Wednesday, November 30, 2016

HIGH 5 OF THE WEEK: Brianna Root earns Second Team All-East Region honor

Root (Post University athletics)
Brianna Root, Post University women's volleyball
The sophomore has had another terrific season with the Eagles, and the postseason accolades have already been coming in, even with the NCAA Tournament still to play.
The former Bristol Eastern standout earned Second Team All-East Region honors from the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association. The selection is the first by Root, who has received honors in both seasons from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
Root led the CACC in assists per set and was second in total assists. She made First Team All-CACC for the second straight season.
Post was scheduled to play Daemen College in the NCAA Tournament in Amherst, NY, on Thursday.

Joey DeFillippi, Mount Ida men's basketball
DeFillippi (Mount Ida athletics)
The Mustangs have played five games this season, and the junior from Bristol Central has started four of them.
DeFillippi is averaging 28.0 minutes and 10.0 points per game so far. He is fourth on the team in rebounding at 3.8 boards per game. He's averaging 3.6 assists, 1.8 turnovers and 1.8 steals per game.
After coming off the bench against Colby-Sawyer on Nov. 19, DeFillippi returned to the starting lineup against Newbury College on Nov. 22. DeFillippi played 31 minutes, scored 24 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He was an outstanding 13-of-14 from the foul line in an 86-75 road victory. DeFillippi also had eight rebounds, four assists and a block. Keeping in mind that the former Central standout is listed at 5-foot-9, that rebounding number is impressive.
That performance earned DeFillippi Great Northeast Men's Basketball Player of the Week honors.

Brooks (Marshall athletics)
Khadaijia Brooks, Marshall women's basketball
The Thundering Herd improved to 5-1 with a 62-43 win over Morgan State this afternoon, and Brooks was one reason why.
The sophomore and former Bristol Eastern star tallied 13 points to share high-scoring honors with teammate Taylor Porter. Brooks also had five rebounds and one assist. She played a team-high 33 minutes and shot 4-for-6 from the floor, including 2-for-4 from behind the three-point line. Brooks was also a perfect 3-for-3 from the foul line.
Brooks is averaging a team-high 30.7 minutes per game. She is scoring 7.3 points per game on 16-of-38 shooting. 
Brooks leads the team in rebounding at 7.2 boards per contest.
Brooks was a solid rebounder underneath for Tony Floyd at Eastern, and that effort continues at Marshall.   

Damian Grant, Albertus Magnus men's basketball
Grant (Albertus Magnus athletics)
The former Wilby standout became the second straight Falcon to earn Great Northeast Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week.
Grant, a freshman, made his first career start on the road against Fitchburg State on Nov. 22, and he didn't disappoint. Grant tallied 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, plus 4-of-5 from the foul line. He also filled the stat sheet with four rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Grant did foul out, but he played 22 minutes in his first start.
Grant made his second straight start against Old Westbury on Tuesday night. It was another stat sheet filler for the lefty. Grant played 25 minutes, scored six points and snatched nine rebounds. He also had two steals, one block and one assist.

Stallings (Nichols College athletics)
Devin Stallings, Nichols men's basketball
This senior from Crosby has started all four games for the Bison.
Stallings is second on the team in rebounding at 6.5 per game and is averaging 9.0 points per contest. Stallings is playing 24.8 minutes per game and is 13-of-25 from the floor, 4-of-9 from three-point range, and 6-of-9 at the foul line. Stallings also has five assists, four steals and three blocks.
Fouls have been a problem for Stallings, who fouled out of one game and picked up four in another. In just 20 minutes against Westfield State, Stallings had 12 points, five rebounds, and was 5-of-7 on free throws.
Stallings is capable of being a big threat for his team. He was the ECAC Division III New England Tournament MVP in 2015-16. In the semifinals of that tournament, he tallied 24 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.
Stallings has been joined on the Nichols roster by fellow Crosby grad Jordan Booker, a freshman.

STATS AND NOTES: Wolcott's Class M quarterfinal and the season

Here are some quick stats from last night's Wolcott-St. Joseph Class M quarterfinal game at Joe Monroe Field. Statistics were obtained from Wolcott's MaxPreps page.
Bobby Stoeckert (75) got Wolcott on the board against St. Joseph with a safety.

