UNCASVILLE >> Kristen Teklits finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and four steals to lead the fourth-seeded New Fairfield girls basketball team to a 41-38 win over No. 11 seed Bacon Academy for the Class M state championship Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Teklits, who will play at Maryland-Baltimore County next season, made four of six free throws down the stretch to help seal the Rebels third state championship and first since 1992.
“We’ve been playing with each other since befor middle school,” Teklits said. “To get us past the semifinals (lost in Class L the last two seasons) and get to the Mohegan Sun Arena and finally get the win is a great feeling.”
Teklits also had a couple of crucial steals down the stretch, the first with New Fairfield clinging to a 33-32 lead. But she will probably be remembered most for the 30-footer she hit just before the halftime buzzer sounded to tie the game at 25 – a huge momentum boost for the Rebels.
“Knocking down that shot gave our team some hope and gave us momentum. We had to keep it up and step it up on defense,” Teklits said.
Said New Fairfield coach Brendan Moore: “She’s an incredibly tough individual. She really wants the ball in her hands when it’s crunch time.”
A switch to the matchup zone helped the Rebels hold the Bobcats to just 13 second-half points – and it was just six points until the final 21 seconds when Bacon Academy hit a pair of 3-pointers.
“We went cold and their defense had a lot to do with that,” Bacon Academy coach Dave Shea said. “Give them credit they played well. New Fairfield is a disciplined team. … We didn’t execute like we hoped to.”
Jocelyn Luzzi finished with a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) for Bacon Academy.
“I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet,” Moore said. “A lot of people drove two hours to see us play. It’s a small town. We had a lot of support. I’m so happy for the town, our program and especially for the kids in the program.”