Sunday, February 28, 2016

Wave Girls Gymnastics Takes 5th at States Competition Wraps Up Team’s Successful Season

By Rory Washecka

Last Saturday, February 27th, the Girls Gymnastics Team attended the State competition at Pomperaug High School in Southbury.  The girls took 5th place with a score of 133 points.  Junior and captain Sam Aparicio, freshmen Nikki Carlo and Sofia Fea, and sophomore Isabel Hansen led the team.  They had great performances on floor, and Sam and Nikki excelled on beam as well.  The team members feel slightly disappointed with the meet, and had hoped for a better performance after their impressive 2nd place finish at FCIACS.  However, they reflect upon their successful season with nothing but positivity.  “I feel we could have definitely performed better,” says Isabel Hansen, “but I’m still proud of everyone, and I think that overall, we’ve had an amazing season.”



Sofia Fea grins proudly after performing earlier in the season. (Photo: DAF)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

JV Boys Basketball Drops Its Fourth of the Season to Trumbull

By Will Pegler
On Wednesday, February 24 the Darien Boys JV Basketball team lost by six to a strong Trumbull team on their home floor at Trumbull High School.  The Wave came out slow and struggled from the field, while the Golden Eagle’s seemed to knock down any open shot they had. Even if they missed a shot, Trumbull had no problem grabbing rebounds as they towered over most of the Darien players. The Wave hung in, though, through the first half and went to the locker room down by eight points.
Defense was a strong point for the Darien team going into the second half, coming out stingy and putting pressure on the Golden Eagles offense. A couple standouts on the defensive side of the ball were sophomore Mitchell Pryor and junior Jack Richter, both players forced steals consistently throughout the second half and were a big reason for the Wave staying in the game. Jack Tierney and Andrew Darby were equally aggressive on defense, but because of this were quickly in foul trouble down the stretch. Freshman Henry Williams paced the Wave on offense putting up a solid 14 points, trying his best to will Darien to a win.

Despite all of their efforts, Darien came up short to Trumbull, losing 62-56.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Darien Basketball Falls to Greenwich; On Brink of States

      
By Jack Tierney

  On Monday, Feb 22 the Darien Boys Varsity Basketball (7­12) team lost a heartbreaker

at home 46­45 to the Greenwich Cardinals. Darien on the brink of states qualification needed

the win to guarantee their status. Greenwich (10­7) have already clinched states and were

fighting for a spot in the FCIAC tournament.

        Throughout the game Darien was trailing due to a sluggish start which lead to a wildly

low scoring 1st half 14­21. The Blue Wave, led by strong play from juniors Zak Swetye (14

points) and Alex Preston (14 points), made their furious comeback late in the 4th quarter trailing

by 6 points with 1 minute remaining and cutting it to one with 14 seconds left. Both teams were

having an awful day from the line and neither could convert down the stretch leading to no

change in the score in the final 14 seconds despite three combined trips to the line.

Darien still has a strong case for states (8 wins is the requirement) and it’s likely they’ll

get in, but with a win on this upcoming Wednesday against Trumbull it is solidified.


Monday, February 22, 2016

11/12 House Basketball Championship Preview

Alright so the championship game is Wednesday, it is really late on Monday night, so you cannot expect anything great from this preview. I mean I would love to write something super special as it is my final time ever writing a House article (I'm crying), but that ain't happening. Still, I do it for the people, so here is some type of preview. Also, I'm going to throw down a prediction to see what happens. Wish me luck. HHHHOOOOOUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEE. (If you find any errors in what I said, sorry, I did this in 10 minutes)

UPDATE: The game is on Friday. I was lied to.


Hawks:
The Hawks were able to make it to the title game in typical Hawks fashion, winning dramatic game after dramatic game. Their last win was against the (former) heavy favorites in the Nuggets, but an Andrew Mathew put-back buzzer beater shattered the Nuggets dreams of a championship season. 24 points from Chris Drake also helped the cause, and it seems like the team is starting to click at exactly the right time. 

Raptors:
Dear Everyone on the Raptors,
Remember that time I said you were the worst team in the league? Good times. Sorry about that.

Anyway, the Raptors two game skid to end the season raised questions on whether or not they would be able to make a playoff run, but they squashed those doubts by defeating the Knicks, earning their spot in the championship game. Remaining one of the best offenses in the league, the Raptors are the downright favorite heading into Wednesday nights championship match up. 


Head-to-Head
The two teams met once during the later part of the regular season, and the Hawks were able to win that game 45-40.

Offensive Advantage (Statistically): Raptors

Defensive Advantage (Statistically): Hawks

Prediction:
Both of these teams were kind of low in my preseason rankings, which just goes to show how reliable I am. By the way I am just saying the Raptors are the favorite to win because of the seeding, I have no basis whatsoever to say why they are the favorite. Anyway, the Raptors do have a distinct size advantage over most teams, but it kind of evens out against the Hawks. John Foley, Jack Baylis and Andrew Mathew combine to be enough for the Hawks to take on the Raptors Emmet Sheehan. Jack Beatty can also do some work in the paint, but that leaves a hole on who will be guarding the Hawks Connor Mulliken. All in all, the Raptors are the younger of the two teams, and I see the Hawks seniors wanting to go out with a 'ship to end their House careers. Hawks win. 


