Friday, March 30, 2012

BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR ROCK CATS

The atmosphere at New Britain Stadium has a bright and breezy feel.

The early spring weather has the grass looking lush. The walls along the stadium concourse have been spruced up in patriotic blue, red and white. An alternate uniform and cap show traces of baseball tradition.

But the upbeat nature in the Land of the Rock Cats has much more than just some superficial alterations. The era ushered in by the omnipresent Bill Dowling and his local partner Coleman B. Levy has run a fruitful course. Their investment group has sold the team to the DSF Group, a Boston-based commercial and residential real estate investment group led by its president Josh Solomon.

Solomon’s father Arthur owns the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The group will be doing business as New Britain Double Play, LLC.

Rock Cats fans will notice quickly that the familiarity of the Dowling-Levy regime won’t be diminishing anytime soon. Dowling, who retains a portion of the team, is slated to spend two years as a consultant, and he’ll be consulting his old Rock Cats confidante John Willi.

Willi, now the Rock Cats’ president and general manager, spent 11 years working for the team before departing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2010. Along the way, Willi, 36, was chosen as Eastern League Executive of the Year in for 2009 and selected by the Hartford Business Journal for its “40 under 40” list, distinguishing him as one of Greater Hartford’s top 40 business executives under 40-years-old.

Obviously I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a Rock Cat again, especially under these circumstances,” Willi said. “This franchise has such a strong reputation, following and incredible people, which separates it from other organizations.

“Our plan is to build upon all the incredible things we were able to do in the past. We obviously have an infusion of new energy and we want to put that toward community outreach, customer service, game experience and the overall value of coming to a Rock Cats game.”

Solomon and Willi were on hand in the Stadium Club Thursday to formally announce the change in an ownership changes that was about nine months in the making, and to elaborate on plans for the future. The New Britain Parks and Recreation Department, partners with the Rock Cats in maintaining the facility, was also present in force. Chairman Angelo D’Alfonso publicly welcomed the new management team.

"This is a wonderful show of support for the new ownership, particularly for John Willi,” said Dowling, who found the circumstances to be “bittersweet.”

“I’ve had 12 wonderful years with the Rock Cats. When we decided to sell the team we obviously were concerned about finding the right kind of buyers to keep the team in New Britain and continue the family-friendly entertainment that the Rock Cats have become known for over the years.”

Solomon came across reflecting amicability akin to that of Dowling, whose relationship with fans has always served as a manifestation of the Rock Cats’ extensive civic contributions. New Britain Double Play includes his siblings Jim and Jennifer Goorno.

“[Dowling’s] commitment to the community and entertainment seemed to really be in line with myself and my siblings,” said Solomon, who lives with his wife and their four children ranging from 4 to 13-years-old in Sudbury, Mass.

Solomon and his siblings, witnessing the joy that minor league baseball ownership brought their father, sought a team of their own in the region.

“It’s one of the main reasons in my sister, my brother and me had an interest in owning a minor league team,” he said. “We look to have the same joy, fun and excitement that he’s had, and we’ll have a little rivalry, too.”

He cited the interaction between fans and ballplayers at the minor league level as an attraction that the Rock Cats seek to build upon.

It was an emotional day for Dowling.

“This was a very bittersweet moment in a lot of ways for me,” he said. “After running this franchise for 12 years and putting my heart and soul into it – I probably missed six games over 12 years – it’s tough to give up the culture and the lifestyle.”

Dowling said the investors felt the time was right to put the team on the market.

“Josh Solomon and his group came along and I’m convinced that they’re committed to keeping the team in New Britain and also carry on the same fan-friendly culture that we managed to instill here,” Dowling said. “Bittersweet, but on the other hand, I’m at certain age in my life where I’ve got one more big push left and I want to figure out what that is. I’m not going to retire. I’ll be here for the next couple of years. I’ll be a consultant. I’ve got a little investment in the team and I’ll be the ultimate baseball authority for the next couple of years.

