CANTON – Canton High girls basketball coach Michael Jessie didn’t want to dwell on the disappointment of a one-point loss to Wamogo-Litchfield that denied the Warriors their first victory of the season last week.
But he did use the lessons learned from that defeat for some spirited practices in the days after the game. Those lessons paid off as Canton earned their first victory of the season with a 57-49 win over Sport Medicine Science Academy (SMSA) in Hartford on Tuesday night.
“We worked well on a lot of things we didn’t do well the other night (vs. Wamogo),” Jessie said. “Today, we executed a lot of things we worked on practice and did a good job.”
Not only did Canton snap a 13-game losing streak that dated back to last season but its 57 points was the highest scoring performance since tallying 64 points nearly two years ago in a Class S tournament game.
Canton scored 21 points in the first quarter and chipped in another 20 points in the second quarter for a 41-30 lead at halftime over the Tigers.
“We were patient,” Jessie said. “We were making some really good passes. When we are patient, making good passes and looking up the floor instead of back, good things tend to happen. We were pivoting and looking for the open man. And when you pivot, you see kids under the basket and we were getting some wide open layups.”
Canton (1-6, 1-5 NCCC) had 20 field goals in the first half. Senior Amana Curvino had eight of her team-high 14 points in the first half while sophomore Gabby Rose had 11 of her 13 points in the first half. Lindsay Sugar scored all six of her points in the first half.
“We’re still learning. We’re still a young team,” Jessie said. Point guard Kat Winsor and Curvino are the only seniors on the Warriors, who saw Rose and freshman Maggie Treacy get significant minutes.
Canton led by as many as 12 points in the second half but SMSA continued to peck away at the lead. The Tigers were able to disrupt the Canton offense which managed just five points in the third quarter. But SMSA couldn’t cut into the lead.
The Tigers cut the Canton lead to two points three times in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get the key basket to tie or take the lead.
The Tigers trimmed the lead to two early in the fourth quarter but on the next trip down the floor, Canton’s Eric Detorie grabbed a loose rebound in the lane and scored to push the Warrior lead to four.
After SMSA cut the lead to two with 6:03 remaining, it was Detorie with a key steal that ignited a fast break. Curvino was fouled on the play and sank two free throws to extend the lead to four.
With 3:24 left, the Tigers sank a foul shot to trim the lead to two again, 51-49. On its next possession, Curvino was fouled going to the basket and sank another two free throws for a four-point lead. SMSA didn’t score another point.
Canton was able to control the ball by passing it around the perimeter with some good success. The only downside was that the Warriors struggled to sink field goals in the fourth quarter.
Canton’s final and only field goal in the final stanza came on Detroie’s basket with 6:41 left in the game. But the Canton defense was up to the task and the Warriors pulled down some key rebounds and reduced their turnovers to secure the victory.
“Things are moving in the right direction,” Jessie said. “We need to begin learning how to win and put things together.”
In the game the week before against Wamogo, the Warriors missed numerous layups and free throws. Canton shot only 9-of-18 from the charity stripe. Curvino was the only player in double figures with 10 points.
Canton 57, SMSA 49
Canton (57): Erin Detorie 2-1-5, Kat Winsor 1-2-4, Lindsay Sugar 3-0-6, Jacquie Grabowski 1-1-3, Amanda Curvino 4-6-14, Alex Martin 2-0-4, Maggie Treacy 2-2-6, Gabby Rose 6-1-13, Holly Whylock 1-0-2. Totals 22-13-57
SMSA (49): Michele Vela 2-0-5, Johyna Riley 4-0-9, Javi Gonzalez 0-1-1, Ali Mosdale 2-3-7, Tayler Fasciare 4-3-13, Jocelyn Moulton 1-0-2, Kyra Starks 2-1-5, Brianna Pintavalle 3-0-7. Totals 14-9-49
Canton 21 20 5 11 – 57
SMSA 16 14 12 7 – -49
Three-point goals: Vela (S), Riley (S), Fasicone (S), Pintavalle (S)
Wamogo 30, Canton 29
Canton (29): Detorie 1-2-4, Winsor 3-0-6, Sugar 0-0-0, Grabowski 1-0-3, Curvino 2-4-10, Martin 0-1-1, Treacy 0-1-1, Rose 2-0-4. Totals 8-9-29
Wamogo (30): Binkowski 1-1-3, Labonnie 1-1-3, Lopardo 4-6-14, Nichols 4-0-8, Neller 0-2-2, Kandefer 0-0-0. Totals 10-10-30
Canton 8 4 6 11 – 29
Wamogo 4 9 7 10 – 30
Three-point goals: Curvino (C) 2, Grabowski (C)
Games begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise listed
15: at Coventry, 18: at Somers; 22: ENFIELD; 24: at Granby; 25: at Gilbert; 29: at Windsor Locks
1: at East Windsor; 2: NORTHWESTERN, 1 p.m.; 5: COVENTRY; 6: WAMOGO, 5:30 p.m.; 8: EAST GRANBY; 12: WINDSOR LOCKS