Now here comes the usual "last time doing this, I'm going to miss it speech", but that isn't happening. I'm not going to miss this at all. Well, maybe playing, but writing? Nah. Anyway, House Awards will come out some time next week probably. Who knows if I will even do them. Go Cubs.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

11/12 House Basketball Final Four Preview

Yea, there are House games on Monday night, and important ones too. I know, I was shocked too. I was just sitting around alone in Darien (vacations to countries and islands I have never even heard of before are overrated) when I decided to check when the semi final games were, and sure enough, they are the day we get back to school. Now, I wasn't going to write these out of sheer laziness, but with nothing else to do on my poor mans staycation, I decided I should at least try to do some form of preview. Here you go.

Also, no predictions, because I don't think I haven't gotten a single one right this year and have already gotten people telling me not to pick their team because it will make them lose. House Ball everyone.

#4 Hawks vs. #1 Nuggets
Alright this game. Both the Nuggets and Hawks had pretty close games to start the playoffs, as both teams won by two against lower ranked opponents. Granted, the Hawks were playing the #5 seed while the Nuggets have less of an excuse having played the #9 seed. The teams did meet earlier in the season, and the Nuggets got the W then by three points. Let's break it down.

Offensive Advantage
Both these teams are incredibly close in their points per game average on the season, as the Nuggets are averaging 48 per game while the Hawks are at 47 per game. Naturally, you'd think that I would pick the Nuggets due to the simple fact that 48 is better than 47. You, sir, are correct. The Nuggets have a better star player in Hudson Hamill, and with an incredible supporting cast of Nick Percarpio, Burke Blatney and Michael Parsley, it is hard to argue against that. Yes, the Hawks do have a great scoring attack in Connor Mulliken, the Drakes and Andrew Mathew, but the Nuggets in my mind have the advantage here, even though it is incredibly small. Advantage: Nuggets

Defensive Advantage
Not as close as the offensive side of the ball, the Nuggets are allowing 44.7 points per game while the Hawks are giving up 40.6 per game. The Hawks in my opinion have the big man advantage in this game. John Foley has been coming up big for the Hawks lately, and add in Jack Baylis and of course Andrew Mathew, and the Hawks should not have trouble on the boards. The Nuggets will need to shut down all aspects of the Hawks offense to win this game, as there are a lot of options for the latter to go to for scoring. Going back to the numbers, you can probably guess who I am picking for this one. Advantage: Hawks

Keys to Victory

Hawks:

  • Control the paint
  • Score early and often 
  • Limit turnovers
Nuggets:
  • Win the paint battle, or else it is over
  • Stay out of foul trouble, both personal and technical 
  • Offensive fastbreaks

#3 Knicks vs. #2 Raptors
In what should be an incredible rematch of a late regular season game, the Knicks and Raptors will meet to decide who gets the championship spot. The Knicks are currently riding a six game winning streak, blowing out their opponents in almost every game. The Raptors were one of the biggest surprises in the league this year, starting the year of 7-1 before dropping the final two games of the season to the Hawks and Knicks. The Knicks started the playoffs by beating up the Cavs by almost 20, while the Raptors beat the Suns in a relatively close game up until the end. The teams have met twice already this season, with the series being split 1-1. 

Offensive Advantage
This is way to easy. The Raptors are statistically and arguably the best offensive team in the league. Averaging nearly 51 points per game, the team has been unstoppable when the ball is in their hands. Jack Beatty has been the leader of this attack, but it doesn't stop there, as Connor Gonzalez-Falla and his deep ball have been deadly all season long. Add in big man Emmett Sheehan, and you have got yourself a quality lineup. The Knicks do have former v-squad member Charlie Miller on their side, but it doesn't come close to what the Raptors have offensively. Advantage: Raptors


Defensive Advantage
So, the Raptors are the best offense in the league, and the Knicks are the best defensive team in the league. Oh man. Allowing only 36 points per game, the Knicks defensive is scary good. Basically, if you plan on scoring, you better do it on the first shot, because Mark "Pyscho" Schmidt as he has been called will be on the boards before you know it. Along with that, the team has found incredible production out of Andrew Crane, who in the eyes of many is one of the best draft steals from this year. But like I said, best offense vs. best defense. Yes. Advantage: Knicks

Keys to Victory

Raptors:

  • Controlling the boards, both offensively and defensively
  • Attacking the Knicks zone
  • Securing good shots
Knicks:
  • Continuing to play solid defense
  • Open jump shots
  • Hopefully getting a ref that will not be pissed off at Stovall


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Darien Falls to Don Bosco 5 to 2

By Sam Hickey


Last Thursday, February 11th, the Blue Wave’s Varsity Hockey Team took on New Jersey powerhouse Don Bosco at home at the Darien Ice Rink. This game featured some of the top ranked teams in the tri-state area with Darien at 3 wins and Don Bosco with 2. As was expected the game was extremely physical with both teams racking up a number of penalties. This proved to be Darien downfall as three of Don Bosco’s goals were scored on power plays.

