Handicapping the girls' state playoffs
Mercy does have a realistic chance. It should get past the first two rounds but then has to face a tough road down the stretch. The Tigers could be looking at consecutive games against NFA, New Britain and Windsor to win the title. Welcome to March.I think that will be a little too much for Mercy to handle..I look for Windsor to take the title in a rematch against New Britain. Windsor halted New Britain's long winning streak last week in the CCC tournament and it's top part of the bracket is much easier than the lower half.The best long shot in the field is probably aforementioned Mercy, the No. 6 seed, or ninth-seeded Manchester.
Guilford and star Jaci Daigneault could make a long run here even though they'd have to beat top seed Nonnewaug in the second round.But Nonnewaug comes from a weak league and could be overmatched even though it finished the season at 20-0.Guilford, however, must watch out for its first-round opponent as Pomperaug is always tough.Law-Milford could also make a long run and I wouldn't be surprised to see Hillhouse or Hand in the semifinal picture. Register area teams and the SCC should be well-represented.Bulkeley is another legitimate threat in this class.My title pick is going to be Waterford but I wouldn't be looking for an area bookie to take action on this one. It could lose its first game.
Holy Cross-Waterbury is the top-heavy favorite to win this title. The Crusaders are undefeated on the season.I actually voted them No. 1 in the Register poll at the beginning of last season and stayed with them all the way until the tournament when they came up empty.This year I got off Holy Cross and they haven't lost once. Still, winning the state title is a grind so the Crusaders will have plenty of work to do. I just don't see anyone beating them here. A quarterfinal game with Holy Cross meeting Stonington and Heather Buck would be great.Career, at No. 7, is the best long shot in the bracket.
Like Class M, this group features a top-heavy favorite that I don't think will lose. DeShana Stevens and the Trinity Catholic Crusaders look to be the easy favorites here.Only Kolbe Cathedral seem to be a real threat or perhaps Notre Dame-Fairfield. Trinity actually has the toughest road to the finals but is by far the best team and should handle things here.Look for Derby to win a couple of tourney games which will be refreshing for the program. The best long shot is No. 4 seed Cromwell.Let's see how I do. I'll take a look at the boys' brackets on Wednesday.