Boston High School: New London

New England Roundup: Connecticut

January, 30, 2013
1/30/13
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The Fairfield Prep ice hockey team has had some impressive starts in Matt Sather's 14 seasons as the program's head coach, but nothing that can match what the Jesuits have accomplished at the start of the current season.

ConnecticutFairfield Prep improved its record to 11-0-0 and remained the only unbeaten team in the state when it beat New Jersey power Don Bosco Prep, 4-2, Thursday at the Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport. Don Bosco entered the game as the No. 2-ranked team in New Jersey.

It was a 2-2 game after two periods, but Fairfield Prep senior forward Tim Edmonds scored the go-ahead goal at 4:28 of the third. The Jesuits doubled their lead on a Kenny Kochiss goal.

Fairfield Prep held Don Bosco to three shots on goal in the final period.

“This is a huge win for us,” Edmonds told MSG Varsity after the game. “Don Bosco's a great team. We were able to come out flying, and now we've got our confidence boosted. Coach [Sather] said this is a landmark day for us. I think we proved we can beat anyone we play if we play our game.”

Juniors Matt McKinney and Matt Wickman also scored for Fairfield Prep, which received 15 saves from Matt Beck.

Don Bosco (10-5-0) was playing without Robby Marsanico and Dylan Healy, two top-line forwards who were injured. Marsanico and Healy had 49 points in Don Bosco's first 14 games.

“I think they're a little better than that offensively,” Sather said. “But that's as fast a team as we've played all year. And I thought they were more physical than anyone we played this year. That was the most physical game we've played in, and I was pretty happy with the way our guys stood up to that.

BACON SELECTS LARKA
Twenty Connecticut high schools entered last week looking for a varsity football coach. That number was reduced by one Friday, when Bacon Academy hired Erik Larka.

Larka, a 35-year-old West Haven resident, was one of seven applicants brought back for a second interview. He spent four years as the freshman head coach and a varsity assistant at Law High School – his alma mater – but then left the coaching world until last season, when he was an assistant coach at Western Connecticut State.

Bacon had to find a head coach last summer, after Duane Maranda left to become the head coach at New London. The school selected Brian Enrique – an assistant under Maranda – but reopened the position after Enrique guided the Bobcats to a 2-8 record last season.

FOOTBALL MAY HAVE NEW HOME
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference is exploring the possibility of moving the state's championship football games from the University of Connecticut's Rentschler Field, which has hosted the title games for the last four years.

Poor attendance and below-expected revenue were the reasons cited for the possible move.

Rentschler Field can seat 40,000, but the largest crowd for the four championship games last year was the 4,576 that watched the Class LL championship game between Xavier and Norwich Free Academy on a Friday night. The following day a combined 5,189 showed up for the Class S, Class M and Class L championship games.

Central Connecticut State's Arute Field is reportedly being considered as a possibility for this year's title games. Arute Field has a seating capacity of 5,800 and has a turf playing surface. Rentschler Field has a natural grass surface.

CIAC PENALIZES HARDING
The CIAC fined Harding High School $500 and forced the school's boys basketball team to forfeit two games for using an academically ineligible player.

The player participated in five games, but Harding lost three of those five contests. The team forfeited victories over New Canaan and Fairfield Warde.

NOTEWORTHY
East Lyme senior Allison Stoddard collected the 1,000th point of her high school career during a 55-16 victory over Killingly on Jan. 19. … Capital Prep remained No. 1 in the Hartford Courant's girls' basketball rankings despite a 66-64 loss to Bishop Ford – one of the top teams in New York City – last week. Sophomore forward Kiah Gillespie scored 26 points for Capital Prep in the loss. … Junior Tyshon Rogers, a 6-foot-3 forward on the Crosby boys' basketball team, scored 64 points in victories over Wolcott and Seymour last week. Rogers entered the week as the state's leading scorer (30.5 ppg.).

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

August, 14, 2012
8/14/12
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New England is home to many excellent high school boys basketball coaches, but none of them can match resumes with Vito Montelli.

