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D.J. Hernandez Resigns As Southington High Football Coach

For the second year in a row Southington football will be looking for a new head football coach. Roughly one year ago Bill Mella resigned from the spot to take an assistant football coach job with Wesleyan University and now another Blue Knights head coach has left for a position with a college football team. D.J. Hernandez resigned Tuesday after one season at Southington to accept an assistant coach position with Brown University. Hernandez, the former Bristol Central and UConn star player, will coach quarterbacks at the university.

Can It Get Any Worse For Big Least?

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, the Big East sunk even lower Sunday in the NCAA Tournament. First, Marquette upset conference mate Syracuse Sunday night, a terrible result for the conference. Then, Florida State, of the supposed down ACC, destroyed Notre Dame to leave just two members of the conference standing. And those two teams (Marquette and UConn) were guaranteed because it was Big East vs. Big East in those games. Four days into the tournament and the mystique (hype) surrounding the conference has been blown up.

Big Least Strikes Again, Goodbye Pitt

Add another loss to the Big East's docket, as Butler defeated Pittsburgh in one of the craziest endings in college basketball history. Forget about the ending for now, because as a result, this simply kills the conference. Pittsburgh was the Big East's best team and best chance to win a championship. That dream ends for the Panthers. And, add the Horizon to the list of mediocre conferences that have sent a Big East team home. Big Least indeed.

Now, for the ending. I don't believe anything similar has ever happened in a game as two fouls were called in the final two seconds, giving each team a chance to win. Butler took advantage, while Pittsburgh didn't. After Butler hit a go-ahead shot with about two seconds to play, Pittsburgh threw a long pass to midcourt, where Butler's Shelvin Mack inexplicably fouled Gilbert Brown with 1.4 seconds to play. Brown hit the first to tie the game, but missed the second, seemingly forcing overtime. But Nasir Robinson even more inexplicably fouled Butler's Matt Howard, who had grabbed the rebound and tried to heave the ball downcourt. Howard then made the first free throw and missed the second on purpose to give Butler a one-point lead with .8 seconds left. Pitt grabbed the rebound but didn't get the shot off in time. By the way, the shot nearly went in. Just imagine that scene if it had.

I can't remember a final two seconds that played out the way it did. Both fouls, even though some would have liked to have seen the referees swallow the whistle in that case, were legit calls. So, there can't be any complaints from either side. There will be plenty of people who are complaining big time, however, as their brackets were destroyed in those two seconds. Not mine, of course.

(AP photo)

Greatest Conference In History Of The Universe? Yeah, Right, It's Big Least

To anyone who has listened to me over the past several weeks, I've been saying the Big East is the most overrated conference in history. With the hype machine in college basketball at an all-time high that's not an exaggeration by any stretch. Through the first game of the Saturday portion in the NCAA Tournament, I get the feeling those same people that were saying I was crazy, those Big East die-hards, are starting to back-track as the evidence has been put forth right in front of them.

Just look at the Big East teams that have already been eliminated. Villanova (lost to George Mason), West Virginia (lost to Kentucky in third round), St. John's (lost to Gonzaga), Georgetown (lost to VCU) and Louisville (lost to Morehead State). That's a lot of teams, to say the least. Every single one was an upset besides the West Virginia loss to Kentucky Saturday. On top of that, look at the conferences that beat these Big East teams: Colonial, SEC, West Coast, Colonial (again) and Ohio Valley.

Is that what happens to the greatest conference in the history of the universe? I don't think so. In my Final Four picks I had exactly zero Big East teams. I had just two teams in the Elite Eight (Pittsburgh and Notre Dame). I'm not surprised the conference has struggled greatly in the tournament, but for the losses to come so quickly, against mediocre conferences at best, is surprising. And for those trumpeting the exploits of the Big East have become very, very silent.

You can't blame them now. After all, what in the world could they say? But the crow has to taste pretty darn bad.

