ABOVE: West Haven cheerleaders and fans celebrate after Westies defeated No. 1 Hillhouse, January 16, 1987. Photo courtesy of Russ McCreven.
1987 Boys' Basketball - State Champions
Only West Haven High Basketball team to win State Championship
First West Haven team to win 20 games in a season
First West Haven team to advance past second round of state tourney
3 of the 4 District League teams made the LL tourney semi-finals that year (WH, Cross and Hillhouse). Hamden lost earlier in playoffs.
Beat every team that had defeated WH in the season.
Coach: Reggie Hayes
Asst. Coach:Jon Capone
Asst Coach: Steve Dargen
1-0 Dec 18 @ Westhill - W 58-52
2-0 Dec 23 v Stamford - W 64-54 (Stamford lost to Hillhouse in the LL State semifinal game that year)
2-1 Dec 27 @ ND - L 62-59 (Al Walania made a last seond 3 pointer to win it for Notre Dame)
3-1 Jan 3 ’ v Westhill W 88-45 (Crushed a team that played WH tight early in season opener. Many believe this game was the first sign of things to come)
4-1 Jan 5 v Fitch W 77-48
4-2 Jan 9 @ Bassick L 61-57
5-2 Jan 13 v Norwich Free Academy W 73-31
6-2 Jan 16 v Hillhouse W 63-61 (Hillhouse ranked #1 in the state at the time.)
7-2 Jan 20 v Bridgeport Central W 74-57
8-2 Jan 24 v Hamden W 66-57
8-3 Jan 30 v Cross L 98-77 - (Only bad loss of the season. Both teams were undefeated in the District league at the time.)
9-3 Jan 31 @ Christ the King (Queens, NY) W 80-78 (WH shocked national H.S. power on their court. Westies were up 53-34 at halftime and held on)
10-3 Feb 3 @ Norwich Free Academy W 72-40
10-4 Feb 6 @ Hillhouse L 64-63 (Westies let double digit loss slip away in second half.)
11-4 Feb 10 v ND W 58-43 (Westies get revenge over cross-town rival)
12-4 Feb 13 @ Hamden W 66-64 (Westies prevail in hard fought win over a talented Hamden team, led by All-stater Al Jones and sophomore Scott Burrell)
13-4 Feb 20 @ Fitch W 92-59
14-4 Feb 24 v Bassick W 75-57
14-5 Feb 27 @ Cross L 83-75 (Paul McMahon ties school single-game scoring record of 44 points with Keith Johnson, who also set record against Cross at Cross 5 years earlier)
15-5 Mar 3 @ Bridgeport Central W 73-62
LL State Tourney
16-5 Mar 9 Round 1….......v New Canaan (at WHHS) W 67-44
17-5 Mar 11 Round 2…......v Wilton (at Trumbull HS) W 79-56 (first time West Haven advances past second round. Westies had lost to Staples on the same court in second round a year earlier after leading by 5 pts with under a minute to play.)
18-5 Mar 13 Quarterfinals…v Manchester (at Southington HS) W 83-53 (Westies were up 20-5 after first quarter. This is the game Westies realized, as a team, they might do something special)
19-5 Mar 17 Semifinals….....v Wilbur Cross (at Quinnipiac) W 89-72 (Westies blow out Governors. A special victory for Westies after losing to Cross twice during the regular season)
20-5 Mar 21 LL Finals…........v Hillhouse (at Central Connecticut State University) W 53-48 (LL State Champs)
Baseball - 1967, 1973, 1984, 1988, 2009
Boys Basketball - 1987
Football - 1968, 1972, 1986, 1987, 1989, 2002
Boys Hockey - 1949, 1961, 1964, 1976, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1994
1987 BOYS BASKETBALL
New Haven Register, Wednesday, February 4, 1987
West Haven 72, Norwich Free Academy 40: At Norwich, senior Paul McMahon had 32 points and 14 rebounds as West Haven upped its record to 10-3.
Todd Williams added 11 points for the Westies while Tony Gomes led the Wildcats with 12 points.
Journal Courier, Wednesday, February 4, 1987
At Norwich, senior Paul McMahon scored 32 points as West Haven trimmed Norwich Free Academy 72-40 for its’ 10th win in 13 games.
McMahon in his second straight 30 point game, hit on 13 of 18 from the field and had 14 rebounds. Todd Williams chipped in with 11 points.
Tony Gomes led the Wildcats with 12 points.
Westie 5 to meet Hillhouse
By Russ McCreven
The West Haven News, February 5, 1987
If West haven High’s basketball team has any hope of capturing the District League championship, a major test of that ambition will take place this Friday afternoon.
West Haven travels to Hillhouse in a rematch with the Academics and a win will keep the Devils hot on the heels of League-leading Wilbur Cross.
The Westies find themselves in second place after losing their first District game when Cross came to town Friday night and used a generous foul-shooting advantage to win by a score of 98-77. Both squads scored 34 field goals but Cross went to the charity stripe 45 times and converted on 32, while West Haven had only 15 chances on the foul line and converted ten.
Saturday night the team traveled to Queens, New York to meet Christ The King. After squandering a 19-point halftime lead, West Haven pulled out a 80-78 win. Paul McMahon had his hottest game of the year. Saturday when he scored 31 points and he got double figure support from Todd Williams (18) and Rob DuBose (14). The game marked the fifth straight game in which Williams has scored in double figures. McMahon, who has yet to be denied double figure scoring all year, is leading the team with a 23.6 scoring average.
At press time the Devils were on their way to Norwich to meet Norwich Free Academy, a team they bombed 73-31 earlier in the year.
After Friday afternoon’s Hillhouse game, coach Reggie Hayes’ quintet returns home for another test – this one from cross-town rival Notre Dame which inflicted a 62-59 loss on the Westies in the season’s third game. Besides Notre Dame, only Top Ten ranked Bassick and Cross have defeated West Haven. The Westies brought a 9-3 record into the Norwich game.
Westies roll over Wildcats
By Tom Boland
NORWICH – If Casey Casum played a Top 10 list like this each week, he’d be in the used car business.