Ray Iorio 38 rushes for 196 yards, TD
Mike Polzella 6-18
Steve Urbanski 4-19

Polzella 7-of-17, 141 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT

Urbanski 4 catches, 95 yards, 2 TD
Mike Ciarlo 3-46

Head coach Jason Pace and his staff guided Wolcott to its fourth playoff appearance,
fifth game overall. The Eagles had never been to the playoffs before Pace arrived.
Bobby Stoeckert


  • Jason Pace and his coaching staff continue to have success at Wolcott. The Eagles had never made the playoffs until Pace arrived on the scene. Last night marked Wolcott's fourth appearance in the playoffs, and its fifth game overall.
  • Wolcott has a 1-4 record in its playoff history. The one victory came against Ellington/Somers, 32-26 in overtime in 2011. That Class M quarterfinal was the first playoff game the Eagles ever played.
  • Wolcott has lost four straight playoff games. The losses came to Ledyard (2011, Class M), Montville (2012, M) and Ledyard again (2014, Class M-Small).
  • Wolcott has gotten past the quarterfinal once in its playoff history. That came in 2011
    Mike Polzella had a solid first season as starting quarterback,
    and he returns with that experience for his senior year in 2017.
    in Class M. The Eagles defeated Ellington/Somers on the road in overtime, then lost at Ledyard in the semifinal round.
  • Wolcott graduates 10 seniors from this team. It's not as many as the 22 from 2015, but there are some good players leaving the program. To use an often-said phrase, "Next man up." 
  • Polzella had a terrific season in his first as a starting quarterback. The experiences he had as a junior will only benefit him as a senior.
  • Wolcott was young up front. The experience those players -- like Jake Filippone, Matt Romeo, Ethan Miner, Logan Lussier and Dean Howell, just to name a few -- gained will only benefit the Eagles next season. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wolcott football puts up a fight in season-ending loss to St. Joseph

Ray Iorio (left), Steve Urbanski (middle) and Mike Polzella (right) all played
a part in Wolcott's touchdowns on Tuesday night. Iorio ran for a score
while Polzella threw two touchdown passes to Urbanski.
Wolcott football earned a No. 4 seed in the Class M state playoffs.
What it wound up with was a quarterfinal round game against No. 5 St. Joseph of Trumbull, a FCIAC school that played Class L and LL competition during the regular season.
The Eagles hung in with the Cadets deep into the third quarter at Joe Monroe Field on Tuesday night, but the visitors scored the last three touchdowns to claim a 49-21 victory. St. Joseph will face top-seeded Valley Regional/Old Lyme next Monday in a semifinal game in Deep River.
Wolcott's season ended with a record of 8-3. The Eagles still have just one playoff win in their program history.
It was the final game for Wolcott seniors (in order of jersey number on CIAC roster) Ryan Watts, Jake Griffin, Dylan Prescott, Ray Iorio, Steve Urbanski, Diego Lourenco, Nick Comeau, Jesse Fucito, Bobby Stoeckert and Justin Fernandes.
The 2016 Wolcott football team put together an effort that they should be proud of.
Iorio scored on a touchdown run in his final game. His run put the Eagles ahead 8-7. Junior Mike Polzella tossed a pair of touchdowns, both to Urbanski.

In true Wolcott fashion, the home team put up a tremendous fight against St. Joseph, but the Cadets just had too much firepower. Wolcott knew that junior receiver Jared Mallozzi, senior quarterback Cory Babineau and freshman running back Jaden Shirden would be big keys for St. Joseph.
Mallozzi had a monster night and helped break the game open. Babaineau was a steady leader for the Cadets, and Shirden ran for three touchdowns in his first ever playoff game.
It was all too much for the Eagles to handle.
The loss will certainly sting for Wolcott, but given the large graduation hit the program took after 2015, this 2016 season was a pleasant surprise for the boys who play on Bound Line Road. The Eagles put forth an effort that everyone can be proud of.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Wolcott football preps for Class M game against St. Joseph

