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East Catholic and Glastonbury off to Strong Starts as Many Girls Teams Eye Success - TheSportsDept.com

East Catholic and Glastonbury off to Strong Starts as Many Girls Teams Eye Success

Two girls’ basketball teams are 3-following the first week of the season. Glastonbury being undefeated isn’t much of a surprise. Being such a young squad, however, however, not many would have imagined East Catholic’s exceptional start.

East Catholic has dominated Bulkeley, Manchester and Bristol Central, winning each game by 24 points and allowing just over 27 points per game. The Eagles play just two seniors, and it was mostly those underclassmen stepping up in the first two games. Sophomore guard Jazymn Soto-Alston scored 17 points against Manchester after having nine against Bulkeley. Fellow junior guard Cam Pasqualoni scored 12, and freshman Lilly Ferguson was second on the team with 14 points. Senior forward Tamisha Myers led East Catholic with 17 against Bulkeley. The Eagles went 10-11 last season and lost in the first round of the Class M tournament.

Glastonbury, went 18-4 last season and won a game in the LL tournament but lost a strong senior class. It has played very well in its 3-0 start. Head coach Chris Vozzolo attributed much of the start to the team’s focus. The uptempo Tomahawks have averaged just under 66 points per game in its wins over Middletown, Avon and Rocky Hill, with the first two easy wins. Sophomore Charlotte Bass has been the star, scoring 22 points in each of the first two wins. Senior Clair Saclise had 14 against Middletown,while junior Tiffany Jefferson grabbed 10 rebounds against Avon. 

“Charlotte has been dynamic so far this season.  She has been playing with so much energy and it’s contagious to the rest of the team,” Vozzolo said. “In addition, our seniors Claire and Chelsea Tacey have been shooting the ball well for us and keeping our locker room dialed in.” 

Vozzolo is keeping his expectations in check based upon the strength of CCC opponents. 

“Our league is very balanced this year.  Early in the season, it seems that their are over a dozen teams that can compete for the league.  Things will continue to play out, and we certainly hope we are included in the top 16 and have a chance to play in the post season tournament.

RHAM has been one of the bestprograms in the area the past few seasons, and cemented that by winning the Ltitle last season. After losing seven seniors from the champions however, thisis a transition season. So far, the Sachems have looked strong, going 2-1 withwins against New Britain and Cheshire. The defense was strong in the wins,allowing 43 and 39 points, respectively. Junior center Marisa Lee, who isexpected to be one of RHAM’s top players alongside the senior guard trio ofJaclyn Santella, Sam Freeman, and Harleigh Roach, had 10 points and 8 reboundsagainst New Britain.

Ellington is the one other remaining local team at 2-0. The Knights dominated Stafford and Civic Leadership in its two wins, averaging 64 points while allowing just 15. Junior Sam Curtis has been a dynamo so far, scoring 18 and 26 in the two contests. EHS looks very capable of returning to the M tournament after missing by just one game last season.

Rockville is 1-1, with an impressive 57-26 loss against Classical Magnet/University. Junior guard Aailiah Felix led the way with 21 points, while sophomore center Emily Collins added 13. Collins led the team with 14 in its loss to Canton. The Rams went 12-8 last season and lost in the first round of the L tournament.

Rockville’s rival Suffield is also 1-1, with a 30-29 win against Windsor Locks. Both of its games have been one-point affairs, with SHS falling to Granby. Suffield’s defense has been outstanding, allowing just 59 points. Junior guard Paige Anderson led the Wildcats to its win against Windsor Locks with 9 points. Suffield was 11-9 last season, losing in the first round of L.

Tolland lost five seniors and its top two scorers from last year’s team, which went 8-13 and lost in the first round of L. The Eagles growing pains have been seen in its first two wins, as they beat Platt 36-29 but were defeated comfortably by Bloomfield and Enfield. They have allowed just under 40 points per game, but averaged just 24. Head coach Vinnie Cianfarini discussed the negatives and positives so far.

“Cohesion has been an early season problem. With the loss of 5 seniors from last year’s team, we are still searching for our offense to click. On a bright side, I have had a lot of younger players play well in the first 3 games.   That will only help us moving forward. Also, conditioning has been getting better.”

Cianfarini praised the performance of upperclassmen Madison Peasley, Hayley Keane and Emily Donlin, all seniors, and junior Amy Lumia for their leadership of younger players and scoring and rebounding skills, as well as Keane and Lumia’s shooting ability. It was actually sophomore Isabella Grivois who was the offense force against Platt however, leading the way with 13 points.           

Cianfarini discussed how Tolland wants to play on both sides of the ball.

“On defense, we want the opposition to feel uncomfortable by putting pressure on the ball.   Also, we want to stop the opposing players “best player” from hurting us,” he said. “On offense, I want to play fast. Attacking the defense by spreading out the court will help us drive to the basket or kick out for the three-point shot.”

Cianfarini said Tolland’s biggest key to improvement and growth is to be a strong defensive squad and gain more confidence, with its ultimate goal being to make the state tournament. “This team is eager to improve and I am confident that we will compete every night at a high level.”

Enfield lost a significant amount of talent from last year’s elite squad, which advanced to the semifinals of the LL tournament and went 19-5. The Eagles have scuffled so far, but had a strong 45-26 win against Tolland. It has both scored and allowed just under 43 points per game.  While seniors Cassie Urso and Kaitlyn Bourque (guards) and Sam Lanagan (forward) were likely seen as Enfield’s top returning players, junior guard Shelby Bedard has been outstanding. She led the team with 24 points against THS, and also had 16 against Rocky Hill.

South Windsor has gotten of to another poor start after last season’s 3-17 campaign, losing three games and two by at least 25 points. The Bobcats have averaged just under 33 points per game. Freshman Maria Galley has already made a huge impression as their top scorer, putting up 16 against Newington and 10 against East Hartford.    

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