GUILFORD >> When Farmington center Izzy Lipinski picked up her third and fourth fouls in the third quarter, Guilford coach Bob Welsh knew what he had to do.
Welsh threw a box-and-one at Farmington senior star Mary Schoenherr and that turned the tide as eighth-seeded Guilford defeated ninth-seeded Farmington, 60-46, in the second round of the CIAC Class L girls’ basketball tournament Thursday night in the Kenefick Gymnasium.
Tied at 25-25 at the half, Guilford took advantage of Lipinski (13 points) taking a seat on the bench for a while.
“We let different guys go on Schoenherr and Kayley (McLaughlin) did a super job on her,” Welsh said. “We knew they were their two big guns.”
Meanwhile, Amanda King went on a torrid stretch in the third quarter as she scored 15 of her game-high 20 points, including nine straight that pushed the hosts’ lead to 36-28 with 4:29 remaining in the period.
“Coming into the game one of the focuses was trying to stop her,” Farmington coach Keith Garbart said. “We just lost track of her in the third quarter.”
Meanwhile, Farmington went four minutes without a bucket and found itself down, 41-28, with 2:18 to go in the third. Guilford outscored Farmington, 24-7, in the third quarter to take a 49-32 edge.
“We just couldn’t buy a basket,” Garbart said. “Obviously, Izzy is a dynamic player on the court for us. Offensively, we had no flow at all. It makes us easier to guard because we’re more predictable.”
Farmington tried to come back with a 10-2 run to open the fourth quarter. But a Camryn Craig (16 points) three-point play pushed Guilford’s lead to 54-42 with 3:24 to go and that essentially ended the threat. Farmington only scored four points in the final 3:29.
Early on, after taking a quick 4-0 lead, Guilford struggled offensively in the final 6:55 of the first quarter, falling behind, 13-4. Guilford scored the next nine points with King’s jumper from the right corner tying things at 13-13 with 5:39 left until halftime.
“I likened to when we were down, 14-2, to Career and tied it at the half,” Welsh said. “I wanted to get it tied by halftime. But tonight we tied it at 13-all. I think coming back so quickly demoralized them a little bit.”
It remained close for the remaining of the quarter with McLaughlin canning a jumper from the right side with 12 seconds left that tied it at 25-25 at the break.
“We decided to take the ball to the basket more and tried to screen for the shooters to get the shots off,” King said. “We were able to beat them to the basket.”
Guilford will now meet Class L top seed Holy Cross (11th-ranked in the GametimeCT/New Haven Register state poll) in the quarterfinals Tuesday night in Waterbury. Holy Cross eliminated Sheehan, 59-34, Thursday night.