Tuesday, January 31, 2012
By Matt Brown - Over the last couple weeks the league has nearly fully developed. Front-runners have appeared, while others have fallen to the back of the pack. Meanwhile, I sort of dropped the ball on writing about it. But I promise improvement from here on out. Here it is… about 2 weeks late.
1. Spurs (7-2)- The Spurs have been beaten in only 2 of their 9 games. Both losses have come to the Lakers, so in reality they really have only lost to one team. The combination of Eric Walsh, a great guard, and a plethora of tall players is a huge matchup problem for every defense, whether they chose to attempt a man or zone front. Much like his Blue Wave Football season, senior Harlan Smith’s (pictured) last year of House Ball has been a break out of scoring. Right next to him is senior Tim Brickman who is also turning heads around the league. All the Spurs have to do from here on out is maintain this level as play… And beat the Lakers. Pictured is Harlan catching a football because it just shows his raw athleticism.
2. Nuggets (6-2) – The Nuggets are a cohesive unit that is coming together after a pretty slow start. Senior Nicky Neville is the biggest playmaker for these guys but he is certainly not alone. Senior Tommy Nicholls is one of the most underrated offensive players in the league, holding a great shot and a surprising driving ability. Junior Patrick Reilly is also pretty cash if you give him an open jumper. The paint is dominated for these guys by seniors Reed Coots and Bryan Sullivan. Basically, every member of this team has a role and does it well, which I think gives them staying power atop the rankings.
3. Suns (6-3) – The Suns are a very solid team. Senior Bobby Minion and junior Jack Sherwood both confront little obstacles when trying to light up the scoreboard. They have also had very good wins against solid teams like the Rockets, Spurs, and Grizzlies. However, they have also had questionable loses. It is hard to tell which direction the Suns are headed in, and the main reason they hold the third spot is because of their two victories over the Rockets, the 4 seed.
4. Rockets (6*-3) – The Rockets are a pest to play. Their offensive attack is one of the best in the league. Senior Russell Palmer and junior Jackson Whiting are a dynamic duo. In addition, they have help from all over the court from juniors Pierce Whiting and Ben Highton (where has he been?). The area of the game that might do the Rockets in is defense. They openly focus much less on D then they do the offensive end of the court. However, they have shown a great ability to win close games which is necessary in a league where so little separates each team. Plus, you can’t leave senior Gabe Wade unguarded. He will hurt you. I promise.
5. Grizzlies (5-4)- The Grizzlies are perhaps the best team in the lower tier of teams that these rankings begin to enter at the 5 spot. Senior Luke Osherow is a truly great basketball player and senior Scott Plank is still making it rain. They have beaten almost all of the teams that they should have beaten, but have lost to almost all the teams ranked above them. For the Griz to be considered one of the elite teams in house, they must begin to find ways to beat the elite.
6. Kings (4-5) – Despite a recent bad loss at the hands of the Nuggets, the Kings have not been bad overall. Much like the Grizzlies, the Kings have been winning the easy ones and nearly inept against stiffer competition. This leaves the Kings as strictly mediocre. I wouldn’t call them bad, but they are clearly below everyone 5 and up.
7. Mavericks (3-6)- The Mavs have the roster to turn this season around coming into the final stretch. The backcourt, of senior Matt Pik and junior Spencer Mcmullin, is a collection of some of the fastest students in the entire high school. In the frontcourt, senior Sam Gillespie may be the hardest man to get a rebound over in all of House. Nonetheless this squad is on a two game skid and needs a win Wednesday night against the Suns.
8. Lakers (3-6) – The Lake Show is in the midst of a three game freefall. I do not know if they have the talent needed to pull themselves out of this rut and learn how to play as a cohesive group instead of just individuals. There Is little excuse for the Lakers being here in the standings and hopefully they can throw one more W or two in the Win or Lose column before the season ends.
Last: My Thunder (2-7) and the Trailblazers at (2-7) are definitely the two worst in the league. I cannot hold back my excitement for playing them. I like to think that it isn’t me and my team that is worst in the league, but instead it is our shooting, passing, rebounding, and dribbling. As for the Trailblazers, here is senior Jay Alter on why his the Blazers are struggling. “We just can’t finish. We are in every single game but just lose by two, three, or four. We play hard and have some really solid players. We will be shocking the world come playoff time.”
Saturday, January 28, 2012
By Katrina Vassell
This Wednesday (1-25) the Darien High School Wrestling Team lost its meet against Greenwich. The final score was 68-9 with senior captain Max Kiplinger and junior Patrick Daigle winning their individual matches. Kiplinger scored 3 points with his regular decision and Daigle scored 6 points with his pin down. "I think we didn't go out there with all the aggression we normally have. But for losing all our seniors we're doing really well this season in general," Kiplinger said. The next match is at DHS this Saturday at 10 against Brookfield, Vinal Tech, and Wolcott Tech.
