I am a sports and music fanatic from Farmington, CT, currently attending Saint Joseph's University in Connecticut. I am mainly interested in College Basketball, CIAC High School Basketball, and Major League Baseball, though I follow just about all sports closely.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Opening Night in HS Hoops

From what I've heard so far it was an incredibly exciting opening night in the area for basketball.

First of all, the news has come in that Tyler Olander, the 6'8" forward who had recently transferred to Massachusetts' Worcester Academy, has re-enrolled at his former school, E.O. Smith where he will play for the basketball season this year. He was supposed to repeat his junior year at Worcester, but he will probably only have one more year of eligiblity here in the CIAC, which is interesting because he had been getting serious interest from big-time division 1 schools as a member of the class of 2011. Expect him to most likely take a PG year in order to slow down his recruiting interest this year, but with him back Smith becomes a contender, at least in the relatively weak CCC East.

In what was expected to be a battle between two of the top teams not only in the CCC, but also in the state, New Britain held on to defeat a depleted defending state champion Bulkeley Bulldogs team 54-53. Bulkeley was without two of their better players, in Senior Deshawn Hamlet, and Junior Chaz Arnold, who were both benched for diciplinary/academic reasons. New Haven bound Darius Watson had 15, and Sacred Heart bound Steve Glowiak had 13 for the Golden Hurricanes. Supposedly both teams looked a little rusty, but if Bulkeley gets Hamlet and Arnold back both could be contenders for both a conference and state title.

At my alma mater, Farmington High School, Berlin's Junior Point Guard Richie Conway drained a half-court heave at the buzzer to defeat my Indians. Despite the tough loss to their former NWC rivals, Farmington, who lost four starters starters from last year, including their top three scorers, should be encouraged by their defensive performance, and should finish in the middle of the pack in the CCC West.

Plainville's undefeated; a statement that would shock anyone based on their play the last few years; beating Conard 49-45. Sure Conard isn't supposed to be very good this year, but it's a good start for a Plainville team that should be improved this year.

In my opinion, the biggest game of the night was Windsor/Bloomfield. Not only an intense rivalry between two north-of-Hartford suburbs, both teams were in the state championship last year and expect to contend for one again this year. Bloomfield emerged from the pack, planting themselves possibly as the favorites in the whole CCC, winning 87-75 in Windsor's home gym. Windsor had lost six players to college basketball, including three starters, but still returned their leading scorer in Tyrus Weaver, as well as Ryan Delaire, Ishamel Kalilou and strong Weaver transfers Maurice Eastwood AND Mike Fraylon. Not only that, but Rashad Moore, Bloomfield's star shooting guard, and leading scorer from last year, did not play due to a team suspension. Denzel Jones, the teams tank at PF, was only approximately 90% from a knee injury occurred at a football game. Senior's Shomari Cowan and Ashar Whittingham led the way for Bloomfield with their two go two men not at 100%, both scoring 17 points. Weaver had 21 for Windsor, while Jones still finished with 14 for Bloomfield.

East Hartford, who I think is the best team in the conference (and only behind Sacred Heart and Hillhouse in the state), was not too impressive, only beating Tolland 65-51.

East Catholic, who should also be very good, only beat Smith by four, 49-45. Not sure if Olander played in this one.

RHAM looked impressive in a 86-78 victory over South Windsor, while Glastonbury destroyed a much weakened Rockville team 75-51, in a battle of east of the river teams who lost basically their entire team from the year before.

Still excited to see how Kuran Iverson is, I plan on trying to catch a few NWC games during break. They open up tomorrow night against Middletown in the always epic Doc Hurley Classic. Some other big games in the DHC this year include New London vs. East Hartford and Bulkeley vs. Bloomfield, both on Saturday. Will be interesting to see if both Bulkeley and Bloomfield are still without their best players because of their suspensions.

Re-vamped CCC Rankings
1. East Hartford
2. Bloomfield
3. Bulkeley-Hartford
4. Northwest Catholic-West Hartford
5. New Britain
6. Windsor
7. East Catholic-Manchester
8. Middletown
9. Platt-Meriden
10. Berlin

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