Blogs >'s Boys Hoops Run to the Sun

Follow all the coverage of boys high school basketball throughout the state on their way to Mohegan Sun Arena, the site of this year's championship weekend, March 15-16.

Friday, March 5, 2010

CCC recap

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Favorites reign

no surprises in the league championship games Thursday night:

Bridgeport Central tne No. 1 team in the Register Top 10 poll, beat St. Joseph 77-65 to win the FCIAC championship. Central has yet to lose a game on the court and is the top seed in Class LL.

Stratford, the No. 2 team, rallied to beat Newtown 53-41 to win the SWC championship. Stratford is the top seed in Class L.

And No. 6 Bloomfield beat Northwest Catholic 84-78 to win the CCC championship.

On Friday, No. 3 Hyde and No. 4 New London try to capture the Shoreline and ECC titles, respectively.

Even more league tournament predictions

We've already had two surprises, North Haven shocking Hillhouse for the SCC championship and Crosby winning its seventh straight NVL championship in overtime last night over Sacred Heart.

That puts me at 0-2. Let's see how the others go:

Shoreline final, Friday, 7 p.m. at Haddam-Killingworth
Hyde vs. Cromwell - these two teams meet for the second straight final. Hyde won both meetings handily during the regular season. This one will be closer, but still... Hyde prevails.

SWC final, today, 7:30 p.m. at Masuk
Stratford vs. Newtown: Stratford had to come back from double digits in the fourth quarter to beat Newtown during the regular season. This game is going to the wire and...Stratford wins by 4.

CCC final, today, 7 p.m. at Bulkeley
Northwest Catholic vs. Bloomfield - EO Smith is the only team Bloomfield has lost to this season (twice). That won't change tonight despite a game effort from the Indians - Bloomfield

FCIAC final, today, 7 p.m., at Sacred Heart University
Bridgeport Central vs. St. Joseph - The Cadets have Greg Langston, Timajh Parker and Oscar Assie and they will get into a running game against the Hilltoppers, led by Jerome Parkins. This has the makings of a classic: Bpdt Central at the buzzer.

CSC final, today, at the New Haven Athletic Center, 6:30 p.m.
Abbott Tech vs. Cheney Tech - These two clubs could make a little bit of noise in the Class M state tournament. But Abbott Tech maks it two straight league titles here...Abbott Tech.

ECC final, Friday
New London vs. Norwich Free Academy: NFA upset East Lyme in the semifinals. New London is on a mission and will make it 22 straight wins...New London

Berkshire Legue final, Friday
Nonnewaug vs. Litchfield: One of three unbeatens in the state stays that way...Nonnewaug.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Class S tournament breakdown

Hyde, a finalist here last year, is the top seed in search of its first state championship since 2003. The Howling Wolves, which completed their first undefeated regular season in school history, gets a bye into the second round and hosts either Morgan or Wamogo.
Ansonia is the No. 9 seed and could await the Holwing Wolves in the quarterfinals. A Shoreline Conference foes, either No. 4 Valley Regional or No. 5 Coginchaug, could see Hyde in the semifinals if seeding holds to form.
Kolbe Cathedral is the No. 2 seed and will host the winner of Old Lyme and Tourtellotte in the second round.

Quick analysis: Which team or teams can derail a finals matchups between Hyde and Kolbe Cathedral?

View the Class S bracket here:

Class M breakdown

Undefeated Nonnewaug is the top seed and hosts Immaculate in the opening round. Seymour could await Nonnewaug in the seocnd round and No. 8 Sheehan could be waiting in the quarterfinals on March 15 if seeds hold to form.
Cromwell, last year's Class S champion, moved up to Class M and is the No. 4 seed, hosting Watertown on Tuesday.
Abbott Tech is the No. 2 seed in the bottom half of the bracket and could make a run. Bloomfield is the No. 3 seed and hosts Woodland in the opening round and could face No. 14 Trinity Catholic in the second round.
Law has the 11th seed and will host Weston in the opening round and could travel to Manchester to face Cheney Tech, the No. 6 seed, in the second round.

Quick analysis: Will anyone be able to slow down Bloomfield?

