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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Who's No. 1 now?

With Wilbur Cross beating Hillhouse 62-59 on Tuesday, that will mean a new No. 1 team atop the New Haven Register Top 10 poll. It would see Cross would be the likely candidate, being No. 2 last week and beating the top team.
But I don't believe it will be unanimous. Trinity Catholic, Windsor and even New London could get some consideration, assuming all win their remaining games this week. My vote? If you beat the top team and you are in the top five, you belong at No. 1: the Governors of Wilbur Cross.

Cross has been in this spot before, an undefeated team making its way toward the playoffs. That team in 2000, led by Jason Benton, won its first 24 games before falling to Bridgeport Central in the quarterfinals. It's been 23 years since Cross last won a state championship (1985).
It will be interesting to see how the Governors fare the rest of the way in the SCC, how they handle the pressure of being No. 1 - something Hillhouse became very accustomed to.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

1 vs. 2

I have to admit, I've been fired up about this Wilbur Cross-Hillhouse game since Friday evening, even more so after Maloney lost and Cross moved up to No. 2 in today's New Haven Register Top 10 poll.

The first 1-2 matchup I ever attended came 20 years ago when my alma mater, Stratford High, the No. 2 football team in the state at the time, hosted No. 1 Middletown. Although Middletown had gained a pair of losses that week due to using an ineligible played during a blowout loss, Middletown was still the state's top team. You could almost feel the importance and the magnitude of the game that day and the game lived up to the hype. No. 2 beat No. 1 and Stratford went on to finish No. 1 in the final Register poll.

There's always a little more interest and hype when No. 1 actually plays No. 2. Even the Bowl Championship Series got it right - once. No. 2 Texas dethroned No. 1 Southern Cal at the Rose Bowl two years ago and the TV ratings went through the roof - unlike the ratings from this past BCS title game between Ohio State and LSU, the alleged top two teams in the nation.

Granted, polls are subjective and don't mean a whole heck of a lot in the grand scheme of things. And outside of New Haven, maybe a lot of people won't care, and won't attend tonight's game at the New Haven Athletic Center at 6 p.m. But both teams are 9-0 and Cross is the only team to beat Hillhouse, the two-time defending champion, since 2005.

So it just might be worth it to give up the game you were going to this evening and make the trip to New Haven to watch our Clash of the Titans, as the headline reads this morning. For $5, it might be worth your while.

Just get there early.

Charlie Bentley suspended

Legendary Harding-Bridgeport head boys' basketball coach Charlie Bentley has been suspended indefinitely from both his teaching and coaching duties for allegedly slapping a female student at the school last week, according to Tuesday's edition of the Connecticut Post.
Bentley, who is among the state's all-time leaders with over 600 victories, did not coach in Harding's overtime loss at Trinity Catholic last week. According to the Post, the alleged incident occurred on the day of that particular game last Friday. Assault charges have been filed by the mother of the girl in question.
Bentley, a West Haven resident and the dean of students at the school, will remain on administrative leave until the incident is resolved.