By MICHAEL LETENDRE
UNCASVILLE – On the weekend of March 15 to 16, eight CIAC basketball championships were decided as four very competitive boys and girls games were played in front of over a combined 10,000 fans during the two days.
In the girls brackets, all four number one seeds advanced to the championship games as three out of the four top seeds won it all.
Capital Prep, Cromwell, and Mercy all won the title as the No. 1 seed while in the Class L final, Farmington – a squad that beat Bristol Central by only five points in second round action (33-28) back on Feb. 28 – upset top-seeded Bacon Academy, 49-44.
In boys action, only two number one seed advanced to the finals – Trinity Catholic of Class L and Fairfield Prep in the Class LL field – while a mixed bag of second, third, and fifth seeds made it to the last day of action.
Every number one seed failed to register a championship while squads like No. 3 Granby Memorial (Class S) and No. 5 Valley Regional (Class M) won the titles a bit lower in the seeding.
All games were played at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Here’s a quick rundown of all the action:
2012-13 CIAC Boys and Girls high school Basketball championships:
from Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville
Class S, Girls Basketball Championship:
No. 1 Capital Prep 84, No. 3 Thomaston 55
Best Way to Describe the Game: The contest was one of the rare blowouts of the championship round.
Overview: Thomaston (21-3) had one heck of a regular season but against No. 1 Capital Prep, it wasn’t much of a contest. Prep led 23-5 after one period of play and held on to win 84-55 in the Class S championship game. Four players scored in double figures for Capital as Klah Gillespie threw in 22 points and snared 14 rebounds while Desiree Elmore added 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Golden Bears were led by Abigail Hurlbert as she netted a game best of 28 points while grabbing 10 rebounds.
Class M, Girls Basketball Championship:
No. 1 Cromwell 42, No. 2 Notre Dame-Fairfield 28
Best Way to Describe the Game: Top rated team holds opponent to only 10 points over the second half.
Overview: The two top teams in all of Class M took the court on March 15 and it was certainly a tale of two halves. Over the first the 16 minutes, second-ranked Notre-Dame snatched a 28-26 edge. But after halftime, it was all Cromwell as the top-seeded squad held the Lancers to only 10 points over the second half as Notre-Dame Fairfield fell 42-28. Two players snared double-doubles to lead the winners as Lindsay Langenauer (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Janelle Harrison (13 points, 16 rebounds) had huge performances. Jovan Kingwood notched 14 points and 12 rebounds in the losing effort for Notre Dame. Cromwell ended the year at an undefeated 25-0 while Notre Dame-Fairfield finished at 21-4.
Class L, Girls Basketball Championship:
No. 10 Farmington 49, No. 1 Bacon Academy 44
Best Way to Describe the Game: Pesky Bacon just couldn’t stop Cinderella Farmington.
Overview: Cool, calm and collected Farmington, ranked No. 10 in the Class L bracket, didn’t wilt against one of the state’s best teams and picked up a 49-44 upset victory over top-rated Bacon Academy. It was the Indians’ second championship game in school history and with its five-point win, it was Farmington’s first title ever. Farmington (21-4) outscored Bacon 15-7 over the first eight minutes of the game and held the top seed to only three points in the third period of play. Academy (22-2) chopped the deficit to three points over the final period but could never get over the hump. Sophie Borg and Brittany Belisle each tallied 11 points during the victory while Bacon, playing only six players, saw Taylor McLaughlin notch a game high 25 points and 12 rebounds in the losing effort.
Class LL, Girls Basketball Championship:
No. 1 Mercy 54, No. 2 Lauralton Hall 53
Best Way to Describe the Game: Who says three-pointers don’t win games?
Overview: Mercy’s Maria Weselyj drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to propel the top-ranked Tigers to an amazing 54-53 victory that brought down the house in the Class LL championship game. The contest could have gone either way as No. 2 Lauralton Hall (21-2) and Mercy (23-1) battled tit-for-tat until the fourth quarter heroics by Weselyj ended the suspense with the game-winning three-pointer. Jordyn led the way with 13 points and four rebounds while Sheena Landy added 12 points in the winning effort. Carly Fabbri zipped in a game high 20 points for the second rated club.
Class S, Boys Basketball Championship:
No. 3 Granby Memorial 83, No. 25 Weaver 81 (2OT)
Best Way to Describe the Game: Instant classic, period.
Overview: Down 40-19 in the third period, Granby Memorial outscored Weaver 49-28 over the last 20 minutes of regulation to knot the game at 68-68 to force two extra periods. Granby eventually picked up a miraculous 83-81 double overtime victory in the Class S Final. No. 3 Granby (21-3) was led by Brett Buser, who canned a stop-on-a-dime game-tying three-pointer with four seconds left and ended the contest with a team leading 23 points to go along with six assists. Michael Noyes hit 5-of-9 3-pointers and ended up with 19 points and four assists for Granby. No. 25 Weaver, who entered tournament play at 8-12, was led by Chris Burt’s 23 points and eight rebounds. Memorial notched 30 points in the fourth period to force the overtimes.
Class M, Boys Basketball Championship:
No. 5 Valley Regional 52, No. 23 Weston 45
Best Way to Describe the Game: Regional snares second title in three seasons.
Overview: Weston entered the 2013 Class M championship game as a decided underdog against a very tough Valley Regional team. Weston (No. 23) held a 20-17 halftime lead but off the power of a 19-9 third period jaunt, Valley nabbed the ledge and eventually held on to an impressive 52-45 win to win its second championship in three seasons. In 2011, Regional (23-2) was the Class S champion while two years later, Valley defeated a game but overmatched Weston squad (14-11). Chris Polo punched in 12 points and grabbed 15 rebounds while Chris Connor also etched in 12 points and snared eight rebounds in the winning effort. Charlie DiPasquale notched 24 points for Weston in the losing effort. NOTE: On Jan. 26, Bristol Central defeated Weston 71-55 in a non-conference affair from Bristol.
Class L, Boys Basketball Championship:
No. 2 Woodstock Academy 52, No. 1 Trinity Catholic 49
Best Way to Describe the Game: Gritty performance by second rated club.
Overview: Trinity Catholic, the top overall seed in the Class L field, tried to pressure Woodstock academy all over the court in this one but in the end, the second-rated club scored a tremendous three-point victory in the title game, 52-49. Both squads ended the season at 23-2 but the Centaurs out-rebounded Catholic 41-33 to secure the late game victory. The win was Woodstock’s first championship ever. Ian Converse led the Centaurs with a game-best 23 points and 11 rebounds while Sullivan Gardner snared 14 rebounds in the victorious effort. Tremaine Fraiser led the Crusaders with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Class LL, Boys Basketball Championship:
No. 2 Hillhouse 52, No. 1 Fairfield Prep 42
Best Way to Describe the Game: New Haven squad slips by Fairfield, beating the team for the third straight time this year.
Overview: Hillhouse, the second-ranked squad in all of Class LL, sent Fairfield Prep a message and defeated the club 52-42 in the championship round of the bracket. Hillhouse led 13-7 after one frame of play and racked up a 24-16 edge at the half. Raiquan Clark led all players with a dominating 26 points and 12 rebounds while Chaise Daniels added 10 points and seven rebounds in the winning effort. Tim Butala was Prep’s leading scorer with 14 points and nine rebounds while Paschal Chukwu chimed in with 12 points and a game high 16 rebounds. Hillhouse ended the season with a 23-1 ledger while Fairfield fell to 22-2.