HARTFORD – In their final game as a member of the North Central Connecticut Conference, the Avon High girls basketball team wanted to go out with some style and a victory.
The Falcons, who shared the league championship with Canton, won their 1212 NCCC Tournament title Thursday night with a 60-46 win over Bolton. It was a bit of sweet revenge for Avon, which wasted a 13-point lead in a regular season loss to the Bulldogs.
“We wanted to play Bolton,” said Avon’s Shannon Curry, the tournament’s most valuable player. “We all wanted to play Bolton. We wanted another stab at them. And we got them.”
Curry had a game-high 19 points to spark the Falcons. Avon led by as many as 11 points in the third quarter but Bolton (19-4) had cut the lead to five points as the fourth quarter started. Curry began the quarter with a steal and ran the length of the floor for a layup. On Avon’s next possession, she drove to the basket and scored off a nice feed from Michaela Marcus.
Then, Curry stole the ball again and drove to the basket for an uncontested layup and in a little over a minute, the Avon lead ballooned to 11 points again.
“What you need to do is sag off so they think that they’re open and right as they pass, you go and get (the ball),” Curry said. “I watched, waited and got it. It’s sort of a cat-and-mouse thing.” Curry had three steals and layups off those steals.
Avon’s 6-foot-3 junior center Abby Laszewski continued her comeback after missing 18 games with a foot injury suffered at the end of the volleyball season. She scored 17 points. Guard Michaela Marcus added 12 and Olivia Welter scored nine for the Falcons, now 19-4.
“I don’t think we were ready to play in the beginning,” Curry said. “We didn’t have that intensity right away. Late in the second quarter, we realized we had to pick it up. We can’t have them come back from a 13-point lead and beat us again.”
Avon coach Frank Waters praised Bolton for their tenacity all over the floor. “I have to give them credit,” he said. “They were undersized but they battled us for every inch. They played great but our kids were tough when they needed to be.”
The Bulldogs, who lost to Avon in the NCCC Tourney final a year ago, grabbed a quick 8-3 lead in less than a minute and a half to open the game. But Avon went to Laszewski for a basket and Welter with a pair of jump shots to climb back into the game.
Bolton led by one after one quarter but Avon took the lead for good with a 7-1 run with baskets from Kaleigh Sherman, Welter and Marcus.
Bolton cut Avon’s lead to four early in the third quarter but the Falcons went on a 9-0 run a basket from Welter, a jump shot from Marcus, a three-point shot from Marcus and a basket inside from Laszewski.
Four consecutive baskets, including two 3-point goals, from Bolton’s Marissa Gudauskas cut the lead to four. After a Lazewski shot, Jessia Larsh drained a 3-point goal to cut the Falcon lead to three points, 41-38 with 46 seconds left in the third quarter. It was as close as Bolton would get.
“I’m happy with how we played,” Bolton coach Wayne Hapgood said. “We didn’t win but we did a pretty good job.”
Larsh led Bolton with 19 points while Gudauskas had 16 points including a pair of three-pointers. Larsh and Gudauskas were named to the All-Tournament team along with Lasewski and Curry.
Avon will be moving to the Central Connecticut Conference next season.
Consolation: Enfield 56, Canton 54
In the consolation game, Enfield (17-6) handed Canton (19-4) their third loss in the last five games when freshman Mary Baskerville scored on a feed from Regina Leblanc with 1.7 seconds remaining for a 56-54 victory.
Enfield led by as many as 10 points. They had a six-point lead with 2:17 remaining but the Warriors continued to fight. Maggie Treacy drained a three-pointer with 1:32 remaining to cut the lead to three.
Trailing by three with 18.7 seconds left, Treacy stole the ball, took a 3-point shot and was fouled. She sank all three to tie the game at 54-54. But Enfield won it on Basketville’s basket. The 6-foot-3 freshman had a game-high 24 points.
“Sometimes, people don’t play hard in consolation games but our kids played hard,” Enfield coach Jay Gaucher said. “We had two freshmen (Baskerville, Danielle Delano) who stepped up and made some big plays for us.”
Delano had 13 points for Enfield, which has won 13 of its last 14 games. Treacy had a team-high 23 points and four three-point shots for Canton while teammate Emily Briggs chipped in with 16 points. Treacy and Baskerville were also named to the All-Tournament team.
Avon 60, Bolton 46
NCCC Championship At Hartford
Taylor Marshall 0-0-0, Jessica Larsh 5-8-19, Rose Zimmerman 0-0-0, Molly Belekewicz 3-1-9, Marissa Gudauskas 5-3-16, Sydney Marshall 0-0-0, Julia Hinckley 1-0-2. Totals 20-12-46
Michaela Marcus 4-2-12, Alex Benedict 0-1-1, Abby Laszewski 8-1-17, Olivia Welter 4-1-9, Shannon Curry 6-7-19, Kaleigh Sherman 1-0-2, Kelly Lamarre 0-0-0, Carly Carpino 0-0-0. Totals 25-12-60
Bolton (19-4) 14 10 14 8 – 46
Avon (19-4) 13 17 13 17 – 60
3-point goals: Larsh (B), Belekewicz (B) 2, Gudauskas (B) 3, Marcus (A) 2
Enfield 56, Canton 54
NCCC Consolation Game At Hartford
Hannah Lempitsky 1-2-4, Christina Leonardo 0-0-0, Taylor Poletti 1-0-2, Caterina Fonseca 1-2-4, Danielle Delano 5-0-13, Mary Baskerville 7-10-24, Regina Leblanc 3-3-9. Totals 18-17-56
Katie Walker 0-0-0, Jacque Grabowski 2-2-6, Emily Briggs 2-11-16, Maggie Treacy 5-9-23, Gabby Rose 4-0-8, Emma Charron 0-0-0, Abbe Skinner 0-0-0, Carly Atkinson 0-0-0. Totals 13-23-54
Enfield (17-6) 20 12 10 14 — 56
Canton (19-4) 14 10 15 15 — 54
3-point goals: Briggs (C), Treacy (C) 4, Delano (E) 3
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