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One more game as Medeiros coaches Briggs, Skinner in All-Star game victory

Canton High coach Brian Medeiros, center, had one more chance to coach seniors Abbe Skinner, left, and Emily Briggs, right at the recent CHSCA All-Star Festival.

CANTON – What a whirlwind week it was for the Canton High girls basketball team that captured an unprecedented second straight Class S championship on Saturday, March 18 at the Mohegan Sun Arena with another victory over championship rival Thomaston.

Canton, which had won just two state championships in basketball – both by the boys team – since they began playing scholastic basketball in 1920, won their second straight girls crown with a dominant victory over Thomaston.

Head coach Brian Medeiros got one last opportunity to coach All-State forward Emily Briggs and fellow senior Abbe Skinner at the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) Senior All-Star Game.

Medeiros wasn’t originally scheduled to coach in the Class M/S game but was asked Sunday night when Thomaston coach Bob McMahon had to bow out. Medeiros was happy to help out the West team. Briggs had a team-high 15 points while Skinner scored two.

Medeiros and Seymour Head coach Brian Cleveland started four players from Thomaston (Casey Casangelo and Julia Quinn) and Canton (Briggs, Skinner) in the starting lineup. Quinn was named the MVP for the West squad, which beat the East squad, 79-77.

Briggs, who finished with 1,765 career points, which is second in school history behind Natasha Progna, who scored 1,802 from 1996-99.

Briggs also played in the Greater Hartford Pro-Am League’s All-Star Interstate Challenge contest on Friday at Trinity College coached by New London’s Holly Miston on the girls I-84 squad against the I-91 team.

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Canton (23-4) finished No. 12 in the final New Haven Register’s sportwriters girls basketball poll of the season. It is believed to be the highest finish for the Warriors in the poll.

It is the third straight year that Canton has been mentioned in the final poll of the season. A year ago, Canton finished No. 14 after beating Thomaston for their first-ever state championship. In 2015, the Warriors were ranked No. 16 in the final poll of the season after dropping a two-point decision to Thomaston in the Class S championship game.

Canton did receive votes several times this season but never broke into the top 10. Stamford finished at No. 11 with 168 votes with Canton pulling in 146 votes at No. 12. Career High out of New Haven was No. 13 with 115 votes. New London was voted the No. 1 team in the state.

Following the 1999 season, Canton was ranked No. 15 in the final Connecticut Starters’ statewide poll after losing to Valley Regional in the Class S final. After the 1998 campaign, Canton was ranked No. 14 in the final Hartford Courant and Connecticut Starters’ poll. In 1998, Canton was ranked as high as No. 8 in the Starters’ poll during the season. In 1998, the Warriors lost to St. Paul-Bristol in the Class S semifinals after going 20-0 in the regular season.

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Canton senior Ethan Burke (23) represented Canton at the 42nd annual CHSCA boys basketball All-Star Festival.

Canton senior Ethan Burke had eight points in the 42nd annual CHSCA boys basketball All-Star Festival at Maloney High. Burke and Lewis Mills senior Trevor Baker played in the Class M/S game for team Charter Oak.

Baker had 10 points for team Charter Oak, which beat Team Constitution, 88-85. Weston’s Hamilton Forsythe had a team-high 16 points for Constitution with SMSA’s Jon Hernandez adding 15, including a pair of three point goals.

Westbrook’s Cory Muckle had a game-high 22 points, including four 3-point goals to lead Charter Oak while Marquis Hawkins of Aerospace added 19 points, including four 3-point shots of his own.

Proceeds benefit the CHSCA and the charities that the organization supports.

It was the second straight year that a Canton player participated in the game. Cameron Lange played in 2016 for the Warriors.

2017 New Haven Register’s boys basketball final poll of year

2017 New Haven Register’s girls basketball final poll of the year

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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