For the first time since 2019, the high school basketball state championships returned to Mohegan Sun Arena.
A bi-product of the global pandemic, the East Catholic Eagles had a chance to defend the state title they won three years ago and have held since.
They defeated Notre Dame-West Haven 50-49 for the Div. I title.
“We never stopped believing in ourselves,” said junior James Jones. “We knew this was part of the plan. We've been working for this all year.”
The only other boys game of the day was Division IV, which featured Granby and Bloomfield. The Warhawks topped the Bears to win their first state title since 2008.
“Me losing in football left a nasty taste in my mouth so I had to get in a different sport,” said Bloomfield senior Dallas Rose. “It feels good to do it with my boys.”
Three games on the girls side brought a history-making title and a perfect season.
In Class LL, the largest schools, East Hartford defeated Wilton to win the program’s first state championship. It was a perfect sendoff to the Seton Hall-bound Shailyn Pinkney.
“I've been dreaming about this my whole four years of high school and my dream came true,” said Pinkney.
In Class MM, Sacred Heart Academy held off a last-second effort from St. Joseph to win their first title since 1993.
And finally, the girls of Holy Cross capped a perfect 24-0 season with the Class M title.
To see highlights from Saturday's games, click here.