“It’s a little bit painful but life goes on and we’ll see what the next couple of months bring.”
History likely will validate Dowling as a savior for minor league baseball in the city. Under his guidance, attendance jumped from an EL-worst 181,643 in 1998 to 363,759 last season.

Willi’s year away from New Britain was spent as vice president of DSF Sports, which operates the Class A Bowling Green (Ky.) Hot Rods in addition to the Fisher Cats. Jeff Garner, former assistant general manager of the EL’s Altoona Curve, joins the management team as the executive vice president. Ricky Ferrell, who has been in the Rock Cats’ front office for seven years, has been promoted to vice president of ticket sales.

Willi also announced that the team has forged a new radio deal with Fox Sports 1410 WPOP. The station, operated by Clear Channel Media & Entertainment Hartford/New Haven, will air most home games. All home games will be streamed live on www.foxsportsradio1410.com and aired in high definition on ESPN 97.9 HD2.

Road games can be heard on WMRD 1150 out of Middletown and WLIS 1420 out of Old Saybrook.
Jeff Dooley, the Eastern League’s longest tenured broadcaster, returns for his 15th season.

The Rock Cats open their 30th season in the city at home April 6.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

CIAC HOOPS A WINNER; FOOTBALL NEEDS WORK


Questions abound about the feasibility of continuing to play the CIAC football championships at Rentschler Field.
It isn’t cost effective.  With the use of the stadium come inherent costs due to extended police presence and administrative staff.  When 4,500 people attend a game in a stadium that seats 45,000, it should tell the CIAC something.  I’m tired of hearing how important it is to the kids to play there.  It’s got to change.
In 2010, the CIAC revealed a $22,000 loss.  According to the chatter I heard at the CIAC basketball championships Saturday, the losses were less in 2011, but not that much less.  Given the economy, the cost of CIAC membership to the state’s school systems and the resentment in most towns to line-item increases in education budgets, a more austere program must be in the offing.
I remain adamant that some of the games should be held at New Britain’s Willow Brook Park. 
It seats 10,000, which has proven to be more than enough.  It provides adequate amenities for everybody.  Parking is plentiful if you consider the lots that surround the high school.  It is centrally located. 
The City of New Britain, the Parks and Recreation Department in particular, has a reputation for commanding a high price, which is why the CIAC abandoned Willow Brook for the soccer championships for Waterbury’s Municipal Stadium in 2007.  It’s also why we never see the baseball championships held there, so I doubt football would be any different.
But the CIAC won’t consider Willow Brook anyway with the primary fear being that the weather could make the field unplayable.  While the Parks and Rec may charge too much, it does deserve credit for maintaining the playing surface.  There’s a reason why Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution come back so often to host Open Cup matches.
The more likely solution is to utilize college venues.  Southern Connecticut State’s Jess Dow Field is perfect.  So is Central Connecticut’s Arute Field.  That’s more than I can say about using West Haven High’s Ken Strong Stadium.
Basketball is another story.
Mohegan Sun Arena is a great venue, although the rent-a-cop security tends to be a little overzealous.  The concern about having high school games on the grounds of the casino is passé. 
Fans couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere.  The media couldn’t ask for better amenities, and let me tell you that my colleagues need that sort of consideration more than ever.  The way the publishing companies see it, nobody desires a well-written story anymore.  Gifted writers now need to be photographers, videographers and computer zealots in order to keep their low-paying jobs.
The basketball season concluded Saturday.  Winning and losing aside, the fans in attendance appeared to truly enjoy their experience.  The kids enjoyed playing there.  The media had what it needed.
I watched two good games.  Hillhouse squandered an early lead and lost to St. Joseph-Trumbull in the Class LL title game that had all but the upper reached of the arena filled.  Northwest Catholic, inept for three quarters, waged an impressive comeback but fell to Career-Magnet-New Haven in Class L.
Plus, I got to eat at Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana, nearly completing my Pepe’s Connecticut circuit.  I now have notches on my expanding leather belt from Pepe’s in New Haven, Manchester, Danbury and the Mohegan Sun.  Perhaps one of my friends down Fairfield way will invite me to complete Ken’s Pepperoni, Mozzarella and Thin Crust Tour.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

