Ex-Northwest Catholic hoop standout Matty Curtis prepping at Avon Old Farms, preparing for next level

It’s been a little more than five months since we saw Matty Curtis play his final boys basketball game for Northwest Catholic High: playing for a state championship at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

It’s every kid’s dream to get that opportunity. No one had the previous two seasons due to COVID, so for the seniors, there was one last opportunity.

It didn't end up the way Curtis wanted it — Northwest Catholic lost to Bristol Central in a battle of the top two teams in the GameTimeCT Top 10 poll — but it was still a great season and a great career for Curtis, a two-time GameTimeCT all-state selection.

He finished with 1,911 career points, and now stands as Northwest Catholic’s all-time leading scorer. Imagine how many points Curtis would have scored if there was a state tournament to play in in either his sophomore or junior seasons.

"Getting Coach's (Northwest Catholic coach John Mirabello) 600th win and breaking the school record, that was an unreal day," Curtis said. "It (not winning a state championship) still stings a bit. I wish we had won the championship, but I had a great time at Northwest and made so many friends there. It was a success for sure."

Curtis had verbally committed to play basketball at Fairfield University, but felt he needed a post-graduate year to fine-tune his game. He is currently at Avon Old Farms.

"I really liked the coach (Matt Mihalich). The school was a good fit for me, it was close to home (Ellington) and a really good school academically to prepare me for next year," Curtis said.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Curtis averaged 23.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3 steals per game as a senior. The banner day of his season came on Feb. 19 when he scored 38 points against previously-undefeated Notre Dame-West Haven, which was as good a defensive unit as there was statewide.

“I thought one way we could be beat is you need to have a player who can really make shots,” Notre Dame coach Jason Shea said following that game. “I’ve watched a lot of film on them and that’s as well as he has played all year. I give him all the credit in the world. He made a lot of tough plays, a lot of tough baskets. There are not too many kids able to do that consistently against us.”

That was Curtis' final regular-season home game. Northwest Catholic only lost three games — two to Bristol Central.

"He obviously had a great four-year run at Northwest Catholic. He was able to have a successful tenure there," Mihalich said.

Curtis has always been a streaky shooter. His hope is a prep school year will help develop more of a consistency on his 3-point shooting.

"As of right now, I'm kind of a streaky 3-pint shooter. I can make six, then miss six. I want to still make six, but not miss so many in a row," Curtis said. "If I miss two, I want to make sure I make the next one and not take a bad shot."

A big part of what Mihalich wants to work with Curtis on is being able be more than a shooter. He also wants Curtis to be one of the team's primary ball handlers.

Mihalich said the sport is moving more toward players not being defined by one position, but instead the ability to play several positions on the floor.

"His natural position is scoring guard, but being able to play on the wing and as the primary ball handler will be a good addition to his development to be able to play multiple positions," Mihalich said. "Not just Matt Curtis, but everybody on the team, I want them to be more comfortable playing anywhere on the floor The more positions you play, the more opportunities and more minutes you have on the floor."

Mihalich feels Fairfield will be "such a great spot for (Curtis). The MAAC is an incredible league." He also feels Curtis will be "able to blend in seamlessly with whoever is on the roster."

Curtis is looking forward to playing in the MAAC and is quick to note St. Peter's run to the Elite Eight last March. Curtis will likely be signing a national letter of intent in November.

"I have the best relationship with the coaching staff. They came to see all of my AAU games," Curtis said about Fairfield. "It's a good academic school, the coaches are really cool and it's pretty close to home, so my parents can get to see me play."

The post-grad season will prepare Curtis even more for a successful collegiate career for the Stags.

"A lot of people come and do a prep year to get stronger, get faster and get a little bit more academically prepared for being off in college," Mihalich said. "The timing of those two things worked out for him and for us really."

joseph.morelli@hearstmediact.com; @nhrJoeMorelli