Valley Boys’ Hoops Extends Win Streak to Six; Co-op Swim Squad Gets Dramatic Victory
Senior captain Cade Ensinger and the Valley Regional boys’ basketball team secured recent wins against Cromwell and Haddam-Killingworth. Ensinger stuffed the stat sheet with 10 assists, six points, five boards, and four steals in the Cromwell contest. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
The Valley Regional boys’ basketball team played a pair of games last week and won both of them. With the two victories, the Warriors’ record improved to 7-3 at the regular season’s midpoint. The Warriors are also currently riding a six-game win streak thanks to the two additional wins.
On Jan. 13, Valley hosted Cromwell and took a 55-44 home win against the Panthers. Cromwell is a perennial top Shoreline Conference squad, and the 11-point win was a nice statement for the Warriors.
Cromwell mounted an early two-point lead with an 18-16 first quarter, but Valley locked the Panthers down on defense in the second quarter and only allowed five points to bring the score to 29-23 at the half. The Warriors continued to stifle Cromwell with a 12-4 third quarter, and the Panthers couldn’t close the gap in the fourth to overcome the 55-44 win by Valley.
Senior Gavin Grabowski poured in 25 points for the Warriors including a 4-for-4 performance from three-point range. Grabowski also had seven rebounds, four assists, and a steal. Cade Ensinger dished 10 assists to go with six points, five boards, and four steals. Senior John Tibbetts supplied 10 boards, six points, two assists, and a block, while Jake Grow added 10 points. Chris Sparaco provided six points and six rebounds.
On Jan. 17, Valley secured a 58-49 road win against Haddam-Killingworth. The game went back and forth over the four quarters. Valley took the early advantage with a 16-11 first quarter, and H-K closed the gap to trail by one point at half time at 21-20. At the end of three, the Cougars were on top 38-37, but Valley went off in the fourth outscoring H-K 21-11 en route to the 58-49 win.
Grabowski had another stand-out scoring performance with 24 points, seven steals, five assists, five rebounds, and a block. Sparaco scored 15 points and gathered 10 boards for a double-double, and he added three steals and two assists, as well. Ensinger added eight points, seven rebounds, four assists, four steals, and a block. Tibbetts scored seven points to go with six rebounds, a steal, and a block. Jeremy Arnum had six rebounds and Grow supplied four boards and two assists.
Boys’ Swimming and Diving
The Haddam-Killingworth/Morgan/Valley Regional (H-K/M/VR) boys’ swimming and diving team earned its third win of the season in dramatic fashion last week. On Jan. 15, the Cougars hosted the Suffield-East Windsor-Ellington-Windsor Locks co-op squad and prevailed by an 89-81 score after winning the final event of the meet. The team now stands at 3-0 this winter.
The Cougars’ matchup against the Suffield co-op team came down to the 400 freestyle relay, where the quartet of Kyle Mazziotti, Jack Ferguson, Eli Houlton, and Zach Houlton took first place with a time of 3:30.47 to secure the victory.
Zach Houlton also took first place in the 200 freestyle (1:50.50) and the 500 freestyle (4:58.95) for H-K/M/VR. Eli Houlton finished first for the 200 individual medley (2:05.48) and the 100 butterfly (55.49), while Mazziotti earned top honors in the 100 freestyle (51.54) and 100 backstroke (58.42).
The Cougars’ 200 medley relay of Mazziotti, Ferguson, Clemente, and Eli Houlton claimed first place with a time of 1:45.86. The 200 freestyle relay featuring Egan Rothrock, Clemente, Connor Levy, and Mazziotti came in first place at 1:38.96.
Ferguson finished second in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.09) and was third in the 500 freestyle (5:25.03). Clemente placed second in the 50 freestyle (25.00) and took third in the 100 butterfly (1:00.07). Rothrock finished third for both the 200 IM (2:17.54) and the 100 breaststroke (1:13.01). The Cougars’ 200 medley relay team of Matt Scrowonek, Rothrock, Levy, and AJ Campo de la Vera finished in third place with a mark of 1:56.84.