During its recent run of success, the New London girls basketball teams have all had a mix of size inside, crafty guards up top and depth off the bench.
That formula has resulted in three trips to state finals with a championship coming home in the 2017 Class LL final over Trumbull.
If New London is going to make another run to the Sun, it is going to have to do it in an all new way.
This year’s team has no true post players, often running out five guards at a time, and has little depth off the bench with seven players generally in the rotation during close games.
“This team, we have to match intensity and toughness. That’s what we have to do to replace height and depth. Which we had last year,” New London first-year coach David Kohn said. “This isn’t a team that is going to win by 30 every game, we are going to have to battle for every win.”
New London is 12-3 and in line for a top-8 seed in the Class LL tournament.
A place any team would love to be but new territory for the Whalers who have not lost three regular-season games since 2013-14.
Kohn is hoping all the close games New London has played this season will have them battle-tested for the postseason.
“(The win over Cromwell) was our seventh game that we won where we were down in the fourth quarter,” Kohn said. “Every game we come back in the fourth quarter to win, makes us that much stronger and gives me more confidence when we are behind.”
HOOPS FOR A CAUSE
Thanks for accepting the challenge and, more importantly,
for your efforts for @CancerCouch.
We might have our work cut out for us, but we like our chances. After all…
WE ARE SHA!!!
— SHA Athletics (@SHA_Sharks) January 31, 2020
This Friday, there will be a doubleheader of boys and girls basketball played at The University of New Haven.
The event was organized in a joint effort from Sacred Heart Academy and Notre Dame-West Haven as a way to raise money for cancer research after the aunt of a Sacred Heart player recently died from cancer. Before she died, she created a cancer research foundation called The Cancer Couch.
The proceeds from the doubleheader will go towards the foundation.
The Sacred Heart Academy and Branford girls will tip off at 6 p.m. at the Charger Gymnasium at the University of New Haven while Notre Dame-West Haven will face the Sheehan boys at approximately 7:30 p.m.
With three weeks to go in the regular season, the FCIAC playoff race is a free-for-all with 13-of 17 teams in contention for FCIAC playoff spots.
Through Saturday, Staples is on top with one league loss.
Following the Wreckers are four teams tied for second, (Trumbull, Stamford, Norwalk and Danbury) all with two conference losses.
Following the logjam in second are three teams (Greenwich, St. Joseph and Ridgefield) all at 7-4 in the FCIAC, tied for sixth place.
Wilton, Darien, New Canaan, Ludlowe and Warde are all still in the mix, just one or two games behind the teams tied in sixth.
Trinity Catholic, Westhill, Bridgeport Central and McMahon have combined for just three FCIAC wins and are eliminated from playoff contention.
Much of this will get sorted over the next three weeks, but it is rare for so many teams to have playoff hopes this late in the season.
A quick breakdown of FCIAC games remaining for the top five:
Staples: at Stamford, vs. Ridgefield, at Darien, at St. Joseph, vs. Westhill
Trumbull: vs. Trinity, vs. St. Joseph, at Warde, vs. Wilton, at Danbury, vs. Greenwich
Stamford: vs. Staples, at Norwalk, vs. Warde, at Trinty, vs. Danbury
Norwalk: at Ridgfield, at Danbury, vs. Stamford, at McMahon, vs. Darien, at New Canaan
Danbury: at Greenwich, vs. Norwalk, vs. Trinity, vs. Trumbull, at Stamford
CANTON KEEPS WINNING
Canton beat Somers 53-31 Friday night. The win was the 13th in a row for the team this season and the 44th straight NCCC regular-season win for the Warriors.
The last regular-season NCCC loss for the Warriors came Feb. 14, 2017 in a 46-44 defeat to East Windsor.
1,000 POINT CLUB
Jade Udoh of St. Paul had 17 points and 14 rebounds, scoring her 1,00th career point in the process.
St. Paul is now 14-2 and atop the NVL without a loss inside the conference.
— GFA Dragons (@GFA_Athletics) February 1, 2020
Allie Palmieri scored her 1,000th career point as Greens Farms beat Hopkins 54-42. She finished the game with 25 points.
The junior scored her first 620 career points in two seasons at Trumbull before transferring at the beginning of this season.