Eye On The CIAC

eye_on_the_ciac3Just another regular old week in the winter sports season, in which nothing was cancelled or postponed. If such a thing existed, that last sentence would have been written in the “sarcasm font.” Unfortunately weather continues to be a story this season as the snow dampens plans and forces schedule changes, but there was still a lot of great competition to highlight from last week (and twitter hashtags to create…tweet #ciacsnowedin to show how you trained during the recent run of weather). Whatever the weather, it cannot dampen the excitement that comes this time of year, the sort of excitement that will be on display today at the Indoor Track & Field Open Championships (watch live on the NFHS Network).


  • Wins on Tuesday night for Manchester and Windsor have the two teams sharing the CCC North regular season title. Manchester knocked off East Hartford that evening with by a convincing 42-6 total, while Manchester handled East Catholic 49-19. Windsor had the upper hand head-to-head between the two squads, but both finished 5-1 in conference competition.
  • Ledyard captured the ECC wrestling tournament crown, getting past Windham in the finals to earn a 195-182 victory. Howie Kilpatrick of Bacon Academy was named the outstanding wrestler at the competition, while Ledyard had a pair of finishers capture individual championships.
  • It was a battle to the end in the SWC Tournament as well with New Milford squeaking past Newtown with a late rally to claim the title. New Milford earned the victory by nine points, 232-223, with Tom McIlveen securing the win by a pinfall to earn the title for New Milford, which was its 10th straight conference crown.
  • Xavier produced an overwhelming victory to capture  a third-consecutive SCC wrestling title over the weekend. The Falcons rolled up 224 points, more than doubling the second-place team to comfortably earn the crown.


  • A five-team meet opening the week went to Newtown as the Nighthawks produced the top score, finishing ahead of Pomperaug, Jonathan Law, Nonnewaug, and Oxford. Newtown’s score of 131.45 was nearly six points better than second-place Pomperaug, and is slightly better than its average score of 129.34 which ranks them ninth in the CIAC entering the week.
  • Norwich Free Academy and Stonington staged a taught battle on Wednesday night with NFA coming away with the 125.55-122.75 victory. NFA got a big performance from Taylor Churchill who won the bars, was second in the floor exercise and was third in the all-around.
  • An unbeaten regular season for Trumbull culminated in an FCIAC Championship. Trumbull barely got past Fairfield Ludlowe and three-time defending champions Wilton with the team scoring 133.950 to Ludlowe’s total of 132.050 and Wilton’s score of 130.950. Linda McAuley won the vault and the floor exercise en route to claiming the all-around title at the meet to help her team to the title.

Boys Basketball:

  • Daniel Hand and Amity staged a thrilling contest Monday night with Hand eventually pulling out a three-point win in overtime. Amity outscored the home team 17-13 in the fourth quarter to force overtime, but 29 points from Brendan Hughes was enough to help Hand earn the victory.
  • Bridgeport Central and Greenwich squared off in a battle of FCIAC heavyweights on Tuesday night and it was the home team pulling out a 53-45 victory to hand Greenwich its first loss of the season. The win moves Bridgeport Central to the top of the FCIAC standings with both teams now with one loss on the season and Tyler Ancrum paced Central with 17 points in the defensive contest.
  • It was a thrilling finish on Tuesday night as Kennedy scored at the buzzer in overtime to pull out a surprising win over Torrington. Jairo Suarez converted as the buzzer sounded to propel Kennedy to the victory. That came after Kennedy first scored on a buzzer beater at the end of regulation to send the game to the extra session, and ultimately improve its record to 15-2 on the year.
  • NFA captured a win over rival New London and snapped their foes’ 13-game win streak in the process. NFA is now 12-6 with the victory which came as the team erupted for 20 points in the first quarter and then never looked back.

Girls Basketball:

  • A 6-0 run late in the fourth quarter was enough to propel East Catholic to a win over South Windsor, dealing the Bobcats its first loss of the season. Dominique Woods was a key performer down the stretch for East Catholic, scoring six points in the final quarter including key free throws to help secure the win. Its been a streaky season for East Catholic which has bounced back from a three-game slide in mid-January with five-straight victories.
  • Bristol Central staged a big fourth-quarter comeback and eventually pulled away for a six-point win in overtime over Middletown to extend its winning streak to five. Playing at home, Bristol Central erased a nine-point fourth quarter deficit and rode a 21-point 14-rebound effort from Chandler Walker to the victory. It was just the second conference loss for Middletown and raised Bristol Central’s record to 13-5.
  • It took a pair of overtimes to settle the matter between Tourtellotte and Lyman before Tourtellotte finally claimed the 62-60 victory. The win improved the Tigers to 14-5 on the year with Ali Ablondi pouring in 26 points to lead the way.

