(Rocky Hill's 4x200 relay team: Left to right, Joe Catania, James Chasco-Dimauro, Kristopher Begen and Jacob Weber)
Winter’s weather refuses to go away without a fight, but high school’s winter sports season wrapped up last weekend. Spring sports have already started to bloom, but before we head outdoors here’s a look back at some of the local indoor tournament results and information that you may have missed while battling March’s bizarre blizzards.
Middletown came up just shy of reaching a second straight Class L title game, falling to undefeated Sacred Heart 70-56 in the semifinals last Thursday night. The Blue Dragons defeated Maloney, New London and Ledyard to reach the semifinal round and trailed the Waterbury-based Hearts by only two entering the fourth quarter, but were outscored 30-18 over the final eight minutes.
During the semifinal loss, senior Ahmod Privott scored his 1000th career point on a three-point shot in the third quarter. Privott will be one of six Blue Dragons who will be graduating this year. Tyshaun James, Dayquan Singletary, CJ Sprowl, Aveon Woods and Justin McMillian are the other five. The seniors were part of four tournament teams during their tenure, reaching the second round, quarterfinals, finals, and semifinals during the four-year span.
Middletown’s journey ended when they were defeated by Mercy 54-38 in the quarterfinals of the Class LL tournament. The loss ended a historically good season for the Blue Dragons, who won 18 of 20 regular season games and added a pair of tourney victories.
The loss to Mercy was the final game for four seniors, including leading scorer and rebounder Brielle Wilborn, who ended the season averaging 19 points and 13 rebounds per game. Azsha Ray, Jennifer Barbour and Jillian Gordon are the three other departing seniors.
Wethersfield/Middletown/Rocky Hill/Plainville co-op lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Southington/Hall in the Division III semifinals last Thursday.
Despite the defeat the Eagles had a year to remember, winning 17 regular season games and a pair of tournament games. Head coach Dennis Tulimieri was named the Division III coach of the year and several seniors had standout season.
Goalie Stephen Vaughan protected the net all season, registering seven shutouts. Zac Forrest led the team with 40 points, including a team-high 28 assist, and Paul Wheatley led the team with 26 goals. Tyler Piecewicz added 10 goals and 23 assists, and Paul Ciarcia tallied 22 points. The five will be graduating, along with Phillip Rudak , Timothy Laurito, Ryan Nicola and Sean Fuller.
Xavier’s Patrick Moynihan (132-lbs) and Ryan Devivo (160-lbs) won state titles during the Class LL finals at Trumbull High School. Ronan Marino (106-lbs), James Lunt (120-lbs) and Jake Holland (145-lbs) each took home third place in their respective weight classes. As a team, the Falcons finished as the runner-up at the finals, behind state champion Danbury.
Middletown placed seventh in the Class L finals, thanks to four top-five individual finishes. Tom Gatti was the runner-up in the 152-lbs class, losing in the finals to Pomperaug’s Mathew Pangle. Noah Sylvester (120-lbs) had a fourth-place showing and Maxwell Cyr placed fifth in the 285-pound class.
Wethersfield also had a pair of top-five showing in Class L. Michelangelo Bolorin (138-lbs) placed third at and Austin Harnish (195-lbs) placed fifth.
Newington’s Tyler Savluk took home fifth in the 126-pound class at the same meet.
In Class S, Rocky Hill had a duo finish in the top-five. Damon Lonero (182-lbs) placed fourth and Brandon Pastula (160-lbs) placed fifth.
Arben Zoto of Wethersfield won a state title in the high jump the Class L finals and finished in fifth at the open finals. Senior classmate Stevenson Paul placed third in the long jump at the class finals and fourth at the open championships.
Cromwell’s Cara Jordan had a terrific finish to her sophomore season indoors, placing second in the 600 meters at both the Class M finals and at the Open Championships. Jordan was edged by Bloomfield’s Jullian Mars at the class finals, but beat her during the open finals less than a week later. She was also part of the Panthers’ 1600 sprint medley, teaming with Melissa Woodcock, Hannah Fox and McKenzie Keane for a fourth-place effort at the class finals.
Rocky Hill’s relay team of Zykeya Ford, Victoria Bower, Nicole Zarrilli and Lilah Devine finished as the runner-up in the 1600 Sprint Medley at the Class M finals.
Zarrilli and Divine also joined Annie White and Talia Carlone for a fifth place finish in the 4x400 at the meet. The four had previously broken a school record in the 4x400 at the Yale Invitational earlier this season. The future is bright for the relay group, as White and Divine are sophomores and Carlone and Zarrilli are freshmen.
On the boys’ side, the Terriers 4x200 team of Joe Catania, Jacob Weber, Kristopher Begen and James Chasco-Dimauro had a third-place showing. The foursome also took home fourth place in the 4x400.
Wethersfield continues to be consistent in the pool, finishing tied for sixth overall at the Class M finals. Junior Blake Fulton had a pair of top-ten finishes (eighth in 100 freestyle and ninth in 200 freestyle) and was part of the 200 freestyle relay that finished fourth and the 400 freestyle that finished seventh. Fulton was joined by Caleb Skowronek, Austin Bovino and Holden Hoon for the 200 and Bovino, Hoon, and Shane Bresnahan in the 400. Skowronek has his own ninth place effort in the 100 Breaststroke and Bovino finished 10th in the 100 Butterfly.
Middletown finished in seventh overall during the Class L finals. Jacob Forrester placed sixth in the 100 Backstroke and was part of a pair of relay teams that had top-ten finishes. The senior teamed with Jayson DeFrance, Matthew Joy and Timothy Joy for a fifth-place showing in the 200 medley and joined the two Joys and Dylan Drescher for a seventh-place finish in the 400 freestyle.
The Blue Dragons also had a duo of divers that had strong showings. Sophomore Tyler Wenzel placed eighth and senior Tahj Mitchell-Westberry placed ninth.
Newington senior Michael Allo finished 10th in the 200 Individual Medley and joined forces with Sean Abrams, Maksym Ugrak and Robert Nagy for a ninth-place finish in the 200 medley.
Rocky Hill finished 11th overall as a team at the Class S finals. Senior Mack Sullivan placed fifth in both the 200 Individual Medley and the 100 Breaststroke. Junior teammate Brian Speers finished seventh in the 500 Freestyle and 11th in the 200 IM. The duo also teamed up with Joseph Hamann and Adam Chao for a top-ten finish in the 200 Freestyle Relay.
Abigail Sullivan of Wethersfield competed at the Open Championships in New Milford on March 4. The junior scored an 8.15 in the Floor Exercise, following the 8.45 she scored during the Class M finals. Nicole Arcari, Erin Nargi, Sarah Gordon, Jessica Platt and Kelly Scales joined Sullivan at the class finals, helping the Eagles finished seventh overall.
(Rocky Hill's 1600 sprint medley: Left to right, Zykeya Ford, Victoria Bower, Nicole Zarrilli, Lilah Devine & 4x400 relay: Talia Carlone, Lilah Devine, Nicole Zarrilli, Annie White)
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin