High-SchoolConnecticut: Basketball

POWERADE hoops rankings: Final

March, 20, 2012
3/20/12
5:04
PM ET
St. Joseph opened the season ranked No. 1 in the POWERADE state rankings, and that's exactly where the Cadets finish. Senior Timajh Parker turned in an exceptional season, and he came up big in the Class LL state championship game, leading St. Joseph past Hillhouse, 62-54.

The Cadets lost just one game on the season, a blip at hands of Bridgeport Central in late February, but other than that they were consistently the best team in the state. St. Joseph beat quality teams like New London (twice), Trinity Catholic and Ridgefield (twice) before taking out Hillhouse in the championship game.

Career finishes the season ranked No. 2 after defeating Northwest Catholic to win the Class L title. Both of the Panthers losses this season came to No. 3 Hillhouse (both by a single point), but Career avenged those setbacks by winning the third meeting, 60-55 on Feb. 28.

Looking forward to 2012-13, the early favorites for the top spot would have to be Hillhouse and Northwest Catholic. Both teams came just short of winning state titles this season, and they have major talent coming back next year.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. St. Joseph (25-1) — Last week: No. 2
  2. Career (26-2) — Last week: No. 3
  3. Hillhouse (26-2) — Last week: No. 4
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).

POWERADE hoops rankings: Week 14

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
4:20
PM ET
The state tournament is down to the final stages, with semifinal matchups set for this week and championship games set for this weekend. New London remains at No. 1 in the POWERADE state rankings after holding off former No. 2 Windsor in double overtime, but that may not have been the Whalers' biggest postseason hurdle. Up next in the Class LL semifinals is St. Joseph, the new No. 2 team. St. Joseph was victorious when the teams met on Dec. 28.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. New London (23-2) — Last week: No. 1
  2. St. Joseph (23-1) — Last week: No. 3
  3. Career (23-1) — Last week: No. 4
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

For the POWERADE FAB 50, click here.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).

POWERADE hoops rankings: Week 13

March, 6, 2012
3/06/12
11:46
AM ET
The regular season has come to an end, and it's tournament time in Connecticut. Several of the state's top teams stumbled to the finish line, however, as Hillhouse, Hartford Public, Capital Prep and Northwest Catholic all lost games in the final week.

The state tournament offers a chance for redemption, as all of those teams are title contenders. Northwest Catholic, led by junior forward Kuran Iverson, is the No. 1 seed in the Class L tourney. Hillhouse, led by senior guard Andre Anderson, is the No. 2 seed in Class LL.

New London, which opened the season at No. 1 in the POWERADE state rankings, returns to the top spot this week. The Whalers are the No. 5 seed in Class LL, and senior guard Kris Dunn is determined to defend the state championship they won last season.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. New London (20-2) — Last week: No. 2
  2. Windsor (22-1) — Last week: No. 4
  3. St. Joseph (20-1) — Last week: No. 3
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

POWERADE hoops rankings: Week 12

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
4:33
PM ET
After making it through the regular season undefeated and in the No. 1 spot in the state rankings, St. Joseph suffered its first loss last week in the opening round of the FCIAC tournament. With the defeat, St. Joe's drops to No. 3 in the rankings and Hillhouse ascends from the No. 2 spot to take over at the top.

St. Joseph went through a similar scenario last year, following up a hugely successful regular season with a first-round loss in the FCIAC tourney. The Cadets rebounded to win the state championship, however, so this isn't a disaster by any stretch.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. Hillhouse (21-0) — Last week: No. 2
  2. New London (19-2) — Last week: No. 3
  3. St. Joseph (20-1) — Last week: No. 1
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

POWERADE hoops rankings: Week 11

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
2:08
PM ET
The biggest matchup of the week lived up to the billing, as No. 2 Hillhouse toppled then-No. 8 Career, 47-46 at the buzzer. Career guard Kenny Armstead scored on a drive with five seconds to play to tie the game at 46, and Hillhouse senior Andre Anderson took the ensuing inbound and raced up court. Anderson fired an off-balance three at the buzzer and missed, but a foul was called. Anderson stepped to the line with no time on the clock and hit the second free throw to end the game.

The loss drops Career to No. 10 in the rankings, while undefeated Hillhouse remains at No. 2 behind St. Joseph.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. St. Joseph (18-0) — Last week: No. 1
  2. Hillhouse (20-0) — Last week: No. 2
  3. New London (18-2) — Last week: No. 4
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).

