Last-second shot lifts Farmington past Avon, keeps Falcons out of tournament

Avon junior Jordan Williams drives to the basket and scores with 12.6 seconds remaining to put Avon ahead in Tuesday night’s CCC contest.

AVON, February 21 – It doesn’t take too much to amp up the emotion when Farmington and Avon meet on the basketball court.

Many of the players know each other. They’ve played together and against each other throughout the year. Some were posing for photos together after the game.

The two teams have struggled to win this year. Avon came into the game with seven wins while Farmington had eight. The Falcons needed the victory to secure a spot in the CIAC’s newly-expanded 32-team Class L tournament.

And for a few seconds, Avon had that victory within their grasp.

The Falcons erased an eight-point, fourth quarter Farmington lead and went ahead when Jordan Williams drove to the basket with 12.3 seconds remaining and scored. He was fouled and sank a foul shot to complete the three-point play and give Avon a two-point advantage.

Farmington took the ball and found an open Kevin Dunst, who drained a deep three-point shot with 1.6 seconds remaining to lift the Indians to a thrilling 46-45 win over Avon in the regular season finale for both teams.Continue Reading

Canton girls 4×200 relay team races to a top 10 finish at State Open

Canton’s Madeline Archangelo, right, and her teammates on the 4×200 relay team set a new school record in the event at Monday’s State Open. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

NEW HAVEN, February 20 – It has been a record-setting season for the Canton High girls indoor track and field team this winter. The Warriors ended the campaign with another record-setting performance.

Canton, which won their first NCCC championship earlier this month, received a school-record effort from their 4×200 relay team Monday at the State Open championships at the Floyd Little Athletic Center at Hillhouse in New Haven.

The team of sophomore Madeline Archangelo, freshman Chelsea Mitchell, senior Emily Mitchell and senior Amber Harraden finished tenth with a school record time of 1:50.02, knocking over a second off the time they ran to a second place in last week’s Class S championship meet (1:51.19).Continue Reading

Connecticut can’t hold four-goal lead in overtime loss to New York

Connecticut’s Kelli Stack two goals in Sunday’s overtime loss to New York in Newark.

NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 19 – During the National Women’s Hockey League’s All-Star break, the Connecticut Whale added some offensive power with the addition of Zoe Hickel, a forward from Boston. Hickel scored a goal on her first shift for the Whale.

Perhaps the Whale should upgrade the defense, too. Connecticut coughed up a four-goal lead in a 5-4 overtime loss to the New York Riveters Sunday. The Whale gave up a shorthanded goal and two power play goals, including the gamewinner from Courtney Burke with 1:10 gone in the extra session.

The loss extended Connecticut’s franchise record losing streak to seven games. The Whale (4-10-1) did pick up a point for finishing tied at the end of regulation. With three games remaining, Connecticut trails Buffalo by two points for third place and the chance to avoid defending NWHL champion Boston (13-0) in the league playoff semifinals. The Whale play Buffalo in two of their three remaining regular season games.Continue Reading

Black Wolves can’t finish it off in OT loss to Buffalo

UNCASVILLE, Conn., Feb. 19 – The New England Black Wolves indoor lacrosse team built a number of early three-goal leads, but couldn’t hold off the Buffalo Bandits, falling 16-15 in overtime in National Lacrosse League play on Sunday afternoon at Mohegan Sun Arena.

On Military Appreciation Day, with 5,831 looking on, the Black Wolves had the first possession of overtime thanks to the last of Jay Thorimbert’s season-high 23 faceoff wins.

But as the Black Wolves (3-5) worked the ball around, Buffalo’s Mitch de Snoo stepped up and picked off a pass intended for Shawn Evans. He went the opposite way, beating New England goalie Evan Kirk just 25 seconds into the extra session.Continue Reading

Connolly’s fourth place finish helps Canton wrestlers finish in 12th place

Canton’s Brian Connolly (bottom) battles Windham’s Kevin Fantoli at Saturday’s Class S tournament in Windham. Fantoli prevailed, 5-1, to finish third.

WINDHAM, Feb. 18 – A week ago in the North Central Connecticut Conference tournament, sophomore Brian Connolly picked up a world of confidence erasing a five-point deficit in the final 58 seconds of his championship bout at 120 pounds and win a NCCC title.

Connolly continued that strong wrestling Saturday at the Class S championships in Windham, taking fourth to lead Canton to a 12th place finish – its best performance since taking 10th in 2014. Connolly’s fourth place finish earns him a spot at next week’s State Open championships.

Five Canton wrestlers had two victories in the tournament – Donovan Macklin (113), Chayce Lucca (132), Jack Szczepanski (160), Braydon Fluckiger (182) and Jerry LeFave (285). Lucca, Szczepanski, Fluckiger and LeFave each had two pins.Continue Reading

Kibby wins state championship for Granby; Fleming takes close 2nd at 145

Granby’s Ben Kibby became the fourth wrestler in school history to win a state championship on Saturday night in Windham.

