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New London routs Xavier in Class LL opener

New London — Voghens Larrieux, headed to college on a football scholarship, became a rarity in Connecticut Tuesday night.

He became the first football player to know the feeling of defeating Xavier of Middletown this year.

Nobody did so during football season, of course. But Larrieux, who will attend Coastal Carolina, passes the time this winter as a basketball player at New London High School. And Larrieux saved his best game of the season for the first round of the Class LL state tournament.

Larrieux scored a season-high 15 points, helping the fifth-seeded Whalers to a 92-77 win over No. 28 Xavier. New London (22-2), in pursuit of the program's ninth state title, plays No. 12 Holy Cross of Waterbury in the second round Thursday night at Conway Gym.

"I just got myself open," said Larrieux, a 6-foot-7 center. "The guards did a great job getting me the ball. We're trying to do the same thing we did last year ... Win a state championship. Only this time it's more special, because for a lot of us, this is our last season."

Kris Dunn scored 30 points for the Whalers, who were quite efficient offensively. Keith Porter had 18 points and Malcolm Simmons scored 10.

Dunn set another program record, eclipsing Tyson Wheeler's single-season points record of 760 set in 1994. Dunn has 764 and counting.

"This is the state tournament," Dunn said. "You have to play as a team. Everything has to be correct. The more guys you get involved, the better you'll be."

New London coach Craig Parker, who would become the first coach in school history to win five state titles, wasn't focusing as much on the 92 scored as the 77 yielded.

"I have no issue with the offense," Parker said. "But I will say this: Neither team wanted to play defense. That's a concern. If we don't play better, we'll have a quick exit."

Jovan Santos Knox, headed to UMass to play football, led the Falcons with 34 points, earning several compliments from Parker after the game. James Sullivan added 17 for Xavier, which finished 11-12.

If No. 4 Windsor advances to the quarterfinals, Dunn and the other seniors would play their last home game Thursday night. New London would play at Windsor in the quarterfinals. Windsor beat Staples 66-46 in its opener.

m.dimauro@theday.com

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