Caption: Senior captain Max Kiplinger wins his match
Thursday, January 26, 2012
by Blake Lange
1. Cavaliers W 36-22 (9-0)
The Cavaliers won’t seem to fall to any team that challenges them. They successfully put down the Celtics with ease. Kevin Pendo is the star of the team, and definitely one of the best players in the league. His shooting, passing, rebounding, and blocking skills all contribute to the flawless record. Philip Rech is the other primary contributor to the scoring, consistently bucketing 8 to 10 points. Other top-level players on the Cavaliers are Matt Pendo, Ryan Foreman, and Will Bloomer. Watch out when you are playing this team.
2. Knicks W 38-34 (6-3)
With a big gap between number 1 and 2 in the rankings, the Knicks truly don’t deserve their record. One loss came in the absence of the Skolds, who are unquestionably the best players on the team, and another two of the elite players in the 9th and 10th grade league. Between them, most of the rebounds and points come, and it was no different in their win against the Pacers. In a fight that lasted until the last few seconds, the Pacers couldn’t regain a lead and continue the winning streak. With both Skolds in commission, the Knicks are a serious playoff contender.
3. Wizards L 40-31 (6-3)
The second of three 6-3 teams, the Wizards pulled out number three even following a loss against the Bulls. The game came down to the final minutes, but the Bulls’ lead broke open late to secure the game. Myles Ridder, Andrew Nault, and George Reed have been leading the charge this season. Ridder’s defense, Reed’s offense, and Nault’s all-around skills are a tough force to overcome. The Wizards are on a tough streak, falling in three straight games, but they will rebound from the losses against the Bobcats, whose dismal record hasn’t earned them any higher than 11th in the rankings through the whole season.
4. Nets W 51-41 (6-3)
The Nets are a very strong squad. The sole reason for their placement behind the Wizards this week is the result of the game between them, in which the Wizards came out on top. Chris Chiamulera’s teamwork with Luke Mangan proved to be enough to take the 76ers by storm. The Nets have been very successful recently following Chi’s selflessness. The Nets are on a three game winning streak, which they hope to continue against the struggling Heat.
5. Raptors W 38-21 (5-4)
The Raptors are the best of a few 5-win teams. In Wednesday’s game, the strong players were Jay Patrick and Jay van Elslander, a change from the usual Dylan Carruthers. No doubt Carruthers contributed, but not in the scoring area. Nonetheless, he is the best player on the team and has carried the team to a winning record, including the win against the Bobcats. After starting strong, however, the Raptors have fallen in the standings with 3 losses in the last 5 games.
6. Pacers L 38-34 (5-4)
After a roller coaster of an opening to the season, the Pacers lost against the Knicks, the 2nd ranked team. The Pacers began with three losses, followed by five straight wins and finally a loss on Wednesday night. Connor Davey, one of the team’s best, is out currently with an ankle injury. Even so, Curry Bloom and Brad Magnusson led the team to come up just short of the Knicks. The two are deadly from deep together, which is a useful tool to have in a league that lacks much perimeter defense. The Pacers place 6th because of the inconsistent output and losses to teams higher up.
7. Bulls W 40-31 (5-4)
Following a win over the Heat, the Bulls topped the Wizards to regain a positive record. Scoring leaders on the team are Nick Cohen, Jack Reis, and Blake Lange. In Wednesday’s game, Trevor McGovern and Andrew Pigeon both came in clutch. McGovern contributed with free throws and Pigeon with a crucial layup towards the end of the game that sealed the deal. The Bulls take on the Raptors this weekend, which should be a tough game for them if they cannot keep up the offensive work.
8. 76ers L 41-51 (3-6)
With a loss to the Nets, the 76ers have now lost four straight contests. Following a #1 preseason ranking, the 76ers fall to eighth because the defense has not been able to get stops. Even though they consistently score 35 points or more, the 76ers are not frequently victorious because they often allow 40 or more. Harry Gillespie leads the team offensively and defensively, with spectacular talent on both sides of the court. Reilly Bloom and Carter Watt are the other scoring contributors. If the 76ers want to be successful in the postseason, they must tighten up the D and continue the great offense as well.
9. Celtics L 22-36 (3-6)
The Celtics struggled again against the unstoppable Cavs. They did a good job of cleaning up the fouls while still playing aggressively and with the same tenacity. Brendan Donohue is the head honcho of the team, racking up points and steals unmercifully, but the offense is where he has lacked in the losses they have suffered. No Celtics players fouled out in this one. Even so, the Celtics showed improvement in weak areas and might be victorious over teams less threatening than the Cavaliers.