But for Norwich Free Academy, its regular journey against the best that Connecticut high school basketball has to offer produced 73-40 loss to 7thranked (large school poll) West Haven last night.
“Sure we lost by 30 the last time we played them (73-31 in December) and we lost by a lot this time,” said NFA coach Chris McKeon. “But the goal is to learn from each game and use that knowledge later.”
“What are we supposed to do, play a bunch of weak sisters,” he said. “Our record would be better, but we wouldn’t be”.
The Westies (9-3) are big (6-foot-8, 6-5,6-4 frontline), play tough interior defense and pass beautifully. They also have Paul McMahon.
The 6-5 senior scored most of his 32 pints on drives or outside shots and had seven assists.
“He is a great player, but their other guys aren’t too shabby either,” said McKeon. “They blocked a lot of our shots early and had us intimidated the rest of the way.”
One NFA player who dealt with that was 6-4 junior Anthony Gomes who scored 12 points (mostly inside) while most of his teammates were watching their shots get blocked left and right.
And that’s going to make the Wildcats play better? Maybe. But getting beat by 30 every time you look up can have some negative effect also.
“It gets to you sometime,” said Norwich senior Emmett Riley. “You take some abuse from kids in school, but it’s our decision. Coach McKeon asks us who we want to play and we tell him to get the best teams he can.”
So now the Wildcats have nine games left to the season. There are two more of these Top 10experiences (Wilbur Cross on February 10 and Hillhouse to end the season) and seven Eastern Connecticut Conference games. The justification lies in those seven games.
“We know we’re in a tough spot for the state tournament,” said McKeon. “I figure we have to win seven more games to make it. I haven’t missed the tournament since I’ve been here and I certainly don’t want to start this year.”
Acs hold off Westies
New Haven Register, Saturday, February 7, 1987
A pair of free throws by Paul Hundley with 10 seconds left gave Hillhouse a dramatic 64-63 victory over visiting West Haven in a District league game Friday night.
Hundley helped the Academics overcome a 12-point deficit in the third period with his defense against high-scoring Paul McMahon of the Blue Devils. McMahon scored 17 during the first half, as the Westies built a 37-25 lead.
Hillhouse Coach Tony Vitolo, who logged his 298th career victory switched to a man-to-man defense at the half, putting Hundley on McMahon, who was held to eight points in the second half to finish with a game high 25.
Hillhouse outscored the Devils 27-8 in the third period to grab a five point lead but West Haven led 63-62 going into the final seconds.
Hundley drew the foul and sank the winning free throws then William Antrum stole the inbounds pass and ran out the clock.
Rob Dubose added 15 for the Westies, 9-4 overall and 2-2 in the District.
Glenn Middleton had 19 and Antrum 16 to lead the Acs. Robert Rice had 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Hillhouse, 11-4, has won three straight heading into Monday’s showdown with Cross.
McMahon’s 30 sparks Westies past ND
Wednesday, February 11, 1987, Journal Courier
Paul McMahon scored 30 points and the 10th-ranked West Haven High boys basketball team broke open a close game in the fourth quarter to host a 58-43 victory over cross-town rival Notre Dame Tuesday night at the West Haven High gym.
West Haven, 11-4, outscored Note Dame 15-7 in the third quarter to take a 37-29 lead but the Green Knights closed within 37-33 early in the fourth quarter before the Blue Devils went on an 8-2 run to seal the victory.
Rob Dubose added 12 points for winners, who avenged a 62-59 loss earlier in the season.
Alan Walania led ND, 9-7 with 14 points.
West Haven breaks ND’s slow-down spell
By Steve Wilson
New Haven Register, Wednesday, February 11, 1987
WEST HAVEN – It’s one of the unexplained phenomenon of the game of basketball. A good, patient slow down team can usually make a good up-tempo team play its game.
Notre Dame of West Haven, a good patient slow-down team, made West Haven a good up-tempo team play its game for nearly three quarters Tuesday night before the 10th-ranked Blue Devils shifted into high gear and pulled away with a 58-43 victory.
“Anytime you can beat (Note Dame Coach) Gary Palladino at his own game, it’s a good win,” West Haven Coach Reggie Hayes said.
Notre Dame which won the first meeting of the season (62-59) between the two rivals by playing its slow, deliberate brand of basketball, seemed to have the Blue Devils (11-4) under its trance again Tuesday night.
After falling behind 6-0, Notre Dame (9-7) closed within 12-8 at the quarter and then tied it at 22 on two Steve Kirck free throws just before the half.
“The kids were frustrated in the first half,” Hayes said. “So we told them at halftime, ‘The key is to get the lead (early in the third quarter). If we can score, it will be lights out for them.”
Keith Bullock scored the two points of the third quarter for a 24-22 Notre Dame lead, but West Haven’s Paul McMahon (30 points, 13 in the third quarter) answered with three straight baskets, including a three-pointer, to put the Blue Devils up 29-24.
“Once we got u by about four to six points, we forced them to go man-to-man,” Hayes said. “And we were too quick for them.”
Kirck scored from underneath and Al Walania (14 points) hit a baseline jumper to help ND draw within 37-33 as the fourth quarter got underway but Rob Dubose (12 points) scored inside and McMahon made two free throws to stretch the lead back to 41-33. The Green Knights came no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
“We felt we knew what we had to do against West Haven,” Palladino said. “Unfortunately, we had to go into the locker-room at halftime. We really didn’t want the half to end. It disrupted our tempo.”
Westies nip Hamden 66-
By Lou Petrucci
New Haven Register, Saturday, February 14, 1987
HAMDEN – Charles Darwin never played basketball I the District League.
But like West Haven High Coach Reggie Hayes, Darwin would surely approve of Paul McMahon’s methods of hoop survival.
McMahon, the sensational 6-foot-4 senior captain, deposited eight of 10 free throws in the final quarter and 16 for 20 in a 28 point showing to lead the Blue Devils to a 66-64 win over Hamden Friday night at the Green Dragons’ gym.
