It was a great weekend of competition at the Mohegan Sun and Ingalls Rink with 11 deserving champions. Before we turn our eyes squarely on the spring season, it seemed worth revisiting the excitement of the previous weekend, and offer a few assorted thoughts and highlights.
The CIACsports twitter feed dubbed it a “Mohegan Miracle” late on Sunday afternoon when Morgan nearly pulled off an 18-point comeback in the fourth quarter before New London held on to win the class M girls title. However the sentiment was appropriate as it seemed every time fans turned around in Uncasville there was another team turning around a deficit. All eight of the eventual winners trailed by at least six points in their game, and three of the eight faced double-digit deficits at some point in the game. It was a wild weekend of comebacks, with the largest one capped by one of a series of spectacular plays seen below.
Outkast once asked “what’s cooler than being cool”? After the games this weekend, the answer might have to change to sinking clutch free throws to help secure a state championship, something Thomaston’s Abigail Hurlbert and Windsor’s Cody Quinn are familiar with.
Perhaps lost in the thrilling finish and incredible comeback of the boys Class LL final was just how dramatic the final minutes of that game proved to be. The lead changed hands six times in the final three minutes of the contest, with both teams making sensational plays at each end. Though the final result went the other way, this sequence of great defense and offense by Fairfield Prep was indicative of how well the team played and how hard it battled to the end.
I wasn’t fortunate enough to be at both the hockey and basketball finals over the weekend, so I’m unable to offer much insight into what took place at Ingalls besides the fact that the games were sensational. In fact, close games have become the norm in the finals over the last two years, with all six games being decided by a single goal. So short of any in-depth analysis can we interest you in a trio of game-winning goals?
Revisiting the question from above, what exactly is cooler than being cool? Ice. Cold.
Coaches, fans, and media will always be looking for what might be the keys to winning a championship. Though small sample size caveats almost certainly apply, this past weekend on the basketball court one of those keys was hitting the glass. In all but one of the eight basketball finals, the winning team either out-rebounded or was exactly even with its opponent in rebounding. Whether this is something teams should consider for the future is up for debate, but being able to crash the glass like Lauralton Hall did en route to its LL girls title certainly can’t hurt.
Basketball and hockey weren’t the only sports providing thrilling action over the weekend. It is not hyperbole to suggest that what the Greenwich boys swim team did at the State Open will be remembered for a long time. The time the 400-yard freestyle relay team produced did not just break the state record they established at the class LL meet a few days earlier. The time ranks as the third-fastest time in the history of boys high school swimming in that event, according to the NFHS Record Book. Might be worth a watch.
That’s about it from a tremendous weekend and season of high school competition, and we expect nothing less in the spring. Let’s let Sacred Heart’s Mustapha Herron provide the exclamation point.