Bransfield: Another championship weekend in the books

UNCASVILLE >> Some thoughts on the weekend’s state high school basketball championship games…

Bridgeport Central’s stunning 76-73 comeback win over previously undefeated Fairfield Prep Saturday to win the boys LL crown was one of the great comebacks in state high school tournament history. The comeback — or the Prep collapse, depending on your point of view — cost Prep an undefeated season, a No. 1 ranking, and a state championship.

But Prep lost more than a game. Because of the actions of its students in the cheering section, and the alleged actions of its players after the game, it also suffered great harm to its reputation.

That’s not said lightly. Since kids are kids, there is a level of toleration given them that adults don’t get. But much of what happened Saturday night has no defense.

It started early. The huge Prep student section began its night by interrupting the National Anthem long before it was over with thunderous cheers. OK. Youthful exuberance.

The hundreds of kids then proceeded to boo the introduction of Central players. Not one of the other 15 student sections did that. No adult for Prep was visible to shush them. Classless.

Then, at a crucial point of the game, one of their kids may have cost Prep the title.

Prep may have lost anyway. It had blown a 19-point lead and was in the fight of its life when the following happened. With 39 seconds to go and the 7,000 plus fans in an uproar, Prep’s terrific guard Keith Pettway drove the lane and scored to give his team a one-point lead. On top of that, he was fouled.

But in the celebration of the basket, water was thrown on the court from the area of the Prep student section. The game had to be halted for several minutes while the court was mopped. Did I see a Prep kid throw it? No. But there was nobody else in the area but white-shirted Prep kids. The guys on press row, including the guy next to me from Fairfield, were sure it was the Prep kids.

During that time, Pettway cooled his heels. That worked for Central, which got a timeout to ice Pettway without having to call one.

When the kid finally took the free throw, he missed. He might have missed anyway, but the delay didn’t help. How big was the miss? Enormous. Had he hit it, Prep would have had a two-point lead and when Central scored it would have produced a tie and Prep could have set things up for a last shot to win it.

But he missed, Central raced down court and scored to take the lead. Down by a point, Prep hurried and threw the ball away. Pascal Chukwu, the 7-2 center, fouled to stop the clock. Central made both freebies with 10 seconds left and held on to win the dramatic game.

Then it got nasty.

The players from the all boys, Jesuit-run, Roman Catholic college preparatory school from Fairfield walked off the court and had to be called back for the postgame ceremony. They straggled back, got their medals and walked off the court again, so there was no one except coach Leo Redgate to accept the runner-up trophy, even though CIAC protocol is for assistants and captains to accept said trophy. Where were the kids? Multiple reliable sources say they were busy trashing the locker room.

Sources say that tables of food provided to Prep by the Mohegan Sun were dumped on the floor. Damage was done.

Immediate question: Where were the adults who are paid to coach and supervise these kids?

According to one take-it-to-the-bank source, a high-ranking Mohegan Sun security official was incensed not only at what was done, but by the attitude of the Prep kids and fans. Reportedly, he called them the most arrogant he had ever run across.

The CIAC, which does a great job at this event, was understandably mortified. They apologized to their hosts, the Mohegan Sun, I am told. The Sun, if it so chooses, could throw the tourney out of the arena in a heartbeat.

Again, multiple sources say the CIAC assured the Sun that Prep will be billed and will pay for the damage done.

Central will also receive a bill, the source said, but the damage done by their kids was much more benign.

In their joy at winning, the Central kids jumped into the arms of their joyous fans in the end zone, breaking chairs in the process. That they jumped over press tables, causing some dislocation is not acceptable. But the damage done here was clearly not malicious, rather the by-product of happy kids not thinking.

The same cannot be said of the Prep players. Fact is, they embarrassed their school. I least I hope the school is embarrassed.

I said this to CIAC Associate Executive Director Paul Hoey Sunday: “I’m told that the Prep players behaved badly last night.”

“Oh God, yes” he said in response. “They [Fairfield Prep] need to learn to lose gracefully.”

Stephanie Ford, the Director of Marketing for CAS-CIAC, said she knew what happened. “I heard all about it,” she said Sunday afternoon.

I don’t get it. If I had been part of a team that blew a 19-point lead, had no answers for a withering Central press, and allowed one of the greatest comebacks in state championship history, I might have gone into hiding. I would be devastated. But I would not have been destructive. I would still be grateful for the opportunity the CIAC had given me to play in such a magnificent arena in front of so many people.

So we’re left to wonder why. Maybe losing to an inner-city team was part of it. Sometimes kids who attend choice schools get caught up in the silly notion that their school is by definition better in all kinds of ways than their public school counterparts. A goofy notion in state when first-rate public high schools are all over the place. I dunno, maybe it was a combination of all of that, plus losing the way they did.

But in the end, it makes no difference why. Their actions of the student fans were disgraceful, and the alleged actions of the players even more so.

At the end of the day, it comes down to this: Prep got beat by a better, smarter, very well-coached basketball team.

The Prep kids need to understand that whenever they take the court, there’s always the possibility of a loss. It’s a rule. It’s the job of coaches to prepare their young charges for that. And to supervise them at all times.

Fairfield Prep has to begin to repair the damage done to its reputation. The first move would be an apology. A public one. That would be the Christian thing to do. Then there are some adults it seems to me who need to be held accountable.

ON THE REBOUND  

The best clutch performance ever came from Thomaston’s Abigail Hurlbert. With two-tenths of a second remaining in the first overtime and her team trailing 52-49, she was fouled attempting a desperation three-pointer, an unwise foul by St. Paul standout Kelly McMahon. She made all three freebies under white-knuckle pressure to force a second OT. Her team won 61-57.

St. Paul coach Joe Mone made a questionable decision to slow things down in regulation with his team ahead 48-43 with 3:15 to play in the girls S final. It appeared his kids forgot about the basket. Thomaston outscored his team 6-1 in those final three minutes to force overtime, including that stretch plus both overtimes, St. Paul was outscored 18-9 as the Falcons snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Weaver had a chance to win both a girls and a boys title and won neither. No. 1 Capital Prep blew out Weaver in the second half of the girls Class L game to finish undefeated, as usual, Prep coach Tammy Millsaps played her starters virtually the entire game despite winning by 16 points. She used one sub for one minute. Her team is No. 1, but she continued to win friends and influence people with her mouth:  “Once we settled down and played our game, it was a no-brainer. We were more talented. We were the better team.”

Say something nice about Weaver, which led for the first half? Naw.

In the Class M boys final, an all Central Connecticut Conference matchup, East Catholic ran past CCC champion Weaver 87-60 after losing twice to the Beavers in the regular season.  For most of the second half, Weaver coach Reggie Hatchett was a spectator, not calling timesout and doing little to try and stop the Eagles.

…The Lauralton Hall vs. South Windsor girls LL game was won at the free throw line. South Windsor had 21 fields goals to Hall’s 18.  But at the foul line, Hall had a 29-8 advantage. Tough to win when the other guys outscore you by 21 points from the line.

