Final NCCC standings
TeamLg.Overall x-Avon 13-0 17-3 Granby 11-217-3 Canton 10-317-3 Coventry 9-4 14-6
x-clinched league title
Avon 59, Enfield 42
Canton 76, WLocks 68, 2 OT
E. Windsor 49, Coventry 43
Granby 65, Suffield 48
Granby 60, Canton 51
Avon 62, East Windsor 46
Championship, March 1
Avon 59, Granby 52
Wednesday, Feb. 21
Avon 64, Canton 51
Friday, Feb. 16
Avon 75, Enfield 51
E. Windsor 55, Canton 52
Wind.Locks 53, Coventry 45
Granby 75, Ellington 57
Tuesday, Feb. 13
Avon 68, Granby 54
Canton 71, East Granby 64
Stafford 69, Coventry 66
Friday, Feb. 10
Avon 100, Bolton 36
Coventry 50, Tolland 48
Granby 54, Suffield 51
Thursday, Feb. 9
Canton 76, Stafford 66
Tuesday, Feb. 6
Avon 82, Stafford 67
Canton 60, Tolland 59, OT
Granby 51, Coventry 42
Recent NCCC champions
2007: Avon (13-0)
2006: Granby (16-0)
2005: Avon & Tolland (15-1)
2003: Avon & Enfield (15-1)
2002: Avon & Suffield (14-2)
2001: Windsor Locks (14-2)
2000: Suffield (15-1)
1999: E.O. Smith (16-0)
1998: Avon (16-0)
1997: Somers (15-1)
1996: E.O. Smith (15-1)
1995: Windsor Locks (15-1)
1994: E.O. Smith (16-0)
1993: Somers & EOS (14-2)
1991: E.O. Smith (16-0)
1988: Avon (15-1)
Recent NCCC Tournament championship games
2007: Avon 59, Granby 52
2006: Granby 45, Tolland 43
2005: Avon 58, Enfield 40
2004: Tolland 41, Avon 27
2003: Avon 56, W. Locks 51
2002: Suffield 44, Tolland 43
2001: Windsor Locks 53, East Granby 51
2000: Avon 77, Ellington 69
'99: E.O. Smith 48, Tolllnd 41
'98: Avon 72, Stafford 59
'97: Somers 65, EOS 54
'96: W. Locks 55, Canton 39
'93: Somers 79, Tolland 69
'92: EOS 66, Somers 50
'90: Avon 73, Somers 71
'88: EOS 47, Avon 37
'87: Suffield 53, Avon 51
Class S semifinals
Cromwell ruins Canton's title aspirations in OT
NEW BRITAIN, March 14 – No. 10 Cromwell hit 11 three-points shots, including two in overtime, to beat Canton for thrilling 73-66 victory in the Class S semifinals in a steamy New Britain High gym. Freshman Isaiah Salafia picked up a loose ball near the top of the key and drained a three-point shot with 2:15 left in OT to give the Panthers a 65-62 lead.
Canton’s Dwayne Rivers, who scored a career-high 29 points and the final 14 points for the Warriors, cut the lead to one with a jumper in the lane with 1:59 remaining. After Cromwell sank two foul shots, Rivers took a nice pass inside from Chris Robitaille and laid it in off the glass with 1:21 left to cut the lead to 67-66.
Cromwell extended the lead to two on another foul shot but on Canton’s next possession, Rivers lost the ball driving to the basket with 39.1 seconds left. Two more foul shots by Cromwell extended the lead to four (70-66) and a three-point shot from Rivers with 10 seconds left was off the rim. The Panthers sank eight of 10 free throws in OT.
Canton, in its first semifinal appearance since 1982, finished the year at 20-5. “We got a lot of good looks in the last quarter and overtime because they were sagging in on (6-8 senior) Justin (Martin),” Cromwell coach John Pinone said. “And he made some great passes back out.”
Martin had 18 points and seven blocks. He also had two key assists on a pair of three-pointers in the fourth quarter and OT. John Schmaltz had 22 for the Panthers.
Cromwell will face No. 12 East Windsor in Saturday’s championship game. The Panthers upset top-seeded Coginchaug in overtime, 66-62, in the other semifinal contest.
