And that’s all folks..???????????? pic.twitter.com/6vD77jAUpr
— Devon Schoenberger (@devoscho13) March 8, 2016
MIDDLETOWN >> After losing in the Class LL state championship game in each of the past two seasons, South Windsor senior Alex Goslin felt that this year was about “unfinished business.”
Goslin, a 5-2 guard, is the smallest player on the court but she made the biggest shot of the season Monday against top-seeded Mercy. Goslin converted a driving layup with just 3 seconds left to give the Bobcats a miraculous 52-50 victory over the host Tigers in the Class LL quarterfinals.
“That’s what players of Alex’s caliber are capable of doing,” South Windsor coach Don Leclerc said. “She’s willing to put a team on her back. I give a lot of credit to my kids, they never quit. Mercy’s a great team. They’ve got a storied program and we knew coming in it was going to be one heck of a battle.”
The eighth-seeded Bobcats (23-4) will meet No. 4 Stamford (23-2) in the semifinals on Friday. Stamford defeated No. 5 Norwich Free Academy, 74-60, on Monday behind a 41-point performance from Tiana England.
Goslin, who spearheaded the Bobcats rally from a 35-24 late third quarter deficit, finished with a game-high 22 points. Senior forward Molly Murphy poured in 17 points.
“Alex is our little engine that could,” Leclerc added. “But they all feed off each other.”
After trailing 37-27 after three quarters, the Bobcats started to chip away early in the fourth quarter. Goslin drained a 3-pointer, Murphy followed with a fastbreak layup and a free throw from Stephanie Karlins cut the Tigers lead to 37-33.
“We knew we could come back,” Goslin said. “We focused on defense and we knew our hearts were big enough to overcome the deficit.”
Mercy (23-3) maintained its lead late in the fourth quarter thanks to eight straight points from sophomore Bella Santoro. Santoro’s two free throws gave the Tigers a 47-41 cushion with 1:51 left.
Goslin, however, answered with a scoop shot and a pair of free throws.
“Goslin’s an unbelievably tough, hard-nosed kid,” Mercy coach Tim Kohs said. “She just said I’m going to the basket on every possession and we didn’t stop her.”
Mercy’s size seemed to be too much for South Windsor the entire game and sophomore Meghan DeVille’s putback made it 49-45.
But Goslin answered again with a nifty driving layup. After sophomore Samantha Chapps made 1 of 2 free throws, Bobcats junior guard Alyssa Karlins buried a top-of-the-key 3 pointer to tie it at 50 with just 38 seconds left.
South Windsor regained possession and put the ball in Goslin’s hands with time running out.
“We set up a play and as all of our players kind of went out I saw the middle clear up and I said, it’s now or never,” Goslin said. “There were only a few seconds left I might as well take it myself. I just tried to get a shot up there.”
Senior guard Destine Perry (13 points) got the Tigers off to a fast start with nine first quarter points, including a long three-pointer with under a minute left, to give Mercy a 17-11 lead. She also had two blocks.
DeVille scored the first six points in the second quarter to increase the Tigers lead to 23-11. The Bobcats battled back behind a four points from Goslin and a Murphy trey and Mercy led 25-18 at intermission.
Santoro finished with 14 points. Gallo added 10 points and DeVille chipped in eight.
“It’s a disappointing end to the season,” Kohs said. “Destine Perry had an unbelievable career. She played well tonight and made big play after big play. We just didn’t get it done. Give South Windsor credit. They played hard. We didn’t play good enough to beat a really good team.”
SOUTH WINDSOR 52, MERCY 50
South Windsor 11 7 10 25 – 52
Mercy 17 8 12 13 – 50
SOUTH WINDSOR (52)
Molly Murphy 7 2-2 17, Alyssa Karlins 2 0-0 6, Alex Goslin 8 4-4 22, Stephanie Karlins 1 3-4 5, Skyler Douglas 0 2-2 2. Totals: 18 11-12 52
Bella Santoro 4 6-6 14, Destine Perry 4 4-5 13, Samantha Gallo 4 2-2 10, Samantha Chapps 1 1-2 3, Meghan DeVille 3 2-2 8, Keri Kernisan 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 15-17 50
3-point goals: South Windsor 5 (Murphy 1, A. Karlins 2, Goslin 2); Mercy 1 (Perry); Records: South Windsor 23-4; Mercy 23-3