ON DECK: Platt-Maloney rivalry renews; big week for 7-1 Lady Titans; Wallingford skaters look to continue Division III surge

ON DECK: Platt-Maloney rivalry renews; big week for 7-1 Lady Titans; Wallingford skaters look to continue Division III surge

Meriden basketball and Wallingford hockey take center stage here in the third week of January.

Platt and Maloney square off on the hardwood for their first set of head-to-head clashes on Thursday and Friday, while Sheehan and the Lyman Hall Co-op look to continue their climb up the state Division III hockey ladder on Wednesday and Saturday.

Another developing story line that bears watching: Sheehan basketball, both boys and girls.

Coach Joe Gaetano’s boys team, with dramatic home wins last week over Shelton (71-69 on Cam Afanador’s layup with 1.4 seconds left) and Amity (75-70 in overtime), stands at 7-3.

Coach Mike Busillo’s girls team is 7-1 following Friday’s 47-45 comeback win over Hillhouse in New Haven. Down 29-18 at halftime, the Titans overtook the Academics with 4.6 seconds to play on a Hayleigh Lagase layup.

This week will say even more about the Lady Titans, who currently rank No. 3 in the Class M playoff rankings. Check out their itinerary:

■Monday: Newington (10-1), one of the top teams in the CCC and Class LL;■Wednesday: Mercy (5-4), the reigning SCC Tournament and Class LL champions;■Friday: Amity (6-4), which handed Sheehan its lone loss of the season on Dec. 21.

You won’t have to travel far to see it. All three games are at home.

Which of course means Gaetano’s gents are on the road — at Branford on Tuesday and at West Haven on Thursday.

On the latter night, the Platt and Maloney girls tip off on the East Side. Both are badly in need of a win. Platt is 2-8 and Maloney’s 1-10.

The next night, Meriden’s boys go at it over at Platt. The Panthers, winners of three straight, are cooking along at 7-2 and stand at No. 7 in the Division IV playoff points. The Spartans, at 5-6, are looking to snap a two-game slide.

Also on Oregon Road on Friday night, Wilcox Tech (4-3) hosts Platt Tech. Senior D.J. Ransom is averaging 30.4 points for the Indians and, with 1,689 career points, is 315 away from Wilcox predecessor Roosevelt Shider’s city record of 1,984.

Elsewhere on the milestone front, Lyman Hall’s Kailey Lipka is 3 points from 1,000. She and the Trojans host East Haven on Tuesday.

Lyman Hall’s co-op hockey team, meanwhile, enters the week at No. 2 in the Division III state playoff rankings at 6-2. Sheehan, at 8-2, is at No. 3.

The Trojans, riding a five-game win streak, face BBD (3-5-1) at the Danbury Ice Pavilion on Wednesday, then host Newtown (5-4-1) at the Northford Ice Pavilion on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

The Titans are twice at home at Choate: versus Tri-Town (4-5) on Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. and the Division II Eastern CT Eagles on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Eagles are the team that beat the Titans in the quarterfinals en route to last year’s Division IIII state title.

Saturday will also be a busy day for indoor track and wrestling.

Most area track teams will be in New Haven for the SCC Coaches Invitational. Lyman Hall’s Michael Toppin, the leading area performer so far this year, will look to lower his school record in the 300 meters even further.

On the mats, Platt hosts a set of home duals, while Southington makes its annual pilgrimage to Plaistow, N.H. for the Timberlane Tournament, hosted by perennial New Hampshire state champion Timberlane Regional, which has been accused of recruiting out-of-state wrestlers.


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