New London — If New London High School didn't know for sure before this week's menu of No. 6 Trinity Catholic of Stamford, No. 1 St. Joseph of Trumbull and Friday's game against perennial power Weaver of Hartford, the Whalers know now.
The Whalers believe they're every bit capable of defending their state championship and even No. 1 ranking from last season. And despite two losses thus far, they'll have an opportunity to prove their worth in March.
They completed a memorable week in program history with an 88-66 win over Weaver at Conway Gym. Senior Kris Dunn, who fouled out of both games in Bridgeport earlier this week, hung around for the whole game and earned his first triple double of the season: 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Four dunks, too.
New London defeated Trinity Catholic on Tuesday before a bitter, five-point loss to St. Joseph on Wednesday, during which Dunn and Keith Porter fouled out. New London may have a chance to avenge its losses to Hillhouse of New Haven and St. Joseph in the Class LL state tournament.
"We could have gone 3-0 this week," Dunn said. "But 2-1 is not a losing record. I think we knew after (Tuesday's) Trinity Catholic game that we were going to be fine. They were tough to play. Longer than St. Joe's. This week is going to help us. There are a lot of good teams in Class LL."
Senior Doug Henton made six three-pointers and had 20 for the Whalers (5-2) and Porter had 15.
New London has a week off before games next Friday at East Lyme and Saturday at undefeated St. Raphael of Pawtucket, the defending Rhode Island state champion.
"I still feel we're the top team in Connecticut," New London coach Craig Parker said. "Hopefully, we'll be there at the end. Like all teams, we have deficiencies. But I also think we have the best player in the state who has enough help around him."
New London had a 14-point lead after the first period and led 47-24 at halftime. Weaver cut it to 52-38 in the third period before a 13-0 run sealed it.
"We know we have to go out and play hard every night," Henton said. "There can't be any more of play hard for a while and then not. We believe in each other and we trust each other and we just have to keep going hard."
Shaquille Ricketts led Weaver with 23 points.