Boys Swimming:

  • Amity remained unbeaten by a very slim margin as the team claimed a 94-91 over Notre Dame-West Haven. Charlie Pite and AJ Pite both won multiple events for Amity which raised its record to 9-0 while Notre Dame is now 6-2 with David May earning a win in the 500 freestyle.
  • Ridgefield picked up a 91-68 win over Brien McMahon-Norwalk in a dual meet Wednesday night. Travis Gordon, Luke Wang, Jordan Volves, and Lexo Walker teamed up to win the 200 medley relay, and then three of the four garnered individual victories as the Tigers captured the win.

Ice Hockey:

  • If you like goals, the contest between Cheshire and Fairfield Warde-Fairfield Ludlowe on Monday night was for you. After falling behind 6-0, Cheshire reeled off eight unanswered goals to earn a stunning 8-6 win in Cheshire. The Rams scored seven times in the third period to earn the victory, highlighted by two goals and two assists from Luke Vendetto.
  • There were more goals to be found on Wednesday night in the pivotal showdown between North Branford and Guilford with both teams battling to secure a CIAC Tournament spot. In this wild back-and-forth affair, North Branford opened the scoring with two tallies before Guilford scored the next three to take a 3-2 edge. The teams then alternated goals and were tied at four entering the third period, before North Branford erupted for four unanswered scores to capture an 8-4 win.
  • Fairfield Prep erased a one-goal deficit and then put an end to Ridgefield’s 11-game winning streak by securing a 3-1 win over the weekend. Prep scored three times within a one minute span in the third period to claim the come-from-behind win and hand RIdgefield its first loss in more than a month.

Each Monday we take a look at any major movement in the top-10 of the CIAC Tournament Rankings for those sports where it is provided (rankings and records are based on results reported through the CIAC on-line reporting system). The rankings are a great reference to see where your favorite team is positioned (rankings can be found here under each individual sports page under the winter tab).

  • Not much movement in the hockey rankings with just a few weeks left in the regular season. E.O. Smith-Tolland-Windham hopped up two spots in Division III with the biggest move, rising from seventh to fifth. No team moved up more than one position in Division II from a week ago, while in Division I, Darien assumed the top spot after sitting in second the last few weeks. Also moving up was East Haven which matched E.O. Smith-Tolland-Windham’s move and went from seventh to fifth.
  • In girls hoops Sacred Heart continued a steady progression up the class S standings and is now in third after sitting in eighth just two weeks ago. Bullard Havens Tech won a pair of games this past week to slide up to make a big four-position jump from eighth to fourth in class M. The only change in class L was three teams all moving up one spot near the top of the rankings as Farmington, Ledyard, and Avon all moved up one position as Wilton fell from second to fifth. Danbury is 16-1 on the season and one win last week moved them up to the second position in LL after sitting in fifth a week ago.
  • The biggest riser LL riser in boys basketball is New Britain which made a move from seventh to fourth, while Bridgeport Central also rode a big win up to spots and now sits in third. The bottom part of the top-10 is where the movement took place in class L as Maloney is inching towards the top half of the top-10 after rising from 10th to seventh and Windsor jumped from outside the top-10 to eighth. A two-position rise for East Catholic from fourth to second was the most significant move in class M while class S saw very little change other than University and Bloomfield changing places near the bottom of the top-10 as University went from ninth to eighth.

CIAC On TV & The Web
This was included in last week’s edition of Eye on the CIAC but weather has pushed the CIAC Indoor Track & Field Open until today, and it can still be seen live on the NFHS Network. Also on the network on Monday is a showdown between two of the top hockey teams in the state as Darien and Notre Dame-West Haven square off in West Haven as well as an SCC boys basketball showdown between Daniel Hand and Xavier. Be sure to check out the upcoming events each day to see what is on tap on the NFHS Network. CPTV Sports this will will have a first airing of the girls basketball showdown between Tourtellotte and East Hampton along with a live broadcast of an Eastern Connecticut showdown between Woodstock Academy and Norwich Free Academy.

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