THOMASTON >> No. 3 Thomaston ruled the boards in a 48-34 Class S Quarterfinal win over No. 11 Windsor Locks Monday night at Thomaston High School.
“We didn’t shoot as well as we sometimes do,” Thomaston coach Bob McMahon said. “In games like that, you have to hunker down and get it off the boards.”
“We wanted to slow Thomaston down and we tried to make it as difficult as possible on (Thomaston center Casey Carangelo),” Windsor Locks coach Doug Knowe said. “We did that, but they are relentless on the boards.”
Carangelo was a big part of the two-to-one Thomaston rebounding edge, but everybody pitched in.
“We had five guys gang rebounding,” McMahon said.
Combined with ice-cold Thomaston shooting, inside and out, plus tournament referees who respected the quarterfinal level by limiting their whistles, the product was an ugly, physical game made to order for McMahon.
“I’ll take another one just like it next time,” he said.
“They are a Bobby McMahon team,” Knowe said.
Still, McMahon has to hope for better shooting in the semifinal Friday against the winner of tonight’s game betweenNo. 2 St. Paul Catholic and No. 10 Immaculate.
Monday, Windsor Locks won the first quarter 7-5. The Raiders’ score was low because Thomaston played its typical in-your-face defense while limiting Locks to one shot per possession.
Thomaston’s score was low because, in a scrappy game with lots of chances, the Bears couldn’t make a layup.
Their last possession of the period was a prime example of the peaks and valleys: In that single possession, gang rebounding gave Thomaston eight shots at the basket. Frigid shooting made them miss all eight.
Some of the feeling returned in the second quarter. Gabby Hurlbert drove in for a 7-7 tie. Carangelo (13 points) hit back-to-back with mid-range jumpers. Morgan Sanson (game-high 14 points) made a five-foot runner.
In between, Windsor Locks’ Nicole Johnson (team-high 13 points) kept the Raiders in it with five points from outside, their only points of the period.
Leading 13-12 midway through the quarter, Samantha Brostek had a put-back.
Julia Quinn (9 points) hit back-back shots outside.
“My confidence is starting to come back from my (soccer) injuries,” said the sophomore guard, recovered from a torn-up knee last fall.
At times Monday, Quinn had the Bears’ only reliable shooting touch.
“Julia was a difference-maker tonight,” said McMahon.
Quinn took the halftime lead to 19-12, then handed the reins to Nicole Schaefer (8 points) for two threes in the third quarter while everyone else lost track of the basket again.
A layup by Sanson was the only other exception, coming on a third try in one possession.
The shooting re-freeze let the Raiders back in.
Raider seniors Samantha Blier and Dominique Boyd led Locks to its first double-digit quarter while the Bears lead shrank to 27-23 on a last-second inbounds layup by Boyd.
Thomaston’s A game (maybe B+) was back for the final period.
Carangelo started with a layup on her way to nine fourth-quarter points.
Sanson followed with a layup on her way to seven.
Quinn still had her touch for a three.
On a night when free throws came almost as hard as layups (6-for-12), Sanson and Schaefer were back, on 4-for-4 perfection when it counted most, in the final seconds.
If St. Paul wins tonight, Friday’s semifinal, at a neutral site, brings the sequel to last year’s double overtime thriller between the two teams in the Class S finals at Mohegan Sun.
No. 3 Thomaston 48, No. 11 Windsor Locks 34
At Thomaston High School
Windsor Locks 7 5 11 11 – 34
Thomaston 5 14 8 21 – 48
Windsor Locks (34): Vanessa Green 0-0-0; Emily Malecki 0-0-0; Alyssa Jubrey 0-0-0; Nicole Johnson 4-2-13; Shayla Cruz 1-0-2; Raelynn Voislow 0-5-5; Samantha Blier 1-1-3; Sofie Oliveira 1-0-3; Dominique Boyd 4-0-8; Totals: 11-8-34.
Thomaston (48): Julia Quinn 4-0-9; Nicole Schaefer 2-2-8; Gabby Hurlbert 1-0-2; Morgan Sanson 5-4-14; Charlotte Eberhardt 0-0-0; Camryn Capaldo 0-0-0; Alexa Milius 0-0-0; Samantha Brostek 1-0-2; Casey Carangelo 6-1-13; Totals: 19-6-48.
3-point goals: WL – Johnson 3; Oliveira. T – Quinn; Schaefer 2.
Records: Windsor Locks 14-7; Thomaston 21-3.