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North Branford SportsBeat: 2012 Spring Sports Awards

Patch hands out its awards for the regular season.

[Note: Want your photos and/or write-ups from North Branford youth or recreational sports in featured on North Branford Patch? ]

Best Team (Boys): volleyball-Greenwich baseball (Tie) The Rams volleyball team beat Newington on Monday night to finish the regular season with a perfect 17-0 record. Dating back to last season, Cheshire has won 39 consecutive games and a state title. The Rams are led by 6'10" senior Nate Howard and Ray Brumleve. The baseball team went through the FCIAC gauntlet unblemished and ended the regular season 20-0. The Cardinals had a brilliant pitching staff led by Casey Gaynor, Ryan Marks, and Kyle Dunster. They helped post a minuscule 1.01 team ERA.

Best Team (Girls)" The tennis team at Greenwich High School deserves to be considered as one of the best squads in the area as the Cardinals went undefeated (16-0) during the regular season. Foran (Milford), behind the pitching prowess of Jess Harkness, went 19-1 and achieved a number one ranking in Class L. However, the New Canaan Rams lacrosse team earns the nod with a scintillating regular season. Led by Olivia Hompe and Sarah Mannelly, the Rams went 10-0 in the tough FCIAC on their way to finishing with a 16-0 record in the regular season. The pressure of the perfect season may have caught up to New Canaan as they lost to archrival Darien in the FCIAC playoffs on Monday.

Best Performance (Girls): Shayna Delaney of . The junior lacrosse player for the Panthers set a school record with 110 goals. That's right, 110 goals! Delaney was unstoppable and the scary thing, she still has one more season to add to her impressive career at Pomperaug.

Best Performance (Boys): As the 2011 Connecticut Player of the Year and widely regarded as the best high school prospect in the nation, Case Matheis of Darien entered his senior year a marked man. Matheis was unfazed by the pressure and put together a spectacular season. He led the Blue Wave to a 15-1 record and a number one ranking in Class M. In the process, Matheis became the school's all-time leading scorer and finished the regular season with 51 goals and 38 assists. Matheis will play at Duke next year.

Best Newcomer (Girls)" Ashley Guillette of  announced her presence with authority. The freshman softball pitcher has been one of the best in the state this season. Guillette went 17-2 and averaged 13.1 strikeouts per game. She recorded two no-hitters, six one-hitters and has three games with 17 strikeouts. 

Best Newcomer (Boys): Playing his first season on the varsity, sophomore Kyle Dunster was a lock down closer for the Greenwich Cardinals. He set a school record with eight saves and gave up just one earned run in 21 innings (0.31) Dunster also finished the regular-season with a 3-0 record for the undefeated Cardinals.

Best Single Game (Girls) Shayna Delaney of Pomperaug and Megan Halligan of (Tie).  When you score 110 goals during the regular-season, you're going to have some monster performances. Shanya Delaney had a few of those, but none bigger than the one the Pomperaug lacrosse star had against Bethel back in April. Delaney scored 11 goals and added two assists in the Panthers 17-9 victory. Megan Halligan of North Branford was perfect on April 11 against Portland. The senior pitcher struck out 10 hitters en route to a perfect game. Halligan gave up no hits, no runs, no walks and the Thunderbirds made no errors in the 11-0 victory.

Best Single Game (Boys) Andrew Cerone of and David Cherry of Pomperaug (Tie). Cerone scored eight goals and added two assists in a brilliant performance against Amistad Academy back in April. Cherry, playing his first season on the varsity, fired a no-hitter against Immaculate of Danbury during the first week of the season. Cherry struck out 15 hitters to earn his place in Pomperaug history. It was the first of two no-hitters that Cherry recorded during the regular season.

Best Performance In Loss (Girls) Yesenia Evaristo of Bethel tied the school record for strikeouts in a game on April 8 when she whiffed 19 hitters in a win over Woodland. Just four days later, Evaristo was masterful against Oxford. The senior pitcher racked up 20 strikeouts to set the school record. It was bittersweet for Evaristo as Bethel lost the game 2-0.

Best Performance In Loss (Boys) Immaculate of Danbury didn't win the SWC championship in track & field, but Andre Chappuis made them shine in two events. Chappuis won the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. His time of 22.65 in the 200 established a new meet record.

Best Comeback (Girls) Things didn't look good in bid for a seventh straight SWC track & field championship. The Lady Trojans trailed New Milford by 40 points with five events to go. But showing the resolve and perseverance that's made them a dynasty, Weston rallied down the stretch and beat New Milford of the narrowest of margins, 120.5-120 to capture another title.

Best Game (Boys) In a match-up of defending state champions, Ridgefield (Class L champs) and (Class M champs) played a spectacular wild and entertaining game. The game was tied 14-14 at the end of regulation. Eric Scala was brilliant for the Tigers, scoring an incredible eight goals. Chris Nugent had six for the Warriors. But in overtime it was Sean Wilkinson who proved to be the difference. He scored an unassisted goal in to give Ridgefield the 15-14 victory.

Best Game (Girls) Backyard rivals and waged an epic battle in April in girls’ lacrosse. The Rams, who were undefeated at the time, trailed by three goals with 13 minutes to play. They cut the Blue Waves lead to 7-6 and tied it with 6:48 to go on Olivia Hompe's goal. 35 seconds later, Darien regained a one-goal advantage. Sarah Mannelly came right back to tie it at 8-8. With just over three minutes to go, Hompe scored what turned out to be the game winner. New Canaan held on to win 9-8 to keep its record perfect.

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