An added bonus from the CIAC boys and girls basketball championships this weekend is they were almost all shown live on CPTV Sports, which most people with cable in Connecticut can access. (MSG Varsity pulling rank on the Prep/Hillhouse game, well, let’s not stoke that fire again since enough people are angry about it. Let’s let sleeping dogs lie.)
Since everything was televised and captured by television cameras (and cell cameras, flip cameras, etc.) we can relive some of the day’s highlights. I tried, futilely I think, to capture the craziness on deadline for the Post in this column.
Ultimately, it was a huge day for Connecticut for high school hoops … notsomuch for the SouthWestern portion of the state, as all five Hearst CT teams involved Friday and Saturday were defeated, though that shouldn’t diminish the buzz generated over the two days at the Arena.
Granby Memorial’s Brett Buser started the crazy day with his 3-pointer at the end of regulation to send the Class S final vs. Weaver into overtime — and eventual double-overtime. Oh right, the Bears were also dead and buried, down 21 points early in the third, too.
The Hartford Courant’s Jeff Jacobs wrote a nice column about Buser and his roundabout journey to wind up in tiny Granby.
The Class S and L girls games won by Capital Prep and Farmington, respectively, while okay games in their own rights, didn’t have the electricity the rest of the action at Mohegan did. It’s doubtful the Trailblazers or Indians will care too much, since they have their state championsips to show for it.
Woodstock Academy and its “Centaur Nation” has a state championship, too. This is one nobody saw coming.
The Centaurs, champions of the ECC, took down SWC champion Bunnell and then FCIAC runner-up Trinity Catholic to win the school’s first state title. Maybe people wouldn’t think a team of Woodstock’s pedigree was all that good, but the post duo of Ian “The Animal” Converse and Sully Gardner was unique to Connecticut and a throwback to a different era of basketball considering how almost all basketball is now “drive-and-kick.”
Woodstock were legit, despite the season-long doubters.
With Woodstock only a short drive to the Mohegan down I-395 there were a ton of loud Centaur fans in the Arena. Easily the biggest student section of the eight games.
Here’s a cellphone video shot by the guy sitting behind me. Even he seemed in disbelief that Woodstock Academy, yes Woodstock Academy was the 2013 Class L state champion.
The Day’s Mike DiMauro writes today just how unexpected the Centaurs win was across the state.
As good as Woodstock’s win was, it paled in comparison to the last 10 seconds of the Class LL girls final with Mercy stunning Lauralton Hall 54-53 on Maria Weselyj’s buzzer-beater. (Not sure, too, if my game-story told the whole story or not.)
I goofed. Mea culpa.
When Michelle DeSantis spun to the hoop and hit a layup to break a 51-51 tie, I thought it was over. I tweeted Lauralton Hall wins!!!
The clock in the Arena said 0.0, but I still erred and feel dumb about it.
Turns out 3.8 seconds were enough for Mercy and coach Tim Kohs to channel the famous Valparaiso play from the 1998 NCAA tournament.
And here, for comparison sake, is the Valpo play.
Since CPTV didn’t air the Class LL game between Prep and Hillhouse, there’s not much video to show you from. Doubt the Jesuits really want to re-live it.
The Class LL game was simple. Prep didn’t hit enough outside shots and the Academics slowly pulled away.
Hillhouse is the No. 1 team in Connecticut. The best way to look at the Acs is they’re like boxer Bernard Hopkins in his prime. They are not going to knock you out, instead beating you with defense. They know they are good and by the end of the 12 rounds will eventually out-point you on the scoreboard.
Only Prep beat Hillhouse this year, and that was one out of four games between the schools.
Anyways, it must be said this was — until the end of the state tournament — a very good basketball season in our neck of the woods. Saturday, aside from the results on the scoreboard, was a fitting way to end it.
Now if I can just get 2 Unlimited, “Get Ready for This” out of my head after hearing it seven times in less than two days …