FARMINGTON-NORTHWEST GAME HAD NO LOSER


I’ve covered more games at New Britain High’s Chick Shea Gymnasium than I’d care to count, but the atmosphere has never been as electric as it was Tuesday night for the Class L semifinal basketball game between Farmington and Northwest Catholic.
I arrived at about 6:45 p.m., well before the scheduled 7:30 tip-off, and the place was already nearly full.  If you were there, I don’t have to tell you that the Farmington community dominated the scene.
Nearly everybody in the popular student section, The Tribe, was decked out in black.  I’d call it a black out but that may conjure thoughts of the October snowstorm.  Hey, I live in Unionville’s Lake Garda section.  We didn’t see any of Thomas Edison’s inventions doing what they were supposed to for nearly 10 days.
The kids were loud, louder than any group I’ve ever heard at a sporting event.  They were enthusiastic but not overly so.  When they were asked to stop bouncing up and down due to fears the bleachers could collapse, they heeded the wishes of the New Britain administrators.
“We knew it was going to be like that,” said Northwest coach John Mirabello, one of Connecticut scholastic basketball’s finest gentlemen, a true ambassador for his school and sport and like Farmington’s Duane Witter, a maker of men.
“I came out before the game and stood in the doorway as I was watching them warm up and saw the fans.  I thought back to when I was my kids’ age. I thought about them watching.  I told [my players], ‘Remember you were a kid, you were practicing and dreaming about things.  Look at your experience in here.’  This is a kid’s dream just to be in the layup lines.  How great is this?  I was really happy they could be in this spot.”
Between my fellow Farmington townsfolk, my dear New Britain friends and my newer circle of friends from Northwest Catholic, I connected with more friends than even Facebook could muster.  It’s been a tough year for me as most of my friends know but I felt this warm feeling inside, the kind of feeling that made me wish the evening would never end and that neither team would leave disappointed.
That, of course, cannot happen.  The Tribe had little to cheer about with Northwest phenom Kuran Iverson putting on the kind of show that is destined to grace NCAA Division I arenas in due course.  Northwest took an early lead and never looked back.
But as I look back on an event I’ll never forget, I conclude that nobody left New Britain a loser.
Farmington coach Duane Witter was comfortable knowing that each and every one of his players turned in great efforts.  When Iverson plays at that level, he said, Northwest is going to be virtually impossible to beat.
The Iverson Show had some terrific co-stars, too.  Junior Nick Gaynor and senior Aaron Wilson did it all – scored, rebounded, blocked shots, stole the ball and made crisp passes.  Point guard Tyler Huffman provided his usual steady performance and center P.J. Edwards filled his role to perfection.  If you had the chance to read my game story on the West Hartford News website, you’ll see their names.
But when you’re trying to keep your copy tight, there are aspects of the game into which you cannot delve.  The Farmington kids, devastated when their star player and team leader Ben Pollack suffered a season-ending ankle injury Feb. 25, played with the kind of heart that had to fill every Farmington with a deep sense of pride.
Six-foot-five sophomore Obi Momah continued the incredible restructuring of his game.  Obi developed into a scorer overnight in the absence of Pollack’s steady double-digit contribution.  He had a huge weight to carry if Farmington was going to stay with Northwest, let alone with the 6-foot-9 Iverson and 6-foot-7 Edwards hemming him in.
You rarely see a basketball player improve as much as guard Jalen Hurst did between his junior and senior years.  As Pollack’s best friend, he was compelled to step up as a leader as well as raise his level of play a few notches.  Jalen, who recently opted to continue his hoops and studies at Nichols College, began slowly as he struggled to deal with the game’s fast-paced rhythm but settled down and finished his career with a flair.
Junior Vasil Borisevich is listed at 5-foot-10.  He’s a few inches short of that and was obviously hard-pressed to try and match the athleticism of Wilson and Gaynor.  He couldn’t have played much better. 
Senior forward Mike English is a football player first.  Witter called upon him to make up for Pollack’s absence on the glass but he did more than that.  He made a couple steals, blocked a shot and mustered everything within him to compete with the likes of Iverson and Edwards. 
Ivan Guadalupe, like English, makes an imposing impact on anybody watching Farmington football.  Only a sophomore, he showed that he’s going to be one of Farmington’s greats, but his work in the tournament will serve him well as he pursues his scholastic hardwood journey.
Senior Nieko Labbadia didn’t get a whole lot of varsity time during his career but when Ben went down, somebody had to step in.  Witter called his number and received a tremendous effort through the tournament run.  Among his seven points was a high-arcing three-pointer that sent quite a message when it slipped through the net.
For sophomore Colin Cheesman and freshman Trey Witter, their day is coming.  They’ll step into the rotation next year and join Momah, Borisevich and Guadalupe as Farmington continues to shape its growing basketball reputation.  They got a taste of top-shelf varsity competition and looked anything but intimidated.
From a basketball perspective, Farmington will benefit from that game against Northwest.  From a community perspective, Farmington already has.  I know.  I’m proud to say I live there.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