10. Heat L 42-29 (3-6)
Coming in close to last are the Heat. In both of their last two games, the bench has been empty, forcing the players to last all 40 minutes of the game. The fatigue has been very influential in the losses, especially without Jack Foley and Jack Feeley, who are two of the team’s better players. Even with those two, the Heat is not the strongest squad out there by any means. Their postseason hopes do not look good heading into the last several games of the season.
11. Bucks W 42-29 (2-7)
The Bucks had a morale boost in their merciless win over the Heat. The win brings the Bucks to a distasteful record of 2-7, far from the preseason hopes that spotlighted Brian Davey. The stepper-ups on the team following his departure are Christian Cochran and Kyle Gifford, with other players occasionally putting the ball in the hoop. The Bucks are the only 2-7 team, and deserve the 11th ranking judged by their performance against the teams surrounding them, excluding the game against the Heat.
12. Bobcats L 38-21 (1-8)
Cooper Drippé and the Bobcats come in at a disappointing last. He leads the scoring and will continue to in the future. Other infrequent contributors include Griffin Ross, Nick Kunze, Liam Donoghue, and Jamie Schwartz, but none of these players have been able to define themselves as key factors in a victory. The Bobcats surely won’t finish the season any better than they started it, and the postseason doesn’t look promising for them at all.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
By Jay Alter - This summer, current Athletic Director John Keleher announced his retirement and the search began for his replacement. This morning, sources reported the future AD for Darien High School will be Assistant Principal, Mike Sullivan. He is currently scheduled to take over the AD responsibilities in June.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Last week was midterm week at DHS and the student body was hunkering down in their rooms pretending to study to obtain their parents’ approval. Despite the diligent studying that was taking place last week, there is one interruption that no one questions: House Basketball. Below, you will find the (more often than not) biased week eight 9/10 rankings.
1. Cavaliers W (34-24)
As expected, the Cavaliers took down the Wizards on Sunday by ten points. There really is not much to write when everyone knows the immense talent that is present on the Cavs. Congrats?
2. Wizards L (24-34)
The wizards lost to the Cavaliers by ten points, and frankly, the only reason they are so high up in the rankings, is because they have the second-best record in the league. Their past two performances certainly are not second place worthy.
3. Nets W (41-34)
The Nets are placed higher than the Knicks because they beat a better team by more points this Sunday. The Knicks played the 76ers who are by default, less-than-par, while the Nets played the Raptors who are quite the valiant team.
4. Knicks W (45-41)
The Knicks took down the 76ers by 4 points. The Knicks have suffered three losses so far this season and in two of those losses the Skolds twins were absent. They are placed higher than the Pacers because the Knicks did not start off the season with a 0-3 record.
5. Pacers W (48-21)
The Pacers were destined for another win this week when they were put up against the Bobcats, whose only win was against the weak “Skolds-less” Knicks. No top scorers have been identified, but it is assumed by this reporter that Brad Magnusson and Connor Davey led the team.
6. Bulls W (42-35)
The Bulls are often in a tough situation on Sundays when one of their key players cannot make the game due to prior conflicts. The team pulled it together this weekend when they shot down the Heat, broke a player’s ankle, and kept the opposing team to 35 points. Well done.
7. Raptors L (34-41)
The Raptors suffered a tough loss on Sunday against the evenly matched Nets. Both teams have a pretty even spread of skill and athleticism and at the end of the day; it was just a matter of who wanted the “W” more.
8. Celtics W (36-30)
The Celtics went up against the weak Bucks on Sunday and barely squeezed out a win by 6 points (the last point was a buzzer beater layup by Brendan Donohue which really was a cheap shot because… this explanation has gone on too long.)
9. Heat L (35-42)
The Heat deserves the spot in front of the 76ers for the simple reason that they have more talent. When the Heat does lose, it is by a small margin, unlike the 76ers. Bottom line, the rankings are up to me, and I like the Heat more.
10. 76ers L (41-45)
The 76ers took a tough loss against the Knicks on Sunday in the 12 o’clock shift. The reason the 76ers are so low in the rankings is because once they show some sign of losing they give up. And by “give up” I mean knee kids as they go up for layups and heave up overshot threes.
11. Bucks L (30-36)
The Bucks took another tough loss on Sunday against the Celtics due to the absence of Brian Davey. Bottom line is they are better than the Bobcats.
12. Bobcats L (21-48)
Sure, the Bobcats obliterated the Knicks (without the Skolds) but a loss to the Pacers by nearly thirty points is embarrassing. The reason the ‘cats are below the Bucks is because I said so.
Monday, January 23, 2012
By Jay Alter - The Darien High School Ski Team in its second race in as many days from a postponement last week due to lack of snow faced a tough field in Greenwich, Lauralton Hall, Litchfield, and New Canaan at the Mt. Southington Ski Area on January 11. The Girls Varsity Team with a time of 325.00 finished 2nd defeating Lauralton Hall 380.67 and losing to Greenwich 317.33. The Boys Varsity Team with a time of 292.31 finished 3rd defeating Litchfield 333.15 while finishing close behind Greenwich 290.63 and New Canaan 287.46.
