After defeating the St. Paul Falcons 57-49 in the first round of the CIAC playoffs, the West Haven boys’ basketball team traveled to Meriden on Thursday night to face the fourth-seeded Wilcox Tech Indians. When Mufee Cooper hit a three-pointer just six seconds into the game, the Blue Devils would never trail in their 68-63 victory.
With the score tied 11-11 in the first quarter, Shea Sheffield pulled up and drained a three-pointer to make it 14-11 with 1:59 left in the quarter. West Haven led 18-15 at the end of the first quarter before the Indians battled back to knot the game at 24-24 with 5:31 left in the half. Quannel Straughter’s layup with 2:53 left made it 33-28 and he made another layup 29 seconds later to increase the lead to 35-28. Wilcox Tech continued to battle and the teams headed to the locker rooms with the Westies holding a 39-34 lead.
The Indians got within three points but Malcolm Duncanson pulled down a rebound and put it up and in with 5:18 left in the third quarter to make it 43-38. When Mufee Cooper made two layups with 1:44 left and 1:18 left in the quarter, the Blue Devils had their largest lead of the game at 49-41. The Indians would not go away though and scored the next, five points to cut the lead to 49-46 by the end of the quarter.
Muffee Cooper hit an acrobatic layup with 6:12 left in the game to make it 53-48. Things got a little scary for West Haven with 3:15 left in the game, when the Westies picked up a foul and then a technical on the same play to give the Indians four foul shots and the ball. Wilcox Tech’s center, John Soto missed both of his foul shots but DeJuan Ransom hit his two and then the Indians sunk a shot to cut the lead to 60-58 with 3:02 left. That’s when the Westie defense came up big. The boys used a stiffling defense to force a turnover and extend their lead to 66-60 and go on to the 68-63 win.
Cooper led the Blue Devils with 17 points while Malcolm Duncanson added 15 points and Quannel Straughter had 14 points. With the victory, West Haven advanced to the quarterfinals and faced the Torrington Red Raiders on Monday.
The West Haven/Sacred Heart girls’ hockey team saw its season come to an end when it was shut down by the Darien Blue Wave 4-0 on Wednesday evening at The Rinks at Shelton. Darien thwarted the Westie Shark offense, limiting the girls to 14 shots on the game. Kyleen Crowe did her best to keep the girls in it, making 27 saves between the pipes.
The Blue Wave got on the board with 1:30 left in the first period. Darien increased its lead to 2-0 with a goal with 5:38 left in the second period and then made it 3-0 with 10.8 seconds left in the period when it appeared that the whistle blew before the puck went in but, Darien was credited with the goal.
The Westie Sharks did have several chances in the third period but Megan Dupre, Jenna Hunt and Francesca Criscoulo were all denied to keep the girls off the board. Darien iced the game with 2:06 left in the game for the 4-0 final. The Westie Sharks finish the season with a 20-4 record. Veronica Lynn was named to the CHSGHA All-State team for the third time and junior Taylor Nowak was named to the All-State team for the second time.
The boys’ hockey team’s season came to an end with a 9-1 loss to the Xavier Falcons in the first round of the CIAC playoffs on Tuesday night in Middletown.
The Falcons struck first with a goal just 3:45 into the game and then again to take a 2-0 lead before Niko Kyle got one back for the Blue Devils, assisted by DJ. Carfora before the end of the period.
Unfortunately for the Westies that would be the extent of their scoring on the night and the Falcons would go on to score seven, unanswered goals to bring West Haven’s season to an end. Jared Pliszka and Noah Iversen combined to make 29 saves between the pipes for the Blue Devils.