ConnecticutMontelli, 80, guided St. Joseph High School in Trumbull to 878 victories during his coaching career, which ended Aug. 8 when he announced his retirement. His 878-329 coaching record includes 11 state titles and the most wins by a New England high school coach.

“The numbers just lined up,” Montelli told the Hartford Courant. “I'm 80 and I coached 50 years at St. Joseph. It was time.

“I'll miss the players, the games -- everything. But retiring is the right call.”

Montelli punctuated his career by guiding St. Joseph to its second consecutive Class LL state championship in March. St. Joseph won the title by beating Hillhouse, 62-54.

Montelli's St. Joseph teams won five Class L championships, two in Class M and two in Class S. St. Joseph is the only Connecticut school to win state championships in four different classes.

Chris Watts, who served as an assistant coach under Montelli for nine seasons, was named as the program's new head coach. Watts graduated from St Joseph in 1987.

Montelli was inducted into the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005.

NOTRE DAME'S BROGNA RESIGNS
Notre Dame-Fairfield football coach Rico Brogna resigned last week, six days before Notre Dame was scheduled to begin practicing for the 2012 season.

The school has promoted former associate head coach Dawon Dicks to head coach.

Brogna, who played professional baseball for five major league teams, said heath reasons played a role in his decision to step down.

A release issued by the school said Brogna would remain with Notre Dame as the community outreach director.

“I look forward to helping Notre Dame continue to grow and prosper,” Brogna said in the release. “I have full confidence in coach Dicks and have no doubt he will lead our football program in the right direction.”

Notre Dame finished the 2011 season with a 1-9 record.

LARSON STEPS DOWN
Earlier this summer Jeff Larson resigned as the football coach at New London to accept an assistant principal's job at Classical Magnet in Hartford.

New London had a 29-5 record with three playoff appearances in Larson's three season's as the program's head coach.

MILFORD WINS LEGION TITLE
Milford Post 196 won the American Legion's Northeast Regional by beating Portland, Maine, 9-1, on Monday. The victory earned Milford a berth in the American Legion World Series, which begins Friday in Shelby, N.C.

The Milford roster is made up primarily of Foran High School players, who have spent much of the summer dealing with the loss of their former high school coach, Ken Walker. Walker died of a heart attack in June. He was 60.

Milford, the Connecticut state champion, went 5-0 in the Northeast Regional to improve its record to 30-6. Milford is 12-0 in postseason play.

Milford had a 1.60 ERA and batted .310 in the Northeast Regional.

The American Legion World Series is an eight-team, double-elimination tournament.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been reporting on high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
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Providence College-bound guard Kris Dunn joined elite company last Friday, when he became the 18th high school player in Connecticut history to score at least 2,000 career points.

ConnecticutDunn's 2,000th point came on a jump shot in the third quarter of New London's 89-54 triumph over Woodstock Academy.

Last month Dunn broke the New London career scoring record during a 71-56 victory over Norwich Free Academy. Tyson Wheeler held the previous record. Wheeler, who scored 1,807 points for New London, played professionally with the Denver Nuggets and in Europe.

“Kris broke the record of one of the all-time greats,” New London coach Craig Parker told The Day. “Any record you break that was held by Tyson Wheeler is quite an accomplishment.”

Dunn, who was recently named a McDonald's All-American, entered the Norwich Free Academy game 31 points shy of Wheeler's school record. He broke the record on a layup early in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 35 points.

FAST TRACK
Precious Holmes was at her best during Saturday's State Open track and field meet.

Holmes set two individual records and ran the anchor leg on the 4x400 relay team that set a meet record to help Hillhouse take first place with 74 points. Windsor was second with 40 points.

Holmes set meet and state records in the 300 (38.56 seconds) and the 600 (1:31.23). She held the previous record in both events.

Holmes also teamed with Johnesse Peterson, Jayvona McDaniel and Sydney Curtis on the 4x400 relay team, which prevailed in 3:57.92.

