Recapping WCA boys’ basketball’s historic championship season

WCA players, coaches and administrators pose with the championship plaque Sunday after defeating Bloomfield,
74-58, in the Division III boys’ basketball state final at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)

The WCA boys’ basketball team was only in its eighth varsity season in 2022-23, and what a season it was.

The Spartans won 24 games, lost just three, won their first NVL championship and brought home the school’s first team state championship. WCA became the first Waterbury public school to win a state title since Crosby defeated Trinity Catholic-Stamford for the 2008 Class LL plaque.

The Spartans went 17-3 in the regular season. Their losses came against Kennedy, Holy Cross and Danbury. The Eagles were NVL finalists and Division II quarterfinalists. The Crusaders were NVL semifinalists and Division II quarterfinalists. The Hatters won the FCIAC championship and were Division I quarterfinalists. 

WCA won 16 games in the NVL, lost just two, and earned the top seed in the NVL tournament. The Spartans dispatched No. 8 Naugatuck, No. 4 Seymour and No. 2 Kennedy to capture the NVL championship. Senior Jason Canady earned All-NVL honors, as did juniors Zaire Lott and Drew Williams. Senior Sonny Pierce earned All-Brass Division accolades.

Wins over No. 18 Darien, No. 7 Killingly and No. 6 Platt-Meriden got the Spartans to the Division III state championship game. No. 2 WCA got its shot at No. 1 Bloomfield on Sunday afternoon at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The Spartans trailed by seven points late in the third quarter, but stormed back for a 74-58 victory and the state title.

Here’s more on the historic season, by the numbers:

8: Number of times WCA scored 90 or more points in a game.

99: Highest point total the Spartans had in a single game (Wilby, Feb. 21)

2: Number of 10-plus game win streaks WCA had this season.

11: Longest win streak of the season.

6: Number of seniors on the CIAC roster – Canady, Pierce, Zyaire Ettson, Aden Cross, Dasani Yates and Jose Laboy.