…Windsor’s win Sunday night over Career Magnet was terrific, ut Career coach Larry Kelley raised eyebrows. Well, at least mine. At one point he yelled across the court at one of his kids, “look at me when I talk to you, G** D*** it!” That was clearly heard on press row. Later, he grabbed one of his kids from the bench and pushed him towards the scorer’s table. Hey, maybe that’s OK in the Netherworld of magnet schools where there is no elected board of education, but I guarantee if he put his hands on my kid like that, he never would again. Coaches have been fired for that kind of stuff. And clean up your mouth. You’re an adult, these are kids.

Windsor sealed the deal with four late free throws from sub Cody Quinn. He went in to shoot free throws for an allegedly injured player, Aaron McHenry — who had just fired two bricks from the line — and he made two. At the end of the game, Quinn was fouled and made two more … Windsor won by four … the Mighty Quinn, the Register headline called him. McHenry came back in. Miracle cure. Must have been a bottle of Holy Water from Lourdes on the bench. Hey, coach Ken Smith has been around the block a couple times.

…Valley Regional’s boys gave Sacred Heart everything it could handle before running out of gas. Sacred Heart has no business playing in Class S. The Hearts play L and LL teams all year, then play S schools come the tourney. The lack of geographic limits is an enormous, and unfair, advantage, but kudos to Valley for a tremendous performance.

…The best cheer was from the St, Paul’s cheering section … when they saw the brown and yellow uniforms of Thomaston, they chanted, “U-P-S, U-P-S”

The Central Connecticut Conference had a great postseason. The CCC had five teams out of the 16 in the final games and won two state titles, Windsor in Class L boys and East Catholic in Class M boys. No other league won more than one as seven different conferences won crowns.

Two area conferences that came up empty were the Shoreline, which had two teams in the finals but was 0-2, and the Southern Connecticut Conference, which had only one team out of 16 — Fairfield Prep — and, well, you know what happened there.

…The people of the CIAC work very hard and do what they think is best for kids. But one more basketball criticism: why no females officiating boys title games? A game official said me, “If the coaches approve, and she’s qualified, it will happen.”

Uhhh, since women hardly ever do a boys regular season game, exactly how is a coach supposed to see them?  Qualified? They do girls title games, so they are, by definition, qualified. In lots of ways, women are still second class citizens.

The CIAC has to demand it. After that, it will be no big deal. C’mon it’s 2014, not 1914. Some 20,000 plus paid their way into the three sessions of the tournament at The Sun, anyone doubt this is a basketball-first state?

Comments

  1. says

    Hey Jim- Nice article but attacking Coach Kelly after all he has done for Career and the youth of New Haven? You cover Xavier football. Have you ever seen Coach Marinan yell on the sideline while you PA games or maybe stand near the coaches at a road game? Coach Marinan is clearly very verbal and loud but do you say that?

    Coach Kohs at Mercy? Great coach but does he yell across the court. Stop being so pro Xavier and Mercy please. We know where your allegiance is.

  2. ACL says

    I agree with NH Hoops. If you think Coach Kelly is the first to use language like that, you aren’t paying attention (and that was pretty mild). If they tried to govern language and/or delivery of it, the CIAC would spend more time conducting suspension hearings than they would anything else. It’s not that big of a deal.

  3. Marcus Da Truth says

    Great games all around!! I went to a few but I seen the Fairfield prep game and I was a little shocked when the water was toss on the court and the kids walked off towards the locker room after the game. But that was an emotional game and a great game as well. I was not happy when capital vs weaver game was so early in the mourning but it was a great game as well!! Very exciting wkend to watch!

    • Dave A. says

      Talk about a cranky old man, this Jim Bransfield apparently has never been to a high school game. These are high school kids and 95% of their cheering is positive. Has a cheering section ever booed a starting lineup? Why don’t you cover a Duke-North Carolina game. Wanna see jeering and antics when an opposing player is at the free throw line? Go to any college basketball game.

      As for the players of Fairfield Prep, they had just lost in dramatic fashion, their first game of the year. It was the heat of the moment, they’re high school kids. Tommy Nolan, their junior captain, is as hard-nosed as it comes. He is a blue collar player who gives his all on the court, diving for loose balls. Is he emotional? Sure! But I know him as a person and there isn’t a better kid around.

      Why don’t you write about how great the game was. A tremendous battle and come-back by Central. Congratulations to them. Keep the other stuff to yourself!

    • Joe Schmo says

      The water incident was an accident. One of Prep’s state championship winning hockey players was icing his injured hand in the front row and accidentally tossed it when he threw his hands up in celebration. Also, if the Prep players hadn’t had to wait while the central team ran shirtless through the crowd (putting a cheerleader on a stretcher in the process) maybe they wouldn’t have walked off. One more thing: Bransfield, proof read yto

  4. GO NOLES!! says

    Not sure how Mr. bransfield’s alleged bias toward a couple of Middletown schools has any bearing on his appropiately highlighting and criticizing inappropiate and classless behavior by fans and coaches.
    It is a good, no-holds-barred column that calls out fans and coaches from a number of schools.

    It seems that you are a bit sensitive to any criticism of New Haven schools. Just because others behave badly doesn’t excuse the behavior of New Haven coaches.

    • Fat Mike says

      Great stuff Jim. Personally, I don’t have a problem with what Coach Kelly did.
      Go Noles, a sudden change of tune in regards to the entitled ones?

  5. jeb says

    Jim, As usual a great article and a great recap of all the games played at The Sun. One thing, I think you are letting Coach Smith of Windsor off the hook a little bit. He pulled the exact same thing against Bunnell three days earlier. As soon as the next dead ball he inserted the injured player. I think it sets a bad example for his players and in the long run they will come to understand that it wasn’t right.

    Thanks for all you do throughout the high school season

  6. prep student says

    This is so bias. As a student of prep I am offended by this writter. This is a classic case of someone making fun of prep. It was not a water bottle, it was am ice pack of an ingured hockey player. In celebration it popped. This writter is so bias and I honestly offened that this person writes for my state. Get your facts straight before you write about highschool students.

      • checkyourfacts says

        It’s called a typo. You want to make fun of someone for bad spelling/grammar? Give the article a read with your glasses on this time. Bransfield is a published journalist and he made worse mistakes than the writer of that comment.

    • "Academically Prestegious" says

      I can see paying $20,000 a year is not helping your spelling. Figure it out kid, Prep is the most hated school in the state for good reason.

  7. fairfield12 says

    Write about the game. Not the students. I am offended this person produced this statement. Classless? The only person that’s classless here is you sir.

  8. Inappropriate Journalism says

    Totally inappropriate brandsfirld. If you are going to be a journalist, then act like one you. Worst journalism ever read.

  9. True Journalism says

    If you say Prep should lose classy, shouldn’t Central win classy as well? Taking their shirts off and running into their crowd, and their fans taunting Prep fans when they exited the building is not classy.

  10. Justin Flayhan says

    The only person that should be ashamed is the author of this article. This is a textbook example of someone putting down prep students. Jim, you were obviously completely oblivious to the multiple middle fingers being thrown to the prep bomb squad. You also must have missed multiple Central fans talking about how they must “beat these rich ass*****” or “we’re gonna stomp on these rich fa*****”. I’m sick of biased clowns like you. Lastly, you might wanna have a word with your “sources”, because the locker room wasn’t trashed. You really make me sick Jim.

