Avon girls end NCCC era with another championship

The Avon High girls basketball is all smiles after winning the NCCC Tournament championship Thursday.

The Avon High girls basketball is all smiles after winning the NCCC Tournament championship Thursday.

HARTFORD, February 26 – In their final game as a member of the North Central Connecticut Conference, the Avon High girls basketball team wanted to go out with a victory. 

The Falcons, who shared the league championship with Canton, won their 12th NCCC Tournament title Thursday night with a 60-46 win over Bolton at Sport Medicine Science Academy. It was sweet revenge for Avon, which coughed up a 13-point lead in a regular season loss at home to the Bulldogs. 

“We wanted to play Bolton,” said Avon senior Shannon Curry, the tournament’s most valuable player. “We all wanted to play Bolton. We wanted another stab at them. And we got them.” 

Canton erased a 10-point deficit against Enfield and tied the game for the first time with 18.7 seconds remaining but Raider freshman Mary Baskerville scored in the lane with 1.7 seconds left to lift Enfield to a 56-54 win over the Warriors in the tournament consolation game.

Curry had a game-high 19 points, including 13 points in the fourth quarter to spark the Falcons. Avon led by as many as 11 points in the third quarter but Bolton (19-4) had cut the lead to five as the fourth quarter began. Curry started the quarter with a steal and ran the length of the floor for a layup. On Avon’s next possession, she drove to the basket and scored off a nice feed from Michaela Marcus. Continue Reading

NCCC releases boys tournament schedule

CP basketball graphicPairings for the 2015 NCCC boys basketball tournament have been released. Action begins tonight at the higher seeds. The 11 teams that qualified for their respective CIAC tournaments earned spots in the NCCC Tournament. Canton plays on Friday night in the first round could get another game with Avon in the tournament quarterfinals Saturday if the Warriors can beat the visiting Bulldogs.Continue Reading

Seven ECC schools interested in possibly joining the NCCC

ECC graphicThe North Central Connecticut Conference could be changing in the coming years. 

Marc Allard of the Norwich Bulletin is reporting that Woodstock Academy from the Eastern Connecticut Conference has already applied for admission to the NCCC. And athletic directors from another six ECC schools – Lyman Memorial, Windham High, Plainfield, Griswold, Killingly and Tourtellotte in Thompson – will be meeting with NCCC officials next Thursday to discuss the possibility of forming an eastern division of the NCCC. 

This is Avon’s final year in the league. The Falcons will begin play in the Central Connecticut Conference in September. And Enfield’s days in the NCCC are numbered. Enfield is merging with Fermi and the combined school will eventually play in the CCC, taking Fermi’s spot. 

The ECC schools are a long, long drive away for teams such as Canton, which would be the western-most school in the league. However, many of the ECC schools are a lot closer to Stafford, Somers, Bolton and Coventry. Read more from Marc Allard on the situation in the Eastern Connecticut Conference and comments from NCCC league president Damian Frassinelli of Stafford.

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Former Avon coach Quinion chosen to lead Northwest Catholic grid squad

Former Avon High football coach Brett Quinion has been hired as the new coach at Northwest Catholic in West Hartford.

Former Avon High football coach Brett Quinion, shown in the 2012 campaign, has been hired as the new coach at Northwest Catholic in West Hartford.

Former Avon High football coach Brett Quinion is returning to the sideline. Northwest Catholic in West Hartford announced that they hired Quinion to replace long-time coach Mike Tyler, who retired from coaching in December.

Quinion spent 10 years at Avon High leading the Falcons to five Pequot Conference Uncas Division championships and three CIAC playoff berths before stepping down following the 2012 campaign. He was 68-37 at Avon – the second most wins in school history. Only Quinion’s high school coach at Avon — Glenn McLellan (130) — has more career victories.

