Parker’s 20-Point Effort Leads Xavier To SCC D-1 Semifinals

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MIDDLETOWN — Xavier advanced to the semifinal round of the SCC Division 1 Tournament — and a third meeting with Notre Dame of West Haven — after defeating Hamden 63-54 on Saturday at Arthur Kohs Gymnasium.

Sophomore guard Anthony Parker, playing in just his fourth game of the season due to a preseason knee injury, hit four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with a game-high 20 points.

“He’s only been practicing and playing for two weeks now,” Xavier coach Mike Kohs said. “We were seeing some of the things he could do (for us) against Hand (on Tuesday). He looked like he was feeling more comfortable today. He’s shooting the ball well and he’s a playmaker with a great ability to drive. A couple of times he penetrated well and found a guy for an inside basket.”

Senior captain Parker Hunter also was a factor for the Falcons with 18 points, and sophomore Justin Menard chipped in 13 points.

Xavier’s 24-point second quarter provided some breathing room en route to its fourth straight victory. The Falcons also shot 21 of 25 from the free-throw line for the game.

“We had just a super second quarter,” Kohs said.

Caleb Harris led Hamden with 11 points.

No. 3 seed Notre Dame (8-2) has handed No. 2 Xavier its only two defeats of the season. The third meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Green Knights beat Amity 71-40 on Saturday.

It will take a great defensive game and rebounding effort to beat Notre Dame, Kohs said.

“Notre Dame is a great team, a big, strong team and very physical,” the coach said. “I thought we played fairly well against them the first time (57-49 final). The second time, we were physically outplayed. It was probably our worst game of the year (53-38 final in Middletown).

“That has to certainly change. Our bigs certainly will have to step up and be physical and rebound. If we do all of that well, we’ve got a shot.”

The SCC’s postseason tournament involves 18 teams split into eight- and 10-team “divisions.”

HAMDEN (2-11)
Jair Mathis 4 2-5 10; DeAndre Coardes 2 0-0 4; Caleb Harris 4 2-2 11; Elijah Holder 3 0-0 6; Jack Wagner 2 1-2 5; Robert Rice  4 0-0 8; Joe Williams 1 1-2 3; Many Boles 1 5-8 7. Totals: 21 11-19 54.

XAVIER (11-2)
Justin Menard 3 5-6 13; John Carrozzella  0 2-2 2; Parker Hunter 4 10-12 18; Anthony Parker 8 0-0 20;  Nick Beaulieu 0 1-2 1; Ryan Gazzillo 3 0-0 6; Malcolm Wilson-Toliver 0 3-5 3. Totals: 18 21-25 63.

Score By Quarters
H 10 12 13 19–54
X 9 24 12 18–63

3-Pointers: H–Harris 1; X–Parker 4, Menard 2.

In other basketball tournament action on Saturday:

Shoreline Conference Girls — First Round

No. 10 Westbrook 48, No. 7 Hale-Ray 35

WESTBROOK (1-12)
Emma Parkhurst 0 0-2 0, Jami Sacco 6 6-7 22, Alexandra Zanzalari 3 2-2 9, Gianni Salisbury 3 1-3 7, Adriana Stranieri 2 1-2 7, Allison Brajezewski 1 0-0 3. Totals: 15 10-16 48.

HALE-RAY (3-10)
Winnie Ciccarello 7 0-0 19, Kayla Bartolotta 1 0-0 2, Lexi DeSiata 1 0-0 2, Gabby Aquilera 0 0-0 0, Brooke Praskievicz 3 6-7 12, Jess Stricker 0 0-0 0, Jenna Haentjens 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 6-7 35.

Score By Quarters
W 19 11 2 16–48
HR 9 7 6 13–35

3-Pointers: HR–Ciccarello 5; W–Sacco 4, Stranieri 2, Zanzalari 1, Brajezewski 1.

No. 9 Portland 42, No. 8 Old Saybrook 34

PORTLAND (3-10)
Jamie Lasky 0 1-2 1, Ava Hurley 1 1-2 3, Izzy McClelland 0 0-0 0, Hannah Brunk 4 4-13 12, Carly Graves 2 2-2 8, Sam Lasky 7 4-6 18. Totals: 14 12-25 42.

OLD SAYBROOK (3-10)
Taylor Stone 2 3-6 9, Lily Cody 4 0-0 8, Beldina Feratovic 2 1-2 5, Priscilla Gumkowski 2 4-4 9, Jenna Tully 1 0-0 2, Cassie Johnson 0 1-4 1, Abby Bergeron 0 0-2 0. Totals: 11 9-18 34.

Score By Quarters
P 11 4 5 22–42
OS 5 8 13 8–34

3-Pointers: P–Graves 2; OS–Stone 2, Gumkowski 1.

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