  11. Joe R. says

    One word: Biased. Every highschool student section is doing what the “arrogant” Prep kids did. Get your facts straight. Prep students were being yelled at for packing students in rows, as everyone needed a seat per person. But it seems that Mohegan didn’t care about Central’s students as the first four rows of their student section had way too many people for section. Or how central students were taunting Prep fans at the entrance as they left the Mohegan sun, while Central fans were waiting for their bus. But, not a word, just hating on Prep. Their highschool kids.

  12. Xavier Blows says

    worst article I have ever read. The article is false the highest degree. Maybe ur mad that prep always beats sh** Xavier

    • me says

      She wasn’t carted off. She was actually standing next to the Cheer Coach after the Athletic Trainer looked at her.

  13. Tom Vanchuro says

    Hey jim this Article seems real fishy my dude. Lot of questionable stuff and it seems you are attacking Prep because Prep is the best school in the state. You are promoting lies and are ruining your reputation and Xavier’s. Hail Fairield and let me know when Xavier wins their first hockey game.

  14. HS Hoops Fan says

    JIm – you had an error in your article. The SCC had two state finalists – Career and Fairfield Prep. And, most of the SCC teams are in LL and L.

  15. miranda wright says

    Jim – I have painfully read pretty much every article you have ever written about Fairfield Prep & I must say, that you really do need to return to journalism school & take a “fair reporting 101″ class again! Your Anti-Prep sentiment shows through each & every story you write – it’s sad, truly. You are the one who comes out looking like a jerk, so I guess your hate filled rants about Prep’s Players only makes you appear to be a loser. Not kidding, dude – get a life & get over your petty grudge against Fairfield Prep & their sports teams.
    Honestly – you are ridiculous!!

  16. Prep Mom says

    Wow. I can’t believe you call yourself a journalist. I have never read something so biased. As a mother of a prep student, I could not be more proud of the students of that school. They are by far the most respectful group of boys.

  17. Get a life says

    Hahahahaha it’s literally making me laugh seeing all these Prep fans crying over a meaningless article. Xavier was never even mentioned in the article yet all the Prep supporters seem pretty concerned with them. Overcompensate much?

    • haters says

      It’s because Bransfield is a well known Xavier homer, you’re obviously not “in the know” so stay off the message board if you have nothing valuable to add

      • Get a life says

        I find it really ironic because your post actually brings nothing to the message board, so speak for yourself. And I’m from Middletown, so trust me, pal, I am “in the know”. I know all about what Bransfield writes about.

  18. Tim Muyano says

    To everybody criticizing Bransfield for being biased, if this article was just purely attacking Prep and straight bias then why would the SCC Commissioner Tweet this article to all his followers. Prep has no doubt been one of the best schools in terms of athletics this year in CT and Commissioner Carbone knows it and is definitely proud of them. Their dominance in many sports has done a lot for their conference and if you accusing Bransfield of being biased than you are accusing Al Carbone for being so as well and I know this is untrue. This is the first article I have read that mentions any of Prep’s “classless’ behavior, I’ve attended several Prep games this year and have seen a cheering section of opposing parents, no students, been chanted at to “Sit Down. Shut Up.”, this is something know one at Prep can deny because this chant happens almost every game. Also during the basketball semi finals against Hillhouse a prep guard screamed to everyone on the floor that the incoming sub was a freshman who can’t play. He made sure everyone knew about it and pointed at the kid so there was no mistake. At the very least, this was unnecessary in a game the Prep had well in hand. The point is this happens all the time, in many high school games. But you cannot get upset when someone finally brings attention to it. No one would be upset right now and this article wouldn’t even be considered biased if the Prep or Central students (which includes their basketball players) had not done what they had done. It doesn’t matter if it was Prep, Central, Hillhouse, or Xavier, you have to show class and respect when you play. And to everyone who believes Prep is being attacked, when you’re that good and that talented, you have to know you have a target on your back and are in the spotlight. Like I said Prep has had great athletic success this year and for a long time and is a prominent academic school in CT. At a school like Prep, you are constantly watched and held to a higher standard all the time so don’t be surprised or upset if you get called out on it. I don’t remember Prep being attacked when Tarpey played for them, even by Bransfield who covered almost all of Xavier’s losses to them a couple years back. You never heard Tarpey pulling anything like this, he celebrated when they won and acted like he was supposed to when they lost. Prep had a great season it’s a shame that it is tarnished by some acts, whether classless or not, were completely necessary. Just because an article doesn’t support your views doesn’t mean it’s bias, all the points that Bransfield discussed were valid points. This was not Xavier propaganda like a lot of you were saying. Great article Mr. Bransfield.

    • Al Carbone says

      As the Commissioner of the SCC, I am disappointed by this articles with the accusations affecting two SCC member schools.

      In fact, I have not “tweeted the article” it was stated in the above “post.” The article is wrought with errors, and is an one-sided rant. The editors of Gametimect.com should consider, fixing the article’s errors as well – but haven’t yet.

      I am also appalled that the state’s governing body, the CIAC had to resort to using “unnamed sources” to pretty much get its story out to ridicule one of its member schools and its actions. Usually, when someone does something wrong, you deal directly with them and rectify the situation… not by have a so-called journalist do its dirty work with a column.

  19. gametime reader says

    Sean p bowley, you are a great journalist , are people like Jim brandsfield the people gametime ct want representing it while it’s growing

  20. sj parent says

    oh come on Prep, you thought you had this one. You hate to lose. You hated when St. Joe’s beat you in football in the fall. Parents even called St. Joe’s because they were such bad sports, and didn’t like the fact that St. Joe’s was celebrating the win. Learn to lose gracefully. It is about having class.

    • Unbiased high school sports fan says

      If the locker room was trashed, that’s wrong. If the players left the court, they shouldn’t have. However, a journalist calling out a teenager for blowing the game by spilling water? That’s irresponsible.

  21. JB says

    If you want to talk about class, let’s discuss removing your personal idiosyncrasies and personal biases against Prep and maybe not writing an article with political implications all over it about a HIGH SCHOOL basketball game. But you can do what you want, like ignore the fact that Fairfield Prep kids have homosexual slurs thrown at them every time they are at a sporting event. Or the fact that these classless kids volunteer for thousands of hours during their time at Prep. On top of the fact that most of the Prep blasts are conflicting at best and are probably not even true. Lastly, if you want to call booing classless, just wondering, have you been to a sporting event in your life? But yeah you know exactly what you’re talking about.

    Fairfield Prep is an exemplary school, academically, athletically, and is ethics driven. Has the Bomb Squad gone over the top before? Of course they have. But you sir, are very ignorant to the fact that worse attacks are thrown at Prep students and you are so tunnel visioned by taking down these kids when they are KIDS. They shouldn’t be thrown under the bus simply because they do achieve better than the average high schooler in the classroom and on the field/court and be given a bad name because you have the power of the pen.

