The CIAC will honor seven individuals for their contributions at the 2019 Boys and Girls State Basketball Championships Dedication in The Cabaret Theater at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center on Saturday March 16 beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Dr. Karissa Niehoff, former CAS-CIAC executive director and current executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) will be recognized with the CIAC Boys & Girls Basketball Dedication Award. In addition officials Anthony Gigliotti and Ted Lombardo, coaches Mike Fritch and Mike Walsh, and contributors Lori Riley and David Sousa will receive the 2019 Merit Awards.
Niehoff assumed the role of CAS-CIAC Executive Director in January of 2011. She was previously an accomplished high school coach, teacher, and administrator including. She became the first female executive director in the history of the NFHS in April of 2018.
Gigliotti has officiated 86 CIAC tournament games including eight semifinals and four finals, for IAABO Board 8. Lombardo has been an influential figure in high school athletics in numerous capacities including teaching, coaching and serving as an athletics director at Coginchaug in Durham. From 1975-2009 he served as an official for Hartford IAABO Board 6 where he worked numerous league and state championship games, culminating by working the Class LL final in 2009 in his final season.
Fritch completed his 34th season as a girls basketball coach and has led the Torrington program for 28 seasons with more than 430 wins. Walsh has been associated with Trinity Catholic since 1973 and during his long tenure as the boys basketball program’s head coach he produced a remarkable record of 633-294, including seven state state championships and 13 finals appearances. His program won 68-consecutive games over a three-year period.
For 25 years, Riley has told the stories of, and been a proponent for high school athletics and athletes in her role as a sportswriter for the Hartford Courant. She has covered everything from high school to UConn women’s basketball and has been honored by many organizations for her work, including induction into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Sousa has served and mentored students in eastern Connecticut for decades in a variety of roles. He was teacher, coach and athletics administrator in Colchester and as athletic director at his alma mater Waterford.
The dedication ceremony will begin a weekend of tournament action as five boys and four girls basketball finals will be played at Mohegan Sun Arena Saturday and Sunday. The nine games will be played in three sessions:
Session 1, Saturday March 16
Game 1: 10 a.m.
Game 2: 12:30 p.m.
Game 3: 3 p.m.
Session 2, Saturday March 16
Game 1: 6:15 p.m.
Game 2: 8:15 p.m.
Session 3, Sunday March 17
Game 1: 10:30 p.m.
Game 2: 1 p.m.
Game 3: 3:30 p.m.
Game 4: 6 p.m.
The announcement for which championship game will be played at each time slot will be announced following the conclusion of the semifinal rounds. Separate tickets will be sold for each session, with one ticket good for each of the games in that session. Presale tickets are available online for fans who know they want to attend specific sessions: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__casci.ac_4384&d=DwIDaQ&c=B73tqXN8Ec0ocRmZHMCntw&r=fcX2RM5tGKqdeFfSFEMkpJRbsOmJltnCObuQJxxXj9s&m=ge91Ri70lDXoEssncGUnPJ52U7s-agrmNrULVS7ZJ54&s=MD5Ha4aenzMg5Adaiqs0cdfMgDBwQzaNPlW0wKeW2p0&e=
The championship weekend also provides a showcase for Unified Sports basketball as a Unified game is scheduled to take place at halftime of four of the championship games.