Griswold wins first ECC division title in 14 years
Griswold - Not every team is equipped to win a state championship, thus creating the occasional need for perhaps different, but no less admirable, goals.
And while Griswold may be heard from in the state Division IV Tournament next month, the Wolverines accomplished something significant Friday night, their first boys’ basketball division title in 14 years, adding another green banner to the walls of their gym.
Griswold, not necessarily the presumptive favorite in Div. III of the Eastern Connecticut Conference to begin the season - Killingly returned league Player of the Year candidate Yianni Baribeau after all - won the division nonetheless, clinching it with a 63-41 win over Bacon Academy.
Griswold is 12-2 overall and 6-0 in the division with a series sweep of Killingly already in tow.
Now for the fun part: The Wolverines had no idea they clinched.
“Wait. We get a banner?” senior Jeff Souvenance said after the game. “Wow. I’m a lot happier now.”
“I didn’t even know we won it until you just told me,” Christian Russell told a reporter, after having led the Wolverines with 26 points.
They were plenty excited when they learned the boys’ basketball banner, barren since 2009, would soon bear the year “2023.”
“We’ve been playing together for a long time. Since grammar school,” Souvenance said. “We've built chemistry for a long time.”
Griswold coach Rob Mileski didn’t discuss the prospect of winning anything other than the game with his players before the game.
“Our guys may not even know the other teams in our division,” he said. “We didn’t really talk about it. We haven’t really talked about team goals. Just the next game.”
Russell hit three three-pointers in the first quarter as Griswold raced to a 15-5 lead. The Wolverines weren’t really threatened the rest of the night.
“Our division has been tough in recent years,” Mileski said. “St. Bernard has been good. Windham had a run. We’ve been the bridesmaids, not even that. So this is really nice for the kids. We’ll talk about it more (Saturday morning) when we bring them in.”
Elijah Black led Bacon (6-8, 2-4) with 19 points.