“Paul McMahon struggled and still scored 28 points,” Hayes said after his Westies improved to 12-4 overall and 3-2 in the league. “He didn’t have a good game s this has got to tell you where he ranks in the state.”
And Hamden Coach Rich Kaliszewski echoed Hayes’ comments.
“He (McMahon) killed us,” Kaliszewski admitted. “He knocked down the foul shots when he had to. He’s a hard-nosed ballplayer, who never quits.”
Each time Hamden, led by Keith Cail (16 points) crept to within one point of West Haven in the fourth quarter, McMahon and teammate Todd Williams answered the call.
In a game the Westies led from the start to finish, the biggest scare came with four minutes to play in the game. The Devils held a 54-51 lead and both clubs traded baskets until Green Dragon superstar Al Jones (23 points) fouled out of the game at the 2:00 mark.
After two Todd Williams’ (21 points) charity tosses put the Westies u 60-57, sophomore Scott Burrell, who scored a 22 points, scored two foul shots and rebounded a missed West Haven shot to give his Hamden club a chance to take the lead.
But with 1:08 to play, McMahon intercepted a Mike Edge pass and was fouled on a breakaway layup attempt. McMahon hit the two charity shots only to see Burrell answer with a layup.
The Dragons, now 6-10 overall and 1-4 in the District, fouled Devan Hayes, however, McMahon rebounded the missed foul shot and turned into an old-fashioned three point play to give the Devils a 65-61 edge.
Hamden rallied again with a free throw by Kevin O’Connell and a steal and layup by Burrell cut the visitors’ lead to 65-64 with 30 seconds remaining.
“It’s obvious that down the stretch we missed Al,” Kaliszewski said. “But we had the chances to win and we couldn’t capitalize.”
“Paul McMahon struggled and still scored 28 points. He didn’t have a good game so this has got to tell you where he ranks in the state.”
The Green Dragons hacked McMahon but the Westies’ leading scorer hit one of two foul shots to ice the contest.
“We played together,” Williams said. “We didn’t give up. When teams come to the gym, they try to stop Paul or Rob (DuBose) and I get loose.”
“He had to be the key,” Hayes added of his senior forward’s 11-rebound game. “He always around the ball and he’ll give you 100 percent.”
Charles Darwin certainly wouldn’t argue with that either.
West Haven basketball looks for third straight
By Russ McCreven
The West Haven News, February 19, 1987
Back on the winning track after a temporary derailment, West Haven’s High’s basketball team is expected to make it three straight in the win column when it hosts Robert Fitch of Groton Friday night.
After losing a 64-63 squeaker to Hillhouse a week ago Friday, the Westies returned to their own gym to meet cross-town rival Notre Dame, a team it had lost to back in December. This time around, however, the Westies’ stamina prevailed and in a fourth period surge, the team pulled away from the Knights for a relatively easy 58-43 victory.
Three days later it was just the reverse that was needed to beat Hamden, 66-64. Leading throughout the entire game, West Haven needed to hold off Hamden’s fourth period comeback attempt. Excellent foul shooting, particularly from Paul McMahon, who was 16 for 20 on the line, helped pull off West Haven’s second win over the Greenies.
West Haven brings a 12-4 record – coach Reggie Hayes’ best in three years at West Haven- into Friday’s 7:30 game with Fitch, a team the Westies beat handily when they met earlier in the season in Groton. Following the Fitch contest, West Haven plays host to state-ranked Bassick, a team that accounted for one of the Devils’ four losses, a 61-57 score in Bridgeport. The Bassick game is scheduled for Tuesday and on Friday the team takes on Wilbur Cross at the Governors’ gym.
McMahon has continued his red-hot shooting streak. He scored 30 against Notre Dame and 28 in the Hamden win. For the year he is scoring at a 23.4 points per game clip and in his last five games he is scoring at a 29.1 rate.
Follow senior Todd Williams has also been burning the nets. Held to single digits in only three of West Haven’s 16 games, Williams scored 21 in the Hamden win.
By Steve Wilson
New Haven Register, Saturday, February 21, 1987
Paul McMahon, West Haven’s high-scoring guard visited the University of Pennsylvania earlier this week. “They gave us the red-carpet treatment,” said West Haven Coach Reggie Hayes, who made the trip with McMahon. “They really want Paul.” McMahon, who is interested in several other schools, will make his decision after the season.
Westies extend streak
New Haven Register, Saturday, February 21, 1987
Paul McMahon netted 29 points as West Haven High extended its winning streak to three games with a 92-59 decision over Fitch of Groton Friday night at West Haven.
Todd Williams added 19 points and Rob Dubose 14 for the 13-4 Westies.
Paul Mennart had 21 points for the Falcons, 1-14.
McMahon sparks West Haven
Rams bury Derby; Law’s Phillips hot
New Haven Register, Wednesday February 25, 1987
Ninth –ranked West haven High finished its best regular season in many years Tuesday night by beating Bassick of Bridgeport 75-57.
The win avenged one of the Blue Devils’ four losses, a 61-57 setback to the Lions in Bridgeport and was their 14th victory of the year.
“Nobody here can remember when West Haven had this good a record.” Westie Coach Reggie Hayes said. “We were 9-1 at home and we’ve won the last four games in a row.”
Paul McMahon led the way for West Haven with a 34 point game in his final regular-season outing. Todd Williams added 17 points and Robert DuBose 10.
Jerome Johnson had 17 points, Chaver Brown 13 and Mason Roberts 11 for the Lions, 10-6.
Bridgeport Post, Wednesday, February 25, 1987
In West Haven, Paul McMahon tossed in 34 as the Westies trimmed a cold-shooting Bassick club, 75-57.
The Lions jumped out to a 19-12 first quarter lead, but struggled from the field the rest of the way. McMahon hit for a dozen in the second period, including nine for nine from the line, as West Haven grabbed a 34-30 halftime lead.
Bassick enjoyed a 53-48 rebounding edge, but couldn’t overcome its shooting difficulties. The Westies then pulled away by hitting 16 of 20 from the line in the final quarter.
Jerome Johnson paced the Lions with 17 while Sharvez Brown chipped in with 13 and Jason Roberts 11.
