CIAC Champs Crowned at Mohegan Sun
Beginning on Friday night and continuing throughout the day on Saturday, the CIAC crowned their eight state champions on the season (4 boys & 4 girls) at the arena at Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino. The action got off to an early start on Saturday with the Class S boys final tipping at 9:30am.
Class S – Hyde Finishes Perfect
Hyde Leadership Academy defeated Prince Tech 70-58 on Saturday morning to win the CIAC Class S State Championship and finish their season at a perfect 27-0.
Junior guard Hasiem Roberson led the way with 24 points and 4 steals while seniors Kendell Groom (11 assists), DeShawn Murphy (14 points, 7 rebounds), and Montel Wolcott (12 rebounds) all stepped up to play efficient games. Phillip Starks scored 28 points for Prince Tech.
While the Hyde basketball program has only been in existence for 13 years this is their second state title and fifth trip to the championship game.
Class M – Sheehan Scores Upset
Sheehan came into their match-up with Bloomfield as the heavy underdog as Bloomfield was playing in their third consecutive state final and returned many of the same pieces that knocked out Sheehan in last year’s quarterfinal.
But Sheehan landed a heavy blow early when they started the game on an incredible 15-0 run that Bloomfield would never be able to recover from. Sheehan would go on to take a 72-61 win to capture their first state title.
John Songer led the way with 24 big points but as usual the man who ran the show for Sheehan head coach Joe Gaetano was his youngest son, Phil Gaetano. The senior guard scored 16 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, handed out 6 assists, and picked 4 steals in his final game in a Sheehan uniform.
Class L – Unlikely Heroes Lead Stratford
The Stratford-New London match-up had all the makings of a classic with big named players on both teams leading their clubs into the highly anticipated final. But when Stratford’s senior duo of Brandon Sherrod and Russell Peyton struggled to find their normal offensive rhythm early, it was a pair of underclassmen that stepped up to guide their team.
Tom Bajda scored 7 of his team’s first 13 points of the game, 6 more in the decisive fourth quarter, and iced the game with the second of two free-throws in the closing seconds for his 17th point of the game. When it wasn’t Bajda stepping up it was freshman Brandon Brantley who scored 10 of his 11 points in the third quarter.
Peyton finished the game with 11 points while Sherrod had 8 points, 16 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Kris Dunn scored 19 points for New London. Stratford finishes the season with a perfect 27-0 record and their second state title in the last three years.
Class LL – Bridgeport Central Tops Hillhouse
Hillhouse held a four point lead with just four minutes to play in the state championship game late on Saturday night but Bridgeport Central would close the game with a 20-3 run to capture the CIAC Class LL title 78-66.
Bridgeport Central has seven four year seniors on the roster and several of them came up big in the final as Jerome Parkins scored a team high 19 points, Andrew Victoria had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Diontay and Jerry Washington scored 17 points each. Freddie Wilson scored a team high 20 points for Hillhouse.
Bridgeport Central finishes the season with a 27-1 record while their only defeat came by forfeit in their first game of the season because of using an ineligible player.