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Monday, August 1, 2011

Harding's Bentley retires

In a spot normally reserved for golf, I think this is a special reason to delve into high school basketball.

Charlie Bentley, second all time with 655 victories, has retired after 34 years as Harding's boys' basketball coach. That includes nine state championships.

In a story reported by the Connecticut Post, Bentley, 60, made it official on Monday. Bentley lives in West Haven.

It was a tough final year for the Presidents, going 10-12. I'm fortunate I got to see and cover his final game, a 56-54 overtime loss to Hillhouse in the opening round of the Class LL state tournament. This was not even close to one of Bentley's vintage teams, but the team came back from a 14-point deficit to force overtime and by all rights should have won that game.

Still one of my favorite games was the 1988 Class LL championship between St. Joes and Harding at CCSU -a true classic won by St. Joes. Ask anyone who saw the game and they will tell you the exact same thing. Boobie Wright and Malcolm Leak for Harding and Tommy Montelli and Marvin Saddler for St. Joes.

One of the game's true legends has moved on.

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