  22. Zigloot says

    According to this article, booing the opposing team and cheering at the end of the national anthem is classless, yet Central ripping off their jerseys, trampling their cheerleaders (at least one of whom was carted off on a stretcher), and moshing in the stands while flipping off the Prep team and student section isn’t? The incident regarding the water/ice on the court was an accident caused by a student dropping an ice pack, while the “tables of food” dumped in the locker room was one tray of cookies. Implying that the Prep reaction was somehow racist or classist is reprehensible and ignorant. Prep fans hours earlier were far more passionate in a hockey game against Darien, a town wealthier than Fairfield and predominantly white. I notice that the “sources” are often vague, not surprisingly, considering the information they purportedly gave is untrue. Central fans had far more offensive chants and exclamations than a relatively tame Prep student section. The only people being embarrassed are the writer of this article, and anyone who believes the lies and bias in it. Writing off far more destructive and malicious behavior from Central as “benign” while demeaning booing and cheering from a Prep student section and team that did little to no legitimate harm to the arena or other people, is ridiculous and unprofessional.

  23. Fat Mike says

    You people didn’t learn your lesson with the avalanche of anti-Prep comments from the last article!
    Well, your petulant, self-entitled kids are getting their their feet held to the fire for their behavior. As parents and supporters, you’re making excuses for them. If they had a coach like Kelley from Career, we wouldn’t be talking about this.

  24. CT sports fan says

    The bomb squad is a great and passionate cheering section but it’s far from classy. Deep down everyone knows this. Over the years I’ve heard everything imaginable. Making fun of looks, even is low as ripping on income and social class against certain towns. The doo-dah chants? You guys all know what you’re doing and that’s fine but don’t get all up in arms when someone calls you out. I’ve experienced it first hand over the years at many different SCC sporting events. And no, I’m not a Xavier guy and I’m not a Prep hater. Stop getting defensive and face the facts here. Prep is a great school and has a great athletic program. There are certainly cheering sections of other schools who get rowdy too but they went too far here. The fact that fans on here are defending this and not taking responsibility says it all. The fact that the players damaged the locker room and couldn’t even accept second place trophies says it all. Sore losers plain and simple. Don’t get mad at the writer here, get mad your team blew a huge lead and couldn’t take it with class at the end.

  25. JH says

    This is the most untrue thing I’ve ever read. You should be embarrassed to call yourself a journalist. This is the most biased article I’ve ever read in my entire life. Coming from someone who was at the game, you are blowing all of these events WAY out of proportion. Fairfield Prep prides themselves on having some of the most respectful and kind kids in Connecticut and they are right in doing so. They did NOT trash the locker room so check your sources on that one. Did you even for a second take time to observe the central bomb squad or were you too busy bashing Prep to realize that they too were booing the other team and also had to have a cheerleader leave on a stretcher because of how rough and rowdy they were being. If you are going to call yourself a journalist get your facts straight before you ever call Fairfield Prep classless. This article was a waste of time to read and you are disgustingly ignorant!

  26. Ciac says

    The Prep team literally causes damage to the point where a CIAC executive director and a director of marketing comment on it and point out how bad it was. Yet people in here are still defending the team saying Central was more at fault? You people just don’t get it. Take responsibility for yourselves. Stop playing the victim card. The way they acted is inexcusable. It makes you realize why Prep has a target on their back a lot of times to begin with. Fans and parents never take blame for anything and it shows here. Yes, Central fans celebrated to the point where there was an unfortunate accident with a cheerleader. Obviously that wasn’t intentional. Flipping over food trays and not coming out for second place trophies like spoiled whiny losers is. Have some common sense here.

    • S.D says

      Wrong sir. The reason why the Prep players did not come out to receive the second place trophy was because of the Central players who were celebrating in their student section. Yes, I realize that the Prep players were obviously mad about the loss, and this contributed to their loss of patience for the Central players celebrating. The Central players were in their student section for around 5 or so minutes. This caused the Prep players to lose their patience and proceed into the lockeroom. And I believe that someone being injured and seats/press tables being broken is worse than vacuuming up cookie crumbs. So sir, you are the one who needs to reevaluate his common sense.

  27. David Graham says

    I do not know this writer so I won’t accuse him of having any bias issues.

    I only know what I saw with my own eyes.

    I was at the game. I swear to you that I looked up at the stands when Pettway made that incredible drive to the hoop and got fouled off the Paschal block. When I looked up I saw a liquid coming down from the second level…..it landed about 10 feet in front of the referee who had held his position after his partner called the foul. How that was water from an ice pack…..I cannot imagine.

    I don’t know what happened in the locker room but I saw that Prep players had left the court and had to be retrieved to accept their runner up awards. No captains or assistant coaches were available to accept the 2nd place team award leaving the head coach to get it by himself.

    As for the cheering sections and cheers/taunts….that has gotten to be out of control throughout high school sports. I couldn’t make out much of anything that either student group had so say Saturday night so I cannot speak to that issue.

    I was disappointed to see the lack of control exhibited by the Central staff as it pertained to their kids celebrating the win. The players had all the time in the world to celebrate with their friends. To leave the court and be up in the crowd celebrating was uncalled for and I certainly hope the injury suffered by a cheerleader was minor and is already healed.

    • Danny says

      As a member of the bomb squad I can tell you that it was one of the prep hockey players who had just come back from the state championship game. He had a bag of ice wrapped on his forearm. when keith made the layup, the hockey player flung his arms up and the bag had a rip in it. A little water came out and on to the court, it wasn’t intentional. A prep fan wouldn’t do that on purpose to ice his own player… And the game was also stopped because nobody could find the ball…

  28. GO NOLES!! says

    I cannot speak to the truthfulness of the claims made against the Prep fans and players. I do hope that Bransfield (and his sources) is credible enough to not embellish, exaggerate or fabricate. Certainly, though he highlighted poor behavior by other coaches or schools, the bulk of the column was used to criticize the Prep fans and players . . .and that has obviously struck a nerve.

    But I do agree that the Central players are getting a pass here. What started as a spontaneous celbration of a great win with their fans in the stands, turned into classless, bare chested mayhem, resulting in injury.

    Boorish behavior, whether by coaches, players or fans, cuts across race and class.

  29. John F. says

    You have no facts. The bomb squad started chanting USA during the last three words of the anthem. You consider that disrespectful. Trashing the locker room was a tray of cookies that fell on to to the ground. And so you think the prep kids behavior was bad, what about the central kids taking off there shirts and sagging there pants below there butts, jumping into there cheering group, and making out with the first girls in sight, so classy. But because they are black, if we were to get mad at them for that, it would be racist. Jim Bransfield, I am a editor for the New York post, while I have two sons current at prep, and I will have you know I would never work with you. There’s a reason you are an old guy and you’re still doing a build up high school sports website. That article is so opinionated and you state almost none of your sources. Your whole article is filled with alleged. Come up with the facts before you put an article together. Worst thing I have ever read. And why don’t you grow a set, and respond to some of us? We would all love to know the purpose of this article and why you are attacking prep with these accusations.Was it the 46-27 loss your Middletown xavier team took by prep. Or was it the two blowouts from the basketball team. Please let us understand your ignorance and hatred.