Wolcott quarterback Mike Polzella has been a steady leader for the offense.
How do you spend a sunny late November afternoon at football practice?
Why, by handling wet footballs without gloves, of course.
Wolcott could very well face wet conditions when it hosts St. Joseph of Trumbull on Tuesday night in a Class M quarterfinal game on the turf of Joe Monroe Field. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m., and it could end up being wet. Wolcott is the No. 4 seed while St. Joseph comes in at No. 5.
The forecast out of the National Weather Service says 80 percent chance of rain, a possible thunderstorm, and oh yeah, some fog. It will be cold, and it will likely be wet.
Wolcott made sure to dunk footballs in a bucket. The players handled them in all different situations, from offense to kickoffs to onside drills.
"You never know," Wolcott head coach Jason Pace said about possible conditions. "It's nice that we're on turf."
St. Joseph loves to throw the football, and the Wolcott defense saw many different looks from the scout team. Of course, it'll be different when Cory Babineau is under center for the Cadets. Babineau threw for 27 touchdowns during the regular season. His weapon of choice is junior Jared Mallozzi. Mallozzi had 80 catches and 1,100 yards through nine games (stats from the Trumbull game haven't been added to the St. Joseph MaxPreps website). The leading rusher through nine games was freshman Jaden Shirden, though Babineau may also tuck and run.
A team effort is what Wolcott needs on Tuesday night.
Wolcott needs a team effort to win Tuesday night.
"We've had some players that have made some individual plays for us, but when we're at our best, it's a team effort," Pace said.
Pace talks about everyone doing their 1/11 of the job. There are, after all, 11 players on the field, whether it's on offense, defense or special teams.
Pace expects a challenge from St. Joseph (8-2), a team that was tested by the rigors of a Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference schedule. The only Cadet losses were to top-ranked Darien, which is undefeated, and Trumbull. Darien is the defending Class LL state champion, and Trumbull just missed the 'LL' playoffs with a 7-3 record.
"We know we need to play mistake-free football," Pace said.
While St. Joseph prefers to throw, Wolcott can throw and run, which could help its chances in poor weather conditions. Junior quarterback Mike Polzella has been terrific making reads this season on passes and runs, and senior Ray Iorio is as tough a runner as you'll find. Steve Urbanski is dangerous in open space, and he can beat defenders on deep passes.
Pace was amazed at how quickly his young team grew up following the humbling 62-21 loss to Ansonia at home in the season opener.
Wolcott will attempt to keep points off the visitor side (St. Joseph) of the Monroe Field
scoreboard as much as possible on Tuesday.
"They just rose up," Pace said. "They raised the level of our play and really stepped up."
Wolcott is led by senior core players like Steve Urbanski, Ray Iorio, Dylan Prescott and Bobby Stoeckert, but there are others who have stepped up. Juniors like Polzella and Mike Ciarlo have made an impact, as has sophomore Anthony Ligi. That's just to name a few.
Wolcott graduated over 20 seniors from last year's team. Many of those 20-plus seniors were three-year starters. The offensive line was a big question mark, and four of the five up front now are underclassmen. That hasn't stopped Wolcott from putting together another solid offense.
On defense, the Eagles will all need to do their job and maintain discipline against the spread offense of the Cadets. Getting out of position against St. Joseph could result in big chunks of yards and points on the Monroe Field scoreboard, and that's something Wolcott wants to avoid.
If the Eagles can maintain possession of the ball and chew up yards, it would be a huge help. Of course, the approach of both teams could end up dictated by the weather.
"We're going to make sure we're prepared," Pace said.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Holy Cross football program remembers 2006 state title

Holy Cross football came together as a program and a family over the past few days, and it wasn't just for the Thanksgiving morning clash against Wolcott.
Well, that game is always big for the Crusaders, but there was also an anniversary to celebrate.
Holy Cross football posted this photo on their Twitter account
from the 2006 state championship reunion.
2006 was a special year for the Holy Cross football program. That season, the Crusaders went 12-1 and capped it with a dominating 40-0 win over Stratford at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven in the Class SS state championship game. It was the first state title in program history.
Dan Mulrooney had an absolutely monster game for Holy Cross. The senior running back ran for 353 yards on 20 carries and scored four touchdowns. Mike Croce tossed touchdowns of 30 and 86 yards to Jerome Mitchell and Anthony Chance.
The defense also stood out in that game. Holy Cross, the top seed, held No. 2 Stratford to a total of 114 yards. Kyle Lagasse had two interceptions while Andrew Fazo and Matt Fazo each had one.
Holy Cross scored 14 points in the first and third quarters, 6 in the second and fourth.
Holy Cross was also dominant in its 49-8 semifinal win over No. 4 Tolland. Mulrooney had three touchdown runs and a punt return for a score. Croce threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Dan Awwad and a six-yard toss to Dan Crane. Lagasse returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown. Tolland didn't score until late.
The lone Holy Cross loss came in the NVL championship game.
The current Crusaders had a Thanksgiving Eve dinner, and Mulrooney and T.J. Campion spoke to the players.

Here are the results from that 2006 season:

at Torrington -- 34-0
Crosby -- 54-14
at Woodland -- 48-7
Watertown -- 41-7
Kennedy -- 40-16
at Seymour -- 40-6
Wilby -- 48-27
at Naugatuck -- 42-0
Sacred Heart -- 35-7
Ansonia -- 13-27 (NVL title game)
at Wolcott -- 33-6
Tolland -- 49-8 (Class SS semifinal)
Stratford -- 40-0 (Class SS final)

Holy Cross outscored opponents 415-90 in the regular season. In the playoffs, the Crusaders lit up their foes to a tune of 89-8.

