Immaculate Defeats SWC Foe Notre Dame-Fairfield by CTHoopsNews

By: Robbie Goodrich

 

Notre Dame-Fairfield (14-3) 61, Immaculate(16-1) 71

 

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In a battle for the SWC’s Patriot Division top spot, Notre Dame-Fairfield visited 15-1 Immaculate.

Immaculate hasn’t been tested like they would be today, as Notre Dame was a Class M finalist last year and has been playing like a top tier program all year. ND’s only blemishes were an early loss to Fairfield Ludlowe and a double-digit loss to a very good Notre Dame-West Haven squad. 

“We knew were good but didn’t know how good we were, and I think our kids played a perfect game,” coach Nelson Mingachos of Immaculate remarked.

With a perfect game played, the Mustangs would come out on top by the final buzzer 71-61.

The Mustangs and Lancers were locked in an up and down battle for the first three quarters. Immaculate started off fast and led 9-2 aided by Darius Hunter’s seven first quarter points, and Immaculate looked poised for a big victory. ND battled back, and at the end of the first quarter they were down 13-10.  

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Darius Hunter played inspired ball on both ends.  He hit open shots and defended with passion. 

“To keep an eye their shooters…(Jordan) Pettway and (Jesse) McIntosh are great shooters, stay in their face, and make sure they made tough shots,” Hunter mentioned.

Hunter finished with a game high 24 points.

The second and third quarters of the game were tight, with the game tied 29-29 and 44-44. 6-foot-4 senior forward Jesse McIntosh led the Lancers with 19 points and hit several key three pointers to keep the game close. However, it was the gutsy play of the Mustangs’ leader, senior guard Darrius Smith.

The 5-foot-7 Smith took control of the game in the fourth quarter with a seven point run. He was able to guide his team to a 54-44 lead early in the fourth.  Smith was not 100%, as he injured his thigh in Barlow game, and was hobbling around at times against ND, finishing with 14 points.

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The Mustangs had a huge fourth quarter scoring 30 points, and 6-foot-5 senior forward Alex Gerbo contributed 11 points in the decisive final quarter, ending his night with 15 points.

Despite good efforts by senior guard Jordan Pettway, who scored 18 points and sophomore forward Noreaga Davis, 14 points, the Lancers couldn’t keep pace and suffered their third loss of the year. 





Wildcats Come Up Short to Holy Cross Crusaders by CTHoopsNews

By: Robbie Goodrich

Holy Cross (11-3) 70, Wilby (10-4) 68

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There were whispers that Wilby was on its way to a top 10 ranking. Holy Cross of Waterbury apparently didn’t hear those whispers and walked away with 70-68 win. 

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Holy Cross jumped all over the Wildcats in the first half. The Crusaders held early leads of 14-2, 29-9, and led 40-20 at the half. 

While Wilby struggled mightily, Crusader senior Jonathan Mowatt was his usual solid self. He scored 11 first half points, and was joined by sophomore Deandre Wallace, who contributed eight points. Wallace finished with 13 points on the night.

Mowatt also finished with 13 points. He is averaging 13.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season.

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Wilby came into tonight’s game with a six-game winning streak and seemingly on the rise with the addition of 6’11 senior transfer Shawn Coles, who played for Holy Cross in the 2014-2015 season. Coles was recently declared eligible to play but he didn’t play well for Wilby against the Crusaders, only scoring one two-point bucket.

Down by 20 points Wilby put together stretches of high-pressure defense. Holy Cross had a tough time handling it and got outscored 21-11 in the third quarter. It was 51-41 going into the fourth. 

Senior Damien Grant paced Wilby. The 6’6 200 lb. forward led all scorers with 20 points. In a frantic fourth quarter, where Wilby forced Holy Cross to turn the ball over many times, Grant scored 11 of his 20. 

Wilby chased Holy Cross down and with 24 seconds, Grant grabbed an offensive rebound, got fouled and made both free throws to get within six.

Wildcat sophomore Christian Harris, who chipped in nine points, played inspired ball in the fourth quarter and converted a big three-point play to get his team close, 69-66.

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Cross went up 70-66 after making one free throw with 17 seconds left, but Crusader Dyllan Tyson seemingly tackled Wildcat Christian, getting called for an intentional foul. Harris went to the charity stripe and sank both freebies. 

The score was 70-68, and Wilby had the ball with 11 seconds left. Harris missed a tying shot but a jump ball was called on the rebound with one second left on the clock; Wilby ball.

The Wildcats got an open look at a three but couldn’t convert, and then the final buzzer sounded.



Late Free Throws Seal the Deal for SMSA Over Canton by CTHoopsNews

By: Nate Rubinstein ( @Nate_Rubinstein ) & Sam Rubinstein ( @_samruby )

 

SMSA (1-0) 55, Canton (0-1) 53)

 

The NCCC matchup of the week was featured in Canton, CT between the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy Tigers and the Canton Warriors.

The two teams showed a bit of first game jitters throughout the first half with turnovers a plenty. The contest went back and forth throughout the 32 minutes of play, and both squads exposed tremendous defense.

Going into the locker rooms after one half of action, Canton led SMSA 28-24, with senior forward Ethan Burke leading the way netting 11 points. Burke, a stretch four-man, was taking advantage of his mismatches by stepping out and hitting the three, while also posting up on the block often. 

After the break, the Tigers came out strong with the help of a thundering fast-break dunk from Jonathon Hernandez at the 5:39 mark of the third quarter, cutting Canton’s lead to a sole two-point field goal. The dunk by Hernandez propelled the Tigers to go on a 10-0 run to claim a 40-36 lead prior to Canton’s Coach Arch calling a timeout to regroup. 

