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Week 4 roundup: Hilly Tower Ridge course is advantage for Canton

Week 4 roundup:  April 27-May 2
CANTON – Every high school golf team has the advantage of familiarity playing a match on their home golf course. It’s the course they practice on for days and weeks during the spring.

Playing at Tower Ridge Golf Course at the base of Talcott Mountain in Simsbury gives the Canton High boys and girls golf teams an added advantage. Walking up and down the steep hills that create the course can be difficult for a visiting team.

“You get tired lugging your own bag,” Canton boys coach Bill Phelps said. “It’s a huge advantage for us. We get used to that playing every day. It’s not a big deal walking up and down those big hills.” Canton has been playing a Tower Ridge since 2003 when the Canton Golf Course was closed to build the Shoppes at Farmington Valley.

The Canton boys posted its fourth lowest score ever at Tower Ridge last week with a 159-161 win over Somers. Canton’s David Roux led the way with a 37 for nine holes while teammate Jon Phelps had a 39. Blaine Houlihan had a 41, Ryan Allen had a 42 and Brad Parliament had a 43.

Still, Canton (5-2-1, 3-1-1 NCCC) won by just two strokes, reinforcing the fact that the NCCC is very competitive. Allen was medalist with a 35 at Tallwood in Hebron in Canton’s 155-186 win over Bolton earlier in the week.

“If we keep playing together like we can play, they’ll have a very good next few weeks,” Phelps said.
Canton still has league matches left with Avon and Tolland. The league champion is the team with the best record after 13 league matches.

GIRLS GOLF: The Canton girls golf team remains undefeated at 6-0 with a 187-208 victory over Suffield. Sarah Getz had a 44 at Airways in Suffield to lead Canton. The 21-stroke victory is the second closest bout of the year. Avon came within nine strokes of the Warriors in early April.

Freshman Nikki Liucci, Megan Roux, Kelly McAlindin and senior Tessa Newell are playing well, which has challenging matches remaining against Middletown, Cheshire and Lauralton Hall as they battle for the Southern Connecticut Girls Golf League championship.

TRACK & FIELD: The Warriors set six school records at Saturday’s 78th annual Greater Hartford Invitational at Simsbury High. Rachel Schwartzman continues to break her own school record in the shot. With a throw of 28 feet, 6 inches, she broke her old record set earlier this year by nearly two feet.

Senior Alaina Casioppo set a new school record with a leap of 31 feet, 1.25 inches in the triple jump.

Two athletes brought home a pair of school records. Connor Smyth broke the long jump record mark with a leap of 19 feet, 3 inches, snapping the old mark set by Jasen Watson in 2007. Dylan Smith set a new record in the discus (94 feet, 3 inches), with a throw that was nearly 10 feet longer than Eric Comeau’s mark set in 2007.

Canton’s 4×100 girls relay team of Tyisha Alexanders, Alessandra Summa, Casioppo and Lucy Mentzer finished 11th in 54.55 seconds, breaking the old record set in 2007. The boys 4×100 relay team of Brian Lochner, Chris Hyde, Luke Talbot and Ryan Gallagher finished 13th in a record time of 47.19, over two seconds faster than the old record set in 2005.

Among the boys, Canton was sixth out of 15 small school teams with 35 points and 14th overall in the field of 29. The CHS girls were 14th among small schools and 27th overall.

Schwartzman was the only athlete to finish in the top 10. Casioppo, Collin Glasson (shot, 39-0) and Connor Smyth (37-10) were each 11th in the triple jump. Connor Smyth was 12th in the long jump while Dylan Smith (javelin) and Kevin Kurnat (1,600) each finished 13th.

In dual meets, Granby handed the Canton boys (4-1) its first loss in a 103-49 decision. The Canton girls slipped to 2-3 with a 100-42 loss to Granby.

BASEBALL: The Warriors (5-5, 3-4 NCCC) are getting some hits but are struggling to get some key two-out hits to drive in runs. Canton lost three of four games last week, each by two runs. They had eight hits in two games and 10 in the third contest.

Canton lost to Somers, 6-4, scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Warriors dropped a 6-4 decision to Ellington and had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth inning but failed to score. On Friday, Canton fell to Windsor Locks, 6-4 in eight innings on a two-run home run from Joe Bogli.

“We’re hitting the ball hard but it’s right at someone,” Canton coach Brian Roy said. “We’re just not catching a break.”

First baseman Aaron Deaver had a strong week with two hits each against Windsor Locks and Ellington and a hit against Somers. Deaver had a key two-RBI single in a 3-0 win over Enfield two weeks ago.

Catcher Tyler Plourd was 2-for-3 with a single, triple and two RBI in a 6-5 win over Stafford last Monday. He added a home run, single and an RBI against Somers.

Kyle Beattie has been providing consistent hitting and solid play in the outfield, infield and on the mound. Travis Lane also hit a homer against Somers.

SOFTBALL: The Warriors (7-3, 4-2 NCCC) have found key hits hard to find as well. In the much-anticipated game with New Britain two weeks ago, Hurricane pitcher Kelsey Newberg allowed just four hits and fanned 16 in a 10-3 victory.

Canton rebounded with a 6-0 shutout over Enfield but stumbled in a 1-0 loss to Ellington at Canton as Purple Knight pitcher Morgan McPartland allowed just two hits. The Warriors had 15 hits and ripped Stafford, 13-0, last Monday but had just three hits and struck out 10 in a 3-1 loss to Somers.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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