BY KEN MORSE
When Woodland boys basketball coach Dean Accetura assembled his Hawks for the first time in 2001, he was more involved with building a program than he was building a rivalry with Naugatuck.
“We have been more centered on getting this program off the ground,” mentioned Accetura, who led the Hawks to a state event look in 2005. “I think back then our natural rivalry was Seymour. A lot of Beacon Falls kids went to Seymour and a lot of the Prospect youngsters went to Masuk or Wolcott.
“Over the years the rivalry with neighboring Naugatuck developed. However, Seymour nonetheless remains a heated rival as we play our Thanksgiving (football) game in opposition to them.”
The former coach’s son, Dean Jr., simply accomplished his second yr on the varsity unit. Last yr as a sophomore Dean tossed in 20 factors over eight games. This yr, as a junior with a more expanded role, he broke the double-digit mark 11 instances and twice scored over 20 factors. Accetura led the group in scoring twice and had 189 factors for the 12 months.
WOLCOTT, CT, 01/20/08- 012009BZ09- Naugatuck’s Anthony Mariano (22) drives in opposition to Wolcott’s Spencer Kane (4) Tuesday evening.
Jamison C. Bazinet Republican-American
Naugatuck coach Kevin Wesche held the upper hand over Woodland within the early years of the rivalry with 1,000-point scorer Anthony Mariano (Class of 2009) main the finest way. Mariano went on to score 1,000 at Keene State as well.
Tom Hunt took over Woodland in 2008 and got here in with a strong resume. As an assistant at Sacred Heart for 10 years, he helped information the staff to four state championship appearances. He went over to Wilby to serve as an assistant for two seasons and helped the Wildcats get to the state championship game (2006).
The likes of Tom Little and Shane Kingsley helped to get Woodland to its second state match appearance in 2010. The Hawks made the state tourney seven times over Hunt’s 12-year tenure. A 2-18 first 12 months at all times stored him cautiously optimistic.
“It took us some time to get going but as quickly as we did we ran off a string of three state tourneys in a row,” said Hunt. “Mike Kinglsey was my assistant and his son Tanner (Class of 2014) was simply an all-around athlete and scored the all-time Woodland mark of 1,312 factors.”
Hunt continued: “We all the time had nice battles with Naugatuck, but one I will at all times keep in mind is we defeated Naugatuck in 2011, the primary yr Mike Wilson took over as head coach. We went through a troublesome spell, profitable three or four video games a yr three years in a row. But battling the Greyhounds and being a Naugatuck guy, these rivalry video games had been always a lot fun to be part of.”
That 2011 Woodland team reached the second spherical of the states, as did the 2013 group led by Yahmad Roundtree, the primary All-NVL participant for the Hawks, Rahmi Roundtree and Tanner Kingsley. Zach Bedryczuk (Class of 2018) is second all-time in scoring with 1,218 points.
Beacon Falls, CT-10 January 2012-011012CM11- Woodland’s Tanner Kingsley (right) drives by Torrington’s Jan Carlos Cruz throughout their 57-48 win Tuesday night in Beacon Falls. Kinglsey led the Hawks with a group excessive of 28 points. Christopher Massa Republican-American
Former Naugy star player Mike Wilson took over the reigns from his former highschool coach Wesche in 2010-2011. A 3-17 start within the first year did little to remove that passion and 4 years later Naugy was enjoying for a state championship (2015).
“We had some hard-nosed gamers and we simply stuck to the game plan,” said Wilson. “I never looked throughout the court and noticed a rivalry. Every staff is a rival in my book. But I get it these kids play different sports towards one another they usually need to beat Woodland and we have had some fun games towards them over the years.”
Brandon Kuczenski (Class of 2013) reached 1,000 factors, and he was followed by Jarron Chapman, who was All-NVL and All-State. Chapman and Dayvon Russell led Naugy to the state championship recreation against Bunnell (2015).
Jean Lukau reached 1,000 factors in his profession, then Naugy really took off with Avery Hinnant and Ese Onakpoma leading the finest way. Each broke the 1,000-point mark and they claimed a quantity of all-league and all-state accolades between them. There were two NVL championships and a 55-6 document to be pleased with.
Woodland struggled this season under first-year coach Ryan Sullivan, who took over for John Mariano, who was coach for 3 years before Sullivan. Naugy hovered across the .500 mark, however that didn’t cease the groups from playing a knock-them-down-drag-them-out kind of affair with Naugy prevailing, 77-71. Time will tell what next year brings, however one factor you can count on is it will be a down to the wire occasion.