Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Trying to find the seedings and results from the postseason conference basketball tournaments is like trying to hack through an Amazon jungle.  No wonder they call them websites.
Therefore, I have spent the morning making progress methodically but successfully, turning over every stone, dodging the obnoxious pop-up ads that pay the salaries of a lot of good people and sifting through articles.
Here is what I found. I’m missing the Hyde-Morgan score. If anybody has it, send it to my email:  If I’ve made any mistakes, I’m sorry.  Please correct me.

1.      Capital Prep
2.      Platt Tech
3.      Cheney Tech
4.      Wilcox Tech
5.      Putnam
6.      Kaynor Tech
7.      Parish Hill
8.      Windham Tech

Capital Prep 63, Windham Tech 25
Cheney Tech 42, Kaynor Tech 38
Parish Hill 40, Platt Tech 31
Putnam 46, Wilcox Tech 39

Capital Prep 55, Putnam 18
Parish Hill 30, Cheney Tech 29

Capital Prep 76, Parish Hill 34

1.      E.O. Smith
2.      Weaver
3.      Tolland
4.      Weaver
5.      Berlin
6.      East Catholic
7.      RHAM
8.      Northwest Catholic
9.      Hall
10.  Glastonbury
11.  Bloomfield
12.  South Windsor
13.  Farmington
14.  Bristol Eastern
15.  Plainville
16.  Windsor

First Round
Northwest Catholic 41, Hall 37 OT
E.O. Smith 64, Windsor 29
Weaver 46, Plainville 25
East Catholic 68, Bloomfield 43
Berlin 42, South Windsor 22
Manchester 58, Farmington 29
Tolland 69, Bristol Eastern 36
Glastonbury 63, RHAM 38

E.O. Smith 64, Northwest Catholic 42
Glastonbury 52, Weaver 38
Tolland 59, East Catholic 39
Manchester 62, Berlin 42

Manchester 61, E.O. Smith 50

Glastonbury 53, Tolland 51

Glastonbury 58, Manchester 52

Avon 49, SMSA 46
Ellington 56, Coventry 28
Granby 62, Bolton 45
Suffield 41, Windsor Locks 40

Suffield 59, Granby 49
Ellington 59, Avon 42

Granby 37, Avon 26

Ellington 48, Suffield 45

1.      Coginchaug
2.      Cromwell
3.      Portland
4.      Morgan
5.      Hyde
6.      Old Saybrook
7.      Haddam-Killingworth
8.      Hale-Ray

Coginchaug 67, Hale-Ray 38
Cromwell 60, H-K 34
Old Saybrook 44, Portland 33
Hyde over Morgan

Coginchaug 56, Hyde 31
Cromwell 58, Old Saybrook 37

Cromwell 59, Coginchaug 56

1.      Plainfield
2.      Waterford
3.      Bacon Academy
4.      Montville
5.      NFA
6.      East Lyme
7.      Ledyard
8.      St. Bernard
9.      Lyman Memorial
10.  Stonington

Play-In Round
St. Bernard 53, Lyman Memorial 45
Ledyard 48, Stonington 41

NFA 43, Montville 21
Plainfield 47, St. Bernard 44
East Lyme 45, Bacon 43
Waterford 50, Ledyard 45

Waterford 57, East Lyme 51
NFA 68, Plainfield 59

NFA 39, Waterford 36

1.      Danbury
2.      St. Joseph
3.      Trumbull
4.      Wilton
5.      Norwalk
6.      Trinity Catholic
7.      Stamford
8.      Darien

Wilton 49, Norwalk 47
Danbury 63, Darien 40
Trumbull 52, Trinity 46
Stamford 44, St. Joseph 25

Trumbull 40, Stamford 33
Danbury 51, Wilton 38

Danbury 54, Trumbull 39

1.      Holy Cross
2.      Torrington
3.      Watertown
4.      Ansonia
5.      Wolcott
6.      Naugatuck
7.      Sacred Heart
8.      Seymour

Torrington 54, Sacred Heart 41
Naugatuck 53, Watertown 51 OT
Ansonia 55, Wolcott 43
Holy Cross 62, Seymour 38

Torrington 42, Naugatuck 41
Holy Cross 72, Ansonia 50

Holy Cross 57, Torrington 54

1.      Thomaston
2.      Nonnewaug
3.      Wamogo
4.      Northwestern Regional
5.      Shepaug
6.      Lewis Mills

First Round
Wamogo 49, Lewis Mills 46
Northwestern 34, Shepaug 32

Wamogo 47, Nonnewaug 40
Thomaston 49, Northwestern 40

Thomaston 49, Wamogo 41

1.      Career
2.      Hillhouse
3.      Mercy
4.      West Haven
5.      Cheshire
6.      Daniel Hand
7.      Sacred Heart Academy
8.      Sheehan
9.      Jonathan Law
10.  Amity
11.  East Haven
12.  Hamden
13.  Foran

First Round
Sacred Heart Academy 62, Amity 41
Foran 66, West Haven 59
Cheshire 57, Hamden 55
East Haven 49, hand 48
Jonathan Law 56, Sheehan 45

Career 54, Law 41
Cheshire 40, Foran 32
Hillhouse 74, Sacred Heart Academy 34
Mercy 52, East Haven 34

Hillhouse 65, Mercy 61
Career 63, Cheshire 51

Career 63, Hillhouse 61

1.      Lauralton Hall
2.      Pomperaug
3.      Newtown
4.      Notre Dame-Fairfield
5.      Masuk
6.      Joel Barlow
7.      Kolbe Cathedral
8.      Bunnell

Masuk 37, ND-Fairfield 35
Lauralton Hall 73, Bunnell 47
Pomperaug 63, Kolbe 39
Barlow 58, Newtown 54

Lauralton Hall 55, Masuk 44
Pomperaug 65, Barlow 44

Lauralton Hall 59, Pomperaug 54

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


A baseball player died before his time on Jan. 16.
They called Gary Carter “The Kid” because he played a child’s game with the pure, untainted vigor that generally fades when the complexities of maturity and the allure of financial gain set in.
Carter was afflicted with inoperable brain cancer. He was a Hall-of-Fame player, an exceptional teammate, and from all reports, a model husband and loving father. He was 57.
Why? How? Are there answers to those questions?

