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With fourth straight victory, Canton moves within one victory of NCCC pennant

Canton senior guard Belle Magna had a game-high 12 points as the Warriors won their fourth straight game Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

WINDSOR LOCKS, January 30 – Senior Belle Magna had 12 points while Lauren Puglielli added 10 points as the Canton High girls basketball team moved within one game of winning the North Central Connecticut Conference championship with a 58-37 win over Windsor Locks on Tuesday night.

The two-time defending Class S champions need one more victory to claim their first title since sharing the pennant with Avon in 2015. Canton (13-3, 13-0 NCCC) has won four straight games since dropping a pair of contests to Conard-West Hartford and No. 4 Notre Dame-Fairfield.

On Friday night, Canton used a balanced effort in a 59-29 victory over outmatched Hartford Classical. Two days before that, the Warriors gave up just four points in the fourth quarter in a 42-36 victory over East Windsor. “With each win, we inch closer to the conference title,” Canton head coach Brian Medeiros said.

Windsor Locks cut the Canton lead to two points early in the second quarter, 14-12. But the Warriors went on a 14-1 run to grab control of the contest. Puglielli had five points in the run including a three-point shot. Charron and Maggie First each had three-point shots in the run for the Warriors.

Canton drained seven 3-point shots in the game.

Canton’s Paige Brown (33) had nine points in Friday’s win over Hartford Classical (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Against Classical, the Warriors overwhelmed the hosts from the beginning, racing out to a 22-7 lead after one quarter and never looking back. Charron had 14 points to lead Canton while Paige Brown added nine points. Lauren Eschenbrenner and Lauren Puglielli chipped in with seven points each.

“This was a nice team victory,” Medeiros said. “It was a great opportunity to get everyone some in-game action. I’m really happy how this team responded this week after back-to-back losses to Conard and Notre Dame-Fairfield.”

The win over East Windsor was more challenging. “It was a tale of two halves,” Medeiros said. “We did a great job of controlling the style and the pace early on as we built a 28-13 lead. (East Windsor’s) Lauren Keel’s three-point shot at the buzzer cut the lead (at halftime) to 28-16.”

Canton’s Morgan Walzak sank a pair of three-point goals as the Warriors beat Windsor Locks on Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

The visiting Panthers outplayed Canton for the next quarter behind the strong play of Lauren Keel (15 points) and Loren D’Agostino (14 points).

But trailing by one with less than four minutes to go, Magna hit a mid-range jumper to give the Warriors the lead for good, 37-36. Canton ended the game with a 7-0 run.

“I was very happy and impressed with how the girls responded to the adversity they we’re dealt with,” Medeiros said regarding the win over East Windsor. “Credit to them for making plays and getting stops to end the game.”

Magna led Canton with 12 points while Charron had eight points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Allie DelSanto had six points including a pair of three-point shots in Canton’s recent win over East Windsor. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Canton 58, Windsor Locks 37
At Windsor Locks
Canton (58) Belle Magna 5 2 12, Lauren Puglielli 4 0 10, Allison Celmer 1 0 2, Grace Treacy 3 0 8, Lauren Eschenbrenner 3 1 7, Morgan Walzak 2 0 6, Gabrielle Schinkel 1 0 2, Maggy First 1 1 3, Abby Charron 4 0 9, Courtney Lefave 0-0-0, Paige Brown 0-0-0, Allie DelSanto 0-0-0 Totals 24 2 58
Windsor Locks (37) Hannah Farr 2 2 6, Rebecca Foster 6 1 13, Addy Pelletier 2 1 7, Megan Quinn 2 0 4, Sofie Oliviera 1 0 2, Jordyn Carey 2 1 5, Abigail Farr 0 0 0. Totals 15 5 37
Canton (13-3)                     14  14  19  11  — 58
Windsor Locks (7-8)        10    6  12    9 – 37
Three-point goals: Puglielli (Ca) 2, Treacy (Ca) 2, Walzak (Ca) 2, Charron (Ca), Foster (WL), Pelletier (WL) 2

Canton 59, Hartford Classical 29
At Hartford
Canton (59) Abby Charron 6 0-0 14, Belle Magna 2 0-2 4, Lauren Puglielli 3 0-0 7, Allison Celmer 2 0-0 4, Grace Treacy 2 0-0 5, Lauren Eschenbrenner 2 1-2 7, Paige Brown 4 1-1 9, Gabble Schinkel 0-0-0, Morgan Walzak 1 0-0 3, Maggie First 0 2-2 2, Allie Delsanto 0-0-0, Maeve Balavender 1-0-2, Courtney Lefave 1-0-2. Totals 24 4-7 59
Hartford Classical (29) T. Soto 3 8-10 15, A. Oller 3 0-0 6, S. Jones 0 3-4 3, A. Wells 1 3-4 5, R. Clarke 0-0-0, J. Plaismond 0-0-0. Totals 7 14-18 29
Canton (12-3)        22  13  14  10  — 59
Classical (1-11)         7  11    9    2  — 29
Three-point goals:  Charron (Ca) 2, Puglielli (Ca), Treacy (Ca), Eschenbrenner (Ca) 2, Walzak (Ca), Soto (HC)

Canton 42, East Windsor 36
At Canton
Canton (42) Abby Charron 1 6-7 8, Belle Magna 4 2-2 12, Lauren Puglielli 0-0-0, Allison Celmer 2 0-1 4, Grace Treacy 1 0-0 3, Lauren Eschenbrenner 2 0-0 5, Paige Brown 0-0-0, Gabble Schinkel 0-0-0, Morgan Walzak 0-0-0, Maggie First 1 2-2 4, Allie Delsanto 2 0-0 6, Maeve Balavender 0-0-0, Courtney Lefave 0-0-0. Totals 13 10-12 42
East Windsor (36) A. Saponare 3 0-0 7, J. Saponare 0 0-1 0, L. Keel 5 4-4 15, L. D’Agostino 4 6-8 14, H. Godek 0-0-0. Totals 12 10-13 36
East Windsor (10-5)         9    7  16  4  — 36
Canton (11-3)                    11  17    7  7  — 42
Three-point goals: Magna (Ca) 2, Treacy (Ca), Eschenbrenner (Ca), DelSanto (Ca) 2

NCCC standings

Team NCCC Overall
Canton 13-0 13-3
Somers 10-3 13-3
East Windsor 10-3 12-5
Bolton 11-3 11-5
Granby 8-4 10-5

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. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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