In the Internet and social media age, it is easier now than ever for coaches to scout unfamiliar opponents in the state tournament.
Trinity Catholic coach Mike Walsh was able to find box scores of Saturday’s CIAC Class L second round opponent, E.O. Smith, off of the team’s Facebook page.
The Crusaders won that game, and meet Career Magnet Monday night in the quarterfinal round. Walsh will not need to do excessive scouring for a scouting report.
The teams will be meeting in the postseason for the third straight year — Trinity won in the 2011 state final, Career got revenge in last year’s quarterfinal round.
The teams have also scrimmaged in each of the last two preseasons.
“Career coach Larry Kelley and I met during the luncheon before the championship game in 2011,” Walsh said. “He played at Syracuse and is a quality coach and a quality person. We decided to scrimmage last year and then we met again. After last year we decided to scrimmage again, but we didn’t think we’d meet again.”
Career has a young team this season, but is riding a five-game winning streak and has a win over Capital Prep on the resume.
“You could tell they were going to get better as the season went on because they had good players,” Walsh said.
Of course, the Crusaders (23-2) have also become much more formidable since that scrimmage, and even since the state tournament began. While the Big 3 of Schadrac Casimir, Brandon Wheeler and Tremaine Fraiser continue to dominate, Danny O’Leary and new starter Tyrell St. John have been making significant contributions, and the team defense has been better than at any other point this season.
“It’s going to be a tough game for us,” Walsh said. “They have quickness, and that’s been one of our assets. It is going to come down to taking good shots and rebounding. They are a good team and it’s going to be a challenge.”