Wednesday, February 25, 197 Journal Courier
At West Haven, Paul McMahon scored 34 points to lead ninth-ranked West Haven to a 75-57 victory over Bassick of Bridgeport 75-57, averaging one of the Blue Devils’ four losses.
Governors outrun Westies
By Steve Wilson
New Haven Register, Saturday, February 28, 1987
Is there life after a loss to Harding?
Cross High basketball coach Bob Saulsbury, watching his team play for the first time in 10 days after its emotional setback to top ranked Harding of Bridgeport, apparently thinks so.
“You’re going to be surprised at what I’m about to say, but I’m pleased,” the usually critical Saulsbury said after the second ranked Governors had outrun ninth ranked West haven for a 83-75 victory Friday at the Cross gym.
The victory improve Cross’ record to 15-2 and helped them finish the District League season at 6-0. West Haven having one of its finest seasons in recent memory, fell to 14-5 3-3.
West Haven lost despite a 44 point (four three pointers) effort from senior Paul McMahon. His offensive show tied the school’s single-game record set by Keith Johnson, the Sacred Heart of Fairfield star in 1981.
“They’re (Cross) tough,” West Haven Coach Reggie Hayes said. “You try to stop them but it’s almost impossible.”
The Blue Devils, an up tempo, run and gun team similar to Cross, played right into the Governors’ hands. Although Cross’ early 22-9 lead dwindled to 26-20 after one quarter, the Governors had no intention of giving up the lead.
After McMahon basket brought West haven within 43-39 to open the third quarter, Cross sprinted away with 10 of the next 12 points for a comfortable 53-41 margin. West Haven pulled no closer than nine points the rest of the way.
McMahon’s scoring outburst was so match for Cross’ offensive balance. All five Cross starters scored in double figures: Gerald McClease with 19 points, Mike Martin, Maurice Williamson and Steve Roundtree each with 16 and Tim Adams with 11.
Cross makes its annual trek to New Jersey today to play traditional powerhouse Camden, which is 23-3 with 17 Straight victories at 2 pm.
Camden Coach Clarence Turner has enjoyed the athletic relationship with Cross and hopes to continue playing the Governors in the future. “It’s a good tradition.” Turner said Friday. “I know the coach (Saulsbury) well. We played against each other in college.”
Cross has never won at Camden, but hopes things will be different this year “They (Camden) will have their hands full with Cross.” predicted Hayes, whose team dropped an 88-81 decision to Camden in a preseason scrimmage.
West Haven defeats Fitch, improves record
By Russ McCreven
The West Haven News, February 29 1987
West Haven’s basketball team stretched its modest win streak to three in a row last Friday when the Blue Devils walloped visiting Robert Fitch by a 92-59 margin. The win gave West Haven a 13-4 won-lost record heading into the final stages of its regular season schedule.
After reversing an early season loss to Notre Dame by running past the Knights 58-43, West Haven captured the season’s series against Hamden by nipping the Dragons 66-64.
Friday Fitch was no problem for coach Reggie Hayes’ quintet. Hayes was able to clear the bench early in the second half and the only suspense was whether the Westies would win by 30, 40 or 50 points.
Once again Paul McMahon led the team in scoring. His 29 points increased his average for the year to 23.7, and maintained his recent streak of 29 points per game in the Westies’ last six contests. Reliable Todd Williams scored 19 points – the 13th game in which he has scored in double digits – and center Rob DuBose hit for 14 points. DuBose has scored in double figures in 12 of West Haven’s 17 games.
Kendall Chambers scored 12, Devon Hayes had 4, while reserves Paul Duffy and Billy Moran scored two each and sixth man Darnell Deese had a career high ten points.
Tuesday the Westies were faced with a sizable challenge in visiting Bassick, a team that slipped by West Haven 61-57, when the two first met in December.
Friday afternoon the Devils travel to Cross and then close out their regular season next Tuesday on the road to Bridgeport Central. The following week the team will begin CIAC tourney play.
New Haven Register, Wednesday, March 4, 1987
West Haven 73, Bridgeport Central 62: At Bridgeport, Paul McMahon scored 27 points and Todd Williams added 16 to lead ninth ranked West Haven in its regular-season finale.
West Haven took a 40-24 lead at the half and gradually expanded it to 28 points late in the third quarter before Coach Reggie Hayes cleared his bench.
Wednesday, March 4, 1987, Journal Courier
Boys basketball – Paul McMahon scored 27 points and Todd Williams added 16 in leading ninth ranked West Haven to a 73-62 win over Bridgeport Central at Bridgeport in its regular season finale.
West Haven took a 40-24 lead at the half and gradually expanded it to 28 points late in the third quarter before Coach Reggie Hayes cleared his bench.
Rob Dubose played a strong defensive game for the 15-5 Westies with 16 rebounds and seven blocked shots.
By Russ McCreven
The West Haven News, March 5, 1987
PAUL McMahon tied a school record with his 44 points against Cross last Friday……..McMahon, by the way, is just about all set to attend the University of Pennsylvania next year. Wither older brother Mike at Yale, it would be nice to see the two face each other next season at Payne Whitney…….Another local star-SUZANNE BOWEN, who pours them in for the Sacred Heart, plans to attend Colgate next year.
Congratulations go out to each ART CROUSE and his West haven hockey team on the splendid regular season record of 17-3, the best at the school since the 1977-78 season that posted an 18-1-1 mark…..MIKE ROUTH joined fellow senior MIKE GILBERT in reaching the prestigious 100-career-point club when he assisted on the first goal in the 8-1 win over Suffield last Tuesday. Only ten West haven players in 59 years have scored 100 points or more during their high school years. Holding at 99 points on the all-time list is ED MEROLA.
