UNCASVILLE >> The girls Class S state final has been streaky in recent years.
Thomaston made it four straight seasons, the last three have been vs. Canton. But the most recent streak is now Warriors victories: two.
Third-seeded Canton upended fifth-seeded Thomaston 60-51 at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday to win its second straight Class S state championship, the only two in school history.
“It feels amazing,” Canton senior Emily Briggs said.
Briggs led the Warriors with a game-high 24 points while Abigail Charron added 15 and Belle Magna had 10.
The familiarity of the teams played a part, but it was Canton who did knew who to defend, when and where.
“There were no secrets,” Canton coach Brian Medieros said. “We knew what they were going to do, they knew what we were going to do and it just came back to who was going to be the team that made better decisions with the ball, made free throws, defended. Today was going to be won by all the little things.”
St. Francis College commit Casey Carangelo was held to 5-of-21 shooting from the field for 15 points and fouled out with 1:44 left in the game. Julia Quinn did her best to pick up the slack with 23 points for the Golden Bears.
“Sarah [Bowman] did a great job [defending Carangelo],” Briggs said. “That was her role, to contest Carangelo. I think she did a great job altering her shot so she didn’t get an easy look.”
The shot that propelled Canton forward came early on and both teams acknowledge it was a difference maker.
After a missed Carangelo 3-pointer with time winding down, Briggs corralled the rebound and streaked up the court and took a 3 of her own from the right wing — swish — and just like that the Warriors had a 15-9 lead.
“We never looked back,” Medieros said. “That’s a kid that struggles to shoot a regular 3-point shot, so the fact that she shot that was pretty amazing.”
It was the only 3-pointer Canton made all game.
Thomaston coach Robert McMahon said: “Killer. We missed a 3 that would have made it 12-12. All of a sudden their up six and we’re playing from behind the rest of the [game].”
Canton outscored Thomaston 15-9 again in the second quarter to take a 30-18 lead into the break and took its largest lead of the game with 5:54 left in the fourth after an Abigail Skinner jumper gave it a 34-18 advantage.
Thomaston got the margin down to six with 35 seconds left in the third on a Quinn basket, but that’s as close as the Golden Bears would get.
Briggs scored the first six points of the fourth quarter and then Magna dropped in a layup with 6:14 left forcing McMahon to take a timeout with his team trailing by 15.
Three more times in the final quarter Thomaston got within seven points, but no closer and the Warriors just had to wait until they could hoist the Connecticut shaped plaque once again.
Canton 60, Thomaston 51
Thomaston: 9 9 16 17 — 51
Canton: 15 15 11 19 — 60
(at Mohegan Sun Arena)
Thomaston (51) — Julia Quinn 8 4-4 23, Camryn Capaldo 2 1-2 7, Alexa Milius 1 1-2 4, Kaitlin Root 0 0-0 0, Casey Carangelo 5 4-9 15, Sydney Stevenson 0 0-0 0, Mackenzie Doyle 0 0-0 0, Alexa Sanson 1 0-0 2, Emily Root 0 0-0 0, Lauren Gagne 0 0-0 0, Megan Guay 0 0-0 0 — Total 17 10-17 51.
Canton (60) — Abigail Skinner 1 2-3 4, Abigail Charron 5 5-10 15, Emily Briggs 9 5-6 24, Leah Eschenbrenner 0 1-2 1, Sarah Bowman 1 0-0 2, Belle Magna 5 0-0 10, Lauren Puglielli 0 0-0 0, Grace Trrachy 0 0-0 0, Lauren Eschenbrenner 2 0-0 4, Alexandra DelSanto 0 0-0 0 — Total 23 13-21 60.
3-point goals: Thomaston 7 (Quinn 3, Capaldo 2, Milius, Carangelo); Canton 1 (Briggs).
Fouled out: Thomaston — Carangelo, Sanson; Canton — none.
Team records: Thomaston 25-5; Canton 23-4.