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Mills on the brink of Mohegan Sun finals in Class M. Face off against Weaver in Plainville on Monday night.

POSTED March 14, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

The Lewis Mills girls celebrate their 61-58 win over Kolbe Cathedral in the quarterfinals of the Class M state tournament. Mills continues to show teams across the state that they are the real thing at 25-0.

BURLINGTON: All throughout this remarkable season, the Lewis Mills girls basketball team has had one objective; put themselves in position to win the Class M state title.

Four months later, the Spartans find themselves just one game away from a date at the dance in Uncasville next weekend.

Tonight, the ride continues as the top ranked team from the Berkshire League and Class M takes on another tough city team from Weaver High School.

The Beavers, ranked No. 21, come in with a 15-8 record but don’t buy that for a minute, this team plays against tough LL and L competition all season and won’t come in lacking confidence.

Neither will the Spartans, led by point guard Nicole Bisson, who has been the player who hit big shot after big shot during the three games played at Lewis Mills.

“We are very excited we have this opportunity,” Bisson said, “We are just going to come out with the same Mills intensity and toughness we have for every game this year and just play our hearts out.”

If there has been any doubt about the Spartans desire to make it to the biggest game of the year, folks have not been paying attention.

With no bye in Class M this year, Mills has had a tough road to travel to get to within a game of the finals.

They opened at home against the No. 32 seed, New Fairfield and rode a 19 point effort by Amanda Adamski and a 14-6 third quarter to pull out the 40-29 win.

In their second round game, the undefeated Spartans took exception to what they perceived as disrespect by the Montville Indians and took it out on the visitors with a 50-29 win, fueled by a 23 point effort from Bisson who drained six three pointers in the win.

The quarterfinals brought perhaps the toughest challenge this team has ever faced as a team when they took on the defending Class M champions, Kolbe Cathedral.

Behind a 25 point effort from Adamski and a key Bisson three pointer late in the fourth quarter, the Spartans withstood a furious second half rally by the Cougars to win perhaps the most important game this program has ever won.

The Beavers will present their own set of problems for Mills, they bring a terrific shooter in junior guard Fifi Wolcott who is averaging 12.7 points per game and loves to shoot the three ball, connecting on 34 during the regular season.

Weaver brings with it a powerfull inside game, led by two players who do a lot of good things.

“Weaver has two legit post players in junior Kenya Stewart and senior Sashan Buckner,” Spartans head coach Dennis Fowler said, “Both are terrific leapers who rebound, score on the interior and love to block shots. We will have to be confident and smart when we get into the paint offensively.”

The Beavers have knocked off No. 12 Trinity Catholic (45-43) , No. 5 St Paul Catholic (56-37) and No. 4 Ellington (69-55) on their journey to the semi’s and have their sites set on a finals date as well.

It’s their first trip to the semi-finals and for a team that plays in the always tough Central Connecticut Conference, this is also a special time.

Mills has proven time and time again that they are a team that doesn’t know how to back down or listen to folks who say they can’t win on the big stage.

“I have a talented, hard-working group that are “gamers”, Fowler said, “They have risen to the moment all year. That’s why we are 25-0 in the middle of March and 32- minutes to Mohegan.”

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