Local Teams Have Strong Tournament Performances

Four local teams advanced to the state tournament semifinals in their respective sports this past week. The East Catholic boys and girls lacrosse teams, Glastonbury boys lacrosse and South Windsor boys volleyball each put together multiple impressive team performances, with Glastonbury and South Windsor outperforming their seeds.

East Catholic’s lacrosse teams have both advanced to the Class S semifinals as No. 3 seeds.  In the boys tournament, the Eagles blew away No. 14 Rocky Hill and No. 6 Bacon Academy by scores of 19-2 and   17-3. In the first win, Jake Tellers was on fire, scoring 8 goals, and Michael Bazzano fired in 4 goals. Tellers kept it up against Bacon, scoring 6 goals. Connor Race scored 4 and Nick Campagnone 3. East Catholic, now 15-3, will face No. 2 Somers (18-2) Wednesday at Suffield High.

“Team has continued to execute well this post season in all phases of game,” boys head coach Jim Finlay said. “We are winning the face-off battle and play great team defense and aggressive, unsettled offense. Somers will be another great challenge for us. They are a great program and know how to win. You have to go through Somers to have a chance to win it all.”

In the girls tournament, the Eagles took down No. 14 Waterford 13-5 and No. 6 Stonington 15-11. Alexa Weber and Macy Wilcox scored 5 and 4 goals against Waterford, and Weber was unstoppable two days later, firing in 9 goals against SHS. Keily Callahan made 11 saves in the win. East Catholic, now 18-2 will battle No. 2 Canton (18-2) Tuesday night at Southington.

The Glastonbury boys, seeded No. 7 in LL, defeated No. 23 Greenwich 11-5 before edging second-seeded Newtown 9-8 in an overtime thriller. In the first win, Alex Turi, Nolan Flood and Kevin Tierney each scored twice, and Garrett Gagnon made 13 saves. Turi and Flood were the heroes against NHS, with Turi leading the team with 3 goals and Flood scoring the game-winner. The Tomahawks, now 13-5, will travel to Fairfield Prep on Wednesday to face No. 6 Ridgefield, which is 13-4.

“Our Newtown quarter final win was a very gutsy performance by our team,” Glastonbury head coach Scott Hinchey said. “We battled from being down 4-1 in the fist half, 5-3 at half time to tie it up and then went down 2 goals with less than 6 minutes left. We kept battling and found ways to make plays down the stretch.  I credit our defense for stepping up and playing great team defense vs an explosive Newtown attack. Garret made some nice stops in goal.  Defensive midfielders Hunter Wallace, Carson Mascheck, and Gino Nuzzolo made some great plays in transition to jump start our offense, which was the difference in the game.”

“For tonight’s game against Ridgefield, we need to play better on offense by limiting our turnovers and winning our matchups. We’ve played with great balance all season and need that to continue. We also feel that this game will come down to ground balls and who wins more possessions for their team. We look forward to the opportunity tonight and know it will take 48 minute battle of playing relentless as a team.”

South Windsor boys volleyball, seeded fifth, advanced to the M semifinals with a 3-2 win over No.4 New Canaan last Thursday after receiving a first-round bye. The Bobcats won the first two sets 25-16 and    25-21 and withstood a strong CHS comeback attempt to take the decisive set 18-16. They received 22 kills and 20 digs from Max Iacovelli, 47 assists and 15 digs from Braden Goodale, and 22 digs and 4 aces by Nate Grivers. South Windsor was unable to advanced to the state finals for the second consecutive season however, as it was swept by top-seeded Newington Monday at Glastonbury, ending 2018 14-8. Iacovelli and Colin Ryan smacked 10 and 8 kills and Grivers earned 14 digs.

BASEBALL

Nine teams qualified for the state tournament, with South Windsor and East Catholic both advancing to the state quarterfinals. South Windsor, the No, 2 seed in LL, defeated No. 31 Farmington and No. 15 New Britain in the first two rounds. In the 3-0 first round win, Jason Ray had arguably the best performance of his career. Ray tossed a no-hitter, striking out 6 batters. Fellow senior Jimmy Tamburro smacked a 2-run single. Will Nowak also had an excellent performance the next day against New Britain. The Bobcats season came to an end on Saturday against No. 7 Amity, with the defense and offense struggling in the 7-1 loss. They committed 5 errors, with runs scoring in the fifth and sixth with the help of dropped third strikes, an errant pickoff throw, and a dropped pop fly as the result of a collision. The offense also left a number of runners in scoring position against Ben Lodewick and John Lumpinski. South Windsor ended the 2018 season 20-3.

East Catholic, seeded No. 13 in M, defeated No. 20 Suffield and No. 29 Plainville to reach the quarterfinals. The Eagles routed Suffield 14-2 behind Anthony Mozzicato, who struck out 10 in 5.2 innings and held SHS to 2 hits. Emilio Acosta and Payton Stinson each had 2 hits. Suffield ended the season 11-10. Jake Casey was elite the next day against Plainville in a 7-0 shutout, striking out 14 in the one-hitter. Acosta and Stinson each knocked 2 hits and RBI. Unfortunately, East Catholic’s pitching was very poor in the quarters against No. 12 St. Joseph, as the team lost by two despite scoring 11 runs. The Eagles final record was 15-8.