-- GERRY deSIMAS, JR.
Canton faces Cromwell in semis
CANTON, March 12 -- No. 3 Canton (20-4) will face No. 10 Cromwell (16-6) on Wednesday, March 14 at New Britain High School at 7 p.m. in the Class S semifinals. The winner faces either No. 1 Coginchaug or No. 12 East Windsor, who stunned Granby, 56-55 in the quarterfinals. The final is Saturday, March 17 at 2 p.m. at Central Connecticut State.
Canton is in the semifinals for the first time since 1982 and for just the sixth time ever. Canton last played in the championship game in 1981.
Class S quarterfinals
Canton races past No. 11 Wheeler
MANCHESTER, March 12 -- Guard Dwayne Rivers was spectacular with a game-high 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lead No. 3 Canton (20-4) to an 83-58 win over No. 11 Wheeler-North Stonington in the Class S quarterfinals. His athletic moves and drives to the basket opened up the game for Canton, which raced out to early leads of 10-2 and 12-4.
Jimmy Purcell tied a career-high with 12 points while sixth man Brian McLellan continued his strong play off the bench with 12 points and seven rebounds. Joey Dionne added 13 points and five assists.
“We played really strong from the start and brought the pressure to them and that really made a difference early,” Canton coach Eric Deegan said. “We were real aggressive to start the game early.”
The 83 points is one point shy of the school record for most points scored in a CIAC tournament game. The Warriors had 84 in a 84-71 win over Portland in the 1984 Class S quarterfinals.
Rivers had eight of Canton’s first 14 points. He sank two foul shots after ripping down a rebound and got fouled. After Getz stole the ball, Rivers drove in for a layup. Rivers took a nice feed inside from Dionne for another two points and scored on a drive between two defenders in the lane. “The reports I had on Canton didn’t do him justice,” Wheeler coach Robert Oliver said. “He’s a great player.”
Wheeler (16-9) cut the Canton lead to seven on a buzzer-beating layup to end the second quarter. But Canton opened the second quarter with 12 straight points to blow open the game. “They came out like every team should,” Wheeler’s David Renski said. “Come at you hard and smack you in the mouth.”
-- GERRY deSIMAS, JR.
Class S second round
Canton throttles Grasso Tech
CANTON, March 8 -- Canton began the tournament with a a relatively easy 72-43 second round victory over No. 14 Grasso Tech at home. Canton allowed just 10 points in the first half and 22 points through three quarters.
It is believed to the largest margin of victory for Canton (29 points) in a CIAC tournament game, topping a 24-point margin of victory in the 1982 Class S quarterfinals against Stafford.
Joey Dionne hit five of his first six shots from the floor and had 12 points. Matt Getz had 10 points while Matt Zukowski had two points and 10 rebounds. Brian McLellan’s 12 points represented his highest scoring performance since game nine in early January.
NCCC Tournament final
Avon defense carries Falcons past Granby
AVON, March 1 – The Avon High basketball team has had few teams challenge them this year. They lost twice early in the year as they adjusted to the loss of four starters and in a loss against Canton in January, they fell behind in the third quarter and never recovered.
However, in the championship game of the 2007 NCCC Tournament, the Falcons erased a nine-point first quarter deficit and a four-point deficit with 6:45 remaining to pull away from Granby and win its sixth NCCC Tournament title Thursday before a standing room only crowd, 59-52.
The Falcons (20-3) sank 12 of its final 15 foul shots and All-NCCC forward Andy Roell had eight of his game-high 21 points in the final 5:38. All-NCCC forward Dan Naddaf had some key rebounds and assists in the final two minutes to lift the Falcons.
Granby’s All-State guard Jeff Robinson finished with 20 points but no other Granby player was able to score more than nine points. The Bears (19-4) did drain eight 3-point shots but scored only two baskets from the floor in the final 6:38 thanks to a relentless Avon defense. "The key was to match up with their other shooters who hurt us in other games," Falcon coach Tim Curtis said. "We created our own little defense to deal with their talents."
Canton’s Dwayne Rivers and Joey Dionne were also named to the All-NCCC team.
--- GERRY deSIMAS, JR.
