and top defender Nate Hickey, a senior captain, to injury.
On Saturday against Glastonbury, Eastern added another injury late in a 51-38 loss when 6-foot-4 senior Tyler Tefoe came up hobbling.
Younger players have been thrust into bigger roles, and there are growing pains that go along with it. 
"They're learning on the fly," Eastern head coach Mike Giovinazzo said. "They're going to make mistakes. They need to analyze those mistakes, learn from them and move on."
The Lancers fell to 2-7 with Saturday's loss. The learning curve is steep, but it is necessary for Eastern's younger players.
"They're going to have to do it," Giovinazzo said. "We're almost at the halfway point of the season."
Senior captain Darieyn Tate was tough for Eastern in the defeat. He led the way with 12 points and tried his best to keep his team in the game. Without Arbuckle and Hickey in the lineup, Tate shoulders more of the offensive responsibility, and he did what he could Saturday.
Tefoe had 10 points before exiting the game with his injury. Freshman Carter Dziedzic tallied eight points. 
Players with little varsity experience are learning what it's like to play at that level. It's not easy, yet Giovinazzo and his staff will continue to push them. That's all they can do three starters out of the lineup.
Eastern hosts Maloney on Tuesday night at 7 before taking the trip up the hill on Friday night for a 7 o'clock tilt with city rival Bristol Central.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Quick take: Sacred Heart boys start busy weekend with 40th straight win

In a matchup of Top 10 teams, No. 1 Sacred Heart boys basketball rolled to a 96-61 win over No. 9 Crosby in front of another SRO crowd at Alumni Hall.
The Hearts have now won 40 straight games and are 8-0 on the season, but their busy weekend has just started. 
Sacred Heart travels to Springfield, Mass., tomorrow for a 7:45 p.m. game against Foothills Christian from California. The game is part of the Spalding Hoophall Classic and will be played at Blake Arena on the campus of Springfield College.
The Hearts also have a game Monday at Baruch College in New York against Long Island Lutheran at 5:45 p.m. That game is part of the Big Apple Basketball High School Invitational.
Crosby drops to 6-2 on the season. The Bulldogs get another shot at the Hearts on Tuesday, Feb. 9, on Nick Augelli Court inside the Crosby Palace. That game is slated for a 7 p.m. start. Crosby has plenty of games before that rematch, however, and their next contest is Tuesday night at Seymour at 7.

A look at Friday night's area hoop games

Ok, so you know about the big Sacred Heart-Crosby boys basketball game going on tonight at 7 at Alumni Hall.
That's not the only game taking place on the hardwood. Here are some more:

Wilby at Holy Cross, 7 p.m. -- Both teams are coming off a loss and looking for a bounce-back win. The Wildcats are 4-2, the Crusaders are 5-2.
Kennedy at Wolcott, 7 p.m. -- The visiting Eagles look to complete a 3-0 week with a victory over the host Eagles. Wolcott is coming off of a nail-biting 51-50 win at Watertown. Kennedy is 6-1 entering the game, while Wolcott sits at 3-4.
St. Paul at Naugatuck, 7 p.m. -- The Falcons can get over the .500 mark (3-3 current record) with a win on the road over the Greyhounds. Naugatuck is also 3-3 coming into tonight's contest.
Abbott Tech at Kaynor Tech, 7 p.m. -- The Panthers look to win their second straight and finish the week 2-1 when they host the Wolverines. Kaynor Tech is 2-6 while Abbott Tech is 4-3.
Chase Collegiate at Christian Heritage, 7 p.m. -- If you've been reading about the Highlanders in the Waterbury Republican-American, you know about the scoring ability of senior captain Blake Hardy. Chase can get to 8-4 on the season with a win.

Bristol Eastern and Bristol Central don't play tonight, but each has a game tomorrow. The Lancers host Glastonbury at 2 p.m. while the Rams play at home against Avon at 6 p.m. Waterbury Career Academy doesn't have another game until next Wednesday, when they play at Wilby at 7 p.m.