West Haven High’s football schedule for the 1988 season has been completed. A.D, TOM HUNT claims this is the earliest a football schedule has been wrapped up in recent memory. This is all the more surprising considering the Westies are the Class L defending champs here’s the 88 schedule: Sept 26-Notre Dame (home) 10:30, Oct 3 – Hillhousee (home) 10:30; Oct 10 – Christ The King (away); Oct 16 – Wilbur Cross (away); Oct 24 – Hamden (away);10:30; Oct 30 – Xavier (away) 7:30; Nov 11 – Fitch (away) 1:30; Nov 14- Bridgeport Central (home) 10:30; Nov 21 – Bassick (home) 10:30; Nov 25 – St. John’s Prep (home)6:00…….That final game is slated for the day before Thanksgiving with the noted New England power and the Westies will travel to St. John’s in Boston to play the following year.
Former NEWS sports stringer LOU PETRUCCI is sponsoring a unique “Under 6 foot” basketball tournament which will be held at the WHHS gym March 21 and 22. Proceeds will go to help finance the WHHS baseball team. Lou already has 25 teams signed up from all over the state for the unlimited age tourney. There will be an MVP trophy awarded and sanctioned officials will work the games. Many chores at the tournament will be handled by baseball team members. There is a $75 entry fee for each team, 3 pointers are in effect, and two-20 minute halfs will be played. All-day playoff action begins at 9 am on the 21st.
West Haven has an entry in the South Central District Indoor Soccer tournament being held Saturday, March 14 at SCSU. The local team is being coached by STEVE TARBE and PATRICK HAYES and players on the roster include STACEY GOLDBAUM, RHONDA RUSSELL, CHERYL ROMANO (co-captain), MARCY FLYNN, JULIE SITRO (co-captain0, BETH TARBE,HEIDI ROSSELL DENISE DZIETATKA, NICOLE DANZ, ELAINE KURTS, LEANNE CETARI, and JENNIFER CONKLIN. The West Haveners play Wallingford III at 8:30 pm on the 14th.
The CIAC’s new alignment of Class LL East and West Regional teams in its tournament that starts next week leaves West Haven at the slight disadvantage compared to previous years. Joining the Westies are such powerhouses as Brian McMahon and Norwalk and New Haven District League rivals Wilbur Cross and Hillhouse, which formerly had been in the tourney’s East Region. By comparison, the talent-rich Hartford Class LL schools now have the East Region all to themselves.
Friends of local soccer official PAUL DUFFY were amazed at his sudden youthful appearance in last week’s sports photo page. DUFFY was incorrectly identified in a photograph of his basketball-playing son SEAN. We offer an apology and we are sorry the elder Duffy has not found a “Fountain of Youth” after all.
Westies in tourney
By Russ McCreven
West Haven News, March 5, 1987
West Haven High’s basketball team anticipated a high ranking in the upcoming CIAC Class LL tournament as it ended its regular season schedule Tuesday against Bridgeport Central.
If the Westies can repeat an earlier season easy win over Central, they will close out the regular season with the best record in ten years – a 15-5 mark in one of the state’s most competitive leagues.
West Haven should begin tourney play next Wednesday or Thursday at home as a result of i’s impressive regular season record. Playing in the CIAC’s West Region, West Haven could face arch rival Notre Dame in its first game. The Green Knights are also included in the tourney’s West region.
Last week, Paul McMahon continued his hot-shooting streak when he scored 34 points in the 75-57 win over Bassick a team that has inflicted a defeat upon the Westies a month ago. Todd Williams scored 17 and Rob DuBose had 12 for the winners.
Paul McMahon dribbles up the court for West Haven. Photo courtesy of Russ McCreven.
The Hartford Courant
December 14, 1986
First place votes are in parenthesis (points tabulated on a 20-18-18-14-12-1)
1.Wilbur Cross-New Haven (3) 142
2.Harding-Bridgeport (1) 127
3.Brian McMahon-Norwalk (3) 115
4.East Hartford 96
5.Hillhouse-New Haven (1) 86
6.West Haven 66
7.Bristol Central 52
10.Hartford Public 37
New Haven Register
December 23, 1986
(Not including Monday’s games)
1.McMahon (1-0) (7) 194
2.St Joseph (2-0) (1) 172
3.Harding (1-0) (2) 166
4.Hillhouse (2-0) 130
5.Cross (1-1) 125
6.Norwalk (1-1) 75
7.Bristol Central (1-0) 75
8.East Hartford (1-0) 66
9.West Haven (1-0) 58
10.Hartford Public (1-0) 52
Also receiving votes: St Thomas Aquinas of New Britain (1-0) 40, Bassick of Bridgeport (2-0) 24, Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport (1-0) 22, Wilby of Waterbury (1-0) 47, Xavier of Middletown (2-0) 12, Bloomfield (2-0) 10, New Canaan (2-0) 8, Hartford Buckley (0-1) and Lyman Hall of Wallingford (1-0) 2
Friday, December 19, 1986
At Stamford sophomore guard Devan Heyes broke the 50-50 deadlock by scoring a three point play off a steal with 2:30 remaining in the game to lead West Haven to a 58-52 victory over Westhill. The Blue Devils trailed 29-24 at the half but rallied to outscore the Vikings 34-23 in the second half.
McMahon, Dubose key Westies
New Haven Register, Wednesday, December 24, 1986
Paul McMahon and Rob Dubose scored 23 points each Tuesday night to lead ninth-ranked West Haven to a 64-54 victory over Stamford at West Haven.
West Haven jumped out to a 16-10 first quarter lead and made that lead hold up at the half.
Stamford got hot in the third period, outscoring West Haven 20-11 to take a 43-40 lead after three periods before a 24-11 final period did in the visitors.
Harvey Robertson, who fouled out, led Stamford with 19 points.
The Blue Devils improved to 2-0. Stamford dropped to 1-1.
Wednesday, December 24, 1986
At West Haven, Paul McMahon and Rob Dubose scored 23 points each to lead ninth ranked West Haven to a 64-54 victory over Stamford
Harvey Robertson led Stamford with 19 points
The Blue Devils improved to 2-0, Stamford dropped to 1-1
The West Haven News
December 25, 1986
With the yuletide season up us, we fancied some gifts Santa might leave with our friends in the West Haven sports community. So, if they’re lucky, here’s what might be found under the tree-
Reggie Hayes – West Haven High’s basketball coach can use some extra large sized basketball shoes for all his giants on the roster this year. Reggie might also us a notebook to jot down all of Paul McMahons witty comments during the year.
