Northwest Catholic defeats Conard in CCC semifinals – We-Ha

Two West Hartford teams met Tuesday night in the semifinals of the CCC tournament, with Northwest Catholic defeating Conard.

Jalen Hamblin of Conard shoots. He was Conard’s top scorer on Tuesday night with 22 points. Conard vs. Northwest Catholic Boys Basketball. March 1, 2022. Photo credit: Liam Sweeney

By Ronnie Newton. Pictures of Liam Sweeney

Two West Hartford teams met on neutral ground at Enfield High School on Tuesday night in Game 2 of the Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) tournament semifinals, with the No. 2 seed Northwest Catholic heading to the final with a 66-50 win.

The game was tied 29-29 at halftime, but Northwest Catholic, behind a 22-point effort from Fairfield University-bound senior Matt Curtis, dominated in the second half and pulled away for the win.

Matt Curtis of Northwest Catholic shoots a free kick. Conard vs. Northwest Catholic Boys Basketball. March 1, 2022. Photo credit: Liam Sweeney

NWC had already beaten Conard this season when the teams met in February – one of only two previous losses for the Chieftains before Tuesday’s game. The other was a 64-63 one-point loss to Farmington on January 13.

Senior Jalen Hamblin (22 points) and second Riley Fox (20 points) were Conard’s top scorers on Tuesday night.

The Lions (22-1) will take on top seed Bristol Central (23-0), managed by UConn-bound Donovan Clingan, in the CCC final Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Enfield High School.

Conard, now 20-3 on the season, and posting the best record for the men’s basketball team in school history, earned a No. 3 seed and first-round bye in Division II of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) state tournament, which begins next week. Conard will host Monday night contest winner Westhill (#14) against Xavier (#19) on Wednesday March 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Northwest Catholic, seeded No. 2 in Division II, will host the winner of Simsbury (No. 15) and Greenwich (No. 18) on Wednesday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Conard’s Riley Fox shoots a free kick. Conard vs. Northwest Catholic Boys Basketball. March 1, 2022. Photo credit: Liam Sweeney

Conard vs. Northwest Catholic Boys Basketball. March 1, 2022. Photo credit: Liam Sweeney

Conard vs. Northwest Catholic Boys Basketball. March 1, 2022. Photo credit: Liam Sweeney

Conard’s Riley Fox shoots a 3. Conard against the North West Catholic Boys. March 1, 2022. Photo credit: Liam Sweeney

The final score is 66-50. Conard vs. Northwest Catholic Boys Basketball. March 1, 2022. Photo credit: Liam Sweeney

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