Bristol Eastern boys start season with blowout win at home

The high school boys’ basketball season began for two area teams, and a former local coach, on Thursday evening.

Bristol Eastern led the way, rolling to an easy home victory over Plainville. Bristol Central began the post Donovan Clingan era with a home loss to Manchester. The Brendan Phelps era began at Berlin with a road loss to Newington.

Here’s more about each game:

Bristol Eastern 54, Plainville 24: The Lancers rolled to a victory over the neighboring Blue Devils in a CCC South contest.

Eastern brings back the experience of juniors Brayden Dauphinais, Lukas Sward, Ben D’Amato and Isaiah Lawrence-Bynum. The Lancers hope for a return to the state tournament, according to a season preview from Mike Letendre of The Bristol Edition. Thursday’s rout was certainly a step in the right direction.

Manchester 68, Bristol Central 34: As Hartford Courant veteran scribe Lori Riley showed in her pregame video, the Ram starting lineup is completely different than a year ago.

With the UConn freshman standout Clingan watching from the stands and six-foot-eight senior Julius Powell out for the season with an injury, Central struggled in its opener against Manchester. It will take time for the Rams to get things going. Central also moves up to Division I after winning Division II a year ago.

Newington 54, Berlin 44: It was the first game for Phelps as a head coach, and the Redcoats lost on the road against the Nor’easters.

Phelps is navigating his way through the CCC after his previous high school coaching experience had him helping his dad Steve coach St. Paul against NVL squads. Between the high school stints, Phelps was an assistant coach at Post University.

Also of note: the Wolcott girls’ basketball team opened its season Thursday with a 43-20 road win over East Lyme.

Taking a second look at Wednesday

The girls’ basketball season started Wednesday, and here were the scores:

Mercy 56, Holy Cross 51
WCA 60
, Terryville 28 – first win for head coach Sara Paradis
Kennedy 49, Kaynor Tech 32 – first win for head coach Mike Forgione

There was also one wrestling opener Wednesday:

Terryville/Thomaston 48, St. Paul 18

Friday’s schedule

Boys basketball
at Woodland, 6:45
St. Paul at Kennedy, 7
East Haven at Kaynor Tech, 7
Crosby at Watertown, 7
Holy Cross at Torrington, 7
Naugatuck at WCA, 7

Girls basketball
Kaynor Tech
at O’Brien Tech, 5:30
Middletown at Bristol Eastern, 6
Watertown at Crosby, 6
Maloney at Bristol Central, 6:45
Kennedy at St. Paul, 7
Torrington at Holy Cross, 7
Woodland at Wilby, 7
WCA at Naugatuck, 7

Boys swimming and diving
, Torrington at Oxford, 4