Initially, Darien seemed like they might keep pace with Don Bosco when they equalized twice off goals from junior Tom Sulger and senior Riley Mullin. Then at the end of the 2nd, Don Bosco added another goal on one of 3 power plays, making the score 3-2. Don Bosco then went on to outscore Darien 2-0 in the third and seal the deal against a top ranked opponent in Darien.

When asked how his team could have played better junior Max Romeyn said, “I think if we stay more disciplined and don't give up some of those stupid penalties we have a great chance to win that game.”

Photo Above: Darien goalie senior David Voight gave the Blue Wave a great chance to win. (Credit: Darien Times)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Blue Wave Girls Indoor Track and Field See FCIACs

By Carson Halabi

Last Thursday evening, February 4th, the Blue Wave girls’ track and field team competed in the FCIAC Championship at Hillhouse High School in New Haven. The grand indoor facility did not intimidate the team, but definitely rose the stakes of the night. 


The girls’ team had seventeen seasonal bests at the FCIAC race. A few highlight performances included senior Laine Blummer’s fourth place in the shotput, throwing 28’ 8.5". Senior Mahoghany Dolberry achieved a whopping three personal records, in the shot, as well as long and high jumps. Although the team did not place highly overall, there were a lot of incredible individual races run, especially on the distance team. The medley relay team achieved its PR (senior Sarah Hadlow, freshmen Lauren Sulger, Marley Garfield and Cameron Appleby) and the 4x200 relay team ran its fastest time of its season (juniors Laurie Travagliani and Jillian Clements, freshmen Emily Aysseh and Eva Finn).


In total, the girls team qualified for 21 events at CIACs. Please come see and cheer on both the girls and boys BWTF team at States this Saturday, February 13th, again at Hillhouse, starting at 10 a.m.

Girl’s Basketball Beats St. Joseph’s in a Tight Defensive Battle

By Ellie Nelson


On February 9th, the DHS girl’s basketball team pulled out a very close win in their regular season game against St. Joseph’s in Trumbull. The final score was 54-45. The game was a largely defensive game, with strong performance from both Darien and St. Joe’s. DHS only had a 24% chance of beating the highly ranked St. Joes, so the win was a shock for everyone. The girls have three more games left of regular season before playoffs start, but with their current record of 7-9, a spot in the FCIACs isn't likely. However, the team still has some hope they can snag a spot and win the last of their regular season games. Sophomore Katie Ramsay said, “All of our recent games we have been losing in close games by only 2-3 points so I don’t think our record isn't a good show of our talent. This last win gives us confidence we can win our next games.” Check out their senior day home game against Westhill on 2/12 at 7pm.


Senior Emily Coyle takes a free throw earlier in the season.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

11/12 House Basketball Wednesday Playoff Preview

Sunday provided us with some solid action, as the two play-in games gave us two upsets, while the Hawks and Knicks both took out their underdog opponents. Wednesday night, we find out who will be joining the Hawks and the Knicks in the semi-finals, an obviously, the favorites are the Nuggets and the Raptors. Still, their is a chance for upsets, as you will see in my predictions (maybe). Also, the semi-final predictions are going to be wicked short tomorrow... don't have much time to throw those together since I'm heading down E-Street (some people will get that reference)

#1 Nuggets vs. #9 Spurs
It looks liked the Spurs finally played up to their potential on Sunday, as they upset the #8 Celtics in a two point game. They are faced with the daunting task however of facing the Nuggets, who have a tendency to steam roll opponents that they deem unworthy. In fact, when the two teams met earlier this year, the Nuggets were able to pull away with a 60-49 victory. Will the rematch be closer? Usually you say yes, but I think the Nuggets want to make a big statement ahead of facing the Hawks on Thursday.

Prediction:
Yea, if you can't already tell, I'm picking the Nuggets. They have too much talent all-around, and as long as Hudson Hamill stays in the game, this team should not have trouble getting the W. Nuggets win in convincing fashion.

#2 Raptors vs. #10 Suns
The Suns grabbed their second win of the season on Sunday, defeating the Warriors in a play-in game. The Suns were impressive in the win, keeping the Warriors at only 35 points after letting them score 75 on them earlier in the season. Something must have changed, maybe the Suns are starting to take this seriously again. What lies ahead of them however is a battle with the Raptors, who were the leagues hottest team until they hit a two game losing streak to end the season. The Raptors are talented indeed, but with the Suns surging into the playoffs, we might actually have a close game on our hands.