NCCC Tournament semifinal
Granby tops Canton in NCCC semifinals
GRANBY, Feb. 27 – Granby sharpshooter Jeff Robinson scored 49 points in a game earlier this year and Canton was determined that Robinson would not beat him in Tuesday’s NCCC semifinal game. But they didn’t count on his teammates.
Junior guard Jeff McDonald hit four 3-point shots and sank 15 points to help the Bears beat Canton, 60-51 and earn a spot in the NCCC Tournament championship for the second straight year.
Canton (18-4) had a three-point lead early in the third quarter but after a failed slam dunk, Granby took off on a 14-2 surge to seize command. Canton didn’t score a field goal for the final 6:29 of the third quarter and the first 3:04 of the fourth quarter in a physical game.
Still, Canton was able to cut the lead to five, 45-40, with 4:56 left when Chris Robitaille took a missed foul shot and scored. But McDonald, as he was much of the evening, was left wide open on the wing and he drained a three-point shot with 3:24 left to push the lead back to eight.
“I was surprised they left him so open but they were trying to stop Robinson,” Granby coach Walter Hansen said. “And if I was the opposing coach, I would do the same thing.”
Robinson did finish with a game-high 19 points, buoyed by a 9-for-12 performance from the free throw line. Canton was led by Matt Getz with 15 points and Dwayne Rivers with 13 points. The Warriors were hampered by poor foul shooting, hitting just 18-of-31 shots.
--- GERRY deSIMAS, JR.
NCCC Tournament quarterfinal
Canton wins tournament opener in double OT
GRANBY, Feb. 24 -- The Warriors fended off the upset bid by Windsor Locks in the quarterfinals of the NCCC Tournament with a 76-68 win in double overtime.
Canton led the entire game but Windsor Locks tied the score with 40 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Canton held for the last shot but missed.
In the first OT, Windsor Locks took a four-point lead but Canton's Dwayne Rivers drove to the basket, sank a layup and was fouled. He hit the free throw to cut the lead to one. Then, Rivers stole the ball and fed a teammate to put Canton ahead. Again, Locks was able to tie the game to send it into a second OT.
But Rivers hit a driving shot and Matt Getz (13 points) hit a 15-foot jumper and Canton opened up a six-point lead to secure the win. After being limited to a season-low five points against Avon, Rivers came out and scored a career-high 28 points. And Joey Dionne continued his second half surge with 14 points and two 3-point shots.
“We played pretty well,” Deegan said. “But we have to learn to play with the lead. Instead of playing not to lose, we have to play to win.”
Avon shows who is the league champion
AVON, Feb. 21 -- Avon High made sure that Canton knew who was the league champion in a dominating 64-51 victory. The loss to East Windsor five days earlier clinched the title for Avon but the Falcons played as if they had to beat Canton to win the championship.
Avon rebounded the ball at will and senior Tim Jurczak didn’t score a single point but he made a huge impact by sticking to Rivers wherever he went. He made Rivers work for every cut, every pass and every shot.
Dionne had a career-high 22 points and four 3-point shots in the game but it wasn’t enough. Avon led by just four at the half thanks to 12 first-half points from Dionne but in the second half, the Falcons moved the ball well and continued to find Andy Roell in the low post for easy baskets. Roell scored 20 of his game-high 21 points in the second half.
Canton cut the lead to seven with 5:05 left in the game but an 8-2 run with two corner jumpers from a wide-open Roell and a Roell basket in the low post after a rebound and nifty pass from senior Dan Naddaff iced the contest.
-- GERRY deSIMAS, JR.
Canton upset, Avon clinches NCCC title
CANTON, Feb. 16 -- The Warriors saw an opportunity to play for the NCCC championship evaporate in a stunning 55-52 loss to East Windsor on Senior Night. Canton ended the week with a record of 17-2 overall and 10-2 in the league. Avon (16-3, 12-0) clinched the league championship with a 78-51 win over Enfield as Canton fell to 17-2 and 10-2 in the league.