POWERADE hoops rankings: Week 10

February, 14, 2012
2/14/12
3:39
PM ET
The POWERADE state basketball rankings remain unchanged from last week, as none of the teams in the top 10 stumbled. St. Joseph remains at No. 1, while Hillhouse is lurking behind in the No. 2 spot. Hillhouse may be able to close the gap a bit on Feb. 20, when they square off against No. 8 Career Academy.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. St. Joseph (16-0) — Last week: No. 1
  2. Hillhouse (18-0) — Last week: No. 2
  3. Northwest Catholic (16-1) — Last week: No. 3
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).

POWERADE hoops rankings: Week 9

February, 7, 2012
2/07/12
1:49
PM ET
There was little movement in the POWERADE state rankings this week, with No. 1 St. Joseph, No. 2 Hillhouse and No. 3 Northwest Catholic enjoying easy wins. But the bottom of the rankings did see some shuffling, as losses by Trinity Catholic, Ridgefield and Wilby (formerly Nos. 8, 9 and 10, respectively) made room for three new teams to jump into the Top 10.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. St. Joseph (14-0) — Last week: No. 1
  2. Hillhouse (15-0) — Last week: No. 2
  3. Northwest Catholic (14-1) — Last week: No. 3
Click here for complete POWERADE state rankings.
It's been several weeks now since we've seen any movement at the top of the Connecticut POWERADE state rankings, and the status quo reigns again this week. No. 1 St. Joseph rode senior forward Timajh Parker to a pair of wins, while No. 2 Hillhouse and No. 3 Northwest Catholic also avoided any upsets.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. St. Joseph (12-0) — Last week: No. 1
  2. Hillhouse (13-0) — Last week: No. 2
  3. Northwest Catholic (11-1) — Last week: No. 3
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.
The Connecticut POWERADE state rankings remain unchanged from last week, as each team in the top 10 took care of business. St. Joseph enjoyed an easy win over Danbury to hold on to the No. 1 spot, while Hillhouse and Northwest Catholic check in at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. St. Joseph (11-0) — Last week: No. 1
  2. Hillhouse (11-0) — Last week: No. 2
  3. Northwest Catholic (10-1) — Last week: No. 3
Click here for complete POWERADE state rankings.

POWERADE hoops rankings: Week 6

January, 18, 2012
1/18/12
2:09
PM ET
The top two teams in the Connecticut POWERADE state rankings remain undefeated, but No. 3 Northwest Catholic suffered its first loss of the season at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.

The defeat won't hurt Northwest Catholic very much in this week's rankings, as it came to an out-of-state DeMatha (Md.) squad. But it will be interesting to see how the Indians respond.

Ridgefield climbs into the top five for the first time this season, but it won't be easy for the Tigers to stay there. They have dates with Danbury (7-1) on Friday and No. 9 Trinity Catholic (7-3) on Tuesday.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. St. Joseph (11-0) — Last week: No. 1
  2. Hillhouse (10-0) — Last week: No. 2
  3. Northwest Catholic (8-1) — Last week: No. 3
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.
Saturday is going to be very busy for two of Connecticut's top basketball teams, as Windsor and Northwest Catholic are both set to play out-of-state opponents as part of the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. Hoophall is a pretty great event that always draws top talent from around the nation (the No. 1 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 and the No. 1 player in the ESPNU 100 will be participating), and it should be fun to see how a couple of CT's best teams stack up.

Let's take a closer look at the marquee matchups.

Hoophall Classic Preview

The Game:
Windsor (7-1) vs. Springfield Central (7-0)
Saturday, 12 p.m.
at Springfield College

The Players:
Windsor (7-1) is No. 4 in the POWERADE state rankings, but the team is coming off its first loss of the season after dropping a 63-60 decision to East Catholic on Tuesday, so the Warriors could really use a big win on Saturday. Springfield Central is currently ranked No. 19 in Massachusetts by ESPN Boston, so Windsor can't afford the kind of sloppiness that hurt them against East Catholic. The Warriors need good performances from the sharpshooting duo of senior guards Garey Allen and Jerry Buchanan. Combined, Allen and Buchanan average 32 points per game, and both shoot better than 40 percent from 3-point land. Allen is averaging more than seven assists per game as well. It they can control the perimeter and handle the bulk of the scoring, Windsor should come out on top.

The Prediction:
Windsor 68, Springfield Central 62
The Game:
Northwest Catholic (8-0) vs. DeMatha (16-0)
Saturday, 8 p.m.
at Springfield College

The Players:
Unlike most of the teams Northwest Catholic has played this season, DeMatha stacks up to the Indians, talent-wise. In fact, DeMatha is almost certainly more talented. Just like Northwest Catholic relies on the 1-2 punch of junior small forward Kuran Iverson and senior shooting guard Zach Lewis, DeMatha rolls out senior forward Jerami Grant (No. 43 in the ESPNU 100) and senior point guard James Robinson (No. 48). The problem for Northwest Catholic is that DeMatha goes even deeper, especially with big men. Iverson is forced to play center defensively most of the time, but DeMatha has legitimate big men who will be happy to hammer away at the undersized Indians. Iverson needs to come through with a man-sized performance on the boards in order to keep Northwest Catholic in this one, and Lewis will need to put the ball in the basket.