Glastonbury, No. 13 in LL, was the one other local team that won a playoff game. The Tomahawks shut out No. 20 Shelton 6-0 in the first round. They were on the other side of a shutout in the second round, losing 2-0 to No. 4 Cheshire.  The 2018 season ends 14-8.

Enfield, Rockville and Ellington fell in the first round of the LL and M tournaments. Enfield, No. 18 in LL, was edged 4-3 at New Britain. The Eagles scored two runs in the top of the seventh on extra-base hits by Brett Reedy and Matt Falk but allowed a walk-off hit to Michael Gajda a few minutes later. EHS finished 12-9. No. 15 Rockville was completely shut down on offense by No. 18 Ledyard, losing 1-0. Ken Turner struck out 10 Rams and allowed just 1 hit. RHS was 13-8 in 2018. No. 24 Ellington suffered a tough loss to No. 9 Seymour, falling 15-3. Ellington finished 10-11.

SOFTBALL

South Windsor and Ellington each won playoff games, with South Windsor advancing to the LL quarterfinals.

The No. 9 Bobcats defeated No. 24 Newington 2-1 and then No. 8 Bristol 4-0 in the second round behind junior ace Maria Hanchuk. Between the two complete games, Hanchuk allowed four hits and no earned runs, struck out 18 batters and walked two. Against Newington, freshman Kayla Vesco made a memorable state tournament debut, driving in both runs on two hits. At Bristol Eastern the next day, the pair each had two hits and an RBI double. South Windsor’s run came to an end in the quarterfinals on Friday against top-seeded Southington, as it lost a 1-0 heartbreaker. Kara Zazzaro tossed a perfect game against the Bobcats for six innings, but Hanchuk and Taylor Derby attempted to start a rally by opening the seventh inning with two singles. Zazzaro got back on track however, ending the game and South Windsor’s season by striking out the final two batters, finishing with 13. Hanchuk was again outstanding, striking out eight and allowing just two hits, one an RBI single. The Bobcats end the 2018 season with a record of 17-6.

Ellington, seeded No. 18 in M, earned a tournament win by routing No. 15 Wolcott Tech 11-2 in the first round. Like South Windsor, the Knights season came in a tough 1-0 loss, this time against second-seeded North Branford in eight innings. Ellington stranded a runner at third in the top of the eight, and North Branford captured the win in the bottom of the frame on a walk-off single by Katy Pederson. EHS was held to two hits. It ends the season with a record of 15-7.

Enfield, Glastonbury and Rockville each qualified for the state tournament but lost in the first round. Enfield, No. 11 in LL, was upset 6-3 by No. 22 Staples. The Eagles were held to 4 hits. Maggie Marqluardt went 2-3 for an RBI and Valerie Pino 1-3 with an RBI. EHS ends 2018 14-7. Glastonbury, No. 19 in LL, was edged 8-7 by No. 14 Stamford. The Tomahawks scored four runs in the sixth to tie the score, but Amy Covino drove in the winning run in the bottom of the inning with a sacrifice fly. GHS, with just one senior, ended the season 12-9. Rockville, No. 23 in L, had a disappointing end to the season at No. 10 Guilford, being blown out 18-3. Mary Evans drove in six runs for Guilford. The Rams finished 8-12.

BOYS LACROSSE

Besides East Catholic and Glastonbury, three other squads (Ellington, Tolland and RHAM) qualified for the state tournament, with Ellington and Tolland advancing to the full tournament by winning their qualifying games. Ellington, ranked No. 11 in M, was routed 18-3 by No. 6 Daniel Hand in the first round. The Knights ended the campaign 11-7. Tolland, ranked No. 17 in S, was defeated 17-6 by top-seeded St. Joseph. The Eagles finished 7-9.

GIRLS LACROSSE

Tolland, the No. 4 seed in M, was upset 16-10 by No. 13 Guilford, which has now advanced to the semifinals. Emma Prattson and Cory Mahlstedt had 4 and 3 goals for the Eagles, respectively. Nicolette Spotlow and Catherine Carrow scored 5 and 4 goals for GHS. Tolland ends the season 14-3. No. 12 Glastonbury and No. 15 South Windsor each lost in the first round of the LL tournament. Glastonbury was blown out 17-5 by No. 5 New Canaan. The Tomahawks ended 2018 9-8. South Windsor also suffered a large loss to No. 2 Cheshire, 20-8. Gabby Inkel led the Bobcats with 3 goals and Lauren Crusha and Alissa Martin each had 2. Five players scored 3 goals for Cheshire. South Windsor finished 9-9.

VOLLEYBALL

Outside of South Windsor, three other local teams made the state tournament, but unfortunately failed to win a game. Rockville, No. 7 in M, was defeated 3-1 by No. 10 Wethersfield. The Rams lost the first two sets by five and six points but bounced back to win the third 25-19. WHS took the fourth 25-20 to end their season. RHS ended 2018 10-9. In Class L, No. 11 Enfield lost to No. 6 Darien 3-1, and No. 13 Glastonbury was swept by No. 4 East Hartford. Enfield was easily defeated by Darien in the first two sets before winning the third 25-23 but was eliminated in the fourth by the same score. Meanwhile, Glastonbury was shut down by East Hartford, losing each set by at least 10 points. The Eagles end the season 11-9, and the Tomahawks 8-12.

 

 

 

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