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Canton dominates Litchfield in season-opening win

Canton’s Sophia Mates, in last February’s  NCCC Tournament championship game, had a game-high 16 points in Monday’s season-opening win over Litchfield. 

CANTON, Dec. 19, 2020 — Sophia Mates had a game-high 16 points while teammate Gabby DelSanto added eight as the Canton High girls basketball team opened the season with a 46-9 non-league victory over Litchfield on Monday night.

Mates pulled down eight rebounds and had three steals while Avery Brown had five steals, three assists and scored four points. Sam Yankee had five rebounds, four steals and four points while DelSanto had three assists.

The Warriors won their season-opening game for the ninth time in the last 10 years. A year ago, Canton began the season with four losses in their first five games due to injuries and inexperience.

“It was nice to see the girls have some success and build on some of the things we’ve been working on during the preseason,” said Canton head coach Brian Medeiros, who is beginning his tenth season. ”It gave us an opportunity to get all 14 girls that were dressed a chance to get some varsity experience.”

Despite a slow start a year ago, the Warriors finished the season with a 10-10 record by winning seven of their final nine regular season games. Canton finished in a tie with Somers for second place in the NCCC with a 10-3 record.

Canton advanced to the finals of the NCCC Tournament before falling to league champion Granby, 52-44. The Warriors were eliminated in the first round of the Class S tournament by Immaculate.

This winter, the Warriors will be more experienced with two seniors and three juniors in the starting lineup. Mates and DelSanto are the two seniors in the starting lineup with juniors Avery Brown, Sam Yanke and Avery Miller, who all played a year ago.

“After last season’s ending, it was great to get back in the gym and get a win,” Medeiros said. “I was really pleased with their effort and energy.”

Canton led 15-0 after one quarter and 29-3 at halftime.

Giving up nine points in the game is one point shy of the team record for fewest points allowed. The Warriors allowed eight points in a 38-8 win over Wolcott Tech in 1986. Canton allowed nine points in a 46-9 win over Gilbert School in 2013.

The Warriors return to action after the holiday on Tuesday, Dec. 27, when they face Morgan in the first round of the North Haven Holiday Tournament at 3 p.m. in North Haven. Canton will face the winner of the North Haven and Amistad winner on Wednesday, Dec. 28 in North Haven.

Canton 46, Litchfield 9
At Canton
Litchfield (9)
Emily Migliorsisi 1 2-2 4, Dorothy Olmstead 1-0-2, Clarissa Tranquillo 0 3-8 3, Addison Foss 0-0-0, Sophia Holyst 0-0-0, Totals: 2 5-10 9
Canton (46) Sophia Mates 8-0-16, Avery Brown 2 2-2 4, Gabby DelSanto 3 2-4 8, Avery Miller 1-0-2, Sam Yanke 2-0-4, Madisyn Reardon 1-0-2, Brooke Czerwinski 2-0-4, Hannah Glassey 2 0-1 4, Logan Leonard 1-0-2, Heather Delbone 0-0-0, Totals: 21 4-7 46
Litchfield (0-2)                      0    3    4  2  — 9
Canton (1-0)                         15  14  13  4  — 46
Three-point goals: none

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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