NORTHWEST FACES DIVIDED FAN BASE


I’m certainly not pointing a finger of blame at anybody.  That would be ridiculous not to mention irresponsible, so I will address it as a wish rather than a criticism.
The Northwest Catholic boys basketball team has shown tremendous perseverance in advancing to the Class L semifinals against Farmington on Tuesday at a site and time yet to be determined (I’ll guess Plainville).  Losing a starter the quality of Zack Lewis so late in the season could have severely compromised the team, but as coaches constantly try to convince skeptical sportswriters, others tend to step up.
In the meantime, the NWC boys hockey team will meet the Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury co-op in a Division III semifinal at Yale’s Ingalls Rink in New Haven.
The tragedy of it is Northwest, being such a small, closely knit school, has to face the prospect of having to split its support for these two terrific teams.  Unlike the public schools, there is no town to rally behind the teams.  Having a school without borders surely is advantageous in drawing top quality athletes, but where a town like Farmington – 25,000 strong – can summon community support, Northwest cannot.
The basketball game would be at 6 or 8 p.m. if the CIAC goes with a semifinal doubleheader .  Otherwise, it would be at 7.  The hockey game is slated for 5:30.  The possibility of getting to both is pretty remote unless the basketball can be scheduled somewhere near New Haven, not likely seeing the teams are from suburban Hartford and not fair to local fans trying to get to the game after work.
I wonder if the CIAC would intervene.  I can’t exactly remember the situation but I believe the organization took it into consideration when a school had its boys and girls soccer teams slated to play at the same time.  At other times, I’m sure rectifying such an issue became impossible logistically. 
The CIAC absorbs considerable criticism – undue for the most part – for their tournament scheduling, but we must remember that perfect storms are only something nature can provide.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

