Woodstock boys upset Trinity Catholic in Class L final

Mohegan - Perhaps you didn't hear, but Woodstock Academy played for the CIAC Class L boys' basketball title Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Yep, that Woodstock. The one located in the "Quiet Corner." Beautiful area. School has won a few gymnastics, soccer and cross country titles.

But boys' basketball? And against top-seeded Trinity Catholic of Stamford, winner of six state championships?

Woodstock 52, Trinity 49.

And now the Centaurs are the unlikeliest of state boys' basketball champions.

"Nobody knows where we are," senior Ian Converse said. "It's kind of like a Cinderella story. Coach (Greg Smith) has compared it to 'Hoosiers.' Exactly like that. A bunch of white kids, living in the farm land, just came out of nowhere."

The 6-foot-5 Converse, predominately a junior varsity player last season, had a game-high 23 points with 11 rebounds. Sullivan Gardner had eight points and 14 rebounds for the No. 2 Centaurs (24-3). Chris Lowry added 11 assists.

Tremaine Fraiser made five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points with 11 rebounds for Trinity (25-3). Schadrac Casimir added 15 points.

Asked how he felt about winning a title, Smith said, "I don't know. My feet haven't touched (the floor) yet. It's unbelievable."

"All the respect in the world to (Trinity) coach (Mike) Walsh. He's an amazing coach. He has an amazing team. Those are great players. Our team figured out a way to get it done."

Woodstock came right at the Crusaders and took an 8-0 lead four minutes into the game.

Trinity came back thanks to four 3-pointers by Fraser. Casimir added one of his own to tie the game, 25-25, with under a minute left. His layup gave his team their first lead of the game.

Lowry made a long 3-pointer with seconds left to give the Centaurs a 28-27 lead at the half.

"Trinity gives us a punch in the face, we're ready," Smith said. "We take it. We come back down and score. We're not hitting our free throws? That's okay. We'll come down (next time) and make our free throws."

Trinity had taken a one-point lead with over four minutes left in the game when Converse banked in a shot.

Casimir missed a 3-pointer, and Lowry was fouled bringing the ball up the court. He made both his free throws.

Welch followed with a 3-pointer to push Woodstock's advantage to 49-43 with three minutes, 24 seconds remaining.

Trinity wouldn't go away. Brandon Wheeler made the first of two free throws with nine seconds left to cut Woodstock's lead to 50-49.

Converse made two free throws on the other end with five seconds left before Casimir missed a long 3-point attempt before the buzzer, sending the Centaurs and their fans into frenzy.

After the game, a long-time basketball observer asked, "Where's Woodstock?"

"I answered that question at (Thursday's) media day about a half-dozen times," Smith said. "Where is Woodstock?

"They'll know now."

n.griffen@theday.com

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