Prediction:
The Suns were impressive on Sunday, and are looking to be the next great Cinderella story in House history. The Raptors are losers of two straight, and are probably looking to murder the Suns to make a statement. They won't murder the Suns, because this game will honestly come down to the final three minutes. Who wins? The Raptors. The Raptors have quite possibly the easiest path to the championship game. They have to beat the leagues worst team (record wise) and then beat a Schmidtless Knicks team on Thursday. UPDATE: Schmidt is actually going to be there.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

11/12 House Basketball Sunday Playoff Preview

After a wild regular season, or somewhat wild, I honestly didn't pay too much attention, the playoffs are finally upon us. I will break down each match-up depending on the day. So, for this edition, I am breaking down and making predictions for the Sunday games. On Tuesday, I will release analysis for Wednesday games. Get it? Good.

Playoff Seedings:
#1 Nuggets
#2 Raptors
#3 Knicks
#4 Hawks
#5 Nets
#6 Cavaliers
#7 Warriors
#8 Celtics
#9 Spurs
#10 Suns

Sunday Games Preview

#8 Celtics vs. #9 Spurs; 12pm @ MMS
The Celtics are quite possibly the biggest underdog heading into the postseason. Standing at the #8 seed, the Celtics still remain one of the most dangerous teams in the bracket. They fell to the Hawks in the final game of the season, but the game remained close until the end. On the Spurs side, they were able to end their season on a high note, taking a big win over the #7 Warriors. It appears as if the Spurs finally played to their incredible potential, which is huge heading into the playoffs. The Spurs are obviously the more talented team with Minicus, Edgar, the Klingman's and Kniffin, but the Celtics have quite the duo of Quinn Fay and Brian Keating scoring for them, with support from Peter Marren.

Prediction:
The Celtics have a great big man in Brian Keating, and the Spurs will need Jack Wells to have a big game to slow him down. Wells will do just that, giving the Spurs the edge in the end. Spurs win.

#7 Warriors vs. #10 Suns; 1pm @ MMS
The Suns came incredibly close to pulling off a huge upset to end the season against the Nets. Granted, the Nets were without big man Aidan Coyle, but the Suns were still able to score a lot of points. As usual though, their defense was an issue, and we have talked about that way too much this season. The Warriors were also losers on Wednesday, being upset by the Spurs. This game overall actually is quite interesting, since it has the leagues two worst defenses pitted against one another. The Suns are allowing a gross 55.7 points per game, while the Warriors are allowing 48.9 points per game. We know one thing, there will be a lot of scoring. The Warriors will get a lot of its scoring from the Burke brothers, while the Suns will probably have to rely heavily on Timmy Graham and the emerging Jack McCann. Both teams seem incredibly confident though heading into this game, as Warriors star Cary O'Brien was ecstatic, telling the press, "nah".

Prediction:
The Suns are totally going to be the team that comes out of nowhere during the playoffs. The Warriors need both Burke brothers in attendance to get the win here. If they don't both come, the Suns will pull of a magical upset. Yet, I see both Charlie and Teddy making appearances, so the Warriors win.

#4 Hawks vs. #5 Nets; 2pm @ MMS
Here we go. The Nets had a win against the Hawks during the regular season, but Andrew Mathew had other plans hitting the game winner with no time remaining. You have to say that the Nets are hungry for revenge, especially after coming that close. Well, both teams seem plenty motivated, as they both took home wins on Wednesday nights season finale. The Nets narrowly escaped the Suns, while the Hawks took home a W against the Celtics. In this matchup, I see plenty of action going down. How the Hawks plan on guarding the size and strength of Aidan Coyle is something I cannot answer, because the Hawks have no one to match his size. The Hawks do however have John Foley to slow Coyle down in the paint hopefully. Foley was able to stop Emmet Sheehan on the Raptors, and I see him being able to somewhat contain Coyle for a bit. Aside from that, the Hawks definitely have more scoring options with both Drake twins, Mulliken and Mathew.

Prediction:
I have concerns for both teams. Will the Hawks be able to stop Coyle again? And for the Nets, can they defend all of the different scoring options on the Hawks? We will find out Sunday. As for a game prediction, the Hawks have been on a tear as of late. If they are in full force Sunday, I don't see the Nets staying with them through both halves. Hawks win.

#3 Knicks vs. #6 Cavaliers; 3pm @ MMS
I'm not going to pull the whole "I'm on the Cavs" card this time. Nah, I'll break this thing down as best I can. The Knicks are winners of five straight, with their last win coming against the Raptors. One thing I must mention, the Knicks pulled off one of the hardest things to ever do in basketball, and still managed to win. Yea, Spencer Stovall managed to foul out while sitting on the bench. Don't ask me how, figure it out yourself. All I am willing to say is that Stovall fouled out... from the bench. Moment of the Year? Probably. Anyway, the Knicks are unstoppable right now, as Charlie Miller is scoring like it is nobodies business for the team, and Mark Schmidt is continuing to, you know, Schmidt on other teams. Get it? Ha. For their opponent, they get the Cavaliers, who are down to like seven total players. The Cavs lost by 20 to the Nuggets on Wednesday, and the blame can be pointed at turnovers by the team. With solid scorers like Jamie Schofield, Danny O'Boyle and Peter Ridder playing very well, the Cavs have a chance to pull off the upset if they can limit the turnovers and get good shots up.

