Girls basketball Week 11 recap: E.O. Smith launches itself into the CCC semifinals; East Hampton coach reinstated

E.O. Smith beat East Hartford in the first round of the CCC girls high school basketball tournament and Windsor in the quarterfinals, both opponents the second-seeded Panthers had seen during the regular season.

Tuesday, they will face No. 6 seed Conard (18-4) in the semifinal at 6 p.m. at the University of Hartford. It will be the first time the two teams have played each other this season.

“We’re looking forward to an opportunity to play a new team,” E.O. Smith coach Mary Roickle said. “We’re pretty excited.

“I think they’re one of the best offensive shooting teams in the CCC. They’re very hard to compete with defensively.”

Conard beat No. 3 seed Glastonbury, 45-36, in a quarterfinal game Saturday.

Newington, last year’s conference tournament runner-up, will face Simsbury in the second semifinal game Tuesday.

E.O. Smith (19-3) hasn’t been to a conference final since 2020, when the Panthers won their second straight CCC championship. Newington won the conference title in 2021, the season shortened by COVID-19.

The Panthers are led by a trio of seniors, Maddy Hughes (15 ppg), Bella Mallory (10 rpg) and Lilli Clark (11 ppg, 7 rpg). Clark had 13 points in the 66-29 win over East Hartford in the first round and 17 points in a 35-25 victory over Windsor Saturday.

Top performances of the week

Skyler Burke, Maloney: Burke had 40 points in a 65-40 victory over crosstown rival Platt Monday.

Adela Cecunjanin, Cromwell: Cecunjanin had a double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds plus three blocks in a 54-47 overtime win over Haddam-Killingworth Tuesday.

Bela Cucuta, Newington: Cucuta had 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists in a 68-50 win over Enfield in the CCC tournament quarterfinals Saturday.

Olivia Cunningham, Valley Regional: Cunningham scored 23 points in a 62-35 win over Morgan Tuesday.

Lily Grow, Valley Regional: Grow had 32 points in an 83-55 win over North Branford in a Shoreline quarterfinal game Saturday.

Isabel Kenney, Bolton: Kenney had 24 points and eight rebounds in a 60-29 win over Canton in the NCCC quarterfinals Friday.

Olivia Jarvis, Simsbury: Jarvis had 19 points and 15 rebounds in a 56-33 win over Bristol Central in the CCC tournament quarterfinals Saturday and 13 points and 10 rebounds and five steals in a 57-26 win over Rocky Hill in a first-round game Thursday.

Selah Prignano, Newington: Prignano had 19 points and six rebounds in a 50-31 victory over Wethersfield Monday.

Georgia Qua, Suffield: Qua had 23 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks in a 57-35 victory over Windsor Locks Wednesday.

Tiara Tyson, Manchester: Tyson scored 41 points in a 58-52 win over East Hartford Monday.

Storylines of the week

- Newington’s Marc Tancredi, who started coaching the Nor’easters in 2019, got his 100th career win Saturday in the CCC quarterfinals when they beat Enfield, 68-50.

- Another milestone win: Simsbury’s Sam Zullo got his 150th career win Saturday, also in the CCC quarterfinals with a 56-33 victory over Bristol Central.

-East Hampton coach Shaun Russell was reinstated after an investigation into an alleged shoving incident during a game that was captured on videotape in December. Russell, who was placed on leave for much of the season, returned for Senior Night against North Branford last Tuesday, which East Hampton won, 78-46.

Games to watch this week

E.O. Smith (19-3) vs. Conard (18-4), CCC tournament semifinal, University of Hartford, Tuesday, 6 p.m.: E.O. Smith has won nine straight since losing to Simsbury Jan. 24 and Conard has won eight of its last nine.

Newington (18-3) vs. Simsbury (18-4), CCC tournament semifinal, University of Hartford, Tuesday, 8 p.m.: This is a rematch of the Jan. 30 game, which Newington won, 34-28. Simsbury has been on a roll since then, with the only blip a 27-26 loss to Glastonbury to end the regular season.

Cromwell (16-5) at Valley Regional (18-3), Shoreline tournament semifinal, Tuesday, 6 p.m.: Valley Regional has beaten Cromwell twice during the regular season but it’s hard to beat a team three times and both teams know it.

Coginchaug (18-3) at East Hampton (20-1), Shoreline tournament semifinal, Tuesday, 5 p.m.: East Hampton, the defending Shoreline Conference tournament champion, beat Coginchaug 43-22 on Jan. 17.

Granby (16-5) vs. Bolton (20-1) at East Granby High School, NCCC tournament semifinal, Tuesday, 5 p.m.: Bolton, the top seed, faces defending tournament champion Granby, the only team to defeat Bolton this season back in December. Bolton beat Granby 46-34 in the rematch Dec. 26.

Lori Riley can be reached at