Hey folks. Sorry that I’ve been absent for the start of the year. Things have been busy at the Citizen‘s sports section and I haven’t gotten around to blogging.
Let me be the absolute last to wish everyone a happy new year. I hope that things are going well with all of you and that your support of this blog and Fairfield sports hasn’t waned.
On that note, let’s discuss some things that are happening.
Prep puck is awesome
Given their results and the competition, I don’t think that the Jesuits will lose this year. That is just this reporter’s opinion. I watched ND-Fairfield on Saturday and the Lancers are a good team. The Jesuits pummeled ND earlier in the year, 9-1.
If leading scorer Darric White is sidelined for any length of time, things could get dicey, also there is always the premise of losing a game in a 1-and-done format. But with all that said, the best team (in all high school sports) usually wins the whole thing. I like the Jesuits in the D1 tournament.
Girls hoops rebound
If you read my column last week, I wrote that all three Fairfield high school girls basketball teams were in trouble. Each team won its game on Friday. Notre Dame is now .500 and just three wins from the states. Warde beat Central in double OT thanks to a career-high 28 points from Brielle Lanese and a bunch of missed free throws from the Hilltoppers.
Warde’s win could be a spark win, but injuries could also derail the Mustangs. Lanese has a lower body injury and leading scorer Alex Aufiero didn’t play in the second half or overtime due to a head injury. Aufiero went for a test today to determine whether or not she has a concussion and with winnable games against McMahon and Westhill coming up, Warde could salvage its season.
Ludlowe also won its game on Friday over Harding, 53-33. The Falcons got eight points and 11 rebounds from Sam Hickey and Sarah Nesi had a game-high 13. Eight different players scored for Ludlowe and that seems like when the Falcons are at their best, when they get balanced scoring.
Warde boys hoops hit buzzsaws
The Mustangs ran through three very good teams, and went 0-3 over the past week. Warde got dominated 73-48 on Friday night at Central (who head coach Walter Fitzgerald called “the best team in our league that I’ve seen in a long time.”) The Mustangs lost to St. Joseph and Ridgefield as well as Warde fell to 5-4.
In the FCIAC, bad things have a tendency to snowball. Fitzgerald swears that the Mustangs won’t let that happen, and with McMahon and Westhill coming up, Warde could be OK.
Ludlowe boys hoops riding rollar coaster
The Falcons are one of those teams that can compete in a mediocre league and are. Ludlowe is 4-5, but all of those losses are by less than 10 points and three of them are by three points. Ludlowe is an anomaly this year. The Falcons are 2-5 in the FCIAC but have lost to both Harding and Bassick by only three points.
Ludlowe has the opportunity to be a state team. But I’d doubt it is an FCIAC team.
SHU women keep rolling, men dicey
The Pioneers’ women are awesome yet again, winning their 26th straight NEC game on Saturday against Central Connecticut St, 54-49. Callan Taylor is legit, notching another double-double, her ninth of the year. I doubt that the Pioneers will lose in conference this year, unless they get picked off in the NEC conference tourney. I still wouldn’t bet on it.
The Pioneers’ men are sputtering, having lost three of their last five games. SHU has a difficult stretch with CCSU, and Mount St. Mary’s coming in two of the next three games. If the Pioneers can win two of those (CCSU, Bryant University and Mount), they could get the inside track to the NEC tournament. If not, SHU is looking at the possibility of missing the NEC playoffs.
Fairfield U men strong, women sputtering
The Stags go the opposite way of Sacred Heart. The Stag men are very good (despite their most recent loss to Siena) and proved it in the Siena game. Despite not wanting moral victories, losing to the Saints is passable, and the Stags have the opportunity to get the Saints again.
For more on Fairfield’s mens game with Siena, read Chris Elsberry’s Connecticut Post story here. http://www.ctpost.com/basketball/article/Fairfield-commits-Cooley-s-cardinal-sin-losing-325364.php
The women are sputtering, having lost three straight. The Stags are just 2-4 in the conference and sit second to last in the league. Fairfield has Stephanie Geehan and Desiree Pina, but little else. The Stags need someone (or more than one) to step up.
Odds and ends
I like the Jets’ chances this weekend against the Colts. Never underestimate confidence in a game. The Jets have already beaten the Colts this year… The Pats need to look at how they were defeated this year. A stronger and tougher Baltimore team pummeled New England in the playoffs this year. New England needs to get tougher… All of a sudden, the Knicks are in the playoff race. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?… The Rangers are out to prove that their three games last week were an aberration. Scoring six goals last night against Montreal helps that. I think Montreal is one of the few teams in bigger shambles than the Rangers… The Islanders look VERY good. I think they’ll be a playoff team this year… The Devils need to get healthy fast. 15 games in 28 games doesn’t help anyone, especially since Martin Brodeur looks quite beatable these days…
You can always follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pickensfcsports. Thanks for reading and take good care.