Naugatuck at St. Paul, 7 p.m. -- The Falcons can finish off a tough three-game week with a perfect record if they beat the Greyhounds. St. Paul is 9-0 and ranked second behind Cromwell in the Class M playoff standings. Naugatuck enters the game at 3-7.
Kaynor Tech at Abbott Tech, 7 p.m. -- The Panthers can remain unbeaten in CSC play with a road win over the Wolverines. Kaynor Tech is 2-6 while Abbott Tech brings a 1-7 mark into the contest.
Sacred Heart at Crosby, 7 p.m. -- The Bulldogs look to get back on track at home after two losses to league powers St. Paul and Holy Cross. Crosby enters the game at 6-3 while Sacred Heart comes in at 5-5 and on a two-game losing streak of its own. Someone will come away with a much-needed win tonight.
Wolcott at Kennedy, 7 p.m. -- The visiting Eagles can make it a 3-0 week with a win against the host Eagles tonight. Wolcott is 6-3, but Kennedy comes in hot at 5-3 and winners of four straight. Should be an interesting game between these two teams.
Holy Cross at Wilby, 7 p.m. -- The Crusaders go for a fifth straight win when the play the Wildcats. Holy Cross is 9-1, but a perfect 8-0 in NVL play. Wilby is 1-9 and has lost nine straight.
Waterbury Career Academy at Seymour, 7 p.m. -- The Spartans are coming off of their first-ever varsity win Wednesday, 71-13 over Public Safety. WCA is 1-10, but two straight wins will be hard to come by against Seymour. The Wildcats are winners of five of their last six games and hold an overall record of 5-4.

Bristol Eastern and Bristol Central are off tonight, but they resume play tomorrow. The Lancers have a tough road game against Weaver at 4 p.m. while the Rams have a challenging trip of their own, Avon at 7 p.m. Chase Collegiate is also off tonight, and they come back for a game tomorrow at Westover School at 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sacred Heart, Crosby boys go at it tomorrow night

It's sure to be another SRO crowd at Alumni Hall tomorrow night when Sacred Heart hosts Crosby in a big boys basketball matchup at 7 o'clock.
The Bulldogs will be trying to do something no one has done in several years -- knock off the Hearts. Sacred Heart is 7-0 and ranked No. 1 in the GameTimeCT/New Haven Register boys hoop poll. Crosby is 6-1 and ranked No. 8 in the same poll.
Here's a tale of the tape:

Sacred Heart
Record: 6-0
Average points per game: @94.57
Average margin of victory: 41
Leading scorers (via Waterbury Republican-American): Mustapha Heron, 31.6 ppg; Tyrn Flowers, 19.7; Raheem Solomon, 11.1; Charles Fisher, 10.6; J.T. Riddick, 8.9
What makes this team so good: A lot of things, really. The Hearts have an absurd amount of length, which makes them very difficult to deal when they're on defense or hitting the backboards. There's also a ton of talent on this team, led by D-I commits Heron and Flowers (just committed to UMass). Fisher is a solid leader, Solomon can also score, and Riddick is another tall body the Hearts can throw in the paint.
If you want to run, this team will do it, and a lot of times they will do it better. It will take a phenomenal performance to beat this team.

Record: 6-1
Average points per game: @85.28
Average margin of victory: @28.83
Leading scorers (via stats reported to Jordan Booker, 24.3 ppg; Jeremiah Kendall, 17.3; Tyairus Sands 15.0 (3 games); Roary Jadusingh, 10.7; Dayquain Sinisterra, 10.0; Daniel Jones, 9.0
What makes Crosby good: The Bulldogs have plenty of people who can score the basketball, led by Booker. Crosby got Sands back for the Holy Cross game, great timing given it gave him the chance to get a game under his belt before Sacred Heart. 
The Bulldogs love to play up-tempo, but that's the exact way the Hearts want to go about their business. Still, Crosby isn't a team to back down, so don't expect them to start now.

Here's what happened last season:
Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 -- Sacred Heart 91, Crosby 60, at Sacred Heart HS
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2015 -- Sacred Heart 73, Crosby 66, at Crosby High School
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 -- Sacred Heart 68, Crosby 66 -- Heron's shot at buzzer won it

This has potential to be another city classic. As with the Kennedy game last Friday, GET TO ALUMNI HALL EARLY TOMORROW!!!

