FCIAC

Vote For The Ruden Report Team Of The Week

We have seven teams on the menu this week for The Ruden Report FCIAC Team of the Week vote.

Your finalists are: the Westhill boys basketball, Norwalk girls basketball, Warde wrestling, Danbury wrestling, Trumbull girls basketball, Darien boys swimming and Ridgefield boys hockey teams.

The winning team will get our T shirts, courtesy of our sponsors: BlueStreak Sports Training, Karl Chevrolet, Innovative Health and Rehabilitation, Chicken Joe’s of New Canaan, Zody’s 19th Hole, New Balance of New Canaan, The CT Center for Advanced ENT Care, Ozone Fitness Center, Bankwell, Coastal Orthopaedics, Hoyt Livery, National Scouting Report, North Yellow Jackets Lacrosse, Splash Car Wash, Rhone Apparel, Darien Orthodontics, Sono Field House, MJ Cognetta Electrical, CT Grizzlies Girls Lacrosse Club and Resource Management Group.

FCIAC

New Canaan’s Allen Gives Verbal To Boston College After Decommitting From Northwestern

Lou Marinelli’s instincts about his top football player proved correct.

It was just the timing that was off.

Nine months ago Allen, who was recently named Connecticut’s Gatorade Player of the Year, gave a verbal commitment to Northwestern, surprising his coach, who expected the 6-6, 248-pound linebacker would announce he was headed to Boston College.

On Saturday afternoon, Allen again visited Boston College and, after decommitting from Northwestern, accepted an offer from the Eagles, just four days before the official signing period.

Boys Basketball

Westhill 69, Trinity Catholic 65. Commentary: Crusaders Chase New Goals With Renewed Spirit

STAMFORD — Mike Walsh doesn’t yell as much these days, his voice much more difficult to decipher above the din in opposing gymnasiums.

Just a few years removed from overseeing the state’s premier boys basketball program for over a decade, Walsh, the coach at Trinity Catholic, now has a different talent level in the gym and, accordingly, different expectations.

Let’s qualify the latter. The goals set are difficult but realistic. The only championship the Crusaders will win this year is if the boys basketball teams hold a 7 on 7 football tournament, in which case they would be the prohibitive favorite.

One would think it is a big comedown when the top rung goes from winning a postseason title to just qualifying for the FCIAC Tournament, which Walsh admitted was on the Crusaders’ radar following Friday night’s 69-65 loss to Westhill, the new Stamford city champion.

FCIAC

Ruden Report’s 4th Annual Rhone Fan Showdown Kicks Off With Voting On Sunday

The Ruden Report’s fourth annual Fan Showdown, presented by Rhone Apparel, kicks off Sunday night at 7:30 with the voting portion of the competition.
The overall winner of the two-part contest will receive $500 for the school’s athletic department.

The 10 schools entered — Danbury, Darien, Norwalk, Ridgefield, St. Joseph, Stamford, Staples, Trumbull, Westhill and Wilton — will see which can get the most votes. The voting will end on Wednesday at noon. The team that wins the vote will receive 5 points. Second place is worth 4 points, third place is worth 3 points, fourth place is worth 2 points and fifth place gets 1 point.

Boys Basketball

Westhill 60, Norwalk 55: Vikings — Again — Display Big-Game Superiority

STAMFORD — Off all the many factors that played out in this year’s version of 1 vs. 2 in FCIAC boys basketball on Wednesday night, the main protagonist followed up a signature performance with a major talking point.

“We don’t want to lose,” Westhill guard Jeremiah Livingston said after a dramatic and emphatic fourth-quarter rally resulted in a 60-55 win over Norwalk. “We’ve been in close games before so it wasn’t new to us.”

In breaking down the teams’ recent histories, the Vikings have a better track record in big games, and that may ultimately have been the deciding factor as Westhill (11-1, 10-0 FCIAC) remained the final unbeaten team in conference play and opened up a two-game lead (three with the tiebreaker) over Norwalk (10-2, 8-2) for the top seed in the league playoffs.

The Bears jumped out to an early lead and never trailed until a basket by Tyrell Alexander with just over three minutes remaining put the Vikings ahead, 48-47.

FCIAC

Unsung Warrior: Cunningham Remains An Underrated Beacon Of Consistency For Wilton

In an FCIAC girls basketball season stocked with more individual talent than at any time in recent memory, one of the most experienced stars surprisingly continues to operate underneath the radar.

Even on a Wilton team in the midst of a strong two-year run, with one of the deepest, senior-laden rosters in the conference, Erin Cunningham never seems to get her proper due, though she has been its most consistent player.

“I don’t think people realize just how good she is,” said Jaclyn Porco, the Warriors’ coach. “We’re proud of Erin.”

Cunningham, a 5-10 forward playing out of position, leads Wilton in scoring (16.7 points) and is second in rebounding (6.9). She has made 43 percent of her 3-point shots.

FCIAC

Killings, Cicchetti BlueStreak-Ruden Report Players Of The Week

T.J. Killings of the Harding boys basketball team and Sarah Cicchetti of the Greenwich girls track team are this week’s BlueStreak-Ruden Report Players of the Week.

Killings and Cicchetti will each receive T-shirts and plaques from BlueStreak Sports Training.

Killings had 21 points and 6 steals in a win over New Canaan, and 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a win over Staples.

Cicchetti won the shot put at the SCC Coaches Invitational with a school-record throw of 39-6, nearly four feet better than the second-place finisher.

Boys Basketball

Boys Basketball Midseason Report: Race For Consistency Holds Key To FCIAC Title

Because I missed the first three weeks of the season following surgery, I never got to write a boys basketball preview.

If I had, the biggest storyline would have been the outflow of talent from the league to private schools, including many players that likely would have earned All-FCIAC first- and second-team honors.

While none of the players were major talents — save for Norwalk’s Steve Enoch, and if the Bears want to look at the glass as half-full, he was just a third team pick a year ago — they would have made an impact in a season that can best be described as average parity.

Several coaches have expressed concern about the short-term state of the league. We will have to see if this year’s transfers was the start of a trend or aberration. Likewise, the league taking a step back as whole is viewed here as something cyclical until proved otherwise.

FCIAC

Vote For The Ruden Report Team Of The Week

We have eight teams on the menu this week for The Ruden Report FCIAC Team of the Week vote.

Your finalists are: the Greenwich girls basketball, Fairfield Ludlowe boys basketball, Wilton gymnastics, Westhill boys hockey, New Canaan girls hockey, Stamford boys basketball, Ridgefield boys basketball and Danbury boys basketball teams.

The winning team will get our T shirts, courtesy of our sponsors: BlueStreak Sports Training, Karl Chevrolet, Innovative Health and Rehabilitation, Chicken Joe’s of New Canaan, Zody’s 19th Hole, New Balance of New Canaan, The CT Center for Advanced ENT Care, Ozone Fitness Center, Bankwell, Coastal Orthopaedics, Hoyt Livery, National Scouting Report, North Yellow Jackets Lacrosse, Splash Car Wash, Rhone Apparel, Darien Orthodontics, Sono Field House, MJ Cognetta Electrical, CT Grizzlies Girls Lacrosse Club and Resource Management Group.