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Celmer helps Canton beat Suffield for 2nd straight NCCC Tournament title – The Collinsville Press
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Girls Basketball

Celmer helps Canton beat Suffield for 2nd straight NCCC Tournament title

The Canton High girls basketball team celebrate with the championship plaque after beating Suffield on Thursday night in the NCCC Tournament final, 46-32. From left to right, Gabbie Schinkel, Allison Celmer, Lauren Eschenbrenner, Abby Charron and Grace Treacy.

CANTON, February 27, 2020 – Playing without their two-time All-State guard Abby Charron, the Canton High girls basketball won the NCCC Tournament for the second straight year Thursday night with a 46-32 win over Suffield.

Senior Allison Celmer had a game-high 20 points, seven rebounds and three steals to lead the Warriors (21-2) while junior Paige Brown added eight points. Freshman Sophia Mates had six points and seven rebounds as Canton captured back-to-back NCCC Tournament titles for the first time.

Charron turned her ankle during practice about 10 days ago and didn’t play a minute in the NCCC Tournament. She is expected to be play in Monday’s Class M tournament opener against Haddam-Killingworth in Canton.

“It’s been a blessing in disguise to have Abby injured,” Canton coach Brian Medeiros said. “It has forced the other kids to step up. Allison is prime example of that as was a Paige (Brown), as was a Gabby (Schinkel), as was a Grace (Treacy). Everyone who played had to step up and make plays for us not only offensively but defensively.”

Canton led by five points at halftime, 21-16 but limited Suffield to just two field goals in the third quarter and expanded their lead to 13 points after three quarters.

Canton senior Allison Celmer (22) was named the most valuable player of the NCCC Tournament. She scored 16, 18 and 20 points in the three games.

Celmer had an outstanding tournament. She averaged 18 points in the tournament and had a team-high 16 rebounds in a quarterfinal win over Coventry. She had 18 points and five steals in the semifinal win over Windsor Locks.

“Allison has been huge,” Medeiros said. “She stepped up the entire tournament without Abby (on the floor). In each game, her scoring went up, her production has gone up.”

“It’s been amazing,” Celmer said. “I finally got into my groove and I am feeling the excitement of the (postseason). This was an awesome game to play in.”

Celmer had seven points in the first quarter as the Warriors raced out to early leads of 12-1 and 14-4.

“We’ve all had to step up and take on some ball handing and we’ve been working on that in practice,” she said. “I am in a new role where I try to bring the ball up more, score a little more and make some different moves (to the basket).”

Brown averaged 10 points a game in the tournament with 11 points each in wins over Coventry and Windsor Locks.

Grace Treacy had just two points but got the job done defensively with seven rebounds, three blocks and two assists. Lauren Eschenbrenner didn’t hit any shots from the floor on this evening but had three steals.

Canton’s Claudia Boehm drives through two defenders in Thursday night’s NCCC Tournament title game in Canton. The Warriors won, 46-32.

A three-point shot from Suffield’s Jordan Dion cut the lead to five points with 2:07 left in the first period. The Wildcats (16-8) cut the lead to four points when Ava Mills (8 points) hit a long two-point shot with 4:31 left in the first half. The Wildcats didn’t sink another field goal in the second quarter.

Suffield made a run early in the third quarter, cutting the lead to two points, 23-21, on a three-point shot from Paige Anderson, who had a team-leading 17 points

But Celmer made a nice shot in the lane to push the lead to four points. Two minutes later after Brown drove to the basket for a layup, Celmer took a pretty pass from Treacy and drove to the basket to increase the lead to eight points, 29-21. A few minutes later, Celmer stole the ball in the backcourt and drove in for another two points.

The Warriors used a 12-0 run to take over the game and led 35-22 after three quarters.

NOTES: Treacy, Brown and Celmer were named to the All-Tournament team. … It was Canton’s fourth NCCC Tournament championship. The Warriors also won in 1997 and 1994. … Suffield was looking for their first tournament title since winning in 2017. … In last year’s title game, Canton beat SMSA, 62-42. … Before the game, 20 girls were honored with All-NCCC honors. The list is below.

Canton 46, Suffield 32
At Canton
Suffield (32) Paige Anderson 6-3-17, Maddie Dunnigan 0-0-0, Ava Mills 4-0-8, Hallie Marloux 0-1-1, Carly Matthews 1-1-3, Jordan Dion 1-0-3, Taylor Webber 0-0-0, Cassie Bosio 0-0-0. Totals 12 5-32
Canton (46) Allison Celmer 9-2-20, Grace Treacy 1-0-2, Lauren Eschenbrenner 0-2-2, Gabbie Schinkel 2-0-4, Paige Brown 3-2-8, Claudia Boehm 1-0-2, Jenna Cuniowski 1-0-2, Sophia Mates 2-2-6. Totals 19-8-46
Suffield (16-8)                       9  7    6  10  — 32
Canton (21-2)                      15  6  14  11  — 46
Three-point goals: Anderson (S) 2, Dion (S)

Rebecca Foster (Windsor Locks), Lauren Keel (East Windsor), Paige Anderson (Suffield), Jordan Dion (Suffield), Paige Brown (Canton), Grace Treacy (Canton). Tournament MVP: Allison Celmer (Canton)

2020 NCCC Girls Basketball Tournament
Wednesday, February 19
First round
(8) Coventry 49, (9) Stafford 24
(7) East Windsor 42, (10) Somers 24
(6) Ellington 50, (11) East Granby 42

Friday, February 20
(1) Canton 52, Coventry 40
(2) Suffield 49, East Windsor 44
(3) Granby 49, Ellington 40
(4) Windsor Locks 46, (5) SMSA 36

Tuesday, February 25
Canton 51, Windsor Locks 46
Suffield 47, Granby 30

Thursday, February 27
Canton 46, Suffield 32

Canton – Allison Celmer, Abby Charron, Lauren Eschenbrenner, Grace Treacy
Coventry – Charlotte Jordan
East Granby – Emma Griffin
East Windsor – Lauren Keel, Alyssa Saponare
Ellington – Sam Curtis, Lindsey Laughlan
Granby – Elsie Phillips, Samantha St. Pierre
SMSA – Kalissa Jameson, Rebecca Meyer
Stafford – Jaelyn Moulton
Suffield – Paige Anderson, Ava Mills
Windsor Locks – Rebecca Foster, Tristin Oberg, Alana Picard

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

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