Hayes hopes Devils can
By Russ McCreven
The West Haven News, January 1, 1987
Coach Reggie Hayes hopes his West Haven High basketball team will have recovered its composure by this weekend when the Devils swing back into action against a tough Westhill quintet.
Hayes’ troops were shocked by Notre Dames, 62-59, Saturday night in the winners’ gym and probably will need a week off to get their act back in shape.
Ranked ninth in the state going into Saturday’s Notre Dame game, West Haven could not overcome a foul shooting disadvantage (Notre Dame was 16 for 25, the Westies 9 for 11) and a last second three pointer by Alan Walania quashed a comeback bid.
The Devil’s Paul McMahon managed only 14 points while Todd Williams led the team with 19 and Kendall Chambers shipped in with 10 points. West Haven had gotten off to a fine start with a 58-52 win over Westhill of Stamford and in their home-opener a 64-54 victory over Stamford. In that game McMahon and Rob Dubose shared a game high 23 points a piece.
If anything, the Westies have been consistent. In their three games they have scored 24, 25, and 25 field goals and the team’s foul-shooting is much improved over last year’s. Expectations for a good year soared when transfers DuBose and Ernie Reid joined the team and coach Hayes’ son Devan turned into a slick ball-handling guard. Height wise this year’s edition rates as one of the tallest in recent school history.
Saturday, Westhill will invade West Haven for a 7:30 game anticipating a reversal of the season’s opener which the Devils won two weeks ago. Following that game West Haven takes to the road to meet Robert Fitch on Tuesday and Bassick on Friday.
New Haven Register, Sunday, January 4, 1987
West Haven 88, Westhill 45
At West Haven, an aggressive Westie’s defense held the visitors from Stamford to only 18 first half points en route to its third win in four games.
Paul McMahon of West Haven which led 39-18 at intermission, led all scorers with 32 points.
The loss dropped Westhill to 3-4.
New Haven Register, Wednesday, January 7, 1987
At Groton, Paul McMahon scored 27 points and Rob DuBose and Kendall Chambers 14 each as West Haven rolled to a 77-48 victory over Fitch of Groton.
West Haven is 4-1, Fitch 2-3.
Devils’ metamorphosis please Coach
By Russ McCreven
The West Haven News, January 8, 1987
West Haven High’s basketball team turned itself inside out Saturday night. Witnesses to the Westies’ 88-45 win over Westhill hardly recognized the team as the same on that had handed Notre Dame a 52-59 win just one game earlier.
The Blue Devils’ coaching staff is hoping the form reversal is a fin one – the Westies just couldn’t have played any better. Westhill of Stamford had given West Haven all it could handle in the season’s opener when it took some last minute heroics for the Westies to pull out a 58-62 squeaker. Saturday, West Haven blew Westhill out of the gym in the second period and never looked back.
“The very first play of the game showed our unselfishness and set the tone of the game”, said assistant coach Jon Capone. On that play Paul McMahon grabbed the tap-off and neatly dished off to Rob Dubose for an easy bucket. For the rest of the game, players continually connected with an open teammate for the easy score.
“When we play unselfishly, we’re a fine club,” said coach Reggie Hayes. The coaching staff was also pleased with the performance of Devon Hayes at point guard who has quickly developed into a sure handed player who can move the ball and pop the outside shot.
Center Dubose is leading the team in rebounds, averaging just over 11 per game while McMahon’s 32 points against Westhill increased his team leading average to over 20 points per game.
HOOP NOTES – The Westies hit he road for games with state-ranked Bassick and then Fitch of Groton before coming back home next week……..Notre Dame’s win over highly-touted St. Joe’s put the Westies’ three point loss to the Knights in perspective-losing to Notre Dam might not have been an “upset” after all………The West Haven JV team is 3-0 and led by Nick Dottori, Paul Duffy and Daryl Drayton…………….Varsity coaches are impressed with Todd Williams’ consistency and growth.
Bassick nips Westies
By Lou Petrucci
New Haven Register, January 10, 1987
BRIDGEPORT – Two foul shots by Sharvez Brown with three seconds remaining sewed up Bassick High’s 61-57 non-league basketball win over upset minded West Haven Friday night before 850 spectators.
The Lions, now 5-0 and ranked ninth in the Register Top 10 poll, almost lost the game despite a 13 point (50-37) lead early in the fourth quarter.
“Event thought we had some trouble”, Bassick Coach Harrison Taylor began, “we hit the key foul shots in the end. West Haven is one of the better teams in the state. This is a big win”.
The Blue Devils, 4-2, failed to play equal to Taylor’s lofty assessment. Only sophomore guard Devan Hayes – who scored a game-high 19 points – Paul McMahon (14) and Todd Williams (13) displayed shades of the Westies’ strength.
“This is what tournament basketball is all about,” West Haven Coach Reggie Hayes said, comparing the run and gun shootout to a playoff game. “Our two main players (McMahon and center Rob DuBose) shot eight for 26 from the field. We can’t win with that”.
The Westies could win with the same aggressive fourth quarter defense that chopped Bassick’s eight point lead (57-49) in half in 30 seconds.
A Hayes’ steal led to layups by Williams and McMahon. With 2:34 left in the final quarter, the Blue Devils tailed 57-53.
Three turnovers and a Darryl Drayton steal failed to generate any West Haven baskets as four shots wobbled but rolled off the rim.
New Haven Register, Wednesday, January 14, 1987
West Haven 73, Norwich Free Academy 31: At West Haven, Paul McMahon had 22 points and Rob Dubose 12 as West Haven improved its record to 5-2.
Devil quintet hosts Hillhouse
By Russ McCreven
The West Haven News, January 15, 1987
West Haven’s basketball team jumps from the frying pan into the fire this week as the Blue Devils’ schedule moves into its serious stage.
After Tuesday night’s scheduled home game with Norwich Free Academy, the Westies tip off the District League schedule by going right to the top-they entertain defending state champion Hillhouse Friday night.