View the Class M bracket here:

Class L breakdown

Stratford completed its second straight undefeated regular season and gets a bye into the second round. The Red Devils hosts the winner of Fitch and Pomperaug in the second round next Wednesday night. In its regular-season meeting, Stratford had to come back from double digits in the final quarter to edge Pomperaug.
No. 4 E.O. Smith and No. 5 East Lyme also received first-round byes. No. 12 Wilbur Cross and No. 13 Kennedy lurk as serious darkhorses in the top portion of the bracket.
In the bottom bracket, New London is the No. 2 seed and will face the Weaver/Berlin winner. North Haven, which upset Hillhouse Tuesday to win its first SCC championship, is the No. 7 seed and will host Wilby in the first round and could see Branford for a fourth time this year in the second round on Wednesday.
Career is the No. 22 seed and will travel to Bridgeport to face No. 11 Bassick on Monday night.

View the Class L brackets here:

Class LL breakdown

Bridgeport Central is the top seed and will face the winner of West Haven and NFA in the opening round next Tuesday. In the Hilltoppers' path are No. 8 New Britain in the quarterfinals and No. 4 Sacred Heart or No. 5 Newtown in the semifinals if seeds hold to form.
In the bottom bracket, Hillhouse drew the No. 3 seed and hosts Simsbury in the opening round. The the Academics would get the winner of Trumbull and New Milford in the second round before No. 6 Windsor in the quarterfinals, again if seeds hold to form.
St. Joseph is the No. 2 seed but could face No. 15 Crosby in the second round and No. 7 East Hartford or No. 10 East Catholic in the second round. It could be a tough road for the Cadets, who have not lost since early January.
No. 11 Notre Dame-West Haven has a tough opening-round game against Bulkeley at home next Tuesday.

Question: Can Hillhouse rebound off its tough loss to North Haven in the SCC championship in time to make a run?

Check out the Class LL field here:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Other league tournament action

The SCC was the biggst surprise by far and one of the three games I lost in my predictions. But I fared 10-3 overall.

In the FCIAC, Bridgeport Central buried city rival Bassick 104-62 and will face St. Joseph, a 61-56 winner over Stamford. The final is Thursday at 7:30 at Sacred Heart University.

In the NVL, tonight's final pits top-seeded Sacred Heart against Crosby, the five-time reigning champion, at 7 p.m. at Wilby.

In the SWC, Stratford remained undefeated by beating Masuk 62-50. The Red Devils will face Newtown, a 82-73 winner over Kolbe Cathedral. During the season, Stratford had to come back from double digits on the road to beat Newtown. That final is Thursday at 7:30 at Masuk.

In the CCC, Bloomfield beat Windsor 66-60 and Northwest Catholic beat New Britain 92-87. That game will be Thursday at 7 p.m. at Bulkeley.

Biggest upset in SCC tournament history?

You can certainly make that argument. Hillhouse with four SCC championship and a record 21 state championship losing to North Haven playing in its first final and having played in one state final in Class L in 1989.

North Haven did play with more heart and definitely wanted it more, as Hillhouse coach Kermit Carolina alluded to in his postgame comments. North Haven's Brian Salzillo got untracked offensively late in the game against a tough defender in Tavon Allen and Joe Setaro not only grabbed 11 rebounds, but he kept Hillhouse point guard Freddie Wilson out of the paint.

North Haven did everything it neded to do to win the game: control tempo, stay close in rebounding and limit its turnovers (10). The state voters have overlooked the team all season long but will be hard-pressed to do so in the poll that comes out before the state tournament.

But Hillhouse certainly lives and dies by the 3-point shot. That's the way the team has played all season long. And after shooting 6 of 35 from beyond the arc, including 1 of 12 in the fourth, the Academics certainly died by the shot.

Wilson tried to get into the lane in the fourth quarter, but you cannot fault him for finding open shooters. That is what a point guard is supposed to do. But you can fault him and the team for only going to the line three times. When you shoot from the perimeter as often as Hillhouse does, you don't get to the line.

And the fact that North Haven accomplished this with no substitutions is even more remarkable. A good run in Class L just might await the Indians.

And it makes you wonder how far Hillhouse can go in Class LL.

North Haven wins the SCC title

Yes the Indians shocked the Academics at TD Bank Sports Center 41-34 for its first league title.