A childhood friend died before his time on Jan. 16.
Cliff Zolot was 54. We grew up one house away from each other and as our teenaged years and early 20s melted away shared a love for sports and music.
We went to Mets games together long before Carter arrived to watch our beloved Cincinnati Reds when they came to Shea. We bent the rabbit ears of his TV antenna in every which way, peering between black-and-white snowflakes, tuning in through static-filled interference, as a young pitcher named Nolan Ryan was striking out hitter after hitter.
We played basketball. We played baseball. He was a pretty good athlete. I remember him saying, “I could get a hit off Tom Seaver.”
We howled. Then he explained, “Hey, if I just stick out the bat, maybe I’d get lucky and get a hit. It could happen.” He never lived that one down.
We played game after game of chess while we listened to the music we loved, predominantly the Grateful Dead. Our battles were one-sided at first. I was the better player. But gradually Cliff learned the strategies and the games became time-consuming classics. He wasn’t much for school so it surprised me that he had the intelligence to improve so quickly and thoroughly. The fundamentals were in place, but where Carter lived an exemplary life, Cliff tempted fate.
As we learn more about life from day to day, we find how difficult it becomes to successfully navigate its eddies and currents, its ebbs and flows, without bringing on problems that don’t need to be there.
If Carter and Cliff were sailing on separate rafts in the middle of the ocean, Carter would face his destiny nobly while trying everything in his means to save the day. Cliff would have put a pin prick in the raft the way he put a needle in his arm.
The day Cliff experimented with heroin he separated himself from those who truly loved him. Faced with an inexorable need for money to feed his habit, he invaded the sanctity of his neighbors’ homes. He inflicted pain on my mother by looting anything of value from her modest antique collection.
There would be no forgiveness on my mother’s part. She went to her grave cursing his name, and God apparently took notice.
The last time I heard Cliff’s voice was somewhere around 1984. I wasn’t much into hearing it, told him as much and that was it, a childhood friendship dashed on the rocks of drug addiction.
Word trickled in from family and friends how his life took a turn when he followed his mother and father to Florida. Apparently he was in a car accident and subsequently endured the amputation of a leg.
More years passed. I guess there were weddings, funerals, etc. to which I wasn’t privy, but my sister and others who lived in our amazing post-WWII, Baby Boomer special, humble housing development in Hamden we came to know as Belden Road, passed on bits of news.
Time didn’t take kindly to Cliff’s indiscretions. The body that he chose not to maintain began to give way. More than one person told me that he looked more like he was in his 80s than his 50s. I never saw him again. He’s got to be in a far, far better place now than he was last week.
The heroin needle punctured the periphery of my life when Cliff brought it into his. I had some choices then. You can pick and choose your friends but you can’t pick and choose your family. The needle invaded our happy home when my son allowed the pressures of his young life to break down the barriers we all tried so hard to make impenetrable. He is clean now, and making an honest effort to transform his life.
The hole in the raft is patched, but is the patch temporary? Only time will tell, and all I can promise is that time will be filled with boundless love. I believe I can make a difference. I wish I could have for Cliff.

Friday, February 3, 2012


The news drove a stake through my heart.

I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Conard High gymnastics coach Laurie Scinto on the coverage of her magnificent team when one the saddest emails I’ve received came in.

Jackie Palermo, as talented a freshman as I’ve ever covered, suffered a broken bone in her hand and is lost for the season.

I saw Jackie perform against RHAM in her very first varsity meet January 5. An accomplished club gymnast, she was particularly captivating on her floor exercise. As the season has gone along, Jackie has diligently worked on increasing the degree of difficulty in her events

In Conard’s landmark victory over multiple state and New England champion Southington on January 26, Jackie recorded a 9.4 on the floor, a 9.2 on the bars and 9.0 on the beam en route to scoring 36.0 in the all-around.

As Coach Scinto said, Jackie was making the necessary adjustments to high school gymnastics, which pose different requirements than those at the club level.

Conard will not yield in Jackie’s absence as it vies for a lofty spot in the state championships. Scinto indicated that the team’s depth is exceptional. Senior captain Ellen Bridgman and a talented core of juniors – Shannon Bouvier, Taylor Hadra, Katie Newton and Amanda Sloan – will do well through the second half of the season and the postseason. …

Another Conard athlete who has captivated me is sophomore distance runner Lizzy Lagoy.

When Lizzy’s cross country numbers began to diminish despite her dedication to training, an alarm went off. It turns out she was suffering from an iron deficiency, an easily correctable condition that requires patience.

I’m thrilled to say that Lizzy has returned to form in the indoor track season. She had an eye-opening duel in the 3,200 meters recently with Glastonbury’s Reid Watson, the Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year in Connecticut. She had the lead until dropping behind Watson in the final two laps.

Lizzy also plays for Tom Verrengia’s defending-champion softball team. …