Coach Reggie Hayes’ quintet has already had a taste of big time basketball. The team recently traveled to Bridgeport to meet 10th ranked Bassick. The Lions held West Haven off with a 61-57 win despite guard Devon Hayes’ 19 points and 14 and 15 from Paul McMahon and Todd Williams respectively.
It was the kind of game that coach Hayes saw as a test. “We need to learn how to win the close ones down the stretch,” he said after the loss. “From now on, there’s nothing easy at all about our schedule and we will be in more than a few close games. If we aren’t able to play under that kind of pressure, we’re going to be in big trouble.”
West Haven won its fourth game of the year when the Devils ripped Robert Fitch by 77-48 score a game earlier. McMahon threw in a game high 27 points while Rob Dubose and Kendall Chambers had 14 each.
BASKET BLIPS……………..Paul McMahon’s 22 ppg average leads the team………….ROB DUBOSE is hitting for an average of 14 points each game……………..TODD WILLIAMS grabbed 9 rebounds in the Bassick game…………..the JV team dropped to 4-1 when Bassick handed the team its first loss Friday night………….ED CEASAR and BILLY MORAN, a pair of sophomores pace coach JON CAPONE’S list of improving players……..The Devils were 4-2 going into the NFA game and meet Bridgeport Central next Tuesday. Biddy Basketball Night at W.H.H.S.
McMahon lifts Westies
Last-second jumper beats Hillhouse
By Lou Petrucci
New Haven Register, Saturday, January 17, 1987
WEST HAVEN – Irish eyes smiled upon West Haven High basketball coach Reggie Hayes. The Irish eyes of Paul McMahon, that is.
The Blue Devils’ senior captain canned a 10-foot baseline jumper with four seconds remaining Friday night to lead West haven past Hillhouse 63-61 in a District League encounter before 800 spectators in the West Haven Gym.
“McMahon is a sweetheart of a basketball player,” Academic Coach Tony Vitolo said. “He’s got all the tools. He’s a clutch player. You knew the ball was going to him.”
With 24 seconds left in the game Hillhouse’s outstanding freshman, Lamont Carter (22 points, including five three-pointers) deposited two free throws to tie the game at 61.
The Westies, 6-2 overall and 1-0 in the league, called a timeout and set a play to isolate McMahon on the left side.
“I was looking to go to the hoop or draw a double-team so I could dish the ball off for a layup,” McMahon said. “I made a move to the baseline and took a jumper.”
Sounds simple but McMahon, who had Larry Bird-like numbers of 23 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists, lifted the shot over the arms of Hillhouse’s 6-foot-6 Robert rice.
In the first half, McMahon hit one seven of eight shots from the floor, including one three-pointer for 15 points. The 6-foot-4 forward also had 11 rebounds as West Haven enjoyed a 36-24 halftime lead.
“I’m happy with the game,” Vitolo said. “People forget that we have a lot of people who are playing varsity ball for the first time.”
Hillhouse, ranked second in the Register Top 10 poll, lost their second straight game and dropped to 8-2 overall and 0-2 in the District.
Vitolo will smile about Carter’s second half shooting display that brought Hillhouse back from the halftime deficit.
“Tonight we came of age,” he said. “The second half is the way we play ball the rest of the season.”
The Academics hit five three-point field goals in the second half. Carter collected four and William Antrum (13 points) the other one in an 1-4 spurt that cut the Blue Devils’ lead to 58-57 with 3:15 to play.
But West Haven’s Todd Williams (11 points) scored a brilliant baseline layup only to see it countered on a layup by Hillhouse’s Glenn Middleton (15 points).
A free throw by center Dubose who scored a quiet 19 points, put the Devils (who only trailed once, 2-0 in the opening minutes) up to 61-59 with 1:45 to play. Both teams exchanges turnovers. Carter’s pressure shots followed and McMahon’s heroics saved West Haven.
“This is the biggest win for us,” McMahon said. “We lost two tough games (Notre Dame and Bassick) so you can see how important it is for us to beat a tough club like Hillhouse.”
Westies’ coach pleased in win over Hilltoppers
By Steve Wilson
New Haven Register, Wednesday, January 21, 1987
WEST HAVEN – Never mind that the West Haven High basketball team managed just two points during a 6-minute span of the fourth quarter Tuesday night against struggling Bridgeport Central.
It was already garbage time by then and the ninth-ranked Westies were putting on the final wraps of a 74-57 victory over the 3-9 Hilltoppers.
The final margin of victory wasn’t as important, however, as the manner in which the Blue Devils approached their ninth game of the season.
“After Friday night’s game (a 63-61 victory over Hillhouse) we wanted to come back tonight (Tuesday) and play with the same intensity,” West Haven Coach Reggie Hayes said. “And I think we played with that intensity – at least for three quarters.”
Hayes saw the victory as another piece in the puzzle. While the Blue Devils are off to a strong 7-2 start, Hayes realizes the growth process has only just begun.
“If we’re going to do what we’re capable of,” Hayes said, “we’re going to have to play together, play as one.”
Hayes could find little fault with Tuesday night’s performance. Four Westies scored in double figures – Todd Williams (24), Rob Dubose (16) Paul McMahon (14) and Kendall Chambers (12). Hayes’ son, Devon, a sophomore guard ran the offense well and scored eight points.
Bridgeport never really had a chance. The Hilltoppers found themselves trailing 17-6 late in the first quarter after the Westies reeled off 11 straight points.
“We came out flat and dug ourselves in a hole,” Bridgeport Central Coach Mark Lauretti said. “I can’t fault the kids, though. They played well.
“It’s hard when you’ve got kids who’ve been out (three Central players had been suspended for four games). They’re out of shape and they’re trying to get used to playing with the other kids. We just have a lot of inconsistencies right now.”
Lauretti’s players helped save face with a late rush, outscoring the Westies 15-2 over the final 6 minutes. But West Haven’s fate was never in jeopardy. The pieces of this puzzle fell together without much trouble.