There are still six teams left in the tournament, although that number is guaranteed to drop to at least four by the time the third round comes to a close. But after what's happened in the early going, does anyone have full confidence that Marquette, Syracuse, Cincinnati, UConn, Notre Dame or Pittsburgh can win the championship? The only team that comes even close is Pittsburgh, but that's just because the Panthers have probably the easiest road to the Final Four out of the Southeast.

Can a Big East team end up winning the entire thing? Absolutely. But that will never change the fact that this conference didn't live up to the hype. Not in the least.

The Big Least.

(AP photo)

GameDay Live: St. Paul Vs. Valley

Division S State Tournament, Semifinals
Boys Basketball
No. 1 Valley Regional 61, No. 4 St. Paul 48
FINAL

NOTES: Valley able to breakdown SP's frantic press and get some easy baskets, 47-32, with 4:51 to go. ... Valley went on a 10-1 run after SP cut the lead to one. ... Chris Borea hits a 3 to cut the lead to one with 6 minutes to play in the third. ... St. Paul's Travis Thomas hits a 3 to pull the Falcons within two late in the first half. ... Falcons have forced Valley to turn the ball over 16 times already but trail 17-10 with 2:59 to go in first half. ... St. Paul missed its last 12 shots and went 1-for-14 in the first quarter. ... St. Paul has turned the ball over five times to help Valley go on a 7-0 run. ... Each team turned the ball over on two of their first three possessions. ... The game is being played at East Haven High School. ... St. Paul defeated No. 29 Canton, No. 20 Wamogo and No. 12 Coginchaug to get to this point. ... Valley Regional defeated No. 17 Housatonic and No. 8 Kolbe Cathedral to reach the semifinals. ... Ever wanted to know what goes on inside the NCAA Selection Committee's board room? Well, we have it all in the latest episode of Sports Page Online at the top of the website.

GameDay Live: Berlin Vs. Lyman

Division L State Tournament, Quarterfinals
Boys Basketball
No. 4 Lyman Hall 51, No. 5 Berlin 42
FINAL

NOTES: Berlin's Mike Rector missed a three-pointer and Lyman's Richard Bronson followed the miss with a bucket to put the home team up by eight with 41 seconds left. ... Max DeLorenzo hit two free throws, then Berlin forced a turnover, and DeLorenzo hit two more free throws to pull within two in the fourth. ... Bobby Mozzicato hit a big 3-pointer, but Lyman hits a shot at the buzzer to lead by three after three. ... Lyman goes on a 10-0 run to take the lead in the third quarter. ... DeLorenzo has six points in third quarter. ... Lyman Hall starts second quarter on a 9-2 run, but Berlin weathers the storm and trails by one at the break. ... Lyman Hall held to two field goals over final 5:30 of first quarter. ... Five straight points by Tommy Undercuffler has Berlin up early. Undercuffler has two fouls, however. ... Berlin advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Platt 78-50 in the first round and Waterford 54-37 in the second. ... Lyman Hall, after a bye in the first round, defeated Branford 66-59 in overtime in the second round. ... Don't wait for updates in silence, watch Sports Page Online at the top of the website or catch up on old episodes on the left side of the page.

GameDay Live: Coginchaug At St. Paul

Division S State Tournament, Quarterfinals
Boys Basketball
No. 4 St. Paul 71, No. 12 Coginchaug 55
FINAL

NOTES: St. Paul advances to play top-seeded Valley Regional in the state semifinals Wednesday night. ... Chris Borea and Jacob Jacquo led St. Paul with 19 points each. ... SP closed the first quarter on a 10-0 run fueled by threes from Borea and Jacquo. ... Early timeout by Coginchaug with St. Paul up 6-0 early. ... St. Paul defeated Canton 73-41 in the first round and beat Wamogo 83-62 in the second round to advance to this points. ... Coginchaug beat Coventry 58-39 in the first round and Windsor Locks 55-52 in the second to advance to the quarters. ... Don't wait for updates in silence, watch Sports Page Online at the top of the website or catch up on old episodes on the left side of the page.

