GameTimeCT Top 10 Boys Basketball Poll (Feb. 28): Hand cracks the rankings

Chase Geremia of Hand dribbles the ball along the baseline as Mekhi Conner of ND-West Haven defends during a boys basketball game on Jan. 4, 2022 in Madison, Conn.

Chase Geremia of Hand dribbles the ball along the baseline as Mekhi Conner of ND-West Haven defends during a boys basketball game on Jan. 4, 2022 in Madison, Conn.

Dave Phillips / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Breaking news: We have a new team in the boys basketball top 10 poll this week.

Hand had been on the outskirts of the top 10 for several weeks and missed out joining last week by a mere two points. But once Norwich Free Academy lost to East Lyme in the ECC tournament quarterfinals, a new team was going to move in.

Hand was that team and is actually at No. 9. East Catholic, after falling to second-ranked Northwest Catholic in the CCC tournament quarterfinals Saturday, dropped to No. 10.

The rest of the poll are the usual suspects in the same positions as the league tournaments heat up beginning Monday night with the SCC and the NVL.

There will be one more poll before the CIAC state tournament commences, then the final one when the Run to the Sun is over. A lot will happen between now and then.

GameTimeCT Top 10 Boys Basketball Poll (Feb. 28)

TEAM
REC
PTS
LAST
CLASS

1. BRISTOL CENTRAL (18)

22-0
568
1
II
Last Week: Def. Bristol Eastern 76-50; def. Lewis Mills 66-29 in CCC tournament first round; def. Middletown 73-58 in CCC quarterfinals.
This Week: Tuesday vs. Windsor, CCC tournament semifinals, 6 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Donovan Clingan became the 26th CIAC boys basketball player to surpass 2,000 career points.

2. NWC (1)

21-1
534
2
II
Last Week: Def. Southington 67-24; def. Newington 88-65 in CCC first round; def. East Catholic 69-57 in CCC quarterfinals.
This Week: Tuesday vs. Conard, CCC tournament semifinals, 8 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Lions defeated Conard, Tuesday’s opponent in the CCC tournament semifinals, by nine (52-43) on the road on Feb. 1. This rematch will be held at Enfield High.

3. NOTRE DAME-WH

20-1
492
3
I
Last Week: Def. Hillhouse 79-41 in SCC quarterfinals.
This week: Monday vs. West Haven, SCC tournament semifinals, 6 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Green Knights beat Hillhouse three times this season by an average of 33.3 points per game.

4. NAUGATUCK

21-0
436
4
I
Last Week: Def. Torrington 58-43; def. Torrington 57-37.
This Week: Monday vs. WCA, NVL tournament semifinals, 7:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Greyhounds beat Torrington three times in a 12-day span by an average of 25.3 points per game.

5. WINDSOR

18-3
420
5
I
Last Week: Def. Bloomfield 91-73; def. Manchester 70-54 in CCC first round; def. RHAM- 91-64 in CCC quarterfinals.
This Week: Tuesday vs. Bristol Central, CCC tournament semifinals, 6 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Warriors get another crack at the undefeated Rams after losing 83-67 back on Feb. 10.

6. RIDGEFIELD

19-2
386
6
I
Last Week: Def. Westhill 56-46; def. Stamford 66-53; def. Greenwich 42-21 in FCIAC quarterfinals.
This Week: Tuesday vs. Fairfield Warde, FCIAC tournament semifinals, 7:45 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Tigers pulled away in thee fourth quarter of Saturday;’s FCIAC quarterfinals against Greenwich, which tried to slow down the pace of the game to a crawl.

7. KOLBE CATHEDRAL

19-2
315
7
III
Last Week: Def. Newtown 75-56; def. Masuk 56-35 in SWC quarterfinals.
This Week: Tuesday vs. Stratford, SWC tournament semifinals, 7 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Cougars will try to eliminate Stratford in the SWC tournament semifinals for the second straight seasons after beating the Red Devils 57-52 on the road Feb. 18.

8. FAIRFIELD PREP

19-2
305
8
I
Last Week: Def. Amistad 79-73 (OT); def. Wilbur Cross 76-63 in SCC quarterfinals.
This Week: Monday vs. Hand, SCC tournament semifinals, 7:45 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Max Manjos and Tommy Scholl combined for 47 points to help the Jesuits defeat Wilbur Cross for a third time.

9. HAND

19-3
250
NR
III
Last Week: Def. Morgan 78-59; def. Sheehan 65-43 in SCC first round; def. Amity 79-65 in SCC quarterfinals.
This Week: Monday vs. Fairfield Prep, SCC tournament semifinals, 7:45 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Tigers have finally made their way into the top 10. Two of their losses came against Notre Dame-West Haven.

10. EAST CATHOLIC

16-6
232
9
I
Last Week: Def. South Windsor 95-47; def. Simsbury 44-33 in CCC first round; lost to Northwest Catholic 69-57 in CCC quarterfinals.
This Week: No games.
The Bottom Line: Eagles are off until March 10, where they will face Farmington in the second round of the Division I tournament. Farmington beat East Catholic in double overtime on Feb. 18.