Staples took first place in the boys meet with 47 points. Hillhouse was second with 34.

(Read full post)

New England Roundup: Connecticut

February, 10, 2012
2/10/12
1:52
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Paula Hagopian's talent on the soccer field is so obvious she was named Connecticut's Gatorade Player of the Year even though her Kingswood Oxford team finished with a record below .500 last season.

ConnecticutHagopian, a senior forward, collected 13 goals and 10 assists as a senior, when Kingswood Oxford went 5-7-2. She was also the 2011 Connecticut Soccer Coaches' Association Player of the Year, and has twice been selected as an All-American by the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America.

“Paula is so strong that defenders bounce off her,” said Matt Micros, a club coach with Connecticut FC. “She can hold the ball up well and also spin defenders with ease. What she lacks in technique she more than makes up for with power and pace.”

Hagopian led Kingswood Oxford to the 2010 New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class B championship and completed her career with 56 goals and 35 assists. She will continue her soccer career at Yale next fall.

Past winners of the award include Riley Houle (2010–11, Windham), Kate McCarthy, (2009-10, Loomis Chaffee), Jessica Schloth (2008–09, St. Joseph), Alex Uscilla (2007-08, St. Joseph), and Bianca D’Agostino (2006-07, Loomis Chaffee).

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Dunn, Warren selected for McDonald's All-American

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
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The 24-player roster for the boys' McDonald's All-American game were announced on Thursday, with two New Englanders in the mix.

Kris Dunn of New London (Conn.) and T.J. Warren of Brewster Academy were selected to the East Team rosters.

For the complete roster, click here.

With 21 of its 24 players in the top 30 of the ESPNU 100, this year's game is sure to be must-see TV when East and West clash on March 28 (9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) at the United Center in Chicago.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

January, 24, 2012
1/24/12
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Marty Roos has won more hockey games than any other high school coach in Connecticut history, but it doesn't look like Roos will win anymore.

ConnecticutRoos, 76, retired from coaching Wednesday after guiding Notre Dame-Fairfield for the first nine games of the current season. The Lancers were 3-6 when he announced his decision.

"I always felt that when it came time to step down from coaching, I would know that it was time," Roos said. "Even though Notre Dame is mid-season, I believe that now is the right time."

Roos, who was born in Switzerland, was in his 21st season with Notre Dame-Fairfield. The Lancers won the Division I championship in 1999 and 2006, and finished as the Division I runner-up in 2007 and 2008.

Assistant coach Steve Hetherman was named Notre Dame-Fairfield's interim coach.

"His passion, dedication, loyalty, commitment and hard work are second to none,” Notre Dame-Fairfield athletic director Rob Bleggi said. “He is the ultimate professional and class act.”

Bleggi, who also served as an assistant coach under Roos, said Roos told him about his intention to step down on Monday. He said he was also told health was not the reason for Roos' decision.

Roos began coaching at Fairfield Prep in 1972 and moved to Notre Dame-Fairfield in 1991. He won four championships at Fairfield Prep.

Roos retired with a career record of 536-301-19.

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New England Roundup: Rhode Island

January, 12, 2012
1/12/12
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Those of a certain age remember the slogan for Timex watches: “They take a licking and keep on ticking.”

Rhode IslandThe same could be said of the St. Raphael Academy boys’ basketball team.

Defending CIAC Class L champion New London smacked the Saints upside the head last Saturday en route to a 66-55 victory at the CCRI Knight Campus Fieldhouse.

With the memory of that loss still fresh in their minds, the Saints took the floor Tuesday night for a key, early-season game against Central.

The Saints edged the Knights, 57-54, and remained atop the Interscholastic League’s new Power Points Standings with a 6-0 record (SRA is 9-1 overall).

Leading the way was SRA’s 1-2 punch of Charles Correa and Cesar Mejia.

