The Canton and Avon High girls basketball team advanced in the state tournament Friday with emotional victories for both teams.
RHAM’s Sarah Veilleux, who has scored over 2,000 points in her high school career, had 26 points but Avon outscored the visiting Sachems by 13 points in the fourth quarter for a satisfying 69-45 victory in the second round of the Class L tournament.
Facing a team that they had lost to earlier this season, Canton had 34 steals defensively and 14 assists on offense in a dominating 55-23 win over East Windsor in the second round of the Class S tournament.
Both teams advance to quarterfinal games on Thursday night. Avon will play the winner of Saturday’s game between No. 13 Northwest Catholic and No. 4 Ledyard (19-2) while Canton will travel to Waterbury to challenge No. 2 seed Sacred Heart (17-4).
Despite Avon’s dominance in the NCCC Tournament, there have been some questions of how the Falcons (23-2) would fare in the tougher Class L state tournament. RHAM was considered a good test with Veilleux, who averaged 34 points a game in the regular season.
Avon led by one after one quarter and extended its lead to seven at halftime, 31-24. Avon added another four points to its lead in the third quarter and blew out RHAM in the fourth quarter. Anna Schrecengost led the Falcons with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists while Michaela Marcus had 16. Olivia Welter and Abby Laszewski each had 13 points to fuel the offense. Marcus had nine steals.
No. 10 Canton (16-7) lost to East Windsor by five points in January. But the Panthers had little hope on Friday night in Canton. The Warriors gave up just eight points in the first half as they raced out to a 27-8 halftime lead.
“It was unbelievable tonight, the kids played so hard,” Canton coach Brian Mediros said. “They played great defense and shared the ball on offense. It was a complete team victory. I couldn’t be any happier for this group.”
Jacquie Grabowski led the Warriors with 14 points, eight rebounds and eight steals. Emily Briggs had nine points, eight steals and three assists. Gabby Rose had eight points, six rebounds and two assists. All-NCCC forward Maggie Treacy had just three points but she contributed with five steals, five rebounds, three assists and three blocks.
It’s Canton’s first trip to the quarterfinals since 2009 – the last time that Canton won at least two games in the Class S tournament. The last time Canton played in the Class S semifinals was in 1999. That season, the Warriors lost to Valley Regional in the Class S championship game.
Canton 55, East Windsor 23
East Windsor (23) M. Carolus 0-0-0, Melissa Wabble 3 1-1 9, Stephanie Rodrigue 0 2-2 2, Sarah Fisher 1-0-2, Brianna Carone 2 2-2 7, D. Sassi 0 1-2 1. Totals 6 8-9 23
Canton (55) Erin Detorie 3-0-7, Lindsay Sugar 0-0-0, Katie Walker 1 1-2 3, Emily Briggs 3 3-7 9, Jacquie Grabowski 5 4-7 14, Alex Martin 4 2-2 11, Maggie Treacy 1 1-2 3, Gabby Rose 4 0-2 8, Natalie Grisevich 0-0-0, Emma Charron 0-0-0, Amanda Gottloeb 0-0-0, Abby Skinner 0-0-0, Leah Eschembrenner 0-0-0, Emily Mitchell 0-0-0, Megan Hall 0-0-0. Totals 21 11-22 55
East Windsor (15-7) 3 5 13 2 — 23
Canton (16-7) 10 17 24 4 — 55
Three-point goals: Detorie (C), Martin (C), Wabble (E) 2, Carlone (E)