Thomaston meets a familiar foe in Canton
The Thomaston girls basketball team is headed back to Mohegan Sun and will find a familiar foe awaiting them.
The Bears will be looking to win their third Class S title in four years when they meet defending Class S champion Canton on Saturday morning at The Sun. Fifth-seeded Thomaston (23-4) won the title in back-to-back seasons in 2014 and 15, beating Canton two years ago for the title. Canton (21-3) got revenge last season and will be looking for its second title in program history.
On Thursday the teams made their way to the Aqua Turf for the annual CIAC banquet, meeting with the media before their final preperations for the title game.
The rivalry between the Golden Bears and Warriors is now a history making trilogy that will play out Saturday on the state's biggest stage. The teams make up the first three-peat in CIAC basketball championship history boys or girls. Thomaston won the first meeting when it was the experienced team and Canton still in a thrilled to be there phase. The Warriors exacted revenge last season and both teams are hungry to capture the rubber match.
The names have changed for the Bears over the years but one things has been a constant, a thread that runs through all of the teams that have made it to Mohegan, starting with the bunch that got this train rolling by setting up a meeting with Capital Prep. Back then no one expected much from the Bears, well no one possibly outside of Thomaston, but the program has now come to signify excellence and winning, year in and year out. There's a good reason why and it has been shared from team to team.
"The leadership from the seniors on down," McMahon said when asked what the constant is between all the title game teams. "There are just some unwritten rules that are consistent and kids go about their work the same every day and when you can couple that attitude with the great players that we have had it's a good recipe."
It's been a recipe for sustained excellence that has led to some unprecedented success. The Bears have now made five of the program's eight title game appearances in the last five seasons. Thomaston is rolling at the right time too, punching its ticket to the final with a 61-28 rout of Sacred Heart in the Class S semifinal.
This year the Bears have leaned on seniors Julia Quinn, Casey Carangelo and Camryn Capaldo to lead the team and set the tone. It has paid off this season, the senior trio has done its job and been a major factor in why Thomaston is back at The Sun.
"We have a group of three seniors and they did a really good job this year and hopefully we will be able to see it pay off in the next couple of years," McMahon said.
But the future is for another time and on Saturday the Bears are once again playing for a title.
"It's the same, better, I don't know," McMahon said about the current run. "One thing I do know is that it's awesome."