The high school students have returned from winter break and are showcasing the hard work they have put in during their ‘time off’.
Newington’s Ashanti Frazier and Plainville’s Bryan Buckley both had key roles in their respective teams wins over that stretch.
The Newington girls basketball team rolled past New Britain 62-42 last Monday. The Indians like to think of themselves as defensive team first, but Frazier’s scoring abilities did not go unnoticed.
“Everyone had a good attitude going into warm-ups and it just transferred into the game,” Frazier said. “I thought today was a team win. We are all there to pick each other up. When I was down in the first quarter I didn’t score anything but my team was there for me and picked me up. Second quarter, I had a huge lead, and everything just worked out.”
During the second quarter of the game, Frazier herself went on a 7-0 run, helping the Indians outscore the Hurricanes 26-9.
The sophomore guard ended the night with 23 points, including going 4-for-6 at the free throw line.
“’Shanti is special,” Newington head coach Richard Bangs said. “She's young and we’re continuing to watch her grow. She’s in for a great career here and it’s just exciting to be able to coach her as long as I’ve had so far.”
The Plainville boys swimming and diving team was neck and neck with East Catholic last Tuesday afternoon. Without the diving portion of the meet, things could have gone differently for the Blue Devils.
With the diving portion going in its favor, Plainville beat East Catholic 89-96. The Blue Devils sole diver was Buckley, who added six points to the final score for Plainville. Along with adding to the final score, Buckley qualified for states and scored a new record of 169.40.
“I thought honestly this was one of the best meets I have ever had,” Buckley said. “I did not expect to perform the way that I did and overall I was just kind of surprised. If I have this kind of tone, I’ll probably do a lot better at states this year than I did last year.”
The senior captain was quite nervous when he found out he would be the only one performing from the Plainville side. The Blue Devils have two other divers but since they are new to the sport, they have not yet learned all the dives in order to compete.
“Bryan was a little hesitant diving by himself because it puts a little bit more pressure on him,” Plainville head coach Chris Zagorski said. “But he was able to dive through it and he did what he needed to do. He had a great list and was able to execute his dives.”
Besides making it to states, which he has done, one of Buckley’s main goals for this season is to make an impact on the team.
“I want to set the path for some of the younger swimmers on this team,” Buckley said. “Being able to set a leadership path and be an example especially is definitely one of the things I want to achieve this year and just showing them with hard work and dedications and the heart you can literally do anything.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org