RHAM basketball ends successful season

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Wed., Mar. 9, 2011
RHAM’s Cam Lewis goes up against Craig Hodgins during a February game against E.O. Smith. Photos by Melanie Savage.
RHAM’s Cam Lewis goes up against Craig Hodgins during a February game against E.O. Smith. Photos by Melanie Savage.

The RHAM basketball season has come to an end, with both teams posting successful records. The RHAM women, moving up to a very competitive Division L this year, have every reason to be proud of their performance. They entered the state tourney with a number 11 seed and a 14-6 record. Five of their losses were against teams ranked (according to maxpreps.com) within the top 20 in the state: Farmington (#19), Tolland (#20), Glastonbury (#3), E.O. Smith (#10, twice). The only exception is their loss to Southington (#47), which was the team’s very first game of the season.

RHAM beat Foran (22 seed) during the first round of post-season play by a score of 49-34. On March 3, they defeated number 6 seed New Canaan, with a final score of 48-36. The quarterfinal round was against number 3 seed Torrington, an away game played on March 7.  Despite 18 points from Audra Ayotte and 16 points from Sarah Veilleux, the Sachems lost by a final score of 69-56.

The Sachems will lose four strong players in seniors Audra Ayotte, Kristen Brett, Abby Fromme and Chloe Rishell. But sophomore guard Cameron Rishell will be a player to watch next year. And freshman forward Sarah Veilleux turned out to be a standout contributor. “She rebounds for us well. She shoots the ball. She’s an offensive threat,” said coach Tim Guernsey, earlier in the season.

For the RHAM men, the 2010-11 season has been about a group of dedicated players working toward a steady improvement. “This is still one of the best teams I’ve ever had,” said coach Steve Emt on Feb. 7. “They’re coming to play every day. We’re improving, and that’s all that matters.” The Sachems faced the season with a strong mix of young and more experienced players. They entered the post-season with a 9-11 record, at number 24 seed. They fell in the first round of the tourney on March 8 at an away game in Bridgeport against Bassick High School (final score 79-43).

The Sachems will graduate eight seniors this year: John Crandall, Mike Whitmore, Ryan Kaika, Devyn Coutant, Cam Lewis, Matt Fitzpatrick, Eric Buhagiar, Scott Bushey. But sophomore Kyle Rodegher has shaped up to be the leader of the Sachems this year. “He’s improved so much since last year,” said Emt. “We pretty much go as he goes. If he’s on game, so is the rest of the team. He loves it. He’s up for the challenge. He 100 percent accepts being the leader of the team.” If Rodegher returns next year, and the remaining players remain as committed, RHAM should have a good foundation for a successful 2011-12 season.

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