North haven up by two

Tavon Allen hit a putback off a missed free throw and Hillhouse called for timeout down two, 36-34, with 30 seconds left in SCC tournament final

North haven leads by four

36-32 with 1:20 left to go

game still tied

Hillhouse's Tavon Allen and North Haven's Brian Salzillo hit back-to-back three-point shots.

32-32 3:44 left.

Hillhouse, North Haven are tied

at 27 with 5:38 left in the SCC final.

Hillhouse only up two

at the end of three quarters, 29-27. Hillhouse scored only seven points in the third quarter.

North haven has stayed in it with Brian Salzillo having just seven points.

Hillhouse still up

But still close 27-25 over North Haven midway through third period

Hillhouse leads at halftime

But it is close and low-scoring as the Academics only lead 22-17 in the SCC championship game being held at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden.

SCC final

Can North Haven win tonight?
Yes: if the Indians control tempo, if they can outrebound Hillhouse with Billy McDonald and Dave Sims playing ultra-aggressive on the boards, if the Indians can shoot over 50 percent from the floor.
Joe Setaro will be a key factor because Tavon Allen will likely be guarding the smaller but tough hombre, Brian Salzillo. North Haven needs to keep the game in the low 50s to win.
And North Haen also needs to get out on shooters Allen and Jengodji Gates among others and hope they are not in sync like everyone on Hillhouse was against Notre Dame.
And even if all that happens, Hillhouse has Freddie Wilson, making decisions and creating his own shot. Like I have said before, he is normally the difference in games and should be again tonight.

Hillhouse 66, North Haven 54

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hillhouse 73-34

Top-seeded Hillhouse coasts over fifth-seeded Notre Dame to reach the SCC final for the second straight season.

Hillhouse coasting to finals

Hillhouse just finished off a 29-0 run - yes 29-0 - over the second and third quarters. The Academics lead Notre Dame 53-22 late in the third and the defending champions will face North Haven in tomorrow's SCC final at Quinnipiac.

North Haven hangs on

Brian Salzillo bit two free throws in the final 10 seconds to help No. 3 seed North Haven advance to its first SCC championship by beating No. 2 Sheehan 70-66. North Haven faces the winner of the second game between Hillhouse and Notre Dame.

North Haven leads through three quarters

Brian Salzillo has 16 points to pace the Indians, who lead Sheehan ??? in the SCC boys basketball semifinals at TD Bank Sports Center. Phil Gaetano has a game-high 21 points for the Titans.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

more league tournament predictions

After going 20-4 in my quarterfinal-round predictions, let's see how I do in the semifinals

SCC - Monday at Quinnipiac
No. 2 Sheehan vs. No. 3 North Haven - North Haven won the regular-season meeting in the Morgan Christmas tournament. This one will be closer, but still...North Haven in OT.

No. 1 Hillhouse vs. No. 4 Notre Dame: There's no way Notre Dame can win again playing only five guys, can they? This game will be closer than people think, but by the fourth quarter, Hillhouse should again hang on... by 6.

Shoreline - Tuesday
No. 1 Hyde vs. No. 4 Coginchaug at Wilbur Cross - Hye is seemingly on a mission to go undefeated - Hyde
No. 2. Valley Regional hosts No. 3 Cromwell - Valley won at Cromwell during the season and I think the Warriors will knock out the defending champions - Valley.

SWC - Tuesday at Pomperaug
No. 2 Kolbe Cathedral vs. No. 3 Newtown - Newtown in a tight one
No. 1 Stratford vs. No. 4 Masuk - Stratford

FCIAC - Tuesday at Sacred Heart
No. 2 St. Joseph vs. No. 6 Stamford - St. Joes by double digits
No. 1 Bridgeport Central vs. No. 4 Bassick - Central also by double digits

NVL - Monday at Wilby
No. 2 Holy Cross vs. No. 3 Crosby - The five-time reigning champion, Crosby, advances
No. 1 Sacred Heart vs. No. 4 Kennedy - Sacred Heart by 4

CCC - Tuesday at Bulkeley
No. 8 New Britain vs. No. 4 Northwest Catholic - New Britain in a low-scoring affair

No. 7 Windsor vs. No. 3 Bloomfield - Bloomfield prevails.