Local Roundup: Mitchell men advance to first NECC final

Chicopee, Mass. - Second-seeded Mitchell College rode the double-double efforts of Parris Hill and Joshua Ford to an 87-78 victory over No. 3 Becker College on Friday night in the semifinals of the New England Collegiate Conference men's basketball tournament.

The Mariners (18-7) will play host Elms, the No. 1 seed, in today's championship at 2 p.m. It will be Mitchell's first appearance in the finals, and the winner will earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III tournament. Elms defeated No. 5 Regis 81-71 in Friday night's opener.

Hill finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds while Ford added 21 points and 11 rebounds for Mitchell, which shot 53.4 percent from the floor (31-for-48). Frank Martin added 21 points, including a 6-for-6 night from the foul line, while Alex Del Rio added 10 assists.

Women's basketball

• Denisha Parks scored 28 points as second-seeded Elms defeated No. 3 Mitchell in the semifinals of the NECC tournament. The Mariners, who finish 19-10, were led by Jessica Shepherd's 19 points while Caycee Williams added 14 points and nine rebounds and Diamond Thomas had 11 points.

• Individual session tickets for the American Athletic Conference tournament, ranging from $20-$30 per session, are now on sale. The tourney will be played March 7-10 at Mohegan Sun Arena. Tickets can be purchased online at www.mohegansun.com or at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office daily from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Boys' basketball

• Troy Stefanski had 17 points and 15 rebounds as Wheeler finished its season with a 63-56 win over Grasso. Mike Dellaporta scored 18 for Wheeler (4-16). The Eagles finished 7-13.

H.S. wrestling

• New London's Mikey Commander (113 pounds) won a pair of matches and is one of seven local wrestlers to advance to the quarterfinals of the State Open in New Haven. The quarterfinals start at today at 9 a.m., the semis begin at 12:30 p.m., and the finals will start at 5:30. Commander, who won both matches by decision, will face New Milford's Kyle Lindner in the quarters. Commander will be joined by teammate Alejandro Paulino (120), who won his only match by decision and will face Danbury's Chris Bryant in the quarters.

Other local quarterfinalists include Matt Dowler of St. Bernard/Norwich Tech (106), who had a first period pin in the second round and next faces Ryan Pantalena; Waterford's Sam Lindblom (132), who won by decision in the second round and will face Trumbull's Kevin Cecio; Montville's Jake Caskey (138), who won by decision in the second round and will face Simsbury's Keith Fernandes; Ledyard's Devon MarcAurele (170), who won by pin and will face Westhill's Martin Chobanyan; and Fitch's Jordan Kenyon, who had a pin in the second round and will face Khamri Thomas of Suffield/Windsor Locks/East Granby.

Waterford's Brentt Smith (120), the ECC and Class M champion, was injured in his first match and couldn't continue. Heading into today's action, Danbury is the team leader with 40 points followed by New Milford (36) and Xavier (33). The top local teams are Ledyard and Montville, who are tied for 13th with 21 points each.

H.S. soccer

• Talia Coleman of St. Bernard School signed a letter of intent to play for the women's soccer team at Fairfield University. Coleman, a senior all-state forward, scored 20 goals and had 14 assists last season. She led the Saints to the Eastern Connecticut Conference Small Division title and the Class S semifinals.

College indoor track

• Senior All-American Adam Scalesse set a school record (8.08 seconds) and ran the fastest time in the preliminaries of the 60-meter hurdles at the All-New England Championships at Boston University. In addition, the Bears' distance medley relay team of James Martin, Andrew Scheffey, Ben Chapman and Brad Pienta set a school record (10:12.79) to place eighth to earn All-New England honors. and Ben Wolhaupter tied for fifth in the pole vault (15 feet, 3.5 inches) to earn All-New England honors.

College baseball

• A two-out RBI single by freshman Aaron Hill of Fitch broke a 4-4 tie in the 10th inning UConn went on to beat Lipscomb 6-4 in Nashville, Tenn. The Huskies (4-3) have won four straight after an 0-3 start.

Sun hire assistant

• The Connecticut Sun have hired former Chicago Sky head coach Steven Key as an assistant. Key coached Chicago from 2008-2010 and just finished a stint as the head coach of Ludwigsburg in Germany. "Steven will be a tremendous addition to our staff," Sun coach Anne Donovan said. "His vast coaching experience both in the WNBA and abroad will be a great asset to our team." Key will join assistant Jen Gillom on Donovan's staff. Catherine Proto, a Sun assistant last season, will now oversee all video editing and scouting duties while also working with players during practice.

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