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.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cheshire first to clinch

It wasn't easy, but Cheshire had built just a big enough lead Friday night to hold off Sheehan and clinch the SCC Housatonic Division for the first time since 2000.

So the Rams become the first team to clinch a division title in the Southern Connecticut Conference. They led most of the way and held Sheehan to just a 3-point basket in the third quarter while building a 13-point lead (38-25).

But Cheshire was held without a field goal for the final 11:22 of the game and Sheehan got as close as three in the final seconds, but turned the ball with the opportunity to send the game into overtime.

Cheshire could be a dangerous team in the SCC tournament. Center Nate Howard did not dominate on the offensive end against Sheehan but teams won't be able to attack the basket at will with the 6-11 center roaming the lane. The team has a solid trio of guards in Tyler Barnes, Kevin Adams and Collin Jordan.

And although the Rams struggled to put Sheehan away, they can hit free throws (12 of 13 Friday). The one they missed left the door open for Sheehan to have a shot to tie the game. Still, you won't lose too many games shooting 92.3 percent from the charity stripe.

Coach Dan Lee emphasized after the game how this is just the first step, how important it is for the team to remain focused. He's right: there are too many games left to enjoy winning the division title for too long. A suddenly-improved Lyman Hall team awaits on Monday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

SCC division showdowns

The Southern Connecticut Conference division races won't be determined Friday but in essence, some of them will be if certain results happen.

Start with the SCC Quinnipiac. Fairfield Prep takes its five-game winning streak to Middletown for a rematch with Xavier, which dealt Prep its last loss. Xavier is fighting for a state tournament berth after a slow start. If Xavier wins, it goes a game up over Prep with two left, but in essence, Xavier would have to lose both games to not be the recognized division champ and the higher seed in the league tournament even if the teams finish in a dead heat.

In the SCC Housatonic, Cheshire puts its unbeaten division record on the line at Sheehan. A win and Cheshire clinches a tie and would clinch it outright with a win Monday over Lyman Hall. So the Housy teams are rooting hard for Sheehan.

A win over Branford at home and Career would maintain a two-game lead in the SCC Oronoque with three road games left. That would leave it to North Haven, which trails by two in the loss column, to beat Career Monday. Career won by 24 last time out.

Then there's the Hammonasset where Hillhouse hasn't lost a game since 2005. That won't change.

Next week some SCC teams play as many as three games with a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. Then division races will start to become official

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NH Register jinx strikes again?

You stay in this business long enough, you get accused of anything.
A number of coaches, jokingly or no, have asked I not write about them for a story or shoot a picture of their captains in more than just basketball...they want to keep flying uder the radar and, maybe they are concerned about being jinxed. Coaches are a supersititous lot.
I'm sure many of you have heard about the Sports Illustrated cover jinx or the Madden jinx for the player pictured on the cover of his football video game every year. In both cases, bad things have happened to people who have been featured.
I like to think we don't jinx people but after the two main teams written about in Tuesday's boys basketball notebook in the NH Register, Cromwell and Ridgefield, lost, you begin to wonder. Now, I thought it was a distinct possibility a good Ridgefield team, ranked eighth in our latest poll, and by some people who comment on our site and other voters, too low at No. 8, could lose to Trinity Catholic, which had been ranked earlier in the season.
But I am surprised Cromwell lost to Amistad Academy at home. Amistad is in its third year as a varsity program based out of New Haven. A Class S school, it is playing almost exclusively on the road. Yet it qualified for the Class S tournament with the win over Cromwell, a solid program with a good coach, ex-Villanova University standout John Pinone.
So kudos to Amistad and hopefully, not too many more teams will be hurt by the so-called "NH Register jinx."

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