Prediction:
I won't pick against my own team, but I also won't pick my own team. Criss-cross. Knicks win if they continue to play solid defense like they've done all year, Cavs win if they limit the turnovers and get Stovall to foul out from the bench again. Hint, giving Stovall certain exotic fruits tend to anger him. T him up.





Girls Ski Team Places First Overall in Regular Season Race

By Madeleine Ostertag

The Darien High School Girls Ski Team had a strong performance in its regular season race at Mt. Southington ski area in Plantsville, CT on Tuesday, February 2. Girls Varsity came into this race after finishing 1st on Wednesday, January 27. Girls Varsity placed 1st with an overall score of 314.37 while Girls JV placed 4th with an overall score of 298.30. 6 DHS Varsity Girls skiers placed in the top 30, with junior Maggie Skeats finishing 3rd, freshman Devin Hart finishing 9th, freshman Lane Anderson finishing 13th, junior Carly Schoudel finishing 18th, freshman Adelaide Spain finishing 21st, and senior Alli Lowitz finishing 29th. Addie Spain and Lane Anderson described their team dynamic: “It’s fun to be on the team with everyone supporting you.” Look for Girls Ski at their next race on February 10th.
Girls Ski slipping the course.
Displaying Girls Ski.jpg
Displaying Girls Ski.jpg

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Girls Ice Hockey Crushes Stamford-Westhill-Staples

By Kallie Coughlin 

This past Tuesday at 8:30, The Darien High School’s Girls Varsity Hockey, team took on and beat the “three school team” Stamford-Westhill-Staples, 7-0. Having beat this team only 1-0 in early January, this week's win was exciting. Goals came from across the board: Georgia Cassidy had two goals, while Schuyler Van den Broek, Emily Ferguson, Kiki Tropsa, Elise Maro, and Cassidy Schiff all had one goal. Junior goalie, Emily Gianunzio, saw little action in the defensive end having three strong saves.

The rest of the season brings big competition, with Simsbury, East Catholic, and Hamden all in the near future, as well as FCIACS and States. Georgia Cassidy believes, “the team is strong enough to beat them all and hopefully come out with medals!” Come watch the team’s next big home game against Simsbury on February 5th at the Darien Ice Rink.

Georgia Cassidy #2, Emily Ferguson #21, Cassidy Schiff #20, Marissa Baker #6, and Kathleen Tropsa #23, celebrate after a win vs New Canaan earlier this season.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

9/10 House Basketball Final Power Rankings

This house ball season was wild to say the least. With crazy upsets and dark horses throughout the year, I'll try to close out this regular season as best I can. People said I should make predictions for this years playoffs, I'll try, but I don't think anyone can predict how this season will finish up. Anyway, here are this years final power rankings...

() indicates previous ranking; [] indicates record

1. (2) [7-2] Washington
The Huskies were a surprise to everyone in the house ball world. On paper, they looked like a middle of the road team, but they were nowhere near that this season. With strong all around talent, they were a force to be reckoned with all year. Finishing their season strong, they won their last four games with ease, except for a close call against Georgetown.  Sophomore Kevin Grune led this team all year, but other players like Hank Rech, Max Gasvoda, and Henry Adiletta were consistently solid all season. This squad also possessed Sherlock "The GOAT" Aristizabal. I honestly never saw this kid miss a jump shot. In fact, he showed up with six minutes left in their matchup against Syracuse and managed to hit two threes and a mid range jump shot, coming in clutch for the Huskies. These guys are a huge contender to win it all this year. They will face the winner of Syracuse and Maryland next week.

2. (3) [7-2] Georgetown
Georgetown has utilized its size very well all season. Sophomore Will Rooney was a strong force in the paint and grabbed plenty of boards. While the talented Craig Triano ran the point for the Hoyas. With a play style similar to Russell Westbrook, Triano has the ability to drive and hit 3's. Though he may play like him, I can assure you that Triano does not have the same outlandish personality and wardrobe that Westbrook has. Another Sophomore that has been strong is Dillon O'Shea. O'Shea grabbed plenty of steals that led to fast breaks for the Hoyas in their game against Kentucky and played a big role in their win. Georgetown is one of the four teams with a first round bye and will play either UNC or Kentucky next week.

3. (4) [6-3] UConn
Sophomore Jack Joyce is without a doubt the main reason this squad is contending for a championship. The kid can do anything, although I do know of one weakness that may affect Joyce. He is one of the best athletes at the high school, but struggles mightily when it comes to opening  bottles of chocolate milk. Anyway, the Huskies have strong shooting in freshman Ryan Eppley and TJ Cornacchia, as well as sophomore John Ginnatassio (I'm assuming I did not spell that right). I would say something about Connor Percarpio, but I think we already all know what he can do on and off the court. UConn will play the winner of Michigan and Providence in the playoffs.

