Happy President’s Day to everyone. The Eye On The CIAC focuses in on the beginning of the winter championships (though the championships actually began two weeks ago, before the weather decided not to cooperate). This past week saw titles captured in the class meets in both indoor track & field and wrestling. In addition, the girls gymnastics pairings will be released by noon on Wednesday, while the girls basketball pairings will be posted by noon on Friday. To keep up-to-date with the latest tournament info, a good bet is to bookmark the CIAC Tournament Central page and to follow the CIAC on twitter and/or signing up for email or text message updates on the “Latest Updates” tab at CIAC Tournament Central. We begin the quick glance around the CIAC with those championship contests that took place this past week.
- The tightest competition of the weekend was the Class L wrestling final as New Milford claimed a narrow 3.5 point win over Fairfield Warde for its second title in three years. Robert Tozzi at 220 sealed the victory with his win at that class and Kyle Lindner at 113 also earned a win as the Green Wave captured the title.
- None of the other three class title races were closer than 43 points as Danbury won in Class LL, Ledyard dominated in Class M and Windham triumphed in Class S. Danbury had been the dominant force in Class LL, winning 14 straight titled before Xavier claimed the last two. But the team reclaimed its title this year, while Ledyard repeated in Class M. This was Windham’s first title since claiming the Class M championship in 2004. Look for more information on these and the track championships in a special championship edition of Linked Up later in the week.
- Speaking of track and field after Class M got the championship season started more than a week ago, S, L, and LL had their chances over the weekend. On the girls side, Norwich Free Academy and Darien halted a string of championships from other squads in the LL and L meet respectively, while Bloomfield earned a fourth-consecutive win in Class S. The tightest of the girls competitions was in class S as Bloomfield edged Weston by 11 points. A pair of Jones’ carried the day for Bloomfield as Adrian Jones won a pair of sprints, and Natori Jones placed first in both the high and long jump.
- The LL boys meet was a thriller with Staples outlasting Danbury for its second-consecutive title. The margin was just two points with Staples winning 78-76. Staples extended its lead with a win in the 1,600 and then finishing one spot ahead of Danbury in the 1,600 sprint medley relay. Despite the 10 points Danbury earned by winning the 4×400 relay which was the final event, Staples’ fourth-point finish and four points in that event were enough to secure the title in a great competition. The other titles over the weekend went to Darien in Class L and Bloomfield in Class S as the Warhawks swept the boys and girls meets. The Open Championships will be held on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.
- Earlier in the week teams returned to action in full force on Tuesday night, and fans got a thrilling finish in an FCIAC girls basketball battle between Staples and Greenwich. Abigail Lustig nailed a jumper from the paint with just a second left to propel Staples to a 55-53 win on Tuesday evening. The win kept Staples CIAC postseason hopes alive as they sit at 7-12.
- Another Tuesday-night thriller had RHAM continue its strong season by outlasting Rocky Hill 61-58 in overtime. Each of RHAM’s last two wins have been by three points or less
- Defense was the story as two top shoreline teams met on Wednesday and Haddam-Killingworth rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to capture a four-point win over Coginchaug 43-39. Maya Savino scored the last four points in the game and made a key defensive play to help seal the win. The Middletown Press has the full story on the knock-down-drag-out battle.
- A battle of teams in the top-10 of the CIAC Championship rankings lived up to the rankings with Windsor claiming the victory on the road. After dropping two straight to start the month, Windsor has rebounded with a pair of victory. Jared Wilson-Frame paced the road team with 21 points as they built a big third-quarter lead, and then hung on for the victory.
- Dominic Migliaro had 20 points and eight assists as Masuk claimed a narrow two-point win over New Fairfield Wednesday evening. It was a fifth win in seven games for Masuk which is now at 8-10 and hunting for a postseason berth.
- Some boys swimming action on Tuesday as well with the Windham co-op collecting a 98-78 win over Fitch. Greg Husta won a pair of events in the victory and also swam a winning relay leg as Windham improved to 7-4 overall.
- With the CIAC gymnastics championships coming up quickly, league championships have taken place across the state. Woodstock earned the ECC crown with a team score of 145.05 to pull away from second-place Stonington. The Norwich Bulletin has the fun story of two friends and teammates sharing the individual crown.
- In the first game of a week of big showdowns in boys hockey Fairfield Prep downed Darien 6-0 behind a hat-trick from David White. The win snapped an 11-game unbeaten streak for Darien which fell to 13-2-2 with the loss while Fairfield Prep moved to 15-0.
- Boys hockey saw competitions between the top-two ranked teams in both Division I and Division II over the weekend. In Division II the game lived up to the billing as Watertown-Pomperaug knocked off Amity 2-1 in overtime to capture the win. And then Fairfield Prep continued its challenging week by capturing a 1-0 win over Notre Dame-West Haven on Saturday. Two battles of highly-ranked teams, two thrilling one-goal games. Cannot ask for much more than that.
- With the last date to count looming in girls basketball, teams were looking to capture critical wins to help try and secure postseason berths over the weekend. Sacred Heart managed to do just that as it raised its winning percentage to 40 percent thanks to a 40-33 win over Wilby.
- The tournament is looming in girls basketball and the seeding will be viewed closely in the coming days. Two new teams claimed top spots as Bacon Academy vaulted three spots to sit atop the L rankings and Capital Prep moved up one position to rank first in S. South Windsor moved up three spots in LL while Danbury is now sixth after holding the second spot last week. Bacon Academy’s leap was really the only significant movement in L, with the the other changes mostly involving one position. Granby Memorial hopped up two spots in Class M to take fifth position while a two-spot drop for Nonnewaug moved up some other teams in the top four. Plainfield moved into the top-10 at the eighth spot this week. Very little movement in Class S as well, with Cheney Tech falling into second from the top spot and Morgan and Bolton trading positions at four and five.
- The class championships for girls gymnastics are also rapidly approaching there was a little movement in the team averages top-10 this week. Conard slid into the fifth spot, raising its average score by nearly three points to claim that spot, while Wilton dropped from fifth to sixth. There was also some movement in the bottom part of the top-10 as Nonnewaug climbed from 10th to ninth, displacing Trumbull which is now 10th. The team averages crept up nearly across the board, including top-ranked Woodstock which raised its score by more than a point.
- A lot of action with the top teams in boys hockey led to some poll movement, though no change among the three top teams. In Division I St. Joseph vaulted up two spots from sixth to fourth, making the biggest move of the week. Also claiming a big move was Greenwich, which was not in the top-10 last week and now sits at number eight. In Division II New Milford climbed into the top-10 at seventh, and the Milford Coop also made an appearance in the poll at eighth. Branford and North Branford alternated spots in the middle of the poll, swapping fifth and sixth. NFA-St. Bernard-Bacon was the big mover in Division III climbing from fifth to second behind Newington-Berlin-Manchester which still holds the top position. Every other move in Division III was a one-move change.
- A swap at the top in Class S is the most noticeable change in the boys basketball rankings this week. Classical Magnet swaps position with Granby Memorial in Class S to secure the top position, and Kolbe Cathedral slides up two positions to fifth elsewhere in the class as Gilbert slides from fifth to eighth. Windsor is the biggest climber in LL as the Warriors move from seventh to fifth. There is other movement in the top five as Crosby falls two spots to fourth. Simsbury also gained two places, moving from ninth to seventh and Hartford Public debuts at 10th. RHAM moves into the top-10 at L in the seventh position as there is very little other movement in that class. Class M saw almost no movement as the top nine is exactly the same from a week ago, with only Goodwin Tech claiming the 10th spot changing the top 10 positions.
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