Tests to strengthen Tolland girls' basketball team

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Tolland - posted Fri., Jan. 10, 2014
Tolland's Taylor Hall makes a bucket in the Eagles' game vs. Farmington on Jan. 8. Photos by Steve Smith.
Tolland's Taylor Hall makes a bucket in the Eagles' game vs. Farmington on Jan. 8. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Tolland High School girls' varsity basketball team was supposed to be in a rebuilding year in 2013, but the Lady Eagles went all the way to the Class L semifinals. This year, the team has decidedly turned to a youth movement, with only one senior, four-year starter Chelsea Domian, leading a group with four juniors, several sophomores and six freshmen.

“We're old and young - all mixed up,” said coach Vincent Cianfarani. “Once we get a half dozen more games under our belts and the sophomores get a little more cohesive with the other kids on the court, we'll be okay.”

Cianfarani said Domian's talents on the court are obvious, and that the same is true for the intangibles, which helped her get a full-ride scholarship to Assumption College next year.

“She's a player that has great skills, is un-selfish, and she also realizes that her team needs her production,” Cianfarani said. “They don't hand scholarships out, so Assumption must think she's well-deserving.”

After a loss to Farmington (last year's Class L champs) by a score of 52-46 on Jan. 8, Cianfarani said his team, now 4-3, can learn a lot of lessons from that game. “I thought we played pretty good defense,” he said. “We gave up only 52 points to a team that usually scores in the 60s. There were some things we did very well, and there are other things that we didn't do well, that we need to work on, that will make us a better team. When you look at a game like that, it will really help us down the road.”

Cianfarani said he thinks his team can make the Class M tournament (Tolland switched classes this year) and should improve, but there will be more tests along the way, including E.O. Smith and Bloomfield.

“There are a lot of games like this one coming up,” he said. Tolland visits Hartford Public on Jan. 17 and hosts Fermi on Jan. 22.

For a complete schedule, visit www.ciacsports.com.

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