NVL BOYS TOURNAMENT: Area teams own Top 5 seeds entering the quarterfinal round

Sacred Heart’s Raheem Solomon (11) and Kennedy’s Tyairus Sands (5) look to help lead their teams to a NVL Tournament title.

The Top 5 teams in the Naugatuck Valley League boys basketball tournament should sound familiar to area hoop fans.
From 1-5, it goes Sacred Heart, Holy Cross, Kennedy, St. Paul and Crosby. Those five teams, plus Torrington, Seymour and Naugatuck, tip off the NVL Tournament on Saturday inside the Reggie O’Brien Gymnasium at Wilby High School.

The schedule is as follows:
No. 2 Holy Cross (14-4) vs. No. 7 Seymour (11-7), noon
No. 3 Kennedy (14-4) vs. No. 6 Torrington (12-6), 1:45 p.m.
No. 4 St. Paul (14-4) vs. No. 5 Crosby (13-5), 3:30 p.m.
No. 1 Sacred Heart (18-0) vs. No. 8 Naugatuck (10-8), 5:15 p.m.

No. 2 Holy Cross vs. No. 7 Seymour

Nyzair Rountree and head coach Ryan Olsen hope to lead Holy Cross
to a NVL Tournament title. They play Seymour in Saturday’s first game.

Regular season meeting: Holy Cross 81, Seymour 62, Dec. 20 at Holy Cross — The Crusaders won their first game played under first-year head coach Ryan Olsen. Nyzair Rountree scored 29 points, Kerson Etienne had 22 and DeAndre Wallace added 15 for Holy Cross. Jaylen Crawford led Seymour with 24 points. Kevin Crawford added 15 points for the Wildcats.
A little bit about both teams: Holy Cross is led by the strong quartet of Rountree, Etienne, Wallace and Marcellus Gomes. Each player averaged double figures in points during the regular season. Wallace averaged a double-double in points and rebounds.
The Crawfords are the leading scorers for Seymour. Jaylen Crawford put up 21.4 points per game while Kevin Crawford averaged 17.3. Nick Martins (9.9) and Tyler Strang (9.3) also contribute to the offensive attack.
(Statistics from MaxPreps pages of both teams.)

No. 3 Kennedy vs. No. 6 Torrington

Chomari Joseph (32) has been a solid player for Kennedy this season.

Regular season: The Eagles and Raiders didn’t played each other this season.
A little bit about both teams: Kennedy saw four players average double figures in points this season — Lashawn Smith (17.2), Tyairus Sands (13.9), Tyvon Stenson (12.8) and Chomari Joseph (10.7). There have also been solid contributions from Jeremy Acosta and William Spears.
Torrington has a balanced offensive attack with Tyreek Davis (14.4), Joel Villanueva (11.6) and Jordan Henneberry (10.1) each having a double-digit point average during the regular season.
(Kennedy statistics posted on The Zone. Torrington statistics from MaxPreps page.)

Matt Garry (3) and Darek Wiecki have been solid contributors for St. Paul.

No. 4 St. Paul vs. No. 5 Crosby
Regular season meeting: These teams played each other Wednesday at The Palace, and it wasn’t good for the Falcons.
Crosby bludgeoned St. Paul 91-53 behind 18 3-pointers. Miguel Rivera canned six treys to lead the Bulldogs. Jeremiah Kendall made four 3-pointers, Ivan Craig knocked down three of them, and Tarique Foggie added two. Three other players made one trey for Crosby, which made 18 of 34 attempts from behind the arc.
For St. Paul, Mike Palmieri (15) and Austin Jones (11) reached double figures in points. Tyler Arbuckle added eight points for the Falcons.

Jeremiah Kendall averaged nearly 27 points per game
for Crosby during the regular season.

A little bit about both teams: St. Paul has been led by Palmieri, Jones and Darek Wiecki all season, but the Falcons got a big boost when Arbuckle became eligible after having to sit out as a transfer. Matt Garry has also made his presence felt, like he did in a close win at Waterbury Career Academy earlier this month. 
Kendall is who makes Crosby go, but Rivera is a deadly outside shooter and ball-handler. The Bulldogs can also be balanced with players like Craig, Foggie and Kerwin Prince. Kendall averaged 26.6 points per game to lead Crosby. Rivera (16.2) and Prince (10.1) also logged double-figure averages.
(Crosby statistics from MaxPreps page.)

No. 1 Sacred Heart vs. No. 8 Naugatuck

Legend Johnson and Sacred Heart are looking for another NVL title.

Regular season meeting: The Hearts beat the Greyhounds 66-42 on Feb. 8 in Naugatuck.
A little bit about both teams: Sacred Heart has had a balanced attack led by Raheem Solomon and Isaiah Gaiter. Solomon (19 points per game) and Gaiter (15) are the lone players averaging double figures, but Omar Rowe (9.9), Courie Stevenson (9.7) and Legend Johnson (8.2) contributed as well.
Naugatuck also has two players averaging double figures. They are Jean Lukau-Mbalandaka (16.1) and Shane Swierbitowicz (11.5). Two others average 7.1 or more per game.
(Statistics posted on The Zone.)