Girls basketball teams eye the state tournament

In his second year as Tolland’s head coach, Vinnie Cianfarani will lead a talented but young Eagles team. Tolland has only one senior on this year’s team, but she is a good one, guard and captain Chelsea Domian.

Domian is committed to play at Assumption next year.

Joining her in this season’s campaign are fellow captains Courtney Akerley and Sarah Allen, both junior guards.

Last year the Eagles were 18-6, reaching the semifinals of the Class L state tournament where they lost to Bacon Academy.

Despite losing three starters from that team, Cianfarani has high expectations for 2013-2014.

“I feel that we will be a strong team, the girls have worked hard in the preseason. Returning players will need to be ready to contribute in a larger role than last season.”

One issue that may plague Tolland is size. The Eagles have only two players over 5’10”, but Cianfarani has stressed to his team that rebounding will be the key to success this season.

South Windsor

Expect big things from the Bobcats in 2013-2014. South Windsor returns all five starters from a team that went 20-4 a year ago, and lost in the quarterfinals to Glastonbury in the Class LL state tournament.

Additionally, South Windsor only lost two letter winners from last season’s varsity team.

Don Leclerc’s team will be arguably not only one of the most experienced and talented teams in the CCC, but in the state.

Leading the Bobcats will be seniors Olivia Bolden and Christina Rozie, both All-CCC selections last year.

South Windsor will also have five additional seniors in their rotation, adding depth.

The Bobcats need to continue playing their brand of basketball, which is centered on tough defense, to be successful again this year.

Coach Leclerc believes his team will contend again this year, but will face a challenge in the CCC from a tough Weaver squad, which adds two key players from Captial Prep.

Ellington

Karlee Alves leads a Knights team that will look to make a run deep into the postseason. Alves, an All-State selection last season, is on pace to score over 1,000 points in her career.

She enters her senior year with 765 career points and scored 498 points last season while averaging 22 ppg. Joining Alves will be seniors Kim McCoy, Megan Milliken, and leading rebounder Devonney Waters.

Head coach Lauren Beeler has had success in her six years with Ellington, amassing 112 wins and only 41 losses. Beeler’s Knights were 18-7 last season, finishing third in the NCCC regular season, and winning the NCCC tournament.

The Knights were a thirteen seed in the state tournament, but fell in the second round.

Although Ellington lost Jess Malone (10.8ppg) from last season, this year’s Knights team has a wealth of experience and scoring.

Expect Ellington to contend in the NCCC and state tournament again in 2013-2014.

Rockville

Rockville head coach Israel Caban says excitement is back at Rockville High School.

The Rams return a strong core of players from last season’s team that finished 7-13, just short of qualifying for the CIAC state tournament.

Rockville also finished 4-10 in the CCC East. Returning for this Rams team that made serious strides a year ago are seniors Courtney Joubert, Katherine Cutting, Hannah Steed, and Wendy Weston.

Additionally, senior Anna McCain will be an important factor on the boards for Rockville.

The Rams also have a promising incoming freshmen class that should be able to contribute this season and going forward for Rockville.

Caban believes the combination of experience and talented youth should get the Rams back to the postseason this year.

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