“I consider it a great honor and privilege to be coaching football at Northwest Catholic High School,” Quinion said. “Coach Tyler and his program have been a model of excellence and consistency. We will strive to represent our school well and continue to keep the Northwest Catholic tradition going.”Continue Reading

Avon, Bolton set to play again in NCCC Tournament final

Avon's Abby Laszewski is defended by Enfield's Mary Baskerville in Tuesday night's NCCC Tournament semifinal game in Avon.

Avon’s Abby Laszewski is defended by Enfield’s Mary Baskerville in Tuesday night’s NCCC Tournament semifinal game in Avon.

CANTON – The Avon High girls basketball team continues to integrate 6-foot-3 junior Abby Laszewski back into the lineup. Laszewski scored a game-high 20 points including nine in the second quarter as the Falcons moved into the NCCC Tournament championship game with a 60-45 semifinal win over Enfield Tuesday night. 

The Falcons, who shared the league championship with Canton, will face Bolton, who will be making its second-ever appearance in Thursday’s NCCC final at SMSA in Hartford at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs led from virtually start to finish Tuesday to beat the Warriors, 53-47 in the other semifinal contest in Canton. 

Canton led just once with 1:15 remaining in the game when sophomore Emily Briggs sank a pair of free throws to give the Warriors a one-point lead. But Bolton junior Jessica Larsh was outstanding on the foul line sinking eight free throws in the final minute to lift the Bulldogs (19-3). 

Canton and Enfield will meet Thursday night at 5:30 p.m. in the tournament consolation game. Continue Reading

Canton’s Carey takes sixth at Class S tournament

Canton's Sam Beadle has Griswold's James Miller on his back at the Class S tournament. Beadle pinned Miller in 44 seconds.

Canton’s Sam Beadle has Griswold’s James Miller on his back at the Class S tournament Saturday at Haddam-Killingworth. Beadle pinned Miller in 44 seconds.

CANTON – It’s been a challenging season for the Canton High wrestling team. Illness and injuries wreaked havoc all season long. The Warriors started out with 16 wrestlers and at the end there were just five wrestlers competing at the Class S tournament.

“It was a tough year with injuries,” head coach Josh Kaplan said .”Two guys broke their hands in the first few weeks of the season.” And it didn’t stop in February. Noah Korner, who finished third in the NCCC Tournament at 145 pounds suffered a concussion in practice the day before the Class S tournament began.Continue Reading

Special Olympics CT Winter Games to be in Simsbury, New Hartford

Athletes race in snowshoeing racing at the Special Olympics CT Winter Games. (Photo courtesy CL&P via Facebook)

Athletes race in snowshoeing racing at the Special Olympics CT Winter Games. (Photo courtesy CL&P via Facebook)

SIMSBURY – Athletes of all ages and abilities will compete in the Special Olympics Connecticut Winter Games on Saturday, Feb. 28 and Sunday, March 1 in Simsbury, New Hartford and East Hartford. Over 900 athletes and United Sports partners are expected to participate. The events are free and open to the public. 

Cross country skiing and snowshoeing will be held at Eversource’s (formerly Connecticut Light and Power) Simsbury Area Work Center on Route 10. Opening ceremonies are Saturday at 10 a.m. with competition from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. On Sunday, competition will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parking is available at nearly Chubb Insurance and there will be a free shuttle bringing fans to and from the work center. There is no parking at the AWC for the public. 

Figure skating and speed skating will be held at the International Skating Center in Simsbury. Opening ceremonies at that venue will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday with competition running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Competition on Sunday will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Continue Reading

Avon grapplers can’t sustain good start, finish 7th at Class M championships

Avon's Jamie Dlugolecki, right, was one of several Avon wrestlers to win twice at the Class M tournament in Milford. The Falcons finished seventh. Dlugolecki wrestles Farmington's Zack Marin in January.

Avon’s Jamie Dlugolecki, right, was one of several Avon wrestlers to win twice at the Class M tournament in Milford. The Falcons finished seventh. Dlugolecki wrestles Farmington’s Zack Marin in January.

