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Some High School March Madness Thoughts

POSTED March 04, 2012
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


                                        Some High School March Madnes Thoughts           

 A few thoughts as March Madness high school style envelopes us.

            Wamogo’s Kerri Stolle has truly been a brilliant final piece to the Stolle family basketball story and overall athletic excellence. With older sisters Tracy, the Berkshire League’s all-time leading girls scorer (1,914 points) and second all-time scorer behind Litchfield’s Dave Vigeant, Kristi (more than 1,300 points) and Kelly, a brilliant field hockey player, the Stolle’s tallied more than 5,000 points. Wow.

            Stolle and her family have justifiably been saluted with articles in the Hartford Courant, Waterbury Republican and Litchfieldcountysports.com. It is all admirable and impressive.

            Stolle’s career ended Friday night with a 49-37 loss to Morgan-Clinton in Class S second round action. The basketball career (1,140 points) speaks for itself.  But maybe what hasn’t been given enough attention is the way the blonde senior has always carried herself.

            With class. There is not a touch of arrogance for a player whose talents and career might demand it. For those of us with the notebooks we have always searched out Stolle not just because of her talents but because she is well-spoken and has always had time even on nights of disappointment.

            Polite, selfless, almost to a point on the court, she has been the picture of maturity throughout her career. Stolle’s career has only been matched by the way she has handled it all. She will be missed on and off the court.

            And the idea of no Stolle at Wamogo? Well, the will take a while to get used to.  

            NVL-BL matchups still stir up interest every time they happen to come about. Nonnewaug and Seymour matched up this week in the girls tournament and the Chiefs crushed the Wildcats, 60-40, leading, 41-12 at one point.

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  Holy Cross is clearly the best team in the two leagues, but the next group would flush out like this – Torrington, Nonnewaug, Thomaston and Wamogo in no special order although the Raiders might have a slight edge.

            Having seen all the participants, I think the BL trio is better than NVL Brass Division champion Watertown and Wolcott. Point of it all? The difference between the two leagues is not the great.

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            Watertown – NVL boys basketball champions. Boy, how strange does that sound? In a league that has been totally dominated by Crosby over the last decade or so with always powerful Holy Cross and the Jordan Williams-led Torrington Red Raiders in the mix, they would have laughed you out of the Route 8 corridor and called Bellview if you had ever suggested that.

            Recent decades have not been kind to the Indians to say the least. Now they reign supreme after Thursday’s 72-61 victory over Holy Cross. How can you not like this.

            The Indians had already defeated Crosby and Holy Cross this season, a feat nobody can remember happening. Now, a title. Good for the Indians and congratulations to coach Ed Sakl III and his crew.

            This is a talented group led by the likes of juniors Ed Hill and Jonathan Mitchell, Tom O’Brien and NVL Tournament MVP Chaz Oates. NVL champion Watertown. It may not sound normal but it sure feels great in Watertown.

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            Have there been any more entertaining games around this season than the trio of Gilbert-Northwestern battles. The two crosstown foes have done the intense rivalry proud.

            BL champion Northwestern has not found the remedy to beat the Yellowjackets losing large leads in two of the three contests. Thursday night’s 93-84 Gilbert victory in overtime was a beauty with Gilbert rallying from a nine-point deficit for the win.

            Even the fates intervened when the Highlanders missed two free throws with 2.2 seconds left in regulation to prevent the Highlanders from probable victory.

            Northwestern gets the league title and Gilbert the tournament crown. That’s a lot of trophies in Winsted.  

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            One more congratulations to the Wolcott Tech girls for an unprecedented season. While the Wildcats were bounced from the state tournament by Shepaug, 44-16, they were 13-8 this season, more wins than the program has ever had.  That’s something to build on and take pride in for Coach Brian Hurlock and his team.

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            Okay, let’s rev up the boys tournament and see if there is a magic carpet ride out there for a team or two. In the meantime, on the girls side, you have Torrington at Berlin and BL champion Thomaston hosting Portland Thursday night. Nonnewaug hosts Cromwell Monday night. Let’s see what happens.

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