WINDSOR LOCKS, Feb. 24 – The Canton High girls basketball team was on the floor for Wednesday night’s consolation game in the NCCC Tournament but their focus was missing. The Warriors committed numerous turnovers and gave up many rebounds to Hartford Classical.
The Gladiators led by as many as eight points late in the second quarter and had a six-point lead at halftime thanks to a three-point goal from Emily Haythorn late in the second quarter.
However, Canton came out with more intensity and focus in the third quarter, using an 11-0 run to begin the second half to take the lead and earn a 70-51 win over Classical. Emily Briggs led all scorers with 29 points while Maggie Treacy added 27 points, including three 3-point field goals.
The Warriors (17-6) won two of three games in the tournament but they were still stinging from Monday’s 55-48 semifinal loss in overtime to Bolton when the game began last night. Bolton led by 10 early against the Warriors, who cut the lead to three at halftime and took the lead in the second half. Canton led by two with under a minute to go but couldn’t close the deal.
“I understand we weren’t excited to play in this game but there are certain things you can’t control,” Canton coach Brian Medeiros said. “What you can control is your effort and your execution. I told the girls (at halftime) if you put in the effort, everything else will take care of itself.”
Canton opened the second half with Briggs hitting a jumper in the lane. She added a foul shot on the next possession and Treacy drained a three-pointer off a crisp assist from Briggs to tie the game at 29. The Warriors took the lead when Treacy put up a loose rebound and 30 seconds later, Treacy hit another three-point shot to complete an 11-0 run that gave Canton a five-point lead, 34-29.
Classical took a one-point lead, 38-37, thanks to a pair of three-point goals but Abbe Skinner put a rebound back up and into the basket to regain the lead for good, 39-38 with 48 seconds left in the third quarter.
Canton outscored Classical 14-3 to secure the contest. Briggs had six points and a block in the run while Treacy had four points.
It was the second straight year that Canton played in the consolation game. A year ago, the Warriors fell to Enfield, 56-54. Briggs was named to the All-Tournament team. Briggs and Treacy were also recognized on the All-NCCC team. They were both among the top five players in voting by the league coaches for the All-Star team.
The Warriors also received their assignment in the upcoming CIAC Class S tournament. Canton is the No. 3 seed and opens the tournament by hosting Wolcott Tech of Torrington on Monday night at 7 p.m. The winner plays in the second round on Friday, March 4.
In the tournament’s championship game, Enfield’s sophomore center Mary Baskerville scored a season-high 27 points to lead Enfield to a 48-41 victory over Bolton and the first NCCC Tournament title in school history. Baskerville’s older sister, Morgan, had seven points while sophomore Cat Fonseca had six points.
It’s the final year for Enfield (23-0) in the NCCC. They’ll be leaving for the Central Connecticut Conference next fall after they merge with Fermi High School. The Raiders were making their first appearance in the final since 2002 when they lost to Avon.
Bolton (20-3) was in the NCCC Tournament championship game for the third consecutive year but the Bulldogs couldn’t contend with Enfield’s quickness or the 6-foot-3 Mary Baskerville. “She’s too much for most teams,” Bolton coach Wayne Hapgood said. “She’s an awesome player and as soon as she learns to play without getting into foul trouble, she’ll really be awesome.”
“The idea was to pound the ball inside,” Enfield coach Jay Gaucher said. “Mary played like a beast tonight.” The Raiders played with guard Danielle Delano, who is averaging 15.6 points a game and leads Enfield with 40 three-point shots. She was on the bench in a walking boot due to a strained Achilles tendon.
Enfield took control from the start. The Raiders ran out to a 9-2 lead with Baskerville scoring seven points and making a block. All three baskets came in the low post, near the basket. But Bolton managed to remain in the game thanks to the stellar play of their All-NCCC guard Jessica Larsh, who led the Bulldogs with 23 points and four 3-point field goals.
