There will be no Run to the Sun.
It hurts to hear, but it is the reality of the 2021 girls basketball season with COVID-19 changing everything about how we play and watch sports.
What we can do that feels somewhat normal is putt out the girls basketball top 10 poll.
It will be more difficult this season to choose the teams with no crossover games between conferences and, of course, no state tournaments.
Back atop our poll is Notre Dame-Fairfield, receiving all the first-place votes in the preseason poll just as it did in the final poll last season before the season was shut down.
The Lancers lost a little, but come back with a cupboard full of talent. Teams in the SWC will be hard-pressed to knock the Lancers out of the top spot.
Looking at the rest of the top 10, Trumbull, Danbury and Ridgefield represent the FCIAC. That league should be quite competitive this season and we could see different teams move in and out of the top 10 depending on who they faced in a particular week.
The SCC was two votes away from having no teams in the poll, but Sheehan just eked out Ludlowe for that final spot.
The ECC shows up with three teams and it is no surprise who they are: Bacon Academy, New London and NFA were the best from out east last year and should be again with all three eyeing the ECC D-I title.
Newington and E.O. Smith are the only CCC teams here, but in a league loaded with talent, more will surely make an appearance.
The rule for this season, which starts Monday, is to have some fun.
That goes for the players, coaches and us here doing the poll.
Is it going to be perfect? No way.
But it will be fun.
Let’s throw that ball up and get to playing some ball.
2021 Preseason GameTimeCT Top 10 Girls Basketball Poll
|TEAM (1st place votes)|
|1. NOTRE DAME-FAIRFIELD (17)||22-1||510||1|
| This Week: Mon. vs Pomperaug, 7:15 p.m.; Thur. at Masuk, 7:15 p.m.
Bottom Line: Yes the Lancers lost two key players to transfer. Might not matter as they bring back almost everyone else from last season along with some transfers and what could be a strong freshmen class.
| This Week: Fri. at Ludlowe
Bottom Line: This is the biggest senior class coach Steve Tobitsch has ever had at Trumbull. The Eagles are the team to beat in the FCIAC behind versatile guard Cassi Barbato.
| This Week: Fri. vs New London, 6 p.m.
Bottom Line: Seniors, seniors, seniors! NFA brings back a strong senior class led by guard Jenissa Varela and 6-foot center Anajah Ingram.
| This Week: Thur. at Wethersfield, 6:45 p.m.
Bottom Line: Normally losing a player like Ashanti Frazier would mean a team is rebuilding. Not the case in Newington where a mix of returning players and transfers will once again make them tough to beat.
|5. NEW LONDON||18-4||300||8|
| This Week:Fri. at NFA, 6 p.m.
Bottom Line: New Whalers coach Tammy Millsaps takes over a talented roster looking to get back on top of the ECC and this poll.
|6. BACON ACADEMY||19-4||274||10|
| This Week: Fri. vs St. Bernard, 6 p.m.
Bottom Line: Fri. vs St. Bernard, 6 p.m.
| This Week: Tue., Feb. 16 vs Ludlowe, 4:30 p.m
Bottom Line: The Hatters will start the season a week after other teams but once they take the court, they bring back a stacked junior class along with senior center Tianna Rogers.
| This Week: Tue. at Trumbull, 5 p.m; Fri. vs Westhill, 5 p.m.
Bottom Line: The Tigers arrived a year early, winning the FCIAC last season. Now they bring back Katie Flynn, Cali Stietzel, Kelly Chittenden and more from that team with eyes on back-to-back FCIAC crowns.
|9. E.O. SMITH||15-7||230||NR|
| This Week: Mon. at East Hartford, 5:15 p.m; Thur. vs Tolland 5:30 p.m.
Bottom Line: George Washington University-bound guard Taylor Golembiewski will have Panthers in every game.
| This Week: Mon.vs Hamden, 6 p.m; Thur. at Guilford 4 p.m.
Bottom Line: With Caitlyn Hunt back in the paint Sheehan will always be good but the team around her is really solid and will be one of best top to bottom lineups in the SCC.
|Dropped out: Newtown (3), Staples (4), Hand (6)
First-place votes in parentheses and points tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis.
Records from last year
|Others receiving votes: Ludlowe (12-9) 182; East Hartford (14-8) 158; Hand (19-3) 122; Newtown (20-3) 97; Staples (21-2) 93; Wilbur Cross (14-8) 79; Norwalk (18-5) 77; East Haven (15-7) 76; St Joseph (13-9) 48; Conard (15-7) 45; Holy Cross (20-3) 28; Cromwell (16-7) 19; Mercy (9-12) 19; Canton (20-2) 19; Sacred Heart Academy (18-4) 17; Glastonbury (17-6) 16; Stamford (15-6) 15; Southington (16-6) 14; Simsbury (11-10) 10; Middletown (10-11) 9; East Hampton (20-1) 8; Waterford (8-13) 7; Pomperaug (16-6) 7; Suffield (14-7) 7; Berlin (19-3) 7|
|The following voted: Lori Riley, Hartford Courant; Scott Ericson, GameTimeCT; Mike Madera, Walter Camp Foundation/New Haven Register; Dave Phillips, Shoreline Newspapers; Dave Ruden, The Ruden Report; Jimmy Zanor, Norwich Bulletin; Tim Jensen, Patch; Scotty Nails RCDS; Brian Medeiros, Canton; Vickie Fulkerson, The New London Day; Fred Williams, Northwestern; Rick Wilson, Waterbury Republican American; Sean Krofssik, Record-Journal; Matthew Hornick, Bristol Press; Rich Zalusky, The Chronicle; Dave Danko, Fairfield Warde; Adam Betz, Journal Inquirer
Poll compiled by Scott Ericson