GameDay Live: Goodwin At Capital

Division S State Tournament, Quarterfinals
Boys Basketball
No. 2 Capital Prep 73, No. 10 Goodwin Tech 40
FINAL

NOTES: Goodwin Tech ends its historic run to the state quarterfinals, the farthest a Gladiators team has ever advanced in the tournament. ... Damion Hewett had 16 points for Goodwin Tech. ... Goodwin Tech advanced to the quarters by beating Amistad 63-59 in the first round and Putnam 71-54 in the second round. Capital Prep, after a first-round bye, defeated Windham Tech 114-97 in the second round. ... Don't wait for updates in silence, watch Sports Page Online at the top of the website or catch up on old episodes on the left side of the page.

Newington High Hires Roy Roberts As New Head Football Coach

First New Britain, now Newington. The Newington Indians hired Roy Roberts as the school's new football coach Friday. On Monday, Tebucky Jones was hired as head football coach of the Hurricanes. Newington had a head coach opening after Clay Hillyer resigned at the end of the season, in part because of health concerns.

“His vision that he shared and his philosophy was clear from the beginning,” Newington Athletic Direction Nick Barbieri said. “You could see that he was all about growth and development. He will really get the kids ready and get them to believe that they can play sports in college at whatever level they choose.”

GameDay Live: Putnam At Goodwin

Division S State Tournament, Second Round
Boys Basketball
No. 10 Goodwin Tech 71, No. 26 Putnam 54
FINAL

NOTES: Darren Gates had 13 points in the fourth quarter; Putnam as a team had 16. ... With Hewett on bench, Putnam closes third quarter on a 9-3 run. ... Goodwin Tech led by as many as 15 in the third quarter. ... Damion Hewett and Mahlon Robertson lead Goodwin Tech on 7-2 run to open third quarter. ... Goodwin Tech is dominating the paint. ... Hewett had 10 points and 11 rebounds at the half. ... Check out an all-new episode of Sports Page Online at the top of the page.

GameDay Live: Eastern At NWC

Class L State Tournament, Second Round
Boys Basketball
No. 1 Northwest Catholic 68, No. 17 Bristol Eastern 42
FINAL

NOTES: BE holds NW to just 10 points in third but lead NWC grows by four. ... NW's Tony Seldon leads all scorers with 14. ... Eli Rodrigues has 7 for BE. ... NW starts second quarter on 8-2 run. 31-15 with 5:23. ... 11-0 NW run has them up 21-10 with 1:01 to go. ... Iverson picks up second foul with 4 minutes to play in first quarter.... Northwest Catholic received a bye in the first round after sporting a 20-0 record. Bristol Eastern defeated Fitch in the first round, 62-53. ... Check out an all-new episode of Sports Page Online at the top of the page.

GameDay Live: Waterford At Berlin

Class L State Tournament, Second Round
Boys Basketball
No. 5 Berlin 54, No. 12 Waterford 37
FINAL

NOTES: Berlin went on a 15-0 run in the fourth quarter. ... Waterford ends third quarter on a 6-0 run. ... Kevin Stitch leads all scorers with nine points. ... Waterford has 11 first-half turnovers. ... Berlin's Bob Mozzicato has four fouls. ... Berlin had five first-quarter turnovers, while Waterford had seven. ... Waterford defeated Middletown 60-49 in the first round of the tournament, while Berlin beat Platt 78-50 in the opener. ... Check out an all-new episode of Sports Page Online at the top of the page.

GameDay Live: Knights At Holy Cross

Class LL State Tournament, Second Round
Boys Basketball
No. 4 Holy Cross 72, No. 13 Southington 68
FINAL

NOTES: Jordan Chapman has 26 points for the Blue Knights. ... Southington finished the first half on a 17-5 run. ... Chapman scored 14 straight points during the run. ... Tyler Dube has 16 points for Southington. ... Holy Cross, which opened with a bye, was 18-1 during the regular season. ... Southington beat Cheshire 57-53 in the first round. ... An all-new episode of Sports Page Online is at the top the page.

