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Despite a great effort, Suffield beats Canton to earn spot in NCCC title game – The Collinsville Press
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Girls Basketball

Despite a great effort, Suffield beats Canton to earn spot in NCCC title game

Canton’s Sophia Mates (17) had a game-high 17 points in Wednesday’s NCCC Tournament loss to Suffield.

SUFFIELD, March 24, 2021 – They may have lost by 11 points but the final score doesn’t always reflect the ballgame.

Twice this season, the Canton High girls basketball team played Suffield. They lost one game by 20 points and a second game by 21 points. In both contests, Suffield had a significant lead at halftime.

On Wednesday night, Suffield earned their first berth in the NCCC Tournament championship game since 2017 with a 55-44 win over Canton, a team that has played in the last three tournament championship games.

This time, the Wildcat had to win the game in the fourth quarter. Suffield sank 14 of 19 free throws in the final quarter to beat the Warriors and earn a spot in Friday’s championship game. The Wildcats (13-1) will face Windsor Locks in the final.

The Warriors were up by four after one quarter, 12-7, and had a two-point lead at the half, 25-23. Canton’s lead was as high as five points in the third quarter, 32-27. But the Wildcats were too strong with a team-high 15 points from Carly Mailoux and 14 points from Ava Mills.

“The girls should be very proud of how they played,” Canton High coach Brian Medeiros said. “I thought the girls did everything we asked of them except get the victory tonight. I feel terrible that we couldn’t get this group one more game.

“We didn’t get the outcome that we hoped for, but the girls played maybe their best game of the season,” he said.

Sophia Mates had a game-high 17 points while Jenna Cuniowski had 13. Paige Brown added eight.

Defensive pressure helped Canton take a 12-7 lead after one quarter. “The defense brought great energy and we limited them to one shot per possession and forced multiple turnovers. In the second quarter we continued that offensive balance as four different players found the scoring column,” Medeiros said.

Canton led by five, 32-27, in the third quarter but Suffield went on a 6-0 run to take a one-point lead and extended it when the Wildcats were able to get a steal, a layup and a foul shot to extend the lead to three, 36-33.

Cuniowski and Mates combined to score all 11 of Canton’s points in the fourth quarter but Suffield did a great job hitting their foul shots to keep the Warriors at bay. Canton cut the lead to four, 46-40, but the Wildcats didn’t miss much on the free throw line and that is as close as they would get.

“This team was an absolute pleasure to coach and I couldn’t be more thankful and appreciative that I was able to be around these 13 student athletes over the last two months.” Medeiros said. “It goes without saying that we will greatly miss our four seniors who did a tremendous job of leading during this very unique season (Allison Bronson, Camille Kashnig, Paige Brown and Sophia Stamos).”

Suffield 55, Canton 44
At Suffield
Canton (44) Sophia Mates 8 1-3 17, Jenna Cuniowski 6 1-1 13, Paige Brown 2 3-4 8, Avery Brown 1 1-2 3, Camille Kashnig 1 0-2 2, Sam Yanke 0 1-3 1, Allison Bronson 0-0-0, Sophia Stamos 0-0-0, Ashleyn Cebollero 0-0-0, Gaba DelSanto 0-0-0, Avery Miller 0-0-0, Hayley Keen 0-0-0, Alexia Moore 0-0-0. Totals Totals: 18 7-15 44
Suffield (55) Carly Mailloux 4 7-11 15, Ava Mills 4 6-8 14, Jordan Dion 4 2-3 13, Taylor Webber 2 1-3 5, Emma Sheldon 1 2-2 4, Ava Toomey 1-0-2, Totals: 17 18-27 55
Canton (9-5)                12  13  12  11 — 44
Suffield (13-1)                7  16  13  19 – 55
Three-point goals: P. Brown (Ca), Dion (S) 3

2021 NCCC Girls Basketball Tournament
Monday, March 22

Quarterfinals
Granby 41, Bolton 25
Windsor Locks 37, Ellington 33
Canton 51, Coventry 46
Suffield 49, Somers 38

Wednesday, March 24
Suffield 55, Canton 44
Windsor Locks 38, Granby 23
Consolation bracket
Somers 45, Ellington 43
Bolton vs. Coventry

Friday, March 26
Championship – Windsor Locks at Suffield

Pool B
Monday, March 22
Stafford 50, HMTCA 17
Stafford 58, East Granby 38
NOTE: Rockville is not participating due to COVID

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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