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 2, 2012

Papale named NEPSAC Class A Player of Year

John Papale of Wallingford, who is a senior at Choate Rosemary Hall, has been selected the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class A Player of the Year.
Papale was the only returning starter from last year's Founder League and NEPSAC Class A champions, yet has led the Wild Boars to their third Founders League crown in four seasons and to a berth in the semifinals of the Class A tournament. Choate plays Worcester Academy in the semis tonight at Worcester Academy.

Shoreline tournament final in New Haven tonight

For those who do not know already, the Shoreline Conference decided to move the tournament final to a larger venue. So the Floyd Little Athletic Center, right next door to Hillhouse, is the site for tonight's Valley Regional-Cromwell final at 7 p.m.

To review, many people were denied admission to Old Saybrook High last year for the dramtic overtime final between Old Lyme and Valley Regional, won by Old Lyme in an upset. I should know - had I not been a member of the media, I would have been one of the unfortunates left out in the cold, and that was almost 45 minutes before tip-off.

Unfortunately, it's those small arenas that makes those games so great - and so loud. last year was one of the best games I saw all season long. Cromwell vs. Hyde in 2009 at Haddam-Killingworth, the line was around the corner to get in.

The atheltic center is sort of like what the NCAA Final Four has become: huge arenas to accommodate fans that the smaller arenas no longer can. So people will not have a problem to get in or parkwith Bowen Field next door.

Valley Regional and Cromwell split during the regular season. Should be a good one. VALLEY is the pick.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bassick does it again

Bassick repeated as FCIAC champion Thursday night, beating Trinity Catholic 62-48. For whatever reason, Bassick gears up for this tournament each year.
The thing I can't figure out was how Bassick could lose 91-56 to Trinity during the regular season. Sure, center Demetrius Thomas was out of that particular game, but to allow 91 points?

The thing about Bassick is you are never quite sure which team will show up. For those teams in the bottom half of the Class L state bracket, they better hope it is not the one that played in the FCIAC tournament. If so, Bassick could very well be playing at the Mohegan Sun in two weeks.

But being able to sustain that effort for four straight games will not be easy.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

League tournament predictions, part V

Last edition of these to savor, or put up on the bulletin board:

NVL final
Watertown vs. Wilby: Wow, someone other than Crosby will actually win this tournament. And it will be...WATERTOWN

FCIAC final
Trinity Catholic vs. Bassick: We had this matchup a few years ago, won by Bassick. The Lions have what it takes to win it again, but Trinity usually starts to turn things up at this time of year: TRINITY CATHOLIC

SWC final
Notre Dame-Fairfield vs. Immaculate: ND-Fairfield is hot right now, having won 13 straight. Immaculate has had a fabulous season, suffering just one loss. IMMACULATE in a very close game.

NCCC final
Enfield vs. Coventry: ENFIELD stays undefeated.

Shoreline final
Cromwell vs. Valley Regional: These two teams split during the season. Valley hasn't forgotten being up set in the final in the overtime last year. Cromwell is the seeded favorite, but this one is going to the wire in New Haven...VALLEY REGIONAL

ECC final
I know, I know the semis haven't been held yet. New London vs. Waterford get to Friday's final then NEW LONDON wins it again on its home floor.

CCC final
Windsor vs. Manchester: Can Manchester pull off another upset? Doubtful. WINDSOR owns this tournament.

CSC final
University vs. Kaynor Tech: Flip a coin. It comes up heads...KAYNOR TECH.

State tournament outlook

The pairings have been released. Check them out here

Class LL
St. Joseph drew the top seed and plays Shelton in the opening round. Cheshire could be a second-round opponent and possibly the Amity-Ridgefield winner in the quarterfinals.
The top half of the bracket is loaded. Xavier plays at New London in the opening round. Bridgeport Central is at Holy Cross. Hamden hosts Glastonbury in the opening round. If the Green Dragons win, they likely play at Windsor in the seocnd round.
And how does New London at Windsor sound for a quarterfinal on March 12?
In the bottom half, Hillhoue comes off its first loss of the season in the SCC tournament final and hosts Conard next Tuesday as the No. 2 seed. The Academics could get Cane Broome and East Hartford in the second round and suffered its first possibly Crosby or Manchester in the quarterfinals.
Hartford Public also suffered its first loss Tuesday and will host Newtown. Fairfield Prep is the No. 6 seed and hosts Norwalk.

Class L
Northwest Catholic is the top seed and gets a bye into Wedneday's second round. Branford is the No. 5 seed and hosts Woodstock Academy.
Reigning SCC champion Career is the No. 2 seed and will host Bristol Central in the opening round. The Panthers could see either Wilbur Cross or Bunnell in the second round and potentially a rematch of last year's Class M final against Trinity Catholic in the quarterfinals. Wilby is the No. 3 seed, Bassick is No. 6 and Maloney is No. 11.