GameDay Live: Amistad At Goodwin

Class S State Tournament, First Round
Boys Basketball
No. 10 Goodwin Tech 63, No. 23 Amistad Academy 59
FINAL

NOTES: Goodwin Tech finished on a 15-8 run. ... Amistad went on a 17-3 run in the third quarter. ... Cheveran Hardy had 23 points and Darren Gates has 10points to lead Goodwin Tech. ... The game tipped off at 7:35 p.m. ... The game is being delayed due to Amistad Academy being stuck in traffic because of an accident on I91. The team should be at the gym around 7:15 p.m. ... Goodwin Tech ended the regular season with a 13-7 record. Amistad finished with a 6-6 record. ... An all-new episode of Sports Page Online is at the top the page.

GameDay Live: Platt At Berlin

Class L State Tournament, First Round
Boys Basketball
No. 5 Berlin 78, No. 28 Platt 50
FINAL

NOTES: Berlin's Max DeLorenzo has 22 points. ... Mike Rector has 10 points and Kevin Stritch has four points. ... Berlin ended the regular season with a 16-4 record. Platt finished with an 8-12 mark. ... An all-new episode of Sports Page Online is at the top the page.

GameDay Live: Eastern At Fitch

Class L State Tournament, First Round
Boys Basketball
No. 17 Bristol Eastern 62, No. 16 Fitch 53
FINAL

NOTES: Bristol Eastern goes on a 5-0 run to lead by two with 6:15 to play. ... Fitch answers, scores next seven to go up 33-32 . ... Eastern scores six straight after Fitch tied the game in the third quarter, to go up 32-26. ... BE goes on 6-1 run to start second and leads 24-21 at the half. ... Eli Rodriguez leads all-scorers with 10. ... Tyrell Holmes added 8 for Eastern. ... Fitch ended the regular season with a 12-8 record. Bristol Eastern ended with a 11-9 mark. ... An all-new episode of Sports Page Online is at the top the page.

Tebucky Jones Hired As New Head Football Coach At New Britain High

Tebucky Jones has officially been hired as the head football coach at New Britain High School. Jones was a former star athlete at the school and went on to play for Syracuse and in the National Football League. The final decision was announced at the New Britain Board of Education meeting Monday night.

Here is the press release from the school:

The Consolidated School District of New Britain’s Board of Education voted 8-1 (Dr. Aram Ayalon objected) to select Tebucky Jones as the next Head Football Coach for New Britain High School (NBHS). After a rigorous interviewing process that lasted over four months and included six candidates, the committee in charge of the selection process was able to narrow it down to Mr. Jones and one other candidate. After much consideration, the Committee, with the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. Doris Kurtz to the Board of Education, selected NBHS Alumni and former football star. Mr. Jones was most recently the Graduation Odyssey Coach at NBHS.

According to NBHS Principal Mike Foran, the selection committee to select the NBHS Head Football coach included: a committee of parents, student athletes, community members and educators interviewed six very qualified individuals. With the input of that committee, Athletic Director Lenny Corto and I made our recommendation to the Superintendent who interviewed two finalists. She and two other Board members interviewed the finalists, and from there Dr. Kurtz made a recommendation to the Board as she does with any hire,” said Mr. Foran.

“New Britain High School football is steeped in a long history and tradition of exciting, victorious teams,” said Board President Sharon Beloin-Saavedra. “Mr. Jones is part of that tradition. He understands the culture and pride of NBHS football. I believe he will work hard to inspire and encourage students to participate in football. His success as a Super Bowl Champion will be a magnet for students who might otherwise not have considered playing football. Tebucky can relate to the challenges many of our students face. He can serve as a role model for struggling teens to focus on a goal, work hard and stay dedicated to that goal. He can inspire students to overcome adversity in their lives and believe in a bigger and better tomorrow. Tebucky faced down adversity and became a champion. He will help our kids find the champions within themselves.”