MILFORD – The Avon High wrestling team got off to a good start at the Class M championships. They led the tournament after two rounds but the Falcons couldn’t sustain their success and finished tied for seventh.

The Falcons had four wrestlers medal and qualify for next weekend’s CIAC State Open in New Haven and they finished in the top 10 for the fourth time in the last five years.

But Avon (20-2, 9-0 NCCC) had hoped they could make a run in the tournament that didn’t feature a dominant squad this season.

Ledyard had just one individual champion but the Colonels had two wrestlers finish third, two take fourth place, one finish fifth and three take sixth place. The Colonels won the Class M title for the fourth consecutive year with a 10½ point win over Foran, 164½ to 154 with ECC rival Waterford taking third with 140 points.Continue Reading

Black Wolves can’t catch Colorado and lose fifth straight

New England couldn't make up for a slow start and dropped its fifth straight to Colorado Sunday in Uncasville.

New England couldn’t make up for a slow start and dropped its fifth straight to Colorado Sunday in Uncasville. (Khoi Ton photo courtesy of NLL)

UNCASVILLE, Conn., Feb. 22 – Down four goals after the first quarter, the New England Black Wolves indoor lacrosse team cut Colorado’s lead to one in the second half, but could not overtake the Mammoth, losing 14-12 at Mohegan Sun Arena in National Lacrosse League play on Sunday afternoon.  

It was the fifth straight loss for the Black Wolves (2-5). Colorado (4-3) snapped a three-game losing streak. 

Two nights after being held without a goal for just the eighth time in his career, New England’s Kevin Crowley led all scorers with five goals and four assists racking up nine points on the night. It was Crowley’s second highest single-game total for the season. He had 10 points in a 17-7 win over Rochester on January 10. Crowley now leads the team with 39 points coming from 17 goals and 22 assists. Continue Reading

Avon’s Hamel qualifies for New Englands in 3,200 meters

Avon senior Molly Hamel finished sixth in the 3,200 meters at the State Open to earn an invitation to the New England championships.

Avon senior Molly Hamel (8) finished sixth in the 3,200 meters at the State Open to earn an invitation to the New England championships.

NEW HAVEN, February 21 – Avon senior Molly Hamel is going to the New England indoor track and field championships.

Hamel finished sixth in the 3,200 meters at the State Open Saturday at the Floyd Little Athletic Center. The top six athletes in each event earn an invitational to the meet at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in Boston on Friday, February 27.

Hamel finished the race in 11:16.00, much faster than the 11:31.16 she ran to finish second a week earlier at the Class L championships. The race was won by Staples outstanding All-American runner Hannah DeBalsi, who set a new Open record with her time of 10:40.55. She broke her own record that she set last February by less than a second.Continue Reading

Canton pulls away from Granby for NCCC quarterfinals victory

Maggie Treacy (23) had 20 points in Canton's NCCC quarterfinal win over Granby on Saturday.

Maggie Treacy (23) had 20 points in Canton’s 58-48 NCCC quarterfinal win over Granby on Saturday.

CANTON, Feb. 21 – Things got a little tight for the Canton High girls basketball team in their quarterfinal contest in the NCCC Tournament. But the Warriors stuck together and pulled away from Granby with a 58-48 decision Saturday afternoon. 

Granby cut the lead to one with three minutes remaining in the game but NCCC co-champion Canton outscored the Bears, 13-4 to close out the contest and earn a berth in Tuesday’s semifinals against No. 3 Bolton. 

In other tournament action on Saturday, league co-champion Avon beat No. 8 Ellington, 58-34; Bolton eliminated No. 6 Windsor Locks, 55-46 and No. 5 Enfield upset No. 4 seed Suffield, 38-36. 

