WINDSOR LOCKS – Behind the play of three sophomores, the Enfield High girls basketball team rolled through the North Central Connecticut Conference this winter, running the table with 20 consecutive victories to capture their first NCCC championship.
The Raiders were missing one of those dynamic sophomores Wednesday night in the NCCC Tournament championship game against Bolton. Guard Danielle Delano, who is averaging 15.6 points a game and leads Enfield with 40 three-point shots, was on the bench in a walking boot due to a strained Achilles tendon.
It was no problem. The Raiders went to 6-foot-3 center Mary Baskerville – often. Baskerville scored a season-high 27 points to lead Enfield to a 48-41 victory over Bolton and the first NCCC Tournament title in school history. Baskerville’s older sister, Morgan, had seven points while sophomore Cat Fonseca had six points.
It’s the final year for Enfield (23-0) in the NCCC. They’ll be leaving for the Central Connecticut Conference in September after they merge with Fermi High School. The Raiders were making their first appearance in the final since 2002 when they lost to Avon.
Bolton (20-3) was in the NCCC Tournament championship game for the third consecutive year but the Bulldogs couldn’t contend with Enfield’s quickness or Mary Baskerville.
“She’s too much for most teams,” Bolton coach Wayne Hapgood said. “She’s an awesome player and as soon as she learns to play without getting into foul trouble, she’ll really be awesome.”
With Delano on the bench, the plan was to go to Baskerville as often as they could. “The idea was to pound the ball inside,” Enfield coach Jay Gaucher said. “Mary played like a beast tonight.”
Enfield took control from the start. The Raiders ran out to a 9-2 lead with Baskerville scoring seven points and making a block. All three baskets came in the low post, near the basket. But Bolton managed to remain in the game thanks to the stellar play of their All-NCCC guard Jessica Larsh, who led the Bulldogs with 23 points and four 3-point field goals.
Enfield led by 10 with 3:15 left in the second quarter but Bolton had a quick 7-1 run to cut the lead to four, 24-20, thanks to a pair of foul shots and basket from Larsh and a three-pointer from Brooke Daimboise. But the Raiders were able to sink three foul shots for a 27-20 halftime lead.
Bolton wouldn’t go away but they manage a significant run. The Bulldogs cut the lead to three with 2:02 left in the third quarter but Enfield responded with a basket from Baskerville in the lane to push the lead to five. She blocked a Bolton shot and at the other end of the floor, Baskerville took a crisp pass from Fonsera to score and push the lead back to seven, 35-28.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to four, 42-38, with 1:14 remaining and forced an Enfield turnover. But due to Enfield’s quickness, they struggled to get the ball up the floor and turned the ball over before they could get a shot up.
“I’m proud of this team,” Gaucher said. “We won this as a team and we really won it on the defensive end. We had a young group that really worked hard in the offseason.”
Enfield is the No. 2 seed in the Class M tournament that kicks off on Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Raiders host Killingly. Bolton, meanwhile, is the No. 2 seed in the Class S tournament and plays its first game on Monday against O’Brien Tech.
Baskerville was named to the All-Tournament team and as the tournament’s most outstanding player. Delano, Larsh, Bolton’s Julia Hinckley, Canton’s Emily Briggs and Hartford Classical’s Kylah Langston were named to the All-Tournament team.
In the consolation game, Canton used an 11-0 run to begin the third quarter to take command and beat Hartford Classical, 70-51. Classical led by as much as eight points in the second quarter. Briggs led Canton with a game-high 29 points while Maggie Treacy added 27.
NCCC Championship Game
Enfield 48, Bolton 41
At Windsor Locks
Bolton (41) Julianne Fisher 0-0-0, Jessica Larsh 7-5-23, Sydney Ledoux 0-0-0, Rose Zimmerman 1-2-4, Brooke Damboise 1-0-3, Cailin Whitehead 1-0-2, Megan Shorey 1-2-4, Sydney Marshall 0-0-0, Julia Hinkley 2-0-5. Totals 13-9-41
Enfield (48) Sarah Marino 0-0-0, Taylor Poletts 0-2-2, Erica Lovering 2-1-5, Sam Ferrato 0-0-0, Cat Fonseca 2-2-6, Morgan Baskerville 1-5-7, Delaney Lawler 0-3-3, Kaitlyn Bourque 0-0-0. Mary Baskerville 11-3-27. Totals 16-16-48
Bolton (20-3) 9 11 8 13 – 41
Enfield (23-0) 15 12 8 13 — 48
Three-point goals: Larsh (B) 4, Damboise (B), Hinkley (B)
Canton 70, Hartford Classical 51
At Windsor Locks
Hartford Classical (51) Kylah Langston 8-4-23, Jenna Roman 1-0-3, Holly Weldon 2-0-5, Amanda Boland 0-0-0, Emily Haythorn 3-0-8, Jada Douglas 5-1-12. Totals 19-5-51
Canton (70) Emma Charron 1-0-2, Carly Atkinson 0-1-1, Abbe Skinner 1-2-5, Emily Briggs 11-7-29, Maggie Treacy 8-8-27, Leah Eschenbrenner 0-0-0, Sarah Bowman 0-2-2, Amanda Gottlieb 0-0-0, Belle Magna 0-0-0. Totals 18-22-70
Hartford Classical (14-9) 16 13 8 14 — 51
Canton (17-6) 15 8 16 31 — 70
Three-point goals: Langston (H) 3, Roman (H), Weldon (H), Douglas (H), Haythorn (H) 2, Treacy (C) 3, Skinner (C)
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