In nearly every case the winter regular seasons have come, or are coming to an end and championship season is fully upon us. This week’s Eye On The CIAC glances back at a week of league championship competition and other regular-season outcomes that have an impact on upcoming CIAC Tournaments. It is a thrilling time of year with girls basketball tournament play beginning tonight and plenty of other action taking place in other sports across the state. One of the best ways to track CIAC action, particularly CIAC Tournament news and results, is by signing up for e-mail/SMS updates.
- E.O. Smith earned a spot in the CCC final in one of the tightest games of the semifinal round, getting past Farmington 59-55 to earn a date with Weaver in the final. A strong third quarter was the defense from E.O. Smith who pushed its lead to 10 heading into the fourth quarter, and then was able to hang on and earn the win.
- Wednesday was league championship night for many of the girls basketball leagues, with Mercy earning the SCC title in the rubber match against Career, Weaver capturing the CCC title, and Holy Cross getting past St. Paul in the NVL title game.
- Thursday was another night of league championship competition as Danbury got past Wilton to earn a third-consecutive FCIAC title, MVP Abby Laszewski powered Avon to the NCCC with a win over Bolton, Lauralton Hall also joined the three-peat club with a third-consecutive SWC title, and Capital Prep knocked off Prince Tech to earn the CSC championship.
- The championship week events came to an end over the weekend with the ECC final going to NFA which knocked off New London by eight points in the final, Thomaston earned a third-straight Berkshire League title with a win over Lewis Mills, and in a thriller Cromwell produced the winning basket with less than five-seconds left to claim the Shoreline Conference title.
- Amity earned a seven-point win over Wethersfield to get its week started. AJ Pite won a pair of events and was part of winning relay as Amity raised its record to 10-3.
- A showdown in the valley went the way of Sacred Heart with the team earning a 97-89 win over Torrington. The meet was nip-and-tuck throughout until Sacred Heart clinched the contest with a win in the meet’s final event, the 400 free relay. The win moved Sacred Heart to 9-0 which gives the team a leg up on earning a fourth-straight NVL title.
- Greenwich continued its domination of the FCIAC swim championships as the Cardinals earned a remarkable 43rd title in 44 seasons. Greenwich compiled 512 points to claim the championship while Staples placed second. Alex Lewis earned Most Valuable Swimmer honors for Greenwic with his standout performance.
- Torrington edged past Wilby on Tuesday night to move two games past .500 with a 68-65 victory. Both teams now sit with 11-9 record and safely into postseason play at this point. Taifa Wright’s 35 points for Wilby was not enough to overcome the balanced Torrington team that got a team-high 19 for Desmon Langs.
- Rocky Hill clinched its spot in the postseason in its final game of the season by pulling out a two-point win over Bloomfield. After a three-game slide towards the end of the season, Rocky Hill won its last two must-win games over RHAM and Bloomfield to earn its spot in the class M tournament field.
- Newington was another team to clinch its spot in the tournament field until the final day of the season, picking up a 10-point win over Southington in its finale to end at 8-12 for the season. After a two-game slide that saw the team suffer a pair of narrow losses, the Indians did not what they had to in the final game of the season.
- Killingly was another team to earn its chance at a postseason run in its final game, and its path was incredibly narrow as the Redman won its final two games by a combined three points. The team knocked off Griswold on Monday 43-42 to secure an 8-12 record, one game after Killingly topped Windham 43-41.
- League championships are also well underway on the boys side with several exciting early-round games taking place at the tail end of the week. Among them was a FCIAC quarterfinal thriller with top-seed Bridgeport Central fending off eighth-seed St. Joseph 57-55.
- New Fairfield-Immaculate produced a 2-1 victory over Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury to continue its season-long trend of playing incredibly close contests. Since January 15 New Fairfield-Immaculate has played six overtime games and another two games decided by a single goal, which comes to eight games decided by a goal or less among 11 games.
- Lyman Hall-Haddam-Killingworth produced its third one-goal victory in four matches outlasting Norwalk-McMahon 5-4 overtime on Wednesday. Lyman Hall-H-K has scored at least three goals in each of the past five games, while earning those one goal wins that moved the team within a game of .500 at 8-9.
- Housatonic-Northwestern-Wamogo managed to get past Woodstock Academy for its second consecutive one-goal win, this one coming in overtime. The team’s 13-3-2 record has the team with 32 points and comfortably in position in the Division III playoff brackets.
- In a contest pitting a pair of teams in the top-10 of Division III, Newtown produced a one-goal win over Tri-Town to close its regular-season schedule. It was the fifth one-goal win of the season for Newtown which closed the year at 13-4-3 while Tri-Town dropped its final three contests to conclude the regular season at 7-11-1.
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). There were no changes to the standings for girls basketball last week, and those pairings have now turned into Tournament brackets, and we are nearing the final set of standings for boys basketball and hockey as well.
- Housatonic-Northwestern-Wamogo nearly climbed into the top-half of the top-10 in the boys hockey Division III rankings this week, making a move from eighth to sixth. Amity also moved up from the eighth position in Division II and now occupies fifth in those standings with the regular season drawing near conclusion. In Division I Notre Dame-Fairfield was the biggest riser, moving up from fifth to second and capping a quick two-week rise from seventh just two weeks ago.
- There was not much movement in class LL in boys basketball as the biggest move came from Westhill jumping from outside the top-10 into eighth place in those standings. A two-position rise from Windsor marked the biggest climb in class L as the team slid up from sixth to fourth with a 16-4 record. Prince Tech had the largest move of the week as it now sits in fifth in class M after holding the ninth position a week ago. Finally in class S East Windsor vaulted two positions to assume the top spot in the standings while Cromwell also moved up two spots from sixth to fourth.
CIAC On TV & The Web
One week after featuring live coverage of the gymnastics class championships, the NFHS Network continues its run of championship broadcasts as it will broadcast the gymnastics State Open live. The league championship season will also be highlighted on CPTV Sports as the network airs the CCC and SCC boys basketball finals on Thursday and Friday respectively. CPTV Sports will also have numerous previously aired girls basketball and boys hockey contests from the past few weeks on the schedule this week.