Here is the roster from that title team (via MaxPreps):

Jerome Mitchell
Ta-quon Zimmerman
Justin Barney
Dan Lucia
Conor Berger
Dom Flammia
Larry Hoffler
Michael Croce
Mike Philbin
John Albertini
Rob Pagliaro
Chris Flinter
Matt Brouillard
Adam Zezima
Dan Mulrooney
Andrew Fazo
Ed Thomas
Jeff Scappini
Tim Gaydosh
Ben Ewald
Kyle Lagasse
Christian Cuevas
Cody Dierks
John Fusco
Tim Brady
Kevin Sullivan
Andrew Salcito
Mike Possamato
Doug Breir
Joe Hogerhiede
Dan Diclemente
Tim Bessette
Drew Durant
Zack Syndlar
Sean Muckle
Josh Diaz
Jordan Digiovanni
Andrew Morrone
Brandon Young
Anthony Pennocchio
Steve Czapor
Chris Marino
Chris Swan
Matt Fazo
Chris Boylan
Kevin Lauber
Derek Ward
Obee Byrd
Chris Torello
TJ Campion
Dave Wildman
Rich Marano
Mason Miller
Mike Lasky
Dan Shea
Joe Brown
Steven Whalen
Joe Bocci
Dan Crane
Dan Awwad
Nick Vargoshe
Matt Pakulski
Chris Carmody
Anthony Chance

Coaches (listed on The Zone in a Nov. 26 story)
Mike Phelan
Joe Marino
Mike Diorio
Pete McCasland
Matt Smolley
Mike Mannetti
Mike Giampetruzzi

THANKSGIVING RECAP: Wolcott earns home quarterfinal game

I was away with family for Thanksgiving festivities, but here's a quick recap of what happened during the Turkey Day games:

Wolcott 47, Holy Cross 28
The Crusaders fought valiantly against the Eagles at Alumni Field, but the visitors put together a big fourth quarter to claim victory.
Wolcott (8-2) clinched a Class M state playoff home quarterfinal with the win. The No. 4 Eagles will host the No. 5 St. Joseph Cadets of the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Wolcott got a huge game from senior back Ray Iorio, who ran for 266 yards and three touchdowns. Junior quarterback Mike Polzella also showed good running ability with 56 yards and three touchdowns. Polzella also threw for 140 yards and a touchdown, which was caught by senior Steve Urbanski. The Eagles may have had just six receptions, but they averaged 23.3 yards per catch collectively.
Wolcott tallied 358 yards of total offense. The Eagles led 27-20 at halftime, and it stayed that way into the fourth quarter, but the visitors were able to put the game away.
For Holy Cross, Adam Razza had 94 yards receiving, 19 yards rushing, and 29 yards passing, according to statistics posted on The Zone. Sophomore quarterback Corey Fappiano was 11-for-16 for 238 yards, including a game-high of 103 to junior DeAndre Wallace.

The Crusaders finished the season with a record of 3-7. It was the final game for seniors Phil Serva, Adam Razza, Jack Potter, Taevian Whitehead and Donovan Montville, according to the team's CIAC roster.

Wolcott statistics obtained from the team's MaxPreps website.

Kennedy 61, Crosby 42
The Eagles tallied a season-high in points and finished with a perfect record in the NVL Brass Division.
Marc-Anthony Telusma put together a monstrous game for Kennedy (5-5, 5-0 Brass) with 287 yards rushing and five touchdowns on just 10 carries, according to statistics posted on The Zone. Jacob Colon added 122 yards and two touchdowns while Daishawn Lamar tallied 44.
Kennedy took control of the game with a three-touchdown burst in the fourth quarter. The outburst extended the Eagle advantage to 61-34 from 43-34.
For Crosby, quarterback Mike Marshall threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown. Eli Mbaya totaled 134 yards and two touchdowns, Davonte Howard tallied 87 yards and a score, and Denzel Smith reeled in a 22-yard touchdown. Kenny Petteway had 72 yards. Those statistics were also on The Zone.
It was the final game for Kennedy seniors Stayvou Addison, Terrance Bridgeforth, Jacob Colon, James Cossette, Anthony Delvalle, Jacob Dinklocher, Donald Fletcher, Zyrese Johnson, Jarrett Ladd, Nicholas Ramos, Andrew Reid, Marcus Rivera, Jude Sampson, Joey Schaff, Tyvon Stenson, Marc-Anthony Telusma and Lasean Thomas, according to the team's CIAC roster.
For Crosby, it was the final game for seniors Alex Bello, Andrew Curry, Donte Detanto, Kenny Finnegan, Jaylen Fisher, A'savion Johnson, Lynden Johnson, Mike Marshall, Eli Mbaya, Ricardo Morales, Deshon Ortiz, Kenny Petteway, Edgard Rivera, Christopher Robinson, Brandon Rodriguez, Markell Streit, Eli Torres and Julian Torres, according to the team's CIAC roster.