Come together, eat great food and help Alex Milosevic

Alex Milosevic needs your help.
As many in the Bristol area already know, Milosevic was involved in a bad accident on I-84 on Jan. 6 and suffered life-threatening injuries. His medical bills will be steep, and his recovery long. Tragically, Milosevic also lost his 19-year-old girlfriend Casey Giannone.
As Jason Folcik put it on the gofundme page he created for Milosevic: "Alex is a 2015 graduate of Bristol Central High School where he played on the football team #70. This fun loving man's spirit has been tackled."
Tomorrow evening, a pasta dinner will be held in the Bristol Central High School Cafeteria from 5-7 p.m. It's $10 per plate, and it includes pasta, meatballs, salad, bread, drink and dessert. Gluten-free pasta is available. You can get more information via email at 
Milosevic doesn't have medical insurance, so any money will help, no matter how small the amount.
Here's the gofundme page:
Good luck Alex.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Sacred Heart's Tyrn Flowers headed to UMass

Sacred Heart boys basketball already has one big-time Division I commit in its lineup in Mustapha Heron, who's headed to Auburn.
Well, it's time to add another one to the list. Six-foot-nine guard Tyrn Flowers has committed to UMass, according to the Twitter account of his AAU team, the NY Rens.
Flowers has been a force on the offensive and defensive end for Sacred Heart in his senior season. The left-hander has a smooth stroke from the outside, but he can finish with authority inside. In Sacred Heart's game against Kennedy last Friday, Flowers showed what a nightmare he can be with 24 points and several blocked shots.
Of his commitment to UMass, Flowers told ESPN Recruiting Nation's Adam Finkelstein: "I fell in love with the campus and the facility, I thought of the players as brothers and I had a great relationship with Coach [Derek] Kellogg and Adam Ginsburg."
There will now be two former Hearts to follow at the next level.

Monday, January 11, 2016

St. Paul girls pass first test, clinch state tourney berth

The undefeated St. Paul girls basketball team has a tough week ahead of it with games against Crosby, Woodland and Naugatuck.
The Falcons passed the first test Monday night at home with a 58-39 victory over the Bulldogs behind 29 points and eight steals from Lizzy Cretella. St. Paul improved to 8-0 with the win and clinched a Class M state tournament berth. Stephanie Speaker scored eight points while Amelia Sanchez added six points, according to a boxscore reported to the Waterbury Republican-American. St. Paul led 18-12 after one quarter and steadily pulled away after that.
Ninoshka Figueroa led Crosby with 22 points while Mariah Machado added 10 points.
St. Paul continues its big week Wednesday with a 7 p.m. road game at Woodland. The Hawks (8-1) picked up their eighth straight victory Monday by defeating Sacred Heart 37-30 Monday night.
Crosby (6-2) faces another stiff test Wednesday night on the road at 7 against Holy Cross. The only loss for the Crusaders came against Mercy in that school's holiday tournament.

Walter Wright earns Big Sky Co-Player of the Week honors

Montana junior guard Walter Wright, a former standout for Wilby, was named Big Sky Conference Co-Player of the Week.
Wright earned the honor, along with Weber State's Joel Bolomboy, according to a release from the conference. Wright nearly had a double-double Thursday against Portland State, then pulled off the feat on Saturday over Sacramento State. The Grizzlies won both games, and along with Weber State are one of two teams with an unblemished conference record in the Big Sky. Montana is the top team at 4-0 while Weber is right behind them at 3-0.
Here's how Wright's week went:

Thursday, 79-66 win over Portland State: 22 points (8-of-13 FG, 3-of-4 3-pt FG), 9 assists
Saturday, 77-58 win over Sacramento State: 16 points (5-of-7 FG, 3-of-4 FT), Big Sky season-high 12 assists

During that two-game span, Wright turned the ball over a total of three times.

Montana has conference games on the road this week against Northern Colorado (Thursday) and North Dakota (Saturday). Stay tuned for more updates on Walter Wright and his exploits with Montana.
Bristol Central wrestling 2nd in Berlin
The Rams finished second to Ellis Tech at the Art Powers Duals on Saturday at Berlin High School.
Central defeated Fitch 51-25 and RHAM 62-15 to get to the championship pool. The Rams defeated Guilford 36-33 in the championship pool, but lost 45-21 to Ellis Tech.
Central hosts Berlin tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

