State tournament hoops update: St. Paul hosts double dip; Eastern boys begin run

There’s a trio of state tournament basketball games going on today, and all of them take place in the Bell City.

St. Paul is hosting a doubleheader, and the Bristol Eastern boys basketball team opens Division IV play against Capital Prep.

First, the Falcons.

The St. Paul girls basketball team, seeded second in Class M, takes on seventh-seeded Granby Memorial from the North Central Connecticut Conference at 5:15 p.m. in the Rev. Brian Monnerat Gymnasium. The Bears had a first round bye before dispatching NVL foe Ansonia, 51-46, in the second round last Thursday.

The St. Paul boys basketball team, seeded 14th in Division IV, opens with No. 19 Suffield at 7:15 p.m. in the second game of the Falcon doubleheader.

NOTE: I once covered a St. Paul state tournament doubleheader while working for the paper in Bristol, and it was a blast. Falcon fans really show up and support when both teams are on the schedule.

Bristol Eastern, seeded sixth in Division IV, starts its tournament journey against No. 27 Capital Prep-Hartford from the Capitol Region Athletic League. The Lancers and Trailblazers have a couple common opponents. Both lost convincingly to Simsbury during the Bristol Central Holiday Tournament. Eastern swept its regular season series against Central, and Capital Prep was blown out by Eastern on the first day of the two-day holiday tournament.

Here’s a look at the rest of the week on the hardwood (not including potential next round games):


The top-seeded Holy Cross girls basketball team faces eighth-seeded Bristol Eastern at 7 p.m. at the Tim McDonald Gymnasium in a Class L quarterfinal battle of local squads. The Crusaders and Lancers share one common opponent. Holy Cross blew out Watertown, 63-36, on Dec. 22. Less than a week later, Eastern fell to Watertown, 60-50, in the final of Wolcott’s John Rossi Memorial Tournament. The Lancers smoked No. 25 Shelton, 74-29, in the first round before dispatching No. 9 Amity-Woodbridge of the Southern Connecticut Conference, 38-27, last Friday in the second round. The Crusaders had a first round bye, then took down No. 17 Wilton from the powerful Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, 59-46, last Friday.

The Kaynor Tech boys basketball team, seeded 18th, goes to No. 15 Litchfield for a 6:30 D-V first round game. Common opponents for the Panthers and Cowboys are Wolcott Tech and Shepaug Valley-Washington. Kaynor was swept by Wolcott while Litchfield won easily in its lone regular season meeting. The Panthers were defeated by the Spartans while the Cowboys dropped a pair of contests by double digits. 


The fifth-seeded Holy Cross boys basketball team hosts the winner of No. 12 West Haven (SCC) and No. 21 Norwalk (FCIAC) at 6:30 p.m. in a D-II second round game.


Two local boys teams begin play in Division I, and both are on the road in second round contests after having first round byes. Two-time defending NVL champion, 2023 Division III state champion, and ninth-seeded WCA is at eighth-seeded Southington for a 6:30 p.m. start. No. 11 Crosby is in Uncasville against No. 6 St. Bernard, last year’s D-II state champion.