Bears look for third straight trip to "The Sun"
THOMASTON: It’s becoming a rather common place occurrence in this small town with under 300 students in the entire learning institute.
Making a run for a State title in any sport for any Northwest Corner School is not something we see very often, but the Thomaston Golden Bears have started to make a habit of it, especially on the hardwood.
The Bears (#3, 19-3) will go for their third straight appearance in Uncasville on Friday night when they take on Immaculate (#10, 17-6). Thomaston beat Immaculate a year ago in the quarterfinals at home by a 55-49 final behind 21 points from Abby Hurlbert and 20 from Morgan Sanson.
While Abby Hurlbert may be gone, the bulk of the Bears squad that made that magnificent run a year ago remains, led by Sanson and sophomore center Casey Carangelo.
Gabby Hurlbert and Nicole Schaefer also returned this year and have gotten help from Julia Quinn, who was on the team a year ago but injured.
The Mustangs lost some quality to graduation as well but have three players, junior Taylor Guth (13 points a year ago), senior Victoria Matero (5 points last time) and senior Katherine Kerins (3 points last year) who spent time on the court in the team’s last get together.
To get to this point, the Golden Bears, who earned a first round bye, beat O’Brien Tech by a 69-23 final and Windsor Locks, 48-34 on Monday night.
The Mustangs have won three games so far in Class S over Wolcott Tech (55-25), Coventry (52-20), and St Paul (48-39).
St. Paul came into the tournament ranked #2 but the Mustangs roared back from 12 down early in the fourth quarter to pull off the upset.
Thomaston never looks pretty in their wins and such was the case on Monday when it hosted Windsor Locks, but it did what they needed to do, with the help of some key three-pointers from Schaefer and Quinn to move on.
The two long-ball shooters will be very important if the Bears are to make the trip back to Mohegan Sun the weekend of March 21-22.
A doubleheader will be played at Wilby on Friday night with #1 Canton and #5 Notre Dame of Fairfield playing in the opener at 6, with the Bears and Mustangs scheduled to tip off at 7:45.
Will they make it three years in a row? Tough to bet against these Bears.