4. (1) [6-2-1] Duke
Last Friday, the Blue Devils tied Kentucky in a 3 OT thriller. I don't know the last time this happened in house, but let me tell you, it was as bizarre as it sounds. Since their matchup against Kentucky, this team seems to be a little bit off their game, but remain a contender to win it all this season. Sophomore Mike Neary has been a beast in the paint for the Blue Devils of late, but will see if his knees can carry him all the way through a grueling house ball playoff schedule. The dynamic duo of Sean Collins and Justin Van De Graff has continued to impress and have carried this team all year. One thing to keep in mind though is the injury that Jackson Mcnear suffered that has put him on crutches, as he will likely miss at least one playoff game. This means that sophomore Ryan Griffin will have to fill in for him for the time being. Not even going to comment on that. Unless what I just said counts as a comment. Anyway, Duke will play the winner of Stanford and MSU in their first playoff game.

5. (6) [5-4] Michigan
Similarly to UConn, the Wolverines have one player who has carried them all season in Nick Green. Green has done everything for the Wolverines and as I mentioned in the last rankings, has even given Justin Canelli a piggy back ride for an entire half. Canelli came to me a couple days ago and claimed it was not true, but trust me guys, it happened. I was informed that freshman Cooper Hancock dropped 18 in the Wolverines last game. I'm not sure if this is true or not because I wasn't at the game, but the source of this information was Hancock himself, so I'm assuming it's true. Michigan will take on Providence in the first round.

6. (8) [5-4] Stanford
So this kid Harry Constantine has managed to anger and annoy every player who has covered him this season. I don't really know what he says, but him and Nick Green had some pretty intense beef after Stanford beat Michigan. Other than his trash talking and basketball abilities, I know nothing about this kid because he doesn't attend DHS, so that's pretty much all I have on him. Max Grant has also been solid for the Cardinal this season and will play alongside Constantine in their back court. Connor "Sully" Sullivan has been bugging me about getting a mention, so yeah, he has been committing unecessary fouls all season. We'll see how this team handles MSU in the first round.

7. (5) [4-4-1] Kentucky
You already read about the Wildcats 3 OT thriller against Duke. But 48 hours after that game they took on Georgetown and lost in a defensive battle. Although they ended the regular season on a disappointing note, the Wildcats could be a sleeper in the playoffs and could be the "Cinderella Story" this season. Sophomore Fin Batson has hit timely threes for these guys all season and is a solid point guard. Another sophomore, Tyler Russo has been a defensive force and is never afraid to get tangled up with someone for a loose ball. Other solid players on this team include Brian "Beast" Wright, Tommy Reilley, Sam "BaƱo" Scribano, Christian Haranzo, Ryan Baird, and Alex Murray. Kentucky will face UNC in the first round of the playoffs.

8. (7) [4-5] Syracuse
The Orangeman have been a mediocre team all season. Other than Sophomore big men Alex Phillips and Harry Rayhill, they don't have too much talent. Freshman Jack Bogdan has been pretty solid at the point, but lacks experience in one of the most competitive recreational basketball leagues in Fairfield County. My advice to them would be get Alex Phillips and Harry Rayhill the ball and see if they can use their talents and mezmorizing locks to get points. Syracuse will play Maryland in the first round.

9. (9) [4-5] Maryland
The Terps have been one of the most unpredictable teams this season. When they're on, they can beat anybody, but when they're off, well, they suck. Cousins Teddy Brannigan and Willie Keating have been rebound machines in many games and have been a huge part of all of their four wins. At the top of the key, ex-freshman team star Will Rehm has run the point and has done a solid job. Alongside him has been sophomore Matt Gould. If all of these talents jell together well then they could make a run in the playoffs, otherwise they could be one and done. The Terps will face Syracuse this Sunday in what should be a good matchup.

10. (11) [2-7] Providence
Congrats to the Friars on their highest ever regular season ranking! Although these guys have been a disappointment to say the least, they are a different team when Brian Minicus is in attendance, as he is one of the most versatile guards in the league. Defensively, the Friars have Connor Tienken shutting down anyone who comes his way. Freshman Glen Fay has also had a solid year as he has been one of the strongest 3 point shooters. The Friars will have a tough task in Michigan this Sunday.

11. (10) [2-7] North Carolina
The Tar Heels didn't have super high expectations this season, but they lived up to them, so I congratulate them on that. Sophomore David Volz had to carry this team but wasn't able to bring them too much success, although he had a pretty solid year. Other Sophomores who had big roles were Thomas Foresta and Henry Nolte. Alright guys, I know it's been a running joke all season, but the Tommy Murphy sweat situation just took a serious turn. I was informed late last night that Tommy's body literally has no more sweat to produce. Therefore, he can no longer participate in any physical activity for the time being, and will not be able to play in this year's playoffs. I want to end this teams write up by commending Tommy's effort, heart, and of course his uncanny ability to sweat like none other. Thank you.

