Pickens chiming in after Day 1 of the SCC Tournament was completed in Branford.
Chalk reigned in the SCC, though each of the four games were hotly contested– with two decided in overtime. Still, the dream matchups will hold, as No. 1 Hillhouse will play Monday’s late game– at 7:45 p.m.– at East Haven against fourth-seeded ND-West Haven. The Green Knights stunned No. 5 Amity with a late-game rally, before beating the Spartans 60-53.
Fairfield Prep beat Career Magnet 68-59 in the third quarterfinal Saturday. The Jesuits only trailed 2-0, though they did get more resistance from the Panthers than they did in two regular-season meetings. Prep only led by five at halftime before opening the game up in the game’s later stages.
Paschal Chukwu– playing his first SCC Tournament game– led Prep with 21 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks– five of which came in the second half. Chukwu, who transferred from Trinity Catholic last summer, affected shots besides blocking them as well.
Prep’s role players got into the act as well. Dave Zielinski and Ryan Foley each hit two 3-pointers, combining for all 18 of Prep’s bench points.
The Jesuits will meet Wilbur Cross in Monday’s first semifinal at 6 p.m. in East Haven. Wilbur Cross beat Xavier in overtime. The Jesuits and Governors have not met since Feb. 25, 2010.
Cross has not reached the conference final since 2008. Prep has only reached the finals once, in the tournament’s first year in 1995.
Hillhouse and ND-West Haven did not meet during the regular season. The Academics are vying for their fifth straight conference championship berth. The Green Knights have not reached the finals since 2000.
Pat Pickens is the sports editor of the Fairfield Citizen, a Hearst Connecticut Newspaper. Follow him on Twitter here.