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.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stratford still the one in the SWC

Stratford likely played its most complete game of the season in a 80-63 win over Notre Dame-Fairfield that could determine the top seed in the South-West Conference tournament.

Notre Dame led early and Stratford center Tafari Whittingham picked up two quick fouls. But he played virtually the entire second quarter without picking up his third and Stratford took the lead for good in the quarter.

Stratford played some spectacular defense and attacked Notre Dame's full-court pressure. If you can beat the Lancers' pressure, you can beat Notre Dame. Stratford has big guards who can pass over the trap rather than dribble through it. Notre Dame contributed to its own demise by being careless with the ball, rushing shots and committing unforced turnovers.

But Stratford outplayed Notre Dame, pure and simple. Tom Bajda unofficially had 29 points against his former team. For those who don't know, Bajda transferred early last season to Stratford, had to sit out for 30 days due to the CIAC transfer rule, then was a part of Stratford's run to the Class L state championship.

Now the Red Devils host Kolbe Cathedral on Saturday. Head coach Chris Smith, the former UConn great, was in attendance Thursday. The game won't be easy but if Stratford plays anywhere close to how it did against ND, it won't matter.

Things look to be coming together at the most opportune time for the Red Devils.


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