12. (12) [1-8] Michigan State
Well, at least the Spartans found a way to get one win this season. I don't think they are going to move past round one in the playoffs, but hey, you never know. We'll see if Patrick Burke and Charlie Olsen can lead this team to an upset over Stanford.

Regular Season Awards:
MVP: Jack Joyce
Big Men of the Year: Teddy Brannigan and Will Rooney
Defensive Player of the Year: Connor Tienken
Freshman of the Year: Really had no idea who to give this to, not sure if any of you guys played that well but... Jack Bogdan
The Guy Who Played A Little Too Hard: Tommy Murphy
Unsung Hero: Sherlock "The GOAT" Aristizabal
Worst Fashion Choice of the Year: Connor Sullivan and his oversized white t-shirt under the jersey... come on man

Playoff Predictions:
(Washington, Duke, UConn, and Georgetown have byes)

#8 Syracuse vs #9 Maryland (winner plays # 1 Washington)
Teddy Brannigan and Alex Phillips go tick for tat all game, Maryland pulls it out in OT

# 6 Stanford vs # 12 Michigan State (winner plays # 4 Duke)
Constantine and Olsen nearly come to blows, but Stanford wins easily in regulation

# 5 Michigan vs # 10 Providence (winner plays # 3 UConn)
Nick Green puts up big numbers, but the game comes down to the wire and Glen Fay hits a buzzer beater three to pull off the upset for the Friars

# 7 Kentucky vs # 11 North Carolina (winner plays # 2 Georgetown)
Kentucky wins in a gritty defesive battle, Tyler Russo most likely fouls out








Monday, February 1, 2016

11/12 House Basketball Power Rankings 9.0

Oh man.

() Indicates previous ranking; [] Indicates record

1. (3) [6-3] Knicks
The Knicks are the winners of this week in House Ball, taking over a #1 spot that had been dominated by the Raptors and Nuggets from the start. Well, the Knicks actually held the #1 spot during the week of December 22nd, but that didn't last very long. The Knicks have been hot as of late, riding a four game win streak with impressive wins over the Cavs and the Hawks. Schmidt continues to happen, while Charlie Miller and Lee Gardella are running the offensive side of the ball beautifully for the Knicks. But it is the defensive side of the ball that is making this team so dangerous, as the Knicks remain the #1 defense in the league up to this point. As Mark Schmidt said postgame, "defense wins championships." The Knicks look to end the season with a huge win, as they take on the Raptors in the regular season finale.

2. (4) [5-4] Nets
So the Nets have shocked the league, taking down the powerhouse Nuggets by 10 points after Nuggets star Hudson Hamill got ejected. Tyler Grant was apparently right, after telling the press "Hudson's about to get his McNuggets chopped off." The Nets have figured something out, as they are riding an impressive three game winning streak after that heartbreaking buzzer beater lose to the Hawks. In fact, the Nets are 5-1 since starting 0-3, which is a massive turnaround. Much of that is due to the play of leading Big Man of the Year candidate Aidan Coyle, who is a center playing point guard most of the time, which for every team is a nightmare. The supporting cast of Tyler Grant, Brian Peters and Bobby Osborn have also been a vital part of this teams turnaround, oh, and Cord Fox too. Watch out for the Nets come playoff time, as they are riding a wave of momentum right now.

3. (6) [5-4] Hawks
The Hawks are back. Yikes. Well, let's just wait on that statement. This team has been so up and down that is was quite hard to put them here. The team was able to down the #1 Raptors on Sunday, when they were without both Connor Mulliken and Andrew Mathew. Both of them. Against a much bigger Raptors front court, the duo of senior big men John Foley and Jack Baylis were able to grab much needed boards, score some big points late and draw enough fouls to get Raptors star Jack Beatty out of the game. Without both Mulliken and Mathew however, the team turned to the Drake twins, who combined to score 31 of the teams total 45 points. Chris lead the team with 20 points while Matt was able to drop 11 (happy?) and hit some big free throws at the end of the game. With the returns of Mulliken and Mathew, this team is dangerous. With so many scoring options across the floor, this team figures to be a favorite heading into the playoffs. As Foley said when the final buzzer sounded, "We are back."

4. (2) [6-3] Nuggets
The Nuggets had the perfect opportunity to regain their #1 spot in the rankings after the Raptors lost, but they were not able to pull off the win against the Nets. The team lost by 10 on Sunday, scoring 45 in the process, but allowing over 50 points for the third time this season. In fact, the Nuggets are the third worst defensive team in the league behind the Warriors and the Suns. That is not great company to be in. To make matters worse, the team lost Hudson Hamill to an ejection after getting T'd up twice in the second half, which probably caused the downfall. If the Nuggets want to make a championship run, which they probably will, they need to start making friends with the refs before they become the most hated team among the stripes. The one positive? I hear Burke Blatney nailed a half-court buzzer beater. Moral win.

