ENFIELD >> The Canton High girls basketball should enjoy a few days off this weekend. They’ve certainly earned it. The Warriors are completing an ambitious stretch of five games in seven days.
It started a week ago with a 51-20 rout over Stafford that snapped a three-game losing streak. The Warriors dominated a winless Somers team on Monday night, 53-31 and turned in a stout defensive effort on Tuesday night in 44-31 victory over Enfield that clinched a second straight CIAC Class S tournament berth for Canton.
That was followed with a road game at Northwestern Regional on Thursday night and concluded with a home game against East Granby on Friday night.
Canton (8-5, 6-4 NCCC) is winning games with its defensive pressure. They forced numerous turnovers Tuesday night against Enfield. Freshman Emily Briggs had eight steals, sophomore Maggie Treacy had seven and junior Jacquie Grabowski had five steals.
“They do a good job defensively,” Enfield coach Jay Gaucher said. “They’re long and lean and get into the passing lanes. They do a good job of disturbing the passes. We knew they would bring the pressure.”
Canton allowed Enfield (7-7, 5-6 NCCC) to score just three field goals in the second half and just one in the third quarter.
“We are trying to pressure you,” Canton coach Brian Mederios said. “We know our best offense comes from our defense. We know we can score with anybody but we have to be able to stop people.”
It was a close game early but Canton was able to obtain some breathing room late in the first quarter. Leading by three, Alex Martin drained a jumper and Briggs drove to the basket for a layup. On the following play, Briggs stole the ball and scored on another layup to extend the lead to nine, 15-6.
The Warriors couldn’t quite pull away but they kept playing hard. Enfield cut the lead to five points midway through the second quarter but Treacy got a steal, drove down the court and went between two defenders for a layup and was fouled. She drained the free throw to extend the lead to eight points, 23-15.
“It game was more difficult than it should have been but we battled which was great to see,” Mederios said. “Earlier this year against East Windsor, we didn’t battle. Now, we are.”
Canton dropped a 48-43 decision on January 14 to the Panthers, who limited Canton to just seven points in the first half. It was the start of a three-game losing streak with defeats at the hands of Avon, 65-38, and Ellington, 61-48.
But Canton has been playing better. The victory over Enfield was the third straight for the Warriors – its longest such streak of the season.
Against Stafford, the Warriors didn’t give up a point in the first quarter, racing out to a 17-0 lead. Briggs had 10 points and 10 rebounds while Erin Detorie had four points and eight rebounds. Treacy added 10 points.
On Monday night against Somers, Treacy led the Warriors with 12 points while Briggs added 11. Jacquie Grabowski scored seven points but she contributed in many other ways with 11 rebounds, eight steals and six assists.
Against Enfield, Briggs and Treacy each had 12 points while Gabby Rose chipped in with eight.
“They’re starting to get their confidence back,” Mederios said. “We’re starting to take better care of the ball and we’re making our free throws. We’re still committing a lot of fouls but we’re being smarter about it.”
Grabowski and Rose played virtually the entire fourth quarter against Enfield with four fouls each. Treacy had a great block with 5:14 remaining in the game and controlled the loose ball. She took it the length of the court for a layup.
After this week’s games, Canton has just five regular season games remaining with home games against Suffield (Feb. 4) and Somers (Feb. 11) and road games at Coventry (Feb. 7), Granby (Feb. 13) and SMSA (Feb. 14).
Canton 44, Enfield 30
At Enfield High school
Canton 18 5 10 11—44
Enfield 9 8 4 9—30
Canton (44): Erin Detorie 3-3-10, Lindsey Sugar 0-0-0, Natalie Grisevich 0-0-0, Emily Briggs 4-4-12, Jacquie Grabowski 0-0-0, Alex Martin 1-0-2, Maggie Treacy 3-5-12, Gabby Rose 4-0-8. Totals 15-12-44
Enfield (30): Maggie Richards 3-4-10, Hannah Lempistsky 1-0-2, Erica Lovering 0-1-1, Christina Leonards 2-0-4, Tori King 0-1-1, Regina Leblan 0-3-3. Totals 6-13-30
Three-point goals: Detorie (C), Treacy (C), Caronna (E)
Records: Canton 8-5; Enfield 7-7