Bristol Central 30, Bristol Eastern 12
The Rams took down the Lancers for the second straight year in what could be the final Battle for the Bell to be played at Muzzy Field.
Bristol Central led just 7-6 after one quarter, but was able to extend the lead to 14-6 by halftime. The Rams scored three times in the second half before the Lancers put the final points on the board. 
Central clinched a share of the CCC Division II West title with Platt and Maloney, according to a story on The Bristol Press website. The Rams finished with a 6-4 record overall, 4-1 in the division. Eastern finished winless at 0-10.
Isaiah Miller started the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, according to results reported to the Hartford Courant. Jaden Laprise's 86-yard kickoff return pulled Eastern within 7-6.
A five-yard run by Luis Medina put Central ahead 14-6 in the second quarter and at the half. A safety made it 16-6 in the third quarter, then Dathan Hickey extended the advantage to 23-6 with a 41-yard scoring run. Miller capped the Central scoring with a four-yard run. Brett Adams booted his fourth extra point (perfect 4-for-4) after the Miller TD.
Eastern's last score of the season came on a 70-yard fumble return by Edgar Hernandez.
For Central, it was the last game for seniors Cody Hildebrand, Patrick Kenney, Cole Staples, Luis Medina, Jeremy Ganavage, Scott Larson, Connor Staubley, Brett Adams, Noah Hicking, Edward Irizarry, Thomas Nelligan, Anthony Ross and Jesse Serrano, according to the team's CIAC roster.
It was the final game for Eastern seniors Alexander Acevedo, Benjamin Dowd, Brandon Janelle, Anthony Lozier, Michael Massarelli, Edgar Hernandez, Jared Procko, Erik Santiago, Connor Trowbridge and Nicholas Woods, according to the team's CIAC roster.

Gilbert/Northwestern 29, Waterbury Career Academy 6
The Spartans didn't get the ending they wanted to their first varsity season. 
Jaden Battle tallied WCA's only score on a 74-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, according to a story by Peter Wallace of The Register Citizen. Josiah Rivers had 43 yards rushing while Kyren Petteway tallied 30. The Spartans finished the season with a 4-6 record.
It was the final game for WCA seniors Josiah Rivers, Jorge Cruz, Kovin Grass, Adrian Velez, Justen Torres, Michael Shannon, Corey Boisvert, Nolan Pimentel, Chauncey Gibson, Chase Lafountaine, David Hailstones, Jordan Lewis and Jarvis Rivera, according to the team's CIAC roster.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech posts program's first winning season since 2010

Trey Dawson (11), Tyler Gendron (8) and company helped lead Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech
to a 6-4 record in 2016, the first winning season for the program since 2010.
The last time the Sacred Heart football had a winning season, Kaynor Tech wasn't part of the program.
It was 2010, and the Hearts finished 6-4 in the regular season. That year, 6-4 was good enough for the eighth and final spot in the Class S state playoffs. Sacred Heart lost to top-seeded Valley Regional/Old Lyme 37-24 in a quarterfinal round matchup.
Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech had endured some hard seasons, but success found its way back into the program in 2016. The co-op finished the season with a 68-14 pasting of Wilby (0-10) on Thanksgiving Eve at Municipal Stadium's Ray Snyder Sr. Field.
With the win, SH/KT finished the season with a 6-4 record. There's no playoff berth this time around, but the co-op will certainly take the winning season. SH/KT set itself up for a shot at a winning season by winning a 57-38 shootout at Crosby.
The co-op began the season with a surprising 34-22 win at St. Paul. After a loss to Oxford, SH/KT blew out Woodland. A loss to Seymour followed, then the co-op defeated Watertown.
SH/KT was then involved in the highest-scoring game in state history, a 72-70 loss to Waterbury Career Academy.
The co-op defeated Holy Cross, but lost the next game to Kennedy to drop to 4-4 on the season. The four wins were the most for a Sacred Heart team, co-op or not, since 2011, but a bigger goal was in sight.
The co-op had a chance to surpass that win total, and they did with wins over their city rivals.
The explosive offense was led by quarterback Trey Dawson, along with wide receivers Tyler Rudolph and Courie Stevenson. The offense made sure SH/KT went out with a bang, putting up 68 points. The 68 points were the second-highest total of the season, and it was the fourth time that the co-op scored 57 or more in a game.
It was a record season for SH/KT, and it was a winning season. After winning one game over the past three years, there's not much more the co-op could have asked for.