  30. ND says

    I don’t go to prep and I hate everything about them when it comes to athletics. But in all honestly these aren’t your typical “preppy” kids. They’re as tough as they get and I have to respect that about them so I find it hard to believe that they would do all these things your accusing them of. And jim, if you think the bomb squad is being “arrogant”… Have you been to any high school sporting event in your life? I mean really. We’re kids.

  31. NH hoops says

    Prep football and basketball = Runner up!
    Can’t finish! What a shame!
    Can’t even lose with dignity!
    Buffalo Bills or Prep?
    Grab a clue and take responsibility for your actions!
    Nolan = D 2 small guard. Won’t even make 1 st team ALL State in CT. This year.

    • Don says

      Nolan has offers from fairfield U and sacred heart. D-1 schools….. NH hoops, little upset from the 7 losses prep have to new haven schools this year?

      • NH hoops says

        I bet if Fairfield or Sacred heart saw Nolan throw his medal into the crowd they would question looking at a kid like that. Remember people talk. Also fairfield and Sacred heart are struggling programs. It’s great they have of offered but that isn’t Uconn or Pittsburgh and Nolan isn’t big enough for high D 1 ball. A 6 ft 1 guard and he has to guard a 6ft 5 monster? No chance.
        Upset? Prep is 51-4 with an scc title in last two years. Wow!
        Hillhouse won 3 out of 4 vs. Prep last year and guess what Hillhouse finished! House didn’t blow an 18 point lead with no clue how to break a full court press.
        Grab a clue.

        • Xavier produise pu**ys says

          when the last time u sniffed a title in hockey…. Prep is better than u and u can’t put it where moms hides the cookies

          • What? says

            1. Proof read, that Prep education should have at least taught you that.
            2. What does Xavier have to do with any of this?
            3. What does hockey have to do with any of this?

            I think you’re on the wrong board, bud.

        • jerry h says

          Nh hoops why don’t you ask Williams bey or Raquan clark how tough Nolan is and he is 6-3 get your facts straight and stop hating on people who have more money than you. No one gave them the Money they earned it. Maybe you should try it sometime

    • Fan of bball says

      Calling out one player? Does Nolan’s ability as a player have anything to do with this? Truly the kettle calling the pot black by saying prep is classless when you bring in a 16 year old kids ability has a player. Horrible

  32. CTfan Joe says

    A tray of cookies? Haha oh man the excuses never end. Problem lies with comments like this not taking responsibility. You know this isn’t the only source where the locker room damage was mentioned right? Check the Hartford Courant. Check the quote by Paul Hoey saying Prep will be billed for the damage done. Seems like a lot of press for a tray of cookies doesn’t it? Or maybe you’re just downplaying an event that had every right to be pointed out. And hypothetically, even if it was just a tray of something, how about apologizing? The fact you’re a guest at Mohegan Sun and playing on a huge court in front of thousands with food provided for you in the locker room is a priviledge in itself.

    I was at the game. I agree the critcism over the bomb squad is a little much actually. It’s a rowdy crowd and that can happen anywhere at any school, especially in the state finals. Prep just happens to be a better and louder cheering section than most too. And as far as the water goes, who really knows what happened there. The delay didn’t help, but saying it cost the game is ridiculous. I actually didn’t find the cheering section that bad honestly and the article went a little overboard there. But I saw the post game celebrations and I saw the award ceremony where Prep players and assistants didn’t show up to accept their awards. Have some class there. This isn’t the 1972 Olympics, at the end of the day it’s high school basketball. Shame on the coaches for not taking control there and take 2nd place in the state (God forbid) with pride. Give Central credit for winning an unbelievably hard fought game.

    Was Central right in their celebrations? Hell no. Part of the danger, ironically, was that rushing the court wasn’t allowed so climbing into the stands was the answer. It was dumb and dangerous but it happened in the heat of the moment. It was emotional, and if Prep had a 19 point come from behind win to win the state title I would love to see the bomb squads reaction to that. Don’t act like something similar wouldn’t be done.

    • CIAC says

      A tray of cookies was thrown on the floor, but they got into the carpet. The billing is for the vacuuming that had to be done.

        • Gerard says

          Are people forgetting that central broke chairs jumping into the fan section naked? Gatorade and water on a locker room floor…. broken chairs… Oh yeah, I forgot, we can’t get mad at central because that would be racist. Look at both sides.

          • JB says

            Perhaps … but PLEASE … Prep parents and fans you are dilusional. It is what it is … your players were humiliated in defeat and could not handle the result. Central may have celebrated too hard, but that is because they won against all odds. No one was paying for some kid to move to Bridgeport just to play on the basketball team. Pride always trumps money. This was a good lesson for the entire Prep nation. Humble pie, taste it.

          • me says

            Did you even read what he wrote??? He stated that Central will also be billed for the broken chairs just like prep will be billed for whatever they destroyed in the locker room. Oh, and they weren’t naked, they just took off their shirts. At least if they would of lost, I know for a fact, they would of been made to stay on the court and accept their awards.

        • Willie says

          Come on Sean you know this is the problem in journalism. Source checking vs other papers is lame indeed as one rumor just feeds on another. This this is fast food “journalism”.The fact that the Hartford courant reports that x y or z was done does not make it true. I know this game. The fact that I think Jim brand field is suffering from the late stage effects of some std does not make it true. You guys should not be distributing and implicitly endorsing this guys rants.

    • Me too says

      I notice you forgot to mention that Central will too be billed for breaking stadium chairs as they rushed shirtless into the crowd. Some spilled food and cookies? Seems minimal when considering central players laid out a cheerleader and sent her home on a stretcher. And, Ct Fan Joe, we do know what happened with the water. An icepack used by an injured hockey player in the front row broke. Guess it was arrogant and classless of the poor kid to have gotten hurt.

  33. says

    FCIAC fan here. Seems to be sour grapes from the Prep faithful. I guess recruiting wasn’t enough this year, or the previous two. Prep has always had some problems with their fans and their players and it doesn’t surprise me at all, one bit. They are one of the most entitled group of fans I have ever encountered and something needs to finally change. One article is written calling out their behavior, that multiple people back up and they lose it, starting a smear campaign against what seems to be an honest article. Show some class Prep, it’s about time.

    • Harry says

      How and who does Prep Recruit? New England sports? interested to know because I have had to three sport sons go through and I have one son there now…. what are your facts?

    • Zigloot says

      It wasn’t honest though. I don’t know how much more clearly that can be made. The claims in the article were exaggerated and biased, with little basis in reality. And Prep does not recruit. The school has been a reputation for exceptional academics and athletics, and that attracts students. That is not recruiting.

  34. Paul F says

    Prep, you had a Great season and no disgruntled fan or man hiding behind a pen can take that away. Some seek fame on the backs of others, your all heavy with character and have accomplished so much in a short space of time. Losses and mistakes are all part of life and the bonus is everyone has them even writers. I tried to see every game and can’t wait until next season. Good luck to those moving on to college and maybe even playing more basketball.
    Good luck to the Central HS team they played a smart second half and had a Great game, too!

