ON THE COURT
This is a day to think about what might have been in Enfield. Career Magnet-New Haven will play for a Class M championship today after denying the Raiders in the semifinals, 49-37.
There is little question the better team won. Enfield, which finished 23-4 if you count the NCCC Tournament (and why wouldn't you?), was young to be playing a game that deep in March. The Raiders will lose only Sean McGuire, Jeremy Chevalier and Anthony Gugliotti to graduation, none of who started.
One might suspect the disadvantages of a young team are mental and emotional, but that is not the case.
No doubt it helps to have been in pressure games before, but the most significant advantage experience provides is extra time in the weight room.
High school seniors are bigger and stronger than high school sophomores, which is a revelation that will surprise no one.
Enfield returns all five starters next season, which means its outlook is excellent as long as Tre Preston and the gang decide they want to lift some weights, play some ball and eat whatever it is the health experts say is healthy to eat these days.
Coach Cory O'Connell said as much after the loss.
“We're pretty athletic, but I think our strength will determine how far we make it next year,” he told Patch's Tim Jensen.
IN THE POOL
East Catholic senior Jonathan Burr will try to back his first place finishes in the Class S boys swimming meet with a strong showing today in the State Open at Yale University in New Haven.
Burr won the 200-yard freestyle, placed third in the 100 butterfly and anchored East Catholic's 400 freestyle relay team, which finished third. He swam the 200 in 1:45.22 to edge Dylan Swanepool of Foran, who finished in 1:45.33.
Burr's strong showing led East Catholic to an eighth place finish.
Junior Tim Dion finished fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:49.44) and sixth in the 100 freestyle (50.48). Junior Dylan Demers finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.53) and the team of Joe O'Neill, Demers, Burr and Dion were sixth in the 200-medley relay.
Suffield sophomore Kyle Eheander will also be at the State Open in the 200 and 500 freestyle. Eheander finished third in the 200 freestyle (1:45.36) and second in the 500 (4:46.59) behind Swanepool (4:46.55), which could set up a wonderful rivalry between the two for the next two years.
Suffield also got strong contributions from Nick Gervais, who finished fifth in the 500, and Greg Cristina, who was fourth in the 100 backstroke.
In the Class M meet, Cheney Tech sophomore Dylan McKee was a one-man team, earning 28 points. His best finish was an 11th place in the 100 breaststroke.
In Class L, Colton Bridge, Deric Zhang, Todd Lambert and Martin Porebski were among those who led E.O. Smith/Tolland to a 12th place finish.
Bridge finished 13th in diving. Zhang and Porebski, along with Jesse Aldin and Brendan Perra were part of a 10th place 400 freestyle relay team. Porebski was 15th in the 50 freestyle and 16th in the 100 freestyle and Lambert, in addition to being part of the ninth place 200 freestyle relay team was 13th in the 100 breaststroke.
Also in Class L, senior Brad Mills led Fermi/Enfield/Somers with an eighth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke.
In Class LL, Manchester senior Sean Murphy was the top individual finisher (13th in the 500 freestyle and 21st in the 200 freestyle). He also anchored the 13th place 400 freestyle relay team, which consisted of Patrick Gallagher, Michael Brancato and Zachary Sequeira.
Windsor High School junior Zachary Langs finished fourth in the emerging elite 60-meter hurdles at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York.
Langs finished in 7.65 seconds. The winner of the event was Jermaine Collier of Trenton, NJ, who finished in 7.39 seconds.
Langs was also part of a sixth-place Windsor team in the emerging elite 4x200 meter relay. He teamed with Alex Smith, Donovan Rodrigues and Dwight Meggie to run the race in 1:32.44. The winning time was 1:30.19 by the team from Snyder, NJ.
Enfield senior Andrew Buanno finished sixth in the emerging elite 60-meter dash. He ran the race in 6.62 seconds. The winner was John Patrone of Gray, TN, who finished in 6.45 seconds.
Next week we turn the page on winter and start looking at the spring season and questions such as whether or not Rockville can win it's first state title in baseball since 2000.