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Roundup: Avon hockey team won CCC East title – The Collinsville Press
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Roundup: Avon hockey team won CCC East title

Avon High was part of a successful co-op ice hockey team with Windsor and Farmington that won the CCC East championship with a 4-1-1 record but had two disappointing losses to end the season. The team, more commonly known as the WAVE, ended its regular season with a dominant 9-1 decision over Northwest Catholic, a team that would eventually lose in the Division III championship game.

But in the CCC East tournament game, it was Northwest Catholic with a 5-4 decision in overtime to win the tournament. Windsor/Avon/Farmington led 2-0 but gave up a pair of short-handed goals in the game. In the CIAC Division I tournament, the WAVE faced Stamford’s Trinity Catholic but gave up a goal with six seconds left in the third period in a 2-1 defeat. Scott Percival coached the squad. Forward Dominic Bazzano of Farmington earned second team All-State honors from the Connecticut High School Coaches Association. Windsor/Avon/Farmington finished the season with a record of 13-7-2.

BOYS SWIMMING: The Falcons were 6-7 as a team and 13th in Class M under first-year coach Diana Cesaro. The star of the team was Cesaro’s senior son, Zac, who was third in Class M in the 200 freestyle and fourth in the 100 backstroke in 52.77 seconds. He got even better a week later by finishing fifth at the State Open in the 200 free in a season-best time of 1:44.08 and seventh in the 100 back.

Avon did have a pair of relay teams finish in the top 12 at the Class M meet. The 200 individual medley relay of Tara Toppazzini, William Holloman, Jordan Alter and Charlie Anderson was 12th with a time of 1:47.12. The 400 freestyle relay team of Anderson, Alter, Cesaro and senior Kelly Culkin was eighth with a season-best time of 3:28.66.

Avon won the second Out of Your League championship swim meet with a dominant performance. The Falcons scored 457 points to easily beat Haddam-Killingworth (302), Suffield (230) and Morgan (20), three schools without leagues for their boys swim teams to compete in. Cesaro broke his own meet records in the 200 freestyle (1:50.11) and 100 backstroke (55.12). He swam on two winning relays and was named the outstanding swimmer of the meet.

The girls on the Falcons squad easily won the Splash Classic for the sixth straight year with a dominating win over Simsbury, 310 to 160. The Splash Classic is the unofficial state meet for girls who compete during the boys swimming season. The CIAC hosts girls swimming in the fall.

Culkin won the 100 butterfly (1:01.42) and set a new meet record in the process. Toppazzini won the 100 backstroke (1:02.61) and the team of Kathryn Emergy, Alexandra Johnson, Tiana Glover and Toppazzini won the 200 medley relay in 2:00.07.

Avon won plenty of silver medals. Culkin was second in the 200 freestyle (1:59.42), Toppazzini was second in the 100 freestyle (55.88) while the 200 freestyle relay team of Monica Veldman, Tiana Glover, Sophie Greenbaum and Culkin and the 400 freestyle relay team of Toppazzini, Veldman, Greenbaum and Culkin each finished second.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: A young Falcon squad with just one senior and three upperclassmen may have exceeded expectations this winter. Avon (16-9, 12-4 NCCC) had 16 wins, won a game in the NCCC and the Class L tournament before being eliminated by Northwest Catholic, 48-33.

Sophomore Anna Schrecengost led the Falcons in scoring (12.2 points), three-point shots (26) and rebounding (6.4 per game). But she received little consistent help in the scoring department. Alana Pulling (6.5 ppg) and Shannon Curry (5.9 ppg) were next up on the list. Colleen Norton led the team with 35 blocks. With some additional off-season work and a bit of maturity, this team should do well next season.

Big wins came in victories over Ellington, 50-46 on January 20 and Suffield, 49-39 on January 17. Anna Schrecengost had a team-high 16 points in the Class L win over Kennedy, 46-25.

BOYS BASKETBALL: The Falcons had little trouble with most NCCC foes this season with the exception of league champion Enfield, who beat the Falcons twice this season by 20 and 11 points, respectively. Avon (17-7, 12-2 NCCC) was a pretty solid team offensively with its guard-oriented offense but its defense was exposed against better teams.

In the Class L tournament, East Lyme’s Ben Shaw hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to force overtime but the Falcons prevailed, 74-71. Leading scorer Ryan Marioni was 7-of-8 from the foul line in OT. Stratford eliminated the Falcons in the second round, 57-52, holding Avon to a 7-of-27 performance from behind the three-point line. “Their strength is they can shoot,” Stratford coach Paul Dudzinski told the Stratford Star. “A couple of those [three-point] shots go down, it might be a different story.”

WRESTLING: Avon won the NCCC championship for the seventh time in the last eight years. Six wrestlers won league titles and junior Joey Murphy won a Class M title and was second at the State Open.

INDOOR TRACK: Freshman Maddi McHugh won two individual titles while a pair of relay teams won championships at the NCCC championship meet.

Collinsville Press, Jan. 17: Canton boys, Avon girls take third at NCCC championship meet

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 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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