MERIDEN - It took a little longer in the season than the Berlin boys basketball team would have liked, but the Redcoats are heading back to the postseason.
Gianni Fanelli scored 21 points and Holden Murphy added 11 to help Berlin overcome a slow and shaky start to beat Platt 57-53 Friday night, clinching a spot in the Division III playoffs as a result.
The victory also snaps a three-game losing skid.
“Happy to get that eighth win,” Redcoats head coach Mike Veneziano said. “Hopefully we can end the season on a strong note and go on a run.”
While Fanelli and Murphy provided the offense, it was Nick Carroll’s defense that helped provide the spark for Berlin to turn an early 11-point deficit into an eventual lead.
“Early on, the gym was quite,” Veneziano said. “Our team wasn’t playing with a lot of energy, we were sloppy with the ball and we didn’t play very good defense. Nick did a very good job of forcing some turnovers. He really provided a nice lift for us off the bench.”
Carson Coon led the Panthers with a double-double, scoring 13 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.
Berlin is now 8-9 on the season and will next host Maloney on Tuesday.
Goodwin Tech 87, Windham Tech 70: The Gladiators continued to improve their postseason standing.
Luis Aguiar finished with a game-high 34 points while teammates Josh Peeples and Francisco also put up double-digit points with 25 and 16 respectively to lead Goodwin Tech to its 14th win of the season.
The Gladiators jumped out to an early 14-point lead during the first quarter and never looked back. The game was out of reach by the end of the first half.
Andre Jose led Windham Tech with 17 points.
Tolland 58, Innovation 38: It was a game of catch up the entire night for the Ravens and unfortunately for them, they were unable to.
Innovation struggled to stop the Eagles’ three primary scorers, all of whom finished the night in double figures. Brian Geitner led Tolland with a game-high 18 points, while Tim Restall scored 16 and Josh Tubbs added 10.
“Tonight’s game was decided in the first half because we didn’t come out with the defensive intensity that we needed,” Ravens head coach Matt Lance said. “In the second half, our guys decided to come out with the intensity they needed to. We have to find a way to be consistent for all four quarters if we want to be successful.
Malcolm Lewis led Innovation with 10 points.
The Ravens are now 11-6 on the season.
Southington 55, Conard 38: It was another game the Blue Knights controlled for the beginning and that meant another big performance from Janette Wadolowski.
The senior finished with a double-double, ending her night with 22 points and 18 rebounds.
Bri Harris finished second on the team with eight points.
But Southington never let the Chieftains find a grove or get into any kind of confront zone, especially during the second and third quarters when the Blue Knights also struggled at times to find the basket.
Lena Proietti led Conard with 14 points.
Southington is now 14-5 on the season and will honor Wadolowski - the team’s only senior - on senior night Monday.
Southington 87, Middletown 81: The Blue Knights continue to swim well as they prepare for the Class LL state meet.
As a result, Southington got plenty of strong performances along the way.
The medley relay team of Derek Melanson, Brendon Egan, Evan Bender and Alex Kuhr took first with a time of 1:48.76.
The 400 free relay team of Tyler Heidgerd, Brian Egan, Bender, and Brendon Egan also took first. The group finished in a time of 3:39.15.
Individually, Heidgerd and Derek Melanson were both double winners.
Heidgerd took both the 200 freestyle (1:55.05) and 100 freestyle (52.78), while Melanson won the 500 freestyle (5:13.06) and 100 backstroke (59.41).
Brendon Egan, meanwhile, took first in the 200 IM (2:10.37).
Southington (5-2) will next compete on Tuesday at Conard at 3:30 p.m.