Correa, who struggled to score 15 points against New London, led both teams with 19 points while Mejia chipped in with 18 (before the game, Mejia was honored for having scored his 1000th career point earlier in the season).

Granted, the game was marked by a series of turnovers. But when clutch time rolled around, SRA held Central (5-1, 5-2) to four free throws in the final minute.

Conversely, while the Saints were soaring, perennial state power Hendricken High’s Hawks were floundering. At the moment, the Hawks are 1-4 and rank 33rd in the Power Points standings.

Given the new rules changes imposed for this season, one of which requires a team to win at least 40 percent of its league games to qualify for post-season play, the Hawks could be in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in decades.

The top 32 teams qualify.

Hendricken absorbed a brutal 55-53 loss at the hands of arch-rival La Salle on Jan. 3, which did zero to bolster the team’s confidence.

Among other things, a lack of offense has been the proverbial Achilles’ heel for the Hawks who’ve been minus their top returning player, Lee Messier, who’s been sidelined with a sprained ankle.

(Read full post)

New England Roundup: Connecticut

November, 28, 2011
11/28/11
2:21
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Until this year, the Glastonbury High School girls' soccer program had always lacked a finishing kick.

ConnecticutGlastonbury had reached the Class LL championship game six times since 1983, and came away second best each time. That all changed when top-seeded Glastonbury defeated 18th-seeded Trumbull 2-1 Friday to win this year's Class LL title.

“I was doing this for all the [Glastonbury] girls who have been here before us,” Glastonbury senior midfielder Liz Otto said. “I'm just so excited we finally got it done.”

Otto gave Glastonbury a 1-0 lead when she headed Kayla Orozco's corner kick into the Trumbull goal with 19:45 to play. The Tomahawks doubled their lead when junior Kristen Dragotta scored with 2:41 left.

Trumbull made things interesting by scoring with 2:23 to play, but the Tomahawks hung on to finish the season with a 17-0-2 record.

In last weekend's other girls soccer championship games No. 2 Avon defeated No. 8 Farmington 2-1 to win the Class L title; No. 1 Northwest Catholic beat No. 2 Granby Memorial 4-0 in the Class M championship game; and No. 5 Immaculate defeated No. 7 Litchfield 3-0 to win the Class S title.

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New England Roundup: Connecticut

November, 10, 2011
11/10/11
4:59
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One interesting subplot that's developed during the Connecticut high school football season is the competition for the state's Gatorade Player of the Year.

ConnecticutThrough eight weeks the prime contenders are a pair of senior quarterbacks: Masuk's Casey Cochran and Cromwell's Anthony Morales.

Cochran, who won the award last year, has directed Masuk to 21 consecutive victories and may play for the best team in the state. He's completed 88 of 111 passes for 2,123 yards this season. Cochran has thrown 27 touchdown passes and has been intercepted three times.

Despite Cochran's gaudy numbers, it's Morales who leads the state in touchdown passes (30) and passing yardage (2,376). Morales, who is playing for his third coach in as many years, has completed 105 of 147 passes and has been intercepted four times. He has thrown for at least four touchdowns in five of Cromwell's eight games.

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Player Perspective: Masuk's Casey Cochran

November, 6, 2011
11/06/11
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His name is Casey Cochran, and he's the most prolific quarterback who's ever played high school football in Connecticut.

Cochran, who's in his senior season at Masuk High School in Monroe, owns the state record for career passing yards (9,797), career completions (573) and career touchdowns (104). He passed the century mark in touchdown passes when he threw for five touchdowns in a 55-6 victory over New Milford on Oct. 28.

Cochran guided New London High School to Connecticut's Class SS title in 2008 before he transferred to Masuk. His father, Jack, coached that New London team. It's one of eight teams Jack has guided to a CIAC state title (he's tied with New Canaan's Lou Marinelli for most state titles by a Connecticut head coach).