WINDHAM, Feb. 18 – Granby sophomore Ben Kibby became just the fourth wrestler in school history to win a state championship Saturday night with a 9-3 decision over No. 2 seed Collin Creader of Ledyard at 170 pounds at the Class S wrestling championships.

Junior Cooper Fleming (145) fell one point shy of winning a second straight state title with a 5-4 loss to Montville’s Samuel Kury in the championship bout. Kury was the only wrestler to beat Fleming in a match this season.

Kibby and Fleming’s performance helped spark Granby to an eighth place finish in the Class S championships – their third straight top 10 finish. The Bears, who won the NCCC championship earlier this month, have finished eighth the past two seasons.Continue Reading

Canton beats East Granby to claim first league championship in 35 years

The Canton High boys basketball team celebrates after beating East Granby to win the school’s first-ever NCCC title in boys basketball.

EAST GRANBY, Feb. 16 – The celebration may have been small on the court but you couldn’t hide the smiles from the faces of the players on the Canton High boys basketball team Thursday night after they clinched their first league championship banner since 1982 with a 55-33 win over East Granby.

The Warriors celebrated with a bit more gusto in the locker room. Several loud cheers of celebration could be heard on the court. Several bars of Queen’s We Are the Champions anthem could be heard through the locker room walls.

Canton’s win over the host Crusaders gave the Warriors their first-ever North Central Connecticut Conference title. It’s the first championship for Canton since they won the Northwest Conference Division II crown in 1982 and just the fifth pennant for the program since 1963.

Craig Archambault, the fifth-year head coach of the Warriors, smiled and was at a loss for words about what it all meant. “They did it for their town. They did it for their community. They should be proud,” he said. “It really hasn’t set in. We still have a lot to focus on. At the end of the year, it will sink in how far we have come.Continue Reading

Canton girls are seeded No. 3 in the NCCC Tournament

Canton’s Emily Briggs and the defending Class S champion Warriors begin play in the NCCC Tournament on Friday night when Canton hosts No. 6 Windsor Locks. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

GRANBY, Feb. 16 — The North Central Connecticut Conference’s annual post-season girls basketball tournament began on Thursday with No. 8 Granby beating No. 9 seed East Granby to earn a quarterfinal date with league champion Suffield on Saturday. Canton, the No. 3 seed in the tournament after finishing 17-3 on the season, faces No. 6 Windsor Locks on Friday in the tournament quarterfinals.Continue Reading

Canton girls finish seventh in Class S; Mitchell and 4×200 relay qualify for Open

Canton’s Dustin Van Kirk finished fifth in the 55 hurdles at Tuesday’s Class S championships to earn a berth at next week’s State Open championships. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

NEW HAVEN, Feb. 14 – The Canton High girls indoor track and field team continues to break barriers.

A week ago, the Warriors won their first indoor track championship, claiming the North Central Connecticut Conference crown. On Tuesday night, Canton finished seventh at the CIAC Class S championship – their best finish ever – and had athletes qualify for the State Open championships for the first time.

Freshman Chelsea Mitchell finished third in the 300 meters in 42.25 seconds and earned an invitation to the Monday’s State Open meet in New Haven along with Canton’s 4×200 relay team (Madeline Archangelo, Chelsea Mitchell, Emily Mitchell, Amber Harradan), that finished second with a school-record time of 1:51.19.

A week ago, the Canton boys finished second at the NCCC championship meet for the fifth straight year. They couldn’t keep the momentum going at the Class S championships, taking 15th with just 14 points – their lowest scoring output since finishing 19th with nine points in 2012.Continue Reading

Avon’s Oberhausen runs to second place finish in 600 meters at Class M meet

NEW HAVEN, February 13 – Senior Christine Oberhausen became the third Avon High girl to win a silver medal at the CIAC Class M indoor track and field championships on Monday night when she took second place in the 600 meters with a school record time of 1:41.71.

Oberhausen wasn’t running in the fastest heat of the 600 but she won her heat by 0.50 of a second. Her heat-winning time broke the school record set by Amanda Holtzman (1:42.35) set in 2014. However, Hillhouse sophomore Jada Boyd ran even faster than Oberhausen in the final heat of the event with a winning time of 1:40.85 seconds.

Oberhausen led Avon to a 15th place finish in the Class M championship meet with nine points.

She joins a select group of Avon runners to finish second in the state in indoor track. Molly Hamel took second in the 3,200 meters in 2015 while Brianna Noonan was second in the high jump in 2011. Two Falcon relays – the sprint medley in 2014 and the 4×800 in 2013  — also finished second in their respective events.Continue Reading

With tight win over Wethersfield, Avon boys move closer to division title

Avon’s Sam Johnson finished second in the 100 yard breast stroke in the Falcons’ win over Wethersfield and swam on Avon’s winning 200 yard IM relay. (Photo courtesy Bob Emery)

NEW BRITAIN – The Wethersfield High boys swimming team is no stranger to success. They have won multiple CCC divisional championships including last year’s CCC North White Division title.

