Boys’ Ice Hockey
North Branford is now 5-3-1 and remains at the top of the pack among Division II teams in the state.
The Thunderbirds began last week with a 9-3 trouncing of Amity on Jan. 18. North Branford scored three goals in the first period, four in the second, and two in the third in the blowout. More impressively, the T-Birds’ posted their robust total of goals while taking just 28 shots on net. Dominic Raccio was the squad’s top offensive performer by finishing with one goal and four assists and Adam Burkle contributed two goals with two assists. Brian McKee also pitched in two goals and an assist, plus Scott Clinton, Mike Pantera, Nico Giatralis, and Tanner Opie also found the back of the net for the Thunderbirds. In goal, Tyler Odice recorded 16 saves to earn his first victory of the season.
North Branford was later defeated by Guilford by a 5-1 final on Jan. 21. Brian McKee scored the first goal of the game on assists by Opie and Burkle, but North Branford allowed the next five, while surrendering a hat trick to the Indians’ Stephen Thibault. Guilford won the shots battle 35-32 and John Lovelace made 30 saves for North Branford in the loss.
North Branford earned its third win of the year and now sits at 3-7 overall at the midpoint of its season. On Jan. 19, the T-Birds topped Portland 61-52 behind stellar offensive performances from Brett Lequire and Jimmy Augur. Lequire finished with 27 points and Augur scored 20, plus Mike Porter chipped in eight to preserve the win.
The T-Birds then took a 63-53 loss to Valley Regional on Jan. 22, getting outscored by nine points in the fourth quarter. Lequire scored a game-high 23 points and Porter added 13.
North Branford was on the verge of qualifying for the State Tournament last week, but endured defeats versus Portland and Valley Regional to drop to 7-6.
Portland defeated North Branford 46-33 on Jan. 19 as the Thunderbirds were held to single digits in the first, second, and third quarters. Sabrina LeMere recorded a team-high 16 points for North Branford, which saw Morgan Violette finish with 10 rebounds, while Kelly Oliver and Danielle Ramada both pulled down eight.
On Jan. 22, Valley topped North Branford 66-62 behind double-digit scoring efforts from three different Warriors.
Boys’ Indoor Track
North Branford competed in the Haddam-Killingworth Invitational on Jan. 16 with more than 40 schools represented at the meet. A new personal record was set by senior Isaac Cammarata in the 1,600 with a time of 5:03.60. The other top individual finisher for the boys’ team was Michael Madoule in the 600 (14th, 1:31.7). In the relays, the 4x200 team of Jacob Marshall, Michael Odell, Jason Alaska, and Christian Diaz placed 11th at 1:42.20.
North Branford then competed at Shoreline league meet 2 on Jan. 22 with top individual performances coming from Alaska in the 55 (2nd, 6.8) and 300 (11th, 40.7); Marshall in the 55 (4th, 7.0) and 300 (6th, 39.7); Diaz in the 55 (5th, 7.1); Odell in the 55 (7th, 7.31) and 300 (9th, 40.3); Madoule in the 300 (7th, 39.8) and 600 (3rd, 1:32.2); Austin Gibilisco in the 600 (6th, 1:36.6); Cammarata in the 3,200 (8th, 11:17.9); and Pat Fisher in the high jump (10th, 4-10). In the relays, the 4x800 team of Madoule, Gibilisco, Cammarata, and Parker Nadeau finished fifth at 10:20.1; the 4x200 group of Alaska, Odell, Diaz, and Marshall placed third at 1:41; and the 1,600 sprint medley relay squad of Jason Ash, Patrick Miconi, Tony Pavic, and Fisher ended in seventh at 4:57.6.
Girls’ Indoor Track
The Thunderbirds raced in the Haddam-Killingworth Invitational meet on Jan. 16. Personal records were achieved by Emily Muzyka in the shot put (26-4.5) and Holly Dulak in the 1,000 (3:31.10). Other top showings for the girls’ team included Catie Moran in the 55 hurdles (6th, 9.3); Winnie Chan in the high jump (8th, 4-10); Jenna Bryden in the 300 (9th, 45.3); Jessica Zumbo in the 55 (10th, 7.6); Deanna Sgambato in the pole vault (10th, 7-0); Nina Robertson in the high jump (12th, 4-8); and Maggie Dulak in the 1,000 (16th, 3:24.70). In the relays, the 4x200 team of Bryden, Erika Chironno, Zumbo, and Grace Little placed 16th at 1:59.80 and the 4x800 squad of Holly Dulak, Maggie Dulak, Olivia Hemstock, and Jillian Damiani finished 13th at 11:23.40.
The girls’ then competed in Shoreline league meet 2 on Jan. 22 and saw top performances delivered by Moran in the 55 hurdles (3rd, 9.2); Zumbo in the 55 (3rd, 7.7); Erika Chironno in the 55 (5th, 8.0); Maggie Dulak in the 1,000 (5th, 3:22.70); Holly Dulak in the 1,000 (13th, 3:27.7); Damiani in the 1,600 (14th, 6:44.8); Bryden in the 300 (3rd, 44.6); Ana Pavic in the 300 (9th, 46.9); Chan in the high jump (3rd, 4-10) and long jump (16th, 12-11); Robertson in the high jump (4th, 4-6); Joselyn Streeto in the high jump (7th, 4-4); Sgambato in the long jump (7th, 13-10.25) and the pole vault (6th, 7-0); Carly Monge in the shot put (9th, 25-7); and Jordan McGovern in the shot put (14th, 23-4). In the relays, the 4x800 team of Maggie Dulak, Holly Dulak, Damiani, and Hemstock finished third at 11:16.2; the 4x200 squad of Chironno, Zumbo, Bryden, and Little placed fifth at 1:57.4; and the sprint medley relay group of Maggie Dulak, Holly Dulak, Hemstock, and Chironno ended in seventh at 5:01.2.