Editor’s Note: The NFHS Network is the exclusive broadcast partner of CIAC Championships. Several CIAC member schools have also partnered with the NFHS Network to provide streaming coverage of regular season events. Every Monday CIACsports.com will feature a handful of games to check out in the new feature “What to Watch.” All records are at the time of posting.
The winter sports season has hit its stride and with the NFHS Network broadcasting from a handful of gymnasiums around the state, that provides a bounty of games to choose from. The Network is scheduled to broadcast approximately 78 contests across Connecticut this week, so let’s take a look at a few to highlight. Check out all the upcoming and live events here https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/CIAC or go to the landing page for your favorite team. Here are a few selections to watch this week, and remember a one-month membership to view all these games and more is just $9.99. All photos courtesy of MaxPreps.
Monday, 1/28, Manchester vs. Enfield boys basketball, 6:45 p.m.: A CCC battle opens the week as we travel to the northern part of the state as Manchester takes on Enfield. At 10-2, Manchester is near the top of the standings in both Division II and the CCC and is coming off a pair of strong wins defeating Hartford Public and then topping Avon on the road. A four-game home stand will follow this road outing, so a win could help build significant momentum as it enters a critical stretch. Enfield should prove to be a formidable test as the team has a solid 7-5 mark at this point in the season. It’s offense has kicked into gear in the past few weeks as its last two victories have marked the two highest scoring games of the season, including an 82-point outburst against a solid East Lyme team.
Tuesday, 1/29, Bristol Eastern vs. Middletown girls basketball, 6:45 p.m.: A bit of a light varsity schedule on Tuesday night but we stay in the CCC this time for a girls basketball matchup between a pair of teams in similar circumstances. Middletown boasts a 9-6 record on the year and hosts the team right below them in the unofficial CCC standings Bristol Eastern, which is 8-6 on the year. However their fortunes of late are a bit different as the road team comes in having won five of its last six, with the most recent another road win over Rocky Hill. Meanwhile Middletown opened the year 5-1 but has dropped four of its last six, including a resounding defeat at the hands of Bristol Eastern in the first meeting between the two.
Wednesday, 1/30, Greenwich vs. Notre Dame-West Haven ice hockey, 4 p.m.: This is the only hockey game currently on the NFHS Network broadcast slate this week, but it’s a pretty good one with two Division I teams squaring off. Greenwich has yet to earn a win away from home this season and sits at 4-6-2 for the year. With roughly half its schedule complete Notre Dame sits at exactly .500 with a 5-5-1 record on the year. The team has shown a knack to prevail in close games as it is 3-1-1 in games decided by a single goal, including a perfect 3-0 mark in three overtime matches. Wednesday would also be a good night to check out SWC wrestling as Notre Dame-Fairfield takes on Weston and Brookfield hosts New Fairfield. That is a chance to see four of the six teams in the SWC Patriot Division in action.
Thursday, 1/31, Pomperaug vs. Weston girls basketball, 7 p.m.: Two teams looking to make a push for SWC and CIAC Tournament positioning meet up on Thursday, with Weston hosting Pomperaug. Pomperaug is 10-5 on the year and has a spot near the top of the Class L standings and is just one spot behind Weston in the unofficial SWC standings. After an overtime loss to Notre Dame-Fairfield, Pomperaug has rebounded to win four of its last five, with only a narrow loss to Bethel spoiling a solid run. Pomperaug won this matchup by 10 points on its home court last season en route to posting a 15-5 record. Weston is 9-4 in the year and looks poised to be in the mix for the SWC and CIAC Class M postseasons. Defense has been the calling card for Weston with the team allowing just 33 points per game in its nine victories.
Friday, 2/1, Darien vs. Fairfield Ludlowe boys basketball, 7 p.m.: Basketball again is the main attraction on Friday night with a host of varsity games available on the Network — we highlight the battle between Darien and Fairfield Ludlowe as both teams are looking for wins to keep postseason dreams alive. Both teams have played 12 games thus far with Ludlowe at the 5-7 and Darien one game back at 4-8. Darien came into the week trying to halt a four-game slide which came on the heels of maybe its best win of the year, a thrilling four-point win over Brien McMahon. Ludlowe has searched for consistency all season long, as it has managed to post consecutive wins just once during the season. It boasts a stingy defense holding all but one opponent this season to 63 points or fewer.
Saturday, 2/2, Lyman Hall vs. East Haven girls basketball, 5 p.m.: For the second time this winter season we wrap up the week with a girls basketball contest at East Haven. This time the defending Class M champions tangle with Lyman Hall in an SCC contest. This game wraps a three-game week for the home team which enters the week at 12-2 with both of its losses coming by fewer than three points. East Haven captured a narrow three-point victory on the road against Lyman Hall earlier this season, and the visitors will clearly be looking for revenge on Saturday. After a rough middle portion of the season, which included that setback to East Haven, Lyman Hall has been playing some of its best basketball of the year as the team came into the week riding a four-game winning streak to bring its season record to 6-8.