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.

Throwback Thursday

Each Thursday the Register will take a look at a former state standout, who is now playing in college.

Player: Anthony Ireland

College: Loyola Marymount

Year: Freshman

Height: 5-10

Position: Guard

High school: Crosby (Register All-State selection 2008-09)

Current stats: 9.9 ppg, 31.2 percent from 3-point range, 3.9 rpg, 70 assists, 22 steals, 30.0 minutes

Of Note: Ireland is LMU's fourth-leading scorer and has started 19 of 24 games. .

For more on Ireland, click here

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

SWC battle on tap

The top two teams in the South-West Conference square off tonight in Stratford as Notre Dame-Fairfield brings its unbeaten record in against a team with just one loss in the past three seasons in the SWC.

It should be interesting how Stratford handles the full-court pressure Notre Dame will apply. If the Red Devils can break it, expect Stratford center Tafari Whittingham to get his share of touches.

Notre Dame comes off a 30-point beatdown of Newtown and has its third road contest of the week Friday against Bethel. But tonight is the SWC game of the year thus far.

In other Thursday action, Career plays at Branford. If Career can rebound off its first loss of the season to Wilbur Cross Tuesday, it will share the SCC Oronoque Division title with the Governors.

Also, Bassick plays at Harding at 5:30 in one of those bitter city rivalries.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wilbur Cross knocks off Career

It won't be considered an upset in New Haven because it is a rivalry game, but Wilbur Cross handing Career its first loss in dramatic fashion Tuesday night is.
Career came in 13-0 and ranked third in the Register Top 10 poll. The Panthers humbled Cross worse than the 64-56 score would indicate last month at Cross.
The biggest lead in the final quarter Tuesday was four (Career led 52-48) as the game went to the wire. Withe score tied at 54, Cross Anthony Hill called for timeout. He chose to pull the ball out and Career extended the zone but not enough to force any action.
So Hill called two more timeouts in the game's final minute, setting up the final play. It didn't go as designed (a high pick-and-roll for Gerald McClease), but McClease still had the ball in his hand for the final shot from approximately 25 feet. Nothing but net.
Lucky shot? Maybe. But it still counts and Cross still wins. Larry Kelley has resilient kids at Career and they will be tested on Thursday at Branford. A loss there and Cross claims the SCC Oronoque.
If that happens, then we will find out how resilient Career really is with Hillhouse looking for revenge on Feb. 18.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Career-Cross showdown highlights Tuesday's schedule

The second game of the Wilbur Cross vs. Career game will be played Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at the New Haven Athletic Center, weather permitting.

Check back here on Tuesday if snow postpones any area games.

Career beat Cross 64-56 the first time. You can read an account of that game here

If Cross can beat the undefeated Panthers, it will likely mean a tie atop the SCC Oronoque Division, unless Career were to lose to Branford. Career wins the division crown outright with a win.

Also on Tuesday, Xavier can win the SCC Quinnipiac by winning at Notre Dame-West Haven - no easy task.

In other action, Hopkins plays at Hamden Hall at 5 p.m. Hamden Hall won the first meeting 87-81.