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Notre Dame-Fairfield tops Newington for first state championship

Players from Notre Dame-Fairfield celebrate after winning their first state championship by taking the Class L title Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (Photo courtesy CIAC).

Aizhanique Mayo scored 12 of her game-high 22 points in the third quarter as No. 3 Notre Dame-Fairfield erased a two-point deficit and beat top-seeded Newington, 60-45, to win their first-ever state title Saturday in the Class L championship game at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville.

The Lancers (23-3) outscored Newington by 10 points in the third quarter to take command of the contest, turning a two-point halftime deficit into an eight-point lead. Mayo, who will be attending Marquette University in the fall, drained three 3-point shots in the third quarter while Taylor Gibbs scored six of her 10 points.

Sarah Macary had 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds for Notre Dame-Fairfield, who finished the season tied for the top spot in the latest GameTimeCT top 10 poll.  Paige Fourtin was 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.

Bela Cucuta had 13 points for Newington (24-3) while Lily Ferguson added 12 points. Newington won the CCC South title and the Central Connecticut Conference championship.

Class S: Thomaston 42, Coventry 38
The top-seeded Thomaston High girls basketball team won their fourth Class S championship Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena with a 42-38 win over No. 3 Coventry.

It wasn’t the prettiest of victories but no one will remember that in years to come when they look at the Bears’ first state championship trophy since beating Canton in 2015.

Thomaston (22-4) didn’t score a field goal in the last 5:32 of the game. They let a 12-point lead with 1:54 remaining shrink to three points with seven seconds remaining.

It’s a testament to the mental toughness of the Bears to withstand the pressure and bring home the championship.

Coventry’s Amy Prior drained a three-point shot with seven seconds left to cut the lead to three, 41-38. But Thomaston’s Amy Harkness hit the front end of a 1-and-1 foul shot to push the lead back to four with five seconds remaining and a steal from Nicole Decker with three seconds left allowed the Bear faithful to exhale with a sigh of relief and celebrate another state championship.

Thomaston got the job done with defense. The Bears had 15 steals and scored 21 points off Coventry turnovers. Decker had a game-high eight steals while Harkness had five.

Emma Sanson led the way for the Bears with 17 points and five rebounds. Harkness scored 10. The Bears concluded the season with victories in 18 of their last 19 games.

For Coventry (19-7), Charlotte Jordan scored 15 points for the Patriots while 5-foot-11 sophomore Anaka Easton had 13 points and a whopping 21 rebounds.

Sunday’s games
Class M: No. 2 Bacon Academy (23-3) vs No. 1 Holy Cross (26-0), 10 a.m.
Class MM: No. 2 St. Joseph (24-2) vs No. 1 Sacred Heart Academy (25-1), 3 p.m.
Class LL: No. 12 Wilton (17-8) vs No. 2 East Hartford (23-3), 6:15 p.m.

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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