With everyone focusing on the teams remaining in conference tournaments, most of the teams across the state are left with a gap before the state tournaments begin March 2.
That includes the many teams not qualifying for league tournaments, but also teams ousted early.
Danbury, currently the No. 6 team in Class LL, is one of those teams staring at a nine-day layoff after losing in the FCIAC quarterfinals Saturday.
Danbury had a tough week of games closing out the regular season and FCIAC tournament so it can use some of the time off to get healthy.
“Rest. We are going to rest. We had Hamden Saturday, then Trumbull, Stamford Wednesday and Ridgefield (Saturday). I gave them Thursday off, just because we were dead. They need a break and hopefully they come back fired up and ready to play in states,” Danbury coach Jackie DiNardo said. “Sometimes the break is good if you have the right team. Some teams might enjoy the time off, too much and say ‘I’m done, why do I want to get going again?’ You have to be careful.”
DiNardo has done it every way during her long tenure at Danbury, having both won conference titles and failing to qualify, leaving large holes in the schedule.
“I am not giving them the entire time off because we will have to get ourselves going again,” she said. “It is going to be hard. You have to stay conditioned and in shape. Who loves to run? Track people. We are not track people. We will have to stay up on our conditioning to get ready for states.”
Canton is still alive in the NCCC tournament, but coach Brian Medeiros has faced that gap before, both by being eliminated early and by receiving byes in states, prolonging time off the court.
“I believe that if you are just going to practice, that is a long stretch if you don’t reach your conference final. If you lose in the semis or quarterfinals of your conference, that can be a really long time off. If you can get a scrimmage in there, that helps,” Medeiros said. “I think time off is a good thing, too. Just to give the kids a little bit of a break. Because now you are going for another three weeks. That’s the goal. Everyone wants to be there on March 21-22. A few days to give the kids a chance to recharge the batteries and a chance for the coaches to recharge.”
Even when he can not find scrimmages, joining other teams on a break for a practice can be enough of a change.
“If you can be productive it’s better,” he said. “You can also go practice with other schools. We have gone over to practice at Northwestern or at Simsbury. It gives you a chance to see new faces.”
Stamford, which has had good run of making the FCIAC semis or finals, lost in the quarterfinals Saturday and is looking forward to hitting the reset button.
“That time could be very beneficial to help them clear their heads,” said Stamford coach Diane Burns. “If they are not a better team 10 days from now, then we are doing something wrong. The goal has to be to continue to improve because there is plenty to improve upon. It is a long time and we will take at least two of them off. We might try to find a scrimmage in there. I have a lot of coaches and they are all good athletes, so, we can always do that as a scrimmage, too.”
1,000 POINT CLUB
The final week of the regular season saw a swarm of players reach the 1,000-career points mark.
Cami Pasqualoni of East Catholic scored her 1,000 point in a 61-54 win over Manchester in the first round of the CCC tournament.
Abby St. Onge of Avon got her 1,000th point during a 37-27 loss to Farmington on the final day of the season.
Kate Joyce of Weston tallied her 1,000th point, also in the season finale, against Bethel.
And Iyana Barnes of Abbott Tech picked up her 1,000th point in the final regular season game of her career, a 45-33 win over Wolcott Tech.