Overtime with Kyle Brennan: Nov. 12

Round of Applause

Katie-Jean Hinckley won two different events at Saturday’s Naugatuck Valley League championships at Kennedy High. Hinckley won the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle easily, securing her spot as one of the top swimmers in the league and as an all-NVL swimmer yet again. Hinckley won the 200 free in 2 minutes, 2.99 seconds, more than four seconds faster than the next-closest swimmer. Then, she crushed the field in the 500 free, finishing in 5:23.07, more than 17 seconds faster than anyone else. Hinckley’s performance, along with divers Dayna Chucta (2nd), Kim Thrasher (5th), and Liz Martin (6th) helped the Hawks to another third-place finish at the league meet. Also aiding in Woodland’ s strong finish was Chrissy Leeper, who posted personal-best times in the 100 butterfly (1:07.30, 4th place) and the 200 IM (2:29.80, 5th).
Here’s a state tournament update for the Naugatuck boys’ and girls’ soccer teams, as well as the Woodland volleyball team. The Naugy boys, seeded second in Class LL, blanked No. 31 East Hartford, 2-0, Tuesday in Naugatuck. The Hounds gained an own-goal by East Hartford and scored another thanks to Tiago Martins’ drive from Nolan Kinne in the 77th minute. The Hounds are 16-1-3 overall and will host Ridgefield Thursday at 4:30 p.m. The Naugy girls earned a first-round bye and were then delayed by the weather. The No. 6 Greyhounds will play their first game Thursday in the Class LL second round against No. 11 Staples at 2 p.m. in Naugatuck.
Meanwhile, the Woodland volleyball team also earned a first-round bye as the No. 4 seed in Class M and was set to host No. 13 Tolland Wednesday night. If the Hawks win, they will meet No. 12 Weston a semifinal Friday at Woodland. Check mycitizensnews.com for all the state tournament updates.

Naugatuck senior Marquan Williams tackles Woodland FB-DB Jack Debiase during the Nov. 5 match.

Chorus of Boos

The NVL tiebreaker rules are causing a sticky situation as we try to figure out the champion of the NVL Copper Division in football. On Friday, Woodland beat Naugatuck, 25-6, to move to 5-0 in the division and drop Naugy to 4-1. I was told last week by three athletic directors that the league was changing its tiebreakers, effective immediately, that would make head-to-head the first tiebreaker in case both teams finished 5-1 in the division. That, however, is not the case as I was told Wednesday morning. Instead, the NVL athletic directors made a motion to change the tiebreaker from its current state for football (overall record being the first tiebreaker), but that motion will not go into effect until next season. Therefore, here’s the situation: Woodland has to beat Sacred Heart on Thursday or have Naugatuck lose to Holy Cross on Friday in order to secure a better division record because the Hawks would lose the overall record tiebreaker to Naugatuck. Woodland was, as was the rest of the Valley, under the impression that it won the Copper crown with the dominating win over the Hounds Friday. But the work isn’t done yet. I understand having to abide by the rules of the NVL’s constitution, but this issue never should have been set like this in the first place. The Hawks will take the right mindset—beat Sacred Heart and it doesn’t matter — but it will be a shame if the team that really should be playing for the NVL title ends up losing on a faulty tiebreaker.