Hurlbert, Sanson lead Thomaston into Class S semifinals
Thomaston's Abby Hurlbert drives to the basket during her team's 55-49 win over Immaculate in the Class S quarters.
THOMASTON - Thomaston needed a couple big plays and Abby Hurlbert and Morgan Sanson stepped up and provided them.
Hurlbert scored 21 points and Sanson added 20 as No. 3 Thomaston posted a 55-49 victory over No. 11 Immaculate on Thursday night in a Class S quarterfinal matchup.
With the win the Bears advance to the Class S semnifinals for the second straight season. They will face No. 2 Sacred Heart on Monday night at a site to be determined.
Thomaston got off to a fast start and led 29-21 at the half but Immaculate (15-8) would not go quietly.
"We saw them twice and we knew what to expect, a battle," Thomaston coach Bob McMahon said.
The Bears got a battle from the Mustangs, especially in the second half. Immaculate went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter and just when it seemed like Thomaston was going to blow the game open, Immaculate clawed its way back into it.
"I'm really proud of the way we fought back," Immaculate coach Lisa Henley said. "We never gave up."
After a bucket by Hurlbert made it 36-26 early in the third, the Mustangs responded and by the time Victoria Matero scored in the lane, it was all tied up, 36-36, and the momentum had shifted.
McMahon called a timeout with 2:04 left in the third. He didn't say much in the huddle, he didn't need to, but he got what he asked for.
"I just said we need to score and stop them from scoring," McMahon said. "We needed a bucket and a stop and fortunately we got one."
After the timeout Sanson drove the lane and kicked out to the corner to a wide open Hurlbert, who buried a three. Sanson then closed the quarter with a steal that led to a drive and a three-point-play with 8.4 seconds left in the third to give the Bears a 42-36 lead heading into the fourth.
"We knew we just had to play harder on defense and get stops," Sanson said. "I was able to be aggressive and drive to the basket and it was important to get the lead back."
"It was huge, we got two huge plays to end the third quarter," McMahon said. "To enter the fourth with the lead and get a little bit of control back was big for us."
Sanson started the fourth with a sweeping drive for a hoop and freshman Casey Carangelo added a hoop off an offensive rebound to push the lead to 46-36. Hurlbert capped the 12-0 spurt with a driving hoop with five minutes to play that gave the Bears a 48-36 lead.
"They were a really tough team, played tough defense on us," Hurlbert said. "After they came back we were able to execute a little better offensively and when we got the lead back we were determined not to give it up."
Immaculate got within five inside the final minute but their comeback attempt fell short while Thomaston was left to celebrate its 13th straight win and second straight trip to the Class S Final Four.
"It's a great accomplishment for this group," McMahon said. "We have great players who work hard and who want to win."
Immaculate 6 15 15 13 - 49
Thomaston 15 14 13 13 - 55
Immaculate (15-8) Amanda Loya 3 2-2 8; Jaclyn Daily 3 0-0 7; Taylor Guth 5 2-3 13; Danielle Cerrone 4 5-7 13; Victoria Matero 1 3-4 5; Katherine Kerins 1 1-1 3. Totals 17 13-17 49.
3 Pointers: Daily; Guth
Thomaston (20-4) Abby Hurlbert 7 4-4 21; Gabby Hurlbert 3 3-7 10; Morgan Sanson 7 6-7 20; Charlie Eberhardt 0 0-0 0; Bryttnie Thomas 0 0-0 0; Nicole Schaefer 1 0-0 2; Sarah Guay 0 0-0 0; Casey Carangelo 1 0-0 2.Totals 19 13-18 55.
3 Pointers: Abby Hurlbert (3); Gabby Hurlbert