  35. says

    To write about a stellar game is one thing. Prep lost- our students, alumni, parents, and team members know that. Central was a good team on a good high. It was a challenge and an honor as a Prep Alumni to watch the game. However, Mr. Bransfield- accusing the Jesuits of racism as a result of their game play is unacceptable. You know nothing about the players, and shouldn’t. When on the court nothing else matters except for the quality of the players. Whether they grew up in broken homes or refurbished it does not matter. The players should reflect on their attitude, and you should reflect on your words. There are sore losers, and there are also sore writers.

  36. Bob C says

    With such a biased and poorly written article, it’s no wonder the pinnacle of your journalism career has led you to such lofty peak as this: writing about high school basketball on gametimect.com.

  37. High School B-ball fan says

    I was at Mohegan Sun for LL final and observed what took place after the game was decided.

    First of all, I’m not a Central or a prep fan. From a fan/spectator’s point of view, I thought the game was outstanding, however, from a coaches point of view, it was a disaster the way it was lost.

    I was seated in the 2nd row and observed what took place after the game.

    It is very unfortunate that a Central cheerleader was injured during the celebration but I salute the Central players for celebrating with their fans who couldn’t go on floor. Their fans/family/friends stood behind them all year. Just to clarify, no one was ever naked. Yes they did take their shirts off but I don’t see a problem with it.

    Obviously, I didn’t see what occurred in the prep locker, but I did see the prep coach, walk out by himself to accept the runner – up trophy. How embarrassing.

    Just another point. Prep owned the first half and Central was dominate in the second half. Here’s a big difference. I observed several Central players encouraging one another, even players who didn’t play at all encouraging players during time-outs & halftime, while prep was up big.

    During the 3rd/4th quarters I saw prep players arguing and pointing fingers at one another. After central roared back, Prep was never able to regain their composure. Many of us know their are issues within this team and I think we saw a lot of it spill out on the court during the 2nd half.

    Congrats to Central “team” for sticking together…

  38. jeb says

    I have re-read the article from jim and I see no bias about prep at all. He was reporting what had happened before,during and after the game. He mentioned that food, provided by Mohegan Sun, had been spilled on the locker room floor and that the team captains did not go up with the coach to receive the runner-up trophy. In addition he mentioned the behavior of the student section. If this was not true then Prep has a beef but from what I have heard this actually happened.

    Mohegan Sun should change their policy about fans coming onto the floor to celebrate with the winning team after the game. Let the school community join in the festivities, that way, none of the players are forced to go up into the stands.

  39. HADENOUGH says

    You criticize the Fairfield Prep section for their lack of class and grace. Fair enough. Hard to argue at times. However, you also praise the St. Paul’s students for the “best cheer of the weekend” when they called out the opposition’s uniforms by cheering “UPS! UPS!”

    Could you be any more two-faced?

    Your lack of hard facts, and inclusion of rumor and speculation leave qualified reports cringing.

    I expect more from a supposed professional. Maybe I shouldn’t expect it from one who uses “dunno” in his column.

  40. Tom C says

    I hope Nolan in the off season changes his game. The chest pounding and bumping other players on the way to the bench have to stop. Worry more about breaking full court pressure and not cussing your teammates out on the floor.
    I go to prep and I watched him all winter. Attitude needs to change.
    As for Murphy? Good player but bad for team chemistry. Me first attitude never works. Might be time for him to go if the rumors are true.
    Great year prep! Just came up short! The after game dramatics was also not needed. Not all sports teams act like that at Prep. Redgate or a captain needs to step up with a public apology for preps actions. It’s getting late now.

  41. FP Parent says

    Jim:

    You should start writing Op Ed pieces against the great right wing conspiracy for the New York Times.

    How dare you allude that the disappointment of blowing a 19 point lead has anything to do with the fact that Prep lost to an inner city school.

    Did you notice in the pre-game introductions that Prep’s coach greeted each of the Central players, but that the Central coach did not?

    Your crack reporting also failed to note that a Central cheerleader was seriously injured by the players jumping into the crowd. Oh, and the water that ended up on the court came from an ice bag taped to one of the Prep hockey players shoulders.

    You also failed to notice that there were members of the Prep faculty on scene, including the school principal who was right in front of the student section. The M/S sun security guards who you say were also there in force and could easily have removed anyone for misbehavior. I was in the adjacent section and say none removed.

    The locker room damage was a plate of cookies being overturned. You didn’t uncover that travesty, did you? I guess the bill for that will be tremendous.

    Lastly, have you ever been to a high school sporting event? The student sections often cross the line. I’ll be the first to say that the Prep boys have done so in the past. In fact, the school disbanded the “Bomb Squad” a few years ago until the student government came up with a plan for acceptable behavior.

    Knowing where your allegiance lies…you must have been at the Prep-Xavier game in Middletown this winter. The X students were pushing the boundaries so much that they beat a drum during free throws (against the CIAC rule of noisemakers).

    So please get off high horse and do some real reporting.

  42. gobballfan says

    To Hadenough… This article was ridiculous, I agree. And the writer hasn’t a clue. Who writes a story filled with a bunch of “I heard”, “someone I know” and “Sources”? Hopefully the last time this guy is given the opportunity to write a column. But, as for your point, there is a big difference between “UPS, UPS” (which is kind of funny) and the Prep chant of “Sit Down, Shut Up”. By the way, the best cheering section I heard all year was Cromwell’s.

  43. CIAC Dork says

    How come the Central coach wouldn’t greet the Prep players during introductions? I guess old Jimbo missed that one or maybe thinks it shows class.

  44. Fat Mike says

    Hang in there, Jim. If these people had done more parenting and not had a puppet for a head coach, they would be celebrating a win.

    • prep parent says

      More parenting fat mike? Atleast we can afford to send our kids to a place with higher education, morals and athletics. You don’t read about prep kids shooting each other of gang violence in the newspaper. Maybe bridgeport parents should actually discipline there kids. Don’t call is the bad parents. Atleast we can provide a plentiful life for them.

      • Fat Mike says

        Ouch!!! Not bad parents, but bad parenting. I didn’t see the Career kids acting like fools. Most are from the inner city? As a matter of fact 2 of them sat on the floor in despair as time expired and Coach Kelley immediately instructed them to get up and shake hands.
        Maybe having the kids better prepared for trying situations such as the assault Central put on them in the 3rd quarter. They looked like a bunch of 10 year olds yelling at each other and pointing fingers. How do you handle pressure? How do you handle adversity?
        Leadership and character, a couple of traits not displayed.

        • rob says

          When was the last time you heard about a crime or shooting being done by prep students. Prep makes morally good kids. That is why parents by 20000 a year.

        • Proud FP alum and parent says

          This has absolutely nothing to do with money, race, crime or religion. It’s about high school athletes and fans supporting their respective basketball programs with enthusiasm and vigor. Central fans and Prep haters, you beat us, plain and simple, but that certainly does not give you the right to judge us.

      • Catherine H says

        To the prep parent just a few lines above: you do realize you are proving right all of these claims of a “wealthier than thou” attitude with your comment “at least we can afford to send our kids to a place with higher education,” don’t you?

