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Now, everyone is chasing the champs

Canton’s Tim Keating works to get past a Classical defender in last week’s victory over the Gladiators. Canton has won 10 of their last 11 games.

CANTON – All season, the Canton High boys basketball team and the rest of the North Central Connecticut Conference have been chasing Rockville.

The Rams, playing their first season in the NCCC after 34 years in the Central Connecticut Conference, won their first 10 games in league play.

But the Rams have been caught and passed. Windsor Locks handed the Rams their first loss in NCCC action last Friday, 63-52. On Monday, the Rams dropped their most lopsided league game of the season in a 17-point loss to Sports Medicine Science Academy. It was the third loss in four games for Rockville (11-5, 10-2).

That leaves defending league champion Canton (14-2, 12-1 NCCC) in position to win their second straight NCCC championship. The Warriors have a one-game lead over Hartford Classical, SMSA and Rockville with three NCCC contests remaining and have their destiny in their own hands.

Two of the three remaining league games are at home. If Canton can beat East Granby (Wednesday, Feb. 7), Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (Friday, Feb. 9) and Rockville (Tuesday, Feb. 13), they can capture a second straight league title for the first time in 36 years. The Warriors will face HMTCA on the road in Hartford.

Twice, the Warriors have won back-to-back titles. The most recent was in 1981 and 1982 when Canton won a pair of Northwest Conference Division II championships. The first time was in 1925-27 when Collinsville High won three straight Farmington Valley League titles.

NCCC boys basketball NCCC Overall
Canton 12-1 14-2
Hartford Classical 11-2 14-2
SMSA 11-2 12-4
Rockville 10-2 11-5
Granby 9-3 10-4
Saturday’s result
Avon 58, Canton 44
Monday’s results
Granby 62, Coventry 51
SMSA 67. Rockville 50
Classical 98, East Windsor 80
Wednesday’s games
East Granby at Canton
SMSA at Windsor Locks
Granby at Rockville
HMTCA at Classical
Thursday’s game
Granby at Rockville
Friday’s games
Canton at HMTCA
Rockville at Classical
Granby at SMSA

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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