Visiting East Windsor (11-7, 8-4 NCCC) outscored Canton 14-5 over the last 5:23 of the contest, limiting Canton to just two field goals. A dagger to the Warriors’ hopes came with 33.7 seconds left with Canton trailing by one, 49-48. East Windsor’s Dan Gonzalez was fouled and sank his first free throw. His second rolled off the rim but no one blocked out East Windsor’s Dan Christensen, who swooped in for the rebound and tapped it back in to extend the lead to four, 52-48.
“I challenged my kids to show me something I didn’t think they had in them,” East Windsor coach George Thomas said. “That was a lot of heart.”
This game wasn’t lost in the final few minutes but in the third quarter and early stages of the fourth when Canton was sloppy with the basketball, missed offensive rebounds and several close shots. Three times in the second half, the Warriors had nine-point leads only to see the Panthers crawl back into the game.
“We just thought we would go along and do what we needed to do to win,” Canton coach Eric Deegan said. “But it came down to we didn’t play as hard as we could for four quarters and that came back to bite us.”
-- GERRY deSIMAS, JR.
Canton, Avon remain in hunt for NCCC title
Granby virtually out of contention, Coventry eliminated
EAST GRANBY, Feb. 13 – Canton had three players in double figures led by Dwayne Rivers with 20 points as Canton (17-1, 10-1 NCCC) was able to handle East Granby, 71-64 and keep pace in the race for the NCCC championship. Joey Dionne added 19 points while Chris Robitaille pulled down 13 points. Canton pulled away with a 24-15 surge in the third quarter. The Warriors tied a single-season record for most regular season wins set back in 1981 when they were 17-3.
Avon 68, Granby 54
AVON, Feb. 13 – The Falcons (15-3, 11-0 NCCC) crippled Granby’s chances to repeat as league champions by outrunning the Bears in a 68-54 victory. Dan Naddaff had a team-high 20 points and 13 rebounds for Avon while Andrew Roell added 18. Avon pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring Granby (15-3, 10-2 NCCC) by nine points.
Stafford 69, Coventry 66
COVENTRY, Feb. 13 – Stafford eliminated Coventry (12-5, 8-3 NCCC) from the league championship race with a three-point victory. Hayden Palozie had 22 points to lead the Bulldogs. Adam Riddell had 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Patriots, playing in the NCCC for the first time after several years in the now-defunct Charter Oak Conference.
Avon rolls past Bolton
BOLTON, Feb. 9 -- Fourteen different players scored as Avon (14-3, 10-0) broke the 100-point barrier for the first time this season with a 100-36 win over Bolton to remain undefeated in the league. Andy Roell led the way with 14 points. It topped a 96-point effort against Capital Prep earlier in the season.
In other games on Friday, Coventry held off Tolland, 50-48 and Granby (15-2, 10-1) remained on pace to win a share of the league title with a 54-51 win over Suffield. If Granby wins its final two league games against Avon and Ellington, it can do no worse that earn a share of the league title.
Warriors top Stafford
CANTON, Feb. 8 -- Matt Getz had 17 points while Dwayne Rivers chipped in 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Warriors (16-1, 9-1) past Stafford, 76-66. Joey DIonne scored in double digits for the second straight game with 11 points and six assists. Canton is one win shy of tying the school record for most regular season wins. The Warriors were 17-3 in 1981.
Shots at the buzzer keep Canton in hunt
TOLLAND, Feb. 6 – Dwayne Rivers hit a bank shot at the buzzer to lift Canton to a 60-59 victory over Tolland and keep the Warriors in contention for its first NCCC championship. Joey Dionne forced overtime by hitting a three-point shot at the buzzer to tie the game.
Dionne finished with 13 points and three 3-point goals while Rivers led the way for Canton (15-1, 8-1) with a game-high 22 points. Canton is 2-0 in overtime games this season.
Granby 51, Coventry 42: Guard Jeff Robinson had 25 points to lead the defending NCCC champion Bears (14-2, 9-1) to a solid win over Coventry (10-4, 7-2). Granby scored just three points in the fourth quarter but still won comfortably.
Avon 82, Stafford 67: Dan Naddaff scored a season-high 33 points in 13 field goals to lead Avon (13-3, 9-0) past Stafford. Avon pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs, 32-19. Andy Roell added 12 for the Falcons.