"A trip down 69:" Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016

Big matchup looming on Monday
The St. Paul girls basketball team (7-0) will play its biggest game of the season to date tomorrow night when it hosts Crosby (6-1) at 7.
Here's a little bit on each team:
St. Paul
The Falcons, led by veteran head coach Joe Mone, are once again a balanced team that's tough to beat. Senior Lizzy Cretella is the main scoring threat, though fellow senior Lizzy Ferraro can be tough to handle as well. Junior guard Brigid Johndrow is a tough defender with plenty of speed to boot, and senior Stephanie Speaker can knock down shots from the outside.The Falcons also possess depth with players such as senior Emily Sklenka, junior Amelia Sanchez and senior Lauren Palmer. St. Paul has plenty of experience back from last year's Class S state quarterfinalist. The Falcons were moved up to Class M this year because of their recent success in state tournament play.
St. Paul has been without the services of senior Jillian Kilmer, who was injured in the first game of the David T. Rybczyk Memorial Tournament in Plainville.
The Bulldogs thought they would be pretty good, but they have been better than just good this season. Crosby's only loss came against Watertown, which has a pretty good team. The Bulldogs have three senior leaders in Ninoshka Robles-Figueroa, Destin Trammell and Mariah Machado, according to their season preview in the Waterbury Republican-American.
Head coach Phil Lott told the Rep-Am: "We have a group of committed players who work hard every day and are eager to get out on the court and win."
That much has been obvious, given the great start the Bulldogs are off to this season. Trammell had a monster game in Crosby's last time out against Torrington. Trammell tallied eight points, but the bigger numbers were her 12 rebounds and eight blocks, according to the boxscore reported to the Rep-Am. Robles-Figueroa led the Bulldogs in scoring with 24 points while Machado tallied 15.
In the only meeting between the teams last season, St. Paul took a 49-43 victory at Crosby.

Bristol Eastern wrestling takes fourth on Long Island
The Lancers acquitted themselves well at the Smithtown Wrestling Tournament at Smithtown West High School. Zac Thompson (160 pounds) and Anthony Circosta (195) each won their respective weight classes. Zach Marquis (182) and Luis Rivera (220) each took second place. The following wrestlers also placed for Eastern: Mikey Barrett (3rd at 152), Justin Marshall (4th at 120), Noah Corliss (5th at 113), Trinidad Gonzalez (5th at 171), Jordon Champagne (6th at 106) and Greg Lozier (6th at 145).
Eastern was the only Connecticut team to compete in the eight-team tournament, which had seven New York squads. 

Some leading performances on the hardwood
There were some big scoring nights on the area basketball courts this week. Here are the top performances of the week for each team:
Sacred Heart -- Mustapha Heron 35 points vs. Kennedy (1/8)
Crosby -- Jordan Booker 29 points vs. Torrington (1/8)
Kennedy -- Darryl Flowers 26 points vs. Sacred Heart (1/8)
Bristol Central -- Jamil Hornesby 26 points vs. Rocky Hill (1/8)
Wilby -- Damian Grant 25 points vs. Woodland (1/5)
St. Paul -- Mike Palmieri 24 points vs. Seymour (1/8)
Bristol Eastern -- Tyler Arbuckle 23 points vs. Newington (1/5)
Waterbury Career Academy -- Roderick Jenkins 20 points vs. Kaynor Tech (1/5)
Wolcott -- Matt Finke 19 points vs. Sacred Heart (1/5)
Holy Cross -- Nyzair Rountree 19 points vs. Watertown (1/5)
Kaynor Tech -- Alex Witkowski 19 points vs. WCA (1/5)
Chase Collegiate -- Blake Hardy 13 points vs. Harvey (1/6)
Holy Cross -- RaShana Siders 25 points vs. Watertown (1/5)
Crosby -- Ninoshka Robles-Figueroa 24 points vs. Torrington (1/8)
Bristol Eastern -- Diana Wnuk 20 points vs. Newington (1/5)
Kaynor Tech -- Egypt Santos 19 points vs. Woodland (1/7)
Wilby -- Tchawanda Chambers 18 points vs. Watertown (1/8)
St. Paul -- Lizzy Cretella 16 points vs. Seymour (1/8)
Kennedy -- Raegon Shirling-Davis 16 points vs. Sacred Heart (1/8)
Chase Collegiate -- Maddison Jensen 14 points vs. Harvey (1/7)
Wolcott -- Raven Cody 13 points vs. Sacred Heart (1/4)
Bristol Central -- Allie Martel 12 points vs. Rocky Hill (1/7)
Sacred Heart -- Mahnue Sahn 12 points vs. Kennedy (1/8)
Waterbury Career Academy -- Tiana Wright 10 points vs. Woodstock Academy (1/7)