Local boys basketball teams face tough paths in state tournaments

Published on Wednesday, 1 March 2017 21:55
Written by MICHAEL WOOLFSON

STAFF WRITER

The CIAC released the brackets for the boys basketball tournaments on Wednesday and four New Britain area teams will be participating.

Berlin, Newington, Southington and Goodwin Tech have all had good enough regular seasons to make it and now each team’s potential path through the state tournament is clear.

The Newington boys basketball team is the local team that had the best regular season as it finished 14-6 which was good enough to earn it the 11th seed in Class L. The Indians will host No. 22 seed North Haven in the first round at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night.

Newington had a strong close to its season. The team started the season 1-4 but won 13 of its last 16 games, including an opening round loss in the CCC Tournament. Two of the Indians’ final three losses came at the hands of Windsor, which earned the No. 9 seed in the Class L tournament.

North Haven also enters the tournament on a hot streak as the team won its final six regular season games and finished the season with an 11-9 record. The two teams do have one common opponent and that is Rocky Hill. Newington defeated Rocky Hill by two points in the beginning of February while North Haven lost to the Terriers by 25 points at the end of December.

The winner of this game will take on the winner of the No. 6 vs. No. 27 matchup between Wilton and Woodstock next Thursday.

Elsewhere in Class L is Berlin who was one of the final teams to qualify for the tournament. The Redcoats earned the 30th seed and will have a tough road to make a run. The team’s first round game will be on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. against No. 3 seed Bassick.

Berlin needed to win its final two games in order to qualify for the tournament and it did so in convincing fashion, beating both Plainville and Bristol Eastern by significant margins. Prior to those two wins the Redcoats had lost seven of their last eight games but the team is now fully healthy for the rest time all season and could pose a threat.

Bassick finished the year 18-2 and had a 14-game winning streak in the middle of the season. The two losses for the Lions came by a combined margin of nine points and one of those losses was to Windsor.

The winner between Berlin and Bassick will take on the winner of the matchup between 14th seeded Crsoby and 19th seeded Hartford Public.

Over in Class LL the only area team to be represented is Southington and it has an extremely difficult draw. The Blue Knights finished the season 9-11 which got them the 31st seed and they will visit No. 2 seed Hillhouse on Monday night at 7 p.m. for their first-round matchup.

Southington qualified for the tournament with its win over Bulkeley on Feb. 8th but since then the team has lost four of its last five games. As is a common theme with many of the local teams, Southington also lost to Windsor early in the season.

Hillhouse enters the tournament with a record of 19-1. The Academics won their first 16 games of the season before suffering their lone loss the day before Southington clinched. That loss came against Fairfield Prep by eight points but Hillhouse responded with three straight wins to close out the regular season.

The winner of the matchup between Hillhouse and Southington will go on to play the winner of the matchup between No. 15 seed Ridgefield and No. 18 seed Shelton on Wednesday in the second round.

The final local team to have qualified for the state tournament is Goodwin Tech and it did so in Class M. The Gladiators finished the regular season with a 12-8 record which earned them the 19th seed. Goodwin Tech will be visiting No. 14 seed Weston on Monday night at 7. p.m. for its first-round matchup.

The Gladiators enter the tournament having lost four of their final six games. Two of those losses though, were by three points each so the team is playing better than its recent record might suggest.

Weston, on the other hand, enters the tournament having won three of its last four games. The lone loss for the Trojans during that stretch was in overtime to Bunnell. Overall Weston finished the season with a 13-7 record.

The winner of the matchup between Goodwin Tech and Weston will take on the winner of the matchup between No. 3 seed Waterford and No. 30 seed Bulkeley.

Michael Woolfson can be reached at 860-801-5203 or mwoolfson@newbritainherald.com

On Twitter: @Bigwoolf5



Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin, General Sports, Goodwin Tech, Newington, Southington on Wednesday, 1 March 2017 21:55. Updated: Wednesday, 1 March 2017 21:57.