Cochran helped Masuk win the Class L title last season, when he passed for 3,345 yards and 40 touchdowns (seven interceptions). Following his junior season he was named Connectcut's Gatorade Player of the Year. Cochran has completed 88 of 111 passes for 2,097 yards and 29 touchdowns in eight games (all victories) this season. Masuk extended the program's winning streak to 21 games by beating Pomperaug 49-3 on Saturday night.

Cochran recently spoke with ESPNBoston.com and was asked him about his passing records, his decision to attend the University of Connecticut and the possibility of winning another state championship this season:

Q: You've set quite a few records this season. Are you proudest of one more than the others?

[+] EnlargeCasey Cochran
Christopher Beauchamp/ESPNHSMasuk (Conn.) QB Casey Cochran recently eclipsed the 100-touchdown-pass plateau for his career and is the state's all-time leader in scoring passes.
A: "Not necessarily. Coming into the year I had heard that there were a couple records coming up, but I tried to keep my mind away from them. I've found that not looking at the stats and just going out and playing, going out and winning games, you'll eventually get there. So my mindset has kind of shifted. Early in my career it was all about getting the best stats, the awards and everything. Quarterbacks are measured too much about their stats. I feel like wins are a lot more important than how many yards you threw for … how many touchdowns you threw. Completion percentage is also very important. There are a lot of guys who go out and throw 50 touchdowns, but they might have only completed 50 percent of their balls. I think a high completion percentage and winning percentage are the true stats people should look at."

Q: What do you consider your strength to be as a quarterback?

A: "I believe accuracy, and I believe reading coverages. That's what it's come down to the past two years – reading coverages and putting the ball where it needs to be. Getting my offense out of plays that can't work versus a defense pre-snap, and getting it to the right receiver post-snap."

Q: What was it like to play for your father and how much has he contributed to your success growing up as a football player and as a quarterback?

A: "It was a great experience playing for my father. Not many kids get to play for their father at a high level in high school. He instilled a great work ethic in me and that really carried through into my years in high school. He's taught me to have a great work ethic in everything I do -- not just in sports. If you're gonna do something, do it right. That's really rubbed off on me. I've taken that stuff to heart, and I really think that all my accomplishments have come down to hard work. He's really helped me a lot in both aspects – work ethic as well as learning the game."

Q: Are you still on pace to graduate from high school in December?

A: "Yes, and I'm supposed to start up in Storrs in January as well."

Q: What were some of the things that sold you on Connecticut as a college and a football program?

A: "First of all, it's the home-state team. It's really an honor to play for your home state. The coaching change (Connecticut hired Paul Pasqualoni to replace Randy Edsall when Edsall became Maryland's head coach). I believe Coach Pasqualoni is a very good coach. I really like the coaching staff and everyone on it. I got closer with them during the offseason, so it was a very easy choice once the [scholarship] offer came."

Q: Are you concerned at all with all of the conference reshuffling? Is that troublesome to you at all?

A: "No. I've been trying not to worry about it too much during the season. I made a commitment to Coach Pasqualoni and the UConn football team. I trust that the athletic director, the UConn president as well as the Big East commissioner will put UConn and entire Big East in a great position."

Q: Is this year's team the best team you've played on.

A: "I think every year has been a little different. I think this year we're very tight-knit as an offense. We have a lot of timing. We've done a lot of work together. Being able to do passing leagues in the winters and the summers and just the work we've put in in the offseason has contributed to us being a great offense this year. Our running back, Colin Markus, is a great runner, and he sets up a lot of our passes. The play action is when he's running so hard and the defense tends to come up a little bit. That's when we can get over the top. Our O line, coming into the year they were a pretty young O line, but they've stepped it up. As an offense together we really work together well and a lot of hard work is paying off for all of us."

New England Roundup: Connecticut

September, 28, 2011
9/28/11
2:21
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The most controversial rule in high school sports may be the “Score Management policy” Connecticut instituted for high school football in 2006.

ConnecticutAlso known as the “50-point rule,” the Score Management policy can result in a one-game suspension for any coach whose team wins a game by more than 50 points. Bridgeport Central's Dave Cadelina became the first coach penalized when he was suspended after his team beat Bassick 56-0 in the first week of the 2006 season. Central topped 50 points when a reserve running back scored in the second half.

