Connecticut was well-represented in women’s basketball at the recently completed National Senior Games in Cleveland.
Teams were seeded into pools based on 2012 state games performance and placement in the 2011 Nationals Senior Games.
Teams played 2-3 games in pool and, based on record (tiebreaker for seeding: losses, head-to-head, average point differential capped at +13 or -13 per game, coin toss), teams were seeded into “flight” play.
Flights were AAA, AA and A. The AAA flight was composed of the best eight teams. Medals were awarded in each flight. There were 104 women’s teams participating in age brackets from 50-54 to 80-84.
CONNECTICUT HIGH FIVES
Bronze medal, age 70-74, flight AAA
Mary Berlyn, Hamden CT
Sheila McKenna, Attleboro MA
Paula Passarello, North Franklin CT
Phyllis Serafin, Tolland CT
Dency Sargent, Windham CT
Joan Youngs, Tolland CT
coach: Frank Levick, Vernon CT
Gold medal, age 60-64, flight AA
Celeste Chartier, Putnam CT
Debra DiGangi, Charlton MA
Gail DiMaggio, Hartland CT
Linda Plankey, Columbia CT
Nancy Popeleski-Smith, Coventry CT
Nancy Smith-Tefft, Columbia CT – this is Butter, who is the tall blonde senior dancer for the Sun.
coach: John DiGangi, Charlton MA
CONNECTICUT CLASSICS TWO
Gold medal, age 55-59, UNDEFEATED (6-0) in pool and flight AAA
Laurie Bliss, Mystic CT
Lynn Chiavaro, Washingtonville NY
Joanne Fitts, North Kingstown RI
Noreen Miller, Beacon Falls CT
Clare O’Neill, North Attleboro MA
Jody Rajcula, Danbury CT
Chris Terranova, Ramsey NJ
June Walton, Ellington CT
June Walton, who was recently inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame, averaged over 20 PPG for the games. On the way to gold, the Classics defeated the 2011 National Senior games silver medalists, the Smoky Mountain Mamas twice, once in pool play and again in flight. They also defeated the reigning National Senior Games champions, the San Diego Flash, twice – once in flight play and again in the championship game. The score of the final game was 49-28.
Their victories were by an average of 21 points and their narrowest victory was 18 points.