The Prediction:
DeMatha 74, Northwest Catholic 58

Disagree with these predictions? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and let me hear it.

POWERADE hoops rankings: Hello, 2012

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
11:53
AM ET
The top five remains unchanged in this week's POWERADE state rankings, as most of Connecticut's ranked teams sailed through the first full week of 2012 without any problems.

No. 1 St. Joseph used two great performances from senior forward Timajh Parker to move to 7-0 on the season, while No. 2 Hillhouse and No. 3 Northwest Catholic kept pace.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. St. Joseph (7-0) — Last week: No. 1
  2. Hillhouse (8-0) — Last week: No. 2
  3. Northwest Catholic (6-0) — Last week: No. 3
Click here for complete POWERADE state rankings.
The weekly Stock Watch was impressed with the way two of the state's top basketball teams kicked off the new year, and two stars in particular handled their business last week.

STOCK WATCH

UP — Kris Dunn, New London
The senior guard is the top-rated player in Connecticut, and he made his case as the best player in all of New England when he led New London to a 66-55 win over St. Rapheal (R.I.) on Saturday night. St. Rapheal is considered to be the top dog in Rhode Island, coming off a state championship last year. But Dunn was unstoppable, posting 32 points and 22 (!) rebounds in the victory. Check out this recap by ESPN Boston writer Brendan Hall and you'll understand what made Dunn's performance so special. His stock is already high, but games like this keep him in the UP category.

UP — Zach Lewis, Northwest Catholic
Lewis has already had some monster games this season, including a 43-point performance in a win over New Britain in December. But still, he tends to fly under the radar because Northwest Catholic junior forward Kuran Iverson is one of the nation's top prospects in the Class of 2013. Last week, Lewis was the main man for the Indians, pumping in 22 and 26 points as Northwest Catholic defeated Farmington and Southington, respectively.

Have a candidate for Stock Watch? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and let me know.

Spotlight matchup for Dunn

January, 6, 2012
1/06/12
4:11
PM ET
This is shaping up to be a showcase weekend for Kris Dunn, as the senior guard will lead his New London team into one of its biggest games of the regular season against St. Raphael Academy (R.I.) on Saturday. Both teams won state championships last year, but that may not even be the most intriguing subplot.

Dunn's individual matchup against St. Raphael senior guard Charles Correa is also highly anticipated in my circle. Dunn is the top senior in Connecticut, while Correa is widely regarded as the best player in Rhode Island. It should be an intriguing matchup, and ESPNU recruiting expert Adam Finkelstein breaks it down in a Tale of the Tape for ESPN Boston.

From Finkelstein's report:
Dunn’s size, length, and versatility are at the heart of what helped to propel him atop the national rankings this summer. This weekend, it could be those same tools that prove to be the deciding factor in his match-up with Correa. The St. Raphael guard may actually have a slight edge in terms of sheer offensive skills, but when those skills are put to the test in the context of a full court game, Dunn’s total package could prove too much to handle.

The story is worth a read. You can check out the entire piece by clicking here.

Personally, I think Dunn is going to get the better of this one. He's taken his game to a new level this season, and that includes defense. Plus, he's on a serious roll right now — last week, he posted a triple-double (31 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists) in a win over Weaver.

Agree? Disagree? Either way, let me know what you think on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).
Neither of the top two teams in the Connecticut POWERADE state rankings lost last week, but there has been a change at the top of the board anyway.

Hillhouse did nothing wrong in dropping from No. 1 to No. 2, winning its only game last week in comfortable fashion. But St. Joseph was extremely impressive in beating Archbishop Molloy (N.Y.) and No. 6 New London to win the Northeast Christmas Classic Tournament. On the strength of those victories, St. Joseph moves into the No. 1 spot for the first time this season.

Trinity Catholic and Fairfield Prep suffered the biggest drops of the week, as the Crusaders lost to New London and fell from No. 4 to No. 7. Fairfield Prep lost to Warde and slipped from No. 5 to No. 9.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. St. Joseph (5-0) — Last week: No. 2
  2. Hillhouse (6-0) — Last week: No. 1
  3. Northwest Catholic (3-0) — Last week: No. 3
Click here for complete POWERADE state rankings.

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