QUESTIONS ABOUND ABOUT EASTERN LEAGUE, ROCK CATS' EVOLUTION


I covered the New Britain Rock Cats for 15 years, so many people have asked me about the team’s impending sale.
It came as a total surprise to me.  I’ll bet I would have heard some rumblings in the past, but I am no longer in the loop there, primarily because life’s challenges, both personal and professional, have me focused elsewhere.  I haven’t received responses to my phone calls and emails, which had more of a let’s-keep-in-touch nature than professional undertones.  I understand.  People are too busy for calls non-essential to business these days.
I know management has had some headaches, some of the more tempestuous ones involving New Britain Stadium’s overlord, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.  But confrontational issues between tenant and landlord are as common as a ground ball to shortstop.
The financial condition of the Rock Cats is an issue that was rarely discussed during my years covering the team.  Any questions I had were rebuffed in a good-natured, change-the-subject way, and I come from a generation that respects that sort of information as private. 
Suffice it to say that the Rock Cats’ sales force worked extremely hard and turned out results that had turnstiles whirring at a ratio that had about 90 percent of the seats filled on a seasonal basis.  Attendance grew every year, if not the total than the per-game numbers.  A waiting line formed for businesses requesting billboards on the outfield wall and in the stadium concourse.
Rock Cats are also quick to give back to the community and spent many hours forming and promoting the Rock Cats Foundation, the team’s charitable arm that has had far-reaching effects throughout central Connecticut.  Players and popular mascot Rocky were always made available for promotions.  Even as I write, the Rock Cats are handing out free coffee, donuts, hot dogs and soft drinks at their annual FanFest.
So why the decision was made to sell the team I wouldn’t know.  I know just what I’ve read.  If reports are accurate, I’m extremely pleased that Bill Dowling will retain a portion of the team and stay on for two more seasons as a consultant. What he's done in New Britain goes down in history as the state's most successful professional sports franchise ever.
I have received a few short emails from Jeff Dooley, the Rock Cats’ affable and meticulous director of broadcasting, and his role with the team will continue.  They’d hate to lose Dooley, a guy who’s built nothing but goodwill since arriving on the scene in 1998.
Perhaps the best news of all for the team and its fans is that John Willi is returning as general manager.  Willi, a former Eastern League Executive of the Year, is a savvy administrator.  He left in 2010 to join the DSF Group, a company that operates the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and several other minor league franchises. 
Initial reports said DSF would be purchasing the Rock Cats but to the best of my knowledge, one entity cannot own two teams in the same league.  But I'm not naive enough to discount loopholes.  According to a report published in the Hartford Courant, a Rock Cats spokesman indicated that new ownership has New England ties.  Perhaps Willi has put together a new investment group.  I have not spoken to him but chances are he wanted to return to central Connecticut to work because he and his family still live in Cheshire.
 The Rock Cats’ sales force purred under Willi’s firm but fair hand.
2 BIG QUESTIONS: Here are the questions that I would ask if I was still working for a living.
1) Will the Rock Cats retain their association with the Minnesota Twins or will new management seek out ties to an MLB team with more local appeal?
2) Will the Rock Cats franchise remain in New Britain?
Here are some mitigating consequences that could come into play. 
EL IN OTTAWA? Canada’s capital city, is in the process of constructing a new facility and according to ballparkdigest.com will have an Eastern League team in 2013.  According to a February report in Newsday, an Ottawa spokesman said the Binghamton Mets would be the one.  The B-Mets, EL players since 1992, have foundered at the box office in an area that has been hard-hit by the economy.
Should the franchise bolt to Canada, the Mets would likely switch their affiliation, and the author of the Newsday article speculates that New Britain would be a likely landing point for their Double-A team.  Willi, a native of Long Island, attended SUNY-Binghamton and worked in the B-Mets’ front office before his first go-round in New Britain.  It’s sound speculation, if deductive reasoning holds any weight.
Should the Binghamton franchise relocate to Ottawa, the new team surely would attempt to forge an affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays.  The Blue Jays currently supply talent to the Fisher Cats.  The Fisher Cats would sell their tails to a taxidermist to gain an affiliation with the Red Sox, but the Portland Sea Dogs didn’t build a replica of the Green Monster at Hadlock Field with the intent of losing New England’s darlings.
Meanwhile, the Rock Cats have had a wonderful relationship with the Minnesota Twins since 1995.  To a person, the Twins have been an amiable group, but the Rock Cats are reminded constantly that they’re not the Yankees, they’re not the Red Sox and they’re not the Mets.   
Could the Mets be on their way, and even if they are, that won’t appease the Yankees-Red Sox delegation.  From a business standpoint, I have my doubts whether that would add anything to the attendance figures.  It wouldn’t hurt from a public relations perspective though.  The Rock Cats would love some additional coverage in the New York media.
WILL TEAM STAY? What is the viability of New Britain as an Eastern League locale in the long-term?  
How will the change in the mayor’s office from Tim Stewart (R) to Tim O’Brien (D) affect the relationship?   Will a better deal surface elsewhere due to what people on both sides have depicted as a frayed relationship between the team and the Parks and Rec Department?   
I wonder if Hartford would ever consider making up for lost time by building a stadium?
New Britain failed to hold onto the CIAC soccer championships and has never been a player in the scholastic baseball championships despite Willow Brook Park’s centralized location and the availability of two quality facilities.  I’ve been told the cost of doing business there is too dear.
WHAT ABOUT NEW HAMPSHIRE? How about the possibility of this scenario? 
If Binghamton should stay put and Ottawa already has or does get its EL club, would the New Hampshire franchise opt for the Great White North with New Britain filling the hole in the Granite State?   
The beautiful new stadium in Manchester – once called Merchantsauto.com Stadium and now known as Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (say that five times fast) – certainly has better amenities than New Britain Stadium, which has been in need of an infrastructural facelift for a few years now.
The article in ballparkdigest.com contained a press release from the city of Ottawa which stated, “Staff today (February 10) tabled a report …, which recommends that the City negotiate a long-term lease for the use of the stadium with Beacon Sports Capital Partners as the authorized representative for a stipulated professional baseball franchise that is a member of the AA Eastern League of Minor League Baseball.  This could potentially mean the return of AA baseball to Ottawa as early as the spring of 2013.”
Are those the New England ties that were referred to the Courant by a source said to be a team spokesman?  The ballparkdigest.com article said Beacon Sports Capital Partners is Boston-based.
A Binghamton Press and Sun Bulletin blog released statements from the B-Mets that the club hasn’t been sold, hasn’t even been contacted about selling and thus isn’t moving.  An interview with Eastern League President Joe McEacharn on the website offered the following quote:
"It's fair to say that the league is involved in an exploratory process to make a determination on whether Ottawa is a good fit for the Eastern League. We have not made a decision, nobody has asked to relocate, we're not even considering a club moving there. What we're trying to make a determination on is if Ottawa fits and will improve the Eastern League.”
So it’s plain to see that lots of stuff is going on behind closed doors leaving speculation our only avenue. But does that avenue intersect with South Main Street and John Karbonic Way?  It’s all guesswork at this juncture.