Avon knew if they wanted an opportunity as winning their first league championship in the Central Connecticut Conference they would have to get past the Eagles.

The Falcons used a team effort to outlast Wethersfield, 97-89, to take command of the race for the CCC North White Division championship. Avon (9-2, 3-0 CCC North White) has two remaining meets left in the division against E.O. Smith/Tolland on Tuesday (February 14) and a meet against Hartford Public on Tuesday, February 21.

It was a nip and tuck event from the beginning. Wethersfield led by just four points, 72-68, with three events remaining. But Avon’s depth paid off.Continue Reading

With four champions, Canton wins NCCC Tournament for first time in 20 years

The Canton High wrestling celebrates after winning the NCCC Tournament championship for the first time in 20 years on Saturday.

CANTON, February 11 – There was no opportunity to grab a share of the conference championship so the Canton High wrestling team did the only they could do on Saturday.

The Warriors put eight wrestlers in seven championship finals, brought home four individual conference championships and won the NCCC Tournament crown for the first time in 20 years with a 53-point victory over East Windsor.

Seniors Sam Beadle (220) and Jerry LeFave (285) won NCCC titles along with sophomores Brian Connolly (120) and Braydon Fluckiger (182). Senior Joe Bowman (195) and sophomores Donovan Macklin (113), Chayce Lucca (152) and James Pelehach (182) each finished second for head coach Josh Bristol.

Canton scored 166 points for its first NCCC Tournament championship since 1997. East Windsor nipped league champion Granby for second place, 113½ to 112½. It was East Windsor’s best finish in the tournament since winning it back in 1999.Continue Reading

With tough second half defense, Canton rallies to beat Hartford Classical

Canton’s Ethan Burke (23), shown earlier this year against Avon, scored a game-high 21 points as the Warriors rallied to beat Hartford Classical Wednesday night.

CANTON, Feb. 8 – Ethan Burke had a game-high 21 points while Tim Keating had 12 points as the Canton High boys basketball team continued their quest for their first league championship since 1982 with a thrilling 52-39 win over Hartford Classical on Wednesday night.

The Warriors gave up 16 points in the first quarter and trailed by 12 points after the first eight minutes of the game. In the second half, Canton allowed just 18 points to hand the visiting Gladiators their third loss of the season in the league.

With two NCCC games remaining, Canton (15-2) remains in first place with a 13-1 record in the league, a full game ahead of Sports Medicine Science Academy (13-1, 11-1 NCCC). The Warriors travel East Windsor (8-9) on Friday to face the Panthers and close out their league schedule on the road against East Granby (4-11) on Friday, Feb. 17.Continue Reading

Canton girls win first-ever NCCC indoor track title; Canton boys finish second

The Canton High girls indoor track team won their first-ever NCCC championship Monday night in New Haven. (Photo courtesy Samantha Brady)

CANTON, Feb. 6 – It was a cold, January afternoon and Canton High coach Tim O’Donnell gave the athletes on the boys and girls indoor track team a choice. Since it was about 15 degrees, they could have their daily run in the hallways or go outside and workout on the track.

Nearly half ventured outside.

“They’re tough and they’re good athletes,” O’Donnell said.

Canton’s girls indoor track team showed their toughness on Monday night winning their first-ever conference championship with a seven-point win over Ellington, 130-123. Freshman Chelsea Mitchell won two events, Jane Frawley and Amber Harraden won events while the Warriors won two relays.

The Canton boys team finished second to Ellington for the fifth straight year as Dustin Van Kirk and Max Sparks each won two individual events for the Warriors.Continue Reading

Whale trade No. 1 pick in 2017 draft for Boston forward Zoe Hickel

Connecticut has acquired Zoe Hickel from Boston for the Whale’s No. 1 draft pick.

The Connecticut Whale have acquired another U.S. national team player. The Whale shipped their 2017 first round pick and future considerations to Boston for forward Zoe Hickel on Tuesday.

Hickel, 24, is a member of the U.S. national team along with Connecticut’s Kelli Stack, Haley Skarupa and Dana Trivigno. Hickel has scored one goal with five assists in 12 games this season with defending National Women’s Hockey League champion Boston. She had three goals and four assists for seven points in the 2015-16 season when the Pride won the first Isobel Cup championship.

“We feel Zoe will be a great addition to our lineup and add excellent depth to our forwards,” said Lisa Giovanelli, Connecticut’s general manager. “We are happy to be able to afford her this opportunity to jump into a bigger role in Connecticut. Acquiring Zoe is a huge step for the Whale in our quest for the Isobel Cup.”Continue Reading