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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, January 13, 2012

Why Hamden Hall-Hopkins is as good as any rivalry

Go ahead, laugh.
Say these teams can't compete with CIAC schools. Say it's not worth watching.
You'd be wrong on both counts. But this blog is not about whether or not Hamden Hall and Hopkins can compete or win a lot of games in the SCC. This about the fan support to arguably the best rivalry in the area.
Yeah, I said it.
Look, there is no better history than Hillhouse vs. Wilbur Cross. But those games lose its luster in the Floyd Little Athletic Center. In a smaller arena, the games would carry much more intensity. Sure, the reason they went on to such a big facility is because smaller arenas cannot hold all of the interested parties, but facts are facts. And the games rarely live up to expectations.
Sure, Branford v. East Haven, West Haven v. Notre Dame-West Haven, and so on and so forth are all good rivalries. But in terms of fan support, I don't think Hamden Hall-Hopkins in basketball takes a back seat to anyone.
Go watch the videos today at And watch the shots of the crowd at the Beckerman Athletic Center. And listen.
Of course, it helps when a 2-5 Hopkins team, dead to rights down 17 points with 10 minutes left, rallies to take the lead with under a minute to play. It also helps when there is a game-winning shot, as Darryl Best made like Lorenzo Charles circa 1983 and put back an airball to set off pandemonium as you can see on the video.
It ends up being a crushing loss for Hopkins, which spent a lot of energy coming back to take the lead. It would have been even more crushing for Hamden Hall blowing such a lead.
Hopkins has got some talent with Laurent Firlotte and Lucas Hausman. You already know about Division I prospects Darren Payen and Victor Joshua, along with B.J. Davis and Best for Hamden Hall. All except Joshua played at CIAC schools previously.
Ask any of them what they think of the rivalry. They will tell you how good it is. Ask any of the people who were there Friday night — and some of them were familiar faces at games you and I both see at SCC games throughout the season. They will tell you the same thing — fabulous atmosphere.
The rematch is Jan. 31 at Hopkins. Admission is FREE. Trust me when I tell you it would be worth it to see just one Hamden Hall-Hopkins game.
Then you can say how wrong this post is.
Or maybe you might agree.


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