There are many in the school district who can remember Mr. Jones when he was a child, being raised in a rough neighborhood in New Britain. Long-term Board Member Jim Sanders who founded the New Britain Football League (became PAL football) along with other leaders and was the Head Coach for the New Britain Football League for 23 years says he remembers Mr. Jones when he was 14 years old. “Tebucky is a success story,” said Mr. Sanders. “I support his appointment, because I believe he will get a lot of kids interested in playing football. I feel he has the professional experience that many local Districts do not. He will be a magnet for a lot of kids who has talent but was never formally recruited to play football.” As a former inductee of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Mr. Sanders says his personal hope for Mr. Jones would be to return New Britain to its former glory. “I hope he succeeds. My hope for the team is that we get back to where we were.” He recounts that New Britain has offered football for 117 years, and out of that 117 years, 35 of them included championships, ranking 10th in the country. “We can be this successful again.”

Athletic Director Lenny Corto says “Tebucky is a New Britain kid through and through,’ having attended Holmes Elementary School, Slade Middle School, St. Ann’s, and NBHS here in town. “Tebucky was an All State Football Player who went on to play at Syracuse University, where he graduated from with B.A. in Child and Family studies,” said Athletic Director Lenny Corto. “He was a first round pick of the New England Patriots in the NFL draft, and he also played for The New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins. Tebucky was also All State in Basketball and Track while he was at New Britain High School. Now for him to become the Head Football Coach at NBHS, he has come full circle, and it was a large circle with a wealth of experiences that he brings back to NBHS.

“Tebucky Jones has tremendous commitment to the students at New Britain High School,” said Principal Foran. “He is a great asset to our school in his present position and will be an even greater asset as our football coach. We are very excited about the future of our football program under his leadership. Tebucky is a NBHS graduate, and he led NBHS to a state championship in football. He connects with our students more because of his passion for helping them and his understanding of the challenges many of them face then because he was a professional athlete.”

When asked why Mr. Jones wanted to be considered for the head football coach position, he said, “When I was in high school, I always said that I wanted to come back to New Britain and help where I can. Two years ago, I was able to return to this area and see my own son play football. When I came to a few games, I noticed the NB spirit was falling. I believe in maroon and gold, I think it’s about the community getting involved. I can still recall when I played football, that people really came out and showed their community spirit.”

Mr. Jones said his short-term goals are to get students interested in playing football again. He said he believes the students will be interested in coming out just hearing about his professional football experience, having played for the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins for over nine years. “I am looking to reinvigorate the program in this coming year. I have high hopes for the students. I also believe in good, healthy competition without favoritism. My own professional experiences show that nothing lasts forever, but we all need to do the best with the time we are given.

GameDay Live: Sheehan At Newington

Division III State Tournament, First Round
Hockey
No. 5 Newington-Berlin 7, No. 12 Sheehan 2
FINAL
SCORING: First Period—1. Newington, Tim Ouellette (Alec Tremblay) 1:55. Second Period—2. Newington, Jordan Wacker (Hunter Blais, Jeff Rossman) 4:19; 3. Newington, Tremblay (Brendon Richard) 5:16; 4. Newington, Alex Ericson (Andrew Richard, Tremblay) 7:05; 5. Sheehan, Aaron Grimaldi (Will McNamee) 10:16. Third Period—6. Newington, Matt Coco (Brandon Ralph) 2:27; 7. Newington, Coco (Ralph) 2:29; 8. Sheehan, Grimaldi (unassisted) 4:01; 9. Newington, Coco (Rossman) 9:59.

NOTES: Matt Coco had a third-period hat trick. ... Newington outshot Sheehan 16-1 in the first period. ... Sheehan is 8-12 on the season, while Newington-Berlin is 13-6-1. ... Check out the latest episode of Sports Page Online at the top of the page.

GameDay Live: Cheshire At Knights

Class LL State Tournament, First Round
Boys Basketball
No. 13 Southington 57, No. 20 Cheshire 53
FINAL

NOTES: Southington advances to the Class LL tournament's second round with the win. ... Sal Romano had 16 points and Tyler Dube had 15 points for Southington. ... Cheshire is 12-8 on the season. Southington is 14-6. ... Check out the latest episode of Sports Page Online at the top of the page.

