For the record, Avon boys finish with six wins; Farmington left out of tournament

Avon’s Jordan Williams (23) gets up in the air for a jump shot in last week’s season-ending loss to Farmington.

Thanks to a successful appeal by Bulkeley High School to the Connecticut Association of School’s Board of Directors, the Avon High boys basketball team finished the season with six wins while neighboring Farmington finished with seven wins and didn’t qualify for the CIAC’s Class LL tournament.

Earlier this winter, Bulkeley boys basketball team had been stripped of several victories due to an ineligible player. Avon picked up an additional win and Farmington picked up two victories.

A week ago, Avon and Farmington played the regular season finale for both teams. Avon’s record was 7-12 and win would have put them into the Class L tournament. Farmington was 8-11. This was based upon information posted on the CIAC website but all rankings are unofficial until the basketball committee approves them at the conclusion of the season.

The Indians won the game on a long three-pointer from Kevin Dunst with 1.8 seconds remaining after Avon took a two-point lead with 12.3 seconds left.

With the successful appeal, Bulkeley got all of their wins back and earned the No. 30 seed in the 32-team Class M tournament with a 7-13 record. Avon’s final record slipped to 6-14. Farmington’s final record fell to 7-13 and fell to No. 33 in Class LL – out of contention for the 32-team tournament.

Oxford (7-13) also lost a win when Bulkeley’s wins were reinstated and missed out on qualifying for the Class M tournament. This is the first year of the CIAC’s new basketball tournament format with 32 teams qualifying even if their record is under 40 percent – or 8-12 in a 20-game season.

This all began when the CIAC received two letters from Bulkeley High School — one asking the Eligibility Committee to consider the case of a current student-athlete, the other reporting to the CIAC Board of Control that the school only recently learned that the same student-athlete may be in violation of the eight-semester rule. In the letter to the Board of Control, Bulkeley requested an immediate appeal should any sanctions be assigned. 

The Eligibility Committee heard the case and determined that the student-athlete was eligible.

The Board of Control, which is charged with adjudicating rules violations, did not know the details of the student’s personal situation and assigned sanctions, including forfeitures of games that the Bulldogs won. 

Bulkeley was granted their requested appeal with the CAS Board of Directors. Upon hearing the case, the Board of Directors voted to reinstate the original results of the games due to the decision of the Eligibility Committee regarding the nature of the case. 

The processes followed were in accordance with CAS-CIAC By-laws, the CIAC said in a news release.

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