Raiders get through NVL play in game with 53-41 win over Kennedy.

Torrington: A night removed from a tough, one point loss in the final game of the regular season, the Torrington girls’ basketball team didn’t have much time to think about it.

Maybe that was a good thing.

Back at it tonight in their Naugatuck Valley League play in game, a new wrinkle in the format, the home team built a good-sized lead, watched it go away but then got some help from their next generation to prevail, 53-41 over Kennedy.

Junior Melissa Duman (13 points) and sophomore Annabel O’Marra (6 fourth quarter points) turned a two-point lead back into a comfortable one by scoring the final 12 points of the game.

Haley Burger led all scorers with 19, including three, three-pointers along the way.

Hot shooting from Burger (nine points) and Sofia Calabrese (4 points inside) and a long ball from Leanna Harvey allowed Torrington to run out to an 22-10 lead after one.

The home team was also shutting down Niyah Brown, the hot shooting guard for the Eagles who had scored 30 the night before against WCA.

Brown was held scoreless in the opening quarter, had two at the half and finished with just eight points.

Maddie Kieras led Kennedy with 13 points.

Following the hot first eight minutes, the Raiders went cold in the second quarter, scoring just four points in the frame, allowing the Eagles to get within five at 26-21 at the break.

When Brown connected on her only three pointer of the night, the visitors had made it a two-point game at 26-24.

A 6-0 run, fueled by another Harvey three-pointer, stretched the lead back up to 32-24 but Kennedy refused to go away.

Their own 8-0 run tied things up at 32 and had you wondering if a quarterfinal appearance was in the cards for Torrington.

Most of this season, when the Raiders needed someone to take over, senior Haley Burger was who they turned to and that was no different Thursday night.

Burger went on her own personal 9-0 run in every way possible. Two free throws. A jumper in the lane, a long three ball and finally a cut to the basket to accept a great feed from Calabrese.

Even with all that magic by Burger though, it was still just a two-point lead at 41-39 with 4:20 to play.

Enter Duman and O’Marra.

Duman grabbed an offensive rebound for two and a 43-39 lead.

O’Marra was the recipient of a beautiful bounce pass from Burger for a bucket and 45-39 lead. She would connect again on her team’s next possession and the lead was mounting quickly at 47-39.

With the Raiders looking to take some time off the clock, Duman, like a runner blasting through a stop sign rounding third, ignored pleas from the Torrington bench to slow it down by connecting on another aggressive drive to the basket.

The sophomore and the junior would each score one more time to wrap this one up.

So, potentially, one of the final girls’ postseason games in the gem we call the Connie Donahue Gymnasium was a good one for the Raiders. This time next year, the gym will be in the initial stages of being stripped down and rebuilt.

They will play in the quarterfinals on Saturday against St Paul at Naugatuck High School.

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