St. Paul football closes out season with loss at Oxford

The St. Paul football team ended its season with a 35-22 Thanksgiving Eve loss to Oxford at Wolverine Stadium on the campus of Oxford High School.
The Falcons finished the 2016 season with a 6-4 record. St. Paul's touchdowns were scored by Kevin Ashworth, Chris Dionne and Damien Rabis. The Falcons got to within 27-22 before the Wolverines scored a final touchdown to put the game on ice.
It was the final game for St. Paul seniors Dan Spatafore Jr., Eric Passeck, Evan Kulig, Jordan Silva (captain), Pierce Piana, Zach Parent (captain), Alec Zukauskas (captain), Matt Gray, David Lyder and Jeremy Adams.
The Falcons posted their third straight season of five or more wins.

HIGH 5 OF THE WEEK: Brad Grasso honorable mention as a freshman at Post

Grasso (Post University athletics)
Brad Grasso, Post University football
Grasso had a solid first season with the Eagle sprint football program, and he was rewarded for it by the Collegiate Sprint Football League.
Grasso was named as an honorable mention at linebacker when the postseason rewards were released by the CSFL. Grasso had 47 tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Grasso had nine tackles in a game for his season-high, but he also had eight in a game three separate times.
Grasso played for Wolcott High School.

Perry (WCSU athletics)
Tre'Von Perry, Western Connecticut State University
men's basketball
Perry, a Holy Cross graduate, is one of several local players on the Colonial roster.
Perry has started all three games WCSU has played and is averaging 29.3 minutes. Perry is averaging 11.7 points per game and is 16-of-29 from the floor. Perry is second on the team in rebounds (23), tied for second in steals (5) and tied for second in blocks (3).
Perry had a season-high 18 points against Lycoming, then followed it up with 12 points and a season-high 12 rebounds against Dean.

Martin (SCSU athletics)
Lilly Martin, Southern Connecticut State University women's swimming and diving
The junior Owl and former St. Paul standout had a big weekend.
Martin recorded six first place finishes as SCSU swept dual meets against WPI and Pace. As a result, she was named SCSU's female athlete of the week.
In the WPI meet, Martin was part of the winning 400 medley relay, and she took first in both the 200 breaststroke and 200 individual medley. Against Pace, Martin was first in the 200 butterfly, 200 breaststroke and 400 individual medley.
Martin is a Marketing major at SCSU.

Chapman (Monroe athletics)
Jarron Chapman, Monroe Community College 
men's basketball
Chapman, who played for Crosby before transferring to Naugatuck, is off to a good start at Monroe.
In six games -- three starts -- Chapman is averaging 10.3 points in 20.8 minutes. Chapman is 25-of-43 from the field, seven assists and four steals.
Chapman's season-high in points was 17 against Clinton on Nov. 20. Chapman has scored 12 points in a game twice, and he had 10 in another contest.
Monroe is a perfect 6-0 to start the season. Chapman, a Waterbury native, is a sophomore.

Cretella (ECSU athletics)
Lizzy Cretella, Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball
The former St. Paul standout has seen playing time in the first games of her inaugural season with the Warriors.
Cretella has appeared in all three ECSU games and is averaging 11.7 minutes. Cretella is averaging 2.7 points per game and is 3-of-8 from the field. 
When asked about Cretella, head coach Bierly said: "We are hoping for her to be the first off the bench this year. She is an all-around intensely competitive kid who plays good defense."
Cretella was always a tenacious competitor for Joe Mone at St. Paul, and she looks to bring the same intensity to ECSU. The Warriors are 3-0 so far this season.

