Noises Knock Off Bellringers On Ciccarello’s Late 3-Pointer

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Sophomore guard Mamush Ciccarello’s 3-pointer with 10 seconds left capped a big fourth quarter for Hale-Ray and lifted the Noises to a 51-49 victory over rival East Hampton on Thursday night.

The Noises have a new identity after losing six seniors to graduation, and their early-season success — a 4-1 record that includes a Wednesday win over defending Shoreline Conference champion Old Lyme — has turned heads.

“We graduated 70 percent of our scoring, but these guys this year have improved and want to prove this is a developing program and that last year’s team was not just a flash in the pan,” said Corey Zdunczyk, who coached the 2019-20 squad to the program’s first state tournament berth in nine years.

“This is my third year at Hale-Ray and these guys set out to prove that we’re not just a one-year wonder,” Zdunczyk said. “We have guys in all different classes improving and contributing. We definitely want to change the reputation of Hale-Ray basketball and prove that we’re a tougher out than we have been.”

Ciccarello, a first-year varsity player, led all scorers with 17 points.

“For a sophomore, Mamush has matured by the game,” his coach said. “He’s a great shooter and he’s starting to go to the basket. He (played as well) at the JV level last year and it’s starting to translate early in the season. We’re seeing that scoring prowess and he’s a good defender, just a saavy, smart basketball player.”

Junior Loudon Chupas added 15 points, senior point guard Matt Conroy had eight points and Ross Kulaga six and 10 rebounds for the Noises. Ciccarello and Chupas made 3-pointers preceding Ciccarello’s decisive 3 as part of the Noises’ 17-point quarter.

“The game came down to timely shooting. We have a shooter’s mentality. If they don’t fall, shoot your way out of it,” Zdunczyk said. “Mamush hit the shot that mattered. I’m very happy for him.”

Zdunczyk also lauded the play of Chupas and Conroy. Thursday’s game was the first that Chupas didn’t score at least 20.

“Matt is just so steady bringing the ball up and putting our guys in a spot to score and being a threat himself,” the coach said. “He takes so much pressure off of everybody when you have a senior and smart basketball player like that. And Loudon has just been tremendous. He’s so consistent and extremely tough to guard. He’s come such a long way as a basketball player.”

Jye Lynch led the Bellringers (2-4) with 12 points and Max Karrenberg scored 10. East Hampton has lost two straight after two straight wins.

“It was a physical, low-scoring, grind-it-out game,” said Zdunczyk. “We both like to play uptempo, but it was a grind-it-out, half-court game for the most part. “(East Hampton coach Parker Strong) has his team as well prepared as any team in the state. They were well prepared for anything we wanted to do. Nothing came easy scoring-wise.”

EAST HAMPTON (2-4)
Ethan Palma 3 1 7, Drew DiStefano 1 0 2, Grant Arcidiacono 1 4 6, Max Karrenberg 4 0 10, Chris Progano 3 0 7, Jye Lynch 5 0 12, Nate Ireland 2 1 5. Totals: 19 6 49.

HALE-RAY (4-1)
Matt Conroy 3 0 8, Loudon Chupas 7 0 15, Mamush Ciccarello 6 2 17, Braden Lankrage 1 0 2, Ross Kulaga 3 0 6, Miles Gagne 1 0 3. Totals: 21 2 51.

Score By Quarters
EH 13 16 12 8–49
HR 19 7 8 17–51

3-Pointers: EH–Karrenberg 2, Lynch 2, Progano 1; HR–Ciccarello 3, Conroy 2, Chupas 1, Gagne 1.

In other games involving area teams Thursday:

Cromwell 84, Coginchaug 41

CROMWELL (4-2)
James Grodzicki 6 0-1 12, Connor Daly 3 0-0 8, Zykarie Wilborn 5 1-2 13, Justin Valentin 1 0-0 3, Michael Morgan 4 0-0 10, Victor Payne 3 0-0 6, Malcolm Mention 3 0-0 8, Gianluca Albert 6 2-2 17, Louis Friend 0 0-0 0, Matt Pepe 3 0-0 6. Totals: 34 4-6 84.

COGINCHAUG (1-3)
AJ DeFilio 5 4-6 16, Tyler Garretson 4 1-1 9, Terence Murphy 4 0-0 8, Jayson Penney 2 2-2 7, Jake Dykas 0 1-2 1, Dylan Kaczor 0 0-0. Totals: 15 8-11 41.

Score By Quarters
Cr 32 12 23 17–84
Co 12 14 8 7–41

3-Pointers: Cr–Albert 3, Daly 2, Wilborn 2, Morgan 2, Mention 2, Valentin 1; Co–DeFilio 2, Penney 1.

Morgan 76, Old Saybrook 29

MORGAN (6-0)
Zach Johnson 6 0 12, Drew Nye 5 0 10, Jason Cohen 4 1 12, Alex Fratamico 2 0 4, Rob Zirlis 5 0 10, Connor Duffy 3 2 8, Cam Carlson 2 0 6, Mason Smith 1 0 2, Alex Urban 1 0 3, Gavin Krott 2 0 4, Josh Bardinelli 1 0 2, Cooper Galdenzi 1 1 3. Totals: 33 4 76.

OLD SAYBROOK (2-3)
Ben Yost 4 0 8, Garrett Brady 1 1 4, Riley Lawson 1 4 6, Ryan Stratton 2 0 4, Peter Waida 1 1 3, Auggie Albert 1 0 2, Ryan Mikulski 1 0 2. Totals: 11 6-10 29.

Score By Quarters
M 16 23 19 18–76
OS 5 10 7 7–29

3-Pointers: M–Cohen 3, Carlson 2, Urban 1; OS–Brady 1.

Old Lyme 64, Haddam-Killingworth 50

OLD LYME (3-2)
Sam Koenigs 1 1-4 4, Colbe Andrews 1 0-0 2, Nick Cox 5 0-0 10, Jacob Ritchie 9 1-3 19, Frank Sablone 8 0-1 16, Caden Monte 2 0-0 4, Calvin Monte 0 1-2 1, Maverick Swaney 4 0-0 8. Totals: 30 3-7 64.

H-K (2-4)
Alex Erskine 1 0-0 3, Chase O’Linn 1 0-0 2, Mason Gorham 7 2-2 20, Tony Giambanis 2 0-0 4, Ronny Scarpa 1 0-0 2, Jimmy McGoey 5 3-7 13, Callen Powers 2 0-0 6. Totals: 19 5-9 50.

Score By Quarters
OL 10 16 19 19–64
HK 11 17 11 11–50

3-Pointers: OL–Koenigs 1; HK–Gorham 4, Powers 2, Erskine 1.