The suspension was later lifted, but Cadelina – and the rule – made plenty of headlines.

The rule received even more publicity last season, when Cadelina's team had a 49-0 lead at halftime and punted on first down throughout the second half.

Connecticut had gone three seasons without a team violating the rule, but that ended Saturday, when Northwest Catholic defeated Weaver 52-0. The rule was modified before the 2011 season, however, and that modification allowed Northwest Catholic coach Mike Tyler to appeal the penalty and avoid a suspension.

Now when a team wins by more than 50 points the game is reviewed to determine if the winning coach used proper sportsmanship.

Here is the press released issued by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Association regarding the Northwest Catholic/Weaver game:
“After a review of reports received from both schools involved and the game officials in regards to Northwest Catholic High School's 52-0 varsity football victory over Weaver High School on Saturday, it has been determined that the proper sportsmanship protocols were followed, and that there was no violation of the CIAC Score Management policy by the winning school's head coach.”

Tyler will be able to coach this weekend's game against Bloomfield.

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New England Roundup: Connecticut

September, 1, 2011
9/01/11
11:54
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Malik Golden didn't know it at the time, but when his Cheshire Academy team defeated New Hampton (N.H.) Prep, 49-20, in the New England Prep School Athletic Council's Dan Rourke Bowl last fall, a friendship was born that would end up shaping Golden's future.

ConnecticutGolden crossed paths with New Hampton quarterback/defensive back Jake Kiley that day, and their friendship grew when each attended a football camp at Penn State last spring.

Kiley committed to Penn State earlier this summer, and then did his best to persuade Golden to do the same.

“We're going to be roommates – at least that's the plan,” Golden said last Wednesday, shortly after he committed to Penn State. “We got the best of him that day, but Jake's a great player.

“It's one of the toughest decisions I've every made in my life. To be honest I went with my gut feeling. Every person I talked to had nothing but good things to say about Penn State. I just confirmed that during my visit there [earlier this month].”

Kiley is expected to play defensive back at Penn State. Although most schools recruited Golden to play wide receiver, he may join Kiley in Penn State's defensive backfield.

“That's something I wanted to talk about during my visit,” Golden said. “Wherever the team needs me. We'll see when I get on campus.”

Golden, who is entering his senior year, made 48 receptions for 680 yards and five touchdowns in nine games last season. His best performance came against New Hampton. He rushed for 197 yards and caught nine passes for 105 yards that day.

Golden said he was also considering Boston College, Connecticut and Iowa.

“It's all done,” Golden said. “It feels good.”

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CBC stars shine at Adidas Invitational

July, 12, 2011
7/12/11
12:42
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ESPN's Paul Biancardi and John Stovall check in today from the Adidas Invitational out in Indianapolis, where they found some under-the-radar prospects within a deep pool of talent.

Highlighting that deep pool were two of the Connecticut Basketball Club's most heralded players, New London's Kris Dunn and the nation's No. 1 incoming senior, 6-foot-10 Andre Drummond.

Drummond will be pursuing a post-graduate season this fall, but where exactly is yet to be determined. Wherever he goes, he's sure to continue drawing more and more attention as the praise continues to roll in, as it did this weekend:



His physique compares to an NBA power forward right now. He uses his large, long and powerful body on the defensive end to challenge, change and protect the rim. When he goes to the glass, he is the type of player who not only gets rebounds, he takes them away from others. He is at his best offensively when he receives a pass at the elbow or mid-post area with his back to the basket and then faces up his opponents. This gives him more room to score or pass which he does very well. However, when he gets too deep on the block he often contends with two and sometimes three defenders, which shrinks his space to move and score. His free throw shooting is a work in progress, but you can see improvement. Kentucky, UConn, Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Georgetown, are in the mix with many other elite programs.




