Thomaston to face major obstacle in Captial Prep
The team from the small town of Thomaston took the floor Saturday in the Class S semifinals and received a loud reaction from the 800 or so fans at New Britain High School.
It wasn't all good.
While the large contingent of fans from Thomaston gave them a standing ovation, many of the East Windsor portion in attendance showered the Golden Bears with boos, something you don't see too often on the high school level of girls basketball.
Did Thomaston let that less-than-flattering welcome faze them? Hardly.
Bob McMahon's team came right out of the gate with the essential intensity and fire needed to get to the finals, jumping out to a 7-0 lead and never looking back in securing a 46-34 victory and a trip to Mohegan Sun.
Led by Maggie Eberhardt, who scored a game-high 24 points, Thomaston kept its poise throughout, not letting the crowd, its free throw struggles (4-of-15 in the first half) or anything East Windsor did get in its way.
To win the title, which will be a major task against the force known as Capital Prep, the Golden Bears must showcase a similiar display of mental toughness. Because Capital Prep, to be blunt, is as good as they come.
Twice in the regular season, Prep held opponents to less than 10 points. Not in a quarter. In a game.
In the quarterfinals of the Class S Tournament, Prep destroyed Valley Regional, 100-27. And with a championship game berth on the line, it ran Morgan right off the New Britain High School floor by a 94-36 margin.
This may be a situation where Thomaston may not be able to win the game, but it can win at the game.
Capital Prep, which consists of mostly freshmen and sophomores, plays a suffocating man and trap defense. Notably, in the semis against Morgan, it was a win for the Huskies when they actually got the ball over midcourt without it being stolen and taken back for a lay-up.
It's human nature to be intimidated against a team like this. Statewide predicitions are calling for this game to be checked off as an easy Capital Prep win and judging by the landslide witnessed in the prior round, it's hard to argue.
But this hardly calls for Thomaston to step aside so Capital Prep can pick up the championship trophy. The Golden Bears showed in the semis they won't back down to anyone or any situation.
It will be hard, and in somes ways, near impossible to pull this off, but analyzing its track record, you can be assured Thomaston will do everything in its power to try.
Without that type of hunger it wouldn't be here today.
Why stop now?