VIDEO: New London boys win sixth straight ECC title
Montville — Keith Porter scored 24 points as New London High School won its sixth straight Eastern Connecticut Conference boys' basketball tournament championship with a 52-39 victory over Norwich Free Academy on Friday night before an overflow crowd at St. Bernard.
The third-seeded Whalers took control with an 11-1 run at the end of the third quarter to open a 41-24 lead, then survived a big comeback by No. 5 NFA in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats, who trailed 46-26 midway through the fourth quarter, went on a 13-0 run to pull within eight, but New London scored the final five points.
Both teams upset higher-ranked teams to reach the final. NFA beat No. 1 Ledyard 57-49 in the semifinals while New London defeated No. 2 Woodstock Academy 78-76 in overtime.
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Nobody in (or out) of the Eastern Connecticut Conference could guard Waterford's JJ Brennan, evidenced by his near 25 points per game average this season. Brennan was named The Day's 2019 All-Area Boys' Basketball Player of the Year.
New London's senior center, Tai Pagan, averaged 12.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, a double-double, leading the Whalers to a 25-3 record and an appearance in the Class LL state championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena.