GLASTONBURY — About two minutes into the second quarter of the Central Connecticut Conference’s girls basketball championship game, the kids in the raucous Enfield student section chanted: “You can’t stop her! You can’t stop her!”
They were right.
“Her” was Enfield center Mary Baskerville and at that as point she already had 14 points and, despite foul trouble that had her on the bench for long stretches, she was decisive as Enfield ran away from Middletown in the second half to win the league crown 71-43 in front of 800 at Glastonbury High. It was the first league title for the new Enfield high school in its first year as members after the town combined Fermi and Enfield High.
“We tried to front her, but she caught the ball over everyone,” Middletown coach Rob Smernoff said. “Then when we tried to play behind her, she ate us up.”
“She is a special player,” Enfield coach Jay Boucher said. “If we keep her out of foul trouble, she’s a force. I thought she did a great job on their big kid.”
It would be a mistake to say Baskerville is all the Eagles bring to the table. While 6-3 Baskerville had 20 points — and sat for half the game — Danielle Delano had 23 and Cat Fonseca had 17 for the winners, who are No. 4 and receiving first place votes in the New Haven Register/GameTimeCT poll.
“We turned it up a notch in the second half,” Gaucher said. “My girls have experience in big games and they’ve been in tight games. Sometimes I wonder if they have a pulse. They have that kind of composure.”
Enfield (23-1) jumped to a 6-0 lead, but Middletown (21-3) hung around and trailed 16-9 after one. Baskerville picked up her second foul early in the second and the Blue Dragons, despite having 12 first-half turnovers, took advantage and tied the game 22-22 on a basket by Brielle Wilborn (14 points) with 1:50 left in the half.
Then came a game-turning sequence.
With Enfield up by a point with less than a minute to go, the Dragons got a steal and looked to have a go-ahead layup.
But they turned it over, Delano scored a hoop, then after an MHS miss, Delano drained a long 3-pointer at the horn and what could have been 1-point MHS lead was a six-point deficit, 28-22.
Enfield turned things up a notch or two and blew Middletown out of the gym, 25-9, in the third quarter and coasted home.
“We had too many turnovers early,” said Smernoff. “But we settled down. That sequence at the end of the half was huge. Then we had a couple of turnovers to start the second half that they turned into points and we kind of deflated.
“But Enfield is a great team and they were outstanding tonight.”
“I thought we played very well,” he said. “I thought we pushed the ball in transition, got layups and that opened it up for jump shots. I am very proud of my kids.”
Jen Barbour had eight points and Silvana Barcomb had seven for MHS.
Middletown opens Class LL tournament play at home Tuesday.