Jake Schaetzel goes up over the SMSA defense in the paint. Provided by: CTHoopsNews

Jake Schaetzel goes up over the SMSA defense in the paint.

Provided by: CTHoopsNews

The Warriors weren’t going to fall to pressure that easily, as they were able to fight the momentum shift and tie the score before heading into the final quarter of play. Canton’s fan section, "The Wigwam", began to get into it, looking for their home team to march on to victory in their first matchup of the 2015-2016 season.

The fourth quarter did not disappoint the fans that were in attendance as the back and forth style of play continued and was full of clutch moments for both sides.

As the game clock ticked down in the final minute of play, Riley Hoffman hit a corner shot to put Canton out in front with only 11 seconds left. But the hero for this one came from the SMSA side, as Daquan Carr grabbed a rebound after a Hoffman missed free throw and took it coast to coast drawing the foul to send him to the line. Carr proved calm under pressure as he sank both free throws which ended up clinching the game for the Tigers.

Lorenzo Aikens led the Tigers with 15 points and Ryan Rivera was right behind him putting in 14. Jonathon Hernandez dropped 12 points and Keith Patier contributed with eight also.

For the Warriors, Ethan Burke finished with 14 on the night and Cameron Lange ended with 12. Jake Schaetzel was another key factor, controlling the boards, blocking shots and bringing in 11 points. 

Clinching the victory started SMSA on the right foot for their conference title defense; not to mention at a tough place to play.

“Anytime you come to Canton and get a win, it is a big deal. Canton returns a lot of really really good players, and they certainly gave us everything we can handle tonight,” said Coach Mraz for the Tigers. “It was a fun game to be apart of tonight.”

As the Tigers move on in the season, Coach Mraz and his team looks to improve their transition defense, as well as attack the basket more on the offensive end.

SMSA now has nearly a week off before their next game on the 28th. They hit the road again as they face off Litchfield. As for the Canton Warriors, they look to bounce back on Monday as well at Lewis Mills.

 

 

States: Sacred Heart Proves They Are Connecticut's Best by CTHoopsNews

Sacred Heart 71 vs Valley Regional 46

 
Valley Regional took an early 4-2 in the Class S Championship. That lead vanished real fast and never returned.

I’d love to get into the analytics and breakdown of the game, but Sacred Heart made that pretty unnecessary. They are just better.

Led by Pittsburgh commit, Mustapha Heron, the Hearts send out three division one caliber players at any given moment. They play big, fast, athletic, and tonight they took no prisoners.

Last year in the same game Valley was able to leave some doubt, but tonight Heron and Malik Petteway stole the show. Petteway had a standout performance that should perk the interest of Division 1 coaches in attendance; he finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds.

As for Heron, he had his own coach to impress tonight as Jamie Dixon was on hand to view his performance. He finished with 32 points and 8 rebounds and told us, “It feels great. To get back here and play better this year was great.”

Chris Jean-Pierre carried Valley as he posted 17 points in the losing effort. David Bradbury, the other notable returner from last year’s run, had a tough time getting past Charles Fisher and only managed 8 points on the evening.

All in all, Sacred Heart came to Mohegan with a determination to show who the state’s most prominent power is. If the final score of 71-46 wasn’t enough in itself, the Hearts finished 21-0 on the year and will go into our inaugural state rankings as the state’s number 1 team… As long as Mustapha comes back, that is.

 

 

By: Brent Pelella

States: Sacred Heart Cruises Into Class S Semi by CTHoopsNews

Northwest Catholic 73 vs. Sacred Heart 51

 
Alumni Hall at Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, CT was jammed packed for the quarterfinal matchup between the Sacred Heart Hearts and the Northwest Catholic Indians. The student section for the Hearts was up on their feet for the entire game watching their talented boys’ basketball team march on to victory once again.

The Hearts came out of the gate strong, composed, and confident. They played their token defense with intense ball pressure; not allowing the Indians to get a clean shot off. The Indians of Northwest Catholic really never stood a chance against the defending champions, as the deficit was in double digits majority of the time. The Hearts gave the fans a show with a bunch of highlights including a highflying slam from Pittsburgh commit, Mustapha Heron. Another alley-oop connection from Charles Fisher to Tyran Flowers, and a put back throw down from Flowers put the max capacity crowd into a frenzy.

Mustapha Heron led the Hearts with 20 points and picked up 3 steals on the defensive end. However, Heron couldn’t have done it without the impressive performances from Senior Malik Petteway and Junior Tyrn Flowers. Petteway finished with 19 points and brought down 9 rebounds. Flowers had an all around game recording a double double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and distributed 4 assists. Junior guard Charles Fisher and Freshman Raheem Solomon chipped in with 10 and 7 points respectively.

Christian Thomas, of Northwest Catholic, led all scorers with 22 points to finish his Indian career. Thomas worked the Hearts defense as much as he could, finding any way possible to get to the charity stripe. Patrick Lazor also put up 8 points and Stephen Laffin had 7 as well.

When the final buzzer went off the Hearts finished with 73-51 victory. Hearts coach Jon Carrol was pleased with his teams productivity and was eager to find out who their next obstacle is.

He said after the game, “Depending on who gets into the next round (Bloomfield HS or Cromwell HS) against us, definitely two different styles of basketball, we will have to wait and see.”

Sacred Heart CONTINUES the Run to the Sun as they play Bloomfield High School Thursday in New Britain at 7 pm. Bloomfield played Cromwell this evening, during the Hearts and Indians matchup, and was able to squeak away with a 50-48 win.

Bloomfield will not be a walk in the park for the Hearts, as they hung in with Sacred Heart the entire way last year in the quarterfinals of the Class S tournament.

 

By: Nate Rubinstein