Class M
Enfield is the state's only remaining undefeated team and is the top seed. Enfield hosts Rocky Hill in Tuesday's opening round and possibly hosts Hyde in Wednesday's second round. Watertown, playing for its first NVL championship on Thursday, is the No. 4 seed.
In the bottom half, Waterford is the No. 2 seed and if seeding holds to form, could host Bloomfield in the second round and Valley Regional, last year's Class S champion, in the quarterfinals. O'Brien Tech hosts Foran in a first-round matchup while Notre Dame-Fairfield lurks as a No. 6 seed.

Class S
Top-seeded Immaculate gets a bye into Thursday's second round, hosting the winner of Windsor Locks and Old Saybrook.
No. 2 Kolbe Cathedral also gets a first-round bye, as does No. 3 Capital Prep and even No. 6 Coginchaug, which will host the Haddam-Killingworth/East Windsor winner in the second round. No. 14 Amistad will try to won its first state tournament game ever against Housatonic Regional. The game will be played at Wilbur Cross on Monday at 6 p.m., followed by Career vs. Bristol Eastern.

League tournaments postponed

No, no more bad predictions...yet.

The NVL final between Watertown and Holy Cross has been postponed to Thursday at 7 p.m. at Wilby.

The ECC semifinals, Waterford vs. Ledyard and New London vs. NFA are now Thursday at 6 and 7:30 p.m., respectively, at New London High. The final is still Friday at 7 at New London.

And Hamden Hall's first-round NEPSAC Class C tournament game at home today against Wheeler is now Thursday, time TBA.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One more league tournament prediction

Forgot about the FCIAC...

Bassick vs. Bridgeport Central: Central pulled the biggest up set of the basketball season to date. Asking for a second straight win might be a little too much, and Bassick always seems to play well in this tournament...BASSICK

Ridgefield vs. Trinity Catholic: Trinity handed Ridgefield its first loss of the season and it took Ridgefield was never really the same team the rest of the regular season. Can the Tigers turn things around inthe postseason? Can Trinity Catholic make another state tournament run like last season? Jury is still out on both. In this game, TRINITY BY FIVE.

Monday, February 27, 2012

League tournament predictions, part IV

Another lightning round at the midnight hour. Let's go:

SCC final
Hillhouse vs. Career: Hillhouse won the season series, both games decided by one point. The prevailing feeling is Career will find away to finally get over on Hillhouse. The Panthers are more talented, have a better front line and should be motivated after losing with no time on the clock last week. Still, I wonder... HILLHOUSE by two.

NVL final (Wednesday)
Holy Cross vs. Watertown: Kudos to Holy Cross for finally knocking off the eight-time champion Crosby in the semis. Watertown gets the same amount of credit for beating Wilby. WATERTOWN.

Shoreline semifinals
Haddam-Killingworth at Cromwell: CROMWELL
Valley Regional at Coginchaug: COGINCHAUG

SWC semifinals
Masuk vs. Notre Dame-Fairfield: Nice job by Masuk beating Kolbe in the quarterfinals, but it ends for the Panthers Tuesday. NOTRE DAME
Immaculate vs. Bunnell: Bunnell has flown under the radar most of the season before handing Kolbe its first loss. Had Immaculate been undefeated I might feel a little differently. IMMACULATE

CCC semifinals
Hartford Public vs. Manchester. Strictly a hunch and probably not a good one. MANCHESTER
Northwest Catholic vs. Windsor. You have to think NWC will finally get some revenge on Windsor right? Maybe if Zach Lewis were to suit up, but he no longer plays for NWC, so...WINDSOR

CSC semifinals - at New Haven
Capital and Classical advance

ECC semifinals (Wednesday)
New London, Waterford advance

Sunday, February 26, 2012

League tournament predictions part III

Fared a little better with Saturday's results. Now we move onto the semifinals:

No. 2 Career vs. No. 3 Fairfield Prep: Rematch of last year's semifinal, won by Career. This game will be much closer. This is the first New Haven school Prep has played this year. A chance for Terry Tarpey to take center stage against one of the league's better teams. CAREER BY FIVE.

No. 1 Hillhouse vs. No. 13 Lyman Hall: Two of Hillhouse' 21 wins were against Lyman Hall, but neither were blowouts. Jack McCarthy will be tough to handle in the pivot for Hillhouse. But Lyman Hall has to try and find a way to contain the trio of Bobby Bynum, Andre Anderson and Richard Bronson, who was a main cog in Lyman Hall's run to the Class L semifinals last year. No one has stopped all three yet this season. HILLHOUSE

No. 3 Watertown vs. No. 2 Wilby: Wilby has struggled lately and Watertown has had a fabulous season. Still it's WILBY
No. 1 Crosby vs. No. 5 Holy Cross: one of my biggest disappointments the last couple of years is I never got the pleasure of seeing Holy Cross guard Mike Mallory play. He has suffered three injuries to the same knee this year, the last one finishing him for the year. A true shame. The Crusaders have fared well without him, beating Wilby in the regular-season finale, but this is the eight-time NVL champion we are talking about here. CROSBY.