The rematch: Ledyard to host Bacon in Class M quarters
Ledyard — The region is getting a delicious All-Eastern Connecticut Conference CIAC Class M quarterfinal next Tuesday when Ledyard plays host to rival Bacon Academy.
The game might not have happened if Ledyard coach Jim Buonocore hadn't noticed a discrepancy in Cranston East’s record, the Rhode Island school the Colonels beat to open the regular season.
“Just this week, I was going through and looking at (East’s) schedule,” Buonocore said. “I noticed they had a win listed for a scrimmage on (Sept. 4), and I said, ‘that’s kind of weird,’ because the season didn’t start until Sept. 11.”
That Sept. 4 game was a six-team “Injury Fund” tournament. East won its jamboree game. It won just two regular-season games.
MaxPreps.com, a national depository of high school schedules, standings and statistics, counted East with three wins because it was listed as such on the Rhode Island Interscholastic League website.
A team gets 10 bonus points for any win by a team it beat, thus Ledyard was being given 30 points for beating Cranston East instead of 20.
“I figured (earlier in the week), ‘Well, it may not matter,’” Buonocore said. “A lot of things happened (Thursday) that we weren’t expecting. When I played everything through (my head) looking at potential playoff points, I figured that us and New Fairfield would be 20 points apart with what they were going to get and what I didn’t expect we were going to get.”
Ledyard and New Fairfield would’ve been tied with 1,330 points had Cranston East been credited with three wins.
Two wins meant New Fairfield would be seeded second and play No. 7 St. Joseph, while Ledyard would be third and play host to No. 6 Bacon.
After over an hour of phone calls and voicemails, Buonocore finally got confirmation from East head coach Tom Centore that his team won two games, not three.
So now the Colonels (9-1) willl get an opportunity to avenge their only loss. Bacon (8-2) beat them on Sept. 26, 25-22, en route to winning its first ECC Large Division title.
“I think it’s a good matchup for our league,” Buonocore said. “I think it’s a good matchup for football in southeastern Connecticut. It’s very similar to 2011 when we hosted Waterford in the quarterfinals.
“It’s good for football. I think people should be excited about it, and hopefully a lot of people come out and support both teams.”
A third ECC school — Killingly (9-1) — is the top seed in Class M and will play host to No. 8 Stratford (7-3), the beneficiary of good fortune on Thanksgiving.
The Red Devils began the day ninth behind East Haven, which could have clinched its first playoff berth with a win over four-win Branford. Stratford took care of its business by snapping an eight-game losing streak to town rival Bunnell, 24-13. But Branford upset East Haven, 10-7, giving the Red Devils the eighth seed.
The rest of the field is No. 2 New Fairfield (9-1) vs. No. 7 St. Joseph (7-2), and No. 4 Abbott Tech/Immaculate (8-1) vs. No. 5 Brookfield (8-2).
The sanctions the CIAC leveled against Berlin last week for using four ineligible players ended up hurting Rocky Hill as well.
Berlin was stripped of seven wins, meaning that the Terriers lost 70 playoff points that it had received for beating the Rocky Hill.
Rocky Hill only lost 10 aggregate points because it picked up some from teams that both it and Berlin beat, but it was nonetheless damaging — Capital Prep/Achievement First edged out the Terriers for the eighth seed in Class S by 0.67 points.
The Class S field is No. 1 Ansonia (10-0) vs. Capital/Achievement (7-2), No. 2 Bloomfield (10-0) vs. No. 7 East Catholic (8-2), No. 3 Granby (10-0) vs. No. 6 Seymour (9-1), and No. 4 Trinity Catholic (8-1) vs. No. 5 Morgan (9-1). East Catholic gained 150 points via the Berlin forfeits.
Class LL has three rematches in the quarterfinals — No. 1 Shelton (10-0) vs. No. 8 West Haven (7-3), No. 2 Darien (9-0) vs. No. 7 Staples (7-2) and No. 3 Southington (10-0) vs. No. 6 Conard (8-2).
Shelton beat West Haven (48-27, Oct. 12), Southington downed Conard (53-25, Oct. 23), and Darien shutdown Staples (27-0, Nov. 14).
No. 4 Newtown (9-1) plays host to No. 5 Glastonbury (8-1) in the other quarterfinal.
Class L is No. 1 North Haven (10-0) vs. No. 8 Middletown (8-2), No. 2 Harding (10-0) vs. No. 7 Notre Dame-West Haven (8-2), No. 3 Windsor (10-0) vs. No. 6 New Canaan (8-1), and No. 4 Torrington (9-1) vs. No. 5 Wethersfield (9-1).
All of the quarterfinals will start at 6:30 except for Trinity Catholic-Morgan (6 p.m.), and Shelton-West Haven (7 p.m.)
Following are Tuesday's unofficial quarterfinal pairings for the CIAC football playoffs (the CIAC will officially certify and announce the brackets on Friday):
No. 8 West Haven (7-3) at No. 1 Shelton (10-0), No. 7 Staples (7-2) at No. 2 Darien (9-0), No. 6 Conard (8-2) at No. 3 Southington (10-0), No. 5 Glastonbury (8-1) at No. 4 Newtown (9-1).
No. 8 Middletown (8-2) at No. 1 North Haven (10-0), No. 7 Notre Dame-West Haven (8-2) at No. 2 Harding (10-0), No. 6 New Canaan (8-1) at No. 3 Windsor (10-0), No. 5 Wethersfield (9-1) at No. 4 Torrington (9-1).
No. 8 Stratford (7-3) at No. 1 Killingly (9-1), No. 7 St. Joseph (7-2) at No. 2 New Fairfield (9-1), No. 6 Bacon Academy (8-2) at No. 3 Ledyard (9-1), No. 5 Brookfield (8-2) at No. 4 Abbott Tech/Immaculate (8-1).
No. 8 Capital/Achievement (7-2) at No. 1 Ansonia (10-0), No. 7 East Catholic (8-2) at No. 2 Bloomfield (10-0), No. 6 Seymour (9-1) at No. 3 Granby (10-0), No. 5 Morgan (9-1) at No. 4 Trinity Catholic (8-1).
Stories that may interest you
East Lyme remained unbeaten by outlasting Lyman Memorial, 3-2, in a battle between two of the Eastern Connecticut Conference's top volleyball teams on Wednesday night.
Sivia Chen and Ava Kennedy finished in the top three Tuesday as the Fitch High School girls' cross country team defeated Waterford (27-28) and Montville (23-35) in a tri-meet at Haley Farm State Park.
The 2020 season unfurled itself in anonymity, no ECC divisional competition, no league championship due to COVID-19, but Ledyard girls' cross country coach Denise Descheneaux saw her team getting more and more competitive.
Nick Washington scored two goals and added an assist Tuesday and the top-ranked Ledyard High School boys' soccer team remained undefeated with a 5-1 win over East Lyme at Mignault Field.