2022 CIAC Women’s Basketball Conference Tournament Capsules and Predictions

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DATES Quarter-finals, Sat. February 19; Semi-finals, Tue. Feb. 22; Championship, Fri. February 25

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Thomaston

TOP PLAYERS: Emma Sanson, Thomaston, Sr, F; Emily Arel, Gilbert, Fr, G; Maddie Topa, North West, P.G; Sydney Segalla, Housatonic Regional, Sr. C

FAVOURITES: Thomaston

DARK HORSES: Nonnewaug, Northwest, Gilbert

OUTLOOK: Thomaston has not lost a game in the Berkshire League for the second straight season. The Bears’ three losses have been to Windsor Locks and ranked teams Notre Dame-Fairfield and Hand. They’ve won 12 straight since losing to Hand and only allowed one opponent to reach 40 points during that streak. Looking for the team that could beat them? Northwestern lost twice to the Bears but was closer than any other team (41-31, 48-41).


SCOTT’S PICKS: Quarter-final winners: Thomaston, Northwest, Housatonic, Nonnewaug

Semi-final winners: Thomaston, Nonnewaug

Champion: Thomaston

CCC

DATES: Quarter-finals, Sat. February 19; Semi-finals, Tue. 22 February; Championship Thu. February 24

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Newington

TOP PLAYERS: Shailyn Pinkney, East Hartford, Sr G; Lilly Ferguson, Newington, Sr G; Tyah Pettaway, Middletown, Sr G; Ayanna Franks, Windsor, So. G; Ciara Collins, Bristol Eastern, Sr F

FAVOURITES: Newington, East Hartford, Enfield

DARK HORSES: Southington, Simsbury, Windsor

OUTLOOK: When it comes to a winner here, honestly, who knows? The CCC has been the top conference in women’s basketball this season and a quick look at their tournament, you can see why. Two teams (Enfield, Newington) enter with one loss while three teams (Simsbury, Middletown, East Hartford) enter with just three losses. As of the tournament, the conference has four teams (1. Newington, 7. East Hartford, 8. Enfield, 10. Middletown) ranked in GameTimeCT’s Top 10, the most of any league.

SCOTT’S PICKS: Round of 16 winners: Enfield, Windsor, East Hartford, Simsbury, Newington, EO Smith, Middletown, Southington

Quarter-final winners: Enfield, East Hartford, Newington, Middletown

Semi-final winners: East Hartford, Newington

Champion: East Hartford

CTC

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Abbott Technology

TOP PLAYERS: Contessa Davis, O’Brien Tech, Jr.F; Grace Smith, Windham Tech, Jr.F; Baylee Miller, Windham Tech, Jr.G;

FAVOURITES: Abbott technology, Windham technology

DARK HORSES: Goodwin Tech, O’Brien Tech

OUTLOOK: Abbott Tech hasn’t lost a game in the CTC this season and only had one conference game where their opponent was within 20 points. Abbott Tech did not face Windham Tech, which also went undefeated in the league, winning by double digits in every CTC contest. It will be tough for other teams to break through, but Goodwin is riding a nine-game playoff winning streak but lost to the top two teams in the regular season.

CRAL

DATES: Quarter-finals, Fri. February 18; Semi-finals, Tue. Feb. 22; Championship, Thu 24 February

DEFENDING CHAMPION: parish hill

TOP PLAYERS: Kristie Zator, Parish Hill, Sr G; Alexandra Smardon, Parish Hill, Sr F; Sequoia Turcotte-Briggs, Classic, So. G; Ashanti McLean, Aerospace, Sr. G

FAVOURITES: Parish Hill, Weaver

DARK HORSES: Aerospace, civic leadership, capital preparation

OUTLOOK: Parish Hill has won the CRAL tournament four years in a row and is once again the favorite. Although the Pirates lost their first CRAL game this season (39-35 against Capital Prep on December 20) after going 46-0 in the league since joining in 2018. Parish beat Capital later in the season 49-48. Weaver is on an eight-game winning streak.

