This time the recurring feature An Eye On The CIAC appears on its regularly scheduled Monday afternoon. As always, this is simply a glance around the state, highlighting some of the more interesting results and games from the past week.
- Indoor track & field takes center stage this week as the CIAC Divisional Championships will take place Feb. 7-9. This past week featured numerous league and conference championships as teams geared up for the CIAC meets. The Weston boys rode a strong finish in the pole vault led by Conor Mulcahey who won the event to the SWC crown. The Weston girls also topped the meet, reclaiming its title after a one-year hiatus. The team had won the six previous conference titles.
- Henry Wynne was the story of the FCIAC boys competition as he helped Staples capture the crown. He won three events as Staples claimed the title by a 12-point margin. Darien had the top finisher in each of the field events and added three track wins to claim a comfortable victory in the girls FCIAC meet. Shannon Quinlan captured two wins, sweeping the sprint events. Bloomfield narrowly edged Windsor in the CCC boys indoor championship meet, while Glastonbury looks poised to compete for a third-straight CIAC LL title after cruising to the CCC girls indoor crown.
- In the CSC it was Classical Magnet running away with the girls title by more than 100 points, while Capital Prep was victorious on the boys side. Jasmine White won a pair of events for Classical Magnet, which also won all four relays at the meet. Dhahran Velasquez crossed the line first in three events to help Capital Prep to the victory. Elsewhere in the ECC in the small divisions Plainville was the top team on the girls side and Ledyard came home with the boys title while the large titles went to NFA in girls and Fitch in boys. In the NVL there was some drama as a key false start helped Naugatuck claim a narrow win over Woodland in the boys championship by a narrow 10-point margin. Quinton Hoey was the top boys senior and top boys distance performer at the meet. On the girls side outstanding senior Tayler Boncal helped Woodland capture the team title by 11 points. Finally the SCC competition was among the tightest competitions with Xavier winning on the boys side by a single point over Amity. It was not as close on the girls side as Hillhouse rolled to a win by 64 points and the team had the top finisher in all but one of the individual track events.
- In girls basketball, the team sitting atop the Class LL rankings faced its toughest test of the season, as Danbury outlasted Darien 51-44 on Tuesday night. Darien limited Danbury to its lowest point total of the season, and its first game decided by 10 points or fewer. Darien could be a team to watch in the second half as the squad has four losses, three of which have been by seven points or less.
- Lauralton Hall faced a stiff test from Kolbe Cathedral over the weekend, eventually pulling out a six-point win. The scored matched the closest margin on the season for Crusaders who have won 10 straight games. Michelle DeSantis scored 23 points and made 14 more free throws in the game to help pull out the victory.
- Can’t do much better than a cross-town rivalry, other than to have one go to overtime. That’s what we got when Notre Dame-West Haven and West Haven squared off on Tuesday night, with Notre Dame pulling out a 61-59 win in overtime. Tahj Eaddy hit a three late for Notre Dame to send it to overtime, and then knocked down a pair of threes in the final period to finish with 19 points as the team moved to 10-4 and sits just outside the top-10 in Class LL.
- Two top-5 ranked teams in the CIAC rankings (more on those later) had just the kind of game you’d expect with two highly-ranked teams, and Granby Memorial held off Enfield 53-51 in overtime. As the Hartford Courant reports Carlin Champion provided the game-winner in overtime for the second-straight game for Granby Memorial, which improved to 13-1 with the win.
- Wednesday night was a big evening for wrestling with 43 matches taking place across the state. Among the most relevant was Farmington keeping its undefeated season alive by the slimmest of margins, getting past Southington by a score of 35-34 based on most first points scored. That sets up a big matchup for next week, with Farmington facing also unbeaten Simsbury for the ECC West title. That is a match that could certainly find its way into the next edition of Eye On The CIAC.
- Nice win for Ridgefield in boys hockey on Saturday, shutting out Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe by a 2-0 margin. Ridgefield proved it could come away with a win in a low-scoring affair, as it was just its second victory of the year in a game in which it scored two or fewer goals.
- Also on Wednesday, Wilton hosted Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde for a highly-competitive gymnastics tri-meet. The hosts came out on top with a score of 134.7, followed by Ludlowe at 132.95 and Warde at 125.7. The duo of Ashley Bascom and Christina Brandt have Wilton in the top-5 in the CIAC team scoring averages and has the team eyeing its first Class M title since 2009.
As explained last week, each Monday we take a look at the movement within the top-10 of the CIAC Tournament Rankings which can be found on CIACsports.com.
- Starting with boys hockey, where most of the movement was in Division II. East Catholic swaps into the top spot after an overtime win over Northwest Catholic. Branford vaults into the rankings at number five and there is some shuffling at the bottom part of the top-10. The top two also switched in Division III but there was very little change otherwise, though Lyman Hall/Haddam-Killingworth debuted at ninth, and the Housatonic-Northwestern-Wamogo squad sits in 10th. The Division I rankings were virtually identical, with the exception of Notre Dame-Fairfield sitting in 10th.
- The biggest mover in gymnastics was Fairfield Ludlowe which raised its average score by almost two full points to move from 10th to eighth. The same 10 teams remain in the top-10, though the gap in scores between the top team and the 10th-place team narrowed slightly.
- Lauralton Hall enjoyed a slight bounce up the rankings in Class LL in girls basketball, while RHAM was the biggest mover in Class L jumping from eighth to fifth. Weaver picked up two spots in M, while Bolton also moved up two places in S. The top team remained the same in all four classifications but a few teams did suffer some noticeable drops in the rankings.
- Only two teams remain unbeaten in boys basketball and both are atop their respective rankings as Hillhouse leads LL and Northwestern sits atop the M rankings. Windsor suffered a precipitous drop in L, falling from third to ninth with the other teams all moving up a spot. Trinity Catholic climbed from third to first in L, and Wilbur Cross also moved up two positions. Very little movement last week in M with only O’Brien Tech making an appearance at 10 changing the makeup of the rankings. The same is true in Class S where Old Lyme dropping from sixth to eighth is the biggest change. East Hampton also makes the rankings at number 10.
CIAC On TV
CPTV Sports will be carrying one live boys basketball game this week, and it will be a game featuring the top ranked team in Class S as Granby Memorial hosts Avon. The two teams have a combined record of 26-3 as Avon sits in the middle of the Class L rankings. The game will be shown live at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 8. In addition there will be a plethora of previously played games shown throughout the week, so check CPTVsports.org for the listings.