CIAC Quarterfinals Set
Many of the brackets stayed chalk during the first few rounds of the four CIAC tournaments but it was #14 New Britain that pulled off the first real upset of one of the top teams in the area when it defeated #3 Hartford Public 66-61 in overtime.
Devonne Nolan scored a game-high 30 points, including a 10-ft floater at the end of regulation to tie the game at 52, and put the Hurricanes on his shoulders at multiple points in the game. New Britain controlled the offensive boards; their ability to score on put-backs and hit free throws down the stretch (20-24) was the difference. Daylon Ore fought through cramps and gave Hartford Public 24 points but they weren't enough. New Britain will face #6 Fairfield Prep on Monday, who advanced by defeating #11 Westhill 62-53 behind 26 points from swingman Terry Tarpey.
Kris Dunn is on a mission to show the CIAC why he was Connecticut's first McDonald All-American since Charles Smith in 1984 and only the fourth overall. He rallied his #5 New London squad from a 10-point deficit and scored 23 points in a 56-48 victory over #12 Holy Cross. Dunn and the Whalers will travel to Central Connecticut State University on Monday to play a battle-hardened #4 Windsor team that dismissed #13 Hamden 82-56 in the second round on Thursday. Windsor coach Ken Smith decided in the best interest of Connecticut high school sports and gave up the opportunity to play New London at home and instead moving the game to the bigger facility at Central Connecticut State University. New London has already faced #1 St. Joseph (57-52 loss) and #2 Hillhouse (64-61 loss) but will have to get past Smith's Windsor squad which goes 10-deep and had no problem dismissing "L" #1-seed Northwest Catholic twice during the season, the second time behind Jared Wilson-Frame's 45 points in the CCC tournament. This has all the makings of a Connecticut Classic.
James Jennings led #1-seed St Joseph with 24 points as they used their usual team effort to pound #16 Cheshire into submission 77-59 in their second round matchup. Timajh Parker-Rivera added 17 points while Quincey McKnight provided 16 impressive points as well. The Cadets move on to play #9 Ridgefield who beat #25 Simsbury 58-54.
Class L stayed chalk going into the Final Four as well, with #1-seed Northwest Catholic beating #25 Stratford and putting an end to their mini-Cinderella run 74-61. The Indians clicked on all cylinders in the first half, building a 45-16 halftime lead behind impressive performances from 6'9" Kuran Iverson, who finished with 13 points and 12 boards while also facilitating for his teammates, and Tyler Huffman. Stratford's Bernard Brantley ended his fantastic junior campaign in style, scoring 22 points in the fourth quarter and tallying 42 points total for the game. 6'4" senior Kiwayne Thomas had a super-efficient 19 points for Northwest, going 8-9 from the field.
#4 Farmington beat #5 Branford 45-39 in order to earn another meeting with fellow CCC foe Northwest in the semifinals. Obi Momah played like a man on a mission, scoring 24 points and hauling in 7 boards for his Farmington squad. With the loss of senior power forward Ben Pollack during the conference tournament, Momah has stepped in and averaged over 20 points per during the postseason and has improved his personal stock drastically. Earlier in the year Momah looked extremely deliberate in the low post but has gotten more comfortable with his role. He's realized his footwork and athleticism will allow him to take big men outside and beat them off the dribble. If they lay off him, Momah has even showed the ability to hit the three. His hands will be full against Iverson and Northwest on Tuesday but Momah will look to continue his coming-out party regardless.
In a rematch of last year's Class M championship game, #2 Career defeated #7 Trinity Catholic 60-53 to move into this year's Class L Final Four. Treyvon Moore attacked the rim and refused to let his Career team lose to Trinity for the second straight year, scoring 18 points and frequently challenging 7'2" sophomore Paschal Chuku and 6'7" junior Jason Boswell on the interior for Trinity. Kenny Armstead dropped 12 points and snatched 11 boards for Career who will play #3 Wilby in the semifinals on Tuesday night at Bunnell in what should be an up-and-down, high-scoring, super-athletic matchup of two teams who love to push the pace.
#2 Kobe Cathedral will meet #3 Capital Prep in a Class S semifinal game on Tuesday night, a matchup of a regular season game won by Kolbe 76-75. Capital used a balance attack to defeat #6 Coginchaug 74-54 to move forward. Brandon Marshall had nine points and ten boards for the Longhorns while the backcourt duo of Levy Gillespie Jr and Kahlil Dukes each scored 16 points en route to a win. Kolbe slowed down #7 St Paul, a team that had been averaging in the high-70's during the tourney, and controlled the pace during their 68-55 win. Kolbe was led by Ian Gardner's 22 points, Cosrick McDonald's 19 and Elton Perry's 18 and the 3-headed monster managed to outscore St. Paul 59-55 on their own. Kolbe is led by UConn's all-time leading scorer Chris Smith.