Friday, February 27, 2015

11/12 House Basketball End-of-Season Awards

by Neirad staff

Following the Suns’ championship win on Wednesday, we can officially bid farewell to the 2014-15 11/12 House Basketball season, and the legendary House Ball Class of 2015. Before we do, however, here are some awards given to the most stellar performers from this past season.

MVP: Conor Davey, senior, Suns
Davey was the unquestioned leader on this team, dominating inside and outside the paint on offense, and playing tenacious defense that stifled each and every opposing team. He also led the team to a 9-1 regular season, as well as a House Basketball championship in his final game.

First-Team All-Stars:
C- Sam Bowtell, senior, Heat
F- Matt Sherwood, senior, Jazz
F- John Mackie, senior, Lakers
G- Jamie Schwartz, senior, Nuggets
G- Conor Davey, senior, Suns

Second-Team All-Stars:
C- Timmy Graham, junior, Lakers
F- Charlie Travers, senior, Mavericks
F- Philip Rech, senior, Cavaliers
G- Jamie Schofield, junior, Bulls
G- Hudson Hamill, junior, Nuggets

All-Trash Talk Team:
C- Jack Griffiths, senior, Nets
F- Ryan Murray, senior, Suns
F- Spencer Stovall, junior, Suns
G- TJ Adiletta, senior, Heat
G- Vinny Puzio, senior, Celtics

Private School All-Stars:
C- Matt Sherwood, senior, Jazz
F- Charlie Burke, junior, Suns
F- Jamie Schwartz, senior, Nuggets
G- Jay Van Elslander, senior, Nets
G- Henry Soule, senior, Celtics

Defensive Players of the Year: Bobby and Christian Trifone, juniors, Knicks
The Trifone twins’ relentless defense was one of the few highlights of the Knicks’ season, as their speed and aggression made opposing offenses pretty angry, but it did help the Knicks during their season.

Three-Point Shooter of the Year: Anthony DiMeglio, senior, Jazz
DiMeglio was a consistent shooter for the Jazz all year, as he was able to hit the deep ball no matter what the situation was. Unfortunately, he could not carry the team to the promised land, but he was responsible for many of the team’s wins.

Best Emotional Leader: Nicky Wildish, senior, Knicks
Though the Knicks had senior George Reed at the helm, Wildish kept positive vibes going throughout the season, even though the team struggled all year.

Comeback Player of the Year: James Fox, senior, Nuggets
Fox didn’t actually tear his ACL as he originally expected; in actuality, he only broke his knee. However, to be able to recover--both physically and emotionally--from such a traumatic injury is impressive. He was a crucial player for the Nuggets this year, leading their massive frontcourt with plenty of rebounds and blocks. Doing all of this while not 100% makes his accomplishments that much more admirable.

Most Swag: TJ Adiletta, senior, Heat
Is this even a contest? His attire alone was able to intimidate the entire opposing team, giving the Heat a huge advantage all year.

Moment of the Year: Senior Patrick Winter (Jazz) making a phone call on the court during the blowout loss to the Bulls.

Most Improved Player of the Year: Andrew Washer, junior, Nets
Washer has done well to develop his game these past two years, and this House season, he combined his height (and accompanying post game) with his impressive perimeter shooting ability to become a lethal scoring option and a bright spot for the otherwise-disappointing Nets.

Coach of the Year: Larry Burke, Suns
The Suns finished the regular season in first place at a stellar 9-1, and then ran the table in the playoffs to become eventual champions, so Mr. Burke was the clear favorite for this particular award. Having Conor Davey certainly made his job easier, but Mr. Burke’s tactics were effective the entire year, and he was the inspiring force between the Suns’ impressive season.

