It’s an exciting time of year with CIAC championships being crowned and others on the horizon, along with league championship play starting to heat up. All of that means there is plenty of action to recap in this edition of Eye on the CIAC, though we will save most of the league championship action for next week’s edition. In the meantime we have our weekly look back on some of the interesting comings and goings from around the State.
- Northwest Catholic captured a narrow victory over local rival Hall to open its week on Monday night. The win raised the team’s record to 6-11 with three games on the schedule as the team tries to push towards a postseason berth and earn the eight wins required to secure a spot in the field.
- Conard earned a big victory to secure its eighth win and seems to be peaking as the season winds down. The team outlasted Simsbury by a single point 65-64 in one of the few games to actually be played on a snowy Tuesday. After a slide in the middle of the season Conard has won four of six games and dealt Simsbury just its third loss of the year.
- Unbeaten Fairfield Prep faced one of its stiffest challenges of the season on Thursday, but still managed to hold off Career 71-65 to keep its unblemished record intact. Keith Pettway was an impressive 15-of-17 from the foul line to score a game-high 25 points as the Jesuits secured a win in the back-and-forth affair that saw the lead change hands four times in the fourth quarter.
- E.O. Smith helped head coach Ron Pires earn his 500th career victory as the team outlasted Bloomfield in overtime in a CCC battle over the weekend. The win has the two teams tied at 12-4 atop the CCC East Division standings though E.O. Smith has a narrow edge in games played within the division.
- Bloomfield got the win that secured its spot in the CIAC postseason by knocking off Hartford Public on Monday evening. It gave the team two wins in the last three games as it tries to take some momentum into the tournament.
- It took a thriller of a game featuring a pair of overtimes but eventually Career handed Mercy its first loss of the season in a tremendous game Wednesday night. Tanya Atkinson drained a shot as time expired to send the game into the second overtime and then Career blanked Mercy 8-0 in the second extra session to earn the win. The game finalized the pairings for the SCC Tournament with Mercy still holding the top seed and Career clinching the second spot.
- Housatonic spoiled Lewis Mills’ chance to clinch the Berkshire League title with a 49-38 win Thursday night. A remarkable 17-0 advantage for Housatonic in the third quarter was the difference as Housatonic improved to 13-7 overall with the win.
- Lyman Memorial secured its spot in the postseason field in its final game of the year, earning a narrow three-point win over Wheeler to conclude the season at 8-12. It came after back-to-back losses in its previous two games had the squad’s postseason chances in doubt.
- It has been a memorable season for the Bristol boys swimming squad and that continued on Thursday as the team set a new school record in the 200-yard medley relay while earning a dual-meet win against Plainville. Bristol captured the win by a score of 92-79 and the relay team posted a mark of 1:43.58 in the winning relay to set the pace for the impressive win.
- Greenwich completed an unbeaten regular season at 13-0 with a dominant win over Norwalk-Brien McMahon on Thursday night. Greenwich came away with wins in all three relay events while also claiming five individual first-place finishes while compiling a winning score of 127 points.
- Northwestern narrowly got past Shepaug in dual-meet action to nearly clinch the Berkshire League regular season swimming title. Peter Kamianowski won both the 500 freestyle and the 200 freestyle to pace the winning effort for Northwestern which pulled out a 96-90 win for its second victory of the season over Shepaug.
- New Milford had both the overall individual titlist as well as the team crown at the South-West Conference championship. Alison Profeta won the vault the floor exercises, and uneven bars earn the all-around title for New Milford and helped her team edge Newtown 34.75-33.95.
- It was an impressive team effort from Woodstock Academy with a different competitor earning the top score in each apparatus as the team claimed the ECC Championship. Jackie Deary on bars, Courtney Osborn on vault, Grace Logan on floor and Paige Stuyniski on beam were the top scorers and Stuyniski claimed the all-around title as well as Woodstock earned its fourth-straight ECC crown.
- It was another memorable battle between Darien and Notre Dame-West Haven with Dillon Fitzpatrick scoring twice including the the overtime game winner as Darien continued its stellar season. It was the sixth one-goal win of the year for the Blue Wave who have not lost since the opening game of the season.
- Lyman Hall-Haddam-Killingworth collected a third-straight one-goal victory with a 3-2 triumph over Housatonic-Northwestern-Wamogo on Wednesday. The victors scored twice in the third period to erase a 2-1 deficit with Rocko Cuccaro scoring and assisting on the final-period tallies.
- Notre Dame-Fairfield finally put an end to Darien’s impressive unbeaten string with a 2-1 victory on Saturday afternoon. The win improved the team to 11-4-1 and snapped Darien’s 18-game unbeaten streak. Zak Bouve delivered 30 saves in the match including several stops in the frantic final seconds to help secure the victory.
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). Tomorrow is the last date to count for girls basketball so those rankings are of particular note this time of year.
- Thomaston made a big move in the class S girls basketball rankings, closing out the year at 16-4 to jump from seventh to third. Class M did not see much movement with just a two-spot rise from Morgan marking the most significant change. Weaver was on the move in class L, rising from sixth to third as it closed the season at 18-2, while in class LL Danbury rose one spot to assume the new position atop the class and South Windsor also finished 18-2 to jump from seventh to fourth.
- In ice hockey Notre Dame-Fairfield’s win over Darien helped it rise from seventh to fifth in the Division I rankings. Division II remained primarily consistent from a week ago as only New Milford dropping from fourth to seventh allowed several teams to move up one spot. Hall-Southington was the biggest riser in Division III as it crept above .500 at 9-8 and moved from ninth to six in the rankings. Also moving up in III was New Fairfield-Immaculate which broke into fifth after sitting seventh last week.
- In boys basketball the same ten teams occupy the top-10 in class S with some minor position shuffling, highlighted by Terryville jumping two places to assume the top spot. In M it has been a slow and steady ascension for Bullar Haven Tech which now finds itself in the top-5 after sitting eighth a week ago. The overtime win over Bloomfield helped E.O. Smith climb a bit higher in class L where there were few big moves. The team jumped from 10th to seventh after a three-win week. Finally in LL familiar face Hillhouse returns to the top-10 at number eight after being outside the top-10 for a few weeks, and Greenwich enjoyed a two-position bump from sixth to fourth.
CIAC On TV & The Web
This is a big week of coverage both for the NFHS Network and CPTV Sports with multiple live options for CIAC fans in the next seven days. The NFHS Network will carry the wresting State Open Championships live over two days starting on Friday night, and will also have all three gymnastics class championships live on Saturday. Fans can also check out the Connecticut High School Dance Championships from this past weekend on the NFHS Network. Meanwhile CPTV will feature a plethora of the games it has shown throughout the winter season but the big event will be Wednesday when it shows the premieres of the CCC girls basketball semifinals, followed by the live broadcast of the CCC girls basketball final. There will also be a premiere of a new Beyond the Beat at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night.