CCC: North Region / by CTHoopsNews

By: Sam Rubinstein (@_samruby)

To kick off the conference previews for the 2016-2017 season, CTHoopsNews starts out in the CCC North Division. Take a look at some of the key players that are returning for each team.


Blue Division

 Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich


    • East Catholic

2015-2016 record: 22-3, Class L State Champion, CCC Tournament Champion

Outlook: East Catholic is loaded this season and has a chance to defend both their CCC and Class L titles. One of the more talented rosters in the states, the Eagles are led by Kansas State commit Mike McGuirl and sharp shooting sophomore Joe Reilly who were two of the team’s leading scorers last season. Also look for sophomore big man Rakesh Tibby, Bristol Central transfer Jamil Hornesby, sophomore guard Josh Menard, and freshman Trey Hall all to play important roles this year. No doubt these Eagles will be in the mix for another CCC and Class L title.


    • East Hartford

2015-2016 record: 16-9, semifinal loss in CCC tournament, second round loss in Class LL tournament.

Outlook: The Hornets played great in some huge games towards the end last season that they hope will carry over into this year. The last four games of their 2016 schedule included an overtime win over highly ranked Newington, an eight point state tournament victory against the FCIAC’s Fairfield Ludlowe, and two losses to the eventual Class L and Class LL champions, one in which was a one point over time loss. East Hartford, led by junior guard Isaiah Williams, senior guard Kingsley Cockburn, and junior forward Austin Nwafor have the potential to be a surprise team out of the CCC North.


    • Hartford Public

2016 Record: 9-12, first round loss in Class LL tournament, did not make CCC tournament

Outlook: All CCC-North guard, D’marius McKnight returns for his senior season looking to get Hartford Public back to where they ended two seasons ago which was in the Class LL semifinals. Along with McKnight, seniors Nathan Serrano and Jahrell Spence will play prominent roles this season.  After a two point loss to Wilbur Cross in the first round last season, look for Hartford Public to get back over that .500 mark this season and get back on the map.

 Photo credit: Hartford Courant

Photo credit: Hartford Courant



    • Manchester

2016 Record: 9-12, first round loss in Class LL tournament, did not make CCC tournament

Outlook: After going 3-17 just two seasons ago, Manchester made great strides last year by eclipsing the eight win mark and earning a spot in the Class LL tourney as a 28 seed. Malik Cameron, coming off a breakout junior year in which he earned All CCC-North honors, is back and is one of the more underlooked players in this league. His length and athleticism fit perfectly in the Indians’ up-tempo style of play. Seniors PJ Bucherri, Derrick Molden, and Raekwan Canty are all above average scorers that run the floor well and know how to create for others along with themselves.



    • South Windsor

2016 Record: 9-12, first round loss in Class LL tournament, did not make CCC tournament

Outlook: Senior Kewan Smoot is one of the top point guards in the state. As a junior last year, he made the Class LL Second Team and averaged 20.1 ppg and 6.2 apg throughout the season. His ability to effect the game in multiple ways is a main reason why South Windsor has a chance to make a legit run in the CCC and in Class LL this winter. Along with Smoot, South Windsor has another all conference returner in senior Shane Young. Young is another impact player that can really hurt you from the perimeter with his shooting. Watch for South Windsor to burst out of its shell this season and rack up double digit wins.


 White Division

    • Bloomfield

2016 Record: 21-5, semifinal loss in Class M tournament, quarterfinal loss in CCC tournament

Outlook: Bloomfield has been a top team in the state and in the CCC for the past several years but have no hardware to show for it. The Warhawks bring back a strong senior class headed by three returning All CCC-North players in  Russel Thompson-Bishop, Jordan Pruitt, and Dexter Lawson. These Warhawks have been at the cusp of a state championship appearance the past three seasons in which they lost all three years in the semi final to one of the more prominent dynasties in state history with Sacred Heart of the NVL. Bloomfield has a legitimate chance to get over the hump and win a ring this season.


    • Enfield

2016 Record: Fermi: 0-20, did not make Class L tournament, did not make CCC tournament. Enfield: 9-11, first round loss in Class M tournament, did not make NCCC tournament

Outlook: Last year was a another rough one for Fermi High School. Coming off of a stretch of only one win in three years, they couldn’t get back on track and had another 0-20 season. Add in the loss of 1,000 point scorer, Josh Pasini, and you would be hard pressed to find something thrilling to look forward to about this season. But, then we had a bit of a shake up! Fermi became part of Enfield High School out of the NCCC, and now Enfield will take the spot of Fermi in the CCC North! Crazy right? Enfield is coming off a year in which they went 9-11 and qualified for the Class M tournament. They bring back two rising seniors in Kumar Brown and Jake Ferrato. From the Fermi side, Khalil Thomas will bring experience as he has been a varsity player since his freshman year. It will be interesting to see how this transition goes and will be a cool storyline to watch throughout the season as two programs come together to form one.


    • EO Smith

2016 Record: 13-9, first round loss in Class L tournament, first round loss in CCC tournament

Outlook: Graduation is hitting EO Smith hard this year as they lost two All CCC-North guards along with the rest of that large senior class that pulled a majority of the load last season. With that being said, there will be a great opportunity for some returners to play vital roles on this Panther squad. Seniors Andrew Schroeder and Rondell Bothroyd will be a big-man combo that has a chance to be productive.



    • RHAM

2016 Record: 13-9, first round loss in Class L tournament, first round loss in CCC tournament

Outlook: RHAM had a great regular season in 2016 but got blown out in both of their first round playoff games to two tough teams in Bloomfield and Maloney. It will be a tough task for the Sachems this winter as they try for a quick turnaround after losing seven players to graduation including two All CCC-North players. Rising senior guards Sean Dupuis and Kyle Hespeler will be running the show this year and will be relied on to be consistent scorers.




    • Rockville

2016 Record: 4-16, did not make Class M tournament, did not make CCC tournament

Outlook: After two down years of 10 total wins, Rockville has a legitimate chance to sneak back into the state tournament and get into the double digit win category. Rising seniors Jake Cichon and Romeo Sowah have been in the starting lineup since their sophomore year and will be two of the main players for the Rams. Junior point guard, Mason Resendes, will be a player to look out for over the next few months as well. A varsity player since his freshman year, Resendes is true point guard that can create for others and has the ability, along with Cichon and Sowah, to get this Ram team back into the conversation.


    • Tolland

2016 Record: 10-11, first round loss in Class M tournament, did not make CCC tournament

Outlook: Tolland came within two points of fighting off Ansonia to pull off the first round upset in the Class M tournament last season. It was their second straight year of losing by less than a basket in their opening round matchup. But don’t worry Eagles fans, have no fear, Andrew Jaworski is still here! Jaworski, a rising senior who made the Class M Second Team just a year ago is one of the more underrated players in the CCC. The 6’2 physical guard can score from all over and impact the game with and without the ball in his hands. Senior Devin Shelton will also be a key factor to the Eagles’ success this year.