Saturday, March 3, 2012

2011-12 BOYS BASKETBALL LEAGUE TOURNAMENTS


For  anybody interested in a comprehensive view of the results from the various league tournaments in Connecticut boys high school basketball ...


2011-12 BOYS BASKETBALL LEAGUE TOURNAMENTS
Central Connecticut Conference
1.      Hartford Public
2.      Windsor
3.      Northwest Catholic
4.      Farmington
5.      Manchester
6.      Middletown
7.      East Hartford
8.      Maloney
9.      Bristol Eastern
10.  Bloomfield
11.  Berlin
12.  Glastonbury
13.  East Catholic
14.  Newington
15.  New Britain
16.  Simsbury

First Round
Hartford Public 61, Simsbury 54
Bristol Eastern 57, Maloney 52
Farmington 61, East Catholic 42
Manchester 65, Glastonbury 55
Windsor 74, New Britain 65
East Hartford 71, Bloomfield 61
NW Catholic 50, Newington 29
Middletown 58, Berlin 42

Quarterfinals
Windsor 79, East Hartford 77
NW Catholic 75, Middletown 41
Hartford Public 72, Bristol Eastern 53
Manchester 55, Farmington 53

Semifinals
Windsor 74, NW Catholic 66
Manchester 69, Hartford Public 67

Final
Windsor 103, Manchester 72

Constitution State Conference
Seedings
1.      Capital Prep
2.      Kaynor Tech
3.      Classical Magnet
4.      Goodwin Tech
5.      University
6.      Wilcox Tech
7.      Putnam
8.      Cheney Tech

Quarterfinals
Capital Prep 92, Cheney Tech 48
Kaynor Tech 90, Putnam 47
Classical 79, Wilcox Tech 51
University 69, Goodwin Tech 58

Semifinals
Kaynor Tech 70, Classical 60
University 78, Capital Prep 76

Final
Kaynor Tech 75, University 66

Eastern Connecticut Conference
Seedings
1.      New London
2.      Waterford
3.      Stonington
4.      NFA
5.      Windham
6.      Ledyard
7.      Tourtellotte
8.      East Lyme
9.      Woodstock
10.  Bacon
11.  Griswold
12.  Plainfield
13.  St. Bernard

