Boys high school basketball recap Week 9: East Catholic gets another quality win

Boys high school basketball recap Week 9: East Catholic gets another quality win

The East Catholic boys high school basketball team beat St. Bernard 68-60 last Tuesday for the second time this season in a matchup of the Division I and Division II champions from last year.

The Eagles (16-1) defeated St. Bernard by exactly the same score on Dec. 18 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

“We knew they were a quality opponent and we played them earlier in the season so it was good to see where we were at as a group,” East Catholic coach Luke Reilly said. “It was a good team win for us. Everybody made plays to help us win that we were hoping by this time of year they’d be able to make.”

East Catholic has a big stretch of games coming up this week; the Eagles were slated to host Northwest Catholic (15-2) Tuesday but school was canceled due to the snow so the game was moved to Wednesday. East Catholic also hosts Windsor Friday night.

East Catholic, which has won the last three Div. I titles (2019, 2022, 2023) is currently ranked fourth in Div. I behind Notre Dame-West Haven, Kolbe Cathedral and Notre Dame-Fairfield.

“We’re in a situation where we’re very successful, so your goal every year is to maintain that success,” Reilly said. “To this point in the season, we’ve been able to do that.”

Top performances of the week

Jordan Chisholm, Bristol Eastern: Chisholm scored 26 points in a 68-60 victory over Middletown Thursday.

Michael Coggins, Suffield: Coggins scored 42 points in a 96-95 OT loss to Windsor Locks Friday.

Noah Cordone, E.O. Smith: Cordone scored his 1,000th point and had 17 points in a 97-52 loss to East Catholic Monday.

Amari Cruz, Innovation: Cruz had 15 points and scored his 1,000th career point in a 67-39 victory over HMTCA Friday.

Conard’s Aidan Fox dunks the ball during a basketball game against Northwest Catholic High School on Jan. 23. Fox had 28 points in a win over Avon last week. (Jessica Hill/Special to the Courant)

Aidan Fox, Conard: Fox had 28 points and 10 rebounds in a 90-64 victory over Avon Friday.

Dezmen Gaston, Windham Tech: Gaston had a career-high 36 points and five assists, three rebounds and three steals in a 99-57 win over Prince Tech Friday.

Da’mnic Gittens, Cheney Tech: Gittens scored 41 points and had eight rebounds, four assists and four steals in an 84-49 win over Norwich Tech Tuesday.

Windsor Locks' Sincere Monroe (1) reaches for the hoop while guarded by Shepaug Valley's Kaelan McDonald (24) in the Division V championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn., March 18, 2023. Windsor Locks won, 69-58. Cloe Poisson/Special to the Courant
Windsor Locks’ Sincere Monroe (1) reaches for the hoop while guarded by Shepaug Valley’s Kaelan McDonald (24) in the Division V championship game last year. Monroe had 37 points in a double OT win last week over Suffield. Cloe Poisson/Special to the Courant

Sincere Monroe, Windsor Locks: Monroe scored 37 points in a 96-95 double overtime win over Suffield Friday.

David Smith, Glastonbury: Smith scored 40 points in a 60-57 loss to Conard in overtime Tuesday and had 28 points in a 74-54 loss to Northwest Catholic Friday.

Colin Tozier, Stafford: Tozier had 26 points in a 66-48 win over Canton Friday.

Storylines of the week

Northwest Catholic bounced back from close back-to-back losses to Windsor and Conard at the end of January to win six straight, including a 56-46 win over Avon, a 74-54 win over Glastonbury and a 89-47 win over Bristol Central last week. “The kids responded well,” Northwest Catholic coach John Mirabello said. “It’s just been part of the process with this group. I’m really pleased with them. They  responded to patches where things aren’t going well.”

Conard has also won six straight games and nine of its last 10. Senior Riley Fox, who will play at Yale next year, is 99 points shy of 2,000 for his career after a 36-point performance in a 90-64 win over Avon last week.

Windsor Locks, last year’s Div. V champion, beat Suffield 96-95 in double OT Friday. Suffield led 38-31 at halftime and 48-47 after three quarters but the score was tied at 68 at the end of regulation, sending the game into OT. Suffield’s Michael Coggins (42 points) and Windsor Locks’ Sincere Monroe (37 points) were the high scorers. Jack Grasso added 19 points for Windsor Locks.

Games to watch

Northwest Catholic (15-2) at East Catholic (16-1), Wednesday, 6:45 p.m.: This is the first of two big games for East Catholic this week but the Eagles will have to wait a day to play it because school was canceled Tuesday due to the snow.

  Windsor (14-3) at East Catholic (16-1), Friday, 6:45 p.m.: Second big CCC game of the week for the Eagles after the Northwest Catholic game. Windsor has won its last two games after a loss to Farmington at the end of January.

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