GameDay Live: Berlin At Bacon

Class L State Tournament, Quarterfinals
Girls Basketball
No. 1 Bacon Academy 52, No. 8 Berlin 41
FINAL

NOTES: Redcoats have been called for 13 fouls in the second half to Bacon's four. View from court side: Officials have been unbelievably terrible throughout the game. ... Berlin hit a half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer that was disallowed by officials. The shot, however, should have counted, but Berlin doesn't get the three points. ... Berlin went on a 16-9 run in the third quarter. ... Bacon Academy defeated Fairfield Warde 57-21 in the second to advance to this game. Berlin beat Daniel Hand 50-40 to make the quarterfinals. ... Check out the latest episode of Sports Page Online at the top of the page.

GameDay Live: Weaver At St. Paul

Class M State Tournament, Second Round
Girls Basketball
No. 21 Weaver 56, No. 4 St. Paul 37
FINAL

NOTES: St. Paul, the defending Class S state champions, have been eliminated from the Class M tournament. ... SP is 0-for-10 shooting to start final quarter. ... SP trailed by as many as 20 but a mini 5-0 run in the final 20 seconds pulled it back to within 15 at the half, 32-17. ... Falcons were just 5-of-26 shooting in half. ... Back to back Weaver 3-pointers has the Beavers up by 18. ... Weaver closes first quarter on 19-4 run to take 21-7 lead. ... Three straight Weaver 3-pointers gives Beavers an 11-3 lead. ... Weaver upset No. 12 Trinity Catholic 45-43 to reach this point. St. Paul beat No. 28 Haddam-Killingworth 40-39 in the first round. ... Check out a brand-new episode of Sports Page Online, with a very special guest, at the top of the website.

GameDay Live: Daniel Hand At Berlin

Class L State Tournament, Second Round
Girls Basketball
No. 8 Berlin 41, No. 24 Daniel Hand 32
FINAL

NOTES: Berlin regained momentum after a Daniel Hand went on a 7-0 run. ... Chelsea Vujs and Jess Szczepanik both have eight points for Berlin. ... Berlin defeated No. 25 Lyman Hall 56-40 in the first round, while Daniel Hand upset No. 9 Bristol Eastern 52-42 in the first round. ... Check out Sports Page Online at the top of the website for some sports news and a whole lot of fun.

GameDay Live: H-K At St. Paul

Class M State Tournament, First Round
Girls Basketball
No. 5 St. Paul 40, No. 28 Haddam-Killingworth 39
FINAL

NOTES: Theresa Swanke scored inside to put St. Paul up 40-39 with :14.4 to go in the game. ... Amber Litwinko had 16 points for the Falcons. ... St. Paul advances to the second round of the Class M state tournament where it will play No. 21 Weaver. ... St. Paul went on a 17-10 run in the third quarter. ... Litwinko hit a runner at the halftime buzzer to pull SP within six, 19-13 at the half. Can possibly get closer as H-K coach was hit with technical foul before heading into the locker room. Free throws will be taken at the start of the third. ... Falcons shot a dismal 3-for-22 in the first half. ... St. Paul missed its last 12 shots in first quarter. ... H-K goes on an 11-0 run to take an early 11-2 lead. ... Check out Sports Page Online at the top of the website.

GameDay Live: New Britain At L.Hall

Class LL State Tournament, First Round
Girls Basketball
No. 10 Lauralton Hall 63, No 23 New Britain 58
FINAL

NOTES: Jaydelise Yambo scored 21 points for New Britain. ... Patricia Miranda added 19 points for the Hurricanes. ... Lauralton Hall moves on to the second round, while New Britain ends its season with an 11-10 record. ... Watch Sports Page Online at the top of the website.

GameDay Live: Newington At S.Heart

Class LL State Tournament, First Round
Girls Basketball
No. 12 Sacred Heart Academy 58, No. 21 Newington 53
FINAL

NOTES: Briyana Pabon scored 20 points for Newington. ... Gayla Guesy and Kristina Forsman both added 10 points for the Indians. ... Sacred Heart advances to the second round of the Class LL state tournament. Newington's season comes to an end with an 11-10 record. Check out Sports Page Online at the top of the website.