Carly Atkinson came off the bench to spark the Warriors (19-2) on both ends of the floor. She may have had two of the biggest plays in the game in the fourth quarter. Granby (13-9) cut the Canton lead to one point, 45-44 with three minutes remaining. But Atkinson got a huge offensive rebound, was fouled and calmly sank both foul shots to increase the Canton lead to three. Continue Reading

Huskies can’t find way to beat Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Freshman guard Daniel Hamilton of Los Angeles had a career-high 25 points but the University of Connecticut men’s basketball dropped its second straight game with a 75-72 loss to Memphis at the Fed-Ex Forum on Thursday night. Kedran Johnson scored a season-high 21 points for the Tigers (16-10, 8-5 AAC) while Austin Nichols had 16 points. The Huskies (14-11, 7-6 AAC) have lost four of their last seven games. They host Tulane Sunday at 4 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion. Check out the highlights in the video. Click here for more on the Memphis game.

After a dominating NCCC Tournament, Avon sets eyes on a Class M state title

Avon's Jack St. Onge was one of five Avon wrestlers to win a NCCC championship on Saturday. He is seeded third at 145 pounds at the Class M championships that begin Friday.

Avon’s Jack St. Onge was one of five Avon wrestlers to win a NCCC championship on Saturday. He is seeded third at 145 pounds at the Class M championships that begin Friday.

It’s been a while since the Avon High wrestling team had a legitimate shot to contend for a state championship. In 2006, the Falcons brought home their most recent CIAC championship trophy when they finished second in Class S. 

Since then, Avon has had some good teams. They won the last eight North Central Connecticut Conference (NCCC) championships and the last six NCCC Tournaments. But they haven’t been deep enough or strong enough to battle among the top teams in Class M. 

This could be the year. Avon (20-2, 9-0 NCCC) will be in Milford on Friday and Saturday to compete in the Class M championship meet. 

Three-time defending Class M champion Ledyard is the favorite but they aren’t as deep or as intimidating as they have been in previous seasons. Foran of Milford has been outstanding this season with 27 wins and Waterford has been strong along with New Fairfield, who had to deal with Newtown and New Milford this season in the Southwest Conference. 

“There is no clear runaway team in the tournament,” Avon High coach John McLaughlin said. “I think there are seven teams in the mix and we’re one of those teams.” Continue Reading

Four Avon High athletes sign letters of intent to play in college

Four Avon High athletes signed letters of intent to play in college. From left, Hannah Davey, Amanda Holtzman, Michaela Marcus and Emily Stross.

Four Avon High athletes signed letters of intent to play in college. From left, Hannah Davey (lacrosse), Amanda Holtzman (soccer), Michaela Marcus (soccer) and Emily Stross (field hockey).

AVON, Feb. 17 – Four Avon High students signed national letters of intent to continue their athletic careers in college. Before an audience of family, friends, coaches and school officials, Hannah Davey, Amanda Holtzman, Michaela Marcus and Emily Stross signed letters of intent on Tuesday.

Davey will play lacrosse for Lafayette College, a Division I program in Pennsylvania. Holtzman will play soccer at Siena College while Marcus will play soccer at the University of Maine. Stross will play field hockey at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. Continue Reading

Canton girls top Windsor Locks to win share of first NCCC title since 1999

The Canton High girls basketball is all smiles after clinching a share of its first league championship since 1999 with a win over Windsor Locks Tuesday.

The Canton High girls basketball is all smiles after clinching a share of its first league championship since 1999 with a win over Windsor Locks Tuesday.

CANTON, Feb. 17 – When Gabby Rose was a freshman on the Canton High girls basketball team, the Warriors won just two games. On Tuesday night, Rose played her final regular season game at home and helped Canton win a share of its first league championship since 1999. 

Rose and fellow senior Jacquie Grabowski had six points each on Senior Night as the Warriors clinched a share of the NCCC championship with a 50-35 win over Windsor Locks. Canton won 18 of 20 games this year and went 16-2 in the league. The Warriors will share the championship with Avon (16-4, 16-2 NCCC). 

“This is real exciting,” Rose said. “It hasn’t happened in so long. We were all hoping something exciting would happen this year. It’s a nice feeling to be on a winning team that is successful.” Continue Reading