Thomaston girls take control of BL - for now
THOMASTON – A one loss team went down in defeat Friday night at Thomaston.
But, based on the flow of the girls Berkshire League season this year, it was hardly an upset.
Thomaston’s 49-45 triumph over 13-1 Nonnewaug gives the Golden Bears the current lead in the BL with a 12-1 mark in conference play.
The Golden Bears (12-3 overall) have now won nine straight after a three-game losing skid which included a loss at Nonnewaug and losses to non-BL foes in SMSA and Coginchaug.
Don’t be surprised to see more movement in the standings down the stretch of the regular season.
“The only difference is home court, that’s all,” said Nonnewaug head coach John Somero, whose team is now 12-2 in league play. “Thomaston is a well balanced team and they played really well. Give them a lot of credit.”
“Games like tonight’s we’re used to,” noted Thomaston head coach Bob McMahon. “For some reason, we have trouble putting teams away and find ourselves in tight, dig-in types of games. The girls are certainly not scared of close games.”
Thomaston controlled the first two and a half quarters, leading 28-18 after a three-point play from Laura Miller. The Chiefs, though, got back in it thanks to Caitlin Drakeley (game-high 22 points), who scored 10 points in powering a 14-1 run, including a lay-up plus a foul to give Nonnewaug a 32-29 advantage with 7:11 left in the fourth.
Just as the game appeared to be slipping away from Thomaston, Maggie Eberhardt scored four of her eight points on consecutive possessions to give the Golden Bears a 35-34 lead they would not relinquish.
Hannah Russo added a huge three on her only basket of the night for a 38-34 advantage at the 4:35 mark, followed by a free throwing shooting clinic Larry Bird would be proud of as Thomaston knocked down 11 of 14 foul shots to seal the win.
“We’ve been working hard in practice on free throw shooting because it hasn’t been consistent all year,” McMahon said. “Those drills paid off tonight.”
Nonnewaug had to play much of the fourth without the BL’s leading scorer in Katie Burke, who was battling foul trouble.
Somero points to the Chiefs’ slow start as the reason for this defeat, not their struggles in the final four minutes.
“We didn’t come prepared (to play) and it was so obvious,” Somero said. “Thomaston took us out of it early and we didn’t react. At all.”
The Golden Bears were led by Abby Hurlbert’s 16 points. Miller and Kellie Burns finished with 10 points apiece.
“The first quarter set the tone for the night,” agreed McMahon. “Nonnewaug’s a tough team and we knew they would fight back, but our start allowed us to hold them off.”
While the Golden Bears now occupy first place, they have the tougher road ahead with Wamogo (10-3) and Northwestern (9-5) still to play again.
In other words, stayed tuned. This race is far from over.
THOMASTON 49, NONNEWAUG 45
Nonnewaug: Caitlin Drakeley 8 3 22, Megan Mitchell 1 2 4, Katie Burke 4 3 11, Erin South 1 0 2, Jess Fengler 0 0 0. Totals: 15 12 45.
Thomaston: Hannah Russo 1 0 3, Abby Hurlbert 3 9 16, Sydney Keith 0 2 2, Kellie Burns 4 2 10, Maggue Eberhardt 3 2 8, Laura Miller 3 4 10. Totals: 13 19 49.
Nonnewaug 5 10 12 18 - 45
Thomaston 16 7 6 20 - 49
3-pointers: T – Russo. N – Drakeley 3.