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Friday, March 14, 2008

The final showdowns

Here are the brief breakdowns of the state championship games on Saturday.

Class LL brings us the intriguing matchup of Trinity Catholic vs. Crosby, the same matchup from 2004 and 2005 in Division I. The two teams split those games. It will be interesting to see how much Trinity decides to run with Crosby.
Prediction: I picked Crosby to beat Windsor before it started. I stand by the Bulldogs.

Class L brings us this year's version of the Hoosiers. Lyman Hall may be seeded eighth, but after a 1-19 campaign a year ago, NO ONE outside of tht locker room expected the Trojans to be here. Those kids need to be commended on the job they have done, beating Wilbur Cross and EO Smith in the last two games to get here.
But there is one more hurdle to climb, a big one at that. Maloney got to this game at Gampel last year, only to have Tyrone Gardner drop 37 points on the Spartans and win the L title. The Spartans lost to Windsor by 40 points in the CCC Tournament semifinals before making this run, including a 72-50 win over New London, the team I picked to win.
My new prediction: since both New London and Cross are sitting home, I will take Maloney - but in a closer game than people will expect.

Class M has Hartford Public with former Northwest Catholic standout guard Kurt Reis coaching them, versus Stratford, winners of its last 13 games. I think this should be an uptempo game. and I'm interested to see how Stratford holds its own rebounding against Public.
Prediction: I picked Hartford Public before the start of the tournament. As hard as it is to pick against my alma mater Stratford, I will stick eith Public to win at Central Connecticut.

Class S features two former champions in this decade, Kolbe Cathedral and Bloomfield. Both teams should be looking to create turnovers off full-court defense, leading to fast-break opportunities. A pretty damn good game to start the day.
Prediction: Kolbe was my pick to start. I see no reason to change it.

If you are going: the CIAC will likely be charging separate admissions of $7 apiece for Class S and M. Gampel will have one admission for $10. For those living in Waterbury thinking about watching it on TV: there are more than 10,000 seats at Gampel. Make the trip.

Suggested restaurant: Willington Pizza on Route 32. If you take I-84 North to Exit 68, take right off exit. Contiue until you hit Route 32 and take a left. Restaurant is up on left. You will not be sorry.

Should be a great day if you are a hoops junkie like myself.