Bergere, Girls' 4x2 Win at States; Girls' Hoops Claims Division Again; Gyenizs is SCC Wrestling Champ
Published February 18, 2015. Last updated 01:37 p.m., February 18, 2015
Boys' Indoor Track
The Tigers took part in the Class L State Championship on Feb. 13 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven and finished sixth with 26 points, led by Ian Bergere's victory in the pole vault (14-6) to become Hand's first track athlete to be a two-time state champion. Elsewhere, Adam Taylor was fifth for the 1,000 (2:41.21); Kyle Boling finished third in the 55 hurdles (8.21); and Devon McShane found third for the pole vault (12-0) while Boling was fifth (12-0).
Girls' Indoor Track
Hand was 12th with 13.50 points for the Class L State Championship at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven on Feb. 13 as the 4x200 relay squad of Molly Citrin, Sam Schaefer, Gabrielle Harmon, and Caroline O' Neil captured a state title in that race (1:49.16). Additionally, Schaefer finished fifth for the 55 dash (7.70); the 1,600 sprint medley relay of Schaefer, Harmon, Citrin, and Megan Phillips was sixth (4:31.46); plus Heather Huminski tied for sixth for the long jump (15-1).
The Tigers defeated Foran 65-27 to clinch a second straight SCC Hammonasset Division title on Feb. 10 before a 56-42 loss at Mercy on Feb. 13 to give Hand a mark of 17-2 (7-0 in division play).
Against Foran, Gege Catalano had nine points, five rebounds, and two steals. Cori Ouellette also had nine points, including one three-pointer. Cassidy Wygonik earned eight points, eight boards, and four blocks. Lauren Brandau added six points, five assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Hand jumped out quickly in the opening quarter behind Catalano's eight points and Paula Materin's five as the Tigers took a 22-3 lead into the second. Foran stepped up in the second, scoring 10 points to Hand's 11, but that was the high point of the night for the Lions. Hand's 33-13 halftime lead stretched to 53-18 as eight different Tigers got into the scoring column in the third. The bench was cleared early in the fourth as Hand cruised to the win and the division crown.
"This was a fun win for a number of reasons. It's the first time we've swept Foran in the past six seasons. It exorcised some of the demons from last year's Senior Night and, most importantly, it gave us a chance to sew up the division title in front of our home crowd on Senior Night," said Head Coach Tim Tredwell. "Hand hasn't ever won back-to-back division titles in the SCC and that's a real tribute to these kids and especially these seniors who have put so much into the program."
Facing Mercy, Gabby Martin racked up 14 points, six assists, six rebounds, and seven steals. Catalano tallied six points, nine rebounds, and three steals. Mercy jumped out to an early 8-1 lead before Hand settled down and go on a 10-2 run behind five points each from Martin and Materin, helping the Tigers take a 14-13 lead into the second quarter. The two teams traded baskets in the second, but a technical foul on Mercy's bench and the subsequent free throws gave the visitors a four-point lead midway through the period. Mercy stormed back late, scoring a lay-up in the final seconds of the half to take a 27-23 lead into the break. Mercy broke out of the half with a quick offensive outburst, stretching the lead to 10. Kraemer's three got the lead back down to seven, yet Mercy didn't relinquish control, taking an eight-point lead into the final frame. A 9-0 run to start the fourth stretched the lead to 17. Hand didn't quit, but could not get the lead into single digits the rest of the night.
The week prior, Hand earned win No. 16 on the road with a 52-39 decision over Lauralton Hall. Ouellette scored a game-high 17 points, including five three-pointers, as well as grabbing four rebounds. Catalano added 12 points and four rebounds. Materin scored 10 points with pair of threes. Martin chipped in seven points, seven rebounds, five steals, and three assists. Brandau dished out six assists and grabbed five rebounds.
At the SCC Championship on Feb. 14 at Amity, Hand finished third with 114 points. The Tigers did have one league champion in Ashton Gyenizs (145) as he defeated Xavier's Jack Levine 13-5 in the final.
Elsewhere, Liam Sullivan (132) reached the finals before a 5-3 loss. The Tigers also had four third-place finishers in Mark Hartmann (103), Connor Sakmar (113), Zakery Santoemma (152), and Rex Pardales (182).
Before SCCs, the Tigers finished the regular season at 18-10 after a 50-15 loss at Xavier. Hartman (pin at 2:41), Sullivan (by 3-2 decision), Gyenizs (7-2 decision), and Pardales (4-1 decision) all emerged with wins.
Hand swept a tri-meet on Feb. 12 by scoring 139.3 points against Valley Regional (123.4) and Hale-Ray/Coginchaug Haddam-Killingworth (103.1) to stay perfect at 11-0.
Abby McGuirk (9.15 on vault, 9.5 for bars, 9.3 for the floor, and 36.8 for the all-around) and Erin Naclerio (9.1 for the beam) were event winners for the SCC champion Tigers.
Hand participated in its third race of the season on Feb. 4 against Amity, Barlow, Cheshire, Danbury, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Guilford, Hopkins, Litchfield, New Fairfield, Ridgefield, Southington, and Weston. The girls placed seventh in the competition with Carly Fischer finishing sixth out of 99 participants with a time of 48.80, followed by Melanie Rennie in eighth with a mark of 49.21 and Hannah Walton (29th, 52.44). The boys were eighth as a group in the competition with Shane Sweitzer tying for fifth out 128 participants with a time of 46.34. Following him were Jared Newton (tied for 15th, 47.65) and Jeremiah Mead (34th, 49.55).
On Feb. 11 versus Bridgeport Central, girls' foil prevailed 6-3 with strong showings from Grace Adams and Chloe Moulin. Boys' foil took a close 5-4 defeat with Ben Stopka going 2-1 on the day while Hand's new mixed épée squad came out on top 6-3. The Tigers will be competing in both the foil and épée for the first time at the Team State Tournament in March.
Previously against Guilford on Feb. 3, boys' foil (7-2), girls' foil (also 7-2), and mixed épée (5-4) took defeats.