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East Hartford, Sacred Heart Academy win first state titles

The East Hartford girls basketball team won their first state title Sunday with a dominating win over Wilton. (Photo courtesy CIAC)

UNCASVILLE, March 20, 2022 – Senior Shailyn Pickney scored 11 of her game-high 26 points in the third quarter as No. 2 East Hartford pulled away from No. 12 Wilton to win their first state championship with a 54-33 win in Sunday’s Class LL championship game at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Tied at 22 at halftime, East Hartford (24-3) limited Wilton to four points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth quarter. With Pickney leading the way, the Hornets led by 16 points after three quarters. East Hartford outscored Wilton, 20-4 in the third quarter.

Pickney, who will attend Seton Hall in the fall, was 4-of-6 from three-point range and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Kayla Henry scored 14 points for East Hartford while teammate Nia Edens added 11.

Wilton (17-9) was led by Ashleigh Masters with 16 points and eight rebounds.

Class M: Holy Cross 61, Bacon Academy 38
UNCASVILLE, March 20, 2022 – Top-seed Holy Cross won their second state championship with a dominating 61-38 win over No. 2 Bacon Academy Sunday in the Class M championship game.

The Crusaders, who finished the season undefeated at 27-0, won their first state title since 2007. Holy Cross never trailed.

Mya Zaccagnini had a game-high 20 points and six steals for Holy Cross while Cayla Howard had 16 points and eight rebounds. Nyasia Smith chipped in with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Holy Cross had 19 steals in the game and scored 21 points off turnovers.

Bacon Academy (23-4) was led by Marissa Nudd with 15 points and Cara Shea with 11.

Class MM: Sacred Heart Academy 52, St. Joseph-Trumbull 51
UNCASVILLE, March 20, 2022 – Rosa Rizzitelli had a game-high 19 points and her sister, Sydney, sank a crucial three-point shot with 2:30 remaining in regulation to help Sacred Heart Academy beat St. Joseph, 52-51 to win their first-ever state title in the Class MM championship game Sunday.

The top-seeded Sharks never trailed and once led by as many as 16 points. But No. 2 St. Joseph tied the game at 48-48 when Kayleigh Carlson hit one of two free throws with 2:55 remaining. Sacred Heart Academy (26-1) retook the lead when Sydney Rizzitelli sank her only basket of the game for a 51-48 lead.

St. Joseph’s Isabelle Casucci scored in the paint with 52 seconds left to cut the lead to one, 51-50. After the Sharks missed on a free throw, St. Joseph missed on a jumper with 10 seconds remaining. SHA extended the lead to two, 52-50, when Emma Kirck sank one of two free throws with six seconds remaining.

A three-point shot at the buzzer was no good giving the title to the Sharks. Lauren Thompson added 11 points for Sacred Heart Academy.

Kristen Rodriguez had 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds for St. Joseph (24-3) while Carlson added 10 points.

Saturday’s results
Class L: Notre Dame-Fairfield 60, Newington 45
Class S: Thomaston 42, Coventry 38

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

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