Girls’ times this week were Fay Rizzuto 50.17 (Co-captain), Kailin Edgar 53.94 (Co-captain), Taylor Hart 54.38, Allison Graham 54.96, Katharine Graham 55.49, Courtney Kyritz 56.06, Kelsey Edgar 58.20, Sarah Swirbul 58.90, Abby Howe 60.47, and Hannah Nilsson 64.96.
Boys’ times this week were Will McCoy 46.63 (Co-captain), Pablo Castro 47.51, Peter Del Col 48.43, Mike Rizzuto 49.49, Matt Nelson 49.81, Andy Mogenson 50.44 (Co-captain), Nick Wolf 52.06, Alex Von Stuelpnagel 53.52, Graham Lesco 53.69, and Chris Brophy DSQ (Co-captain),
More scores and information about the Connecticut Interscholastic Ski League may be found at http://www.cislracing.org/.
Coaches Brian Zeyer said, “The boys and girls teams both had a tough night last night with their second race in two days. The kids were competitive on some not so good snow conditions.”
Courtesy: Dave Graham
Boy’s BWSD plan to go all the way
By Kylie Maier
Last Friday BWSD proclaimed to have “crushed” Staples High School, winning almost all of the events and adding a third win to its record.
The victories have been well deserved. Coach Jason Cochran has held tough practices, and junior James Baker says the season “Is a lot hard than last year. Right from the beginning we have been pushed”. The team has also been helped by new swimmers, including freshmen Nikolai Ostberg and Dillon Gilhooley.
BWSD hope to finish the season undefeated. Baker says it should be easy until the end of the season, when they race Greenwich Swimming.
A Look Into Girls BWB: 7 wins 5 losses
By Kylie Maier
Blue Wave Girls Basketball has just hit its season’s halfway mark with seven wins and five losses. Two wins came last week directly after junior Meg Marren was back on the court. Marren missed the beginning of the season due to a foot injury. Marren said the team hopes to “continue winning after this two game winning streak and reach FCIAC and State qualification.”
The whole team is working towards this goal with the help of Coach Gary Peterson. On the team are also four freshmen, Lane Davis, Claire Naughton, Daly Naughton, and Avery Maley, who have contributed important baskets in tough games.
The new and returning members of the team are doing better than last year, beating Trinity Catholic and Ridgefield. Marren calls these victories, “important confidence boosters.” The team also hopes to beat last year’s 13 – 9 record and keep improving.
Cheer on Girls Basketball at their next game, Tuesday January 24 at 5:30 at Danbury High School.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
By Melanie Tzenova
The Blue Wave Girls Hockey team defeated Staples High School on the ice 7-3 last night (01/20), continuing a good season. Darien played aggressively during the first period and got two goals past the Staples goalie in the first five minutes of the game, quickly turning the game to their advantage. Staples managed to get a goal in the last minute of the period, but the Darien girls quickly retaliated and snuck the puck past Staples in the last ten seconds, ending the first period 3-1 Darien. During the second period Darien got four goals while Staples just one, ending the period 7-2 Darien. The third period was not as eventful and Staples scored a goal in the last 30 seconds, ending the game 7-3 Darien.
Their next game will be at Hamill Rink against Greenwich Academy on Monday (01/23) at 3:45 pm. Go show your support at this away game!
By Cameron van de Graaf
The San Francisco 49ers will play the New York Giants this Sunday in the NFC Championship game, with the winner earning a ticket to the Super Bowl. Both teams won exciting games last week, as the Giants took down the Green Bay Packers 37-20 while the 49ers went blow for blow against the high-flying New Orleans Saints, resulting in a final score of 36-32. The upcoming game, which will be broadcast on FOX at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, promises to be equally as exciting. Both offense and defense will be essential in the contest, as the two teams are perhaps the most balanced left in the playoffs. From an offensive perspective, I would give a slight edge to the Giants, as they possess both an excellent receiving corps and an elite quarterback in Eli Manning. Wide receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks have been particularly effective this season, especially in big play situations. The 49ers have a better running game, which could work in their favor if it rains come Sunday. On the other side of the ball, the 49ers have an undeniable advantage against the Giants. DT Justin Smith and linebacker Patrick Willis have contributed to a defense that has only allowed 14.3 points per game all season, second in the NFL. On the other hand, the Giants have improved drastically during the playoffs, with Jason Pierre-Paul and Antrel Rolle leading the charge. No matter what the outcome, the game should be a close one, as befits the hard-hitting mentality of both teams.
Though it’s a toss-up, I’m giving the edge to the Giants for their more dynamic offense and high level of momentum going into the game.
Giants Quarterback Eli Manning
Photo courtesy of NY Post