First Round
Bacon 65, Tourtellotte 64
East Lyme 76, Woodstock 52
NFA 77, St. Bernard 54
Ledyard 68, Griswold 50
Windham 65, Plainfield 37

Quarterfinals
Waterford 74, Bacon 50
New London 83, East Lyme 55
Ledyard 67, Stonington 54
NFA 56, Windham 36

Semifinals
Ledyard 77, Waterford 66
New London 73, NFA 64

Final 
New London 93, Ledyard 64

Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference
Seedings
1.      St. Joseph
2.      Trinity Catholic
3.      Ridgefield
4.      Bassick
5.      Westhill
6.      Stamford
7.      Danbury
8.      Bridgeport Central

Quarterfinals
Bassick 70, Westhill 59
Bpt. Central 62, St. Joseph 58
Trinity 62, Danbury 56
Ridgefield 50, Stamford 46

Semifinals
Bassick 75, Bpt. Central 62
Trinity 52, Ridgefield 44

Final
Bassick 62, Trinity 48

Naugatuck Valley League
Quarterfinals
Holy Cross 78, St. Paul 56
Wilby 61, Woodland 57
Watertown 71, Naugatuck 62
Crosby 98, Wolcott 72

Semifinals
Holy Cross 71, Crosby 66
Watertown 63, Wilby 55

Final
Watertown 72, Holy Cross 61

Berkshire League
Semifinals
Gilbert 82, Nonnewaug 32
Northwestern 65, Terryville 58

Final
Gilbert 93, Northwestern 84 OT

North Central Connecticut Conference
Seedings
1.      Enfield
2.      Avon
3.      Coventry
4.      Windsor Locks
5.      East Granby
6.      Granby
7.      SMSA
8.      Suffield

Quarterfinals
Windsor Locks 60, East Granby 52
Avon 35, SMSA 32
Coventry 58, Granby 49
Enfield 55, Suffield 21

Semifinals
Coventry 72, Avon 66
Enfield 61, Windsor Locks 33

Final
Enfield 67, Coventry 35

Shoreline Conference
Seedings
1.      Cromwell
2.      Coginchaug
3.      Valley Regional
4.      Haddam-Killingworth
5.      Old Saybrook
6.      Old Lyme
7.      Hyde
8.      Hale-Ray

Quarterfinals
Valley Regional 55, Old Lyme 44
Coginchaug 54, Hyde 41
Cromwell 51, Hale-Ray 44
H-K 54, Old Saybrook 49

Semifinals
Valley 56, Coginchaug 50
Cromwell 47, H-K 40

Final
Cromwell 64, Valley 48

SouthWest Conference
Seedings
1.      Immaculate
2.      Kolbe Cathedral
3.      Notre Dame-Fairfield
4.      Bunnell
5.      Brookfield
6.      Weston
7.      Masuk
8.      Stratford

Quarterfinals
Masuk 61, Kolbe 59
Bunnell 57, Brookfield 54
ND-Ffld. 64, Weston 45
Immaculate 80, Stratford 70

Semifinals
ND-Ffld 64, Masuk 56
Immaculate 60, Bunnell 51

Final
Immaculate 64, ND-Ffld 53

Southern Connecticut Conference
Seedings
1.      Hillhouse
2.      Fairfield Prep
3.      Career
4.      Branford
5.      Amity
6.      Hamden
7.      Daniel Hand
8.      Wilbur Cross
9.      North Haven
10.  Xavier
11.  Cheshire
12.  Foran
13.  Lyman Hall
14.  Shelton

First Round
Career 74, Shelton 47
Lyman Hall 53, Branford 49
Amity 64, Foran 46
Hamden 65, Cheshire 54
Xavier 64, Hand 55
Wilbur Cross 66, North Haven 59

Quarterfinals
Lyman Hall 54, Amity 41
Hillhouse 66, Cross 65
Career 61, Hamden 51
Fairfield Prep 69, Xavier 61

Semifinals
Career 73, Fairfield Prep 52
Hillhouse 62, Lyman Hall 46

Final
Career 60, Hillhouse 55