Genuine Nice Guy of the Year: Rick Nixon, coach, Heat
Just as TJ Adiletta is the unquestioned winner of the highly-coveted Swag Award, Mr. Nixon is by-and-away the frontrunner for Genuine Nice Guy of the Year. Mr. Nixon truly embodies the sportsman that every athlete aspires to be. Even for those who did not have the opportunity to play for him, it was an honor to share the same court with him.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Girls Ice Hockey Fights Hard in Loss to Simsbury

By Molly Bell
On Tuesday February 6th, Darien High School’s Girls Ice Hockey team battled perennial powerhouse Simsbury at Darien Ice Rink. After a hard fought 45 minutes, the team lost 3-1. Despite this tough loss, the team’s record moves to an impressive 12-2(undefeated in the FCIAC conference), its only other loss being to East Catholic in overtime. Junior forward Marissa Baker scored the lone goal for Darien in a game that ultimately came down to defense. Despite the score, the contest was quite evenly matched, with great passing and skilled interceptions of the puck for both teams.

Nevertheless, the loss is disappointing for the team, especially since the Girls Ice Hockey team defeated the upstate team earlier in the season in a big win by a margin of 3-2. But championship season prospects still look bright for the team, who won the 2014 FCIAC championship by a landslide in a landslide 8-1 defeat over the Ridgefield High School tigers. Despite the loss of seniors Shannon Hall, Sage Thatcher, and Ellie Bennett, the team has more than compensated for these losses, as they are undefeated in FCIAC play. Despite the result, the game was enjoying the spectators. “Even though they lost, they really stuck with Simsbury” junior fan Colin Donovan said. The Girls Ice Hockey team may receive the same amount of hype from the student body, but the team is very talented and poised to make a championship run once again. Come watch the team’s next home game against Ridgefield on December 13 at the Darien Ice Rink.
Sophomore Cassidy Schiff on the ice. ©DAF

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Championship Game Preview

By Britton Bartholdi
Wednesday night marks the end of the 11/12 House basketball season with the championship showdown between the Lakers and the Suns. I have broken down both teams during the past couple of days, but now we will look at the teams head to head and make a final prediction for the big game.

Points Scored/Game
Points Allowed/Game
Most Points Scored/Game
Least Points Allowed/Game
Season Point Differential

Statistical Advantage: Suns

Size Advantage: Lakers
The Lakers height is absurd, with Arrix, Mackie and Graham all being a massive presence on both sides of the ball. The Suns lack height, but have plenty of big man in Stovall, Murray and Grant to compete with the Lakers. Overall though, the Lakers win this category due to the depth they possess.

Speed Advantage: Lakers
The Suns speed comes from guards Conor Davey and Danny O’Boyle, along with some help from Brendan Seiler and Charlie Burke, but outside of that, the team is lacking. For the Lakers, almost everyone on that team has great speed, allowing for them to run a high paced offense, giving them the advantage against a slower Suns team.

Outside Shooting Advantage: Suns
The Lakers rely on Timmy Graham and his three point game, along with some help from Mackie, while the Suns have solid options from both Danny O’Boyle and Conor Davey and some help of the bench from Seiler and Burke.

Inside Shooting Advantage: Suns
Though John Mackie has been a one man show when driving to the basket, but the strength that the Suns possess is dangerous when they have the ball in the paint. Murray and Grant provide that support, while a kid named Conor Davey can make easy work when driving to the basket.

Defensive Advantage: Lakers
The Lakers defense has been dominant all year, showing that they can back their offense up by not allowing anything on the other side of the court. You can credit that to the height of Arrix, Graham and Mackie blocking shots, while shutdown defense from Tyler Grant helps massively.

Regular Season Game: Lakers 41 Suns 34

So now, a prediction. The Lakers handed the Suns their one regular season loss, but since then, the Suns have scored 59 points in their two playoff games. The Lakers started the postseason strong as they beat up the Heat by almost 30, but only managed to beat the Mavericks by 1. You can also questions the Suns opponents, as they beat the Celtics, and beat the Nuggets by 6. However, in both games, the team let up more than 45 points. The Suns can score, but questions arise about their ability to defend, and with them going against one of the league's best defense can raise some concerns. The most intriguing storyline of the game will be Davey vs. Mackie, but unfortunately, Davey cannot cover both Mackie and Graham. The only person I can see maybe covering Graham is O’Boyle, but Graham’s size and touch on the ball will be too much.

