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Monroe Park and Rec. boys basketball team captures Hoop Fest Championship

Monroe's championship basketball team includes, standing from left, JD Swezey, Brian Hourigan, Matt Boyle, Elijah Braziel, Trent Dellacato, Nathan Brito, Owen Batch and Coach Wittenberger. Kneeling, from left, Nate O’Hara, Anthony Palma and Bryson Smith.

MONROE, CT — Monroe Parks and Recreation’s eighth grade boys travel basketball team capped off the end of their season by winning the 2024 Connecticut Hoop Fest Tournament, nipping the Fairfield Basketball Association 34-33 in the title game on Sunday, March 10.

Monroe entered the game with only 15 minutes rest after beating Trumbull Travel 45-28 in the semifinals.

Earlier in the tournament, Monroe won its game against Hamden Regional 33-23 in the quarterfinals on Saturday, March 9, to make it to the semifinals.

The team is coached by Jed Wittenberger, who developed his players since November, while competing in the Fairfield County Basketball League (FCBL), the Milford Knights Basketball League (MKBL) and the Hoop Fest Tourney.

Elijah Braziel tries to get the inbound pass to Nate O’Hara in the Hoop Fest Championship game against Fairfield.

Aside from the Hoop Fest Tournament, Monroe made it to the final of the FCBL league, beating the Redding-Easton Travel Basketball Team 50-36 to capture the championship on Saturday night, March 9.

“We are so proud of how these young men played throughout the season and represented the town and department with excellent play, team work and sportsmanship,” said Monroe Parks and Recreation Director Missy Orosz.

“For being able to offer this opportunity as a first year program with the unknown of how our group would fit in and then winning three championships says a great deal about how this team was led by Coach Jed,” Orosz added.

She praised the players and their families for their commitment to the program.

“While they only had one year together, their basketball careers are only at the beginning as they will all head off to high school and play,” Orosz said. “The success they had will help develop our Monroe Parks and Recreation Travel Program for seasons to come.”

The team includes JD Swezey, Brian Hourigan, Matt Boyle, Elijah Braziel, Trent Dellacato, Nathan Brito, Owen Batch, Nate O’Hara, Anthony Palma and Bryson Smith, and Coach Wittenberger.

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