SATURDAY SCHOLASTICS: Platt’s McCarty hits the 500 milestone; Benigni breaks Maloney mark; Enfield can’t Buck the Blue Knights

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SOUTHINGTON — Everything seemed to align for Platt coach Bryan McCarty’s milestone win at the Ray Southland Memorial Duals held at Southington High School on Saturday.

McCarty clinched career win No. 500 on the last match of the day against Daniel Hand.

Platt Hall of Fame wrestler, Luis Murillo Sr., was the official.

Former Platt wrestler and assistant coach Joe Winoski, now the head coach at Maloney. So was former Platt wrestler and current assistant coach West Johnson.

It was Johnson and Winoski who got the first hugs from McCarty after the match.

“The kids were jumping up and down and everyone was pumping their fists,” McCarty said. “Coach West and Winoski gave me hugs right away and Luis Murillo as the referee, it felt like home.

“And it happened at Southington, a place I have so much respect for,” McCarty continued. “And to do it at the Ray Southland Duals is special. Like it was kind of meant to be. All the stars were aligned for some reason.”

In all, the Panthers went 3-1 on the day to improve to 9-2 overall. They edged Conard 37-36, thumped Morgan 54-18, then got McCarty the milestone victory against Hand, 42-24.

Fairfield Prep was the only team to get the better of Platt, posting a 45-21 decision.

Caiden Talento paced Platt with a perfect 4-0 day. Cesar Rodriguez, Eddie Waters, Ahmed Hernandez, Darren Gibbons, Matt Merrigan and Mike Melendez all won three matches apiece.

“I was pretty excited about the day and to get my 500th win against a reputable program like Hand,” McCarty said. “Going into last year, I wasn’t sure if this was going to happen with all of the uncertainty. We’ve already had two Saturdays cancelled.

“It’s humbling to be out there coaching again,” added McCarty, who is being inducted into the Connecticut chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame this year. “The kids are putting in their all and going that extra mile and it feels really special to be coaching again.”

Maloney:The Spartans went 0-4 at the Southland Duals. Maloney was hurt by low numbers and forfeited four weight classes in defeats to Daniel Hand (45-18), Conard (48-36), Branford (66-3) and Morgan (36-15).

Onil Carrion had a spotless 4-0 day at 120 pounds. Kevin Moreno (152), Robert Taylor (132) and Luis Delgado (220) all had 2-2 days.

Indoor track

Maloney: Sophomore Bria Benigni set a girls school record in winning the 3200 meters at the Elm City Coaches Invitational at the Floyd Little Athletic Center.

Benigni hit the tape in 11:50.25.

She also placed third in the 1000 meters in 3:11.55.

Boys basketball

Southington 45, Enfield 38:The short-handed Blue Knights won their second straight game and first in Central Connecticut Conference play with the interdivisional win in Enfield.

Southington (2-4) took control of a close game behind junior guard Aidan Buck, who led all scorers with 15 points. 

Buck scored nine straight fourth-quarter points as the Blue Knights turned a 31-29 lead into a 40-35 advantage with 1:28 to play in a game delayed a day due to Friday's snowstorm.

Luke Penna (11 points) scored the next three points for SHS, which opened up a 43-35 lead with 28 seconds to play.

Southington welcomed back starting guard Eli Whitehead, but is still without another senior starter in the backcourt, Rayshawn Epps, who missed his fourth straight game because of COVID protocols.

Enfield fell to 2-4.

Buck scored six points in the first quarter on a pair of 3's when the teams played to a 13-13 opening frame. Southington led 21-19 at the half and entered the final eight minutes with a 26-25 lead.

Ryan Hammerlund scored six points on two 3's, while fellow sophomore Carson Lentini had four points.

Daniel Hand 74, Lyman Hall 44:After this SCC crossover on Friday night Madison, the Tigers stood at 4-1 and the Trojans at 1-4. Brady Campbell scored 19 points for LH and Chace Sealy added 10.

Ice hockey

Cheshire 4, Amity 1: The Rams improved to 2-4-1 with the SCC/SWC Division II road win over the Spartans at West Haven’s Bennett Rink.

Evan Vasiljevs, Zach Olson, Damon Zurolo and Devin Kelly had the goals for Cheshire. Kelly’s goal was the first of his varsity career.

Vasiljevs also tallied an assist. Goalie Amaan Chaudhry collected 24 saves.

The Rams outshot the Spartans 44-25. The teams were whistled for a combined 31 penalties.


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