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Canton holds off upset bid from Rockville to win third straight game

Canton senior Belle Magna drives to the basket for two of her career-high 19 points in Wednesday night’s win over Rockville. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

VERNON, Dec. 20 – Canton senior Belle Magna scored a career-high 19 points including two 3-point shots as the two-time defending Class S champion Warriors outlasted Rockville, 46-42 in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The Rams joined the North Central Connecticut Conference in September.

Canton, playing without injured starters Sarah Bowman and Abby Charron, sank nine free throws in the fourth quarter to improve to 3-0 on the season and in the league.

Canton received a pair of three-point shots from Lauren Eschenbrenner in the third quarter to help build a seven-point lead, 33-26. But the Rams (2-2, 2-1 NCCC) came right back with a 9-2 run that was capped off by Madelyn Daitch’s basket with 47 seconds left in the period to tie the game at 35-35 after three periods.

Canton’s Paige Brown drives through the lane in Wednesday night’s win at Rockville. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

But Canton hit their foul shots in the fourth quarter. Magna sank two foul shots with 6:07 remaining to give the Warriors a three-point lead, 38-35. Rockville cut the lead to one, 38-37, on a basket from Lindsey Mantmany but that was as close as the Rams could get.

Eschenbrenner scored with 3:28 left to extend the lead to three, 40-37. Magna and Allison Celmer each hit a pair of free throws to expand the lead to seven with 2:11 remaining.

Eschenbrenner scored eight points for Canton while Lauren Puglielli and Gabrielle Schinkel each added five points. Montminy led Rockville with 14 points. Magna’s previous career-high performance was 15 points against Windham in last year’s Class S tournament.

Celmer led the way on the boards for Canton with 12 rebounds. Brown and Grace Treacy had seven rebounds each.

“This was our first true test of the season as Rockville came to play and we got off to a sluggish start,” Canton High coach Brian Medeiros said. “Gabbie Schinkel and Lauren Puglielli provided an offensive spark early, combining for 10 points to keep us in the game. Belle Magna and Lauren Eschenbrenner combined for 19 second half points to lead us to the victory.

 

“We were outworked for large portions of the game,” Medeiros said. “But to the girls credit, they made big plays on both sides of the ball during crunch time. It was very encouraging to get a win on the road, especially considering how we struggled as much as we did tonight.”

 

Canton returns to action on Friday when they host Granby (3-0, 2-0 NCCC) at 7 p.m. at the high school.

Canton’s Allison Celmer brings the ball up the sideline in Wednesday’s win over Rockville. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Canton 46, Rockville 42
At Vernon
Canton (46) Belle Magna 5-7-19, Lauren Eschenbrenner 3-0-8, Lauren Puglielli 2-0-5, Gabrielle Schinkel 1-3-5, Allison Celmer 1-2-4, Paige Brown 2-0-4, Margaret First 1-0-2, Grace Treacy 0-1-1, Morgan Walzak 0-0-0, Allie Delsanto 0-0-0, Maeve Balavender 0-0-0. Totals 14-12-46
Rockville (42) Lindsey Montminy 5-4-14, Emily Collins 4-1-9, Chloe Scheff 2-4-8, Aailya Felix 3-0-7, Madelyn Daitch 2-0-4, Alexandra Silver 0-0-0. Totals 16-9-42
Canton (3-0)             12  12  11  11 — 46
Rockville (2-2)          12  10  13    7 – 42
Three-point goals: Magna (C) 2, Eschenbrenner (C) 2, Puglielli (C), Felix (R)

Bill Brewster contributed to this story.

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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