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Key Moments in Thomaston's Run to the Sun

POSTED March 12, 2013
BY John Nestor
Twitter: @nestorjdn

Sydney Keith and the Thomaston Golden Bears are heading to the finals of the Class S girls basketball at Mohegan Sun next weekend. Thomaston beat East Windsor by a 46-34 score at New Britain High School on Saturday night.

The Thomaston girls basketball team is back in the Class S state title game for the first time since 1994 when the Bears lost to Hale Ray, 60-43. That loss was the end of a brilliant three-year run for Thomaston as it reached the state championship game three straight seasons and won the 1993 crown with a 53-41 victory over Putnam.

This year the Bears are back in the title game after losing in the Class S quarterfinals to Portland in three straight Class S tournaments. Thomaston will try to become the first Berkshire League girls basketball team to win a state title since Wamogo won the Class S crown in 1995 with a 49-47 victory over St. Thomas Aquinas of New Britain. The last BL team to play for a state title was Northwestern, which lost the Class M title game in 2003 to Career (New Haven), 59-48.

Thomaston enters the Class S title game against Capital Prep with a record of 23-2. Below are a few key games that served as stepping stones for the Bears' run to Mohegan Sun.

December 28, 2012: Thomaston 54, Coginchaug 41

Both teams came into the game unbeaten and the Blue Devils were the defending Class S champs as well. A loss wouldn't have been devastating but the win served notice that the Bears were going to be a contender. Maggie Eberhardt scored 15 points and Abby Hurlbert added 12 while freshman Morgan Sanson came up huge in her first big game as a Bear with 14 points as Thomaston improved to 6-0.

February 5, 2013: Northwestern 54, Thomaston 49

The Bears were rolling along and coming off a big home win over Lewis Mills that ended the Spartans' hopes of a BL regular-season crown and put Thomaston in control of the league. They gave it right back with the loss at Northwestern, the Highlanders' second win over the Bears this season. It was Thomaston's last loss and Northwestern is the only team to beat Thomaston this season. Eberhardt would later point to this loss as a game where the Bears learned their lesson, albeit the hard way.

February 15, 2013: Thomaston 55, Nonnewaug 48

This was all or nothing for the BL title and Thomaston came through. With the win the Bears (18-2) finished a game ahead of the Chiefs in the BL and captured their third league title in four years. Eberhardt finished with 24 points, including Thomaston's final nine points which came in the last two minutes of the game. "It was incredible," Eberhardt said. "To win the BL title three out of four years, is awesome. I couldn't ask for anything more." Well at last at the time she couldn't.

February 21, 2013: Thomaston 55, Northwestern 42

The third time was the charm for the Bears as Eberhardt scored her 1,000th career point and the Bears advanced to the Berkshire League title game. Northwestern coach Fred Williams said after the game that the difference was Thomaston made plays and shots down the stretch and he added that they had a team that could make a run in the states and he was right on.

February 22, 2013: Thomaston 50, Lewis Mills 35

Eberhardt led the way with 17 points while Abby Hurlbert added 15 and Sydney Keith had 12 to lead the Bears to victory over Lewis Mills in the Berkshire League Tournament final at Thomaston High. Thomaston backed up its second straight BL regular-season title with its second straight BL tournament title and put to rest any doubt about who was the best team in the BL. Thomaston jumped out to a 22-4 lead and never looked back, while improving to 3-0 on the season against Mills, which was coming off a double-digit victory over Nonnewaug in the semifinals

March 4, 2013: Thomaston 58, Hyde Leadership 54

It wasn't Portland, but it was a Shoreline Conference school in the quarterfinals, and this time Thomaston found a way. The Bears were outrebounded 44-22 but also forced the Howling Wolves into 22 turnovers and got the playoff monkey at their back and set up a state semifinal meeting with ...

March 9, 2013: Thomaston 46, East Windsor 34

Thomaston locked down East Windsor and earned a trip to Mohegan sun with the win in the Class S semifinals. Eberhardt scored a game-high 24 points, including four three-pointers, as No. 3 Thomaston led wire-to-wire in defeating 10th seeded East Windsor at New Britain High School. "We've had a lot of kids fight for many years for the opportunity to win it all," Thomaston coach Bob McMahon said. "We're looking forward to bring our team and our fans to Mohegan Sun."

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