There’s a double helping of basketball pairings on the table today with first-round matchups being released in the boys CCC conference tournament and the girls CIAC state tournament.
The Meriden boys teams, fresh from their rivalry matchup on Tuesday night, face a tough road. They go up against the top seeds in the CCC on their home courts on Thursday night.
The girls teams, save for one exception, are also on the road when their state games get under way next Monday and Tuesday. The exception is Sheehan, which at 14-6 was the winningest team, boy or girl, on the area basketball block.
Here’s the full postseason rundown for area teams, including the SCC Tournament, which announced its pairings on Tuesday.
*No. 15 Maloney (10-10) at No. 2 Windsor (17-3), 6 p.m.
The Spartans just beat Platt 65-61 on Tuesday night to complete a season sweep and qualfiy for the CCC show. Their reward is to take on a Windsor team ranked No. 6 in the state poll.
Maloney did not play Windsor during the regular season, but Platt did. Windsor won that game 103-69.
*No. 16 Platt (10-10) at No. 1 East Catholic (20-0), 6:45 p.m.
The Panthers, after an 8-2 first half of the season, flipped it around in the second half, going 2-8 to come away at .500.
Their task on Thursday is stiff. East Catholic is unbeaten and ranked No. 2 in the state polls.
The winner of Platt/East Catholic will, in the semifinals, face the winner of …
*No. 9 Berlin (14-6) and No. 8 Southington (12-8), 6 p.m.
This game looks really good on paper. All the ingredients are there: two solid clubs from two neighboring towns led by two fine senior point guards – Colin Burdette for Southington and Ryan Hyde for Berlin.
Southington, after enjoying an eight-game winning streak, dropped its final two regular-season games. Berlin won its last three.
Wilcox Tech, ranked No. 2 in the Connecticut Technical Conference, actually has one last regular season game, and that comes at home Thursday night against Wolcott Tech. The Indians don’t open CTC play until Tuesday.
When they do, the Indians will be at home against Kaynor Tech at 7 p.m.
Wilcox, led by 2,000-point scorer DeJuan Ransom, are 15-4 and riding an eight-game winning streak.
*No. 11 Shelton (11-9) at No 6 Cheshire (13-7), 6:30 p.m.
The Gaels shook off a 2-6 slump in the middle of the season to finish on a 5-2 upswing.
Cheshire has been hotter, taking nine of its last 10. The lone loss was in overtime to Hillhouse in New Haven.
The Rams have good size with 6-foot-4 scoring leader Aidan Godfrey, 6-5 Colby Hayes and 6-2 Eli Battipaglia. They have sound guard play in Alec Frione, Ian Battipaglia and Colby Griffin.
Coach Dan Lee’s Cheshire teams are traditionally a tough out in the postseason. That won’t be any different this year.
The Cheshire/Shelton winner faces No. 3 Wilbur Cross in Saturday’s quarterfinals at Branford.
*No. 12 Sheehan (12-8) at No. 5 Hamden (14-6), 4:30 p.m.
A stiff road match for the T-Men, who have shown flashes this year. Led by Jack McDonnell and Garrett Molampy, they have depth and are formidable when the production is balanced
Sheehan will need to be on top of its game in Hamden. The Green Dragons have won six straight and half of their losses have come against some of the top teams in the state — one to No. 3 Bassick and two to No. 4 Notre Dame-West Haven.
Note the early start time on this one to accommodate the championship game between East Haven and Hamden in the girls SCC Tournament, which was postponed from Wednesday to Thursday.
As for the boys game, the Sheehan/Hamden winner will face No. 4 Jonathan Law in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
It was a down year for area girls teams. Only four of the seven made the postseason and one of them — Platt — qualified at 5-14 because the class brackets are fleshed out to a full 32 teams in girls basketball.
But, hey, the Panthers live to play another day, and that day will be Monday when they travel to Fairfield to take on Class L top seed Notre Dame (19-1).
All three area SCC teams qualified. Here’s their lay of the land.
*Class L: No. 20 Lyman Hall (9-11) at No. 13 Brookfield (11-9), Monday, 7 p.m.
Lyman Hall’s record is a bit deceiving. Scuffling along at 2-8 at the midpoint of the regular season, the Trojans went 7-3 in the second half.
Increased production from Hailey Bruneau was a catalyst. Brianna Mik, Julia Capello and Theresa Lynch also played key roles.
Producing steadily throughout was 1,000-point scorer Kailey Lipka. The senior guard averages 16.2 points a game.
If the Trojans can pull off the victory in Brookfield, they’ll likely face the No. 4 seed in the second round. That No. 4 is familiar: Hillhouse. The Academics twice beat LH during the regular season.
*Class LL: No. 29 Cheshire (7-13) at No. 4 Hamden (18-2), Tuesday, 7 p.m.
The good news for the Rams is they don’t have to travel far for their first-round game.
The bad news is, it’s just over the southern town line in Hamden, where the Green Dragons ride a 10-game winning streak into Thursday night’s SCC Tournament final against East Haven.
Taniyah Thompson had 35 points in Hamden’s quarterfinal win over Amity. Mia Juodaitis, who went over 1,000 for her career, leads the Rams at 15.7 points a game.
*Class M: No. 20 Prince Tech (12-8) at No. 13 Sheehan (14-6), Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Last, but furthest from least, are coach Mike Busillo and his Lady Titans, who put up the area’s best regular-season record.
They’ve drawn a tech school in the first round, and while a tech-school matchup always looks like a mismatch on paper, it can’t be taken for granted.
There’s no time for letdowns, anyway. In the second round, Sheehan would likely face No. 4 Sacred Heart.
Senior forward Liv Robles, one of three area girls to go over 1,000 career points this season, leads the Titans with just under 17 points a game. She had a season-high 28 in last Saturday’s SCC quarterfinal loss to Hillhouse.