THOMASTON >> Thomaston won its fifth Berkshire League girls basketball tournament in a row (and sixth in the last seven) in a 58-39 sweep of second-place Nonnewaug Thursday evening at Thomaston High School.
Far from a romp, the win was more of a surgical operation.
The Chiefs threw up a 2-3 zone in the first half and it worked.
“They must be doing something right because this is the second time we’ve had a problem with them,” said Thomaston coach Bob McMahon.
A week ago, at Nonnewaug, Thomaston also faced a close first half.
“In the second half, they got all the rebounds,” said Nonnewaug center Courtney Carlson on Monday, looking ahead to Thursday’s rematch. “We’re going to try to do a better job boxing out.”
That didn’t happen.
Both sides were ice cold in the first quarter, but the Golden Bears crashed the boards enough for second and third tries, leading to a 10-4 lead at the end of the period.
The struggles continued in the second quarter.
Nonnewaug’s Carlson (team-high 18 points), Jen Charette, Jennie Wingard and Mary Bibbey slipped past their man-to-man guards for 12 points.
Thomaston fought back with three-pointers every time they needed one.
Midway through the period, Nonnewaug’s Bibbey sank a layup, closing the Golden Bear lead to 10-8; then Thomston’s Samantha Brostek found the three-point range.
Chief center Carlson drove inside, 13-12; Thomaston center Casey Carangelo (11 points) hit from the corner.
Nonnewaug’s Charette drove, 16-14; Thomaston’s Gabrielle Hurlbert hit outside.
The Golden Bears led 23-16 at the half.
Nonnewaug stayed close for the first three minutes of the third quarter.
Put-backs by Thomaston’s Hurlbert, Charlotte Eberhardt and a three by Nicole Schaefer built a 30-20 Thomaston lead, but mainstay Morgan Sanson picked up her fourth foul and had to sit.
When Nonnewaug forward Deanna DeMattio sank a layup for 30-24, the Chiefs were very much in the game.
Then the Bears’ surgery began.
Schaefer hit her third three of the game (six altogether for a game-high 18 points); Julia Quinn (13 points) hit back-to-back treys, 39-24.
Carlson went in for a layup; Schaefer brought the knives back out to the corner, 42-28.
The Chiefs were forced out of their zone; the Bears rolled.
A great Eberhardt move to the basket; Carangelo fast break; Schaefer for her fourth three of the quarter; and a five-foot Carangelo jumper ended the third period.
The Bears had 28 points for the quarter – great for almost any boys team. The score was 51-30. The championship plaque was all but back in the Thomaston trophy case.
“It was more of an effort thing in the second half,” said Schaefer. “Our offense is a reflection of our defense.”
“We started getting into the flow and adapting to what they were doing,” said Quinn.
Nonnewaug’s zone clogged up the middle; Thomaston pulled out its outside tools.
In the end, the Bears had more three-pointers than two-point baskets – 12 to 8.
Difficult zone? Adapting may be what the Golden Bears do best.
Berkshire League Girls Basketball Tournament Final
No. 1 Thomaston 58, No. 2 Nonnewaug 39
At Thomaston High School
Nonnewaug 4 12 14 9 – 39
Thomaston 10 13 28 7 – 58
Nonnewaug (39): Mary Bibbey 2-1-5; Jennie Wingard 2-0-4; Claire Scherf 0-0-0; Nicole Mercer 0-0-0; Jen Charette 3-0-7; Courtney Carlson 5-7-17; Deanna DeMattio 2-2-6; Alex Eanniello 0-0-0; Meg Davenport 0-0-0; Totals: 14-10-39.
Thomaston (58): Julia Quinn 3-4-13; Nicole Schaefer 6-0-18; Gabrielle Hurlbert 3-0-7; Morgan Sanson 1-0-2; Charlotte Eberhardt 2-0-4; Camryn Capaldo 0-0-0; Alexa Milius 0-0-0; Samantha Brostek 1-0-3; Casey Carangelo 4-2-11; Totals: 20-6-58.
3-point goals: N – Charette. T – Quinn 3; Schaefer 6; Hurlbert; Brostek; Carangelo.
Records: Nonnewaug 20-3; Thomaston 22-1.