The regular seasons are winding down for most teams with cross-country competing in the state championship this week. The volleyball team stands at 3-13, girls’ soccer at 3-11 and the football team remains undefeated at 5-0.
The North Branford cross-country teams competed in the Shoreline Conference Championship Meet on Oct. 18 at Jonathan Winthrop Middle School in Deep River. The boys finished seventh out of the 12-team competition on a very fast 5k course on which a new record was set at a time of 16:05.
Leading the way for the boys was co-captain Sean O’Connor finishing in 22nd place with a time of 17:46; an improvement of 34 seconds from the week before at the same course. The remaining top finishers for the boys were Jason Conforte 23rd (17:50), co-captain Ryan Proto 28th, (18:04), Zach Augur 33rd (18:24), Chris Olsen 68th (20:27) and Isaac Cammarata 75th (21:35).
The girls’ team could only field an entry of three runners due to numerous injuries and therefore could not score as a team. The top finishers for the girls were Marissa Bale 32nd (22:42), Chelsea Meagher 56th (24:44) and Rachel Sauro 63rd (26:04).
“I am proud of the improvement that all the kids have made over the season,” said Coach Floyd Parness. “The kids worked hard all season and the overall team standing is really not a true indication of their efforts. The team is now looking forward to the states this week with the motivation to better their times from their previous race at Wickham Park.”
On Oct. 19, North Branford volleyball dropped a 3-0 (25-16, 25-13, 25-20) to Haddam-Killingworth. Deanna Gallo had 12 digs, two kills and an ace for the T-Birds, while Kayla Nowak added five kills, two solo blocks and two aces. Allie Sanzari had five assists and five digs and Julia Reis had 15 digs.
North Branford hosted Coginchaug on Oct. 22, falling 25-23, 25-12, 23-25, 25-19. Nowak contributed 10 kills, three solo blocks and three aces; Gallo had four kills, six aces and two digs; and Tori Ramada added eight assists and three aces.
The T-Birds dropped a 2-0 decision to Watertown at home on Oct. 20 with Watertown scoring both goals in the second half. The visitors outshot North Branford 18-8. Sarah Minicucci (12 saves) and Julie Castillo (3 saves) split time in net for the T-Birds.
North Branford earned its fourth win of the season with a 4-2 victory over an 8-7 Coginchaug team on Oct. 23.
Emmy Dulak earned her third hat trick of the season with two goals within the first 10 minutes of the game. Maggie Dulak assisted on the first and Jess Zumbo earned the assist on the second.
Coginchaug cut it to 2-1 before Dulak completed her hat trick off a penalty kick. With just 45 seconds to play in the first half, Jordan Miket converted a corner kick to not only give North Branford a 4-1 lead but mark her first-ever varsity goal. The Blue Devils scored their final goal in the second half.
Coginchaug outshot North Branford 14-8. Minicucci had nine save for the T-Birds.
The North Branford football team improved to 5-0 with another offensively powered performance, shutting out East Hampton/Vinal RVT 45-0. The T-Birds came out hard and fast with four scores in the first quarter.
Joe DeLucia got things started with an 82-yard kickoff return before Dale Hausman’s three-yard run put North Branford up 14-0. Hausman then had a 43-yard score and Josh Melaccio rounded out the first-quarter scoring with a 44-yard run.
The T-Birds then went to their passing game with quarterback Brandan Basil connecting with Chris Caron for two TDs in the second quarter, the first for 53 yards and the second for 80 yards for a 39-0 halftime lead.
Basil closed out the game’s scoring in the third quarter with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Alex McGuigan.
Hausman tallied 141 rushing yards, while Caron led the team on the receiving end with 159 yards. McGuigan had 78 receiving yards. Basil was 14-for-23 passing for 278 yards.
Defensively, North Branford stacked up 70 tackles, led by Gary Falanga with 12, Melaccio with eight, Caron with six, John Burke with five and Eddie Miller, McGuigan, Andrew Calamita and Christian Sgro with four apiece.