5. (5) [5-4] Cavaliers
The Cavs were able to take out the short handed Celtics while being short handed themselves. The Cavs were without star Jamie Schofield, while the Celtics were without Quinn Fay and Brian Keating. So literally, we had a battle of the secondary players, and it was fabulous. Danny O'Boyle went off, dropping the first 12 points for the Cavs. I'm pretty sure he ended with at least 40 on the day. Peter Ridder continued his underrated season as well, while Matt Meyjes returned and provided solid support all around for the Cavs. The win was big for the team, following a tough stretch of games trading wins and losses. With the return of Schofield coming on Wednesday, the Cavs are looking to head into the playoffs with an above .500 record to give them some momentum.

6. (1) [7-2] Raptors
I don't know what happened. I went to watch the Raptors in person, and instead watched the Hawks pull off one of the biggest upsets in House history. The Raptors were in full force on Sunday too, as both Jack Beatty and Emmet Sheehan were in attendance, combing to form a wall in the paint. Still, even with Sheehan blocking anything in his way and Beatty have an all-around good performance, the Hawks were somehow able to pull it off. Now, this #6 ranking is not what the Raptors deserve at all. They are still one of the best teams in the league, but following a loss to a team without its two best players, the drop is somewhat necessary. The team gets a chance at redemption on Wednesday night, as they play the new #1 team in the league, the Knicks, in a game which might determine the #1 seed heading into the playoffs.

7. (8) [4-5] Warriors
The Warriors put up 75 against the Suns on Sunday, solidifying themselves as one of the best offenses in the league. Yet, the team still has massive trouble defending their own basket, as they are allowing on average a total of 49 points per game. Ew. On the bright side, both Burke brothers were in attendance, which is probably why they scored 75 points (even without star Cary O'Brien). Christian Fiorenza led the team with 0 points as well, keeping himself in contention for Junior of the Year. The Warriors have a chance to end the year at .500 as they take on struggling Spurs on Wednesday night. As for the win, O'Brien, who wasn't even there, said, "got the ball, did the jumps, circle in the hoop, we did the dirt, let's play ball."

8. (7) [4-5] Celtics
The Celtics lost to the Cavs on Sunday, as both teams were without their star players. Still, the Celtics got solid production out of Peter Marren, who hit some big shots to keep the Celtics in the game all the way until the end. The Celtics can still be a dangerous team, especially when both Quinn Fay, Brian Keating and Peter Marren are all in scoring mode. Supporting members including Ryan Corcoran and Dillon Jones will also be huge for this team, especially in the paint and on the boards. The Celtics have a huge chance at gaining incredible momentum as they get to take on the Hawks on Wednesday.

9. (9) [2-7] Spurs
The Spurs could not handle the Knicks on Sunday, losing their third straight and sixth game out of their last seven. In fact, that one win in the past seven is against the Suns, the leagues worst team. I am still utterly confused on why this team isn't good, since they have some of the best players on the team. Do I have any advice for the team? Feed Jack Wells. Give him the ball. Let him work. Oh, also shout out to James Crafford. Didn't even know this kid played House.

10. (10) [1-8] Suns
Eight game losing streaks are cool. Letting up 75 points to the Warriors is cool. Allowing 55 points per game is cool. Getting my sarcasm? This team is awful right now, with Charlie Dean being the only bright spot on this team besides Timmy Graham. Still, 65 points is pretty good offensively for this team, as reportedly, Jack McCann and David Voigt combined to score like, 35. Watch them pull off the greatest playoff run in history. You heard it here first.


Game Predictions:

#3 Hawks vs. #8 Celtics
With the Hawks hoping to have their big time players back, expect them to feast on the Celtics to close out the season. Hawks win.

#2 Nets vs. #10 Suns
I'd call for the upset, but I can no longer trust the Suns. Nets win a relatively close one, but drop at least 60.

#7 Warriors vs. #9 Spurs
The Warriors are coming off a big win against the Suns, only being big since they scored 75, but I'm calling upset. Spurs win.

#4 Nuggets vs. #5 Cavaliers
Tie.

*Game of the Week*
#1 Knicks vs. #6 Raptors
This is more like a #1 vs. #2 battle, especially since the winner of this game has a chance to grab the #1 seed heading into playoffs. The Raptors fell hard in the rankings after losing to the short handed Hawks, but are looking to return back to their dominant ways. The Knicks are on fire as of late, riding a four game win streak and sporting the best defense in the league. How the Knicks plan on handling Sheehan is a big question mark, but the Hawks were able to do it just fine, so they can probably figure something out. In a very close game, the Knicks will be able to pull it off.


Oh, by the way. This is probably the last set of power rankings for the year. How sad. I'm really emotional right now. So instead of power rankings during playoffs, I'll do some playoff predictions before each round. Everyone should be happy with that.