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03/04/2022 11:00 PM

Valley Gymnastics Sends Two to State Open; Boys’ Hoops Playing in Division IV Tourney

Senior Simon Partyka and the Valley boys’ basketball team are competing in the Division IV State Tournament this week and faced Nonnewaug in the first round.File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Girls’ Gymnastics

The Valley Regional girls’ gymnastics team was represented by a couple of athletes at the State Open Championship last weekend. Senior Grace Jacaruso and junior Kendra Cika competed for the Warriors when the State Open was held at New Milford High School on March 5.

Jacaruso and Cika both participated in the vault event for Valley at the State Open. Jacaruso finished 20th on the vault with a score of 8.525. Cika came in 25th place for the vault by posting a score of 8.375.

Boys’ Basketball

The Valley Regional boys’ basketball team will enter phase two of the postseason when the Warriors compete in the Division IV State Tournament this week.

Valley, which has an overall record of 10-11, is the No. 16 seed in the Division IV tourney and hosted No. 17 seed Nonnewaug for a first-round game on March 7 (after press time). With a victory, the Warriors would play at top-seeded Cromwell in the second round on March 9 (after press time).

The quarterfinals are on Friday, March 11; the semifinals are on Tuesday, March 15; and the Division IV state final will be held at Mohegan Sun Arena on either Saturday, March 19 or Sunday, March 20.

Valley went 10-10 during the regular season this year. The Warriors then competed in the Shoreline Conference Tournament and took a 44-41 loss to Morgan in the first round.

Boys’ Swimming and Diving

The H-K/Morgan/Valley (H-K/M/V) co-op boys’ swimming and diving team hit the water to participate in the SCC Championship at Southern Connecticut State University on March 2. The Cougars finished in ninth place out of 14 teams by scoring 312 points at the meet. Fairfield Prep finished in first place with a score of 1,007 points.

Junior Jack Ferguson claimed second place in the 100 breaststroke for H-K/M/V at the SCC meet. Ferguson swam a time of 1:00.76 on his way to earning runner-up honors, only placing behind junior Silas Wang of Cheshire with his time of 1:00.58. Ferguson also finished fourth in the 200 individual medley by recording a mark of 1:59.22 in the SCC meet.

The Cougars’ 200 medley relay of senior Connor Levy, Ferguson, junior Alejandro Campo de la Vera, and senior Colby Kish finished in eighth place (1:46.84) at SCCs. The 400 freestyle relay of Levy, Campo de la Vera, Kish, and Ferguson took 10th place (3:38.65); and the 200 freestyle relay featuring freshman Riley Schipritt, junior Joshua Colandrea, freshman Tristan Smith, and senior Tarik Hasic finished in 13th place (1:48.22).

Campo de la Vera came in 13th place for the 100 butterfly (57.60) at the SCC Championship. Levy finished 14th in the 200 freestyle (1:55.63) and placed 15th in the 100 backstroke (1:00.80) for H-K/M/V.

Girls’ Ice Hockey

The Hand/H-K/Valley/Branford/Coginchaug/Old Lyme co-op girls’ ice hockey team completed its season by hosting Woodstock Academy for its finale on March 5. The Tigers claimed a 3-1 win against the Centaurs at Northford Ice Pavilion to finish with an overall record of 4-13 on the year.

Sophomore Jaimey DiNapoli scored a goal for the Tigers in the first period on an assist from sophomore Reagan Wyrebek-Brasky. Sophomore Faith Minickene added a goal in the opening period on an assist by freshman Hannah Rich. Minickene went on to score an unassisted goal during the second period to cap off the 3-1 victory.

Boys’ Ice Hockey

The East Haven-Morgan-Valley-East Hampton-Old Lyme (EH-M-V-EH-OL) co-op boys’ ice hockey team took defeats in last two games of the regular season last week to finish with a record of 10-9-1. The Yellowjackets took an overtime loss against Watertown-Pomperaug (W-P) and then dropped a contest to Westhill-Stamford to close out the regular season. The team is competing in the Division II State Tournament this week.

On Feb. 28, the EH-M-V-EH-OL co-op squad faced W-P on the road and took a 4-3 overtime defeat at the Taft School. Following a scoreless first period, W-P netted three goals during the second period to take a 3-0 lead into the third. EH-M-V-EH-OL responded by scoring three goals in the final stanza to send the game to overtime.

Senior captain Parker Sprankle of Old Lyme put the Yellowjackets on the board by scoring from East Haven freshman Gennaro Pompano just nine seconds into the third period. East Hampton senior Josh Berg made it 3-2 by scoring from Old Lyme sophomore Griffin McGlinchey midway through the frame. Then with just 18 seconds on the clock, Berg tied the game by scoring from Pompano and East Haven junior Alan Schroeter to send the game to overtime in a 3-3 deadlock.

W-P scored the game-winning goal 2:42 into the OT period to get the 4-3 victory. Senior captain goalie Ethan Roach of East Haven made 27 saves in net.

The next day, the Yellowjackets hosted W-S for their regular-season finale and lost the game by a 5-1 score at Northford Ice Pavilion. W-S scored two goals in the opening period for a 2-0 lead through one. East Haven sophomore John D’Albero scored on assists from McGlinchey and sophomore Michael Savo of East Haven to cut the deficit to 2-1 at the 1:13 mark of the second.

W-P scored two goals during the second period and added one more in the third on its way to the 5-1 win. Roach stopped 23 shots in goal.

EH-M-V-EH-OL is the No. 12 seed in the Division II State Tournament and opened the draw by facing No. 5 Farmington Valley for a first-round game at Avon Old Farms on March 7 (after press time). With a win, the Yellowjackets would play the winner of No. 4 Sheehan and No. 13 East Catholic in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 11. The semifinals are on Tuesday, March 15, and the Division II state final will be held at People’s United Center at Quinnipiac University on Monday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m.