SCOTT’S PICKS: Quarter-final winners: Parish Hill, Weaver, Aerospace, Capital Prep

Semi-final winners: Parish Hill, Weaver

Champion: parish hill

CEC

DATES: Quarter-finals, Thu 17 February; Semi-finals: Sat. Feb. 19; Championship, Tue 22 February

DEFENDING CHAMPION: AFN

TOP PLAYERS: Milly Walker, Waterford, Sr G; Marissa Nudd, Bacon Academy, Jr.F; Valerie Luizzi, Bacon Academy, Sr F; Natalyah Williams, Ledyard, Sr F; Olivia Goode, New London, Sr G

FAVOURITES: Bacon Academy, Ledyard, New London

DARK HORSES: Waterford, Fitch

OUTLOOK: There isn’t much that separates the top three teams in the ECC. New London are on a 9-game winning streak while Bacon and Ledyard are each on a 5-game winning streak. Bacon did not lose in the ECC this year, New London only lost to Bacon and Ledyard lost to both, although the second Ledyard-Bacon match was only a 56-55 victory for Bacon.

SCOTT’S PICKS: Quarter-final winners: Bacon, Waterford, New London, Ledyard

Semi-final winners: Bacon, New London

Champion: Bacon Academy

FCCIA

DATES: Quarter-finals, Sat. February 19; Semi-finals, Tue. Feb. 22; Championship, Thu 24 February

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Ridgefield

TOP PLAYERS: Kaleigh Sommers, Ludlowe, Jr. F; Kaya Weiskopf, Ridgefield, Jr. G; Kate Rudini, St. Joseph, Sr G; Amar’Ryi Edwards, Danbury, Sr C

FAVOURITES: St. Joseph, Danbury, Ludlowe, Ridgefield

DARK HORSES: Trumbull, Wilton

OUTLOOK: Ridgefield has won the last two titles and by now we should know not to pick against them. St. Joseph was undefeated in the FCIAC and on an 18-game winning streak before losing to the Tigers on the final night of the regular season. That’s in no way to say that Ridgefield, or anyone else, is a lock for the conference finals. In fact, any of the eight teams in the tournament could win it and don’t be surprised to see multiple quarter-final seeded upsets or see all the seeded players win. The truth is, even Nostradamus would struggle to pick a winner here with such evenly matched squads.

SCOTT’S PICKS: Quarter-final winners: St. Joseph, Ridgefield, Danbury, Ludlowe

Semi-final winners: Ridgefield, Ludlowe

Champion: Ridgefield

CNCC

DATES: Play-in, Fri. February 18; Quarter-finals, Sat. Feb. 19; Semi-finals, Tue. Feb. 22; Championship, Thu 24 February

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Suffield

TOP PLAYERS: Sophia Mates, Canton, Jr F; Charlotte Jordan, Coventry, Jr.G; Tristin Oberg, Windsor Locks, Sr F; Jordan Dion, Suffield, Sr G; Alana Picard, Windsor Locks, Sr G

FAVOURITES: Granby Memorial, Somers, Canton

DARK HORSES: Locks at Windsor, Suffield, Bolton

OUTLOOK: A quick look at Canton’s 10-10 overall rating is misleading considering that all but three of those losses were inflicted on teams outside the NCCC. Of course, they came to Somers, Windsor Locks and Granby. Granby has lost only once in conference against Windsor Locks, Windsor Locks lost their last three games before the playoffs, but also finished six games in nine days.