  45. Chris says

    Mr. Bransfield,

    This article is possibly one of the most speculative pieces of journalism I have ever seen. I have read your pieces, no more however, for high school sports news. Believe it or not, your piece vilified a great school, one that produces excellence both on and off the field. Its generalization of a school shows how uneducated you are on the school, but also your lack of professionalism. Its conjecturing has hurt the reputation of thousands of good people, students, faculty, and alumni, because you felt the need to stir up trouble based on incomplete information and tidbits from a few phone calls. Let me remind you, Mr. Bransfield, you work for the Middletown Press, not Dateline NBC. As a journalist who has a position to reach many people, you abused your position to belittle people you have never met before and do not have as much influence as you. It is my sincere hope that you ditch your bullying, opinionated tactics for real journalism. There is still time to redeem yourself….that would be the Christian thing to do.

  46. Tom C says

    Prep parents should be ashamed how there kids acting after the game. Prep came up short and then there true character came out. Sore losers and handling pressure was proven they cannot do. After game antics are a Testament to how the players are spoiled each and every day.
    Remember nobody remembers the state runner up teams.
    Have a nice AAU season.

    • J-H says

      And sir, how exactly can you prove that the Prep players are “spoiled each and every day”? I am not one to point fingers here, but you are just another person who has been brainwashed by the stereotypes. Does the fact that Prep is a very good academic/athletic and wealthy school mean that the students are spoiled? No, absolutely not. Emotions were running high at the moment and I do agree with you that they did have their heads hanging low, slumped off of the court, etc. which can show how they were sore losers in a way, but that does not give you the right to accuse the students of being spoiled. I would love to hear how you think the Prep students are spoiled, because you are false, Tom C. You are just another person who loves to carry on the stereotypes about Prep and as a Prep student, I’m offended and disgusted by your opinion. You also might want to check your grammar before making such a stereotypical, untrue statement (you’re supposed to use their** when showing possession.)

  47. Nitrain says

    With winning and success, comes a lot of jealousy and rumor spreading from he said, she said people. Prep is on top as an academic school and now on top of CT in all sports now with Football as having a very successful year along with hoops. People love to hate on Prep but that comes with the territory for successful catholic schools.

    There will be a few moronic statements about one would rather not make the championship game than to lose it, but the facts are only 2 teams make the championship game in LL, and to get that far, is success itself. Central outplayed Prep and in my opinion, deserved to win. I heard both sides of the story about the locker room and courtside behavior by both teams, and would never think of putting down kids in a public newspaper for reactions after a very emotional game. If Prep did indeed trash the locker room, they will pay for it as their school will not tolerate it. But you do not punish 16 and 17 year olds by publishing an article on “I heard this” and “my sources told me that” stories. But some people do not get it. I couldn’t even read the rest of this article after the “losing to an inner city team” part which has ZERO to do with their reaction. They lost to Hillhouse 3 times last season with most of the players on this team. This is the worse piece of crap article and cannot believe I spent even 1 minute reading through the first part.

  48. Portia Elliott says

    This is no championship write-up, this is a small mind putting words together about two amazing teams from Fairfield County (“FC”)! Fairfield Prep (“FP”) has the most outstanding Bombsquad USA has ever seen! These male youths are well behaved, well groomed, male youths of all races, colors, creeds, and backgrounds! Instead of speaking of what unity the boys developed together (and what other schools are trying to mimic) and encouraging the “Spirit” of the Games, you are hindering what other schools are only trying to emulate—The FP Bombsquad! Your biased writing causes attempts to block togetherness in schools who long for a sense of Brotherhood and connection one to the other as seen at FP. While spilling insignificant words, you are binding the chance for other youths outside of the FP family to be One, as seen in FP’s Bombsquad. FP’s Bombsquad teaches togetherness, Brotherhood, a sense of belonging, and a sense of responsibility to one another. If you studied this Bombsquad and have followed FP in this one basketball year alone, every school leading up to this State Championship now has a “bombsquad”. Central went so far as to imitate the t-shirts FP wears with their own taste and flare. These youths are learning a great thing, not fully understanding the Brotherhood of the Bombsquad at FP, but are at least grasping something great that they want to be a part of!—keeping them off of the streets and encouraging creativity! You are hindering that avenue. FP has the most gracious, most admirable, team of athletes who also need support and guidance. These are 15-18 year old male youths! Even at your apparent age, you need guidance on how to write a Championship article! What do you think of young male youths of this age category? I am disgusted by the bitterness for FC teams! What you are forgetting is that we—both FP and Central—are neighbors! And a lot of the boys both play and work together at Bridgeport’s Shehan Center! These kids know one another! So what looks like “two different worlds” in your small mind, is really a community of One! This article should be pulled, and have someone with a Champion Spirit rewrite words about these amazing two teams from FC aiming for the top. All I hear is bashing and negativity…
    To FC Youths, we are so proud of the teams making it to the top. There is always room to learn for both teams– they are young male youths in need of support and guidance. They are not going to “get it right” during their enthusiasm or in their disappointment. They are young male youths, in this world where people call this article handler a writer! Well I certainly beg to differ. Forgiveness is always in order!
    To My Precious FP players and the FP Bombsquad, keep doing what you are doing! Do not allow the words of a small mind interfere with how you’ve been doing things and will continue to do things. Because of who you are, a FP Student, you will always have to be on top of your game! Most will lie, cheat, and steal, then blame it all on you! You are poised and you are the most precious male youths– impressionable, full of spirit, intelligent, well disciplined, supportive, forgiving, loving, well spoken, Brothers for Others— I have ever seen in my entire life! You are respected! You lose graciously because God knows many games have been taken out of your hands and placed in the hands of others. You will always be lied on and talked about, much like Jesus, yes. You be encouraged My Youths! Stand tall! Keep your heads up! Continue to fight– through blood, sweat and tears! Many times your backs are against the wall, but your Spirits are in the middle of the floor, fighting, bleeding, crying, in war for you! Continue to be Persevere! Understand you are male youths and that no one is perfect, much to include the writer above. Always understand that sometimes ignorance looks like it is winning, but trust me, Love and Wisdom always prevail. Always remember the Prep Fight Song! FP’s Football team has a saying—One Team, One Love! I’m pushing that further to say—One Community, One Sound!—FC Rocks!

    • jlgallacher says

      Well said, Portia. Thank you.

      This “writer” doesn’t even like Magnet schools – so he picks on one of the best coaches in the state because of a bias that he has that Career isn’t enough of a public school.

      Jim – your post really bothered me. You casually throw in a speculation that “Maybe losing to an inner-city team was part of it.” This is insulting on so many levels. As Portia pointed out these kids all know each other and have grown up playing together. My nephew is one of those kids who played at the Sheehan Center. it’s devastating to anyone to come up short when you have worked so hard to get what you want. It takes years to get to that point. And when you lose you have to start all over the next year. So implying some sort of racism/elitism exists when none does is plain and simply irresponsible. You have no facts to back up your assertions and you cleverly hide behind words like “allegedly” before you go off on your vitriolic rant. You probably slept like a baby after writing this hit piece. As a blogger you are not covered by any press umbrella so you might want to be more careful when you decide to slander a bunch of kids who you think are elitists/racists.