Statistics compiled from various team websites.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mallory becomes SCSU's all-time leading scorer

Former Holy Cross and Marianapolis Prep standout Mike Mallory became the all-time leading scorer for Southern Connecticut State University men's basketball on Tuesday night.
Mallory drained a foul shot to surpass Rich Radicioni for the top spot on the list. Mallory tallied 30 points to give himself 1,938 for his career.
SCSU won the game 92-87 over American International College in Springfield, Mass. Mallory also had five assists in the victory.
Earlier this week, Mallory was honored as the Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Week. Mallory averaged 31.5 points over two games.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Wolcott football will play in Class M playoffs

Wolcott football had some of its Thanksgiving morning pressure alleviated last night.
The Eagles clinched a Class M state playoff berth by virtue of Waterford's loss to New London.
Wolcott (7-2) still has to play at Holy Cross (3-6) on Thanksgiving, but a spot in the postseason is no longer on the line. The only question now is who will the Eagles be playing in the quarterfinal round on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
As of this morning, Wolcott is ranked sixth in Class M, which would put it on the road at third-ranked Killingly, a run-happy team from the Eastern Connecticut Conference.
Based on the max points a team can have, Wolcott could end up fifth. Bunnell, currently fifth, plays city rival Stratford. If it comes down to a tiebreaker, the Eagles would garner the No. 5 seed. Wolcott would also be fifth with a Bunnell loss.
Wolcott's opponent is not set in stone. The Eagles could play either Killingly or Hillhouse, depending on how things shake out next week. Hillhouse, 8-1, plays 5-4 city rival Wilbur Cross Thanksgiving morning. Killingly faces 2-7 Quinebaug Valley that same morning. Depending on the outcome of those games and points, No. 3 Killingly and No. 4 Hillhouse could change spots.
Of course, all of the above would be moot if Wolcott loses to Holy Cross. That could drop the Eagles to No. 7. Wolcott still needs to take care of business against Holy Cross.
The playoffs aren't set until the Friday after Thanksgiving, when the CIAC makes them official. What is set is Wolcott will be in the playoffs after missing out in 2015.

Friday, November 18, 2016

FOOTBALL BY THE NUMBERS: Rudolph and Stevenson both over 1,000 yards receiving

After a busy couple of weeks, I decided to offer up some season stats instead of trying to cram the last couple weeks into one post. Here we go:

Rudolph, Stevenson and Dawson lead high-flying SH/KT offense
To say that Tyler Rudolph has made an impact in his first season with the Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech football team would be a major understatement.
Rudolph was named USA Football/MaxPreps Northeast Region Player of the Week for his efforts in a 57-38 win over Crosby. Rudolph scored five touchdowns, three rushing and two receiving. He tallied 179 yards of total offense.
In eight games played -- he was out for the Oxford matchup -- Rudolph has tallied 79 -- yes 79 -- catches for 1,257 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has run 14 times for 137 yards and six touchdowns. And oh yeah, he has a kickoff return for a score.
Rudolph is part of a prolific SH/KT offense.
Courie Stevenson has 67 receptions for 1,005 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The guy who gets them the ball, Trey Dawson, has thrown for 3,008 yards and 27 touchdowns to nine interceptions. Dawson has completed 221 of 352 pass attempts, or 62.8 percent.
Tiron Ferris (7) and Joel Guzman (4) have combined for 11 rushing touchdowns.

Iorio the latest in stable of solid Wolcott running backs
Wolcott had to fill a void at running back with the graduation of Nate Filippone.
Enter Ray Iorio.
After a 223-yard effort against Torrington, Iorio has 1,376 for the season to go along with 10 touchdowns. Iorio is averaging nearly 153 yards per game.
Quarterback Mike Polzella has added a second threat in the run game. If a defense keys too hard on Iorio, Polzella can keep the ball and run it. He had nearly 500 yards on the season entering the Torrington game.
The efforts of Iorio, Polzella and their Wolcott blockers have the Eagles on the cusp of a Class M state playoff spot.

Ground game helped St. Paul to another winning season
After a high-octane passing game led by Logan Marchi, the Falcons have turned to a ground attack over the past several seasons.
Through eight games, St. Paul was 286.8 rushing yards. The leading rusher is Damien Rabis, who has taken over the major workload since the injury to Pierce Piana five games in. Rabis had 836 yards through eight games. St. Paul ran over Wilby 54-6 on Senior Night to get to 6-3 and clinch another winning season.
The Falcons are likely not making the Class S state playoffs, but they can finish with a 7-3 record if they beat the Oxford Wolverines on Thanksgiving Eve in Oxford.

Kennedy defense took care of business in division games
The Eagles were able to grab a NVL Brass Division title, the first crown for the program since 2008.
A big key was Kennedy's defense. The most points the Eagles allowed in a division game was 21, and that was in the first contest against Holy Cross. After that, Kennedy allowed 8, 0 and 8 points. The two eight-point totals came against Waterbury Career Academy and Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech, two of the most potent offenses in the NVL.
In total, the Eagles are allowing 9.25 points per game. Kennedy used that defense and a balanced running game to win the Brass. The Eagles still have one division game left at Crosby on Thanksgiving morning.

