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The Dream Season continues for Lewis Mills. Berkshire League Tournament Champions. States up next. (A story by John Torsiello)

POSTED February 25, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


By, JOHN TORSIELLO

THOMASTON-The seniors on the Lewis Mills girls basketball team sure have good memories.

“We remembered when they (Thomaston) had a real good team with seniors and we were sophomores and we beat them in the playoffs down here,” said Mills’ senior center Amanda Adamski. “They have some good young players and we didn’t want them to do to us what we did to them two years ago.”

And Mills didn’t, as they held off the Golden Bears, 41-34, to win the Berkshire League Tournament championship Thursday night at Thomaston High School. The Spartans improved to 22-0 on the season.

“These girls have had the bulls eye on their backs all year because we were supposed to be real good and win everything,” said a smiling Mills head coach Dennis Fowler, as his team cut down the nets in a victory celebration. “I don’t care what sport or what level, to go through a regular season and then a two-game playoff unbeaten over a four-month period is quite an accomplishment.”

The Spartans of Burlington, who beat Wamogo in the tournament semifinals, rolled over much of their competition during the regular season and, after a slow start, it appeared as though they were going to do the same to Thomaston when they sprinted out to a 21-12 lead with two minutes left in the first half.

But the spunky Golden Bears, who topped Housatonic in the semis, refused to let this one get away easily. After two foul shots by Adamski early in the third period stretched her team’s advantage to 10 points, 25-15, Thomaston clawed back behind junior Hannah Russo and sophomore Maggie Eberhardt. The pair scored seven points of an 11-5 home club run that made it 30-26 in Mills’ favor after three stops.

The Spartans were up to the challenge, however. Senior Nicole Bisson hit a huge three-pointer with 4:43 remaining the game to give her team a 34-25 lead. The Spartans stretched their spread to 12 when junior Kristin Van Gilst hit a turnaround shot in the lane with 1:44 remaining.

A three-pointer by Eberhardt with a minute left cut the Bears’ deficit to seven, 41-34, but they would get no closer as Mills effectively ran out the clock.

“That’s what I expect our seniors to do,” said Fowler when asked about Bisson’s huge trey midway through the final period.

Mills’ seniors scored 35 of Mills’ 41 points on the night.

Said the shooter, who struggled a bit with a turned ankle during the first half, “I got open and I thought I would put it up. The ball felt good coming off my fingertips and it was great when it went in. Coach expects all the seniors to step up at big moments and we aren’t afraid to take the big shots when it counts.”

Said Adamski, who had 14 points (12 in the second period) and eight rebounds, “We were expecting them to be charged up for us. It’s hard to beat a team three times in a season but all our games prepared us for tonight’s game.”

Offered Fowler, whose team is top ranked in the Class M state tournament and will open play next Friday, “This makes three of the last four Berkshire League Tournament titles for this team and that is really something the seniors can be proud of. It’s quite a legacy to leave.”

Thomaston coach Bobby McMahon, whose team is ranked fifth in Class S and will begin state tourney play next Thursday, was downcast after the loss.

“We had a three-minute period of the fourth quarter where we just kept turning the ball over and that didn’t help. We got it to four at the end of the third period and turned them over. But every time we got them to give up the ball we gave it right back.”

He added, “Mills is a great team. They are unbeaten, so their record speaks for itself.”

Hannah Martin led Thomaston with 11 points, while Eberhardt wound up with nine points, including a three-point shot from half court as the buzzer sounded ending the first period.

Lewis Mills 41, Thomaston 34

Lewis Mills (22-0): Vicky Hernandez 0 0 0, Hope Shevchuk 1 0 2, Nicole Bisson 3 0 8, Kristen Van Gilst 1 2 4, Amanda Adamski 5 3 14, Katherine Bayne 4 1 10, Alicia Forella 0 3 3. Totals: 14 9 41.

Thomaston (18-4): Hannah Russo 3 0 8, Sarah Hafele 0 0 0, Hannah Martin 3 4 11, Sydney Keith 1 0 2, Mairead Carr 0 1 1, Kellie Burns 1 1 3, Maggie Eberhardt 3 1 9. Totals: 11 7 34.

Mills 7 16 7 11 41

Thomaston 10 5 11 8 34

3-point goals: LM 4-Nicole Bisson 2, Adamski, Bayne; T 5-Maggie Eberhardt 2, Hannah Russo 2, Hannah Martin.

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