Lakers 51 Suns 49 (OT)

Wave Basketball Falls to Ridgefield in Final Home Game

by Stephen Barston

Tonight, February 23, the Darien High School Boys Basketball team fell in their final home game of the season to the visiting Ridgefield Tigers by a score of 56-39. In what was supposed to be senior night for the Blue Wave (a team with no seniors on the roster), DHS came out flat in the first half, and despite an admirable comeback in the second half, was unable to match the aggressive pace set by the opposition early on.

Darien was hindered by numerous turnovers in the first and second quarters, caused by the relentless Ridgefield man-to-man defense. Sophomore big man Alex Preston was not allowed to get into his groove during this part of the game, occasionally finding himself stranded out on the perimeter (subsequently leaving the Blue Wave with no post presence).

In the second half, Darien gained the momentum early on, and eventually cut the lead down to seven points in the third quarter. However, Ridgefield soon picked back up right where they left off, extending their lead back to double digits. A little bit later on, however, solid guard play from sophomore Jackson Ryan, impressive rebounding from junior captains Rock Stewart and Geoff Parnon, and all-around domination by Preston allowed the Blue Wave to decrease the deficit to only four points, following a clutch three-pointer by sophomore Zak Swetye. However, yet again, Ridgefield pulled away late, running out the clock, drawing fouls, and sinking free throws, in order to ultimately finish the game up by 17.

Regarding the team's performance, Parnon said, "I think once we learn to keep our composure, games like these are going to start turning into wins. At one point in the second half, we fought back and were only down four, and we have to maintain that same intensity level to keep closing the gap."

Come check out Darien's final game of the season against Norwalk on Wednesday at 7 PM, at Norwalk High School.

Sophomore Alex Preston shoots, and eventually sinks,
a free throw during the loss to Ridgefield.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Championship Game Preview: Suns Overview

By Britton Barthold
Regular Season:

Points Scored/Game: 46.4 points

Points Allowed/Game: 39 points

Most Points Scored in a Game: 60 points

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 54 points

Least Points Scored in a Game: 34 points

Least Points Allowed in a Game: 19 points

Biggest Point Differential: +22 (W), -7 (L)

Biggest Win of the Season: 41-19 W vs. Nuggets

Most Disappointing Loss: 34-41 L vs. Lakers

Roster Overview:
1. Conor Davey (senior)
Davey has been the anchor of the Suns offense all year long, and will undoubtedly play a huge role in the championship game on Wednesday.

2. Danny O’Boyle (junior)
O’Boyle has been Davey’s partner in crime, as his outside shooting has been outstanding all year, and will be hard to defend during Wednesday’s contest.

3. Ryan Murray (senior)
Murray isn’t a number machine, but can dominate the boards against an only tall, yet not big Lakers team.

4. Brendan Seiler (junior)
The reigning 9/10 Sportsmanship Award winner brings outside shooting behind O’Boyle, and will be vital to the Suns offensive attack.

5. Peter Grant (senior)
MVP candidate Peter Grant has been downright one of the most dominant players in House basketball this year, and is no question the X-factor heading into this game.

6. John Foley (junior)
One of the two private schoolers on the Suns, Foley is a physical presence who makes up for size with strength in the paint.

7. Charlie Burke (junior)
Burke tops out the Suns prolific scoring attack, as his ability to drive to the basket and make a jump shot has been huge for the Suns all year.

8. Spencer Stovall (junior)

Stovall talks the talk, but many question his ability to walk the walk. I see Stovall dominating this game from the mental standpoint, as he should get into the heads of every single Lakers player out there.