SCOTT’S PICKS:

Play-in winners: Suffield, Ellington, Windsor Locks, Coventry

Quarter-final winners: Granby, Windsor Locks, Canton, Ellington

Semi-final winners: Granby, Guangzhou

Champion: Granby

NVL

DATES: Quarter-finals, Sat. February 19; Semi-finals, Tue. 22 February; Championship, Thu 24 February

DEFENDING CHAMPION: St. Croix/Seymour

TOP PLAYERS: Kenzie Sirowich, Seymour, Sr G; JoJo Sanchez, Ansonia, Sr G; Mya Zaccagnini, Holy Cross, Jr. G; Cayla Howard, St. Croix, Sr G

FAVOURITES: the holy cross

DARK HORSES: Seymour, St. Paul, Torrington

OUTLOOK: Holy Cross are the only undefeated team in the state and have pretty much cruised through NVL without much resistance other than a 63-61 win over Torrington last week. Holy Cross and Seymour had their NVL Finals canceled last year due to COVD-19 and both would love to come back and finish that deal.

CCS

DATES: First round, Thu. Feb. 17; Quarter-finals, Sat. Feb. 19; Semi-finals, Mon. February 24; Championship, Wed 23 February

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Hamden

TOP PLAYERS: Alana Philpotts, Hamden, So, G; Sophia Coppola, Hand, Sr G; Carina Ciampi, SHA, Sr G; Amani Abuhatab, West Haven, Jr F; Sophie Hedge, Mercy, Jr. G

FAVOURITES: Sacred Heart Academy, Main, Hamden

DARK HORSES: West Haven, Mercy, Hillhouse

OUTLOOK: SHA, Hand and Hamden have been the top three teams all season and have taken turns knocking each other down. SHA depth may be the most important factor in this tournament. Not that any of the top teams can be knocked out early with lurking teams like Mercy, who’s only lost to Hand in CSC this season, and Hillhouse, who can beat any team any time. what a night.

SCOTT’S PICKS: Round of 16 winners: Sheehan, Hamden, West Haven, Hand, Hillhouse, Mercy, Guilford. (SHA has goodbye)

Quarter-final winners: SHA, Hamden, Hand, Mercy

Semi-final winners: SHA, Hand

Champion: SHA

LITTORAL

DATES: Quarter-finals, Sat. February 19; Semi-finals, Wed. 23 February; Championship, Fri. February 25

DEFENDING CHAMPION: East Hampton

TOP PLAYERS: Braeden LeBeau, North Branford, Sr G; Nevaeh Clark, Cromwell, Jr.G; Adela Cecunjanin, Cromwell, Sr C; Jr. Abby Bradbury, Valley Regional, Jr. G

FAVOURITES: East Hampton, Cromwell, Valley region

DARK HORSES: North Branford, Old Lyme

OUTLOOK: Another conference where the top teams have taken turns battling it out this season and another conference where picking the tournament winner is a game of dice. Outside of the top three teams, North Branford have the ability to shake up this tournament and have already proven they can play with the best, splitting their season streak with Cromwell and Valley. Old Lyme is also not to be taken lightly after dropping two points to Valley and losing in extra time to East Hampton in stride.


SCOTT’S PICKS: Quarter-final winners:
East Hampton, North Branford, Cromwell, Valley Regional

Semi-final winners: East Hampton, Cromwell

Champion: Cromwell

CFCs

DATES: Quarter-finals: Sat. February 19; Semi-finals, Mon. February 21; Championship, Thu 24 February

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Notre Dame-Fairfield

TOP PLAYERS: Aizhanique Mayo, Our Lady, Sr G; Kayla Tilus, Notre Dame, Sr G; Catherine Sollose, Brookfield, So. F; Claudia Schneider. Pomperaug, Jr.F; Chloe O’Connell, Newtown, Sr F

FAVOURITES: Notre Dame-Fairfield

DARK HORSES: Newtown, New Fairfield, Pomperaug

OUTLOOK: What was once considered a third straight title for Notre Dame is now in question after the Lancers beat New Fairfield by five points and then lost to Newtown. Will these games be enough to light a fire under Notre-Dame? The past two seasons the Lancers have won the title game by 30 points and certainly have the firepower to make another impressive run. But watch out for suitors.

SCOTT’S PICKS: Quarter-final winners: Notre Dame, Pomperaug, New Fairfield, Newtown

Semi-final winners: Notre Dame, Newtown

Champion: Notre Dame-Fairfield

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