Let tournament season begin!
Actually, I’m a little late saying that. The girls tournaments are actually ending right now, and the boys basketball tournaments actually began last night in Fairfield with the Southern Connecticut Conference opening round.
But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t handicap them here. The FCIAC does not feature any teams from Fairfield, but I’ve seen most of the good teams in the league. I like Ridgefield if the Tigers can knock down shots. St. Joseph has size and athleticism on its side. Don’t sleep on Staples either, since the Wreckers have experience and have played together for a while.
My focus, however, will be on the SCC and SWC tournaments. I watched Prep play Hamden last night, and wondered how the Jesuits could have possibly lost to the Green Dragons in the regular season. Leo Redgate assured me that Hamden shot the lights out and Prep did not play well.
That wasn’t the case on Thursday night.
Prep stormed out of the gates, opening up a 20-7 lead in the first quarter, and the Jesuits played staunch defense as well, especially in the second half. Prep held the Green Dragons to just 21 points through three quarters of play.
Matt Daley had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Jesuits had nine different players score baskets.
Prep now turns its focus to Lyman Hall. The Jesuits and Trojans did not meet in the regular season, but Lyman is a well-balanced team that can certainly get up and down the floor.
That game will be part of a quadruple-header at East Haven High School. It will take place at 1:45 p.m. Follow me on Twitter for updates if you can not make it up there.
Notre Dame appears to be the most skilled team in the Southwest Conference, but don’t let records fool you. The Lancers are both the hunted, and have a tough matchup in their SWC tournament quarterfinal matchup on Saturday night at Pomperaug.
No. 8 seed Bethel beat ND, 71-61 the last time that the teams met. The Bobcats have a size advantage, and if Bethel can play inside out, the Lancers could struggle again.
I think if ND can get by its opening round game, it’ll gain some significant confidence. However, the road to ND’s first SWC title lies in the team’s guards ability to get to the basket. It will not be an easy road as blocks from Kolbe Cathedral, Pomperaug and even potentially Stratford stand in the way.
The trip through the SWCs could be ND’s tour of revenge also. If the Lancers can beat Bethel, and then get to the SWC Finals, they may get the opportunity to take out the frustration of losing to Stratford and former ND guard Tom Bajda.
ND will play at 7 p.m. on Saturday. I’ll be there too, so follow me on Twitter for updates on that game.
I’ll be tweeting all sorts of updates from the litany of games I will attend this playoff season. State Open wrestling is also tomorrow, as is a must-win game for ND boys ice hockey. See the Fairfield Citizen and our sister paper, the Connecticut Post for more info on all of that. Thanks and have a great weekend.