WALTHAM, Mass. — Meriden native Janessa Gonzalez and the Bentley University women’s basketball team are heading back to the NCAA Division II Tournament after capturing the Northeast-10 Conference crown for a second straight season.
The fourth-seeded Falcons did it by knocking off No. 3 Southern New Hampshire 61-49 on its home floor on Sunday.
Bentley, now 21-9 overall, opens NCAA Tournament play on Friday against LeMoyne College in an East Region game at Assumption University in Worcester.
Gonzalez, a junior guard who played her high school ball at St. Paul, is averaging 13 minutes and 3 points for the Falcons.
Gaiter, Dunn net All-League honors
MERIDEN — City natives Isiah Gaiter and Mariah Dunn capped their 2022-23 college basketball seasons earning All-Conference First Team honors.
Gaiter, a junior guard at Assumption, was All-Northeast-10. Dunn, a senior forward at Eastern Connecticut, was All-Little East.
Gaiter, who started his high school career at Platt before transferring to Sacred Heart-Waterbury, is Assumption’s first All-Northeast-10 First Team selection in 19 years.
Gaiter pretty much did it all this season for the 14-14 Greyhounds. He led the team in scoring (16.3), rebounds (7.6), and assists (3.7). Those numbers ranked Gaiter in the top five in the conference in each category.
Gaiter shot 49.2 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range. He scored a career-high 28 points versus Bentley in January.
Out in Willimantic, Dunn averaged 10.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists for ECSU.
She was the only player to start all 27 games this season for the Warriors. After overcoming two knee injuries, it was Dunn’s first full season as a starter since arriving at Eastern from Ethel Walker.
Dunn’s 10.6 scoring average was second-best on the team. Her 49.2 field goal percentage also ranked No.2 on the team and No. 5 in the Little East.
One of her highlight games was a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds in a 66-56 victory over Rhode Island College on Feb. 8, a decision that snapped RIC’s 18-game winning streak.
While Dunn and the Warriors did not win the Little East Conference title this year, they did advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament with an at-large bid. They lost to Marietta College 61-57 in the first round and finished the season at 22-6.
Southington Catholic takes hoop title
SOUTHINGTON — The Southington Catholic School boys basketball team defended its Waterbury Parochial Basketball League championship this weekend and now sets its sights on the state and New Engalnd crowns it captured last year.
The Southington squad hit the postseason after compiling a regular-season record of 16-0, which came on the heels of last year’s undefeated run to the New England Championship.
Southington Catholic will host the state Archdiocesan Tournament on March 11-12 and March 18-19.
The team is coached by Pat Byrne and Heidi Ouellette and features Jacob Murzynski, Jayse Johnson, Ethen Clements, Brian Anderson, Gabriel Jados, Derek Amato, Drew Anderson and Ryan Mathews.
Hunter women prep for spring
MERIDEN — Registrations for the 2023 Hunter Women’s Golf League are now being taken online at www.hwgolfclub.org.
The league features two divisions, both of which play on Tuesdays: an 18-hole league that competes during the day and a 9-hole circuit that tees up in the evening.
Some playing experience is recommended. Contact information is available on the league website.
TWIST scholarship now available
WALLINGFORD — Applications for this year’s Wallingford Soccer Club college scholarships are now available on Naviance and the league’s website, wallingfordsoccer.net.
All high school seniors who have an affiliation to the Wallingford Soccer Club are eligible to apply. Submission deadline is April 1.
Gaylord gearing up for ‘The Gauntlet’
WALLINGFORD — Registration is open for the 2023 Gaylord Gauntlet 5K Trail & Obstacle Run.
The 24-obstacle event will be held Saturday, June 24 on the Gaylord campus. Proceeds benefit the Gaylord Sports Association, Gaylord Hospital’s adaptive sports program for adults with permanent physical disabilities or visual impairment.Early registration is encouraged because entry fees increase monthly. For details, visit gaylordgauntlet.org.