Winter sports teams have much to be proud of
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon/Ellington/Tolland - posted Fri., Mar. 22, 2013
Area high schools' winter sports teams had a great deal of success this season.
Rockville High School's boys’ and girls’ basketball teams each just missed the post-season, but both made huge strides over previous seasons.
“Rockville basketball is going to be a force,” said girls' coach Israel Caban.
The Ellington boys had a 13-7 season and made it as far as the Class M tournament's second round. Their female counterparts had a better season, posting a 14-6 record before also dropping a second-round game. However, the Lady Knights did capture their third consecutive NCCC title in a thrilling 59-56 win over new-found rival Avon.
“Just to three-peat was awesome,” said junior captain and All-Conference guard Karlee Alves.
The Tolland boys' hoops squad took a 9-11 record into the post-season and made it through to the second round. The Lady Eagles made headlines by returning to the Class L semi-finals for a fifth straight year, but doing so with a new coach and four new starters.
“When I got the job,” said Tolland girls' coach Vincent Cianfarani, “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.”
In indoor track, the Tolland girls took second at the Class M meet at Hillhouse on Feb. 7. Katy Sprout took third place in the women's 300-meter dash and second in the 55-meter hurdles. Caitlin Swanson and Alyssa Hurlbut took third and sixth place, respectively, in the 1600-meter race. Swanson also took second in the 3200-meter race, and teammates Alexa Krause and Molly Kozlowski finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
Tolland girls' relay teams took second in the 4x400 relay, the 4x800 relay, and the 1600-meter sprint medley, as well as fourth in the 4x200.
The E.O. Smith/Tolland/Windham Hockey team took an 11-8-1 record into the post-season and then fell to shared home-ice rivals, the new hockey co-op of Bolton/Rockville/Coventry/Lyman Hall, in the Division III tournament quarterfinals.
'BCR' posted a 17-1-2 regular season before knocking out the Bucks. They played a hard-fought, double-overtime game against NFA/St. Bernard/Bacon in the semi-finals, on the way to the finals on March 16 vs. Newington/Berlin/Manchester. That game was called “one for the ages” by some, and although BCR lost heartbreakingly, 1-0, coach Christian Stevenson said his players should still feel good about themselves.
“They should be proud,” he said. “That's what we talked about – just how proud we were of them.”