Ludlowe girls, Staples, Ridgefield boys ranked in final GameTimeCT basketball polls

The No. 2 Fairfield Ludlowe girls basketball team, and the Staples and Ridgefield boys basketball teams were all ranked in the Top 10 in their respective final GameTimeCT state polls.

It was a showdown of undefeated teams when second-seeded Fairfield Ludlowe played top-seeded Hamden in the March 18 championship game of the CIAC Class LL Girls Basketball Tournament.

Hamden won the school’s first state championship, 63-48, to finish 27-0, coach Sarah Kinsley’s Fairfield Ludlowe Falcons finished 26-1, and Hamden was the unanimous No. 1 while Ludlowe maintained its No. 2 ranking in the Final 2022-23 GameTimeCT Top 10 Girls Basketball Poll.

Hamden’s Green Dragons, who beat their four state tournament opponents by an average of 16.75 points per game, received all 16 first-place votes and 480 polling points.

Fairfield Ludlowe received 420 points to finish six points ahead of No. 3 E.O. Smith (24-4), which won the Class L state championship with a 58-46 victory over Pomperaug.

New London was not ranked in the previous poll leading up to the state tournaments, but the sixth-seeded Whalers won the Class MM state championship with a 57-47 victory over Mercy to finish 21-6 and they soared up to No. 4 in the final state poll.

Pomperaug (22-4) was ranked fifth and followed in the Top 10 by Mercy (20-7), Holy Cross (22-4), eighth-ranked Newington (20-5), Sacred Heart Academy (20-6), and Class M state champion East Hampton (26-1).

Fairfield Ludlowe was the only FCIAC team in the Top 10.

St. Joseph (20-5) received the 12th most polling points and Fairfield Warde (17-5) got the 17th most as they were the two conference teams among the 15 teams in the “Also receiving votes” category.

St. Joseph won its first two games in the Class L state tournament to advance to the quarterfinals. Fairfield Warde won twice in the Class LL state tourney, advancing to the quarterfinals with a 46-44 second-round victory over a Sacred Heart Academy team which finished ninth in the final state poll.

Fairfield Ludlowe won its first FCIAC championship in school history with a 52-42 victory over St. Joseph in the 2023 FCIAC Girls Basketball Tournament final.

Ludlowe defeated Greenwich, 62-46, in the opening quarterfinal round and advanced to championship with a 49-35 semifinal victory over Trumbull.

St. Joseph advanced with a 59-49 victory over Danbury in the first round and a 47-37 victory over Warde in the semifinals.

East Catholic was the obvious and unanimous choice for No. 1 in the Final 2022-23 GameTimeCT Top 10 Boys Basketball Poll, while FCIAC teams Ridgefield and Staples completed the Top 10 at No. 9 and No. 10, respectively.

East Catholic had been No. 1 going into the five divisional state tournaments. East Catholic won its third consecutive Division I state championship with a 49-47 victory over Northwest Catholic to finish 27-1 and secure all 19 first-place votes.

Northwest Catholic (21-4) moved up three spots from the previous poll to No 2.

St. Bernard defeated Staples, 63-50, in the Division II state championship to finish 25-3 and move up from No. 8 to No. 3 in the final state poll.

The teams ranked 4-8, in order, were Notre Dame-West Haven (23-3), Division III state champion Waterbury Career Academy, sixth-ranked Notre Dame-Fairfield (21-4), Bloomfield (23-4), and Division IV state champion Cromwell (25-2).

Ridgefield was the highest ranked FCIAC teams at No. 9 as the Tigers advanced to the Division I semifinals and were eliminated by eventual state champion East Catholic, 74-45, to finish 21-4.

Staples finished with a 21-7 record and at No. 10 in the final poll after the Wreckers won four games in the Division II state tourney. They advanced to the final with a dramatic 57-55 overtime victory over Fairfield Warde in which they overcame an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

The FCIAC had three teams among the top 11 and four among the top 15 in polling points received. Danbury (22-3) received the 11th most and Fairfield Warde (20-5) got the 15th most.

Danbury won the 2023 FCIAC Boys Basketball Tournament title with a 69-53 victory over Staples in the championship game.

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