Dunn, the Class of 2012's No. 7 point guard and No. 48 overall player, is transferring from New London (Conn.) High to Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Massachusetts for his senior year. Where he was viewed as an Atlantic-10 type of player to start the high school season, his stock seems now affirmatively in the upper echelon:



He is the ultimate scoring point guard who has great size, length and is an excellent creator. Dunn has solid vision, is very good at finding open teammates and has no problem with penetration because he practically lives in the lane. He is a solid, but streaky shooter with range to 19 feet and is at his best when moving forward looking to create or score. Dunn will be a priority in the Northeast and rumor has it he may be teaming up with Drummond as a package for some lucky college program.


New England Roundup: Connecticut

July, 5, 2011
7/05/11
3:59
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At halftime of Saturday’s Governor’s Cup All-Star football game there were those who probably thought Connecticut’s eight-game winning streak against Rhode Island was in jeopardy. If so, those thoughts disappeared early in the second half.

ConnecticutConnecticut, which led by four points at halftime, scored three touchdowns in the first 7:18 of the third quarter and cruised to a 37-6 triumph over Rhode Island at Southington High School.

It was Connecticut’s 10th victory in the 13-year history of the event.

Things began to turn sour for Rhode Island when Montrell Dobbs (Ansonia) scored on a 77-yard run to help Connecticut increase its lead to 17-6.

Dobbs, who was held to two yards on five carries in the first half, finished the game with 96 yards on 10 carries. He was selected as Connecticut’s offensive MVP.

“At halftime we talked about taking care of business in our house, and that’s what we did in the second half,” Dobbs said.

Rhode Island fumbled the ball away on the next play from scrimmage. Two plays later Connecticut’s Max Delorenzo scored on a 15-yard run to help made it a 24-6 contest.

Jack DeBiase intercepted a pass on Rhode Island’s next possession, and Connecticut cashed in when Joe DellaVecchia tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brian Kelly.

Kelly also caught a 13-yard TD pass from Kyle Nolan. He had three receptions for 69 yards in the victory.

“We just had to fix some problems,” Kelly said. “Our coach [Masuk’s John Murphy] told us that if we fix our mistakes we’d win.”

Connecticut’s only TD in the first half came on a 59-yard TD catch by Temple-bound wide receiver Nainy Bah.

Matt Cassidy’s fourth point-after kick followed Kelly’s second TD reception and capped the scoring. Cassidy also made a 33-yard field goal in the first half.

The Connecticut defense set a Governor’s Cup record by holding Rhode Island to six points. It was also the first time a team didn’t score a touchdown in the contest. Rhode Island scored on two Chad Bacon field goals.

Defensive lineman Wille Maxen (Pomperaug) was named Connecticut’s defensive MVP. Maxen, who will play at Central Connecticut State next season, made three tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Murphy said although his team had a slim lead at halftime, he had plenty of confidence entering the third quarter.

“I watched this defense for two weeks so I knew how good we were,” he said. “I knew they weren’t going to score a lot of points on that defense.”

(Read full post)

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New England Roundup: Connecticut

March, 25, 2011
3/25/11
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Masuk High School coach Dave Strong has won more games than any other girls high school coach in Connecticut, but he may not win any more.

ConnecticutStrong, 66, announced his resignation Monday after winning 704 games in 35 seasons as a head coach. Strong told the New Haven Register that the move was made for health reasons.

“I’m not in danger of dying, but there are some health things I’ve ignored over the years through coaching,” Strong said.

Strong guided Masuk to the state tournament every season since the tournament was formed in 1974. The Panthers reached the state final seven times and won three state titles during that span. Masuk also won 19 league championships.

His daughter, Julia, was part of his first state championship team in 1990.

Strong was inducted into the National High School Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame in 2009.

Strong was also an assistant coach with the Masuk boys basketball program for seven seasons. In addition, he served as the school’s athletic director for 10 years before he retired in 2005.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of coaching at Masuk,” Strong told the Courant. “I’m certainly going to miss it.”

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