With the conference basketball tournaments either over or wrapping up, the area teams are now turning their attention to the state tournament.
Last week, New Britain’s Tahmeen Dupree and Goodwin Tech’s Paola Barbosa both made an impact during their respective teams’ league tournament games with one reaching a milestone along the way.
While the Hurricanes’ run through the CCC Tournament was shorter than they expected, New Britain played certainly had an exciting first-round matchup against Manchester on Thursday.
The Hurricanes held off a late Indians’ rally to secure the win with Dupree leading the way, scoring 22 points with 12 of his points coming from four 3-point baskets.
But for the sophomore guard, this was nothing new, even against tough competition.
“I always played with these [older] kids my whole life, I always played up,” Dupree said. “So when I play with them, it’s just natural. I always work hard and try to separate myself from the average.”
Dupree has been an impact player for New Britain all season long, reaching double figures nearly every game. The sophomore had led the Hurricanes on more than one occasion, reaching numerous game- and team-high points.
Dupree has certainly helped the Hurricanes rebound this season. New Britain has won its last 10 games during the regular season, finishing 15-5.
“As an athlete, [Dupree] has grown a lot over the year,” New Britain head coach Kurt Reis said. “He can be very good when it's all said done but needs to continue to learn and put the work in that is necessary. As for what he does in the school, Thameen is enrolled in honors classes and realizes how important they are for the next level.”
Dupree still has much time for growth and improvement over the next two years. Dupree believes he’s underrated and is trying to make his name known outside of New Britain High School.
After falling to Windsor in the second round of the CCC tournament Saturday afternoon the Hurricanes will now turn its attention to the Division II state tournament.
For the past two seasons, Barbosa has been a stalwart for the Gladiators girls basketball team, particularly on the offensive end of the court.
Recently, her effort and hard work paid off as she notched her 1,000th career point last Tuesday against Bullard Havens in the first round of the CTC Tournament.
Although Goodwin Tech may have lost, Barbosa was able to celebrate her milestone that she had been aiming for all season.
“Paola is a student athlete that does not come around very often and it has been a pleasure coaching and teaching her,” Gladiators head coach Jeffrey Bemis said. “She is a leader on and off the court and all of our players and coaches have the utmost respect her.
Barbosa has been Goodwin Tech’s impact player all season long, more often than not, providing the majority of the team’s offense. But she also contributes close to the basket and on the defensive end as well, averaging seven rebounds and five steals a game.
Barbosa, however, is more than just a basketball player. She is also an outstanding student. The senior is set to graduate from E.C. Goodwin Technical School second in her class, with her focus on Mechanical Design and Engineering Technology.
Now, the Gladiators will turn their attention to the Class S state tournament and will look to make it past the first round for just the second time in at least the past decade.
Goodwin Tech will have a tough test as it will face top-seeded Parish Hill tonight at 6 p.m. and will need Barbosa to once again have a big game.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (806) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org