Enfield led by 10 with 3:15 left in the second quarter but Bolton had a quick 7-1 run to cut the lead to four, 24-20, thanks to a pair of foul shots and basket from Larsh and a three-pointer from Brooke Daimboise. But the Raiders were able to sink three foul shots for a 27-20 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to three with 2:02 left in the third quarter but Enfield responded with a basket from Baskerville in the lane to push the lead to five. She blocked a Bolton shot and at the other end of the floor, Baskerville took a crisp pass from Fonsera to score and push the lead back to seven, 35-28.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to four, 42-38, with 1:14 remaining and forced an Enfield turnover. But due to Enfield’s quickness, they struggled to get the ball up the floor and turned the ball over before they could get a shot up.
“I’m proud of this team,” Gaucher said. “We won this as a team and we really won it on the defensive end. We had a young group that really worked hard in the offseason.”
Enfield is the No. 2 seed in the Class M tournament that kicks off on Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Raiders host Killingly. Bolton, meanwhile, is the No. 2 seed in the Class S tournament and plays its first game on Monday against O’Brien Tech. Canton and Bolton could meet for a third time in the Class S semifinals if both teams win their first three games.
Enfield 48, Bolton 41
At Windsor Locks
Bolton (41) Julianne Fisher 0-0-0, Jessica Larsh 7-5-23, Sydney Ledoux 0-0-0, Rose Zimmerman 1-2-4, Brooke Damboise 1-0-3, Cailin Whitehead 1-0-2, Megan Shorey 1-2-4, Sydney Marshall 0-0-0, Julia Hinkley 2-0-5. Totals 13-9-41
Enfield (48) Sarah Marino 0-0-0, Taylor Poletts 0-2-2, Erica Lovering 2-1-5, Sam Ferrato 0-0-0, Cat Fonseca 2-2-6, Morgan Baskerville 1-5-7, Delaney Lawler 0-3-3, Kaitlyn Bourque 0-0-0. Mary Baskerville 11-3-27. Totals 16-16-48
Bolton (20-3) 9 11 8 13 – 41
Enfield (23-0) 15 12 8 13 — 48
Three-point goals: Larsh (B) 4, Damboise (B), Hinkley (B)
Canton 70, Hartford Classical 51
At Windsor Locks
Hartford Classical (51) Kylah Langston 8-4-23, Jenna Roman 1-0-3, Holly Weldon 2-0-5, Amanda Boland 0-0-0, Emily Haythorn 3-0-8, Jada Douglas 5-1-12. Totals 19-5-51
Canton (70) Emma Charron 1-0-2, Carly Atkinson 0-1-1, Abbe Skinner 1-2-5, Emily Briggs 11-7-29, Maggie Treacy 8-8-27, Leah Eschenbrenner 0-0-0, Sarah Bowman 0-2-2, Amanda Gottlieb 0-0-0, Belle Magna 0-0-0. Totals 18-22-70
Hartford Classical (14-9) 16 13 8 14 — 51
Canton (17-6) 15 8 16 31 — 70
Three-point goals: Langston (H) 3, Roman (H), Weldon (H), Douglas (H), Haythorn (H) 2, Treacy (C) 3, Skinner (C)
2016 NCCC girls Lg. Overall
x-Enfield 16-0 20-0
Bolton 15-1 18-2
Canton 14-2 15-5
Hartford Classical 11-5 13-7
Suffield 10-6 11-9
East Windsor 9-7 11-9
Windsor Locks 8-8 12-8
Ellington 7-9 8-12
Coventry 7-9 10-10
SMSA 5-11 9-11
Somers 4-12 7-13
Granby 4-12 4-16
Stafford 1-15 4-16
East Granby 1-15 2-18
x-won league championship
2016 NCCC Girls Basketball Tournament
Friday, February 19
Windsor Locks 55, (10) SMSA 39
Coventry 53, (8) Ellington 36
Hartford Classical 49, (5) Suffield 33
Canton 57, (6) East Windsor 44
Enfield 65, (9) Coventry 32
Bolton 39, (7) Windsor Locks 29
(1) Enfield 67, (4) Hartford Classical 30
(2) Bolton 55, (3) Canton 48, OT
Enfield 48, Bolton 41
Canton 70, Hartford Classical 51