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It's been regular season domination for the Lewis Mills girls soccer and basketball teams

POSTED February 17, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Lewis Mills girls basketball coach Dennis Fowler, celebrates after cutting down the nets after his Spartans completed a 20-0 season with a 53-29 win over Housatonic. Since the fall, Fowler led teams (soccer and basketball) have a collective regular season record of 36-0.

BURLINGTON- Just how dominant a fall and winter season has Lewis Mills girls soccer and basketball coach Dennis Fowler had?

Consider the combined record of both teams; 36-0. That’s some serious winning and with some of the same girls on both teams to boot.

The Spartan girls finished one part of their dream on Wednesday night when they knocked off Housatonic by a 53-29 score.

It marked the first time in school history a girls basketball team ever achieved that status and it was a goal of all of them since day one.

“We have all been focused on going undefeated,” senior point guard Nicole Bisson said, “To be the first team in school history to do it was important to us.”

This team has been playing together at the varsity level since their sophomore years and have seen their share of close games and heartache.

A year ago, Mills lost in the semi-finals of the BL Tournament to eventual co-champion Wamogo by a 47-41 score before dropping a 33-25 decision to Plainville in their only state tournament game.

This season though, the stars were aligned just right and the Berkshire League had no answers for this group that has now won 76 games in their careers and counting.

How big was the gap?

Consider Mills averaged just over 57 points per game while giving up an anemic 28.8.

The point differential (28.3) is almost what the Spartans allowed per game.

Don’t kid yourself, this team feeds off it’s defense to create it’s offense and every player on the floor plays a role in forcing turnovers.

Amanda Adamski, who finished the regular season with a 17.1 points per game average, begins the pressure on most opponents inbounds on the ball, using her height and arm span to harass the ball.

Bisson, Katherine Bayne and then Adamski again, create a blanket around the ball that makes it nearly impossible to get the ball up court.

On the offensive side, the weapons come at a team far too fast and furious.

The three mentioned above are joined by Kristen Van Gilst and Alicia Forella, who have shown the ability to take over parts of games.

Junior, Vicky Hernandez and sophomores Teagan Dunn and Cassidy Lockwood have seen considerable court time this year due to the high number of runaways they have been involved in.

There is always the question of how does one keep a team sharp when your not playing in many close games?

“Coach splits up the starters in practice so we can have a higher level of competition,” Bayne said after the Housatonic win, “It keeps us sharp.”

Fowler has always been able to get the best out of whatever level of talent he has that particular year but this has been a season and team he will not soon forget.

“This is such a senior laden team,” Fowler said, “They work really hard each time out and have learned to play so well as a team.”

While Adamski is the leading scorer, the load no longer has to go through the middle, something that is fine with her.”

“If my teammates are hitting those outside shot,” Adamski said, “That’s fine with me. It takes pressure off of me.”

Take Wednesday night.

Van Gilst took over the first quarter after her team got off to a slow start by on a two point jumper and a three pointer to put her team ahead for good.

Adamski did own the paint in the second quarter, scoring seven of her nine points in the frame.

The third quarter? Well that easily was dominated by Bayne who simply went off, scoring 11 straight points from all over the court.

Now, in Class M State Tournament play, Mills will be tested by the likes of Windham, Plainfield, Ellington and St Paul Catholic from the Naugatuck Valley League.

First up though, will be the BL Tournament, which begins on Saturday.

The State Tournament rankings will be announced on Wednesday, February 23 at noon.

Mills will certainly have a bye and at least a couple of home games as they try to reach their final destination; a State Championship.


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