Westies beat Hillhouse
Westies top Hillhouse
By Russ McCreven
The West Haven News, January 22, 1987
West Haven’s basketball tam got just what it needed from two of its key players last week and as a result the Westies not only pulled off a major upset but now find themselves with a surprising 6-2 record in the guest for a favorable state tournament ranking.
“We need that type of game, every game, from Rob DuBose and Paul McMahon,” coach Reggie Hayes said after his Westies had toppled highly rated Hillhouse last Friday.
“Both of these guys came to play against Hillhouse and their all-around work on defense as well as offense made a big difference.”
Hayes was particularly impressed with DuBose’s effort. “He had his best game of the year for us,” he said of the Devils’ big man at center. DuBose is averaging 11 rebounds a game he scored 19 points against the Acs in the 63-61 thriller.
It was West Haven’s “man in the clutch” Paul McMahon who went to the baseline with two seconds left for a sot jumper that iced the game for West Haven and handed Hillhouse its second straight loss after a two-year unbeaten streak.
McMahon poured in 23 points including a three-pointer, and his defensive work and assists gave Hillhouse fits all night.
West Haven had Hillhouse on the ropes for the entire game, building ten and even 14 point leads in the fast paced contest. But the Acs finally evened the score with a minute to go and it took McMahon’s shot to prevent an overtime game. Just a year ago McMahon hit on a similar shot with two seconds left to nip Notre Dame.
Hayes can’t let the team glow too long in the aftermath of the upset. After Tuesday’s Bridgeport Central game, the Westies must put in on the line again when Hamden comes to town for a 7:30 game Friday night. The Greenies beat Hillhouse by eight points last week to snap the Acs’ streak and with hot-shooting Al Jones in the lineup, Hamden is a threat to West Haven’s District League hopes.
B A S K E T BLIPS…………..Hillhouse transfer ERNIE REID has rejoined the team after a five game hiatus………….Assistant Coach JON CAPONE claims DAVE STEWART has been a pleasant surprise as a JV player seeing some spot varsity duty………A week after Friday’s Hamden game, the Westies will host Wilbur Cross to conclude a five game home stand……A day later they board the bus for Queens, New York to meet Christ the King.
Westies to face Cross
By Russ McCreven
The West Haven News
The high school basketball season becomes very meaningful and very intense Friday night at West Haven’s gym. Second ranked Wilbur Cross comes to town for a 7:30 game and an expected sell-out crowd will find out if the Westies are all they have been cracked up to be before it’s over.
West Have is mid-way through its best season in many years, and coach Reggie Hayes hopes he can keep the hot hand going for just one more game. Cross presents the most formidable challenge of the year to the Westies who have jumped off to a brilliant 8-2 start against some of the best teams in the state.
With back-to-back District League wins over Hillhouse and Hamden in their pocket, the Devils should be sky-high for Cross. A win over the Governors could catapult West Haven to the higher, rungs of the Top Ten poll next week and give the team members a final dose of confidence as they prepare for the CIAC tournament.
While high-scoring Paul McMahon has been the Westies’ clutch player all season, he is beginning to get some outstanding support from Rob DuBose and Todd Williams in the frontcourt. DuBose, the team’s 6’6” center, scored 19 against Hillhouse, 16 in the 74-57 Bridgeport Central win and eight in the Hamden victory. Williams had 11 in the Hillhouse game, 24 versus Central, and 21 at Hamden’s expense.
“In the Hamden game,” says Hayes, “Paul McMahon started out hot, he got 17 of his 28 in the first half. And then Todd gave us a lot of help in the second half where he scored most of his. He does a pretty good job on the boards too. When those three guys up front – McMahon, Du Bose and Williams – are on their game, we’re mighty tough.”
BASKET BLIPS – After Friday’s Cross game, the Westies make their longest road trip to the Queens to meet Christ The King, which regularly plays nationally ranked teams………….That starts a three game road stand until Feb. 10th when the Westies come home to meet Notre Dame in an attempt to avenge one of their two losses……Freshman JASON ZAFFINO, GREG GOLDBERG, RON RICE and CHRIS MURRAY are playing key roles in the JV’s success this season.
By Russ McCreven
We don’t normally get on the “case” of officials in this column. In fact, we are hard pressed to remember any time that we have publicly criticized officials in any sport, especially on the high school level. We have a high regard for the folks in stripes, and realize that it is often very easy to take a cheap shot or “Monday morning quarterback” a referee’s decision. If videotape replays have proven anything, they have demonstrated that the split-second call of an official was right on the money many more time than not.
Have said all this, we turn our attention to a weekend of high school sports that causes us to reconsider our rave review of officials.
Friday evening we took in the West Haven – Wilbur Cross basketball game played at West Haven’s gym.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that when these two high-powered run-and-gun teams meet, the action is going to be furious, the competition intense, and the officials will have to be at their very best. It was our impression throughout the game that the official’s calls were going against the Westies and when the box score was totaled at the conclusion our suspicions were amply verified.
Wilbur Cross took 45 foul shots and made 32. On the other hand, West Haven took only 15 foul shots and made 10. Both teams were dead-even in field goals (32) and so the outcome of the game (a 98-77 Cross win) certainly was decided on the charity stripe.
Now 45 to 15 is quite a spread! We cannot think of a similar disparity in recent memory. How does on account for such a difference?
There is a theory that some officials can be intimidated by coaches. Surely Cross coach Bob Saulsbury is no shrinking violet and some observers think Saulsbury is a master at influencing (intimidating?) officials from the very start of play. We watched Saulsbury early in the game, and from our vantage point, he certainly did do a lot of jawing at officials from the sidelines.
West Haven rally
New Haven Register, Sunday, January 25, 1987
Paul McMahon scored 28 points and Todd Williams added 21 as the ninth-ranked West Haven High boys basketball team pulled away from Hamden in the fourth quarter to post a 66-57 District League victory Saturday in West Haven.
The Westies – aided by the return of sophomore guard Devon Hayes who turned his ankle in the first half – outscored the Green Dragons 20-13 in the final quarter to up their record to 8-2, 2-0 in the league.
Hamden, 4-7 and 1-2, received 20 points from al Jones and 18 from Scott Burrell.
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