      Bridgeport Central played a great game. hats off to them. I don’t care if they went in the stands to celebrate. I’m not going to apply what i would have done to a great group of kids who in the heat of the moment wanted to celebrate with their friends and family. At the same time i’m not going to castigate a group of Prep players for slunking off the court while this was happening. It was no longer their moment. (and it certainly wasn’t yours).

      The awards table finally made it out to the court about 5 minutes after the game was over and the whole arena had emptied out. During the handshake there were hugs and Bridgeport Central players were gracious in victory. I clapped when my nephew got his medal.

      finally – we are proud of this group of kids and when we talk about them in the future we’re also going to talk about the BC onslaught and the big “what if”.

  49. gobballfan says

    Well I guess for all the greatness that FP is, we can now add that they invented the student cheering section. I’d like to contradict 1 of the “Bomb Squad” chants, and repeat another. First, God WASN’T on your side. And second,”Sit Down, Shut Up”

  50. hawkeyes says

    aaha prep fans are so dillusional. all i kept hearing the last 3 years “this is the year” “best in state” “no one is beating us”. cocky and arrogant as hell. make that 17 years and counting with no state title boys. learn how to beat a press and not bank on a 7 footer!!

  51. ACL says

    It is amazing that with all this back lash and a guest article written by a Prep student, that Mr. Bransfield hasn’t responded in any way yet. To me, that speaks volumes.

    • J-H says

      Couldn’t have said it any better. I think that Jimbo here is the one that should give an apology. A public one. So keep ignoring all of these posts/comments there, Jimmy, because I am going to love to hear your response to all of this mayhem that you have caused.

  52. MoheganMamma says

    This is an Op-Ed piece – not a news article.

    I like what FP Parent says about the Central coach at the beginning of the game. I would also add: How come this author failed to notice that it took Central a good ten minutes to even come shake hands with their Prep opponents after the game? Leo Redgate, with his team behind him, stood at half court waiting for their coach and players to shake hands. Meanwhile, the Central players were half naked with the fans. I think the Central coach even started to give an interview before shaking hands. Talk about classless. And BTW, the Central players and fans were not even paying attention and were loudly cheering and taking pictures while the medals for Prep players were being announced. Just sayin’.

  53. ChrisM says

    “So we’re left to wonder why. Maybe losing to an inner-city team was part of it. Sometimes kids who attend choice schools get caught up in the silly notion that their school is by definition better in all kinds of ways than their public school counterparts.”

    Making incredible assumptions like this is completely unprofessional. How dare you generalize all Fairfield Prep students as pompous and elitist. More than half of the students there receive significant financial aid and commute from around the state. Furthermore, Fairfield Prep students are some of the most respectable and out-going students around who make significant contributions to community service projects, religious retreats, and other services around the state. Such statements reflect badly on you and further tarnish your reputation as a journalist.

  54. Jay says

    Jim you owe Fairfield Prep a public apology. You based the entire article on hearsay. Water thrown on the court? …hockey players ice pack that flew off during a celebration. Interrupting the national anthem? ….hardly they simply yelled “go prep” at the end as they do every game. Trashed locker room?…try one plate of cookies on the ground. Players leaving the court? …yeah several minutes of waiting for the central players to finish their mosh pit in the stands and they decided it was time to walk off. And to suggest that Prep kids are elitist and would look down at Central is absurd. The school’s motto is men for others for Pete’s sake. It’s a few miles from Central and there are a bunch of kids from Bridgeport at the school. Congratulations to Central they played an incredible game and that coach put on the best 2nd half adjustment I’ve ever seen. You should have written about that instead of using this article as a means to purge your resentments that you harbor towards Prep.

  55. Winston says

    It is not surprising that someone who would so carelessly attack and slander the character and ethics of minors grossly lacks these qualities himself. There was plenty of good basketball to write about. Personal agendas have no place in high school sports commentary.

  56. Crimson Crusader says

    As a former free-lance sports writer, the “cardinal sin” of high school sports journalism is to criticize in print, schools….coaches….and players…..The big problem over the past 10 years is that few parents discipline their kids on how to conduct themselves (athletes or non-athletes)..And a lot of parents criticize coaches who are hard on their players…But from my view, it keeps kids in line…..I see kids all the time in restaurants acting like they own the place and get upset with the owners when they get warned to tone it down…….disrespect for the National Anthem is a subject that parents and school officials should take down names and kick butt about. OH…I forgot…. they may be sewed…..there is no excuse for not shaking hands and accepting their medals…..both schools should get a bill for the damage they caused ….and this race card insinuation has to stop…..MLK was assassinated in 1968 and race relations are getting worse….not better. I thought with a black president, the black culture would improve their attitude on things but, the more things change, the more they remain the same…..sportsmanship and discipline are as important as winning and until coaches, parents, school officials and players realize this, the high school sports world will remain open to scrutiny.

  57. Mark says

    Well, I am late to the party here, but I do want to add my 2 cents. First and foremost – I am so happy that someone has the guts to write articles with opinions about high school sports. I am a parent of high school sports participants and I love to try and find articles about high school sports. The reality is, that these days, with newspapers dying, it’s really hard to find coverage of high school sports. I have seen the decline in just the past few years of coverage of high school sports in newspapers. Staffs, budgets are not what they were, we all know newspapers are dying. The good thing is though, that the internet is providing avenues for people to fill the void of reporting on high school sports. Let’s be honest though. So much of what is out there is simply, Central defeated Eastern last night. Joe Smith led Central with 18 points and Jack Jones chipped in 12. Arnold Johnson had 11 rebounds. That stuff is necessary, but I want to hear more about what’s really going on. What happened? How did people feel? What’s the story behind the story? But, the problem is that the story involves high school kids. They are just kids. So how do most newspapers/media handle this? They don’t write anything involving opinion. There are articles, and no columns. Robotic reporting of faceless apparently robotic kids measured only by how many points they score. This is the safe way to do things. God forbid anyone would judge a high school kid.

    I found Jim Bransfield’s articles in my search for high school coverage. My search for something real to read. You learn about things when you read his articles. You hear stories about people. Real stories where Jim gives his OPINION. And there have been many columns that I have read where I find myself frustrated because he is holding back his opinions because he knows he is dealing with high school kids. It’s a fine line to walk. His column is the only place I know of where somebody actually talks about high school sports and tells STORIES, and gives OPIONIONS. So refreshing!

    However, if you choose to walk that line with high school kids you risk stepping over once in a while. It sounds like some things like the “TRASHING” of the locker room might have been exaggerated. The one part that I think was over the line though was the part where he said “Maybe losing to an inner-city team was part of it. Sometimes kids who attend choice schools get caught up in the silly notion that their school is by definition better in all kinds of ways than their public school counterparts.” Not sure where that came from, but I think it was wrong to say.

    So, when people write columns and give opinions, if they are writing anything worthwhile, there are going to be times when they write controversial things that are not popular. There are even going to be times where they might cross the line a little bit. I just ask that people keep giving their opinions and writing things that are interesting. Keep writing interesting things Jim Bransfield and others. Please don’t make giving opinions on high school sports taboo, that’s BORING. I know how many points Janie scored from the box score.

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