By Paul Augeri

Haddam-Killingworth boys basketball coach Jim Abbott has retired and top player Mason Gorham is transferring to Hamden Hall.

Abbott coached H-K for the last four seasons, finishing 7-7 overall in the pandemic-shortened 2021 season. Abbott was excited about his sophomore class, which included Gorham, Tate Callender and Callen Powers, and the Cougars being a Shoreline Conference championship contender in the years ahead.

“My original plan was a four-year commitment, so this year I was on the fence about returning,” Abbott said. “Then Mason told he was transferring to Hamden Hall, so it kind of pushed me over the fence.”

Abbott also said “a very good freshman” has transferred as well.

The school has posted openings to the CIAC website for all three basketball positions: varsity, junior varsity and freshman head coach.

H-K is one of three Shoreline programs that will have a new head coach in place next winter; John Andolini was hired at East Hampton to replace Parker Strong, and John Donohue got the job at North Branford, replacing Cliff Yerkes.

Gorham was one of the Shoreline Conference’s most consistent scorers as both a perimeter player and slasher. The 6-foot-2 guard, who started alongside seniors Alec Erskine, Jimmy McGoey, Tony Giambanis and Chase O’Linn, averaged 16.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Gorham was voted First Team All-Shoreline by the league’s coaches, joining Valley Regional’s Jeremy Arnum as the only sophomores among the six First Team selections. It wasn’t immediately clear if Gorham is reclassifying as a sophomore at Hamden Hall.

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