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LCS Basketball Notebook

POSTED January 17, 2013
BY John Nestor
Twitter: @nestorjdn


LCS Basketball Notebook


We are at the halfway point of the high school basketball season and the "Run for the Sun" really starts in earnest now.


The goal of every high school team in the state is to get a game at Mohegan Sun Arena, site of the state championship games. Last season the Northwestern boys were a game away from that trip, making the Class S semifinals before falling to eventual state champ Immaculate (Danbury).


This season the Highlanders are up in Class M and would be the top seed if the tournament started today. The Terryville boys are in good shape in Class S while on the girls side, Thomaston (Class S) and Nonnewaug (Class M) are near the top of their classes.


Here's a look at the local hoops scene and where things stack up at the midway point of the season.


BERSHIRE LEAGUE:


Lets start with the girls since there is actually a race for the top spot and a few other teams who appear more than ready to become a spoiler at least and possibly a factor in the battle for the BL title.


Thomaston and Nonnewaug are tied for first with one league loss each but the Bears have the edge based on their 46-41 victory over the Chiefs in Woodbury on Tuesday night. The two clash again in Thomaston on Feb. 11th and the BL title could very well be on the line. Both teams are 11-1, two games in front of Lewis Mills and three ahead of Northwestern, which knocked off Thomaston, 43-42, Friday in Thomaston.


Both the Spartans and Highlanders need help to get back in the race but both have show they are capable of taking out one of the leaders. Northwestern owns a win over Thomaston while Lewis Mills (9-3) has beaten Northwestern twice and had tough games with both the league leaders, losing by 5 at home to the Bears and by one on the road to the Chiefs in a game in which they led by double-figures.


There's a really good chance the league race will come down to the showdown in Thomaston between the Bears and Chiefs, but don't count out the Spartans and Highlanders from at least making it interesting.


In the BL Boys race Northwestern has established control but Terryville still lurks one-game back.


The Highlanders are 10-0 and have won each game by at least 10 points. With road wins against Terryville, Nonnewaug and Gilbert already, Northwestern appears to be well on its way to a second straight BL regular-season title.


The Kangaroos get another crack at the Highlanders on Feb. 18 in Winsted and it very well could be for the league title.


BL Girls Tournament Teams:


Locks - Thomaston, Nonnewaug, Lewis Mills, Northwestern.


Thomaston is currently the top seed in Class S but will likely have to win out to have a shot at being the No. 1 seed. Capital Prep, which went to the title game last year, is 8-1 and its only loss is to Archbishop Malloy (NY). Capital Prep already has more power points and will likely overtake Thomaston is they finish with equal records.


Nonnewaug, Mills and Northwestern are all in the mix for a good seed in Class M. Cromwell (13-0) is in the top spot and if the tournament started today the Chiefs would be No. 3 in the Class with Mills No. 8. Northwestern is one of seven teams with eight wins and sits in the No. 13 spot.


Work To Do - Housatonic, Terryville and Wamogo all have five wins and need three more to become tournament eligible. 


BL Boys Tournament Teams:


Locks - Northwestern, Terryville, Nonnewaug, Gilbert.


Work to do - Wamogo and Thomaston have five wins each and should be able to get to eight.


Still alive - Lewis Mills (3-7) has to go 5-5 in its final 10 games to get into the state tournament. Losses in winnable games at Canton and home to Litchfield will likely come back to haunt the Spartans.



NAUGATUCK VALLEY LEAGUE: The Torrington girls are 9-3 and have won five of six and are locked into the state tournament. The Raiders' losses have been by five, four and two points and they recently knocked Watertown from the ranks of the unbeaten while establishing themselves as the best team in the league for the moment.


Torrington has a habit of going through dry spells on offense where they get stagnant and don't effectively run their sets, but they always seem to be able to snap out of it and are deep, with four or five players capable of leading the team in scoring every night.


The Torrington boys are 4-6 and need to win four of its final 10 games to get back to the state tournament.


The Raiders are in a crucial stretch of the season with games against Gilbert, St. Paul (5-3) Derby (1-7) and Wolcott looming on the schedule. Three or four wins would really go a long way toward setting up the Raiders for an exciting home stretch. A couple of losses and it will be nailbiting time because Torrington's closing schedule could yield some exciting games but not many wins.


Torrington closes the season with games against Holy Cross, Kennedy, Crosby, Sacred Heart, Wilby and Naugatuck. Crosby and Wilby are among the top 10 teams in the state and the Raiders went 1-5 against these six teams in the first half of the season, their only win coming in overtime at home against the Greyhounds.


TITLE TALK: Looking through the CIAC records the area is due, overdue for a hoops title.


The Torrington boys in 2009, are the last area team to play for a state title. The Raiders lost to Bulkeley (Hartford), 58-57 with the last local boys state champ being the Raiders in 2006 with their 55-40 victory over Holy Cross. Wamogo is the last Berkshire League team to play for a state title, losing in 2005 to Old Saybrook while Gilbert's back-to-back Class S titles in 1998 and 1999 represent the last BL state titles.


The Holy Cross girls in 2007 represent the last NVL winner while Wamogo and Northwestern (2002, 2003) earned back-to-back spots in the Class S title game for the BL and Wamogo's 1995 Class S title is the last BL state title on the girls side.


WILLIAMS MOVING UP THE LIST: Former Torrington High standout Desmond Williams moved up to seventh on the Community College of Rhode Island's all-time scoring list Tuesday with 17 points in an 89-65 victory over Quinsigamond Community College.


Williams has 1,046 career points and needs just 10 points to tie No. 6 Rob Singleton (1,056 points) and 12 points to tie No. 5 Ken McDonald (1,058 points) on the school list. 


Williams led the Knights to the Division Two Junior College National Championship game last spring and is playing his way to a D-I scholarship offer. According to reports Kansas State, Memphis, Washington State, Rhode Island, the College of Charleston, St. Bonaventure, UTEP, Middle Tennessee State, Iona and UAB are interested in Williams.

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