Lady Eagles approach state semi-final
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Tolland - posted Fri., Mar. 8, 2013
The members of the Tolland High School girls’ basketball team made a statement by beating Northwest Catholic by 14 in the CIAC Class L tournament quarterfinal game on March 4: that they will be tough competitors in the semifinals. Another statement they made is that the program survived graduating four of five starters from last year's team that went to the state finals, as well as having a new coach.
“It's a nice feeling. It was a very good victory,” said coach Vincent Cianfarani. “When I got the job, everybody thought they lost a lot of personnel, a lot of good players, lost a coach and the cupboard was bare. When I got this job July 20, I looked in the cupboard and I saw a lot.”
The philosophy that Cianfarani has employed with his team is “nobody is going to out-work us,” and that seems to have paid off, with the team playing well and peaking at the right time, even after finishing the season by losing three of five.
“This is a family,” he said. “These are kids that have a lot of pride in their games. They didn't get the chance to play as much as they wanted to in their first three years, and now they've gotten the opportunity. We hit a little speed bump, but what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, so I think that may have helped us a little bit. We re-focused.”
At press time, the Eagles were preparing for a tournament semi-final match against Bacon Academy on March 8. Cianfarani said he will be developing a strategy for what he predicts will be a “chess match of a game.”
Cianfarani said the team has been primarily working on rebounding in practices, and getting more possession. “We need to stop teams from getting second and third opportunities,” he said.
For more information, visit www.casciac.org.