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February 27, 2011 Norman Waterman
SCC Quarterfinals from East Haven High School:
Career 55, Amity 36:
Career entered the game as the number 1 seed in the SCC tournament and did nothing to disappoint those who feel they are the favorite to win it. They played a valiant Amity team that was overmatched talent wise at almost every position. Career controlled the game from the outset and opened up a 12-poit first quarter lead and led by 10 at the half.
After an aggressive start by Amity in the second half, Career relied on its defense to create offense and pull away for a convincing 19-point win.
Seniors Brandyn Benson and KC Hoff led Career with a combined 36-points, but the most important player for Career was Junior Kenny Armstead. While only scoring 5-points, Armstead had at least 6-blocked shots and 10-rebounds officially- though NE Hoop News counted 14. Armsted patrolled the paint, which allowed Hoff and Benson to concentrate on scoring.
Career did miss 18 out of 28 free throws on the day, a part of the game they need to improve. Coach Larry Kelley addressed the issue after the game, telling the media “We’ve got to get better at that. There’s been times we’ve shot it well and a lot of times where we shot it poorly. I’m real concerned about that.”
Career advanced to play in the Semi-Final at the TD Bank Center on Quinnipiac University on Tuesday to play Fairfield Prep, who downed Lyman Hall.
Lyman Hall entered the game hot having won 8 of their last 10, including a huge comeback from 14-points down to Wilbur Cross just last week, but came up just short against a Fairfield Prep team that came in on a down note with a loss at the end the regular season to Branford.
A close game throughout, Fairfield Prep came out in the fourth quarter and opened up an 11-point lead with just under 5-minutes left. Prep was led all day Junior Terry Tarpey who controlled the glass from his wing position and consistently made plays for his teammates. Tarpey ended the day with 18-points and 14-boards, but his biggest contribution was in the way he kept poised during the furious comeback Lyman Hall put on. Tarpey received a lot of help from Senior Guard Robbie Bier who poured in 23-points. The two of them routinely broke the Lyman Hall press and created fast break situations that led to a lot of fouls on Lyman.
Showing a lot of heart, Lyman fought back from the double-digit deficit to bring it to a one-possession game several times, but could not get over the hump. Junior Rich Bronson led the comeback by driving to the hole every chance he got and scored 8 of his 16-points late to make it close, but it just wasn’t enough. Lyman was too far behind and in too much foul trouble. Lyman had 4-players foul out which complicated things during late game situations. Junior Kevin Ruys scored 14-for Lyman.
Hillhouse dominated from the opening tip and cruised to a 22-point victory. Coming out of the gates in a full court man-to-man press, which has become their calling card, Hillhouse used superior talent and athleticism to over match the Cheshire Rams from onset and never trailed after the mid point of the first quarter.
Senior Freddie Wilson led Hillhouse with 25-points, while Senior Louis Ellison added 14 and Senior Drew Crudup put in 13.
Junior Nate Howard was the lone bright spot for Cheshire, as the 6-foot 10 center scored 17-points and pulled in 13-rebounds.
Hillhouse advances the Semi-finals on Tuesday to play cross-town rival Wilbur Cross for the third time this year, though it looked bleak for Cross early on.
Wilbur Cross 58, Xavier 55 (OT)
Call them the cardiac kids or late bloomers, but the Wilbur Cross Governors have made a habit out of coming back late in games for huge wins. A few weeks ago it took an NBA 3-pointer from Senior Gerald “Gee” McClease to hand Career their only loss of the season and just the other day it took a comeback against Sheehan, who led the Govs by 7 entering the fourth to advance to quarterfinals.
This time, Cross spotted Xavier a 15-point lead late in the first half, only to comeback late to lead by one. They again fell behind, this time by 4 late in the fourth and by 2-with under a minute left before Senior Ray Melvin scored on a driving lay-up to tie the game at 52 and force overtime. Melvin scored the last 4-baskets at the end of regulation, because Xavier was not going to let his fellow senior McClease do to them what he did to Career. Xavier’s coach admitted after the game that they were “worried about stopping McClease and Melvin’s penetration relay killed us.”
In overtime, McClease scored 5 of the Governors 6-points and closed the deal, but his greatest contribution of the game came on the defensive end during the second half. After Xavier Junior Jovan Santos killed them with 15-first half points, McClease accepted the challenge, was switched onto the Xavier big-man and held the much bigger Santos scoreless the entire second half. Melvin and McClease finished with a combined 45 of the 58-points (25 for Melvin & 20 for McClease) Wilbur Cross scored and showed why senior leadership is so important come playoff time.
UPSET ALERT, UPSET ALERT was the word coming from the FCIAC on Saturday. Never before had the top 2 teams lost in the quarters, but there is a first time for everything.
Trinity Catholic 64, St. Joseph 62
Eighth-seeded Trinity Catholic capped off a dramatic day of games at Fairfield-Ludlowe by rallying from a 20-point deficit to beat the top-seeded Cadets of St. Joseph, 64-61. It marked the first time in 12 years that the No. 8 seed has beaten the No. 1 seed in the FCIAC tournament.
Sophomore Schadrac Casimir hit the game-winning free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining, and St. Joe’s missed a final shot at the buzzer.
The Cadets (19-2) led throughout, including 34-28 at halftime and 54-36 after three quarters. Trinity Catholic, however, outscored St. Joseph 28-8 in the fourth frame to win the game. St Joe’s has made a habit of starting slow this year, but this time they ended slow and fell victim to the upset.
Bassick 83, Staples 70
In the semifinals, Trinity will match up against No. 4 seed Bassick (16-5), which rolled over No. 5 Staples, 83-70, in the evening session of games.
Led by a 25-point effort from Anthony Allen, the Bassick Lions outscored the Wreckers (15-6) in every quarter en route to the victory.
Stamford 39, Ridgefield 31
The afternoon session of quarterfinals also featured an upset, as No. 7 Stamford (14-7) topped No. 2 Ridgefield (18-3) in a defensive struggle, 39-31.
Danny Turkvin led Stamford with 15 points, while Kurt Steidl had 10 to lead Ridgefield.
Westhill 77, Brien McMahon 75
The third-seeded Westhill Vikings (16-5) tipped off the day with a 77-75 win over No. 6 Brien McMahon (16-5) by the score of 77-75.
The McMahon Senators led 13-12 after one quarter and 31-30 at halftime, before the Westhill Vikings went ahead 49-47 heading into the fourth.
Westhill led by 13 points at 74-61 with 1:53 remaining before McMahon went on an 11-1 run to close the gap to 75-72 with 37 seconds left.
Chris Walters sank two free throws for a 77-72 Vikings' lead, but Antonio Harris nailed a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game with 10 seconds remaining. The Vikings were then able to run out the clock to get the victory.
CCC Quarter Finals:
Northwest Catholic 87, Glastonbury 48
Windsor 50, Berlin 39
Maloney 77, Weaver 68
Hartford Public 53, Southington 37
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