Memorable Mondays: Individual performances
Welcome to MSGVarsity.com’s Memorable Mondays, a summer-long series that looks back on the top players, games and moments from the past season and gazes ahead to 2012-13. As the summer goes on, we’ll compile all the lists and post them here: www.msgvarsity.com/mondays. New Lists will be posted every Monday at noon.
In Week 2 of Memorable Mondays, we look at five of the best individual performances from the Connecticut region.
Bernard Brantley, Stratford: Sure the Red Devils' Cinderella run in the CIAC Class L boys basketball tournament would come to an end against top-ranked Northwest Catholic in this quarterfinal round contest, but Brantley was truly spectacular. Despite picking up his fourth foul late in the third quarter, the junior guard finished with a game-high 42 points -- including 22 of Stratford's 30 fourth-quarter points. Brantley shot 13 for 26 from the field, was 12 of 17 from the line, connected on four 3-pointers, and also totaled 10 rebounds, three steal and three assists.
Olivia Hompe, New Canaan: When you're a junior and already the state's all-time leading scorer in hockey and a Princeton-bound All-American in lacrosse, you know you're a big-time athlete. But even for Hompe, her effort in the Class M state finals against Wilton went above and beyond her typical on-field brilliance. In leading the Rams to their second state title in three years, Hompe finished with nine goals and two assists in the 17-9 victory. As if that wasn't enough, she also had seven ground balls, four draw controls and caused 10 turnovers.
James Jennings, St. Joseph: All season long legendary coach Vito Montelli sang Jennings' praises as the best point guard in the state. After the 5-foot-8 senior's showing in the CIAC Class LL tournament, it was hard to argue. Coming off a 30-point effort against New London and Providence-bound guard Kris Dunn in the semifinals, Jennings stepped up once again on center stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena, scoring 26 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the Cadets' 62-54 victory over Hillhouse. The Academics led by 13 with over five minutes left in the second half, but Jennings fueled a 16-0 run and made back-to-back 3-pointers to give St. Joe's the lead for good. Jennings had 18 second-half points.
Brenden Lytton, Torrington: The record-setting All-State selection was given the Jimmy Lee Award for being the most outstanding senior in the NVL, and with performances like this it wasn't hard to see why. In an 80-39 win against St. Paul Catholic on Oct., Lytton rushed 15 times for 325 yards and four touchdowns -- including a 99-yarder -- caught five passes for 151 yards and two scores, and also threw a 40-yard TD pass. There's more too from that game. Lytton made two tackles, and intercepted a pass.
Brandon Riggins, Norwalk: En route to a perfect 45-0 season, the senior 195-pounder dominated the competition at the FCIAC, Class L and State Open tournaments.Then came his crowning achievement, becoming the first-ever Norwalk wrestler to win a New England championship. Riggins did it in style too, including a tech fall victory before a 7-2 decision over Vermont's Spencer Foucher in the semifinals. Matched up against Somers' Kyle Foster for the second straight week, Riggins was again impressive in a 7-2 victory, giving up just two escape points. Remarkably, Riggins allowed just four offensive points to be scored against him the entire year.
Join us throughout the summer as “Memorable Mondays” brings you more top 5 lists:
July 9: Top five Cinderella stories from 2011-12 July 16: Top five exciting endings from 2011-12 July 23: Top five heartwarming moments from 2011-12 July 30: Top five favorite venues from 2011-12 Aug. 6: Top five coaches from 2011-12 Aug. 13: Top five most memorable games from 2011-12 Aug. 20: Top five teams from 2011-12 Aug. 27: Top five teams to watch in 2012-13
Find them all at www.msgvarsity/mondays.