Saturday is going to be very busy for two of Connecticut's top basketball teams, as Windsor and Northwest Catholic are both set to play out-of-state opponents as part of the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. Hoophall is a pretty great event that always draws top talent from around the nation (the No. 1 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 and the No. 1 player in the ESPNU 100 will be participating), and it should be fun to see how a couple of CT's best teams stack up.
Let's take a closer look at the marquee matchups.
Hoophall Classic Preview
Windsor (7-1) vs. Springfield Central (7-0)
Saturday, 12 p.m.
at Springfield College
Windsor (7-1) is No. 4 in the POWERADE state rankings, but the team is coming off its first loss of the season after dropping a 63-60 decision to East Catholic on Tuesday, so the Warriors could really use a big win on Saturday. Springfield Central is currently ranked No. 19 in Massachusetts by ESPN Boston, so Windsor can't afford the kind of sloppiness that hurt them against East Catholic. The Warriors need good performances from the sharpshooting duo of senior guards Garey Allen and Jerry Buchanan. Combined, Allen and Buchanan average 32 points per game, and both shoot better than 40 percent from 3-point land. Allen is averaging more than seven assists per game as well. It they can control the perimeter and handle the bulk of the scoring, Windsor should come out on top.
Windsor 68, Springfield Central 62
Northwest Catholic (8-0) vs. DeMatha (16-0)
Saturday, 8 p.m.
at Springfield College
Unlike most of the teams Northwest Catholic has played this season, DeMatha stacks up to the Indians, talent-wise. In fact, DeMatha is almost certainly more talented. Just like Northwest Catholic relies on the 1-2 punch of junior small forward Kuran Iverson and senior shooting guard Zach Lewis, DeMatha rolls out senior forward Jerami Grant (No. 43 in the ESPNU 100) and senior point guard James Robinson (No. 48). The problem for Northwest Catholic is that DeMatha goes even deeper, especially with big men. Iverson is forced to play center defensively most of the time, but DeMatha has legitimate big men who will be happy to hammer away at the undersized Indians. Iverson needs to come through with a man-sized performance on the boards in order to keep Northwest Catholic in this one, and Lewis will need to put the ball in the basket.
DeMatha 74, Northwest Catholic 58
Disagree with these predictions? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and let me hear it.