Branford’s 8th Grade Boys Travel Basketball Team won the 69th edition of the Frank J. Kinney, Sr. Boys Invitational Basketball Tournament at the newly renovated Joe Trapasso Gymnasium by besting Madison by a score of 48-35.
It is the second title in three years for the young Hornets as their run to the championship was inspired by teammate Ben Callahan’s celebration of life BC2 tiles that adorn the entrance to the gymnasium.
Jake Palluzzi, Cooper Callahan, and Nate Florio combined for 32 points, scoring 13, 10, and 9 points, respectively. Eric Zielinski scored 6 and added double digits on the boards. BJ Holmes chipped in with 4 and both Dom Basti and Jeter DeCusati each had a trey to round out the scoring for Branford. Madison led 6-3 after the 1st quarter and the Hornets took the lead at halftime 17-15 and never looked back. Branford increased their lead after 3, to 32-23 on stellar team defense and great ball movement on their run to the championship. Madison was led by a game high of 21 points by Kyle Hoffman. Owen Preskar chipped in with 8 for the Tigers.
Branford’s Championship players also contributing in the win were Gavin Groves, Giuseppe Piscitelli, Quinn Burton, and Ben Callahan (posthumously), along with coaches, John Groves & Joe “Pops Esposito.