Another winning season for Bristol Central?
The Rams were eliminated from playoff contention after losing to East Hartford, but they can still secure a winning season.
Bristol Central needs a win over city rival Bristol Eastern at Muzzy Field on Thanksgiving morning to finish 6-4. If the Rams beat the winless Lancers, it would clinch a third straight winning season. Central was 7-3 in both 2014 and 2015.

Ray Iorio's total rushing yards for Torrington game from Mark Jaffee's report on The Zone website. Other stats obtained from the MaxPreps sites for each team. Several teams that have MaxPreps sites haven't updated them. If you have a player from the Sports on CT-69 area that you want to point out to me, email me at or tweet me @SportsonCT69

Mustapha Heron's monster game for Auburn

Heron (Auburn athletics)
Mustapha Heron will return to Connecticut next month when Auburn takes on Oklahoma and UConn in a three-day span.
If the freshman left-hander continues to play like he has been, the Nutmeg State won't be able to contain the hype.
Heron scored 24 points on 8-of-8 shooting from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds in a win over Eastern Kentucky last night. Heron proved how driven he is when he mentioned he was annoyed with his 7-for-13 performance from the foul line.
Auburn posted Heron up and allowed him to use his bulk and skill. For head coach Bruce Pearl to put that much faith in a freshman shows what he thinks of the player.
The Tigers play Oklahoma at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 21 at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Auburn plays UConn at the XL Center on Dec. 23 at 2:30 p.m. There will be plenty of talk around that homecoming, especially if Heron continues to play like he did last night.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

HIGH 5 OF THE WEEK: Brianna Root first team All-CACC again

Root (Post University athletics)
Brianna Root, Post University women's volleyball
The Eagles had a terrific regular season, and Root was rewarded for her efforts.
Root, a sophomore, made the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference's first team for the second straight year. Root led the conference in assists per set at 11.22, and she finished second in total assists with 1,105. Root's assists per set tally ranked 21st in all of Division II.
Post went 25-4 in the regular season.
In a CACC Tournament match on Tuesday, Root tallied 39 assists and 12 digs in a 3-0 Post sweep of Chestnut Hill.

Nicol (WCSU athletics)
Mike Nicol, Western Connecticut State University football
The senior running back affected the Colonial season finale with his arm and his legs.
Nicol hooked up with Lucas Desouza on a halfback option pass for an 81-yard touchdown. Nicol was a high school quarterback at Wolcott, so throwing the ball was not a foreign concept to him.
Nicol ran seven times for 29 yards and caught a pass for 15 yards in the 42-7 WCSU win over Westfield State.
It was the final game for Nicol, who had a solid career at WCSU. He totaled 4,302 yards on offense and scored 38 touchdowns (31 rushing, 16 passing, 1 receiving). Nicol also recovered a fumble for a touchdown in his freshman season.
Nicol wore different hats during his time with WCSU. As a freshman, he played on defense. In his sophomore season, Nicol stepped in and played quarterback because of injury and tossed 15 touchdowns. As a junior, he ran for 1,319 yards and 14 touchdowns. In his senior season, Nicol served as a team captain.

Longo (WNEU athletics)
Tom Longo and Phil Lebel,
Western New England University football

Lebel (WNEU athletics)
Longo and Lebel played on some successful teams at Wolcott High School, and that has continued with the Golden Bears.
Western New England University plays Husson this weekend in a NCAA Division III playoff game. The Golden Bears completed their second straight undefeated regular season over the weekend, and this is the program's third NCAA appearance. Longo, a junior offensive lineman, and Lebel, a sophomore tight end, have both seen playing time for WNEU this season. Lebel has played in seven games while Longo has taken part in six.

Cruz (Trinity athletics)
Noah Cruz, Trinity College football
Speaking of undefeated football teams, this former Bristol Central standout was a part of one with the Bantams.
Trinity capped a 8-0 season with a 45-21 win at Wesleyan. Cruz, a freshman, played in three games. The highlight of Cruz's freshman season came in a Oct. 22 game at Bowdoin. Cruz had five total tackles, including assisting on one for a loss. He also had half a sack in that contest.
The Wesleyan game was a reunion for Cruz. Krys Nizielski, a teammate at Bristol Central, is a freshman defensive lineman. Nizielski played in three games.

Statistics compiled from team websites.