These are the results for Southington High School’s varsity contests for Monday, March 5. For more in-depth coverage, read next week’s Southington Observer.
Boys Basketball—It took their sixth extra period of the season, but the seventh-seeded Blue Knights survived and advanced to the second round of the Division III Tournament with a 56-52 overtime victory over No. 26 Berlin (8-13) at home. It was the first time the Knights advanced to the second round of state tournament since 2011, and it was also Southington’s first state tournament win with Head Coach John Cessario at the helm. The Redcoats scored the first ten points of the game, but the Knights managed to pull within one at the half. Trailing by four with just over a minute to play in regulation, Jeremy Mercier put back a missed three-pointer to bring the Knights within two. Following a missed free throw on the other end, Colin Burdette missed a layup, and the Knights were forced to foul with 20 seconds left. But the Redcoats missed another free throw and left the door open. On Southington’s next possession, Burdette redeemed himself by splitting two defenders on a dribble drive down the lane with an acrobatic, reverse layup that he tossed almost behind his head, sending the contest into overtime. With 7.2 seconds to spare, the Redcoats missed a contested three at the buzzer that fell short of the rim, making nine of their last 13 points of the fourth quarter on threes. Tim O’Shea scored the first points of the extra period on a layup that resulted in a three-point play at the foul line, and Burdette extended the lead to five with a layup on Southington’s ensuing possession. The Knights pulled away by making seven of 14 free throws, as the Redcoats struggled at the foul line with just three of nine free throws in overtime, going 9-for-17 in the game. Most of Southington’s field goals came from second-chance opportunities, as the Knights outrebounded the Redcoats, 40-25. Mercier paced the offense with 17 points and grabbed a team high of 14 rebounds, going 5-for-7 from the charity stripe. Andrew Lohneiss (12 points, 10 rebounds) and O’Shea (11 points, 9 rebounds) contributed as well. The Knights will host No. 10 North Haven (13-8) in the second round on Thursday, March 8 at 7 p.m. North Haven defeated No. 23 Woodstock Academy (8-13), 91-53, in the first round. Southington is 15-6.
For more in-depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.