Boys’ Ice Hockey
Lou Pane recently achieved a major milestone in his 30th season as head coach of the East Haven boys’ ice hockey team by earning career victory No. 400 when the Yellowjackets beat Masuk 6-0 in Shelton on Feb. 20. Making the victory even sweeter for Pane is that his Easties clinched a spot in the Division II State Tournament with their record of 6-9-4, marking the 30th-straight year the team will compete in states.
Goalie Matt Twarowski recorded his first career shutout in net with 17 saves in East Haven’s shutout of Masuk. Nick Latella scored two goals, plus Joe Aloi, Joseph D’Albero, Joe Lorello, and Mike Dogolo also scored for the Yellowjackets.
Previously on Feb. 15, the Yellowjakcets topped Norwich Free Academy 7-1 on the road. East Haven heavily won the offensive battle by outshooting the opposition 49-17. Latella had a six-point night as he scored four goals and added two assists. Zack Paquin, Aloi, and John Monaco were the other goal scorers for the Easties in the win. Paquin and Aloi both had three assists. Twarowski made 15 saves in goal and backup Mani Finia stopped one.
Girls’ Ice Hockey
Branford-East Haven-North Branford concluded its campaign with a record of 9-10-1 following a split in its final two games against a pair of fellow SCC Division I squads last week. The Hornets were edged 3-2 in Simsbury on Feb. 16 and then prevailed 5-1 versus Mercy-Northwest Catholic at home four days later. Branford-East Haven-North Branford had previously defeated Mercy-Northwest Catholic in its season opener by a final of 3-2 in overtime.
East Haven competed in the Class M State Championship on Feb. 19 and 20, finishing in 12th place with a total of 77.5 points scored. Junior Tim Seksinski went the furthest for the Yellowjackets in the 195-pound division, taking fourth place. Seksinski won a pair of matches in the bracket before losing to Josh Lachs of Weston in the semifinal and won a consolation bout before the third-place match. He then lost to Lyman Memorial’s David Verizzi by pin at 1:51 in the third-place matchup. The Yellowjackets also had three fifth-place finishers at the state meet with Victor Garcia (106-pound weight class), Antonio Lieto (113), and Nick DeMorro (126) all winning their fifth-place matches. Garcia beat Nicholas Tartsinis of Bacon Academy by a 9-8 decision, Lieto won a 6-3 decision over Austin Robertson of Ledyard, and DeMorro was victorious by a 12-2 major decision over New Fairfield’s Braden Reilly. Other East Haven wrestlers making an appearance at the championship were Joe Milano (120), Connor Gontarz (138), Nate Leonardo (145), Long Trinh (152), Sebastian Montoya (160), RJ Purpora (170), Codey Borchert (182), and Justin Fonacier (220).
Boys’ Indoor Track
East Haven finished in eighth place at the SCC Championship on Feb. 17, scoring 28 points. The top point-getter for East Haven was Mike Griffith, who scored eight points in both the 55-meter hurdles and the long jump, placing second in each. In the 55 hurdles, Griffith placed second in the preliminary race at 8.33 seconds and then finished at 8.16 in the final behind John Witik of Lyman Hall (7.89). In the long jump, he leaped as far as 21 feet-1.5 inches, finishing behind Abdul-Karim Gabriel of Hillhouse (21-11.25). Also scoring points for East Haven were Austin Thornberg in the high jump as he finished in third place at 6 feet to score six points, along with Niam Coward in the shot put with his toss of 46-3 that was also good for third place and six points.
Other competitors at the meet were Jay Donaldson in the 55 (12th, 6.96); McClay Marshall in the 55 (16th, 7.07); Garrett Pates in the 300 (7th, 37.53); and Steve DellaCamera in the pole vault (13th, 9-0).
The boys’ team also sent a few participants to the State Open on Feb. 20. Thornberg finished in seventh place in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet and Coward placed ninth in the shot put with a throw of 44 feet-3.5 inches.
Girls’ Indoor Track
The Yellowjackets finished in 10th place at the SCC Championship on Feb. 17 with 20 team points. The 4x200 relay team of Megan Kikosicki, Annie Coleman, Hailey Onorato, and Emily Maffeo finished in second place at 1:51.63, claiming eight points for the team. They were behind the Hamden bunch, who clocked in at 1:48.83. Individually, Onorato scored eight points by finishing second in the 55-meter hurdles. She won the preliminary round with a time of 9.08 seconds, but her time of 9.01 in the final was just shy of Mercy’s Ava Coleman’s mark of 8.98. In the 1,000-meter run, Katie Maffeo placed fourth at 3:15.05 to score the team’s other four points.
Other competitors for East Haven were Kikosicki in the 55 (11th, 7.82) and 300 (11th, 45.27); Coleman in the 55 (20th, 8.04); Emily Maffeo in the 300 (13th, 45.79); Onorato in the 300 (17th, 47.22); Jazlyn Touissant in the 55 hurdles (11th, 10.03); and Molly Mazzucco in the high jump (9th, 4-8).
The girls’ team then sent a relay team and an individual to the State Open on Feb. 20. The 4x200 of Kikosicki, Onorato, Coleman, and Emily Maffeo finished 16th at 1:50.71, plus Kikosicki finished in 16th place in the 300 with a time of 43.75.
With divisional play wrapped up, East Haven dropped decisions to Foran and Hamden last week. The team is now 5-14 with one game left in its season.
On Feb. 16, Foran topped East Haven 65-62, taking advantage of a third quarter where it outscored the Yellowjackets 19-6 to pull ahead. Senior Nick Durso scored a game-high 26 points in the loss and Nate Furino added 11.
East Haven was then defeated 85-66 by Hamden on Feb. 19. Conor Reynolds scored 20 points and Durso added 18. Both players hit four of East Haven’s 12 three-point field goals in the game.